Indiana coach Tom Crean said Monday that sophomore forward Devin Davis will not play this year as he continues his recovery from a traumatic brain injury.
Appearing on ESPNU’s college basketball podcast, Crean told hosts Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg that Davis is not a full-time student at Indiana this semester while his recovery process continues.
“He’s making progress — doctors say he’s making progress,” Crean said. “His attitude, like I said, is great. There’s certainly no way he’s gonna play this year, obviously, but hopefully he’s gonna have a full recovery and an even better understanding and maturity to be able to go next year.”
Davis was seriously injured when he jumped in front of a vehicle driven by teammate Emmitt Holt in the early-morning hours of Nov. 1. He was hospitalized in Bloomington before being transferred to a rehabilitation center in Indianapolis in mid-November. Davis recently returned to Bloomington for the spring semester and has begun traveling with the team on road trips.
Crean said last week that Davis has been practicing with the team, albeit in very limited situations. Davis has been able to shoot and pass the ball in stationary drills.
“The most important thing is he’s at practice every day, he’s with us every day, he’s engaged,” Crean said.
Robert Johnson’s injury was avoidable, and that’s what disappoints his coach.
Tom Crean was unsure what happened to Johnson in the first half of Sunday’s game at Ohio State until he returned to the game tape and saw that his freshman guard slipped and fell on a loose piece of paper or placard left on the baseline next to the Buckeyes’ cheerleaders. It came after Johnson went up for a layup barely two minutes into the game and let his momentum carry him under the basket, where he lost his footing.
Johnson went to the locker room shortly after falling, logging only eight first-half minutes before returning in the second half with a brace on his left knee. On Monday, Crean declined to clarify the exact nature of the injury.
The IU coach said it was too early to tell whether Johnson’s injury will linger, but added that he was unsure if his freshman guard would be able to play in Wednesday’s game at Purdue.
Here’s a closer look at the moment Johnson fell:
“It’s one of those inadvertent things that you hope never happens, but it did and (the papers) were just laying there as he finished his layup,” Crean said about the fall. “I think the best news for Robert is that he went back in the game. Now we have to continue to monitor it in a very close way and hope that it doesn’t linger. He was treating it last night and moving forward with that, so we’ll see how he feels as we get closer to tomorrow. I don’t think it’s anything that’s gonna be long lasting, but there’s nothing that says it’s going to be OK for this game either.”
In Johnson’s absence Sunday, Crean gave increased time to Stanford Robinson, who logged 15 minutes and went 1-for-3 from the field for two points.
But Robinson was once again inconsistent during his time on the floor, committing two turnovers and drawing the ire of Crean for his defensive lapses. With Johnson’s availability for Wednesday uncertain, Robinson could continue to see more meaningful minutes if his freshman teammate is not a full go.
This season has been a major struggle for Robinson, who has shown no resolve in establishing a level of consistency for himself. Robinson has offered brief flashes of being able to settle into his role as a reserve guard only to take two steps backward in each ensuing appearance on the floor. He had his best effort of the year against Penn State on Jan. 13, when he came off the bench to score 12 points without committing a turnover, but hasn’t come close to duplicating that performance in each of the next three games.
Robinson has appeared in 18 games off the bench and 3.6 points per game, while committing 19 turnovers against 22 assists.
With Johnson’s status potentially in the air, Crean said he’s not issuing an individual challenge for Robinson so much as he wants to see him work better within the flow of the team.
“He’s gotta quit turning the ball over and he’s gotta be a more efficient defender,” Crean said. “We just can’t have the turnovers at the rim or driving through the lane, and we gotta keep simplifying the game. When we try to do too much is when the issues come. He’s capable of more. He’s providing more and, certainly in a game like this with Purdue, who’s really strong on the perimeter, it’s going to be important that he play better.”
1. HOOSIERS HQ
A cascade of turnovers and a no-show defense was too much for IU to overcome at Ohio State, Mike writes.
An all-around lack of focus spelled out defeat for Indiana in Columbus, I wrote.
The IU women’s basketball team lost but showed some real fight in battling No. 7 Maryland, Jon writes.
2. IT’S INDIANA
Three months ago, Indiana basketball was on the brink of implosion and now the Hoosiers are back in the national rankings, but questions still remain, Alden Woods of the Indiana Daily Student writes.
Defense matters, something the Hoosiers can ill afford to forget, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.
Tryouts are over for Ohio State, which benched underperforming players en route to its best win of the season against IU, Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes.
The Buckeyes matched Indiana’s small lineup and found success in doing so, Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch writes.
Indiana’s execution was sorely lacking against Ohio State, Jordan Littman of Inside the Hall writes.
It’s not IU, but it is vintage Indiana, and the Milan ’54 Museum that nobody knows about is struggling to stay open, Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star writes.
3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
There’s no lack of focus on the Scoop. Here’s the band Focus with “Hocus Pocus” performed live on NBC’s Midnight Special in 1973.
These are the steps a young team must take, inevitably heading toward defeat, but Tyra Buss was eagerly kicking each foot back so her hands can pet the grips on the bottoms of her sneakers
Down 15 points to No. 6 Maryland with a little more than 90 seconds to play, there was no way for the Hoosiers to win. But there was time to compete, a chance to stick with a top-ranked team.
Buss had just ripped the ball out of the hands of 6-foot-3 forward Brionna Jones, momentum taking her to the ground as it popped free. She laid on the ground for a moment, a familiar position for the Hoosiers in games where they were down. They stayed down.
But the Hoosiers’ 5-foot-7 freshman bounced to her feet. She found her place on the court, kicked her feet back, slapping her hands against the grips of her shoes. She shuffled in-place, preparing for the next opportunity to strike.
The Hoosiers found opportunities, late steals and quick offense in the closing seconds, earning a 84-74 loss against an opponent head coach Teri Moren measured up to be a Final Four contender. In the end, it was still a loss, bitter in many ways, but those gathered in Assembly Hall weren’t left solely with images of defeat.
“Pleased at the fact that we bounced back after a really disappointing loss at Penn State, a game where we should have had a better mindset, a better approach, we needed a better energy level, effort,” Moren said. “I thought we got that out of them today.” (more…)
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