Hoosier Morning

WRIGHT STATE INDIANA

Indiana guard Victor Oladipo defends Wright State’s Vaughn Duggins on Sunday. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

STARTING FIVE

1. INDIANA 67, WRIGHT STATE 44

Verdell Jones felt good. His legs were strong, as was his ankle, during the team’s walk-through Sunday morning. Then the junior went out and scored 27 points by taking what Wright State gave him, Dustin writes. Indiana, in year three under Crean, has advanced to the point where these games are about execution and not overcoming a lack of talent or experience, I wrote.

Check out Inside the Hall, where Ryan Corazza has The Minute After, Alex Bozich has video and Zachary Osterman wonders if defense will carry the Hoosiers. The Hoosiers set a tone early against Wright State, the Indy Star’s Terry Hutchens writes. Tom Crean was concerned about how long it would take Jones to be back to his old self, an unfounded concern it turns out, the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette’s LaMond Pope writes.

Christian Watford asked Jones to miss a free throw and let him grab the rebound; Jones missed but Watford failed to grab the ball, but he got the double-double anyway, the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel’s Pete DiPrimio writes. Jones showed increased confidence and the ability to lead, the IDS’ Greg Rosenstein writes. Through two games, the defense has been the Hoosiers’ best offense, the IDS’ Ryan Winn writes.

2. FEAR SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

The most shocking score of the day: South Dakota State 79, Iowa 69. The Hawkeyes are a work in progress and struggled to play new coach Fran McCaffery’s up-tempo system, the Cedar Rapid Gazette’s Scott Dochterman writes.

Purdue played with Howard for a while, but pulled away on the strength of 13 3-pointers, the Lafayette Journal & Courier’s Jeff Washburn writes.

Wisconsin was determined not to be outdone by the football team, scoring 99 points in a win against Prairie View A&M. Freshman John Gasser scored 21 points and earned Devin Harris/Michael Finley comparisons in the process, Madison.com’s Rob Schultz writes.

Only one game tonight: Siena at Minnesota. The Gophers are working on using their size to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Myron P. Medcalf writes.

3. THE 83-POINT FALLOUT

Give up 83 points and people are going to talk.

What was good? Andy writes that no one died.

Saturday was the breaking point, the IDS’ Justin Albers writes, and Fred Glass should not accept this result.

The Raleigh News & Observer’s J.P. Giglio invokes Dennis Green in writing about Bill Lynch’s postgame comments. The Badgers are confused by computers, but at least Lynch took it like a man, the Los Angeles Times’ Chris Dufresne writes.

Even ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg joined in, dropping Indiana to No. 11 — below Minnesota — in this week’s power rankings.

4. SOMETHING WORTH READING

It’s not a secret that I enjoy Bruce Springsteen. And anyone who had discussed sports writing with me knows my affection for Joe Posnanski’s style, grace and wit. So Posnanski writing about Springsteen? Yes, please.

Of course this essay (essay sounds right; not about something enough to be a column, not long enough to be a memoir) is not about Springsteen. It’s about fathers, and growing up.

My father’s job is to make sure the knitting machines run. He unclogs jams, quiets the guttural sounds, tightens bolts that break free, loosens bolts that choke the machine. His hands are unnaturally strong; I have known this since I was a boy. Now I see that he uses his fingers to loosen bolts that are wedged tight. There is no time to find a wrench. Sometimes, when the machines run smoothly, I see him drawing Xs on graph paper as he works out a sweater color design. When kids in school used to ask me what my father did for a living, I would tell them he designs sweaters. It wasn’t because I was ashamed of what he did; quite the opposite. That was how I saw him.

5. ONE FOR THE ROAD

So maybe it was a little about Bruce. “The Promise.”

60 comments

  1. The Lynch debacle is all over the national media now. This is the kind of negative exposure that Fred can’t turn a blind eye to.

  2. To JPat and whomever else may have chimed in…

    I was very excited to see after mentioning Friday that I felt like CTC had keep the kid gloves on his offense and wished he would open it up, after the first two games of the year he did just that. We ran multiple sets throughout both games and were able to switch it up some. I think we will just continue to add to this. Very Encouraging. Last night against a pretty good team defense of Wright State we were able to get them lost and out of position some. We won’t always have the player advantage, but to get a defense that worked together like Wright State and most Big Ten D’s do, it was encouraging to cause some problems because of our plays.

