Verdell Jones to return for Northwestern game

Indiana coach Tom Crean said senior guard Verdell Jones will return to the lineup for Wednesday’s 6:30 p.m. game against Northwestern at Assembly Hall. Jones missed the last two games after bruising his shoulder at Michigan on Feb. 1.

“He’ll play,” Crean said. “This has been a good break for him to get back. He hasn’t had a week of full go, but at the same time, he’s back and we fully expect to play him tomorrow night.”

Crean wouldn’t say whether or not Jones would return to the starting lineup, however, and exactly what sort of minutes he would play in the game.

“He’s done an excellent job and has continued to get better,” Crean said. “The three games before he got hurt, take the Michigan game out, which nobody played well in the first half, he’d really been playing well, and I thought he was doing some excellent things on both sides, so it’s gonna be good to have him back in it. But how that plays out in a game, we’ll see.”

Crean said sophomore guard Victor Oladipo, who has increased his ball-handling responsibilities in Jones’s absence, would continue to play that role.

“Do you think there’s any reason to change it?” Crean asked. “Me neither. Vic’s doing fine. It comes down to Vic, how locked in he is defensively. What his energy is like on that. Is he rebounding the ball well? Is his decision making good? As those things continue to stride, it’s amazing how well he scores when that’s happening. It’s amazing how well he gets to the rim.”

Crean and the Hoosiers spoke at length about the Northwestern offense and how much the time off with the bye this weekend helped the cause.

“The moment you start to think you’re going to play to take one thing away, they just beat you with something else,” Crean said. “They do the best job around of reading the man you’re bringing the ball to. When they start their drive, they’re not reading where their teammate is, they’re reading where he’s being played, I think.”

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls and Derek Elston


  1. I trust from here out that our options limit playing time for anyone who hasn’t learned their roles and not to repeat old habits. Verdell …Welcome back..guys ready to take your playing time if you don’t produce.

  2. Nothing about the contact between those two players should have resulted in a shoulder bruise. Verdell’s shoulder slowly pushed into the defenders chest. If anything, a strain or maybe a sprain, but even that seems unlikely. That’s what they usually call it when nothing definitive shows up on an MRI, though.

    …an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a soft burrito shell.

  3. can anyone tell me why we have the ugliest cheerleaders in the country? been that way for as long as i can remember. what kind of conspiracy are dealing with here?

  4. You know, at some schools the cheerleaders have athletic competitions and pretty strenuous training including sharing the weight rooms with the football teams. Do IU cheerleaders compete in those kind of events?

  5. I was in the weight room at Virginia Tech and there was a guy that was about 185 benching 300+. An absolute beast. I figured he was a DB. Turned out he was a cheerleader.

  6. It’s funny you say that Chet. I had a good friend in high school who was a stud linebacker and our junior year he was starting to get some looks from some smaller D1 schools. In the sectional championship game he tore his ACL and wasn’t really the same. He then went to Purdue and tried out for the cheerleading squad and made it. I met some of those guys on the squad and those guys were beasts. I know my buddy could bench 300 in his sleep and there were guys bigger than him. Then he introduced me to the girls on the squad and became extremely jealous because I knew where his hand was going during some of the routines.

  7. Nice to see that finally we’ve slowed down the “Verdell is Satan” rhetoric long enough to focus on semi-erotic musings about male cheerleaders. Ummmm….let’s get back to Verdell.

  8. Semi erotic? Maybe, but it’s holding female gymnast’s behinds in the palm of my hand that my musings are about, but suit yourself.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

    About Verdell, here’s an admittedly crazy idea. Any chance it was a self imposed benching? Could Verdell be doing what CTC would not?

    I know…crazy.

  9. I heard Remy and oladipo told verdell this was an away game.Let’s stay off the blogs and hope he doesn’t find out.

  10. tch the last 5 minutes of the Ohio State game at IU, which we were fortunate to win in spite of VJ111. Then watch how we finished against Purdue and Illinois without him. Enough said. Bring on Senior night.

  11. 1) It’s odd how my comment got yanked yesterday but it’s ok to talk about putting your hands on a woman’s crotch and how much you’d like it. “Family” board my eye.

