ScoopTalk: Who is it gonna be?

Photos: Indiana vs. Northwestern

Indiana rallies but falls short again

Indiana erased a 10-point halftime deficit against Northwestern but missed crucial free throws down the stretch and missed an opportunity to tie the game in the final minute, falling 70-64.

The Hoosiers shot 50 percent for the game and actually hit more field goals than Northwestern, knocking down 23 to Northwestern’s 19. However, the Wildcats made 11 3-pointers and 21 free throws, including some crucial ones down the stretch.

Senior point guard Michael Thompson scored 22 points, knocking down all 11 of his free throws and hitting three 3-pointers. Junior forward John Shurna scored 19 points and guard Alex Marcotullio scored 11. (more…)

Discuss: Indiana vs. Northwestern

Wilson still unfazed by coach defections

Indiana football coach Kevin Wilson was asked again Saturday about assistants leaving the program and again had the same answer. Running backs coach Jemal Singleton makes four since Wilson was hired on Dec. 7 to be hired and leave before the first spring practice.

“It is what it is, you gotta deal with it,” Wilson said. “… I think we hired some good guys. Unfortunately, they thought they had some other opportunities. My deal as a coach, you gotta do what’s best for you, your family and your career. … A couple of them have tremendous futures. I guess they think the grass is greener somewhere else. That’s their choice.” (more…)

LaLumiere coach to IU Fans: You saw a fraction of Perea

Alan Huss hopes Indiana fans won’t judge Hanner Perea by what some of them saw at Bloomington South on Saturday afternoon.

In front of a crowd comprised of nearly as many fans in IU crimson as South purple, the Hoosiers’ ballyhooed verbal commitment for 2012 was held to just four points and seven rebounds, shooting 2-for-4 in La Lumiere’s 56-48 loss to South.

It obviously wasn’t the performance Hoosier fans were expecting to see from Perea, the No. 10 recruit in the Class of 2012 according to Huss, La Lumiere’s coach, said it’s not indicative of the player he is.

“He’s been really good this year,” Huss said. “I’m really disappointed for him because he had an opportunity in front of so many IU people to be good today. I just thought we weren’t prepared for their physical level of play today. The environment, we had a stretch in the first half where we just didn’t play very good basketball. We shot way too many jump shots and didn’t get it inside to him. To all the IU fans, I’d say what they saw today is just a fraction of what Hanner really is. He’s a lot better player than that.”

Perea was effectively taken out of the game by South forward Joey Forney, a 6-foot-3 bruiser who got underneath the 6-foot-8 Perea and kept him away from the basket. Perea appeared to never properly adjust to being played so physically.

“They know me and they were ready for me,” Perea said. “They did a good job defensively. … It’s very tough because I’m used to playing big guys, strong guys like me. I just need to get used to that stuff.”

Said Huss: “In high school basketball, a lot of times, the officials really let smaller guys get underneath him. Hanner’s a pretty physical kid, but he’s still learning to get his center of gravity down. That problem is probably made to look a lot worse when he’s got a 6-foot-3 guy underneath him, and they weren’t going to call a foul.”

What IU fans didn’t see, Huss said, is Perea’s extended range. He didn’t really take a shot out of 10 feet and one of his two buckets was on an alley-oop dunk.

“He’s expanded his range,” Huss said. “You can’t see that when he’s got a 6-foot-3 guy on him.  When he has a 6-8 guy or a 6-10 guy on him, he’s really gotten good at facing guys up at 10-12 feet, making that jump shot and having kind of a 1-2 dribble pull-up. We hadn’t seen defense like that.”

Huss credited South and coach J.R. Holmes for taking Perea out of the equation.

“There was just no way to simulate what they were gonna do,” Huss said. “We just got out-toughed, out-coached, out-prepared.”

AUDIO: La Lumiere coach Alan Huss

AUDIO: Hanner Perea

Here’s video of Perea’s interview, courtesy of our friends from Inside The Hall.

Bye-week helps Hoosiers re-incorporate Watford

As much of an adjustment as it is for a team to lose a player who is not only its leading scorer and rebounder, not to mention a 6-foot-9 swingman whose game can’t be imitated by anyone else on the team, it’s almost as much of an adjustment to get him back.

Indiana found that out on Saturday against Michigan when sophomore forward Christian Watford returned after missing three games with a broken left hand. Watford still had a strong outing with 14 points in just 22 minutes, but it was evident that the Hoosiers’ execution and timing was thrown for a loop by adding such a significant piece to the system.

“Definitely with our timing,” freshman guard Will Sheehey said. “He’s a great offensive player as well. Getting those things back in our lineup is definitely something you gotta get used to, you know? From a timing aspect, from just playing with each other. This past week has been great incorporating him into what we’ve been doing.” (more…)


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