    Also, We showed some life in our own help side defense. I don’t know where it came from and it still has a ways to go, but unlike the last few years we had guys jumping to the help side and watching both man and ball. There were so many times in the past that for whatever reason we just had no clue where the ball was and would face guard guys on the opposite side of the play. No more, it was just great to watch. It is still early and we have to cut down on the mental mistakes, but unlike the last few years, I was very encouraged from what I saw and it seemed like we played thoughtful team basketball. We displayed some fundamental things that just weren’t there last year. Great work coach and let’s keep it going.

  3. If Lynch is still coach after today, I’ll be fuming. I hope Glass has a meeting with him first thing where they come to an agreement that we can’t be the laughing stock of Div 1 as we are today and that he is relieved of his duties effective immediately.

    Seriously, why keep him for the last few games? This team talent wise is better than last year but it light years behind in terms of production. Giving up 83 should not be tolerated and Glass needs to man up like Jones in Dallas and pull the trigger now.

    All I know is that I’ll be fuming if I drive up to DC on Sat. and see him on the sidelines. My wife got me tix. for this game as a birthday present and if I could, I’d sell them in a heartbeat.

  4. HOagland- Nice analysis. SOunds like you have a pretty good knowledge of the game, and as someone who doesn’t, I enjoy the insight.

  5. I’ll ask again: why does it make no sense? What is the difference?

    Like I said before, as long as the search has begun and a timeline put in place behind the scenes, I don’t really care if it’s done now or at the end of the season. But, why are you so adamant that we wait? Just curious. I can agree that it really doesn’t make a difference, but I don’t see the harm in doing it now. If anything, it could send the message to some people that IU actually cares about football.

  6. All I know is if I were Bill Lynch right now, I’d be sick to my stomach in anticipation of tonight’s radio show.

    It’s going to be brutal, I imagine.

    Much like Wisconsin wiped the floor with us, I’m guessing some callers will be looking to do the same with Lynch on tonight’s show. I really hope it stays classy, though.

  7. HOagland- Nice analysis. SOunds like you have a pretty good knowledge of the game, and as someone who doesn’t, I enjoy the insight.

  8. Fred Glass must have either hired a search firm this morning or created a search committee. Extending Lynch, which is his only other option because of recruiting, will crush any hope the fan base has in football. I’m confident that Glass will be the first AD in IU history to turn the football program around by hiring the right coach for this school.

  9. sixth- I hope you’re right. One thing I’ve noticed with the Lynch supporters is their faith and love for him increases in proportion to his failures.

    It’s a bit of the Sarah Palin syndrome – the more wacky she gets, the more her base supports her.

    The pro-Lynch crowd is very stubborn, and expect them do dig their heels in and be more obnoxious than ever.

  10. One more thing: A Thank You Card to coach Bielema wouldn’t be far-fetched. Sadly, if this game were “only” 63-20, people would have dismissed it as “business as usual” for the Hoosiers. Giving up 83 points, however, gets us in the national headlines around the country and creates the kind of pressure we need to demand change. What recruit is honestly going to want to play for Indiana, “the school that gave up 83 points”? Since we are now a national, and not just a local joke, Fred Glass simply can no longer afford to ignore the sentiment amongst the fan base. He won’t want to be known as the “AD who tried to tell his fans that the coach was improving” after a 63 point loss.

    For these reasons, I am really, really relieved that Bielema did what he did, by bringing out our failures out into the open where they can’t be hidden or explained away.

    Thank you Bret!

  11. After giving up 83 points to Wisconsin, I was not shocked to see that IU ranks 100th out of 120 schools nationally in Scoring Defense(Points/g).
    I was mildly surprised that one of the schools ranking even lower than Indiana was the Washington Huskies(109th). I guess Washington plays in a tougher conference.

  12. Husky, I’m a fairly pro-Lynch guy; after some interactions with him, I think he’s a fantastic person and really cares for the players and staff that he works with every day.

