Indiana cruises over North Carolina Central, 75-56

Just as most expected, Indiana had little trouble grabbing a victory in its brief interlude from the Big Ten schedule, downing North Carolina Central 75-56 in front of a reported crowd of 17,164 at Assembly Hall on Wednesday.

The Hoosiers were always in control but never quite as dominant as they were against non-conference foes of similar caliber early in the season. There were some periods of precision and some periods of sloppiness, but even in the No. 23 Hoosiers’ lower moments, they never gave any reason to fear an upset.

But the game still served its intended purpose, making sure the Hoosiers didn’t have to disrupt their rhythm with a bye for the second time in three weeks and making sure they tasted victory in between last Sunday’s disappointing loss to Iowa and this Sunday’s trip to Minnesota.

“It did help,” freshman forward Cody Zeller said. “Having a whole week off would’ve been a long break for us. It was nice just getting out there and playing. … Even games like this compared to Big Ten games, we can always learn from this.”

The win may not do much for the Hoosiers’ NCAA Tournament hopes, but it was certainly important for Indiana (21-7) to avoid disaster. It also allowed them to reach another milestone in this tide-turning season, posting a perfect non-conference record for the first time since 1989-90.

“I think that’s a big, big deal,” Crean said. “That’s something that they can carry with them. It’s huge. That was something we wanted to get done tonight.”

The Hoosiers got their usual production from Zeller, which was unsurprising considering the Eagles didn’t put a player on the floor who was taller than 6-foot-8. He finished with 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting and seven rebounds. He would’ve had 20 if not for an off-night at the free throw line, where he was 5-for-9.

Perhaps more importantly for the sake of building confidence for the stretch run, they got strong performances from sophomore wings Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey. Oladipo finished with 16 points, six rebounds and a monster block on a shot by North Carolina Central guard Jeremy Ingram.

Sheehey grabbed the carom from that block and took off down the other side of the floor for a layup that gave Indiana a 49-31 lead and may have been the most demoralizing moment in the game for the overmatched Eagles.

Sheehey finished with 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting, seven rebounds and two assists.

“I think Victor Oladipo played like he was the best athlete on the floor,” Crean said. “I think Will Sheehey did the same thing. They both had double-figure deflections. They both guarded at a high level.”

That was especially encouraging for Sheehey who admitted after the game that he still isn’t 100 percent after the ankle injury in December that cost him five games. Until Wednesday night, he’d scored in double figures just twice in the 11 games since and had only grabbed more than three rebounds three times.

“I’m just rehabbing and what not and trying to get back,” Sheehey said. “I’m not 100 percent yet. You can tell. I tried to jump off one foot and it’s pretty ugly. I’m just trying to get back and play my part on the defensive side first.”

The Hoosiers also got 10 points from junior forward Derek Elston, but for the second straight game, they didn’t get much from junior forward Christian Watford. After an 0-for-5 performance and just one point against Iowa, he was 0-for-8 with just two points on Wednesday, missing two 3-pointers and several other shots badly.

Crean maintained, though, that he wasn’t concerned and that he was happy with Watford’s defense He had three steals, two rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes. One came after a steal that led to a fast-break dunk by Elston.

“We continued to play him,” Crean said. “… I don’t look at the stat sheet and just look at that he scored. Is he impacting the game in a lot of different ways?”

The Hoosiers had another high-turnover game, giving it away 16 times, but they also overwhelmed North Carolina Central on the boards, grabbing 35 to the Eagles’ 16. They also scored 36 points in the paint to the Eagles’ 24 and 16 second-chance points to North Carolina Central’s four.

North Carolina Central forward Domonique Sutton, the Kansas State transfer, scored 21 points and made half of the Eagle’s field goals. Oklahoma transfer Ray Willis and Ingram had 10 points each, but those were the only other North Carolina Central players in double figures.

The Hoosiers opened the game on a 21-7 run, and the Eagles were never again closer than 10 points.  They led by as many as 24 easily cemented the perfect non-conference season they had to wait six more weeks to complete.

AUDIO: Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Jim Harbaugh (For 45 seconds)

 

 

 

71 comments

  1. Good question. The silver lining in the loss to Minnesota earlier this year is that IU should not take them lightly this time around, especially in a tough environment like Williams Arena. Minnesota let a win slip away tonight at home against Michigan State, and so I am sure they will come out desperate for another “good win” for their faint NCAA tournament hopes. IU needs to weather the storm early on, and weather the storm at the start of the second half if they manage to take a lead into halftime.

