Hoosier Morning

WRIGHT STATE INDIANA

Indiana and Wright State tip off on Sunday. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

STARTING FIVE

1. INDIANA VS. MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE

The last leg of the three games in five days tour is tonight, with Mississippi Valley State coming to Bloomington. It plays a wide-open style of basketball, a combination of John Calipari and Rick Pitinio, Dustin writes. In review of the Wright State win, I take a look at three questions and attempt to answer them, including IU against a man-to-man and what facet of the game the Hoosiers are better at right now.

Some really intriguing numbers the IDS’ Nathan Hart pulled out of the box scores from the first two games, including plus-minus and efficiency ratings. Here are his plus-minus ratings:

Note the significant drop in +/- from 7th to 9th.

1. Christian Watford +33

2t. Maurice Creek +30

2t. Jordan Hulls +30

2t. Jeremiah Rivers +30

5t. Daniel Moore +26

5t. Tom Pritchard +26

7t. Verdell Jones +25

7t. Victor Oladipo +25

9. Bobby Capobianco +12

10. Derek Elston +7

11t. Kory Barnett +4

11t. Jeff Howard +4

11t. Will Sheehey +4

14. Taylor Wayer +3

After two games, Hart has also come to the conclusion that the Hoosiers are NIT-bound. The IDS’ Ryan Winn writes that the Hoosiers need to cut down on the turnovers. The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette’s LaMond Pope writes that Maurice Creek is trying to remain patient as he gets back onto the court.

And while it is not really about today’s game or Sunday’s game, I’d be remiss not to mention this column on the student section, from Inside the Hall’s Zachary Osterman.

For many current Indiana students, IU basketball exists in two ways. As a whole body of work, it is steeped in glory. In physical reality, where Indiana has just one four-year class enrolled right now that even remembers the Hoosiers in a tournament, it is a far less appealing option at 7 p.m. Sunday night.

That’s not to excuse the scene Peegs captured in his column today, with sections in the lower bowl mostly devoid of students, even with the general admission rule now in effect. I guess Peegs has had some reader feedback saying that ushers and Assembly Hall security personnel haven’t exactly been helpful with the new policy. Like most things, it will take time.

But so many of the students that should be filling those seats have no concept of what Indiana basketball means to its loyal fans. They know only of the Indiana basketball team that’s won 16 games in two years and hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game in nearly four.

2. IT’S INDIANA

Ben Chappell is expected to play on Saturday against Penn State, a welcome relief for Indiana and especially coach Bill Lynch, Dustin writes. Chappell is moving better and said he will be ready, the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette’s LaMond Pope writes.

Lynch threw out a lot of admitted cliches as to how Indiana will respond, the IDS’ Connor O’Gara writes.

For the second day in a row, defense carried the Indiana offense at Assembly Hall. This time it was the women overcoming a long scoreless drought to beat St. Bonaventure, Jeremy writes.

As far as men’s soccer, the No. 14-seeded Hoosiers got a first-round bye and will play host to the Tulsa/Bradley winner on Sunday.

3. BIG TEN BASKETBALL

Minnesota trailed by double-digits early to Sienna, but a mix of veterans and freshmen fought back and learned a valuable lesson, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Myron P. Medcalf writes.

The big game tonight is Ohio State at Florida, and the Buckeyes will be bringing in a load of freshmen to a rowdy atmosphere, the Columbus Dispatch’s Bob Baptist writes. With South Carolina coming in tonight, Michigan State has the services of a healthy Garrick Sherman, the Lansing State Journal’s Denny Schwarze writes.

Penn State needs to defend its home court against opponents like St. Joseph’s if the Nittany Lions have a chance at reaching their goals, the Daily Collegian’s Alex Angert writes. Wisconsin scoring 99 points on Sunday shows the basketball Badgers can score points too, Madison.com’s Tom Oates writes. Iowa, coming off a season-opening loss, wants to start over with tonight’s game, the Daily Iowan’s Seth Roberts writes.

4. BIG TEN FOOTBALL

Ohio State needs help to get to the Rose Bowl since Wisconsin is ahead in the BCS standings, the Columbus Dispatch’s Tim May writes. An Ohio State loss against Iowa means Michigan State only needs to win out, the Lansing State Journal’s Joe Rexrode writes. Wisconsin’s Brett Bielema has gained a reputation for being petty and shallow with his actions against Minnesota and Indiana, Madison.com’s Andy Baggott writes.

