UAB at Butler

By   |   Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008 - 6:45 PM   |   4 comments

Butler 72, UAB 68 (Final)

Vaden misses a pair of 3s with UAB trailing by one point and Butler is able to pull away at the end.

Vaden does finish with 23 points on 5-of-11 shooting from 3.

Butler 48, UAB 45 (12:52)

Shelvin Mack, a freshman from Lexington, has hit all five 3-pointers he’s taken and has 17 points this half as Butler has taken advantage of UAB’s shooting struggles.

Vaden did tie the score momentarily at 45 with an impressive 3; he came off a screen and shot without setting his feet. That’s what sets him apart.

By the way, it looks like Illinois and Purdue are playing a spirited one just up the road in West Lafayette.

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Rick Greenspan and how you’ll remember him

By   |   Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008 - 2:15 PM   |   74 comments

We ran this story on departing athletic director Rick Greenspan in the paper today. It’s long, but I think worth a read. I’ll paste it after the jump for all the non-subscribers who are hastening our demise.

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IU women top Spartans

By   |   Monday, Dec. 29, 2008 - 9:26 PM   |   13 comments

If you’ve been waiting for wins to come see the Indiana women’s basketball team, now is your chance. The Hoosiers won at Michigan State Monday night, 62-48, their eighth straight win. Iowa visits Assembly Hall Sunday at 4 p.m.

IU built a 41-23 halftime lead against the Spartans, and kept the momentum going through the second half. Jori Davis paced the Hoosiers with 14 points, while Amber Jackson and Jamie Braun added 12 each. Whitney Thomas pulled down 13 rebounds, but scored just seven points, leaving her nine shy of 1,000 for her career.

Tom Crean on the radio

By   |   Monday, Dec. 29, 2008 - 6:39 PM   |   7 comments

Don wants to know about what Big Ten opponents have learned from watching tape.

Iowa is going to put a lot of pressure on Indiana, Crean says. The Hawkeyes are “very improved” he says.

Don thinks it’s interesting that the Big Ten is so high in the RPI. Thinks the conference is as good as it’s been in many years.

Tom Crean agrees. He credits the new coaches, such as Todd Lickliter, Tubby Smith and John Belein. Those guys had some players to build around, Crean says, and have done a good job adding parts and implementing their systems.

Next caller: What player or players have made the most progress since the beginning of summer?

It’s hard for Crean to answer that question. “Really, until the end of the year I try not to answer that,” Crean says. “We’re trying to get them all better.”

Crean closes his part of show by thanking the fans for being here.


Pete, a friend of Tom’s, apparently is calling in just to give his support. A nice gesture.

Now Adam from Indy. He’s an assistant at a high school and he wants to know what stats they follow during the game.

Apparently it changes from game to game, depending on the matchups. But deflections always matter, as do rebound differentials.

Sometimes they’ll set a goal. They wanted No. 34 to turn the ball over six times last night; he turned it over just twice and had 19 points.

Crean’s also paying special attention to how his team turns the ball over. Is it being weak with the ball? Is it a charge?

Deflections, Crean says, are a barometer of active defense. That’s why he likes them so much.

A fan here wants to know what Steven Gambles must do to play.

“He’s got to work his way in,” Crean says.

The guys who didn’t play Sunday night, Crean says, haven’t earned the right to. They aren’t showing a reason.

Except for Broderick Lewis. His energy has been good. “He’s become an oustanding scout guy for us at practice.”


Billy from Vincennes is asking about the 3-point line.

Crean’s only really comfortable with two guys shooting from the new line, which moved back a foot. They are Matt Roth and Devan Dumes. The other players are still adjusting.

Next caller wants to know why Crean’s wife wasn’t at the game. She was. But she was sitting in a different area, with Crean’s mom. She watched her first Indiana game last night.

Crean is asked whether Bawa was one of the big guys sitting behind the bench. He wasn’t.


Kipp Schutz suffered a minor injury over the weekend and will go back to baseball. Eric Arnett, the pitcher who has worked with the team, will continue to do so. “He comes in and battles everyday,” Crean says.

“I joke, but it’s true: we’ve had more baseball scouts that basketball scouts at our practices,” Crean says.

To the phones. Jeff from Bloomington: He just wants to say that he and many other fans are 100 percent behind Crean. He’s also got a two-part question: what’s up with Tijan Jobe?

Crean says that Jobe got 100 percent of the points he could in one of his classes, even though he’s only been in the country a few years. “That’s how hard he works,” Crean says.

But it just has “not come alive” yet on the court to the point where Jobe can earn more minutes.

Second question: do the kids come in frequently to ask for extra help?

“We don’t do that enough,” Crean says.

He wants the players to want it on their own.

“The investment never means as much as when it’s your own idea,” he says. Crean gave a list to his players of the hardest-working guys he’s been around. They’re all in the NBA.

“We’re not there yet,” Crean says.

And, frankly, he says, part of the evaluation each player will go through as the program builds is how much extra work they’ve done.

