Indiana moves up to No. 23 in USA Today poll, third among others receiving votes in AP

Indiana moved up one spot in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll from No. 24 to No. 23 on Monday. The Hoosiers are not yet ranked in the Associated Press media poll, but are third among others receiving votes.

Also, a link to my Top 25 ballot is here.

27 comments

  1. Dustin – I told you a year ago that this team would be better than last year’s because their athleticism would allow them to ball out. They’ll be top ten by the end of the year. Plus there will be no one like Watford or Hulls players will have to defer shots to because they are seniors in big situations.

  2. Aruss,
    You did tell me that. And you’ve also told me many other things on which you were wrong. Let’s say the jury is still out here. I get that Hulls had a bad March and all, but remind me why it’s bad idea to have seniors who hit shots? If anyone on this team takes over 100 3’s and hits 45 percent of them, I’ll buy you as many beers as you can consume in an hour.

  3. It’s a bad idea when you have two of the top four NBA draft pics on your team. In hindsight, the offense should have run through Cody & Vic all year instead of sharing the ball. We got a glimpse of that when Vic took over the MSU game. Sharing the ball means the guys who should be taking over at the end of the games have a built in excuse not to. So far it’s too early to say which players should be dominating the ball on offense but before B1G season CTC should figure it out.

    We scored 100 points in our first game with only 1 three…you’re trying to trick me into a fool’s bet.

    Also, please change the site poll to a basketball question. Football season for most of us is over.

  4. Aruss,

    I think you’re barking up the wrong tree with this one. Indiana’s offense last year was not their problem. Adj Offense, we had the 3rd ranked O in all of college basketball:

    http://kenpom.com/index.php?y=2013&s=RankAdjOE

    Interestingly, our offense ranked #4 nationally the year before in 2012.

    We were also extremely efficient, ranking #2 nationally in offensive efficiency:

    http://www.teamrankings.com/ncaa-basketball/stat/offensive-efficiency?date=2013-04-08

    However, our efficiency declined in the last 3 games that we played, which is one of reasons we found ourselves at the business end of the Syracuse dagger. And Zeller’s touches in that game were some of the worst he had all year. I think one could argue that he should have seen less of the ball than more in that particular game. Point being, just because they’re NBA players, doesn’t mean that the strategy should have been “give them MORE touches.”

    I think where my excitement comes with this new, longer, athletic, and potentially more aggressive team comes on the defensive side of the ball. Vonleh looks to be a stabilizing presence down low, flanked by some long wings, who with a little more experience, have the potential to be much quicker and reactive on help defense. Devin Davis being the biggest surprise here.

  5. Vic took over the Michigan State game much less because of what he did when the offense had the ball in a halfcourt set than what he did on defense or when the ball was loose. His biggest buckets were off an offensive rebound and a steal on the inbound. Don’t get me wrong, Oladipo was an oustanding player, but he wasn’t the sort of guy you just gave the ball at the top of the key and said, “go score 30.” He had great shooting numbers, but that was because he didn’t take stupid, contested shots, which is what you do when you’re a go-to scorer on the perimeter and you don’t have other offensive options. He only took 3’s when he was wide open. He was really good off of ball screens and off the dribble, but there’s limits to being a one-on-one guy and Indiana was much, much better on the whole because it used all of its weapons.

  6. Can be a double-edged sword..Sometimes the increasing of the speed that a very young and athletic squad will want to play can backfire at times while getting caught undisciplined and overeager in getting back, keeping position, communicating, and protecting against the backdoor. Athleticism doesn’t always translate into better defense. Give our squad to Boeheim and he could likely teach them to play a wonderful disciplined clamp-down zone much like the stranglehold Syracuse put on us last year.

    It’s very easy to discount the headiness of a kid like Hulls or any savvy player that imposes leadership and discipline upon a team. Though likely not possessing all the gifts and size to play at the NBA level, don’t for a minute believe that by being on the floor he didn’t help others stay within their games. And compared to 99.99% of the world and the world most of us bloggers knew of the hardwood, Hulls is Cirque du Soleil athletic.

    The challenge for this team will be continuity, discipline, chemistry, and perimeter shooting….and what may be the lack of a ‘go-to’ when points are a must. Cody may have come up short against Syracuse(and a lot of that may have been adjustments and game-planning from the bench), but he came up big, played unstoppable, in countless games we needed him to take over key sequences or stretches. Oladipo was the highlight real and the defensive energy …but Cody was the security blanket when nothing else was working.

    Does this young team have the nerve-steadying presence of a security blanket when it struggles and needs to find points? Maybe someone will step up into that role…I’m currently not seeing it.

  7. Double Down-

    Maybe you told the Scoop bloggers and I simply forgot…Did you ever share what part of the country you call home? Where you spent the years of your childhood that contributed to having a strong bond to favorite professional teams, etc.? Indiana native? Bears fan? Chicago roots like Davis and Tsao?

    Obviously, it’s not that important and no big deal if you want to maintain utmost privacy. Simply curious.