    2) I’m not a fan of Verdell at all, and will be happy when he’s gone, but if anyone boos him on Senior Night, I hope someone punches that “fan” in the face.

  12. “Chet” is apparently not only an expert on diagnosing injuries from instant replays, but also in getting inside Verdell Jones III’s head. The comment implies that there was really no shoulder bruise and Crean is using this to bench him. I can’t argue with the results in the last two games, but to imply that VJII is not a part of IU’s past and continuing success this year is ridiculous, IMHO. I predict that Verdell will improve as the season winds down and he will have key plays that will help us win. His senior leadership will be a big asset come tourney time.

  13. gee, when ya have fans such as a few of these who would want enemies? VJ’s been playing in this league for 4 years now & you question his toughness, how dare you IU fans do this? (lol)

    Thanks Rob, I’m appalled at how most posters on this board have completely forgotten that VJ was one of the starters during NCState at NCST victory, OSU victory, KY victory. For the ones that despise VJ let’s hear your rationalization on those wins? My guess is that you’ll claim those at team victories while these loses were VJ’s fault!!!!!!!!

  14. You’re probably the same ones that take credit for your kids accomplishments then turn around and blame your kid for their failures!!!!

  15. Chet is the smartest basketball person on earth because he’s a “coach”…….just ask him.

    Heck, he thinks his “opinion” actually equals “facts.”


  16. With all this bickering I sure haven’t heard much about what people think tonight’s game beholds…I’m a bit nervous, if you ask me.

    This is similar to the Minnesota game, in that we will be playing a team desperate to stay alive in conference play and capable of beating anyone including MSU.

    Last year we couldn’t defend basketball’s answer to Freddy Krueger, Jon Shurna (24 and 19 pts in two losses) in the Princeton offens; NW, in both sports, has had our number.

    Crossing my fingers; I see this as the last big “potential letdown” of the season.

  17. I had backed off of the Verdell bashing last week, cuz’ He’s a young stufdent athlete & he doesn’t need people publicly insulting him on a daily basis. That being said, I’m intrigued, and perhaps even encouraged to hear about the way the “injury” happened, I didn’t see the incident. It offers hope to me that MAYBE coach Crean has finally seen enough….you know, “vintage Verdell”. Although, it could have been injured in practice & just aggravated during the game, but thats now, unlikely, so…I’m hopeful that he’ll come off the bench, someone said that Verdell, “better produce, or guys are ready 1 to take his place”–my man-they’ve been ready all year! This is my main concern about Crean & the program at this point as a result of VJ’s MPG this season. I’d like to be able to trust a leaders judgement, I can’t at this point, not that it matters ultimately what I think anyhow!! I just have to tell somemone though!

  18. I am happy to hear coach Crean say that he won’t take the ball out of Victor’s hands at this point, & that he’s come to that decision for the right reasons: cuz’ the team has been better with Oladipo at the point, so, let’s hope & pray that he means it!


    “The Price of Poverty In Big Time College Sport”

    Page #16 ..Line item #6

    I was looking for some information regarding what each basketball player means to generating revenue for Indiana University. Found this research for the NCPA Players ASS.
    The standards and methods are described ,as to how they formulated the ‘Fair Market Value” for each player for a Top Ten Basketball Program.

    Summary: Indiana Fair Market Value at 50% Revenue Split
    $637.314.00 per player

    Pro ration for errors, turnovers, dribbling into double teams not factored.

    I don’t think a lot of fans would be willing to write a check for the above amount to Indiana University for one or two players and say
    “Don’t let these guys suit up and come out of the Tunnel”

    On Senior Night, I would hope people would allow each Senior his Night.

    I bad mouthed Verdell out of frustration, that the Coaches did not experiment with Remy and Vic. Why is he still in the game? I hope the coaches react to the game situation and players respond well.

    Our depth on the bench hopefully , will overcome consistent bad play or someone having a bad night.

  20. HOOSIERPLUS, those are interesting numbers. It’s really a tough call as to how to delineate between amateur and professional when so much money is changing hands. So few of the kids have the option of turning professional. I suppose it should serve as motivation to get that degree.

