Hoosiers facing bigger lineup at Minnesota

The last time Indiana played Minnesota, it pulled out an upset thanks in large part to a 43-31 advantage on the rebounds.

That will be a lot harder to duplicate this time around when they play today at 8 p.m. at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. The Golden Gophers switched up their lineup on Thursday night against Wisconsin, using 6-11 sophomore center Ralph Sampson III and 6-10 sophomore center Colton Iverson in the lineup together at the same time for long stretches. That helped Minnesota dominate on the glass against Wisconsin, winning the battle 41-28 in a 68-52 upset of the No. 14 Badgers. Indiana coach Tom Crean expects that to change the game significantly, especially on the backboards.

““It makes it incredibly different,” Crean said. “It’s going to have to be a team rebounding game. I think it will. There are keys to the game, and I think this is going to be as big of one as there is. We can’t go up there and give them easy baskets at home off of offensive rebounds.”

Crean also said he expects to see more zone from Minnesota this time around. Using Iverson and Sampson together slows the Gophers down, but it makes them longer and could make it harder to penetrate.

“We don’t want to get pushed back on our heels on the perimeter without screening and cutting,” Crean said. “We’ve gotta be playing downhill. I think we’ll see a lot of zone, but we can’t stand out there on the perimeter without attacking it.”

Another change from the team’s first matchup, of course, is the venue. That’s even more significant than usual because Williams Arena, nicknamed “The Barn” is possibly the most unique arena in the Big Ten. One major change is the court is raised up from the floor. The benches are actually below the court. This causes all sorts of issues with perception.

To combat this, the Hoosiers flew to Minnesota early Friday so they could practice in Minneapolis.

““I think because it’s so different it’s the equivalent of playing at Vanderbilt in the SEC,” Crean said. “Everything you know is so different. It’s still a 94-foot court and the basket is 10 feet high, but the bench is way underneath you. You’re looking down to find your coach and teammates, just like at Vanderbilt, where you’re looking for your bench and it’s in the end zone. It plays with your mind and we can’t let it. The more you can be out there the more you can lessen part of their home-court advantage.”

Rivals: Indiana offers Abraham is reporting that Indiana has offered a scholarship to Moses Abraham, a 6-foot-9, 237-pound power forward for Progressive Christian in Temple Hills, Md. Abraham recently came from Nigeria and apparently has lots of offers with Georgetown apparently being the leader.

We’re trying to confirm this independently, and hopefully we’ll have more soon.

Pagan out for spring, and other news from missed availability

Thanks to the IU football program’s Twitter account, here is video from the Bill Lynch availability I missed this morning.

Not going to make any excuse here. I completely forgot about it. We got an e-mail about this two weeks ago and within about a day or two it slipped my mind completely until Korman asked me this morning how football went. I stared at him blankly for about 10 seconds before it dawned on me. I apologize to him, to you guys, and even to the guys at IU who set this up.  It might have been at 6 a.m., but I’ll take whatever availability I can get, so I don’t want to give any impression that any hour is too early for interviews. Sorry, all.

Some of the stuff we’ve already reported. Mitchell Evans is moving to safety and Matt Ernest is moving to cornerback. Redshirt freshman Shane Covington, meanwhile, is moving from safety back to offense to play running back. Lynch said there could be some other position changes, but more minor moves could still happen.

Evans, meanwhile, is out for the spring with a hip injury. Defensive end Terrance Thomas is also out after shoulder surgery. Left guard Justin Pagan will also be out for most of spring practice. He will have ankle surgery tomorrow to fix what was ailing him for much of the season. Lynch said he thinks the hope was that he could rehab it without surgery, and he could have waited until after spring practice. However, Lynch said it was more important that he have a full summer of rehabilitation.

Lynch didn’t give any hints as to who he would hire to replace offensive line coach Bobby Johnson, who left last week to take a job as an assistant offensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills.

“There’s some good candidates,” he said. “I don’t want to get too far into it right now. Sometimes you feel like you’ve gotta do something as fast as possible. With this one, I’m kinda taking my time. I want to make sure we get the right guy. That’s an important position in that group. We’ve got a little bit of time.”

Lynch said he hopes to have someone by spring practice, though.

Lynch said he’s been pleased with Lenyatta Kiles and Jeff Thomas, the junior college transfers who joined the team in January. Kiles, from southern California, had never seen snow until he arrived in Bloomington.

Hoosier Morning


Michigan State coach Tom Izzo pleads with his team to not commit senseless fouls against Indiana. Chris Howell | Herald-Times


There’s much to discuss

The official word: Johnson to Bills

Indiana and the Buffalo Bills made last week’s news official with releases Wednesday. IU offensive line coach Bobby Johnson has left the Hoosiers to join the Bills as an assistant offensive line coach. The release from IU sports information.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana offensive line coach Bobby Johnson has been hired an assistant offensive line coach with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills. Johnson, who served as IU’s offensive line coach since 2005, will join head coach Chan Gailey’s staff immediately.

“We wish Bobby and his family the very best in Buffalo,” Indiana head coach Bill Lynch said. “Bobby is a bright and passionate coach who cares a great deal about our student-athletes. This is a tremendous opportunity for him and we thank him for his contributions to our program.”

Johnson has spent 15 seasons coaching in the college ranks and is excited to venture into the NFL.

“This is a very exciting opportunity to move to the Buffalo Bills and the National Football League. It is also bittersweet because my family and I have had a lot of great times and memories in Bloomington. We will leave sadly, but we look forward to our future in Buffalo.”

Hoosier Morning


Verdell Jones drives to the lane against Michigan State on Tuesday. Chris Howell | Herald-Times


Scoop Poll:

Where will IU be ranked to start next season?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Indiana Spring Football Game

  • IU79:

    Amen Podunker!! a lot of young man (even some older man) have done stu [...]

  • Lord of the Smoke Bomb Coach:

    Happy 4th everyone! Cheers to the land of the free and home of the [...]

  • Ben:

    Harvard, I printed out your suggestions. Thanks. I will for sure [...]

  • Ben:

    1. Given the state of IU basketball was in when Crean was being recrui [...]

  • Harvard for Hillbillies:

    Because, at the end of the day, isn't that what doing something in "el [...]

  • Harvard for Hillbillies:

    Ben- The smaller chef's salad($7.50) at Chicago Pizza & Oven Gr [...]

  • Harvard for Hillbillies:

    Ben- It will be busy as hell, but Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder [...]

Find Kentucky basketball coverage on - Find Notre Dame football coverage on © Hoosier Times Inc., all rights reserved.