  8. Aruss, I love your optimism about this year’s team but disagree with your retrospective on last year’s team. Last season came to an abrupt end because IU had a bad game against a good team at the worst possible time. Honestly, our freshman PG had a terrible game, our best 3-point shooter was injured and over-matched, and Zeller really could not bang down low in the paint.

    We are more athletic this year, but that does not mean it will be a better team. Experience, mental and physical toughness count for a lot. But if they stay healthy and stick together, they could be very hard to beat by the end of the season.

  9. Something tells me Double Down is an old dog in new clothes. JPat? GF Dave? I agree with Geoff, like his contributions.

    And on a side note, I Love Richard Sherman.

  10. Look, I’m not one to beat a subject to death with non stop back and forth so let’s just all agree that I make great points and move on.

  11. Thanks guys. I’ll get back to the hoops talk in a min, but Harvard, thanks for asking. I’m never been too revealing in the past because I just don’t think anyone really cares. I’m just a schmuck with an opinion (or way too many) that thinks the content here is excellent and find it fortunate that we can all interact with one another. Regardless, no sweat, I’d be happy to give you some background, as we are all human beings beyond the ones and zeros on this board. Again, thanks for asking and here is way too much information that I hope most of you skip from pure boredom.

    I’m a total mut as to my geographic/cultural roots growing up. Before age 18 I never lived in one place longer than 5 years. Around the time I started following sports in 1st grade was the early/mid 80’s and I lived outside of NY, so I became a rabid Mets (ugh) and NY Giants fan. Talk about the universe equalizing.

    I lived in PA for high school. A huge majority of my friends went to Penn State. Been to a few football games and one hoops game there.

    I, however, wanted something new and different, so I went to IU from ’95 – ’00. Best (cough, cough) 5 years of my life. I have such a fondness not just for IU, but for Indiana in general. I travel back to B-Town for biz a couple times a year. Indiana and midwest folks in general are some of the best people I’ve met anywhere in the world. Every time I leave there, I miss it immediately after I leave. I love the Hoosiers, but I really feel a deep bond with the spirit of the people there, so I care probably way more than I should. Hence why I still torture myself with trying to watch not only every hoops game, but every football game as well.

    A lot of times, you’ll see my IP address coming from all different areas of the globe as my career is in travel, so my fanboyism for midwesterners isn’t due to a lack of sample-size. In fact, I was chatting and watching the Minnesota game online from South Africa the other week. Thankfully my friends that I was traveling with were able to listen to my sob story about the backward lateral over a few beers.

    I currently live in San Francisco. I have been here for over 13 years and is home. I had been an SF Giants season ticket holder for a decade, but stopped when I started my own business. Mets are still my team. I’m rather stupidly loyal that way.

    So, that’s my story. If any of you are insomniacs, I probably cured it. Just re-read anytime you feel like you can’t sleep.

  12. Sure you’re not a serial killer..? Just kidding! Welcome…Welcome… And sorry about the other day.

    I was listening to Ella Fitzgerald’s “Someone to Watch Over Me” while reading your words about falling in love with Indiana…Started to get a lump in my throat…Quickly thought of Tom Crean to bring me back.

  13. H4H,

    Regarding post #7. As you now know, I’m rather intimate with east coast hoops growing up. Funny, Boeheim has had a far worse reputation for not being able to win the big one than Crean.

    But onto defense. Obviously, we only have one game to go on. We have a very young team and, well, of course we’ll see. BUT, I do think that we have a lot more speed and athleticism to work with and we’ll see how their instincts develop. From what I’ve read and what I’ve seen in what is admittedly an extremely small sample size, it seems like we have a bunch of guys that have bought into the team concept and each of them look to be developing a role in overall good. They seem to be just as unselfish as last year’s team. That was a big strength last year and if it holds now, it can really make this team this year exceed expectations. I think Noah Vonleh is a freak athlete and he looks darn comfortable defending down on the block. I’m glad he’s sort of under the radar nationally. He’s going to cause a lot of teams fits this year.

    I agree with you about Zeller. Poor guy had a bad game at the worst possible time. I love Zeller’s game. His game against Mich that won us the Big Ten title will be something I’ll never forget. He was fearless, confident and was just a killer in that game. Unfortunately, I wish we got to see a repeat performance against Louisville in the finals. Such is life in March Madness.

  14. No sweat. I definitely don’t take anything personally, so water____bridge___.

    We all have lots of great stuff to talk about around here and we have a really different and potentially exciting hoops team to look forward to watching–and picking apart to death!–this year.

  15. Double Down-

    Really enjoyed your brief story of your background and experiences …Fascinating. Not boring at all. Only been to San Francisco a coupling times and really didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I had wished. Did find a town named Capitola that I fell in love with quite a few years ago while on vacation…If I remember correctly, I think it was about an hour south of San Francisco. I guess a man can dream.

