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ScoopTalk: Bad jokes don’t fix broken hearts


Illinois 72, Indiana 70

Perhaps you remember Demetri McCamey. The Illinois junior has scored — let me look it up — yes, eleventy-bajillion points against the Hoosiers.

Two today were particularly heart-breaking. They came during the bizarre end of the game.

Illinois called a time out with a little less than five seconds left — even though it appeared to already be running a final play — and of course designed a play for McCamey.

He just told the media that the switch off the screen forced him to the basket, and that he threw up the tear-drop shot.

“I knew it was as good as soon as it left my hand,” he said. “I practice that shot every day.”

Tom Crean immediately took to the court as the game ended, seeking out each player with open arms. He had to walk all the way to the other end of the court to find Jeremiah Rivers, the junior guard and 50 percent free-throw shooter who had tied the game by making two free throws just seconds earlier. He’d also been called for a controversial foul on a rebound.

Should be interesting to see what Crean has to say. Obviously the Hoosiers fought hard in a hostile environment, and a couple of young guys — Jordan Hulls, Derek Elston, Bobby Capobianco — took clear steps forward. But losing — and losing like that repeatedly — hurts.

[4:50 UPDATE]

Crean has arrived.

He says that usually you can go back and look at a game and find a mistake that bites at you after the fact. Not so today.

“They had the last possession,” he said, “and they did something with it. Demetri McCamey made a tough shot.”

Crean said he was concerned about more than just McCamey on that last play, and therefore didn’t try to shade to him alone.

“There’s not a lot of things we’d do differently,” he said.

More in a bit. Til then, review the box score and share all thoughts in the comments section below.

[8:08 UPDATE]

Dustin Dopirak here. Should’ve had this up earlier, but the audio follows.

AUDIO: Demetri McCamey, Mike Tisdale and Bill Cole discuss the Illini’s victory on McCamey’s last-second shot

AUDIO: Tom Crean says it was a shame someone had to lose

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls said this one was really tough

AUDIO: Verdell Jones calls it “gut-wrenching”


Hoosier Morning

IU Mens basketball vs Minnesota

Indiana’s Verdell Jones has a host of family and friends trying to get tickets for today’s game against Illinois. Monty Howell | Herald-Times

(more…)


Indiana at Illinois: Discuss it here


IU In-State Recruit Watch: Matt Carlino and Marquis Teague

Before even discussing what Marquis Teague and Matt Carlino did Friday night at South, this point must be made. Erik Fromm was the most dominant player on the floor. Granted, while Teague and Carlino in some ways cancelled each other out, Pike had absolutely no way to counter Fromm. Still 26 points and 17 rebounds is more than a little bit dominant, and is the biggest reason why South won 66-55.

So now that that’s out of the way, there’s the marquee matchup of the evening.

By watching these two Friday night, you can sort of see why both are in the position they’re in. Teague is the No. 2 rated player in the class of 2011 because his ceiling is really high. His court vision is brilliant, his handle is tremendous, and when he takes the ball into the lane, there’s not a shot he can’t make. As good as Teague is, he has nowhere near the weapons that Carlino has at his disposal. That frustrates him and forces him to take some shots that are out of his range, and by going 0-for-4 from beyond the arc, he showed that threes are still beyond his range.He also struggles at the free throw line, making just one of his four attempts from the line.

Teague was better defensively than he was the last time I saw him against North Central in November. He still wasn’t great, but he was at least active and didn’t get himself into foul trouble. He at least seemed like he wanted to be a part of the defense, and that’s an important half of the battle for him. But what he can do with the ball in his hand is still his meal ticket. He finished with 15 points and six assists.

“He’s very quick and strong,” Carlino said. “That’s his biggest strengths. He showed that in the third quarter when he pretty much went on a run by himself. That was pretty impressive.”

Teague remained non-committal about his recruitment. He said he’s going to wait until the season is over, then make his decision. He hopes to commit before the summer. The list, he said, is still the same, including Indiana, Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State, Purdue and Cincinnati.

Though Louisville and Kentucky are widely considered the favorites, IU is still hanging around despite the bumps in the rebuilding process.

“They’re one of my tops,” he said. “… I’ve been at a lot at IU games. Every game, no matter who they play, it’s sold out, no matter what their record. And that’s great. I love the crowd, all that. … I know what IU’s gonna be in the future. I know what they’ve got coming. I know right now, they’re just building it up. He just came in and he’s trying to build up the program. I know what they’ve got coming, so it’s gonna be a great school in the future.”

As a verbal commitment to Indiana, Carlino is one of the players Crean has got coming, and he showed again that he can be a valuable piece. His ceiling isn’t as high as Teague’s. He doesn’t have quite the handle and he doesn’t make quite as many highlight real passes. But there are ways in which he is more versatile. He knocked down two crucial 3-pointers in the game, showing range that Teague doesn’t have. His athleticism is very impressive, and he rebounds very well for a guard, grabbing seven rebounds to go with 14 points.

Carlino isn’t required to do nearly as much as Teague, because he has another point guard who is as talented if not more so in Dee Davis. But he can pass it and he can take it to the rack with ease. He made what was unquestionably the move of the night in the second quarter when he went to the lane dribbling the ball behind his back and then between his legs before finishing a layup.

“I do that play in practice sometimes,” he said. “It’s just instinct. I was mad I didn’t dunk it though, because the crowd’s always getting on me for not dunking it.”

AUDIO: Marquis Teague talks about his play and his recruitment

AUDIO: Matt Carlino talks about playing Teague and South’s win


Move to big lineup seems likely

Tom Crean isn’t big on talking about lineups, often telling media members they shouldn’t “self-analyze” how he chooses the five guys he puts on the floor.

So when asked if he was going to move to a bigger lineup in Saturday’s 2 p.m. game against Illinois, he politely side-stepped the question.

“We’ve done a lot of different things this week,” he said. “We’ve looked at different combinations, we’re just gonna see what we decide to do once we get into tomorrow. But again, it’s not as much about starting lineups as it is about just being productive. Like we said the other day, the most important thing is that we’re better rebounding the ball. Certainly when we win in this league, we get guard rebounds, we get rebounds all the way across the board. And when we don’t win, we’re inconsistent with our rebounding, so it just kind of remains to be seen for tomorrow.” (more…)


IU hosting reception for signing day

Football signing day is Wednesday, Feb. 3, and Indiana is holding a reception in the Hall of Champions in Memorial Stadium for Varsity Club donors, students, and the public, according to an athletic department release. Coach Bill Lynch will be there to introduce the class of 2010. Refreshments will be provided and parking will be available via Gate 5 off of 17th Street.



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