  2. Sheehey is back.Zeller was well…Zeller.sorry Verdell is too Banged up.he needs to sit.watford has disappeared,game after game.Play oladipo,Sheehey.the ship has sailed for Hulls and watford.Use bandages this year,go as far as you can and wait for the cavalry to get here.

  3. Watford 0 for 8. Nice.

    Didn’t see the game (in China) & if I read the ESPN stats correctly both Watford and Hulls didn’t start? Well, that’s a start for the Coach to back up his banter on his radio show. Problem is, Verdell started.

    Pretty clear to me that Watford has just run out of steam. He looks tired & has always acted it. Also, too lazy to shave his whatever-that-is on his grill. But hey, I’ll give him credit, he hit a big, big shot this year. Aside from that, dude’s got nothing left in the tank. Too bad, because according to Harvard, he’s the best, most athletic playmaker we have.

  4. Watford’s in a bad slump but he’ll be back. Played some good D in the second half and showed some hustle with steals and running the court. Sheehey told BTN that he thinks he’s 80-85% back. He played well tonight. Still not sure what’s going on with Hulls but unless he’s nursing an undisclosed injury, I think he’ll get back on track soon. He looked more interested in the game tonight than he did against Iowa. Elston and Zeller looked good and Oladipo was impressive. Nice to see Etherington score a basket and get 5 minutes of playing time. That kid Sutton on the NCC team was really impressive. Wished we’d played better D in the first half and hadn’t turned it over so much, but all-in-all, a good win. Hope Minnesota is beginning to run out of steam and hope we are sharp on Sunday. Go Hoosiers!

  5. Minnesota did not let 1 slip away, the Spartans did what there good at, they took it away. Easy to cypher why they are top. I would not be surprised to see them run through the BTT.

  6. AwinAZ – Hulls and Watford did start. Jones did not. Not sure why a box score would say that. The only difference in the line-up was Sheehey starting instead of Elston.

    Elston once again proved why he should be getting more minutes than Watford going forward.

    Not sure what people wanted out of Hulls (besides fewer unforced TO’s) IU was winning comfortably the entire game. Hulls’ job isn’t to find scoring opportunities for himself – it’s to move the ball and take open shots. He isn’t going to force shots when the offense is running smoothly.

    Not sure why people thought the D was so bad in the first half… NCCU scored 26 points. I don’t care how high a % a team shoots if they aren’t scoring many points. The goal and mark of good defense is keeping the other team from scoring. Usually a poor FG% is part of that, but not always. Shoot 95% for all I care as long as we keeping teams under 60 ppg.

    We out-rebounded them by 18, and allowed only 3 offensive rebounds.

    That team was not the worst team we played all year. Not even close. They had 2 legit players, one of which Dipo shut down. They certainly had some quickness, and defensively they were comfortable in multiple schemes. They are a decent mid-major. It makes you appreciate again how tough conference games are.

  7. The last three games will be so physical, I hope we compete,
    hope we get thru injury free. Verdell favored his shoulder after a small collision last night. Not picking on him just because, but I’ll be surprised if he weathers the style of play coming in the last games. Not to mention
    the number of games in the Big Ten Tournament.

  8. NC Central always fields very athletic teams. They manage to find a lot of gems in the rough and usually have a few big name programs (mostly ACC) on their schedule to entice recruits.

  9. Everyone loves lists… right? Well I decided what the heck I’m a little bored why not make a list of Top 10 Performances of the Season:

    10. Zeller vs Notre Dame – 21 pts, 8-14 fg, 5-6 ft, 8 reb, 2 ast, 2 blk. Fouled out Cooley and held him to 12 pts after back-to-back 22 point efforts.

    9. Zeller vs Iowa – 26 pts, 11-12 fg, 4-6 ft, 4 reb, 4 ast, 3 st. This game was never close, but Zeller’s performance was too good not to mention. 7 dunks and only missed 1 shot on his way to a career high.

    8. Zeller vs Northwestern – 23 pts, 9-11 fg, 5-6 ft, 7 reb, 3 ast. IU could not have pulled this game out had Zeller not been stellar!

    7. Sheehey vs Butler – 21 pts, 5-8 fg, 3-4 3-pt, 8-10 ft, 3 reb, 2 ast, 2 st in 31 minutes. Sheehey stepped up in IU’s first real test of the season. With about 10 minutes to go in the second half Sheehey scores 4 straight points to take IU from up 3 to up 7 and the Hoosiers never look back.

    6. Oladipo vs Purdue – 23 pts, 6-14 fg, 1-1 3-pt, 10-12 ft, 8 reb, 4 ast, 2 blk. This was Dipo’s first game as a primary ball-handler and he took full advantage, attacking on offense and setting the tone for a huge road win against our rival.