  21. Larry, I would like to answer the question you posed in post #15, but first I need to know if you are serious or not…

  22. Geoff, it’s no secret, I don’t like you. What gives you the right to ask Larry if he is serious or not? I’ll ask you a serious question. How many high school or college wins do have you as the head coach? I believe that you are a fake, you and Chet should be best buddies. No, wait, Chet has a friend who is a chef!

  23. There are some sarcastic people on the site. Just want to know if he’s serious or not. He threw a (lol) in after his first paragraph indicating he wasn’t serious about that. Make sense?

    I have zero wins as a college coach because I have not been a head coach. I have stated on here before that I don’t have the personality for that position. My talents are as an assistant at the college level – breaking down film, making in-game suggestions based on my observations, and working in practice. I don’t know how many wins I have as a HS coach, that’s a good question. I probably have all the wins I’m going to have. That’s a fair statement. It really doesn’t have much to do with anything… I, like many young men, had to make a decision when I settled down with a gal. Do I want to pursue a passion and dream that guarantees years of being severely underpaid or do I want to go into the real world, support a family and make my wife feel secure. I chose Plan B.

    I could care less if you think I’m a fraud. I still haven’t seen one shred of evidence that anything I’ve posted on this site is false or not of sound judgement. People have taken shots at me, but only with opinions, never contradicting evidence or facts.

    I welcome any comers…

  24. Get over yourself.

    All you do is offer your opinion and pass it off as FACT because “you were a coach.”


  25. I’m with HOOSIERPLUS. I don’t see why a handful of people seem to get offended when you give an opinion and provide statistics to support it. If they disagree, then disagree. So what?

    I suppose every board has a few unhappy people like that. Most of the posters here have commented that they find your analysis interesting even when they disagree with it, as I have from time to time.

    Except for a few isolated posts, most of the bloggers seem to want to engage in a positive discussion of IU sports.

  26. I came here looking for some serious insight from a true fan(s) of IU bball….didn’t find much. Come on…..anyone think we did a good job with NW pressure D?

  27. Laffy, just because you don’t read my posts doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of statistics, facts, analysis, etc in them.

    I know all you do is see my name above a post and then say something stupid… You tried to debate me with facts one time – the Teague assist/TO ratio – and while it was a decent attempt it failed to disprove my point that he doesnt have significantly more influence over games than Jordy.

    Here is my format:

    – evidence
    – evidence
    – evidence

    I learned it in Critical Thinking class, but it’s clear you don’t recognize the process.

  28. My bad.

    I forgot that unless I proclaim this team to be a LOCK for the Final Four and talk about ANYTHING negative that happened, I’m a “fake” fan.

    EVERY win is a “signature” win and we would have won by 30 if the refs hadn’t “screwed” us.

  29. TW – we did a terrible job adjusting to their zone. A huge part of the problem was that the offensive player one pass away was not changing his position to improve the passing angle for the ball-handler. The top guy opposite stayed flat too often which only resulted in the one Shurna steal, but there were several times when it was close, or he wasn’t in a good sight line for the ball-handler who then had to throw through the defender.

    The only two players who excelled against the zone were Zeller and Roth. Roth had great spacing, good movement, and got open looks… I wish he would have knocked a couple more down but they were all good shots. Zeller was great whether catching in the post, on the baseline, at the elbow, or in the corner. When he wasn’t scoring in the post he made very effective passes to cutters, drove into gaps to score or kick out, and made solid opposite looks.

    One thing I wish I would have seen that I didn’t was in the first 15 minutes when NW was playing man they kept overloading one side with 4 players and Cody kept bringing Shurna, who was fronting, up the lane. Instead of sealing and throwing it over the top on the reversal pass to the top of the key they just swung the ball one more time and then cut Watford off Zeller into the post. That play was semi-effective, as Watford scored a at least twice, but he also missed a couple. The Zeller adjustment would have been nice to see and a much easier bucket, especially against NW’s smaller and weaker defenders.

    I love this stuff TW… Fire away!

