Hoosier Morning

1. HOOSIERS HQ
Indiana played great, then equally terrible, en route to an 88-69 loss at Michigan State, Mike writes.

MSU’s Denzel Valentine showed his versatility, while Indiana’s Troy Williams just failed to show up and OG Anunoby made a case for more playing time, I wrote.

IU women’s basketball stayed perfect at home with another second-half surge against Wisconsin, Jon writes.

IU women’s golf kicked off the spring season in Puerto Rico, we reported.

2. IT’S INDIANA
Flip a coin to figure out which Indiana team is going to show up, especially outside of Assembly Hall, Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star writes.

No heroics were necessary from Denzel Valentine thanks to his steady, spectacular play on Sunday, Kyle Austin of MLive.com writes.

Michigan State was simply too much for IU, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.

IU tried a vareity of defenders against Denzel Valentine, but none were successful, Brody Miller of the Indiana Daily Student writes.

The wheels came off for Indiana on Sunday in the Breslin Center, Michael Hughes of the Indiana Daily Student writes.

A Q-and-A ahead of Sunday’s game with former Hoosier and Michigan State assistant coach Dane Fife, by Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal.

Three positions will bear watching as Indiana gears up for spring football, Tom Dienhart of BTN.com writes.

A surging IU women’s basketball team is eyeing a potential NCAA Tournament bid, Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star writes.

3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
In honor of Sunday and Denzel, here’s “My Funny Valentine” performed live by Tony Bennett in 1978.

21 comments

  1. Harv had a good post yesterday on this. This Indiana team isn’t as bad as this loss yesterday. I’m not that insightful, so I’ll just post a few random thoughts.

    – That offense sure looks slick when they run through Bryant down on the post. When we started struggling to find our shot, would have loved to see them run the ball through him more down low. The pick and roll works great. But we just started jacking up low % jumpers.

    – Love OG. But he showed some freshman moments yesterday. He took 4 shots that were swatted into the stands. He’ll get better about finding separation. Would love to see them set up more screens for him to come off.

    – Speaking of off ball screens. Did we forget that this is the only way Troy Williams plays? When was it decided he should get the ball on the perimeter and dribble into traffic, or jack up an off-balance three? I didn’t see them set one screen for him away from the ball on the baseline yesterday.

    – Bielfeldt had a great game yesterday, but I don’t like him taking those contested threes 4 ft behind the 3 pt line. Not very high % shots.

    – Yogi looks like the minutes he’s been asked to play are catching up to him. His legs just aren’t where they were a couple of weeks ago. I remember Matta doing this to Evan Turner a while back. He had nothing left in the gas tank come tourney time. Yogi is playing hard, but he looked tired.

    – Rob Johnson has turned into a decent defender, but he was just abused by Denzel yesterday. He was moving so well away from the ball. Half of his points came from him getting behind or away from RJ for easy buckets. Tough day for Rob. However, DV has been handing out a lot of tough days to other good players this year.

    – Let’s see how the Hoosiers bounce back after a thorough throttling. Unlike after the Duke game, where they were fed a healthy diet of Southwest Outter Mongolian State, we have an improving Nebraska team, then Purdue.

  2. – Speaking of off ball screens. Did we forget that this is the only way Troy Williams plays? When was it decided he should get the ball on the perimeter and dribble into traffic, or jack up an off-balance three? I didn’t see them set one screen for him away from the ball on the baseline yesterday.

    Very good observation, DD….While Crean sorta threw Troy under the bus in the postgame presser, there was little done in design to get him going.. There was a couple of games in a stretch a few weeks back when Troy and Yogi were really connecting in backdoor stuff(possibly some off high screens or misdirection) and alley-oop plays along the baseline as well…And then it just stopped.

    But thanks for pointing out some things I said that were far from “negative” or “glass half-empty” in their presentation. Some just assume before they even read.

  3. Rob Johnson is an interesting case. He’s been in the starting lineup for quite some time yet rarely does his name come up when assigning credit or blame. There’s never any drama around the guy. Never says the wrong thing. He plays within himself.

    Just doin’ his job.

    Watch him end up as the only guy to succeed in the NBA while we were all watching everyone else..