  16. Aruss,

    Here is the bet. Since you say this team will be better, IU must win at minimum 30 games and can lose no more than 7, they must repeat as B1G champions, not co-champions, bu outright champions. They should be a #1 seed and must make the elite 8. If they fail to meet any of the criteria, then you must self-impose a ban on yourself, if the exceed the criteria, well, you can still self-impose a ban on yourself. 🙂

  17. Double Down: you have a very interesting background, to say the least!

    I wouldn’t call it stubborn that you have stood beside your Mets. I see it the other way around: you are a real sports fan for not abandoning your roots just because you happen to move around a lot.

    I think that our most enduring sports bonds are formed through the primal connections forged in our early years through hometown spirit or pride for our alma mater. To me, you need to be able to identify with a “place,” whether it be a particular city, a town or a college campus, to fully fall in love with the teams and the attitudes/culture they embody.

    Harvard: I know Capitola!!! My grandmother lives up the road in Felton. Enchanting place… think I was there in my late teens but remember a great beach and some good Indian food. The rest of California doesn’t do much for me, but that little pocket up in the Santa Cruz area is something else.

  18. Ah, Capitola. I was down there in early October. There’s a great Mexican joint right on the water that has killer margaritas.

    Surprisingly, SF is better experienced with a local. The tourist spots are rather dull. Although, Alcatrazz is pretty sweet (only been there once in 13 years though). I might go back as they are doing night tours there.

  19. Over 15 years ago I also went into Laguna Beach and thought it had a lot of charm. Spent one night in the Mission Hotel and next day on the beach..Very local art scene and just felt a lot less touristy than much of the popular destinations.

    Tried surfing in LaJolla once…What a disaster. The styrofoam board probably didn’t help matters. I had a much better time boogieboarding during a stay at the Hotel Del Coronado(another place that, unfortunately, could not prevent giant corporate influence from destroying the old Victorian ambiance and uniqueness a place that just pulled me into its history and beauty.

    Coronado Island, LaJolla, Laguna, Capitola….or maybe one of those small villages tucked into the coastline before you reach the Big Sur while heading up from the south…Never had the time, but I’m sure there’s some romance to be found yet in California…Ah, to be young…I’d drop out of college, throw a duffel bag over the shoulder, and head west..Maybe find one of those start-up family vineyards and find the gut my own soul in smashing of some grapes. This Indiana hick would have no problem stealing the sun and ruining their cool vibe. Now I must only fall in love with something in my dreams much further away than the miles..

    It’s not a traditional California pop song, but for some reason it has my version of some memories mixed into its wonderful bigness gone lonely to a brave pioneer’s wish.

    Your Seahawks are in the driver’s seat…

  20. Mike P – with the exception of your last line, I accept your terms. Unlike most IU sports fans, I’m all in!

    My acolytes, Geoff & Podunker, are our witnesses.

  21. Harvard- back at ya with a more textbook song for your California dreaming…

    This one is for a Santa Barbara sunset in a quiet beach cove with a jug of wine, some cheese and crackers, and a light sweater

  22. My only real best friend I ever had loved the Beach Boys…Stock in a van at 16-years-old while driving from norhtern Indiana to Paducah, Kentucky while “Little Deuce Coupe” on repeat for 8 hours will cause irreparable permanent harm. Not much in my taste category, but he had a heart of gold so I put up with it. Good choice.

    They’re limiting me here to five posts per 30 minutes..But how could I ignore my old buddy, world traveler, King Vocab, Pierre’s baker apprentice, and master poet from days of Basketblog…? Gotta one up you on the song, my friend(Seattle roots..so I’m sure you’re o.k. with it).

  23. I was never a big Beach Boys guy either. But I learned recently (and WAAY belatedly) that their album “Pet Sounds” was a major influence on the Beatles and Sgt. Peppers, and one of the most important rock albums of all time. Couldn’t believe it. The only Beach Boys I ever knew was Barbara Anne, Surfer Girl, and Deuce Coupe… good light-hearted tunes but nothing more. So I gave Pet Sounds a whirl, out of sheer curiosity, and low and behold…I was blown away. Way more to it than boy-band surfer music. I recognized a lot of the songs, too: some true classics, and some absolute musical genius in the songwriting and vocal harmony departments.

    As far as Hendrix, you know, funny enough, I never could get completely into him. He was a total college dorm room icon and guitar hero at the U of W, but didn’t really click with me other than “Little Wing” and a few other tunes. I used to walk past his statue across the street from Seattle Central Community College on my way to work and wonder why I didn’t like him more.

    Thanks for the song, though. I’ll take Jimi over just about anything produced in the last few decades.

    Take care, Downing! The one and only!

  24. Watched a Hendrix special the other night on the local PBS channel…I never knew he didn’t really get noticed until he left the States and played the clubs in England. He seemed like a really gentle soul…He did very little outside of playing his guitar and staying very close to family and a small circle of close friends. He was pure genius. Never be another.

    Here comes Kentucky…Only down six. We’re gonna be hearing the name Julius Randle an awfully lot. But he’s no match for Mitch of Chesterton.

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