Crean: Roth’s status still uncertain

Sophomore guard Matt Roth is apparently making progress with his foot injury. He wasn’t wearing a boot at Saturday’s game against Iowa, and he was shooting around with the team before hand. However, with February and the half-way point of the Big Ten season fast approaching, IU coach Tom Crean said he’s still uncertain when and if Matt Roth can return this season.

“We’re getting closer to decision time,” Crean said on his radio show Monday night. “He’s ahead of schedule, what that totally means, we’re getting closer to finding out.”

Crean said shortly after Roth suffered his injury at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament that if Roth were still out in February, he would apply for medical hardship instead of returning to burn a year of eligibility on half of a Big Ten season. Crean did not say if he is still looking at that as a drop-dead deadline.

“We’d really like him back,” Crean said. “And the thing about Matt is not only can he shoot it, but Matt moves the basketball. When that ball stops, and that thought gets out ‘lets see if I have a play before I make the next pass.’ That’s the stuff we’ve gotta go through, and it drives me nuts.”

Crean also said that Maurice Creek is making progress, but he said his hopes that Creek could return by season’s end were shot down quickly.

“I said, ‘Does that mean he’ll be back by March?” Crean said. “I got a quick shake of the head ‘No’ from Dr. Ahlfeld. He didn’t look me in the eye, which means he knew what I was asking.”

Crean got several questions about guards and guard play during the radio show, and he used that as a response to the several e-mails he’s getting about not recruiting enough big men.

“I get so many questions and e-mails,” Crean said. “Big guy, big guy, big guy, big guy. But it seems like all the questions that we get, not all the questions, some of the questions, they’re about guard play. That’s why you can never stop recruiting guards. … You’ve got to continue to look at all areas to improve your team.”


  1. It is almost as if he is just ignoring and shrugging off all the questions and emails about big men and turns it back to guards. What is the infatuation? Yes I know D Wade was a guard, get over him.

  2. He definitely should spend more time weighing the pros and cons of ideas tossed out by douche bags who know zip about basketball (see above). I understand that’s how John Wooden operated.

  3. Thank you, Chet. stevealford is the worst part of this site. I have yet to see him post something positive about the team.

  4. Why would Roth come back now? It is to late in the season to make any difference. I just don’t understand who would benefit from bringing him back now.

  5. If you think he really can help after not playing in quite awhile bring him back. The experience he gets would also be valuable to him next year. Crean I think your doing a great job. These are kids and they need to grow stronger. When these freshman are juniors this will be a much better team. I also look for improvement next year but the first year is very difficult. Your getting these kids to do as well as possible. There up and down and yet look very good at times. Thanks coach

  6. Hey Hoosier Fan, I think bringing him back at this point is more out of a sheer lack of depth, and the one thing Roth provides, three-point shooting, is something IU desperately needs.

    You could probably make an argument that if Creek doesn’t get hurt, Roth would most likely red-shirt, but with the current situation, they just need him.

  7. Bringing Roth back at this point in the season is pointless. If they can win at Illinois they will be 10-10 on the season with 10 games and the Big Ten Tourney left.

    At that point, they would need to go .500 with at least one Big Ten Tourney win just for a shot at an NIT bid. Lets not even kid ourselves with talking about an NCAA bid.

    So why bring Roth back now? For a 3 point shooter? Do we not remember what happened when DJ tried to come back to soon? He ended up hurt again.

    We all know that the ceiling for this season was set around 12 wins, anything over that is a bonus plan. Let Roth heal, get him fully healed, a medical redshirt, and have him ready for next season when hopefully we will have a “big” developed enough to set screens to open up the guys who DON’T have the ball.

  8. Matt Roth is a great kid and I believe he would do anything to help IU basketball but this decision should be about what Matt wants. Maybe he would rather get is degree and move on? We don’t know.
    What I do know is that no matter what happens as an IU fan I will support him.

  9. Crean should be drawn and quartered if he brings Roth back to a team that has no shot at a post-season this year. He’ll be much more valuable as a 5th year player. And in terms of ‘what Matt wants’, well, my 15 year old might want ot wear shorts to school when it’s 40 degrees outside, but it’s my job to make sure he doesn’t do that. Not the best analogy, but Crean should be looking at what’s best for Matt Roth…not how quickly he can burn his scholarship up and recruit over him. Plus, I see Roth as a likely transfer candidate in the next year….I’d hate for him to have blown an entire year of eligibility to play in 5-6 games at the end of our year as we battle for 9th-10th place in teh league.

  10. If a scholarship opens up , he will just be replaced with another 3 star wing or some 7 footer who has never played basketball before.
    I like Roth and would like him to save it for a 5th year.

  11. Roth is our best 3 point shooter and it is not even close. If Crean knew how to coach against a zone , Roth would be very very dangerous.

  12. Don’t waste a 5th year scholarship on Roth. All he can do is shoot. he can’t get his own shot, he doesn’t play good D doesn’t rebound and is slow. That means he relies on others to get him shots and we’ve seen how well that works out this year. Hulls is a serviceable version of Roth, he handles the ball better but isn’t as good a shooter.