    However, the team we have on the field this season is one of the least inspiring teams I’ve ever seen. Last year, we held with all of our opponents (except Ohio State) very well. Everyone can be forgiven for thinking that, with pretty much the entire offense minus Roger Saffold returning, this team was going to wie the floor with opposing defenses. Sure, there were questions on defense, but I think a lot of people felt that would be offset by a 50-point-per-game offense. Instead, there is no energy on defense, no execution on offense, and coaching decisions that make every IU fan scratch their head.

    Will Lynch be on the sideline in Landover and West Laf? Yes; this staff is too close-knit to just chop the head off — if Lynch goes, the whole staff goes, and we’ll be stuck with no one but managers and interns on the sideline. However, unless we come out and kick the s*** out of our last two opponents, Lynch is done as our football coach.

  13. As I watched the game Saturday I could not help but think of how we keep hearing that momentum has changed with IU football and recruiting is so much better and blah blah blah. Anything that Lynch had done positive as far as recruiting was erased last Saturday. I hate to look at it like that but we all know that this is that big of a deal. 83 points, I can’t get it out of my head! You just don’t get 83 points scored on you, especially by 2nd and 3rd string kids. I am surprised there has not been more written on it, 83 points! I had friends and family calling me from all over the place,other states. I also thought about fans of IU everywhere and fans that have spent time at IU and/or have a degree. I have been there to almost every freakin game since the mid 90’s and many times as a young kid. My wife and I have donated to IU athletics on and off and have 4 degrees between the two of us. This makes me sick to my stomach, 83 points. FANS DO NOT DESERVE THIS CRAP!!! 83 POINTS!!!

    83 POINTS!!!

  14. What angers me more is that we were the laughing stock of morning sports talk radio. Mike&Mike and Zabe both spent time talking about that 83 points Wisky hung on us and I’m embarrassed to be an IU guy. I can imagine the ribbing I’m going to get at FedEx this Sat. from PSU fans.

  15. The saddest part of all this is that some of you guys (fans) still actually think the school cares about the football program.
    Glass doesn’t want to spend any money on a good coach. He just wants his share of the conference revenue. Are you really too blind to see this?

  16. 4G, a fan always hold out hope. Glass has said many times he is a football guy and I trust him that way but we really will not know until he hires and that is the bottom line. You and many others would not understand as you only support basketball while I support many IU sports.

    Bill, sell the tickets and save yourself the trouble. Good luck anyway and have fun if you go. I was going to travel to the Wisky game but we were scared of the weather so went to Illinois…I cannot imagine how I would feel if I had traveled to Wisky.

  17. You’re an idiot (still). A bad football team still brings in 4 times the money of a top ten basketball program. A good one will bring in 8 times the money. I suppose you think Glass doesn’t care about money.

  18. I hope if Lynch is fired Glass has someone else in mind or at very least a plan to find them. Simply firing Lynch then hoping to find someone better is not an effective approach imo. Also read an interesting article about the Minnesota coaching search that stated hiring a retread (i.e. a known coach like the NFL/NBA always do) doesn’t usually work out. Need to find a hungry up & comer…which is much easier said then done.

  19. They might not be good at building and maintaining a football program, but to say they don’t care is ridiculous. They dropped $25-30 million on the North-endzone enclosure and another $3 million for the new state-of-the-art scoreboard. That is not the behavior of people that are riding the status quo.

    Indiana has to be multi-tiered in approach to establishing the football program from the hole its in. They couldn’t do these things in parallel either:

    1) Facilities Upgrade (Complete): attracts recruits, improves training and preparation for existing players and good coaches have a sweet office with bells and whistles to work with.

    2) Decent Coaching Staff (Incomplete): Lynch was always viewed as a stopgap who had the opportunity to prove himself on the field. His insanely low salary is proof of that. He’s failed, so Indiana will look for another coach. They won’t get a Harbaugh, but maybe there is another Coach Hep out there looking to step in and save a Big Ten program (Hep would have done it had he lived).

    I’d be happy with a NorthWestern-ish program here. I’m not deluded into thinking that IU can compete with OSU every year, but to be able to have a chance here and there with the upper crust as well as regular bowl appearances would be the cats meow for me.