Now that the big three are out of the way, what about the rest of us? Iowa AD Gary Barta is resisting any plans to increase seating at Kinnick Stadium, the Des Moines Register’s Andrew Logue writes. At Penn State, the Harrisburg Patriot-News’ Bob Flounders calls Indiana a “batting-practice fastball” before focusing on five things PSU must do before next season.

Minnesota finally winning a game means the Gophers can put 2010 behind them and focus on 2011, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Phil Miller writes. Wrigley Field, site of the Northwestern/Illinois game, may not work out so well in certain spots, like where the brick wall stands a foot behind a goal post, the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein writes.

Rich Rodriguez insists his job security is not on his mind as the Wolverines play their final games, AnnArbor.com’s Pete Bigelow writes.

5. ONE FOR THE ROAD

Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen.”

43 comments

  1. Sadly, I have a gut feeling (I’d say a 90% chance that I’m right) that no matter what happens in the final two FB games that Lynch will be back here next season. >sigh<

  2. It seems to me you must divide the +/- stat by minutes played to get an accurate picture of impact when a player is on the floor. If you do this then you have the following ranking;

    Moore, Creek, Pritchard, Oladipo, Rivers.

    Jones is the only player with negative impact in the first 8. Say HELLO to turnovers.

  3. How can a “gut feeling” be 90% right? A gut feeling, by definition, only happens when you have no evidence.

    If Glass really is a businessman and wants to increase revenue, there is no way he brings Lynch back. No way. And if he does, get ready for a huge backlash from the rapidly shrinking fan base.

  4. Didn’t Glass already go on the record saying that Lynch would get his full contract ? Contracts again mean something at IU?
    I don’t understand all the fire Lynch talk unless Glass can’t be held at his word.

  5. Jerryct
    Jones is so turnover prone because he is trying to play point guard. He has never been able to play the position without massive turnovers.

  6. I have my own system of “plus 1” and “minus 1” with minutes played taken into account: some examples FG% over 50% = 1, TO over 3 and A/TO under 1 = -1, Fouls 5 = -1, etc. My results: Watford 11, Creek 7, Hulls and Rivers 5, Elston and Sheehey 4, Moore 3, Jones, Oladipo, Capo, Pritchard all 2. My system probably over-emphasizes accurate shooting (Elston and Sheehey) and over-punishes TO (Jones-11 and Oladipo-6). But watching Coach Knight for all of those years, with his stress on shot selection (equals accurate shooting) and ball security (equals low TO and high A), is now ingrained in how I judge basketball!

  7. Husky–OK, so maybe I should have left it at “gut feeling” without the percentage. I’m just thoroughly frustrated because I really do think that Lynch will be back to play out the string. That, of course, will mean that he’ll be a lame duck in 2011 which, in turn, kills recruiting for the following season(s).

    Oh, and 4guards, if Glass buys out the final year, then IU is still honoring the contract–Lynch would be getting every dime that he was entitled to under the contract.

  8. I think we should fire Lynch. That Wisconsin game was the final embarrassing straw that broke a long too suffering camel’s back. And speaking of embarrassing, is Donovan McNabb worth 78 million? And I don’t give a damn how electrifying a player Michael Vick is..I want him out of the game. Why should we not be embarrassed that a football game is more important than the life a defenseless creature of this earth? I want him to feel the same pain he put those lucky Labrador Retrievers through when he fed them to starving Pit Bulls. I want Dick Butkus to bite off half his leg and shake him like a rag doll. And for those that want so desperately to believe in second chances and find it in their big Old Yeller hearts to forgive him? Fine. Forgive him off the damn football field. Why are we not embarrassed the praises and cheers for someone that can’t tell the difference between unimaginable cruelty and a dollar bill?

  9. Lynch’s base pay is much less than he would receive if he was coaching… much less.
    Either Glass is a man of his word, or he just likes to pop off at the mouth. It really is that simple.

  10. There’s a Husky Tom in each of us. It serves no purpose and if inflamed it needs to be extirpated: it’s the appendix. Generates unforgettable gut feelings, like our Husky here.

  11. You’re no doubt right, 4guards, in that Lynch would likely only receive the base pay if there is a severance. But do you really think that businessmen are not allowed to reassess things as years go by and performance continues to lag or even worsen? Yes, that’s it–the right answer must certainly be to just say “screw the present and the future, we’ve got this contract on the books and we should never tamper with that, no matter the consequences.”

  12. Glass is on record saying that Lynch would receive his full contract, Contracts mean something again at IU.
    Personally, I would fire Lynch in a heartbeat, but not if I said the things Glass went on record with. How could he be taken seriously if he fires Lynch after all he said a short time ago?

