UCLA, currently leading 53-29, is going to present so many problems for the winner of the Indiana-Gonzaga game.
Darren Collison, who sprained his ankle earlier in the week but is showing no signs of it, is smooth and has good control of the team. The big guys are all athletic and capable.
Most interesting thing about this game so far? Well, there’s been a lot of talk about Indiana’s procedure during time outs. The team gathers around coach Kelvin Sampson on the floor, sitting on little stools.
UCLA coach Ben Howland sends his players to his bench, then takes a good 20 seconds or more discussing just with his assistants. Then all of them go over to the bench to address the players.
One thing we’ve noticed this year is that Sampson usually interacts with Rob Senderoff the most. Senderoff, who is the recruiting coordinator and works with the post players, also helps Sampson call plays.
Indiana’s other two assistants, Ray McCallum and Jeff Meyer, do talk to the players a bit. Jerry Green, a former head coach who serves as director of basketball operations, and Travis Steele, a young guy with coaching experience who is the video coordinator, also take some notes and talk to players. But for the most part, they’re not communicating with Sampson.
Some national basketball writer — Andy Katz or Seth Davis or someone of that ilk — should use his ability to get access to all these coaches and write an article comparing the way different staffs are put together and how they work during the game.
It’s halftime and UCLA has pulled away. From the latest scores flashing across my computer screen it looks like the lower seeds are still holding their spots. Indiana could have the chance to be the first one to be…oh, I dare not utter it….although it begins with u and ends with “pset.”
ESPN’s “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi has ranked the entire field. Read it here.
I point this out mostly because he considers Illinois to be the 14th best team in the tournament, ahead of Wisconsin (17th).
The Badgers did beat the Illini in Chicago. Right?
Indiana, by the way, is 37 and projected to lose tonight.
Predict whether you’ll have the chance to make any more Indiana predictions this year.
Give us the:
– Final score
– Leading scorer for each team, and how many he’ll have
– One thing Indiana has to do to win
Glorious day here in the capital of the Sunshine State.
Like many state capitals, Sacramento has a clean, somewhat stifling government-ness to it. The downtown is really quite charming, with broad walkways of cobblestone, aromatic coffee shops and statues of naked Greek dudes.
What sort of surprised Doug and me this morning was the lack of bustle. There just aren’t many people wandering around. I lived in downtown Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, and people were always out enjoying the day, especially on days like this.
But we can’t really complain.
Happy National College Basketball day, by the way. It is, like all of this country’s great holidays, a secular celebration of inclusion.
After breakfast at a small deli and a delightful morning stroll, Doug and I have retreated to the hotel room to observe what’s happening around the country. Reading the papers this morning, I had to smirk at Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s contention that the Cardinals playing in Lexington wasn’t a big advantage.
Well, Louisville is currently embarrassing Stanford, which should probably just jump on a plane back to Palo Alto without even bothering to finish the game.
Bob Knight, a great friend of the Hoosier Scoop blog, is about to be sent home. Texas Tech is down five with less than 30 seconds remaining.
Anyway, check back for updates. Doug is currently writing a couple of stories and we’re preparing to podcast in-between our various radio appearances. All of that should be posted in the next hour or so on www.HoosiersHQ.com and then we’ll head out to Arco Arena to begin our coverage from the site.
Time to head out of the arena for the night. It’s only 8 p.m. here, so we’ve got some roaming to do. Where we are in Sacramento doesn’t seem bad. Should be able to find a good place to relax.
Still just a lot of shooting and clapping. Sorry. I’ve got nothing.
Okay, Indiana’s “practice” is now open to the press and the public.
Too bad it consists of nothing but stretching and jump shooting and lots of clapping by Adam Ahlfeld, easily the most enthusiastic player in all of college athletics. I dare you to challenge me on that. Go ahead, bring a cheerleader. You stand no chance.
It was unrealistic to think that the Hoosiers would work on Gonzaga-specific plays on offense or defense. Most of that stuff is done in walk-throughs back at the hotel, anyway. In fact, there have been times this year that the managers have had to create basketball courts on ballroom floors using tape so that Sampson could put the players through the exact steps he wants them to take.
Sampson has spoken.
Most interesting discussion of the day came when Indy Star columnist Bob Kravitz asked the coach what grade he’d give himself for this season. Sampson deferred to Kravitz, who dispensed with a B.
Sampson seemed OK with that at first but later fought for a B+.
Me, I think it’s too early to decide. I think Doug’s planning a end-of-year report card, whenever the end of the year gets here.
Indiana’s three captains — seniors Rod Wilmont and Earl Calloway and junior D.J. White — just addressed the media for a few minutes.
D.J. White said he’s treating this just like any other game, despite the fact that it’s his first NCAA Tournament appearance. He watched from the bench last year, out with a foot injury. He believes defensive rebounding will be the key to the game.
Wilmont believes he can shrug off his terrible game against Illinois.
Calloway will probably guard Raivio, Gonzaga’s leading scorer. He compared him to Michigan State guard Drew Neitzel, but said he’s better off the dribble.
The H-T has arrived after a crowded flight this morning. Weather here couldn’t be much better but we’re crammed into the media room at Arco Arena trying to get a few stories done before deadline. The clocks here say 4:30, and it’s 7:30 back home and my tired brain is telling me it’s about 10:30.
Indiana’s players should be up at the podium in a minute and I’ll try to file a report of what they’re saying.
I’ll get back to you in a few.
Hey all, admin J.J. here –
Chris just called me from his layover, ready to board a several-hour flight to Sacramento.
Because they’ll be up in the sky, Doug and Chris won’t be able to do the live discussion today at 11 on HTO.
However, send us your questions anyway. I’ll forward them to Doug and Chris, who plan to answer them for a transcript later today. Better than nothing, right?
Go here to send in your question; we’ll let you know when the transcript goes up.
This won’t matter as far as Indiana’s game against Gonzaga Thursday, but I thought you might be interested in today’s update on the legal status of Gonzaga forward Josh Heytvelt, who was the Zags’ second-leading scorer and leading rebounder before his suspension last month for drug possession.
According to the Spokane SpokesmanReview.com Heytvelt struck a surprise deal today with prosecutors that will allow him to avoid prosecution by participating in a diversion program in which he has to stay out of trouble for one year.
For today’s full report from the SpokesmanReview.com, click here.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few said Sunday that Heytvelt and teammate Theo Davis, who was arrested in the same incident, definitely will not play in the NCAA Tournament and their suspensions will last until the end of this season.
According to a SpokesmanReview.com report, police just before midnight on Feb. 9 stopped the vehicle in which Heytvelt and Davis were riding and found about 33 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms in a backpack in the cargo area of the vehicle, which belonged to Heytvelt, along with a small amount of marijuana that police said Davis admitted to having in his possession.