    I should hope 3 years from now IU could use that scholarship for someone better.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he transferred anyway. He would be better off on a very athletic top team that needed him off the bench to launch threes and can hide him on D, or to a mid major.

  13. I’m more or else with Cooper on this. I don’t think Roth will ever have the quickness to become a starter. To me he is a role player who’s job is to come off the bench and shoot when it is not incumbent upon him to guard offensive threats.

    I’ve had this 3 pt shooting debate with stevealford before, who as we know, doesn’t like numbers that don’t support his world view. He insisted that Roth was the best 3 pt shooter on last year’s team, even though Dumes had a better percent.

    This year, Dumes is down, so maybe Roth would have had a better year. But last year Roth shot 37.2% from 3 point land, while Dumes was 38%, which last I checked is a bigger number than 37%. This year Creek was shooting 44.8% before the injury, a number 7 points higher than Roth’s.

    If we’re not going to count injured players, including both Roth and Creek, then Hulls’ 35% leads the team.

    So you’re right in one regard stevealford, its not even close. Either Creek or Hulls is the best 3 point shooter on the team. Those pesky facts, they just won’t go away.

  14. I need to point out that Roth only took one 3pt shot and 1 2pt shot before he was injured. So all numbers regarding Roth’s shooting have to be based on last year.

    Also, I don’t believe in awarding style points for having a nice looking stroke. This is not ice dancing and their are no French judges. Either the ball goes in the hoop or it doesn’t.

    IMO if a kid with an ugly stroke makes the ball go in the bucket on a regular basis he is a good shooter. Don’t get me wrong, I like watching kids with good strokes like Roth’s, but I like IU scoring points more.

  15. This “fact” is easy supported with empirical data. If you had any, you would supply it. You don’t.

    I like Roth. I think he can be a nice role player on this team. I don’t want to tear him down. stevealford has a way of erecting straw men whose destruction causes collateral damage.

  16. Didn’t Dumes see substantially more minutes on the floor than Roth in 2008-2009? Basketball jump shots aren’t analogous to putting a gun against your shoulder and shooting ducks at the carnival gallery. Every time Roth came into a game he was expected to be Shane…I hope he doesn’t transfer. And remember, a gun is as good, or bad, as a man using it.

  17. If Dumes saw more time last year that lends more credence to Dave’s point. The more you play the less likely you will have a high %.

  18. Roth: 21 minutes per game. Dumes: 28 minutes per game. Roth got enough PT to get into the flow.

    Total 3pt attempts last year: Roth 153, Dumes 155.

    BTW: This sort of information is readily available and free of charge.

    Anyway that was last year. This year Creek was destroying both Dumes’ and Roth’s numbers from last year, and of course, Dumes’ production this year.

    I’m not going to argue that Dumes is the best 3pt shooter on this year’s squad. Creek and Hulls are/were clearly doing better. Roth has yet to check in.

    If Roth does play and eventually posts the best numbers, and, since I am not agenda driven, I will gladly accept that he is this year’s best shooter.

    Yes stevealford, we will base the discussion, not on one and a half seasons’ worth of data, but upon the results of an exhibition event with no defenders and no consequences. They clearly are the same thing and carry the same weight (dws). Yikes, the king really has no clothes.

  19. Roth has only played one year , he was a freshman last year while Dumes was a Jr. He won the 3 point competition hands down this year.

  20. I guess if Roth had plenty of time to “get into the flow”, then he had plenty of time to turn the ball over.

    Turnovers per Minutes Played(2008-2009):

    Roth 16/651 = 1 turnover per 40 minutes.

    Dumes 84/753 = 4.5 turnovers per 40 minutes!

    Points off turnovers…One of the most important statistics in the game of basketball-every turnover can create a 4 to 6 point swing per possession..We all know Roth didn’t play his 21 minutes per game to create off the dribble. He was in the game to shoot the three ball..Dumes should be given the same role..Give him his 10 minutes per half to catch and shoot…Let’s just refer to him as “Don’t Dribble Dumes”. We would be getting his solid 3-pt shooting without impersonating a runaway train handing points to the other team.

    BTW: This sort of information is readily available and free of charge.

  21. Wilson, how about who has the ball more. Roth has the ball for about 2 seconds, to either shoot or pass. Roth can’t play D and couldn’t drive to the basket to save his life

  22. Would you call having the ball for 2 seconds getting into the flow of a game? I was still amazed at his low turnover ratio..When he’s on the court, he garners a lot is attention. I’m sure quicker defenders were attempting to deny him the ball and exert heavy pressure on the perimeter..I just can’t see how some are claiming that this type of role player is not valuable to the team. I’m also a little bewildered by Crean’s indifference regarding his status. He has relatively good size and can amass points in a hurry.

    Are bloggers just hating on the kid because he was a Sampson recruit?…Same case with Pritchard? Same reason Elston is being limited on his minutes? Maybe all three should just transfer to Purdue?

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