  13. Basketball stats are crazy… At least in baseball there’s an individual matchup to be analyzed. Basketball by default always involves 10 people at any given time and those 10 can match up differently. Watford may get the score, but maybe Moore set him up, or maybe Elston cleared Wat’s man with a screen. +/- won’t account for any of that.

    Can’t we use a multi-variate regression to sort out this mess a lot better?

  14. Downing- I tried to send you something yesterday about your pa and watching sports on the couch, but it looks like it is still awaiting moderation.

    That performance by Vick was unbelievable, wasn’t it? During the 1st quarter I could have sworn that he was playing against the Hoosiers…Shanahan even looks a bit like Lynch!!!

  15. Lost a big recruit to Nebraska today…Max Pirman. I just wrote yesterday that anything Lynch has done positive in recruiting was squashed last Saturday. It is ironic we lose this kid to Nebraska and also ironic it happens less than 72 hours hours after the 83 point beatdown IU received!

    Thanks IU football coaching staff…you can bet your bottom dollar that if IU had won 6 games to this point like they should have and had not gotten blown out, this kid would still be coming to IU.

  16. By the way, I think it’s apparent that in the current Scoop Poll, a good 75% of the people who have responded “No, don’t fire Lynch” must be Aruss voting over and over again.

  17. I think Glass said that contracts need to be honored, but contracts have termination provisions. Exercising those provisions is honoring the contract, isn’t it?

  18. Way too much time, effort and speculation is being wasted on whether or not Glass will fire Lynch. Fire him…keep him…really doesn’t make much difference. The football program is in shambles. Part of the problem is coaching, no doubt, though I would say that Lynch’s staff has really let him down. I understand that the team respects Lynch but has no use for his staff. But the real issue is an abysmal lack of talent and the best coaching in the country can only do so much. With the possible exception of NW, our kids have been seriously over matched on speed, size and athleticism in all of our B10 matches. Yes, we do have a reasonably good QB and several B10 caliber receivers and that might have been enough to pull out a win or maybe even two. But, no way you sustain competitiveness in the B10 with our roster. This program has suffered from chronic under investment for many years and that has resulted in an inability to attract and retain enough talent to compete at this level.

  19. Mass, he has played quite a bit but I think is considered a 2nd stringer so he would play at IU this year if he was here. Pirman was a LB, I am sad they let him slip away…

    he is just the kid IU has been missing at LB for like 15-20 years or so…6 foot 5, 225 pounds and runs a 4.7!

  20. I think for starting players that aren’t expected to score or handle the ball a lot the +/- stat works ok. It measures the otherwise intangible nature of their jobs. But even then those players can rebound and shut down their defensive assignments which have directly measurable results. But for starting players that are supposed to score and/or facilitate, the +/- stat is a secondary measure, imo.

    For bench players I think it provides more value.

    Another way to look at it: Jeff Schultz lead the NHL in +/- last year at +50. Does that make him the best player, or at least the best defender, in the NHL? No. He was just lucky enough to be on the ice with the Caps first line a lot and to be paired with Mike Green. His contribution was to stay back and let the others press forward for scores and he did his job well, but they did their’s better, imo.

  21. Good test to see if the Hoosiers lack of foot speed can beat a truly running team. Twenty turnovers tonight will get them beat. Looks to me they need a wake up call anyway!

  22. Last year I cheered when Rivers went to the bench. This year, where he doesn’t have to handle the point, I think he’s been a real value-add to the lineup.

  23. I just saw FG at lunch at Nick’s, and Jim Harbaugh was eating a strom and Fred had a salad with extra mushrooms and blue cheese.

  24. Husky-

    I appreciate the kind thoughts. I saw your post magically appeared on the other thread and dropped you a response.

  25. JPat,
    You beat me to it, I was just getting ready to post the same thing. I check our commits every couple of days to see if we’ve lost anyone, and Max is the first to go. He’s going to be considered an add on to an already impressive Neraska class, while he would’ve been a star at IU. That should tell you all you need to know. The only big offers he had though were Nebraska, Kansas, and IU. He was probably the 3rd or 4th best recruit in our class, this one hurts. Lynch or whoever better do some serious damage control, and quickly.

  26. iufan23,

    Your argument is flawed. You just said ” With the possible exception of NW, our kids have been seriously over matched on speed, size and athleticism in all of our B10 matches”, really? On the defensive side, possibly.

    This is a team that hung with Michigan until there was less than a minute to go in the game, but get blown out by Illinois, a team that Michigan beat!