    5. Zeller vs Illinois – 22 pts, 5-8 fg, 12-14 ft, 5 reb. Zeller grew up a ton in this game, going from nail in the first half to hammer in the second. Along the way he bruised, frustrated, and fouled out Myles Leonard, and showed the world that he would not be a soft frosh any longer.

    4. Hulls vs NC State – 20 pts, 6-9 fg, 3-4 3-pt, 5-5 ft, 4 reb, 5 ast, 2 st. This was IU’s first tough road game of the season and first game against a BCS school. Hulls, although giving up a ton of size to the NCST backcourt came up huge with a solid overall effort including a back-breaking 3-pointer with 1:45 to go to put IU up 4, and 2-2 ft’s in the closing seconds to seal it.

    3. Watford vs #13 Michigan – 25 pts, 8-11 fg, 3-4 3-pt, 6-8 ft, 7 reb, 4 ast. This was a big game coming off an emotional upset of OSU. Watford led the way by knocking down tough shots and contributing 7 points and 3 big defensive rebounds in the closing minutes of a 2 point win.

    2. Oladipo vs Ohio State – 15 pts, 7-13 fg, 1-4 3-pt, 6 reb, 3 st. While this isn’t the most impressive stat line of the top 10 it was a great performance in a big upset that solidified IU’s position as a contender again in college basketball. He was very good on offense, but his biggest contribution may have been shutting down OSU’s Buford and holding him to 8 pts. Dipo closed the first half with consecutive steals that he finished with a lay-up and dunk to personally take IU from down 3 to up 1, and shift the momentum heading into the locker rooms. He closed the game with an acrobatic reverse lay-in that gave IU the lead for good with under a minute to play.

    drumroll….. of course…

    1. Watford vs Kentucky – 20 pts, 8-15 fg, 4-6 3-pt, 5 reb. This is the game that put IU back on the map. Not only did we beat the #1 team, but it was our hated rival, and we did it in spectacular fashion. Everyone will remember the buzzer-beater that will go down in IU lore, but almost as important was Watford’s absolute ownership of Terrence Jones. At the time he was considered a first-team all-american candidate, but Watford frustrated him to 4 points and a whopping 6 turnovers.

    Hopefully we’ll see a couple more that knock some of these off the list. What do you guys think? Debate…

  10. I’d replace Zeller vs. Iowa with Roth vs. Penn State. 5/6 3pt, 7/7 free throws. 22 points plus an assist, no turnovers. Hulls also played well, but Roth’s contribution off the bench was the deciding factor in a close road win.

  11. you just did Harvard, and it probably would make a list of Top 10 Biggest Shots of the Year…

    Looking back I do believe I made one glaring ommision…

    Hulls AND Roth vs Penn St – 50 pts, 12-17 fg, 12-15 3-pt, 14-16 ft. One of, if not THE finest, shooting performances by a duo in B1G history. Pretty rare to have 2 perimeter guys on absolute fire together, and also two guys that don’t get to the line often be able to close out the game there.

  12. Roth and Hulls at Penn State…How could I forget? Different guys all season long..Each Hoosier putting their touch, their own signature, on a memorable season containing far more joyous highs than lows worth festering over.

    We really have had a wonderful Hoosier life!

    And hopefully more to come!

  13. Despite their weaknesses, the Hoosiers must be a nightmare to prepare for defensively. There are simply so many guys that can go off on you in so many different ways on any given night.

  14. I completely agree with Chet’s post #17. As long as they do not not become deer in the headlights this team on neutral courts will be hell to play against during the big dance. They certainly have nothing to lose. There have been a lot of Hoosier teams that were someones dream buster and this outfit could be of that cut. Closing out the season successfully may not have anything to do with it.

