Bill Lynch held a post-season press conference Friday afternoon in which he said the Hoosiers achieved their goals this season – achieving a winning record and making it to a bowl game – and moved the program forward.
Lynch said he thought that in its bowl game IU played like a team that was playing its season opener and couldn’t afford to do that against a good Oklahoma State team. Although the Hoosiers practiced well leading up to the bowl game, Lynch said that in hindsight he might do more live hitting with the team’s starters to try to avoid a slow start after a long layoff.
Hoosier sophomore guard poured in 25 points and dished out five assists in Thursday’s road game at No. 19 Ohio State, but the Buckeyes used a 14-point swing in the second half to take over control in the ballgame. A 39-32 Indiana lead quickly vanished, and Ohio State then led by seven before IU made one last effort, getting within five before falling 71-59.
Buckeye freshman center Jantel Lavender posted some solid numbers with 23 points and 14 rebounds, and senior Tamarah Riley, filling in for the academically ineligible Star Allen, had 16 points, seven rebounds, and a pair of blocks as Ohio State (12-3, 3-1) shot over 68 percent from the field in the second half.
Whitney Thomas had 12 points and four steals for the Hoosiers (9-7, 2-2) and Kim Roberson added 11. Marscilla Packer had 17 for OSU, which joins Purdue and Penn State atop the Big Ten standings. Minnesota started the day alone in first at 3-1 but lost at Illinois.
“I’m just going to do what I’ve been doing,” White said. “I know 22 again is probably unlikely.”
White thinks he’s being more aggressive this year than he has in the past. That took him some time to learn.
“I wasn’t the same type of freshman as this guy sitting next to me,” White said.
Now we have Eric Gordon and D.J. White at the podium.
“I knew this was going to be a big game that is kind of on me and coach,” Gordon said, “but it’s just another Big Ten game.”
Sampson’s discussing injuries right now. Says that when Bassett can play, he’ll play.
He’s not enjoying this particular line of questioning.
D.J. White’s playing so well now because of the work he did in the weight room during May and June and July, according to Sampson. White worked out hard to prepare for the Pan Am team tryouts and that momentum has carried him here.
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We’ll be having our usual online get-together Thursday from 11 to noon to talk about Indiana sports. Please drop us your questions and observations by clicking here.
Later Thursday, Kelvin Sampson will hold his weekly press conference and on Friday Bill Lynch will hold a final press conference to wrap up the football season. If you have any questions you’d like us to ask the coaches, here’s your chance to throw them our way.
So let us know what’s on your mind and we’ll provide our usual peanuts of wisdom.
You won’t find anybody anywhere who will tell you that Brandon McGee’s attempt at a windmill dunk just prior to the final buzzer last night was anything but completely classless.
It was also the act of a freshman who spends most of his time watching from the bench. He practices basketball all week, is undoubtedly berated quite regularly by Kelvin Sampson for missing a screen here or taking a bad shot there and on top of it all is required before each game to learn the other team’s style to simulate it for the guys who do play.
McGee started to learn his lesson right away, as the Michgan fans serenaded him with a word that won’t be uttered on this family blog. Karma had a message for Brandon, too, making him looking like bumbling doofus with the miss. And maybe he’ll be talked to by Sampson. But he knows that what he did was wrong. Kids just get carried away. Won’t happen with McGee again.
- And btw–AJ Ratliff is still a waste on the floor. Seriously, a heaping pile of puke on the floor would probably be as productive.
- Maybe it’s just me, but AJ appears out there for AJ, while the others are forming a team.
- AJ looks tired and lost. I agree, with Brandon Mc. Heaping pile of puke plays better defense. You might say he’s slippery
I think now would be the time to point out that A.J. had a career high in assists last night with six. That’s not something I remember seeing much from him last year, but he seemed to have a feel for not only getting the ball into the paint but to a player in the paint who had good position to score. For instance, he assisted on a Mike White bucket. Due to Mike White’s size, he rarely ever scores against pressure. A.J. happened to get it to him with an open lane. Crafty play.
Like Kelvin Sampson, I’ve rarely been able to see Ratliff play full strength. After the Ball State game in late December of 2006, he was always dealing with at least one injury (the wrist). Yet he still shot 40 percent from 3-point and managed to be more than serviceable on defense, playing essentially one-handed. Given some time, it’s reasonable to think he’ll get back to being a deep threat and important cog on defense.
Let’s end this with a quiz for the IU basketball junkies out there. I don’t know the answer to the questions I’m about to ask and can’t look them up because we’re still heading back from Ann Arbor, so it’s up to you guys to know.
- When was the last time IU had two players named to the All-Big Ten first team?
- When was the last time IU had two players named All-American?
- When was the last time IU had one player lead the Big Ten in scoring and another lead the conference in rebounding?
INDIANA 78, MICHIGAN 64 (FINAL)
- Adam Ahlfeld enters the game. Oddly, the fans here don’t appreciate him as much as the ones in Bloomington.
- A few baskets down the end make this game look closer than it was. And longer than it should have been. Not that writers on deadline care about such things.
INDIANA 74, MICHIGAN 54 (3:30)
- White backs Gibson in, then spins and hits. He’s fouled, and his free throw is good. He has 21 points. And 21 rebounds.
- As we approach the two-minute mark, I have to wonder if Justin Johnson is anywhere nearby.
- Gordon looks to drive, which draws Michigan to him. So he feeds Crawford for an easy dunk.
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Armon Bassett’s in uniform.
But it’s not worth risking further injury. Even with Eric Gordon and Jamarcus Ellis having 3 fouls each.
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of another game this year in which Indiana faced such a gut-check at half-time. Sure they were down 11 against Xavier but that was on a neutral court. Indiana was ahead of Southern Illinois by six at the half of its game in Carbondale but weren’t in such foul trouble.
Plus, this is a league game. They’re always on a different level.
A few stats of note: Gordon leads Indiana with 11 points. Harris leads Michigan with 11.
The Hoosiers have a 26-13 rebounding advantage now, and has scored 12 points off offensive rebounds compared to the Woverines’ 2.