Hoosiers facing bigger lineup at Minnesota

The last time Indiana played Minnesota, it pulled out an upset thanks in large part to a 43-31 advantage on the rebounds.

That will be a lot harder to duplicate this time around when they play today at 8 p.m. at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. The Golden Gophers switched up their lineup on Thursday night against Wisconsin, using 6-11 sophomore center Ralph Sampson III and 6-10 sophomore center Colton Iverson in the lineup together at the same time for long stretches. That helped Minnesota dominate on the glass against Wisconsin, winning the battle 41-28 in a 68-52 upset of the No. 14 Badgers. Indiana coach Tom Crean expects that to change the game significantly, especially on the backboards.

““It makes it incredibly different,” Crean said. “It’s going to have to be a team rebounding game. I think it will. There are keys to the game, and I think this is going to be as big of one as there is. We can’t go up there and give them easy baskets at home off of offensive rebounds.”

Crean also said he expects to see more zone from Minnesota this time around. Using Iverson and Sampson together slows the Gophers down, but it makes them longer and could make it harder to penetrate.

“We don’t want to get pushed back on our heels on the perimeter without screening and cutting,” Crean said. “We’ve gotta be playing downhill. I think we’ll see a lot of zone, but we can’t stand out there on the perimeter without attacking it.”

Another change from the team’s first matchup, of course, is the venue. That’s even more significant than usual because Williams Arena, nicknamed “The Barn” is possibly the most unique arena in the Big Ten. One major change is the court is raised up from the floor. The benches are actually below the court. This causes all sorts of issues with perception.

To combat this, the Hoosiers flew to Minnesota early Friday so they could practice in Minneapolis.

““I think because it’s so different it’s the equivalent of playing at Vanderbilt in the SEC,” Crean said. “Everything you know is so different. It’s still a 94-foot court and the basket is 10 feet high, but the bench is way underneath you. You’re looking down to find your coach and teammates, just like at Vanderbilt, where you’re looking for your bench and it’s in the end zone. It plays with your mind and we can’t let it. The more you can be out there the more you can lessen part of their home-court advantage.”

20 comments

  1. Need alot of drives to the basket, if you can get one of their Bigs in foul trouble we’ll have a chance. Always thought that it would be hard not to feel that you where going fall off the end of the floor!Still think that Kentucky made a huge mistake running Tubby off. Smart coach!! Let’s win this one!! GO IU

  2. Gee- perhaps Mr Crean can find a way to play Mr Elston more than 12 minutes against a big UM lineup. Probably not, though.

  3. He has a grudge against Elston so don’t expect him to play too much. Maybe it is the fact he is a big and from Indiana.

  4. I love Elston, well I should say I think he is a pretty good ball player and watched him play 2 or 3 times when he played for Tipton. Mr. Elston needs to be able to defend a little bit if he wants minutes. He cant be a defensive liability and not score at the same time. Its one thing if he’s getting 5 boards with 12 points, but 3 board and 4 points isn’t going to cut the cheese so you’ll just have to break out the wine…

  5. I want to start off by apologizing to everyone for being such a jerk. I dont know, I took some time and realized that this team is young and has a long way to go. I just want them to win so bad that it makes me mad when stupid stuff happens. I like Crean, I like Crean a lot and all that stuff about “the tanned one” and “clapper” is only cause I respect him and wish the best for him. I wouldn’t ride him like that if I didn’t think he had it in him to turn this program around. I will try to lay off in the future, but I cant guarantee anything. Just wish someone could help me remove this life size wooden statue I have of Bob Knight from my bathroom. It’s in there for a reason, anyone care to take a guess why??? Im sick, real sick, but I love IU === thats for sure.

  6. 4guards you never answered me. do you have “bubbies”? girl ones, not man ones. you fight like a girl with insults about someone’s looks. and when you insult the very thing that makes the guy attractive…nice skin, it’s even more lady like. do you get your nails and hair did too, like me?

  7. Thats a good point lovelylady. You dont hear guys make comments about other guys skin type or hair type. Thats kind of a girly thing now that you mention it. Most of my friends are more concerned with Creans recruiting and offensive sets, not his method of tanning. Maybe he does have bubbies, thats great!!

  8. I still don’t see why the guy likes Alford so much. At least Crean has won more than one tournament game.

  9. Oh, good call, sir. He did really well at all those small schools. Just drove my program into the ground. That’s ok, though, I was glad to see ’em squirm after they ran me out.

  10. Elston is going to be fine. He just doesn’t have the lower body strength to move people off the block. That’s going to come, but I really don’t look at him as a post player anyway. He seems more of a tweener, something between a 3 and a 4. Right now he works hard and gets us boards, but can’t defend the post and doesn’t have much of a way to score.

  11. Some of you still live in the past…worship Alford, Dakich, and Knight. I loved watching Alford play as a kid, loved it. With that said, he did not do at Iowa what he should have, period! He had his shot at the IU job when Knight left and when Davis left. It did not work out, let’s move on. I was able to go to IU when Dak was here and drank many beers at Kilroys with him and Norm both. I liked him. He was so nice and low key. I was walking my kids in a stroller on campus days after he came back a few years ago and he smiled and nodded. Now I listen to the radio and what an egomaniac! Also, he fell flat on his face when taking over for Sampson and don’t blame the rough kids on the team. Bottom line is he had Gordon and White and should have at the very least won 2 games in the big dance. He had his shot and he is gone. I still love Bob Knight. His autograph and picture are all over my IU room. Knight is gone and gone for good. I still respect him, a little less now that I have grown up and have kids of my own, but I still respect him. Again, he is gone.

    I look it at like this. Crean has 8 years or so left and Glass will not buy him out for at least 5 or 6 more years so we should support him. In the grand scheme of it all Crean has been here less than 2 seasons!!! Again, less than 2 seasons!!!
    Other than a few rotation issues, not playing a coupld kids as much as I think he should, and not being able to land a big time player…he has done a great job and he is classy! Crean has not made the outright elementary mistakes that Lynch has and Glass is keeping Lynch, right? So I think all of this whining about Crean is stupid because he is going to be here for the long haul. He will land that stud sooner or later and then rotation issues and playing time won’t matter because of ablity and depth. If he does not land that stud, fails to win, and makes elementary mistakes…I will be on him like some of you are. Right now it makes NO sense to hate on Crean!

  12. Agreed. This is what also holds back his minutes,IMO, in that he has even more of a problem defending the other teams 5 or if they have a fairly athletic 4. Hopefully he can remedy alot of those problems this offseason. How much progress he makes on these things this off season will go a long way in telling us what we can expect from him in the long run.

  13. I’ve been a die-hard IU fan since for over 35 years… and I’m believing.. and patient with Coach Crean. You guys that aren’t should really get some perspective. Or, don’t post until you are at least old enough to have a big-boy drink in a bar.

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