  15. I’m assuming that was said with you’re usual sarcasm… 6 points, no matter how timely, doesn’t get you on the list.

  16. But just like Hulls recent contributions, it’s not all about total points. Right? Jones took over that game in key sequences of the second half. He distributed and took good control of the ball. Big baseline jumper…Very big. Northwestern was fighting tooth and nail and could have easily stolen away our season without Jones coming to the rescue. I don’t think he made a turnover..Then again, he was bit rusty. Once he dusts off all the rust, we’ll have him back at full doubt-force. We can doubt him into helping us finally win one at Minnesota…Did you know he’s been doubted his whole life(didn’t you watch the postgame player interviews after Northwestern?)..It’s up to us, as fans, to pile on more doubt-force. We want him to finish out this season with a flourish and a bang!..I hope that’s why you’re doubting him, Geoff. You want him to show the world just how big VJ can be when we refuse to give him credit when due. We want at least 30 minutes from VJ so Hulls can get into a real comfort zone his perfect counterpart in our backcourt.
    I think we need a few more “VJ SUCKS” so we can make it happen. Crean follows this blog very closely(we’ve exchanged e-mails and it can be verified) and the more we doubt VJ(similar to the more we put a positive doubt-force on Hulls and Watford), the more likely he’ll carry the Hoosiers deep into the Big Dance. These guys live to be doubted. You’re right. Best to keep him off your list. Don’t think for one minute we need his senior leadership on this team(that’s what we want him to think). If you say something like that, then he’ll play up to his full potential. Good call on not praising. We need more VJ.

  17. Yeah, I was tuning in. 43 points against Wisconsin in one half. Gatens 4 for 4 from 3-point land(11 for 11 including IU game). Wow.

    Standings could be quite interesting by Monday. If Wisconsin can’t come back tonight, and then lose at OSU on Sunday, they fall to 9-7. Hoosiers win at Minnesota and we move into a tie for 4th. Purdue pulls and upset at Michigan on Saturday, and their could potentially be three teams(Indiana, Wisconsin, PU)knotted at 9-7.

  18. Ok Harvard I hate to do it but even you at this point have to agree that Watford has completley lost all confidence in himself. I know we had a huge debate when I refered to him as “slow” and “piss” and even gave you credit for calling his big game against Illinois but at this point you have to admit he is playing awful! I was on Hulls for poor defense,VJ for just bad play and Watford for being a lazy underachiever most of the season. I’ve backed off Hulls coach can’t make him grow or make him quicker. VJ let’s just say he’s VJ but what’s Watfords exuse this time? My barber whom is a IU fanatic said the only person he can ever remember having alot of talent and for whatever reason not using it was Andrae Patterson and he said “and I remember” it drove Knight to suggest he doesn’t know what else to do with him. I can honestly say I don’t ever remember an IU player with that much talent playing so poorly game in and game out. Not trying to pick a fight just want to hear your opinion now his poor play has hit a national level of interest.

  19. NATIONAL LEVEL OF INTEREST?

    I’m not sure if anything this Hoosier basketball team is doing has yet hit a “national level of interest.” The breaking into the top 10 was very short-lived and there still is be a cloud of doubt hovering over our team and coach. Can we go deep in the Big 10 tournament? Are we playing with enough energy and chemistry to win beyond an opening round game in the Big Dance? As many have stated, when the Hoosiers are on, they can compete toe-to-toe with anyone in the country..We’ve also witnessed some real stink bombs this season that have made us fully aware we also have a team that can not show up against much lesser opponents. We’ve seen plenty of examples where the collective confidence of the entire product on the floor vanishes inexplicably. We live in a “what have you done for me lately” world, and until we see a Hoosier team get beyond a first round tournament game, I doubt if anyone beyond IU grads and a some Indiana residents are really paying that close attention. We think “we’re back.” I think the rest of the college basketball world is still saying “prove it.” You prove it in March. Have all the talent voids the Hoosiers have played through the last three years been dealt with enough to make each player on the floor play at the highest level his own skill set? Until we get all the complimentary pieces in place, get rolling with successive strong recruiting classes, I’m still not sure if it’s fair to rip to shreds the guys we currently feel are the cream of our crop on our roster. When we get better athletes at the areas we’re still a little weak, guys like Watford and Hulls could be the real beneficiaries. It’s not just about depth. We have a lot of depth, but we don’t have anyone that can create such enormous defensive attention on the floor that other guys can feast on advantageous match-ups.

    LAZY WATFORD?

    I can remember quite a few players that were pegged as lazy when playing for IU. I think once the name-calling and assumptions reach a certain tenor around campus, those things can start to stick and filter into a kid’s head. Do I think Watford is lazy? No. Do I think he’s having confidence issues? Probably exaggerated. Do I think he’ll bounce back and still have some very productive games between now and however far we go into March Madness? Yes. Do I think bloggers on sports chat sites and people getting haircuts around Bloomington like to shoot the bull and talk in a more extreme fashion than the general public that doesn’t microscopically follow the everyday drama of the 1 in 300+ basketball teams playing Division 1 hoops? Most definitely.