  20. Big E,

    I agree. College football is more about recruiting, molding and shaping kids than it is about employing gameday strategies and schemes. Few NFL coaches are ready for the rigors of sitting in kids living rooms and selling them on why they should play for him. Conversely, many college coaches think the can “motivate” NFL players to a higher-level, where a more academic approach is usually required.

    I think IU’s best place is to find someone in a mid-tier conference with experience of turning things around, who would be enticed to do the same thing for a Big Ten school. Any coach who turned around IU football would be in the national eye and could write their next contract with a top-tier football program.

  21. For the people talking trash about Alex Kirk in the offseason, he is averaging more points and rebounds in the early season than our entire 2010 class.

  22. H.B.,

    Your post closely articulates my thoughts on IU football 2010.

    The BT 2010 season up to this point is a disappointment.

    Coach Lynch’s future after the 2010 season is in serious jeopardy.

    The FB talent level at IU having improved noticeably in national ranking the past 2 years is still in the bottom 30% of the B10.

    As little as I can find to defend the results of Coach Lynch, I can find nothing to defend a B10 coach, as Bielema’s performance, in continuing to improve the BCS position of the Badgers by running the score passed 65 points. This asterisk and the 2 point conversion try a couple of weeks ago with neither games no longer in doubt proves he does not hold the coaching class of a successful Tressel or an unsuccessful Lynch.

    The collective outcome of the two remaining games will no doubt set the cement for AD Glass to make a decision.

  23. Does anyone else think Creek’s legs look pencil thin? It’s worrisome. As much as I love the kid’s game, it just doesn’t appear he’s ready.

  24. All we can do folks is wait and see. Football is big business. We all know.., well, most of us know that. IU is at a crossroad where it could make the decision to compete with the big boys. If Glass does not spend some money and hire an effective coach, then we will know if he is a football man or not. This will also shine even more light on who is running the athletic dept.
    Is Pres. McRob. going to have a heavy voice in this? He needs to be saying, lets do this! Because I believe he had alot to do in help bring Crean in. He as well as Glass should understand the state and mind of the football program and its fans. And we do deserve, as well as the University much, much better.

  25. Coach Lynch is a nice guy and a good person. We all know that. But that doesn’t mean he’s the right coach for this team.

    He’s had his chance and we’ve continued to flop in Big Ten play. He was given a chance to continue what Hep had begun to build. It didn’t work, let’s move on.

    We competed hard in three Big Ten games, but couldn’t pull them out. You can look at it two ways – we’re either an eyelash away from being 7-3, 3-3 right now or just lucky to have competed in three Big Ten games in the first place. Regardless, is it really progress to be 4-6, 0-6? I think not.

    We need two things in a new coach.

    1.) A proven coach
    2.) A defensive minded coach

    If we can successfully find those two attributes in our new coach, IU football might have a chance to be relevant again.

  26. I noticed that about Creek too. It worries me because it has been almost a year and Creek looks nowhere close to 100%.

  27. Do you really think that the IU medical staff would let Creek play if he was at any real risk of injury (other than the typical risk associated with playing)?

    He’s obviously not 100%, but he’s clearly healthy enough to compete at a high level and be effective. He’s driving to the basket and playing relatively aggressive basketball. I cringed on a few falls to the floor, but he always came up fine. Creek has a funky body…he’s bowlegged and pigeon-toed.

    I’m not a doctor, but you have to realize that this was a pretty devastating injury and to expect him at 100% already is a little hopeful. I’m not expecting to see him light teams up for 31 points, but he’s clearly getting back in the flow of the game.

  28. His legs looked no bigger last year. He is long armed and long legged, perfect combination for an athletic wing player. Just like VO and Sheehy.

  29. 4 guards,who cares!? Husky, I enjoy most of your posts but I wish you would leave your liberal views at home. This conservative wants Lynch Fired so I guess I don’t fit your views!
    Lets talk about IU basketball and football and leave politics out
    of it. Please! Thanks

  30. southport-

    Easy there. Saying Palin is whacko is not a political perspective, it is a fact. Have you seen previews for her new “reality” show? She has clearly lost it.

    Other than that, I am glad we are on the same page about Lynch (and I think Crean, too). You see, sports can be a great mender of fences sometimes; people of different persuasions coming together for a common cause.

