Trending now: IU basketball notes

By the numbers
5 Losses for the Hoosiers by Jan. 4, 2014, the earliest in a season Indiana has accumulated five losses since Dec. 27, 2010.
9 Number of games in which IU women’s basketball has scored 80-plus points. The Hoosiers topped 80 just 10 times in the previous five seasons.
42 Number of 3-pointers made by Yogi Ferrell, which ties Wisconsin’s Ben Brust for most in the Big Ten (prior to Wednesday night’s game).

Recruit watch
James Blackmon Jr., 6-3, G, Marion, 2014: Sat out Marion’s game at Oak Hill Friday with a bruised knee.
Robert Johnson, 6-3, G, Chesterfield, Va., Benedictine Prep, 2014: Tough week shooting the ball, as he was 7-for-25 from the field en route to a game-high 23 points in a loss to Huntington Prep, then went 5 of 19 with 16 points in a loss to Cape Henry.
Max Hoetzel, 6-7, F, Calabasas, Calif., Wilbraham and Monson Academy, 2014: Had the week off. Slated to return to action in the Under Armour Elite event Saturday in Charlotte, N.C.

Burger boys and girls
Nominations for the 2014 McDonald’s High School All-American game were announced this week and included Indiana men’s recruit James Blackmon of Marion and women’s recruits Tyra Buss of Mt. Carmel, Ill., and Amanda Cahill of Clyde, Ohio.

Buss is the reigning Illinois Miss Basketball and the state’s all-time leading scorer, but was not on the original list Tuesday. She was later added to an updated list on Wednesday.

Not included were other men’s signees Max Hoetzel and Robert Johnson, but Johnson was originally in the class of 2013, hence is not considered eligible for the game.

The final rosters for the games will be announced on ESPNU at 6 p.m. on Jan. 29.

Moving on up
IU senior Will Sheehey moved into 50th place on the school’s all-time scoring list with 13 points Saturday against Michigan State. Sheehey now has 929 career points. The Stuart, Fla., native has now reached double figures four times in the last five games, 39 times in all during his four years.

5 comments

  1. So here are my notes from watching Wilbraham & Monson vs St Joseph’s today… A game that included IU signee Max Hoetzel, declinee Goodluck Okonobo, and UK signee Karl Towns Jr.

    The game – not very close. WMA was missing, what their coach told me, was their best player – SG Curtis Cobb. Without him they were severely outmanned on the perimeter, and since the C match-up ended up being so one-sided the game got out of hand pretty early.

    Towns – the real deal. Made Okonobo look stupid all game. He ended up fouling out, but I only think one of the calls was legit. His 5th foul was actually a T about .5 seconds after picking up his 4th foul. Luckily for his team they were winning by about 20. He is every bit of 6’11”, and enjoys low post play. Very polished on offense… I saw him score on: jump hooks over both shoulders with both hands, up-and-under finishing with an oppo hand finger roll, a 3-ptr, and then a ball-fake-reverse-pivot-to-oppo-hand-jump-hook-off-glass… He literally displayed more post moves in the first half than I saw Cody do in 2 seasons at IU. Luckily, the kid seems to have a low motor, is easily distracted, and is only an average athlete, because his skill level is very high and he’d be impossible to stop if he was more of a natural worker bee.

    Goodluck Okonobo – terrible at everything on the basketball court except blocking shots and dunking. He is even more easily distracted than Towns. Apparently he fancies himself an offensive weapon because he wouldn’t stop shooting 17 footers – he didn’t come close on even one. In fact, he struggled to make 5 FT shots in warm-ups with no one near him. He probably had 7 or 8 blocks, but none on Towns, who just ate his lunch all game. He was also severely out of rebounding position most of the game. He looks to me like a lesser-polished Perea. I left the game very happy he didn’t sign with IU. I think it would have been a terrible fit – constant frustration from fans, and a coach who isn’t great at developing post players.

    Hoetzel – he was ok. It was a frustrating game because the St Joe’s guards were so much better than WMA’s that the offense never got into a flow. Max needs others to get him the ball (although he can create for himself a little bit) and that just wasn’t happening. He’s a legit 6’8″, maybe even 6’9″… Needs to put on some weight, but he’s not overly skinny… Looks like might have another inch to grow. Had something like 12 & 8 if I had to guess.

    Pros – legit size, long, active and instinctual on O-boards, talked well on defense, guarded well in the post, makes shots with a hand in his face, conscientious on box outs, decent passer, competitive, enough handle to create space on a jumper.

    Cons – let misses effect his hustle back on D, brings ball down after every O-board, absolutely CANNOT defend a D1 calibre ball-handling wing, needs to go stronger to the basket.

    Misc notes – I hated the atmosphere of this showcase… They had 10 high quality teams from around the country, with several future NBA players, but the production was just so contrived – DJ, loud rap during all non-live game action, quiet rap beats in the background as the game is being played (and I’ve been a fan of rap for 3 decades, but this was ridiculous)… They handed the mic over to some Under Armour promoter to announce the line-ups, and he didn’t know how to pronounce anyone’s names… Brutal…

    Stuck around to see some of Theo Pinson’s team play Prime Prep, who has a handful of future pros, led by Emmanuel Mudiay (or as the announcer introduced him, “Mooday”). Wish we could have stayed for more.. The floor was just filled with 6’4″ – 6’7″ skilled players… No true bigs, just a bunch of really talented guards and forwards with versatile games. Pinson looked really good in the short time we watched. I’m really sorry he’s not coming to IU. He’s got a real “it” factor. Mudiay is already built like an NBA 2-guard… Reminds me of Marcus Smart. He’s going to be a special player for SMU if he sticks around a couple years.

  2. Sad…Kids used to play basketball for their high school and their hometown. With so much comes the tragic loss of how beautiful the game could be within so little….a packed gym on a Friday night…a lively bus ride home as you bonded to your teammates like lifelong brothers…a proud dad picking you up and placing his arm around your shoulder. I feel terrible for those that now have to live the empty years of all this false infused limelight and show attempting to fill the absence of passion and humble appreciations.

    Indiana held onto something special far longer than most…Our statewide single high school tournament was the last gasp of hope and air as the patient went into cardiac arrest. We were so foolish to bend to the popular needs. We took so much away from the quiet lessons of sports, community, guidance, trust, and brotherhood. We’ve turned it into a world of self-promotion and conceit. There is no team..It’s just five strangers on a court with shared style jerseys. Sad, very sad. I feel lucky to have seen the day when kids could be kids and drew upon examples in an environment that taught lifelong lessons. In doing so they became woven into the fabric of the games now gone…They became men rather than the grown brats now drowning in self-infatuation to every rap beat their own tune.

  3. Couldn.t agree more Harvard,having coached in small schools(120) and large (3800) and now see gyms with a few spectators scattered around the gym the IHSAA just gave in and ruined Indiana because of some who felt that they were not getting a fair shake. It appears some will settle for less if you are 1A or 2or 3A or you truly a state champ? I was friends with some of the old commissioners and it would not have happened on their watch.

  4. thanks for the great write up, Geoff. sometimes have writes so poetically that it’s worth sifting thru the drivel.

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