Green asserting himself as freshman to watch

What if Devonte Green is like one of those guys?

OG Anunoby. Will Sheehey. Victor Oladipo — just a few of the recent Hoosiers who defied the recruiting rankings that undervalued them as high school prospects and proceeded to flourish in Bloomington.

Green’s game-high 17 points in Tuesday’s exhibition win over Hope College shouldn’t be over-valued. But it shouldn’t be brushed aside, either.

“I definitely felt like I belonged,” Green said.

He looked like it, too.

Green surfaced on the fast break. He hit both 3-point shots he attempted. He flashed an aggressive streak and complemented it with a degree of flair, doing so without committing a single turnover during his 13 minutes on the floor.

Defensively, he showed a penchant for being a tough-minded player. Often, learning how to play adequate defense at the Division I level requires patience from most freshmen, especially young guards.

Although it’s only one exhibition against a Division III opponent, Green lived up to his billing as an assertive two-way player.

“He’ll continue to get better, too,” Tom Crean said. “He’s learning the nuances of it. And really working a lot with his footwork. He’s so quick and sometimes he’s too quick with the ball … where he doesn’t get his feet down the way they have to be.

“But the reasons we offered him when we did is because not only of his talent. You could see his talent before we offered. It was his precision. It was his execution.”

When the IU coach first watched Green play, he wanted to like him. Crean did like him, but wanted to see more. After following Green’s progress on the travel ball circuit and as a high school player at Long Island Lutheran, Crean extended a scholarship offer to the 6-foot-3 New York product last December.

Less than a month later, Green was a committed Hoosier.

In a 2016 class that included four-star signees De’Ron Davis and Curtis Jones, Green was viewed — at least by the recruiting gurus — as a three-star prospect.

247 Sports, for instance, tabbed him as the No. 197-ranked recruit in the nation. Consider, the same scouting service ranked Anunoby at No. 280 nationally. Sheehey was No. 144 and Oladipo was No. 137.

“I just remember him coming out and starting from the summer competing, and he’s just aggressive offensively and defensively,” James Blackmon Jr. said. “So that opens up things for him and everyone else.”

During the coming weeks, as Indiana seeks to establish roles and rotations through the non-conference season, there will be opportunities for guards like Green and Jones to carve a niche in the IU backcourt.

Green seems particularly suited to see time simply because of what he projects to give the Hoosiers on both ends of the court.

“Devonte and Curtis can be very interchangeable for us and we’d like to get it to the point where they understand exactly how to make everybody else better like our team is learning how to make them better,” Crean said.

Especially in the case of Green, so far, so good.

It’s not often that a freshman comes in so confident and so aggressive to produce on offense and defense, both.

“But when you’re ready to be out there and you’re preapred and you put in a lot of time,” Blackmon said. “It’s easy.”

18 comments

  1. Where is the National Championship banner since 87? and the latest era. Over achievers are great. However, it gives National Championships to places like Duke, KY, even Villanova and the rest of them but no National Championship banner for IU during this latest era.

  2. “This latest era”, from 1987 until now, included Coaches Knight, Davis, Sampson, Dakich, and Crean. Was there any particular one you are referring to?

  3. The longest tenured, by far, was Coach Knight. He was coach for 13 of those years. The other four combined for 16 years.

  4. No team has any “right” to hang a Banner. You have to earn it! With the top 5 recruits, plus, every year, Coach Cal at KY has done it once. So have U Conn and Villanova in those same years. Devonte can be a very special player at IU! This team can have a very special year! I intend to enjoy the ride!

  5. I am specifically (this is repetitive) referring to T.C. era peeking at big ten championships (not dominate) and lack of competiveness in NCAA March tournament (managed to squeak out a sweet 16). Knight is a past era and he has all is various championships for an era gone by.

  6. You were the one who used 1987 as a reference point. That’s because you wanted to make it seem as though the lack of banners since ’87 is somehow at his feet. If you were being intellecually honest in your criticism of CTC you would have bemoaned the lack of banners since 2008…but you didn’t. You just tried to blame him for 21 seasons he wasn’t here.

  7. “(managed to squeak out a sweet 16)”

    I, too, am frustrated by the lack of Final Four trips but at least inject a little honesty into your criticisms. There IS a difference between “managed to squeak out a sweet 16” and making it to three Sweet Sixteens in the past five years.

  8. I was referring to different eras. Yes the latest era is T.C. and no T.C. is not responsible for the time before he was coach. Nor was I trying to blame him before his time. Yes sweet 16’s were pretty much squeakers and overall not really competitive in March madness tournament. Is that the expectation for IU men’s basketball?

