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(Click on the photo above and be rewarded by seeing a photo gallery from this game, comprised of work by Chris Howell, who was officially given the title we all knew he deserved on Saturday when he was named top sports photographer in the state.)
Well, this nationally-televised game probably tells the story of the year for the Hoosiers as well as anything could. Indiana was severely over-matched and fell behind 36-15 in the first half before finding a way to get within six in the second half. Certainly Illinois got a little complacent with such a big lead, but Indiana also figured out ways to close the gap. Tom Crean employed the line and three defense (in which forward Kyle Taber and Tom Pritchard essentially zone the paint and the three guards chase) while also opting to play off of Chester Frazier. So it was Frazier, of course, who hit a pivotal deep 3 to make it 57-48 with 4:56 left.
Indiana missed 13 free throws. Do some quick math and you’ll see that those shots could have sent this game to overtime.
- Illinois coach Bruce Weber
- Indiana freshman point guard Verdell Jones
- Indiana freshman guard Malik Story
- Indiana coach Tom Crean
- Hoosiers wake up late (subscription required)
- Crean, Hoosiers not ready to write season off despite losses (subscription required)
Unlike most Indiana games this season, today’s tilt with Illinois sold out a few days in advance. When I heard that, I immediately wondered if the Illinois fan base snapped up some of those $5 tickets.
That’s exactly what happened. It’s going to be an interesting atmosphere in here today. And the Stripe Out will be dotted with Orange.
As for Devan Dumes…my guess is that he won’t play. While most of his teammates were warming up austerely, he was dominating a 12-year-old in a game of one-on-one. Also, he’s not wearing a uniform right now, while most players are.
Former IDS reporter Chris Engel has informed me that he spotted Indiana assistant coach Roshown McLeod in the front row of this game during the first quarter.
St. Patrick star Kyrie Irving, a junior currently being recruited by just about every school in the nation (word is that even Kelvin Sampson has even called him, hoping to entice him to join the Bucks), will face off with Lance Stephenson, one of the top remaining unsigned 2009 prospects, and his Lincoln team at 7 p.m. tonight on ESPN2.
Indiana coach Tom Crean is recruiting Irving, while Stephenson apparently has not been persued by this coaching staff (he has been through off-court turmoil, ranging from a fight to a charge of impropriety with a younger female student, that makes him an unlikely target for Crean and his staff.)
Seeing Stephenson play on a playground in Brooklyn, as I did a few years back, was simply amazing. I hope for the sake of hoops fans everywhere that he stays on track to play somewhere next season.
Nick Williams thinks the HoosiersÂ â€œjust need to be tougher with the ball.â€
Matt Roth says he can pretty much shoot from anywhere he wants.
So says Forbes.com.
Forbes also says Bloomington is home to something called the University of Indiana.
B-Town comes in 10th on the site’s list of top college towns. But that still leaves it fourth in the Big Ten, behind State College (4), Madison (3) and Ann Arbor (1).
Lexington (5) also ranks ahead of Bloomington, as does a place the Hoosiers football team will visit later this year, Charlottesville, Va (9).