Trending Now: IU basketball news and notes

By the numbers
Blocked shots by Indiana against Tennesee Tech, the first game with double-digit blocks since Nov. 15, 2013.
20 Points scored against the Golden Eagles by Josh Newkirk, a season high and only his third double-digit scoring game of the season.
33 Career appearances for senior Tim Priller, who played in just his second game of the 2017-18 season last Thursday against Tennessee Tech.

RoJo tracker
Senior guard Robert Johnson made his 100th career start against Tennessee Tech last week, scoring 12 points to bring his average over the past three games to 16.3 points per contest. That outburst comes on the heels of a combined 15 points in the previous three games.

On the season, Johnson is averaging 12.5 points per game and has been in double digits in nine of the 13 games. His 1,141 career points now rank 39th on IU’s all-time scoring list, just 16 points behind Cody Zeller for No. 38.

The Richmond, Va., native hit two 3-pointers against the Golden Eagles, giving him 195 for his career, which leaves Johnson just five made 3s away from cracking Indiana’s all-time top five.

How the Hoosiers stack up
With just one game remaining before the resumption of Big Ten play this season, Indiana finds itself with some ground to make up in the statistical standings. The Hoosiers can only hope some of those numbers are not indicative of where they will finish in the actual standings.

IU is tied for 10th in scoring offense at 75.5 points per game with Nebraska but is 14th and last in scoring defense at 74.2 points per game, leaving the Hoosiers 13th in scoring margin at just plus-1.3 per game.

Sticking with the offensive side of things, the Hoosiers are No. 11 in free-throw percentage (66.8 percent), No. 8 in field-goal percentage (46.6 percent), No. 13 in 3-point percentage (31.4 percent) and No. 12 in assists (13.8 per game).

On the defense end of the floor, the Hoosiers are No. 12 in field-goal percentage defense (44.5 percent), No. 14 in 3-point defense (40.5 percent), No. 8 in blocked shots (5.3 per game) and No. 11 in steals (5.7 per game).

Other notable numbers see Indiana ranked No. 9 in rebounding margin at plus-4.2 and No. 11 in turnover margin at plus-0.2.

Recruit watch
Damezi Anderson, 6-7, F, South Bend (Riley), 2018:
Posted 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Riley’s 72-38 road win at Plymouth last Tuesday. That came on the heels of 33 points in a 63-59 win at South Bend Adams on Dec. 15 and 19 points in a 74-62 victory against Portage on Dec. 16.
Jake Forrester, 6-8, F, Harrisburg, Pa., 2018: Forrester’s Westtown squad played in the Chick-Fil-A Classic last week in Columbia, S.C. He had nine points, two rebounds and two blocks in a 71-54 loss to Prolific Prep on Thursday, two points, four rebounds and a block before fouling out in a 62-60 loss to Cannon School on Friday and finished the week with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds in a 77-67 loss to Huntington Prep on Saturday.
Jerome Hunter, 6-7, G/F, Pickerington, Ohio, 2018: Sat out two games after picking up two technicals in the Forum Tip-Off Classic at Southport but after celebrating his birthday on Friday, scored a game-high 33 points in a 100-36 win over Marion-Franklin Saturday.
Rob Phinisee, 5-11, PG, Lafayette (McCutcheon), 2018: Finished with 41 points, including 17-of-20 free throws, in a 78-59 win over Merrillville on Friday. That capped a huge week that saw him set the school scoring record with 50 points in a 91-34 win over West Lafayette Harrison on Dec. 15 and was followed by 20 points and five rebounds in a 58-31 victory at Winamac on Dec. 16.
Grace Berger, 6-0, G, Louisville, Ky., 2018:
Led Sacred Heart into the Nike Tournament of Champions in Washington, D.C., last week. Had 17 points and six rebounds in a 72-66 loss to Riverdale Baptist last Wednesday and had team-high 19 points in a 78-66 win over Mesquite, Az., on Thursday. No stats available from a 72-41 loss to St. John’s College Prep Friday.
Aleksa Gulbe, 6-3, F, Riga, Latvia, 2018: No stats available.
Chanel Wilson, 5-6, PG, Powder Springs, Ga., 2018: No stats available.
Jorie Allen, 6-0, F, Bedford North Lawrence, 2019: 17 points and nine rebounds in 60-20 win over Bloomington North Tuesday, 14 points and 13 rebounds in 65-32 win at East Central Friday.


