Doug from just East of Jasper is asking about whether Sampson thinks coaches should have longer to try to establish their programs. He doesn’t like the fact that so many coaches are forced to leave after just a few years.
Sampson blames that more on players leaving school early. He’s pointing out that Indiana could have both D.J. White and Eric Gordon next year. But there are other teams that will be able to say the same thing.
This guy says he’s tickled that Sampson is the new coach. But he’s clearly a bit angry that the subs didn’t get off the bench Sunday as Indiana led the game. And Sampson is not happy about being questioned. He says, “It’s already been addressed.” And Robert says he doesn’t know what the answer is. And Sampson just stays quiet. Awwwwkward.
Sampson likes the “opportunities” his team have this week. The Hoosiers can “hold serve” at home by beating Iowa and Connecticut. The Hawkeyes are a lot better now then they were when Indiana first beat them, according to Sampson. The bigs and guards are in sync now. (Plus, Tony Freeman is totally healthy and has been dominant recently.)
Sampson’s giving props to the IU women’s team. Says you should go watch ‘em play if you haven’t.
Now there’s a caller who says his favorite two people are Kelvin and Don. And now he asks what Sampson does to a player if the player misses class. And Kelvin says that he flogs them.
That was a joke. The real answer, Sampson says, is that they don’t have much of a problem with that. Sometimes a kid gets “knuckleheaditis” and he misses a class and has to run or show up for an early-morning study session.
Sampson says the biggest thing his team is working on right now, offensively, is getting the best shooters the shots.
Somebody wants to know how Sampson balances the day-to-day work with the hype of high expectations that surrounds this team. Sampson says that task is up to the senior captains, Lance Stemler and D.J. White.
Tyler’s got a question. Who would Kelvin take as his all-time Indiana team: it’d be Thomas, May, Alford, McGinnis and Bellamy.
Josh wants to know to know what led to D.J. White’s improvement. Sampson thinks it’s “just being a senior.” White’s got great character and the team respects him.
Now a question from Mikey: How do you think role players, such as Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis, will contribute the rest of the year?
Sampson is explaining that every player has a role. D.J. White and Eric Gordon have roles.
Eric’s role, you can guess, is that he has to score 20 points per game.
Cameron wants to know what the team does after it wins a game.
“They feel a lot better than after they lose a game,” Sampson says. Then he gets serious and says that, actually, the team just gets ready for the next game.
Dave wants to know how much college basketball Kelvin watches. He says that it’s his wife who watches every game. Meanwhile, he watches Discovery Channel. Loves the cooking shows and the animal shows.
Now a question from Chris Engel, who covers the team for the IDS. He wants to know what Kelvin feels about playing Connecticut in the middle of the conference season. Sampson’s OK with it since it’s a nationally televised game.
A.J.’s biggest problem at Minnesoat, Sampson says, was not his temperature of 101. It was his inability to guard his man.
Sampson says it is not unusual for him to rely on a core of just a few players. In his first year at Oklahoma, he had three or four guys who averaged 38-40 minutes per game, he says. In this era, the players have a chance to grab a breather during the TV timeouts every four minutes.
Sampson’s just been told that his team is No. 7 in one poll and No. 8 in another. He was about to make some sort of smart remark about how little the polls mean to him when something loud came through his headset.
Ok. All fixed. Sampson’s saying — correctly — that after the top three or four teams there are a bunch of schools who could be considered “top 10″ teams. He’d be more excited if this team was in the top 10 at the end of the season, he says.
Now Sampson’s reflecting on the week that was. He was happy with the way his team played.
“When you get 16, 17, 18 games into the season, every game is tough,” he says.
Sampson believes his team still has a high ceiling to reach. He’s happy with the level his team is rebounding at and notes that D.J. White, who had just seven rebounds against Penn State, was feeling a little under the weather.
He likes this time of year because the games come one after the other. That helps the team come together. And he thinks his players don’t really need to concentrate on practice; they really need the time to rest and recuperate after games.
“This is really a good time to get in a groove,” Sampson says.
Here in Bloomington Kelvin can be heard on Hoosiers Country 105.1 at 7 p.m., as usual.
I’ll provide updates once the show begins.