  31. Wow, I know he has a wrapped hand, but the guy just looks lost. He always has that how did I foul look. Capo over Pritchard the “Reacher”.

  32. Husky Tom,

    I have to agree some with southport 65. When I was a younger man I was left of center. After going into business a progression of lights began turning on giving me an opportunity to evolve. Besides Sarah is pretty and perky and resembles my wife.

  33. Pritchard is not in the game to score and he did have 8 rebounds in the first game. This offense doesn’t even look to the post most of the time.

  34. 4guards,

    I remember several years back, a guy by the name of Tuffy Rhodes hit 3 home runs on opening day in 1994 for the Chicago Cubs. He was on pace for 486 HR’s that year after that one game. Know how many he finished with that year? 8. In other words, who gives a crap how well a player is doing 1 week into the season? It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

  35. 4guards,
    I know TP has the potential. I would love to see him do well. I said in an early season post that he could average 10 and 8. But the offense and defense seems to work better with Capo in.
    Guy will definately change the dynamics of the Defense. There were times last night that IU was playing really well defensivly. And I could’nt help but visualize what they would have looked like with Guy. Guy is not a savior, but will totally change IU’s post play and effectivness.

  36. They’re full of it, Tom. They talk of field trips to meet our Christian coach, think a clumsy giant is a hoops savior, and enjoy frying fish in plug-in Sears & Roebucks cast iron skillets. Time has eclipsed them.

    For what it’s worth, I tend to fantasize much more over Michelle Obama. That’s my kind of “perky”.

  37. Pritch is perfect by no means, but I’ve stated my argument before… you can’t go just by stats. I typed out a long winded explanation using examples of plays last night that people around me complained about but were actually Mo Creeks fault, not Pritch’s. But, I know people will complain about long post and not want to read it. Pritch is our best help side defender and neither Capo or Elston are even close. I don’t think Guy will have it yet either, just because he looks big means nothing.

    Also, last night is a perfect example of why people need to lay off Hulls. He didn’t put up the 18 pts, but the lanes were open for VJ3 because of how much attention they paid to Hulls on the wing. He changed their defense without even putting up a shot.

  38. Hoagland,
    Fouling is not help side D. Like I said, TP has the potential we have all seen that. But you need chemistry or flow. I think Capo brings that. I think TP kills it. By what I’ve seen from Guy, he is no worse that TP. He should be able to alter shots, and aleviate much of that helpside D fouling. Yeah, maybe I’m hoping for too much with Guy, but it’s all IU has.

  39. Mass, you forced me to do it. I can’t take anymore opinions from people who don’t know basketball.

    At least 2 of Pritch’s fouls last night, are on Mo Creek. I know blasphemous, but it is the truth. If a guard is driving from the wing, generally speaking it means the post is clear on that side so he has a lane. When our guards get beat on the dribble, anywhere, but more specifically the wing, its the 5’s job to rotate over and cut off the lane, which Pritch does better than anyone we have. Everyone else either doesn’t notice at all or is late and just tries to block it, leading to layups all day. When Pritch rotates to the block to shut off the drive, it is the guard who is on top on the weak side to rotate down so that there is not easy dump off the the other teams Big. Mo didn’t rotate, their guard dumped it off, and Pritch came over trying to make up for Mo not rotating and block the shot, leading to a foul. (want a diagram or a minute breakdown of the film, if i had the game tape, I’d be happy to show everyone.)

    The other case that happens a lot, is on a drive off of the ball screen, whichever guard is on the same side has to hedge in as well as the big coming up to help shut off the drive. If the guard doesn’t hedge that leaves the slower 5 to guard a faster guard in in open space, and shut off his man at the same time. Almost always leads to a foul.

    If you mean the chemistry and flow that Capo had by having 4 fouls in about half the minutes then yes, that flow was amazing. Or when Elston was lost on D, which is why he doesn’t get more time. I like Capo and Elston, but Elston gets lost on D, and Capo misses rotations. Pritch saves guys all the time to no credit. Ask the team and Coach Crean who they want on help side and why Pritch plays. It is 3 things, Screening, Help Side, and he is the best at hedging on ball screens that we have. He is not the greatest at it, but better than any other big we have.