  4. I wasn’t expecting victory in E. Lansing yesterday but was still disappointed in the 2nd half defensive collapse. Kudos have already been written about Valentine, who is back in the conversation for National POY, although he has some stiff competition, especially from Hield of OK. Costello of MSU is the other player who killed IU yesterday — when both he and Valentine play like that, and you throw in Forbes’ outside shooting (although he wasn’t much of a factor yesterday), MSU is the best in the BIG.

    I was a tree in the forest watching the game by myself and couldn’t contain myself on O.G.’s dunk and transition “Euro-step” buckets yesterday — did anybody hear my scream? I read somewhere that it looked like IU gave up toward the end. I didn’t see that, but I did see a Maryland team “give up” on their home court on Saturday against Wiscy.

  5. Speed might be his issue at the next level, Chet….For all the criticisms of JBJ with regard to his defensive efforts, he’s deceptively faster and stronger with the ball skills.

    If we could give RJ’s shot to a defender with a phenomenal athletic frame like that of Remy Abell, we’d have something…Throw in Yogi’s vision and heart….and Eric Gordon’s explosiveness…and Jordy’s b-ball IQ and we could have an Oscar Roberston. All we need is some test tubes……

  6. You know, a few years ago I posted that I thought Draymond Green possessed a better NBA skill set than anyone else I’d watched all year. I can’t remember how my opinion was received but I don’t think it was thought of highly.

    I wonder how many of the 34 guys picked ahead of him have been named an NBA all Star AND have won a title? I’m betting it’s around zero.

  7. I just don’t like Draymond Green….I just don’t like anyone on that Golden State team.. Don’t care for Walton or Kerr either.

    Is it just me or has the displays of fake adulation and stomach-turning narcissism at these NBA All-Star games gotten to the point of no return….? I think I’d rather go to ‘Dolly Parton’s Used Broken Brassiere Museum’ than watch so many inflated NBA boobs making out with Bill Russell.

  8. I love Steve Kerr. I love the Warriors.

    Me thinks Harv is just upset because his Bulls team is being threatened as “Greatest of All Time.” Plus, Harv, I know how much you hate the “elites” in the Bay Area. I posit that you don’t think they’re deserving of an authentic basketball team.

    Golden State plays unselfishly, intelligently and at blinding speed. They’re the ultimate team. Maybe if they played in some failed rustbelt city where rusty-AIDs infested water shoots out of their pipes due to backbreaking corruption and elephant crap deep bureaucracy, they’d be worthy of your praise.

  9. When Curry or Draymond have 6 Championship rings, you can pretend they’re Bulls. Without MJ’s toying around with baseball, they’d probably have 8-10 titles during the last NBA dynasty.

    I don’t follow the NBA enough to care anymore. It’ must be misery for Lakers fans to watch Kobe and his endlessly foolish swan song of the last few season sinking that once storied franchise into a level of irrelevance they may never dig themselves out of…They need to go after Zeller as soon as that bag of wife-cheatin’ garbage buys a hotel chain in Denver.

    Portland Trailblazers….I heard they have a couple guards that just about everyone overlooked…They might be sorta fun to follow…..And maybe the Celtics. Who knows…Maybe I’ll even get interested in the Bulls again.

  10. No one is pretending anything, sugar lips. Warriors are just getting started. Who knows where they are going, but it seems like Bulls fans are sweating through their 1992 Starter Jackets. That anxiety was previously directed towards LeBron James if he was even mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan.

    No need to sweat if you think your Bulls are so superior, they can’t be overtaken. Maybe then you can watch some pretty interesting basketball that is the being played.

  11. The Bulls were very fortunate to come together as the other quality franchises withered into old age. There weren’t any other great teams as there were during the (Bird)Celtics/Lakers/76ers era. Beat the Knicks, Pacers and the Jazz and you’re champs.

    The Bulls won 6 titles but no one would every make them favorites over a team such as the Showtime Lakers or Bird’ Celtics at their best. Those teams were loaded with Hall of Famers.

  12. Whatever you say, Double Down. You enjoy your jacket. MJ will fold over a couple shorter fingers to allow you bragging rights of your one title thus far.

    Do I really have to like an ex-Spartan that enjoyed beating up on Hoosiers while we have an ex-Spartan on our bench ruining our Hoosiers? There’s only so much any sugar lips lovin’ Hoosier can take…They destroyed us on Sugar Lips Day….I get to hear Chet bragging of another Spartan that had his way with Hoosiers a few years ago ….All this Sparty love must be the Valentine cherry on top….of an article about Fife in Hoosier Morning…? And what did we get sent down to us from East Lansing that is bringing the ‘soft’ defeatists hoops to rest under five banners…? That must be Spartacus Crean….Thank you East Lansing. How can we ever repay you? ..