  30. Laffy, post #33 is analysis, but the things I talked about actually happened, which makes them fact. Go back and watch… Except that you don’t bother, so you’ll just say something stupid again.

  31. And it’s a FACT that Jordy got abused more than once, and others AGREE with ME, yet you keep crying your eyes out it didn’t happen.

  32. I keep asking for evidence to your point, and all I get is opinion.

    Who has abused him. Show me the game. Name the players. Give me instances.

    I’ve done all those things to support my side. And again, my side IS NOT that he’s a strong defender, just that he is more capable than people are giving him credit for, and perfectly capable within the defensive schemes that IU plays and the types of players he defends.

    Will you ever give shred of evidence to support your point? Remember, your point is that he is continually abused… So that means you’ll have to provide several instances. Even Michael Jordan got beat off the dribble from time to time… That doesn’t equate to getting continually abused.

  33. Jordy did not get abused as much tonight as IMO he usually does. My question and I haven’t read everyones comments is where was Remy? Hulls clearly had an off night I think even Geoff would agree so why not put Remy in? We did a horrible job of picking up the dribble way to early and didn’t respond well to their trap D. The last five minutes though everyone (including Hulls) played very hard and played to win the game. ( a little Herm Edwards for ya)Say what you will about the score being to close but NW played a very good smart game of ball. I have said repeatedly on here that if Hulls isn’t hitting his shots he shouldn’t play. I said that based strictly on his very poor defense. I do believe though Laffy as the years progressed so has his defense. I don’t think his defense has been bad for about 4 or 5 games in a row now. Now early in the season yes without a doubt IMO his defense was rancid but I have to admit he’s really picked it up. I’ve only been on this blog since the season began and have gone back and forth about Jordy, Vj3 and Watford with a lot of these guys so I think they know If Im willing to admit that his defense has gotten better then there is some substance to it. I hated him early in the year!! Now I can honestly say he’s a big reason we won 20 games. For what it’s worth.

  34. Geoff, why don’t you just get a beer and lean back in you rocking chair and just watch the game,you don’t hav e to provide us with a play-by-play every game . Have a good day.

  35. Pritchard played well and added spark in a tight game. He slid over on the high post and turned to find Zeller with an easy entry pass. Seemed with what ILL was doing with players that would have been there for awhile. Also, he fronted Crawford well and crashed the offensive boards{4}. I thought he could of stayed on the court a little longer.

    Throwing fresh big bodies at ILL to wear them down, I think I understand. Hearn fouling out and Shurma{after doing his damage} tired at the end.

  36. Echo—-Because he has a huge ego and loves to try to pass himself off as the biggest expert on here so others will slobber all over him.

  37. Hulls shouldn’t play if he isn’t hitting his shot?

    He leads the team in assist, 3rd on the team for steals (you know DEFENSE), 3rd on the team in scoring, 4th on the team in rebounds!

    You’re right though, bench him if he doesn’t score! /sarcasm

  38. Hey Elmo, how are ya tonight? I don’t own a rocking chair… Should I get one? Are they more comfortable than a couch or love seat for two hours? I always enjoy the game with a beer or two. Last night I had one left over Shipyard Winter Prelude from last weekends sixer. Was the perfect compliment to my Pat’s double-dough pizza.

  39. Mike P which ironically is my first name and first initial of my last I suggested that very early in the season. I have bashed him all year because of his poor defense but have recently agreed with a few guys on here, we clearly need him to play a lot of minutes for us to win. Sorry if you misunderstood me. No big deal.I unlike a lot of others on here have no problem admitting when Im wrong. I debated one of my favorite guys on here whom IMO should be in the hall of fame of bloggers on Watford being awful for a ten game stretch. I felt I provided solid evidence of my opinion. He told me that Watford would have a great game against Illinois and I ate my crow warm. I was told by my grandfather if you have to eat crow it’s better to eat it warm rather than wait a few days and let it get cold!!

  40. He’s probably your distant cousin by way of Aunt Red’s fuhninky times with her poker buddies.

  41. May very well be. Can’t rule it out. Could be worse, I like fuhninky. To be completely honest, despite being married, I always suspected Aunt Red might have played for an all girls team.

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