    GOING FORWARD:

    I think Watford should try not to force things. He should let the game come to him. He’s an immensely talented athlete that has proven many times this season what he is capable of contributing when the synergy on the floor is meshing with his individual abilities. Do we have synergy on this team at this time? I think the lineup playing @ Purdue and Illinois in Assembly was more conducive to everyone playing better. I think individual slumps are much more possible when the overall chemistry is suffering. Crean has to make decisions with minute delegation. He is playing a senior that I personally don’t believe gives us the optimal chemistry. I won’t throw Watford under the bus when he is operated for three years without a premier, 5-star talent, in the backcourt. I don’t see him as a selfish or “lazy” player. Going forward, we can only hope an opponent is foolish enough to interpret his slumping offensive numbers(possibly much more to do with overall chemistry than individual confidence issues) as reason to divert focus and relax defensively against him. It’s not such a horrible thing to have teams less concerned with him compared to the attention he was drawing on the heels of a Kentucky game. We can only hope. Not sure if Tubby Smith is likely to discount Watford’s game as quickly many Hoosier fans wanting to ship him off to the Misfit Island of Lazy Hoopstas.

  20. It’s nice to see Wisky’s vaunted defense let Gatens own them (33 points). As least his career high is off our backs and on Wisky’s. Them sweeping Wisky and us splitting doesn’t sem to look too bad now…

    Here’s hoping the Hossiers win out in the regular season. 24-7 would be great! Go Hoosiers!!!

  21. I won’t throw Watford under the bus when he has operated for three years without a premier, 5-star talent, in the backcourt.

    __________________________

    LONG STORY SHORT: I am a sentimentalist that often sticks with people beyond what is anything approaching normal. I defended the Sampson thugs and still believe there was more good in a lot of those kids than the wide brushes of hatred painted on the canvas their tumultuous days at IU.
    Back to Watford: I liked Watford from day one. Never met the guy, but he seems like a very humble and kind young man. I’ll admit that it probably clouds my true objectivity concerning his play on the court. I would be a lousy coach. My personal feelings about a kid’s character would play to strongly into decision processes. I would struggle with loyalty and want to play guys, even those struggling, that had been through the tough times with me. I would want to reward classroom responsibility and maturity demonstrated off the basketball court to the point of it being counterproductive to guys that are ready to step up and replace those I have the stronger sentimental bond. It ain’t easy being a coach. These are young kids with hearts that often look to their coach as more a father than anything they may have ever had at home. I’m not very good at tough love.

  22. We want CWat to be a power forward and CWat wants to be a shooting guard. While I love a three pointer I’ve never been a big fan of my big men being that far from the basket. I hate those big, slow first steps across the face of the basket finishing with some awkward, twisting shots without position for the rebound. When you go to the basket, GO TO THE BASKET. He seems to avoid contact going to the hole but that’s simply his job description.

    I want Karl Malone, CWat wants to be George Gervin.

  23. Maybe shaving the beard is the answer.

    Where’s Geoff? Need more stats to disprove my assumptions. I think Watford’s perimeter focus is exaggerated. Could we get a breakdown of how many his points and attempts this year have come from the perimeter vs. inside the 3-pt. line? I think he plays more around the basket than given credit.

    Jeremy Lin sure sucked last night. Reminds me of a Bowie song.

  24. Exactly, Chet.

    Wat wants to be a shooting guard.

    To cry and make excuses with “He hasn’t had a 5 star back court” is one of THE dumbest things I’ve EVER heard.

    How many big guys DO have one of those yet STILL play really well?

  25. Chet, HfH, HC, and Geoff,
    I don’t comment very often but I do enjoy reading all of your posts. I wish I had time to watch and analyze games so I could comment more but that’s what toddlers and twins do to you…take what little time you have. I would not trade that for the world though. Doc says my twins should be about 6’6″ – 6’8″ so here’s hoping I have a couple of future Hoosiers…baseball, basketball or football (as long as they are Hoosiers)

    To all 4, keep up the fun, informative, and honest posts. I enjoy them and it lets me realize I’m not the only one with realistic thoughts.

  26. IUBASEBALL, treasure every moment. I remember people saying, “Enjoy them now because when they get to be (fill in the blank) they will (insert negative) and you will (another negative).”

    Not for me. I basked in every moment. I was lucky that they all took to school and sports. Two were immediately successful and continued to be so. My oldest I just hoped would keep playing/competing though I never expected him to ever even be in the starting lineup. He had a good attitude an just kept plugging away. Somehow, by his senior year, he ended up an all state athlete and academic all American and went on to be a D1 athlete. Never saw it coming.

    When they were little we never had much money but we had a lot of time (or we took a lot of time). As a family we slept on the ground in pretty much every state of the union. We were all always game for an adventure. Tubing through the redwoods, snorkeling with sharks, hauling lobster traps, hiking and camping EVERYWHERE, you name it. They remember every moment.