    This same team played with Northwestern and Iowa and had chances to win.

    That same Iowa team that IU came within a dropped pass of beating spanked PSU, beat Michigan, lost to Wisconsin on a blocked extra point, beat the brakes of Michigan State then got beat by Northwestern.

    So if Iowa can play to within 1 point of Wisconsin, why does IU get beat by 63 points by a Wisconsin team that is minus their best running back?

    Remember, Iowa spanked PSU, you think IU stays with in 3 scores this weekend?

    There is something lacking that is more than talent and weak recruiting. There is a lack of the basics in coaching, a lack of fundamentals, a lack of toughness and a lack of confidence in the locker room and around the program.

    The IU football culture is that of being soft and losing. That has to change, and that change comes from Glass stepping to the plate, investing money into a proven winner for a coach and coaching staff!

  27. Another Caveat about basketball stats is that they do not take into account what the other teams lineup was. Your +/- would presumably be lower against the other teams starting 5 than it would be against a lineup with 3 subs for example.

  28. Mike P- Bravo, as always. I hope you are one of the Fred Glass letter-writers.

    GF Dave: Good point regarding Schultz. I was thinking of that example, actually. This is the first year I’ve taken the time to understand hockey’s plus/minus statistic, and it can provide some baffling conclusions.

  29. I concur with Mike ….however …I feel that some teams have a normal letdown playing Indiana in Bloomington …there are so few fans…so many empty seats …and because Indiana really sucks …the games are always Noon kickoffs for TV …and at noon there aren’t 20,000 in the stands for kickoff …remember the Michigan game was a 330 game cuz we fooled everyone with that 3 – 0 creampuff starter package ….Indiana really isn’t on the same level depth-wise …coaching wise …etc …like Bill Parcells said …” Your wins and losses are what you are ” …Lynch just can’t win …didn’t at Ball State …didn’t at Indiana

  30. I have my own system of “plus 1″ and “minus 1″ with minutes played taken into account: some examples FG% over 50% = 1, TO over 3 and A/TO under 1 = -1, Fouls 5 = -1, etc. My results: Watford 11, Creek 7, Hulls and Rivers 5, Elston and Sheehey 4, Moore 3, Jones, Oladipo, Capo, Pritchard all 2. My system probably over-emphasizes accurate shooting (Elston and Sheehey) and over-punishes TO (Jones-11 and Oladipo-6). But watching Coach Knight for all of those years, with his stress on shot selection (equals accurate shooting) and ball security (equals low TO and high A), is now ingrained in how I judge basketball!

  31. Honoring a man’s contract does not mean allowing the man to coach the team. It simply means that the man will continue to get paid what his contract stipulates. If Glass really thinks that it’s O.K. to have Lynch back for 2011 because he has a contract, then he is certainly not qualified to be A.D. It’s suicide to have Lynch back for 2011 without a contract extension. It would destroy recruiting even more than getting 83 put on you. And it’s suicide to have Lynch back with a contract extension, because it’s obvious he can’t compete in the Big Ten.

    No way Glass can be that stupid.

  32. 10/28/09 from IDS
    Fred Glass confirmed today that football coach Bill Lynch will remain in his position as head coach of the IU football program at least until his contract expires in 2 years.

    Is he a man of his word, or will his words mean nothing from here on out?

  33. 4croweater, Lynch’s contract is a dilemma for AD Glass to properly resolve, he is a lawyer, they are good at this. Your dilemma is the lost credibility of your talent evaluation skills. VO has certainly exposed them for the world to see. You have lost your resident expert title. Now you can gag.

  34. Do you realize VO is averaging 5 pts and 3 rbs a game, while committing 6 turnovers with 0 assists?
    He is not exactly lighting the world on fire as you would like to believe.

  35. Just because you can perform against a D2 team does not mean you are a good Big10 player. I performed well against D2 teams, it doesn’t mean I should have played for IU.

  36. But performing great in the less-than-top echelon of Division/Class 3-A high school basketball game makes you an Indiana basketball god that our hoops world was hinging on? I led my team to an intramural basketball championship and I’m confident that I could kick the butt of many 3-A starters from Podunk High in southern Indiana.

    You should be honest, 4guards. VO should be on the court more and VJ III on the bench more. Wow! I could have had a V-8! If I can see it, someone of your basketball acumen surely must. Jones is Crean’s pet and that’s the reason it will never happen. Agree? Sheehey should be collecting more minutes than Moore and it should be happening NOW. Agree?

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