A somber, serious Indiana football team just walked through a big crowd of Hoosier fans in this year’s inaugural Walk to the Rock.
I’ve seen games where the players were high-fiving fans on their walk from Assembly Hall to Memorial Stadium. It wasn’t like that today. Tracy Porter, at the front of group of players picked up a young girl and kissed her before the walk began, but other than that it was mostly stern faces as the players trekked through a cheering crowd.
I’m wondering if Porter has a political career in mind. Besides kissing babies, he needs about eight interceptions this year, a couple of punt returns for touchdowns and a bowl trip, and he can make a run for mayor in Bloomington.
Porter, Adam McClurg and Charlie Emerson, three key seniors, were at the front of the pack leading the players into Memorial Stadium for battle. The coaches came at the back of the pack with Bobby Johnson carrying his daughter on his shoulders and George Ricumstrict and Joe Palcic carrying young sons.
I haven’t seen Jane Hoeppner and the rest of the Hoeppner family yet, but we will soon, with the tribute to Terry Hoeppner that’s slated to start at 7:40.
I’m getting something to eat, then heading into the stadium. Here’s a quick tailgating update: apparently Sherry Leal has cleaned out the beef ribs in every grocery store in town and we’re in the process of eating them as her husband Martin heats them up for us on the full-size grill they brought to the party.
Chris may be in the Bahamas, but I can’t imagine the weather there has a thing on what we’re experiencing in Bloomington today. It’s about 5:30 and I’m in the tailgate area near 17th and Dunn and there are lots of people here, enjoying food, drinks and a sunny moderate afternoon that actually feels like football weather.
I’m visiting the first tailgate party at Chuck Jean’s new bus, a retired IU bus that now has a replica of “The Rock” perched atop it. There are ribs, hot dogs, a potato casserole, mac and cheese, deviled eggs, spinach dip and on and on to eat. They’ve got a pony keg and five coolers full of other beers. These people aren’t fooling around.
The first Walk to the Rock without Terry Hoeppner will be starting soon. I’ll be back with a report on that.
Final: Indiana 103, Guatemala 41
Gordon again leads the way with 33. Armon Bassett (15), D.J. White (13) and DeAndre Thomas (12) also scored in double digits.
White played only 14 minutes and also grabbed six rebounds. DeAndre Thomas was 6-for-6.
Jamarcus Ellis calmed down a bit today and had nine assists, four rebounds, two steals and seven points.
I’ll get back to you with more ASAP.
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Sorry about not updating you on the later parts of the game. For some reason my internet connection started conking out. I eventually got it back up and kicking but by then the score was a little out of hand and I had to start writing the story for tomorrow’s paper.
Indiana pulled it out, winning 106-46.
Some of you wanted to know about the opponent and I think the score really tells the story. The Bahamas Select team would be a decent, but not great, 17-under AAU team. They’re athletic but raw and not very thick. They had a few quicks who would have caused problems in a more structured offense but weren’t schooled enough to handled Indiana’s high-pressure defense, which never relented despite the lopsided score. Sampson wanted them to work on defense, and they did.
Otherwise, the Bahamian team was simply overmatched.
D.J. White played just 16 minutes. When he was out there, he was doing whatever he wanted.
Also, Indiana shot just 2-for-18 from 3-point, which Kelvin Sampson said was an abberation.
“All the shots were wide open,” he said. “I was happy with them, and if we get them again we might go 10 for 17.”
A few notes:
- Sampson will give the guys some free time tomorrow night since they don’t have to play a game. Seems like a good idea. What good is it to come to this island and work the whole time?
- Kyle Taber played significant minutes, whereas the other two walkons — Adam Ahlfeld and newcomer Brett Finklemeier — didn’t. We had only a few moments with Sampson after the game, but tomorrow should be better. I’ll try to figure out if Taber could fit into the rotation somewhere.
- Sampson said after the game that Gordon was nervous in the early minutes. “It’s nice to see him get nervous,” Sampson said. “If they don’t get nervous, they don’t care.”
- I’ll work on posting pictures and possibly video soon, but as Mike Pegram said to me tonight, “This gym is about the worst gym ever for taking pictures.” I might post stuff just so you can see how dark it was in this place.
- I’ll podcast soon, too.
It’s a beautiful cool morning in Bloomington. We’re busy in the kitchen getting our feast ready for some tailgating. Football season is here.
Starting sometime around 5 p.m. I’ll be out in the parking lots at Memorial Stadium doing the not so painful job of reporting on the tailgate scene. I’ll mainly be hanging out at an old IU bus my friend Chuck has bought to serve as tailgate central.
As I reported in the H-T today, a crowd in the low 30s is expected. With the game starting at 8 p.m., officials expect much of the crowd to arrive early for pregame festivities in the parking lot.
The roughly 5-minute tribute to Terry Hoeppner is scheduled to begin at 7:40 so I’ll be in the stadium by then.
I have some prizes to give away today so I’ll be asking IU football trivia questions here during the day. But here’s the first contest. What are your predictions for today’s score and IU’s record for the year?
I will predict a 45-14 win today and a 7-6 season that has the Hoosiers in their first bowl in 14 years.
So what’s your pick?
The phones have been hot tonight at the old H-T. Our night cops reporter Bethany Nolan has called every law enforcement agency in town and the jail — twice — and we can’t turn up a thing on the rumor that A.J. got in trouble.
Reporter Marci Creps will pick up the search tomorrow morning.
3:00, third quarter: Indiana 71, Bahamas 26
Sampson’s fairly animated considering he said previously that he sees no value in these games.Â He just swung his white towel in triumph as Crawford finished another fast break by getting fouled and still finding a way to get the ball to fall through the hoop.
4:30, third quarter: Indiana 60, Bahamas 26
D.J. White has scored a few baskets in a row, including one that finished a well-oiled fast break. You can tell these played together a lot this summer.
Anyway, after one of White’s buckets, two Bahamian players just started chuckling and shaking their heads. They’ve got no one with the size to slow White.
7:30, third quarter: Indiana 54, Bahamas 20
Thatâ€™s why that brought him here. Eric Gordon just got into the lane, was fouled about four times, and still hit the basket.
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