Minus Jones, Hoosiers trounced by Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa — With second-leading scorer Verdell Jones watching from the bench with inflammation in his right knee, Indiana struggled to get much going offensively and was equally deficient on defense, falling 91-77 to an Iowa team that was 0-6 in the Big Ten heading into the game.

The Hawkeyes got 20 points and 10 rebounds from freshman forward Melsahn Basabe, 19 points from junior guard Matt Gatens and 18 from freshman guard Roy Devyn Marble. Sophomore guard Eric May added 11 points. They shot 57.7 percent from the field, including 65.2 percent in the second half. Of their 91 points, 46 came in the paint and 16 came on fast breaks compared to just two for Indiana.

“We weren’t good defensively at all,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “Our transition defense was poor. It was getting so much better. Our big guys were non-existent in transition defense. We just weren’t as good and it started from there.” (more…)

Discuss: Indiana vs. Iowa

Raymon Taylor commits to Michigan

One-time Indiana commit Raymon Taylor verbally committed to Michigan on Saturday, the Detroit News is reporting.

“It’s a great opportunity for me,” Taylor said. “God blessed me. It’s a good situation for me and my family. The education you get there is tremendous. It’s the big stage.”

Taylor said U-M quarterbacks Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner, and safety Cameron Gordon accompanied him on his official visit and help convince to come to Ann Arbor.

In some ways, this news is not terribly surprising. Taylor has always been open to taking official visits to schools besides Indiana, and he has wavered back-and-forth on his commitment since Bill Lynch was fired.

He told Dustin two weeks ago that he was ready to commit to Michigan before Rich Rodriguez was fired. Then he told’s Matt Weaver earlier this week (after his official visit to Indiana) that IU was his No. 1 school.

This leaves Indiana with 15 verbal commitments with two weeks to go until signing day.

Tom Crean talks Iowa

The H-T van is currently driving through scenic Wisconsin, headed to Iowa City. The Hoosiers will also be headed to the land of corn, to take on Iowa on Sunday.

To help us with our game preview, SID J.D. Campbell e-mailed these quotes from Tom Crean to us and several other media members. Here they are:

“Sunday is an opportunity for our team to get better.  I think each week during the Big Ten season, we have taken steps, but we certainly are by no means a finished product.  Every road game in the Big Ten presents a challenge and I am sure that Iowa will be ready to play in front of their home crowd.”

“I think our mindset is improving and we have a better understanding that the effort we put forth on defense will translate into better opportunities on offense.  I like our aggressive approach.  We can’t settle for quick shots unless they are high percentage.  We know Iowa is a team that wants to get out in transition and we can’t allow them easy opportunities off of our missed shots.”

“After watching the film, I thought we did some good things at Wisconsin, but there is  always an opportunity to improve.  We did a good job of not turning the ball over and we didn’t give them many second chance opportunities on the boards. “

“Last year, I thought Iowa imposed their will on us physically as well as any team we played. We can not allow that to happen. Our intensity and concentration has to be at its best.”

ScoopTalk: Not at Wisconsin

Photos: Indiana vs. Wisconsin

Wisconsin 69, Indiana 60

MADISON, Wis. — The Indiana Hoosiers could not pull out the win on Thursday against Wisconsin, but it found a way to replicate the effort it showed five days earlier against Michigan.

The Hoosiers were up by four at halftime, 34-30, but saw the Badgers win on the strength of 17 free-throws in the second half. In the end, it was a 69-60 win for Wisconsin, its 32nd in the last 33 games in the Kohl Center.

“No free throws in the first half,” Indiana coach Crean said. “Seventeen free throws in the second half. I guess that’s Big Ten basketball.”

The final death knell for the Hoosiers came with a minute left, when Jon Leuer turned towards the basket, initiated contact with Tom Pritchard, made the shot and saw Pritchard called for the foul (his arms were straight in the air). When Leuer (20 points) made the free-throw, the Badgers (14-4, 4-2 Big Ten) led by seven.

The Hoosiers (10-9, 1-5) came out with plenty of energy during the first half, led by guard Jordan Hulls. He made four-straight baskets and even took an uncharacteristically deep 3-pointer.

“You let your best players play,” Crean said. “Jordan took shots and he was very aggressive. I think there’s some growth with him on that part. I don’t think its anything special we are doing. We’ve been saying he needs to shoot the ball more since last year.”

Hulls had 10 points in the first half and led Indiana with 16. Verdell Jones added 15, going over the 1,000-point barrier in the process. Now with 1,004 points, Jones is the 42nd Hoosier to hit the mileston.

Indiana shot 51 percent from the field, using spacing and screening to confuse the Badgers, coach Bo Ryan said. The result was plenty of drives to the rim and pull-up jumpers.


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