Crean says Kyle Taber disappoints him in this way. He thought that as a veteran leader he would get the younger kids into the gym more often.


Let’s chat about the Lipscomb game, Don says.

Crean thought his team played with a lot of energy.

“There was a time there where it was a lot of fun,” he said.

But it was fool’s gold. While Indiana was shooting 67 percent in the first half and feeling good, it also was failing to make defensive stops. And without one or two guys to pull the offense out of a lull like the one the Hoosiers hit after taking a 21-point lead, there’s no way to win unless you can make stops and get easy buckets as a result.

They can’t “play out of it.”

Indiana did limit its turnovers to 13. “There is progress being made,” he said. The players also pivoted better, made some sharper cuts. Crean doesn’t always see the glass-half-full angle on film, but members of his staff do.


Tom Crean arrives. Those who are joined here are pleased.

Apparently Indiana had two practices today.

“It was almost three,” Crean quips.

Fischer’s asking Crean about how he’s handling the last two losses. Crean gives a line he has a few times, saying there’s a difference between disappointment and discouragement.

He’s the former. And so they’ll keep working. What’s happening now, he says, is the effect of what happened in April and May when he took over the team and got rid of all but two players.

Crean again saying that he’s proud of how his players did in the classroom first semester.

Now the question about the freshmen wall.

“You can’t see it coming. It’s like a UFO,” Crean says. “You can’t quite identify it but you know it’s there, it’s something.”

Usually a team works through the freshmen wall because, well, at least a fourth of the team isn’t made up of freshmen.


Don Fischer opens the show by recounting the losses to Northeastern and Lipscomb. Tell you what: Don has a way of making them seem not quite as bad as some of you thought. Growing pains, he says. Calls the upcoming Big Ten slate an “unenviable task” for the young Hoosiers.


Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean will take part in his weekly radio show tonight at about 7:05. I’m at Coaches Bar and Grill and will provide updates.

Lipscomb at Indiana: Discuss it here

By   |   Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008 - 4:40 PM   |   41 comments

Zeigler charged

By   |   Friday, Dec. 26, 2008 - 3:16 PM   |   7 comments

[4:30 Update]

Zeigler has been suspended indefinitely by Bill Lynch.

Here’s the press release from IU.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University football coach Bill Lynch has indefinitely suspended redshirt freshman offensive lineman Dennis Zeigler (Indianapolis/Pike) following his involvement in a crime which resulted in criminal charges being filed against him. Zeigler saw action in the first four games of 2008 before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
“He (Zeigler) faces serious allegations of misconduct that in my opinion require immediate action,” Lynch said.  “As a result, I have suspended him indefinitely from all team activities, pending the legal resolution of this matter.”

“As a consequence of the serious nature of this allegation, this student-athlete has been suspended from his intercollegiate activities immediately,” Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan said. “While there must be an opportunity for a fair adjudication of this allegation, we are bitterly disappointed that he has unfortunately placed himself in this regrettable position. We recruit student-athletes and provide them with a unique opportunity to achieve their highest academic and athletic potential. At the same time we educate them about proper social behavior, and accordingly expect them to be productive, contributing members of our community.”


You knew this was coming (some of you from the beginning, when reports of the 6-7, 300-pound dude crawling around surfaced), but Indiana offensive lineman Dennis E. Zeigler, 19, has now been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary (a class B felony) and  conspiracy to commit robbery (a class C felony) in the same incident that involved freshman cornerback Cortez Smith.

Smith faces two B-felonies and has been suspended from the team by coach Bill Lynch.

There has been no word on Zeigler’s status.

Here’s a story cops reporter Marci Creps wrote on Christmas Eve.

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D-Wade excels at basketball, gift giving

By   |   Friday, Dec. 26, 2008 - 3:01 PM   |   1 comment

Because former Marquette player Dwyane Wade is sort of an adopted son to Indiana fans now, I thought  I’d comment on this story, which you’ve probably already seen. The gist of it is that, well, Wade gave somebody a house (and various accouterments) for Christmas.

To be totally forthcoming, I’ve been critical of the sort of coverage that sometimes springs from athletes giving. So many of the stories strike me as hollow and sappy. Because I tend to believe that much is expected of those to whom much is given. Wade buying somebody a house is like the Average Joe giving his $500 a year to United Way or his church; Wade’s last contract was worth a reported $63 million over four years (which probably isn’t bad for a guy averaging 29 points, 7 assists and 2.2 steals per game). That’s not even taking into account his endorsement deals.

But something about this just struck me as …. right. Maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s the tough financial times, or maybe it’s all the talk we’ve had this year of the markets falling and bailouts needed and “wealth redistribution” suddenly becoming the same as socialism and jobs lost and so on and so on…. but this one hit me differently.

I’ve been around big-time sports long enough to know it’s not the place to find inspiration. But Wade’s message got through to me, even if it was a comparatively small gesture by him that will embolden me for just a few days before I lapse back into the world of people who compare cars and houses and watches and rings as a way of measuring themselves.

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