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Indiana was outrebounded 39-23 and badly outscored in the paint as the undermanned Iowa Hawkeyes came into Assembly Hall and simply worked harder than the Hoosiers.
According to a good source near a radio, Tom Crean has already said this was one of the softest low post performance he’s ever seen.
Should be interesting to hear what he has to say when he gets in here.
Iowa coach Todd Lickliter was just at the mic, and was obviously pleased with how his team fared. Said the key was defending hard — Indiana did not get many clean looks — and that being in the right position on defense led to the rebounding advantage.
And some audio files to listen to.
OK, Dustin Dopirak here throwing on some additional thoughts while Korman finishes his column and while I watch the end of this Saints-Vikings game.
Comb through the above audio and you’ll find people saying much of the same thing. The Hoosiers weren’t tough enough, they didn’t fight hard enough, they didn’t block out, they didn’t screen well.
If you look through the statistics, it’s impossible to argue. The Hoosiers lost the rebounding battle, 39-23. Iowa scored 20 second-chance points to their seven and 34 points in the paint to their 16. This loss certainly had a lot to do with that. Though the Hawkeyes didn’t have a height advantage, they clearly had an advantage in bulk and in strength.
But this had almost as much to do with offensive dysfunction. The Hoosiers shot just 16-for-45 from the field and managed just three assists against 16 turnovers. That’s not going to do a lot for the ratio.
One thing that became obvious is the Hoosiers can’t win if they aren’t getting offense from anyone other than Verdell Jones and Christian Watford. Neither were spectacular. Jones had 14 points and Watford finished with 10 on 4-for-12 shooting. No one else made more than two field goals.
Crean said he might change the lineup to include three forwards instead of three guards, because Jeremiah Rivers, Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls combined for just two rebounds. Crean wouldn’t say who that meant would come into the lineup or who would join it (though Derek Elston seems like a safe bet there). One way or another, this one’s going to require some soul-searching on the Hoosiers’ part during their six day layoff before traveling to Champagne for a 2 p.m. game next Saturday.
This Indiana team isn’t used to this.
In the past two seasons — which encompass the IU careers of everyone but walk-on Brett Finkelmeier — there has never been a Big Ten game the Hoosiers were supposed to win. Even going into the home game against Iowa last season, the lone conference contest the Hoosiers won all year, they were heavy underdogs.
But when the Hoosiers play Iowa on Sunday at 6 p.m., they’ll probably be giving points in the Las Vegas sports books, and the Assembly Hall faithful will consider it an upset if they don’t see a victory. That’s the situation thanks to back-to-back conference victories for the Hoosiers, including Thursday’s win at Penn State.
“It’s put a lot of pressure on us now,” sophomore guard Verdell Jones said. “The fans are expecting us to win. Deep inside we’re expecting to win, so we just gotta come out here and play 40 minutes … It’s a good feeling. Last year, reading our own paper, seeing that Iowa came in and we were a 10-point underdog against Iowa last year here, now looking in the paper and seeing us as a winner, it’s a good feeling. I like it.” (more…)
Indiana’s Devan Dumes (33) looks to the basket and past Penn State’s Andrew Jones during the second half Thursday. Ralph Wilson | Associated Press
So I am sitting here on this dreary Friday afternoon, during these dog days of January, and there is this question gnawing at me. It’s been bothering me for weeks, as I read and reread the debate between the Crean faithful and those not so convinced.
What, exactly, would be a return to glory?
But when you, dear Hoosier Scoop readers, talk about returning to glory, are you specifically thinking championships? A return to the days of three championships in 12 seasons?
Or would you be OK with one championship every 1-10 seasons? Or 11-20? How about a couple of Final Four appearances a decade? Or consistently contending for a Big Ten title and making the Sweet 16?
Or, at this point, would you just be happy with .500?
Putting it another way — what are your realistic expectations for what Tom Crean can do with this program?
What is your mindset in 2010, some 23 years since the last NCAA championship and eight since a Final Four. It’s been 17 seasons since an outright Big Ten title — also the last time the Hoosiers got a No. 1 seed.
A lot has happened since those banners were hung in Assembly Hall. A lot. This guy left and set the NCAA wins record at Texas Tech. This guy took over and it never felt right. And, then, well — there was this guy. Let’s just say none of us have looked at a cell phone calling plan quite the same.
In my mind, part of what has always made the Scoop the Scoop was the journalism. And that was aided by the fact that Chris, Dustin and I are not Indiana men. Those two are from Pennsylvania. I am from California by way of North Carolina.
The fact that we have not lived these events, like many of you have, makes the Scoop different. But I want to understand your mindset and your thought process, because it does aid in our reporting and what we produce for you, our dear readers. So consider this a start to a discussion. One that will give us something to do until Sunday. And one that will help us going forward.
Now, feel free to go ahead and talk amongst yourselves.
Indiana’s Verdell Jones works toward the basket past Penn State’s Jeff Brooks during Indiana’s win on Thrusday. Ralph Wilson | Associated Press
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