  1. Wow…Those statistical standings numbers are abysmal.

    Speaking of abysmal numbers, did anyone else see the hurt that Detroit put on the Pacers tonight? Interestingly, after an atrocious start and falling behind by 21 points in the first quarter, the Pacers did put on an 18-5 run in the 2nd quarter(mainly due to benching Oladipo).

    1. But the Indy Star had a different view. “Oladipo’s absence looms big in defeat” & “Offense misfires at end of game w/o top scorer “. Benching due to sore knee.

        1. Ron stated an opinion voiced in a headline by a Star reporter…It’s editorial. Pesky opinion…Not pesky facts. Facts will be told when we see how far the Pacers go with Mr. Olamagnifico in the future….and in the playoffs. He’s already been around stars @ OKC and he shrunk. Some guys can’t deal with being anything but the “chosen one”/chosen “star.” That’s why Indy is suiting him just fine….but it won’t make for a playoff team worth a damn.

      1. They lost by four points. That’s “looming big.” Yup, it was almost like not having Godzilla show up against Mothra. Dozens upon dozens of NBA guys currently riding pine could have given the Pacers enough to get over that tiny hump. Fact remains, Pacers played more aggressive ball when Olamagnifico was put on the bench against Detroit.

        Pacers are faltering and getting closer to falling beneath the playoff cutoff line. Nobody should be foolishly considered in “All-Star” company if playing on a team hovering around .500.

        Eric Gordon…..17 first half points against Boston! Attaboy EJ! And doing it on a team that is breathing down the backs of Golden State! Somehow I doubt EJ will get any sort of recognition in the Indy Star or the HT…or Hoosier Scoop…though the kid is from where?

  2. I have some further stats for “Trending Now Notes”.

    Oladipo point totals the previous 5 games before last:


    # of posts Harvard initiated discussion about Oladipo during that time: 0.

    1. Apparently one game is all H4H needs to make a judgement and the fact that VO is 11th in the NBA in scoring average means nothing. With the good young talent in the NBA that is balling.

      1. And if placed on the Pacers as a ‘Mr. Go-To,’ there are dozens upon dozens who could put up similar numbers on a team with no real marquee talent. Fact remains, the Pacers played better with him on the bench last night. And they’re playing very adequately with Oladipo absent tonight against the Mavs.

        Just about anybody in an NBA uniform can stuff the stat sheets…But can they create the chemistry and play in a way that makes teammates admire the unselfishness and desire to win before anything else? Or, does the new celebrity “baller” in town simply want to prove his game alone is worthy of the giant chip on his shoulder…?

        Rock- I completely agree. I’m just having fun with those who somehow can’t stop slobbering all over him because he somehow validates Crean beyond the obvious horrific coaching.

        1. No. It’s because the kid has talent. Victor worked hard every year to improve and he did just that. Many people thought he’d just take up a valuable scholarship but he earned it. I believe you’re the only one holding on to Crean. You can’t quit bringing him up and think it’s a chronic sickness in your brain or something. This place was peaceful until you arrived again. I’ve got my money on Chet you just want attention and enjoy stirring the pot.

        2. “…there are dozens upon dozens who could put up similar numbers on a team with no real marquee talent… ”

          That’s the stupidest thing on the internet today.

    1. Many Hoosier fans like to support fellow Hoosiers who compete at the next level.

      Obviously, people who are not Hoosier fans like to diminish their success.

  3. Harv is absolutely correct: the key to a “good basketball player” is whether he can make his TEAM better. Larry Bird was an excellent example (as was Jordan, etc.). The Crean years were horrific for IU Basketball and Harv has every right to point it out frequently AND often. It was during his tenure that IU Basketball ceased to be “team basketball” and became “me me me” stuff. I am one who is hoping that Archie Miller, (after some years of recruiting his players) can forge us back into a TEAM. And 1/2/08 will be a great one-game situation of Greg Garl with a decimated roster against Archie Miller with a depleted and dis-oriented roster….at the Kohl Center. I’m PUMPED for this game upcoming!!!!! (Plus, I’m a big fan of the big kid on Wisconsin..can’t remember his name at present).

    1. Thanks, Rock.
      The apologists can’t seem to discern the difference between hating the narcissistic/individualistic tendencies(and incompetent coaching) imparted on the game vs. hating a person for simply being a fraud. I could far more tolerate the fraud if he hadn’t descended upon Bloomington to ruin our storied basketball institution culminating in cue card hoops by his ninth year.
      If team goals and basic fundamentals to improve a team are at a point where it’s dumbed down to cue cards, that should be more than enough to tell anyone that the mere salivation at wing spans and NBA draft nights was Crean’s only value to a very unsophisticated fan(a fan so removed from the game of basketball that any claim to be a ‘Hoosier’ is sort of an oxymoron).