  13. Never understood the hate on Golden State.

    Very good players playing very sound team basketball while doing a pretty good imitation of being decent people. They’re everything I would think a basketball purist would love.

    It’s not like they have Dennis Rodman playing for them.

  14. Hehe. That was funny, Harv. MJ flipping me off would make me truly happy. 🙂

    For the record, It isn’t “my” one title. Besides not having any ties to the Warriors organization, I’m not even a GS fan. I do enjoy watching them play, though.

    I have a hard time being a fan of one particular pro sports franchise much nowadays anyway.

    But, I can’t really give up my Mets, though. Just way too much of a fanboy and personal history for that. I enjoy spending my summers listening to Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez 162 times while going about doing whatever I have to do. Takes me out of the doldrums of the despair of the every day news cycle around me. The crack of the bat…the pop of the catcher’s mitt. Just takes me away for a bit.

  15. I was conflicted last week. While I have long followed the Colts with admiration, I’ve been a Broncos fan since I first lived in Denver before they traded for Elway (for which they gave up offensive lineman Chris Hinton to Baltimore). I’ve also been a Panthers fan since they first hit the field in 1995 when I lived in Asheville.

    So, my AFC team met my NFC team in the Super Bowl. The two teams I wanted to be there. It was odd. I was neither happy nor sad afterward.

    It just happened.

  16. Brilliant, Chester…Of course they “trounced” Jordan’s teams before they even got old…And MJ stayed loyal to the Bulls and nearly beat the Celtics without any supporting cast in his early seasons. Yeah. how many would do it today? The greatest highlights of MJ occurred during those early seasons….He never even really had a truly dominant man in the middle like so many of those dynasty teams you reference…

    I’m not a ‘purist’ in any sense of your form of the word, Chester…I don’t need guys pointing the sky to thank Jesus after every made jumper, nor do I need them to only secretly sleep with clean hotel maids rather than openly with Madonna.
    I loved Rodman….I have yet to see anyone with a comparable motor on the basketball court…His timeouts were spent on an exercise bike…He swallowed rebounds more than (nope…best not go there)…Severely underrated as to his importance on those Bulls teams.

    But you guys are changing the subject..But when you have the best Sparty of all-time now on a Hoosier bench, it tends to make Hoosier fans talk about East Lansing ballers and favorite pro basketball teams…and more comparisons to MJ(Did I tell you that Tom once had a mini MJ put on the candy stripes..? And has Dan Dakich reminded you in the last week of how he once stopped MJ?).or, even more disturbing, IU Football in the middle of February….?

    Yup…Let’s talk about the sorry-ass Bulls of two 3-peat’s …and sorry-ass MJ….Or let’s talk about fabulous Draymond and Seth….or the Miraculous Mets…or the Lakers and Kobe entering the clumsy sad phase….or the Celtics reborn with Brad Stevens……or Larry Bird…or Chicken Cacciatore…or another Knight story tucked in a Scoop Hoosier Morning to fire up the zombie crowd….It’s what you do when apathy has a permanent parking spot at Assembly…It’s what you do to temper the emotional investment in Hoosiers that no longer play the best. It’s purist, alright…It’s the purist version of the pure Establishment who truly savior just how little we care about what bogus soft b-ball happening under those five banner anymore. We’d rather talk about the “greatness” everywhere else. Yippee. Good ol’ Draymond Green while we dump tons of ‘green’ at something pure green..

    How’s the trout fishing, Chet? And new ice cream shops in Durango? Can I have some more Durango history lessons? It’s all good stuff compared to Podunker’s continually apologizing for the last 8 years of cornbread stuffing and Joyce tweets.

  17. oops ..[Steph]….But we could also talk about Seth Green….Love Seth’s assessment of all the great college teams never mentioned with Indiana. More Sparty! More Green! Why didn’t Steve Green come to any reunions? We need a separate Steve Green reunion just to get our minds off of Draymond’s hijacking of the color…
    Anyone from Pittsburgh? Mean Joe Greene…? We could discuss the extra ‘e’….Maybe we should all sing a song I’ve dedicated to Dray together?

Comments are closed.