  9. I was referring to the latest era as T.C. Knight in his by gone era already has his various championships. Yes, IU under T.C. has squeaked out to sweet 16. Overall, IU is not competitive in March madness tournament. Where is the current expectations?

  10. I saw a lot of crying Kentucky fans when they didn’t get to go to the SS last year. Is that supposed to mean that’s the new expectation for Kentucky basketball?

    So, you think CTC has somehow lowered expectations? These things can be measured. Let’s look at the facts.

    Since 1987, 29 seasons, IU has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen exactly 9 times. Three of those nine have been in the past five seasons. That means that 33.3% of our trips to the Sweet Sixteen in the past 29 seasons have occurred in the past 17% of the referenced seasons. So, actual tournament success is up. Even if you extend the time period to the day CTC set foot on campus he is still above the norm at 37.5% of his teams reaching the Sweet Sixteen vs. 31% for that period overall.

    How many Hoosier squads have advanced past the Sweet Sixteen in those 29 seasons? Three. That works out to a trip to the Elite Eight every 9.66 years. So, if CTC reaches the Elite Eight in the next two seasons he will be at or above the average that has been established for the past 29 seasons.

    I, by no means, think the guys is setting the world on fire coaching but to make a claim that he has lowered expectations is stupid. The numbers don’t lie. I want to see trips to the Final Four and another banner or two as much as anybody but let’s not pretend we were something we weren’t when CTC arrived on campus. IU is now a respectable program bringing high caliber players that usually turn out to be high caliber people.

    Would you rather have Pitino or Calipari? I wouldn’t.

  11. As a matter of fact, if the Hoosiers were to make it to the Final Four this season CTC would actually obliterate the standards that have been established since 1987, statistically.

    Damned mathematics.

  12. I’ve said it before on the Scoop, it took decades of bad management and neglect to damage IU Basketball, and it’s going to take many years to bring it back to where all IU fans would like it to be (Final fours on a regular basis). And I also contend that in this new “one-and-done” era, schools like IU, MSU, and Wisconsin, where kids must go to class and must pursue a legitimate education, at least while they are on campus, are at a disadvantage in recruiting the best talent compared to schools that serve as an NBA D-League camp. Duke is the exception, and that’s due strictly to Coach K and the culture he has created over many years. When he retires, Duke will stop dominating college basketball. But I follow Arizona Basketball too, and it is amazing how many loyal AZ fans harp about Sean Miller failing to get his teams to a final four (the great eight is as far as he’s gotten them, so far.) Are you kidding me? He’s got a great program in Tucson and that arena rocks like few others for home games (Assembly Hall is still better). Two Big Ten Championships in four seasons is an impressive accomplishment. I have faith that Crean will lead IU to a Final Four in the near future. But in addition to good coaching, it also takes a little luck, like avoiding injuries to key players.

  13. Chet, good interjection of facts to bring the argument back to truthful boundaries. I assess CTC performance to date as credible and respectable. I also view it as very close to being of FF caliber and this year is no exception if they can raise the effort and focus on D. But 1 thing is for sure with all Crean/IU teams they must have a consequential “BIG” to make things happen. Where would the program be without the like of a Vonleh, Cody or Bryant.

    Po, I like you pay a some attention to the Wildcats and you are correct about the disappointment in some of their fans about SM. Like CTC unless there is a 2-3 year drop off in recruiting and performance I damn sure would not get rid of him.

  14. Well, your assertion is totally wrong. No where did I say Tom Crean lowered expectations. Rather, year in and year out IU is not NCAA March Madness tournament ready unless reaching the top of the mountain is a sweet 16. It may be the fans have lowered expectations.

  15. Sure. Can’t imagine how I drew that conclusion from your posts.

    “IU under T.C. has squeaked out to sweet 16. Overall, IU is not competitive in March madness tournament. Where is the current expectations?”

    “yes sweet 16’s were pretty much squeakers and overall not really competitive in March madness tournament. Is that the expectation for IU men’s basketball?”

  16. …and this little gem I forgot,

    “I am specifically (this is repetitive) referring to T.C. era peeking at big ten championships (not dominate) and lack of competiveness in NCAA March tournament (managed to squeak out a sweet 16). ”

    No, you didn’t mean anything like that at all.

  17. Enjoy your sweet 16 championships! Maybe more sweet sixteen championships can be won by TC. breaking Wooden’s National Championships record.

  18. I confess to being a little disappointed. I really hoped you were going to try and defend your statement that you never claimed CTC was lowering expectations. So much great stuff I’ll have to file away.

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