    Parental advice…just be there. They don’t necessarily need you to coach, or critique, or even advocate. But ALWAYS be there. If you’re always there for them they’ll still be interested in you when they’re grown.

    You are so very lucky. Enjoy every moment. In twenty minutes they’ll be all grown up.

  27. IUBASEBALL-

    Thanks for your kind words.

    One of these days I’m going to figure out how to scale the walls of this playpen. Sounds like your toddlers are off to a very good start with a loving home and parent that values them. Listen to them and honor their innocence with dignity and an open heart. Kids will humble you, teach you more than your old sponge can process, and make you realize just how swift you aren’t.

    Keep them off the computers…Rebel against the demon forces this lazy medium of superficiality that sucks you in, flourishes off idleness, and feeds off the empty delights the self-absorbed.

  28. IUBB, Twins!! Outstanding and demanding. I would add Charlie McCarthy to Chet’s Edgar Bergen. My bride and I have 3 sons, raised and on their own. In fact our company name is named Sonshine and our home is Sonshine Rise. I traveled a lot when they were growing up and have no regrets as they have turned out top notch, most of which is my wife’s fault. I truly believe it is how you spend the time not necessarily how much time and know who they are running with. Because I traveled we decided early on to keep them broke so as to keep my wife and I at the point in their growing up for as long as possible but as long as they were not in trouble we allowed them to do about anything they wanted within reason of course. I was fortunate to do well enough for her to be a stay at home Mom and a consistent room Mom at school. When the oldest was about 3 I bought a barbers kit and cut their hair till they were about 14 and it gave me real 1 on 1 time with each on a regular basis. They also sported haircuts I probably would never have allowed them to get at the barber. When I say we kept them broke I mean no allowance as we did pay them for good grades(A’s and B’s only)we started in the 3rd grade and an A was $5 and(escalated as they got older)when they were Juniors and Seniors it was $50. It worked well for us, maybe it’s not for all. We started them all in school a year late as boys can be a little less developed and immature at the state allowable age. In other words it started them off in school successful and confident and over the years homework was almost never a negative issue which kept our family life in the evening positive. Now we reap the bennies as our middle son brought the 1st daughter-in-law to share and the youngest will do the same with his promised in September. Now that is outstanding too! The biggest thing we instilled in them is that life is about making right or wrong choices and to condition their behavior to recognize the difference when making those decisions. 2 things I wonder about from time to time, did we just get lucky and would things have turned out the same if I had not traveled? I do know this you have to have a husband-Dad/wife-Mom plan. Good luck, as it is quite a party.

  29. Truth? You’re mojo is gone. Babies in buggies can get you some attention, but toddlers will imprison you. You’ll no longer be hot to the opposite sex. Dig the hole in the earth and jump in. It’s over. If you choose to go on, you’ll spend the next 10 years of your life writing cheesy letters inserted into Walmart Christmas cards sent to cousins you’ve always felt inferiority and jealousy toward because they’re from a gorgeous set of parents. After the kids can’t stand you anymore and move far enough away to make day trips out of the question, you’ll sob in front of the mirror and blog all day about how wonderfully they look up to you.

  30. My experiences were nothing like that. I gave up nothing but got so much.

    Pretty sweet deal.

    My mojo could topple Tokyo.

  31. (If the “spam protection” questions here get any harder I’ll need to pull out the calculator……} Re Kids. Last season was my first ever visit to Assembly Hall. Hesitatingly I took two grandkids. Girl #1 was 8 yrs old. Was very impressed with the team warm-ups, the same as her third grade team. Now girl #2 was 4 yrs old. You ever see a 4 yr old with way too much sugar. The noise, music, songs and the kids running around the floor with big flags. Took her hours to get back to normal. With “normal” being a somewhat flexable target for a 4 yr old. She was confused that three times in a row we handed the ball to the other team without shooting it. Turnovers.

    CHET. I’d keep quiet about your mojo thing. Right now they still think it was a earthquake.

    The other day watching Kansas game (I think) and they were talking about IU. Not Indiana but IU. How many schools referred to by initials? BYU only one I can think off.

    Seems as if this board is rather quiet and peaceful. Nice change

  32. IU Baseball makes mention of twin toddlers. Wow. lots of work and congradulations.

    But that got me thinking. Looking forward we need more quality recruits. Thinking Cody is the last Zeller.
    Mr & Mrs Zeller are looking healthy.

    Thinking IU could send the Zellers on a nice romantic vacation? I’m sure IU has a genetics program. Maybe twins or even quads.? Can see the line up in 2030 with 4 Zellers?