    Guy, well none of us have seen that much of him, but people will take that he is big and may block a few shots to mean he is better. Not at all, what we do know is Guy is big, but slower. Just because it is not a score on him, don’t discount that being slow or out of position at one point in the play, can lead to a layup for someone else at another point. Think rotating over, or down. Being big doesn’t help there at all.

  40. Maybe when Lynch leaves the program he’ll take 4 guards with him. They both have something in common? Both think they know what they are talking about but Lynch says less than 4 guards. VO is just a 3 star player, not from indiana and doesnt have a shot— Vintage 4 guards. Tom Crean is the man!

  41. Hoag, I have been on Pritch too much and some of the reason is because of a certain poster who says he is our best center. I like Pritch but I am not sure even after your explanation he is our best option but I agree with some of what you write…

  42. HOagland- Nice analysis. SOunds like you have a pretty good knowledge of the game, and as someone who doesn’t, I enjoy the insight.

    How many are now wishing that was never said? We’ve played two games, folks. Can we at least give Pritchard an opportunity to get his jockstrap damp?

  43. Thanks for the info. Hoagland. An English major I am not. But, I do understand the game of basketball a little. Let me be more precise with what I mean W/T.P. I know he is very athletic and has good ups for the weight and size he has. I understand what you are saying about help D. He has had some nice blocks and boards in his career at IU. We need him on the floor to be competitive. Soo..if he could stop reaching/ slapping down on the ball, Stop hip checking when the ball enters the low block on an iso., and not hack or foul everytime when he comes over to help, I think he would be on the floor more.(just cut down on the cheap ones.) They are focus/ awarness fouls that I am talking about. Not helping a beat teammate or statement fouls. Keep yourself in the Game awareness. Somtimes you let them score so you don’t foul out and give them xtra free throws.
    With Capo, he seems more relaxed. Like he isn’t trying to do too much. The other players seem more relaxed. That is my opinion though.

  44. By the way, I still believe IU looked the best defensivly when TP was not on the floor. Again, thats just my opinion.

  45. I thought IU played decent defense. Pritch was O.K., but he needs to stop the stupid reaching fouls or he’s going to ride the pine a lot this year. The guy he was covering could not hit water from a boat, so there was no reason for the stupid reaching fouls. Good effort, and yes, he got hung out to dry by his team mate a few times, but still no value to the team if you’re fouling out because of stupid reaches. Pritch demonstrated questionable judgement given his experience.

    I hope Hulls finds his shot or he’ll become a liability. Man he was cold last night. Oli was impressive and brought speed and energy to IU. He’s was good get for TC.

    IU will definitely improve the this year, but they better learn to get out of the gate much faster, because they don’t appear to be a team that can come from behind, especially against Big Ten talent. They start like that against a good team and it’ll be over before the half.

    What was the attendance last night? Looked like a lot of empty seats!

  46. Hoosier Clarion,
    That’s interesting because I used to be a Republican. After serving in the military and going into business a series of lights came on and I evolved in the opposite direction. Such is life. I’m sure your wife is a lot smarter than Sideshow Sarah.

  47. Clarion- fair enough on the point about your wife.

    Chet- You stole my thunder. I was a member of the College Republicans during my days at the University of Washington. However, working for a slimy business turned on a light that showed me that corporations could be just as bad, if not worse, than governments.

    The old adage that you start as a liberal and become more conservative as you age definitely works in reverse; don’t believe the dominant bourgeois ideology that would have you think otherwise 🙂

  48. Tom, obviously I do think otherwise. When the government has say so in whether I am an S or C sub-chapter of incorporation made me rethink many of the votes I had made in the past and change the direction of my votes in the future.

    Chet, thanks my wife is a clear thinker and comfortably aligns herself politically along side Palin’s views.

  49. Clarion- Obviously no need to go down this road further here, but I think, that, especially in light of the financial crisis, we can both agree on the following: nor government nor corporate America can be blindly trusted to simply “do the right thing,” whether led by altruistic aims of by the “invisible hand” of the market. Humans are flawed creatures that will harm their fellow men when they hold power over them or their money. Thus the need for rules, checks & balances, etc.

  50. Yes,indeed indeed, rules, checks, balances and etc. all written by flawed humans. That is why it should be less government, not more.

Comments are closed.