Kelvin Sampson seemed pleased with his team’sÂ effort level out there today. He wasn’t expecting them to master his way of playing but didÂ want toÂ see them hustle. Rod Wilmont, especially, had a high-energy game. This team may beÂ a good fit forÂ Sampson.
One of our most loyal poster,Â cheyennemtnmn,Â asked below what I thought of Armon Bassett.
I’ll answer briefly: Anyone who’s seen Bassett play knows he’s a special playerÂ – directs the offense well andÂ can hit the three. He needs to become a smidgeon better at finding the open man and also work on penetration at this level.Â What’s really holding him back is his defense, and it takes every player a while to learn what it really means to play defense at the Division I level.
Now, let meÂ put it toÂ you guys: how would you evaluate the players? Give me a rundown of what you saw and what you think it means. Breakdown each player. I’m interested to know what all you guys thought.Â Â
With 3:52 left the Hoosiers have pulled ahead 91-44. Rod Wilmont caught a little fire and hit a couple of threes. He also made a nice dish over to Joey Shaw for a dunk.
AssemblyÂ Hall is pretty empty by now. Looks like the fans are waiting for the real thing.Â
Just 7:57 left and this game is slowly winding down. Indiana leads 73-40.
Phil asked how the defense looks. It looks OK. It’s not facing the most athletic team in the country and at times is letting them get away with things they shouldn’t. I don’t think Sampson is seeing the level of hustle he wants, but overall it’s been a pretty energetic effort given the circumstances.
As for whether the team isÂ being coached better now than it was under Mike Davis, I can’t answer that. Mostly becauseÂ IÂ wasn’t hereÂ last year to cover Davis and in fact haven’t watchedÂ seenÂ his team play live since 2004 when I was a student reporter at PennÂ State.Â
With 11:45 remaining in the game, Indiana leads 63-32.
The pace of play has slowed down and gotten pretty sloppy. Both teams are working backups into the game and seeing how they fare. Indiana isÂ shooting exactly 50 percent from the field and is 7-of-15 from three-point range.Â
Half time, Indiana leads 48-24
Pretty standard exhibition game fare here today. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Most interesting is the way Sampson manages the team. After almost every mistake heÂ yanks the offending player or calls a timeout to address — quite angrily — the whole team.Â
Hoosiers haveÂ built a 39-16 leadÂ with a mix of bothÂ offense off the transition and set pieces. They seem pretty capable ofÂ scoring either way, but are facing theÂ toughest competition in the world.
A.J. Ratliff leads all scores with 12 points, mostly off opportunistic play. He’s getting openÂ a lot near the basket.Â
After North Dakota made the score 16-9 with a tip-in basket, Sampson called a time out and went after his team. Now he’s working as many players into the game as he can early. Mike White, Armon Basset and Joey Shaw have all seen the court. Shaw entered the game and promptly ran a give and go with D.J. White that led to a three-pointer.
Indiana leads 19-9 with 11:47 remaining.
Indiana’s 2006-07 basketball season got off to a lively start with the first points coming off an alley-oop from Earl Calloway to D.J. White. Five minutes into the game, the Hoosiers lead 14-6.Â
TheÂ Hoosiers, clad in their striped pants, have taken theÂ floor and are warming up. Fans are still coming in slowly andÂ the Assembly hall is filling up and getting a bit louder.Â
We’re here at Assembly Hall just over an hour before tipoff. It’s a pretty typical exhibition game environment outside. Fans are arriving rather slowly, but there are a few scalpers out trying to unload tickets. This should be a good opportunity to see the Hoosiers in game-action.
Purdue played North Dakota on Friday, and according to the Boilermakers’ athletics department Web site, the game saw a total of 41 fouls called in the first half alone, which lasted around 65 minutes. That could be a sign the game today will take a little longer than usual.