    Of course the NCAA may frown on this, but may be able to sneak this in before they mandate a rules change.

    I may have too much time on my hands. ??

  33. Since when do they play Big 10 basketball games on Friday night?

    Wisconsin @ OSU on Sunday.

  34. Chet, Geoff,and Harvard, I have finally figured out who you three are and why you know so much,you are the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

  35. Harvard – to answer your question, 36% of Watford’s shots are 3’s. So that’s not too bad. He occasionally forces a bad 3-ptr, but I actually get more frustrated by decisions and shots he takes in the post. I feel like he almost always post on the right block and turns into the middle – where regardless of how many defenders dig in to help he attempts to shoot that flat 6-8 footer and rarely makes it, often is blocked, and almost never gets fouled. The move is so predictable that it’s become ineffective to post him up against everyone except Northwestern.

    Just to further the point, Watford is shooting a very good 41% from 3-pt land, while he only shoots 40% on 2-pt fg’s…

    His 41% from 3 puts him Well above average… The NCAA average is either 34 or 35% every year.

    His 41% puts him #12 in the B1G, and he compares favorably to the leading candidate for B1G POY Draymond Green. Green has actually attempted 6 more 3-ptrs this year and made Just a hare under 40%. Furthermore, Watford scores 1.28 pts per shot, which is slightly better than Green’s 1.26.

  36. Thanks Geoff. I did also notice that Watford has taken considerably fewer shots this year which could account for a slight dip in his ppg averages.

    Watford was shooting 49% from 3-pt land(35 of 78) up until January 29th vs. Iowa. Our two tallest and most athletic backcourt players shoot from the perimeter as follows: Oladipo @ 23% and Jones @ 26%. Do you think Watford’s 3-ptr percentage(pre-shooting slump) during our first 21 games helped draw bigs away from Zeller and also created more spacing for Oladipo to drive to the basket? Do our slow afoot guards of Hulls and Roth even get nearly as many open looks without the attention that had to be given to Watford when he moves his game outside? I think negatives outweigh the positives if Watford would have been forced into a one dimensional inside role he is not completely suited for.

    Elston has picked up some of the slack during Watford’s shooting slump(4 for 6 from 3’s over the last two games and 6 for ll during the same last 7 games Watford has struggled). Do you hear anyone bitching? When the shots are falling nobody is asking Elston to do more posting up.

    I tend to believe we have benefited immensely from having versatile forwards like Watford and Elston.

  37. Here is some more VJ3 doubt (prompted by watching the replay of the UK game on the B1G network and seeing him make ridiculous turnovers). Last week Larry challenged all the Jones haters to remember that we beat OSU, UK, and UM with Jones as a starter.

    Well here were his contributions in those games 9-24 FG (37.5%), 0-3 3-pt FG (0%), 10 assists to 15 TO’s, averaging 10 ppg.

    Meanwhile Jones primary defensive responsibilities averaged 16.7 ppg in those games.

    Finally, in the 102 minutes that Jones was on the floor in the 3 wins IU was +2, and in the 18 minutes he was off the floor IU was +5…

    How is that for some criticism to feed off of Harvard?

    So I would say Larry, that they won’t in spite of VJ3, not because of him…

  38. Chet – the stretch 4 is just a part of the game now. Plus, Watford is a PF by default. He is really a SF, but forced into the 4 spot because of our lack of a truer PF. Notice how he slid into the 3 when Elston started in Jones’ place.

    Elston has been great and I think is a much purer perimeter shooter than Watford. The guy is shooting a stupid 57% from 3 on the entire season! He has shot less than 50% from 3 in a game only 5 times, while shooting 50% or better 10 times! On the season he is shooting 54% FG and rarely takes lay-ups. That’s pretty amazing.

  39. Unbelievable improvement. More playing time? More confidence from his coach? What happened to get Elston rolling? Only 17% from 3’s last year for Elston.

    A lot of us always felt he had the potential to be a very integral part of this team. It’s nice to see the shots finally dropping for him. Great personality and fun kid. Always loved Chet’s moniker for Elston inspired by the period he was wearing the mask…..”Hannibal”

  40. HfH, 2 words…He’s healthy…well, 2 1/2 words…1st time in his 3 year IU career he is not playing with or through injuries.

  41. Geoff-

    I already predicted a combined 32 points from Watford and Hulls in a win at Minnesota.

    Are you going to take a stab at any predictions to go along with your “Five Keys to Victory?”