      And strange how so many that hated on Kelvin Sampson for tiny/meaningless infractions find it so intolerable to dislike a guy who validated such hatred with claims of one man “wrecking” our entire program. Nobody brought “hatred” to Indiana more than Tom Crean on his pious thrown.

    2. Eighth in the league in scoring, 10th in the league in steals, 4 assists a game, to go along with 5.5 rebounds a game.

      Yep, that just screams selfish, one dimensional player.

  4. Yeah ROCK, how about the fact the Pacers were supposed to be at the bottom of the league and they’re wildly surpassing all expectations? I’d say that team is doing WAY better than the sum of their parts. And Oladipo is the one who’s supercharged what was supposed to be a bottom feeder. Lots of hoops left to play, so we’ll see how it plays out. So far, Vic has made everyone around him better.

    It has nothing to do with Indiana University and nothing to do with Crean. Harv is so obsessed with hating Crean, he actually thinks that rooting for Victor Oladipo to succeed in the NBA is a secret way of supporting Tom Crean. Even Oliver Stone thinks it’s crazy.

    1. You weren’t around this blog during the “hating” on Sampson(including anyone wearing a Hoosier uniform who played for him) years. Don’t talk to me about “hatred,” Mr. Double Judgments. You best ask around for the names of the real haters who built their names by claiming one individual could wreck all of IU Basketball because of a 3-way calling investigation spearheaded by a very corrupt NCAA.

  5. I’m glad for the comments! It’s nice to have this time in this lag time between IU Basketball and preceding the BIG opening with Wisconsin to discuss stuff with friends on the Internet. And I do consider all on this site “friends”. I don’t follow the NBA because over time I’ve seen that it has little to do with basketball and much to do with circus and gambling. I did not like Oladipo or Zeller here because, frankly, they did not achieve much team-wise…got destroyed by Syracuse (a result of our ‘tiny guards’ as Boeheim noted and Zeller’s inability to shoot a 10 foot shot against the Zone). Oladipo was non-existant during that game as well in my opinion and was always over-rated. Yes he can pile up stats but so what? I could care less and think Harv is right on this one…he’s not often right and I just wanted to point out he is right on this. Again, all I’m truly interested is 1/2/08 and our Hoosier team (a bad team this year in my opinion) showing what they can do on this night (1/2) against Wisconsin’s depleted team in the Kohl Center. Ethan Happ. that’s his name. I like that player’s footwork around the rim. Can he shoot a jumper this year? We’ll see!!!

    1. Totally agreed that the 2012-2013 team was a major bummer. No reason for their end of the season flop with all of that talent on the floor. I think the problem has been removed and hopefully we have someone that can take us to that next level given better talent.

      It wasn’t that that team lost, it’s that they were limping through their last few games. Wisconsin hammered them in the B1G tournament. They didn’t exactly look sharp vs 16 seed JMU and probably should have lost vs Temple, but for Watford’s heroics. Enough has been said about that horrendous Syracuse debacle.

      Aside from that, the NCAA tournament is magical and guys can just get hot and ride that wave. Conversely, normally solid players throughout the year can lay an egg or two or three. Arizona’s National Championship team in 1997, their leading scorer during the season was not Michael Bibby or Miles Simon. It was Michael Dickerson. He lost his shot in the 2nd round and wasn’t a factor at all. He was airballing shots. Thankfully for them, Bibby picked up the slack. He got super hot and carried them to a National Championship. Arizona’s 1988 team was #1 almost all year and destroyed everyone leading up to the Final Four vs Oklahoma. Steve Kerr absolutely fell apart in that game going 2-13. They lost. Kerr did ok for himself in the NBA after that game.

      But the tournament is what people remember. And that’s the way it should be.

  6. The ROCK wrote, “The Crean years were horrific for IU Basketball …..”

    Two Big Ten championships and three Sweet 16’s = “horrific.” Wow, given that embellishment, it looks like someone lost their perspective a while back, like about 30 years ago. Actually, from my perspective as a lifelong IU fan who watched his first IU BB game in Bloomington 53 years ago, the “horrific” years for IU BB were the years that preceded Crean’s arrival. How easy it is for people to forget the dumpster fire that existed before Crean arrived in Bloomington. How intellectually lazy it is to scapegoat the most recent coach who failed to meet our