This is the fourth of four Indiana basketball reports this afternoon from Chris Korman. It comes from a conversation today with Tom Pritchard.
Few ties to the Kelvin Sampson era in Indiana basketball remain.Tom Pritchard, a freshman forward on Tom Creanâ€™s first team, is one of them.
He committed to Indiana last September, before the university revealed that Sampson had committed more NCAA violations.
Pritchard signed with the Hoosiers in November anyway, and he and one other Sampson recruit, guard Matt Roth, honored their letters of intent.
Through four weeks of conditioning and individual workouts, Pritchard has observed a difference in the IU program he plays for from the one he originally signed up for.
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[6 P.M. UPDATE]
Here’s a scouting report from a guy who would know, Tom Pritchard.
Pritchard and Jobe face each other every day, all day.
“He just likes to power it. Heâ€™s a power guy. He doesnâ€™t really take that many jump shots, but he can definitely get position and he has a lot of strength in his upper and lower body and when he finishes he finishes strong.”
There’s no getting around the fact that Tijan Jobe is a basketball neophyte, a player who has received about the same amount of coaching so far as your average junior high player in Indiana.
Jobe arrived in the United States four years ago, then bounced through four schools and, according to Mike Burris, his coach at his stop before IU, Olney Central College, he wasn’t consistently schooled in the basics of basketball on a daily basis until about a year ago.
There’s also no getting around the fact that Jobe is 7-foot and 260 pounds.
“I think I can help the team mostly on defense, probably,â€ he said Wednesday. â€œBecause I have a long wingspan. Iâ€™ll make use of that.”
Offensively, Jobe won’t be asked to do much. That’s a reflection of Crean’s offense as much as it is Jobe’s ability. Post players are expected to set screens for and kick the ball out to the guards; it is their duty to spread the floor.
â€œI like facing my back to the basket,â€ he said. â€œThey try to make me face the defender and do some pick and rolls with the point guards and try to make the floor open for everybody.â€
Also, as evidenced by the picture I’ve posted with this blog, Jobe will be able to dunk thunderously. So that’s good.
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Check out Jared Poertner’s preview of Saturday’s game by clicking here.
Looks like Indiana will be without both of its starting safeties on Saturday when it plays Michigan State.
Hoosiers coach Bill Lynch had hoped that strong safety Austin Thomas would recover from a lower right leg injury in time to play, but said after practice Wednesday that he now thinks that is unlikely.
Free safety Nick Polk will also not play. He has an unspecified left knee injury.
Senior Joe Kleinsmith and Brandon Mosley saw the most reps at safety on Wednesday, with Jerimy Finch also getting extensive work at the position.
Lynch said that staff had discussed moving Mitchell Evans â€” the wide receiver who began his career as a quarterback before moving to safety and playing there as a freshman and was once again a quarterback this spring and early fall (whew) â€” to safety again but decided to hold off because, as it appears now, Polk and Thomas should not miss many more games.
Indiana junior big man Tijan Jobe met with the media for the first time today, and among the topics he discussed was his roommate, Kyle Taber.
Taber, the lone returning scholarship player for the Hoosiers, had knee surgery in late August and is expected to be out until at least early November.
According to Jobe, though, Taber has begun working out at Assembly Hall again.
“He’s been doing some work, all non-contact, but just running by himself,” Jobe said.
In the meantime, Jobe and freshman forward Tom Pritchard have been facing each other frequently (being the only true big men on the team) with assitant coaches Roshown McLeod and Bennie Seltzer filling in when needed.
Jobe was asked if he could get the better of McLeod, a former Duke player and first-round pick in the NBA draft whose career was cut early by injury.