  42. Watford wasn’t very healthy at the beginning of the season. I wonder if his foot injury could be nagging him again…?

  43. Harvard are you predicting a win over Minny? I would love to but Im so unsure of what team-players will make the trip. And Harvard now we can put the whole Watford thing to bed. After your comments in post 32 now I finally get it. There’s nothing wrong with that either. It would have been nice if you would have shared that say week 7 and saved us alot of bickering. Im predicting Watford stays in his “slump”. Im sorry I swear I would love to say he will go off but if your out of gas and brains against NCCU then a Tubby Smith team fighting for it’s NIT life should easily devour you! My opinion on Watford is and always has been he’s one of those kids that if you get him going early he can be great but a few missed shots and he goes to posh! We got a kid across the river at Bosse high school the same way. Jaquan Lyle. OSU offered him a ride already. I hope CTC follows suit pretty quick. I just can’t stand that program being built with Indiana kids!

  44. Post #32…? Didn’t Downing wear number 32? Talk about a guy that had no quit in his engine..I still believe he’s the last Hoosier to have a triple double. Never played the game arrogantly…Never pounded on his chest and got in a face. He just humbly brought it night after night. Believe in yourself and let your dedication, preparation, skills and heart speak for themselves.

    Are you superstitious? Maybe this Sunday Watford will play with an agility and quiet fierceness like something we’ve rarely seen from him before.

  45. I love everything about the video. The fact it’s all in slow motion..The shots of cheerleader crying at the end of the game(She was so invested and heartbroke.. The shots of Knight in the timeout huddles are truly classic. Very little footage can be found that gives a real up close look into the intensity of Knight during timeouts in his early days as coach at IU. I love the splashy sport coats and how they tickle the senses in complicated contrast with the stern, disciplinarian, and conservative traits he was forever known. Have you ever seen players completely dialed into a coach as witnessed in those huddles? I love the video. I was never a “Knight worshiper,” but I think the video is a wonderful time capsule of a man imparting onto young men his knowledge and passion for the game like very few I’ve ever seen. That passion moved into the hearts of his players..I don’t think it was just about fear as many paint with their brushes a past they had no involvement or eye witness to the moments.

    Did you notice the scoreboard shots? Did you see Downing(#32) had already picked up 3 fouls with almost 4 minutes remaining in the first half(he had already scored 12 points against the UCLA center regarded as the best post player in the country)… And then the later image of the halftime score showing the Hoosiers down by 18?

  46. Harvard – prediction for Minn game… BIG IU WIN! The premise is that the Gophers have a hard time getting up for another huge game after pissing away the MSU game in the closing minute the other night. That foul by Williams was one of the stupidest plays of the season by anyone anywhere, Jr. high included.

    Five Keys…

    1) Zeller dominating the paint with another double-double, but a higher FG% than the Iowa game.
    2) Either Watford OR Hulls has a 12 & 5 game. One has to play well, but not necessarily both.
    3) Dipo continues his attacking mentality, which has lead him to cinsisyent offensive production.
    4) Either Elston OR Roth gets hot and gives us double figures from the perimeter
    5) we keep Williams off the offensive glass… < 2 off boards.

    I just don't believe that Hollins can have another career night against us, and we have too much firepower. I believe that Sheehey, Dipo, and Zeller will all step up and we will get good games from 2 out of these 4 – Hulls, Watford, Roth, Elston. We respond as a team like we did in the PU game at Mackey after a bad loss to UM. Zeller cements his station as the Freshman of the Year in the B1G after a very mediocre performance (thats generous) by Burke in a loss yesterday.

    GO IU!!!

  47. Geoff- I like your optimism but I am always a little nervous about road games. I have a decent feeling about this one just like I did before the Purdue game. I think one thing you didn’t mention that is going in our favor, strangely, is the fact that they beat us already , at home. It’s hard to beat a good team twice in the same season, and IU should have a chip on their shoulder about their only home loss. Payback will be on their minds and their should be no lack in motivation.

    I see this one unfolding similar to the Penn St. game on the road. We’ll get hot from behind the arc, play mediocre defense, but out-shoot them in the end. IU 80, Minn 76.

  48. You like Geoff’s optimism? I was on this one three days ago. Geoff only comes to his senses when Hahvahd shows him the way. Got to be more love for Hahvahd..and less doubt on Watford!

    Harvard for Hillbillies
    Thursday, February 23, 2012 – 4:51 PM EST

    Prediction: Hulls and Watford combine for 32 as the two biggest Hoosier loafers take down Tubby’s Gophers.

    Ryan Kartje’s “One for the Road” on Monday’s Hoosier Brunch dedicated to the effort.

    Not quite a combined 32 from Watford and Hulls, but I’d say they bounced back fairly well and the Hoosiers are “back in the saddle again.”

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