ScoopTalk: Illini get better of second half

Illinois 66, Indiana 60

Rivers drives.

This one will surely disturb Indiana fans.

The Hoosiers had a healthy half-time lead (41-28) and faltered badly in the second half. Constant foul calls made the game a halting affair, and Indiana did not fare well in that area: Illinois shot more than twice as many free throws (it was 27-of-39 compared to Indiana’s 10-of-18).

The veteran inside-out duo of Demetri McCamey and Mike Tisdale shouldered the Illini, scoring 27 and 19 points respectively. McCamey also had nine assists and just one turnover.

Interviews are beginning now. I hear Bruce Weber. Ouch.

Here are some audio files.

These dudes are not pleased.

Illinois at Indiana: Discuss it here

Video From Crean

Here’s video from Tom Crean’s press conference today taken off his Twitter feed. It’s the first 10 minutes of the presser, anyway.

Crean toughens practice for Hoosiers

Since Wednesday’s debacle against Ohio State, Tom Crean has been trying to strike a balance, he said, between knocking his team down a peg and propping it back up.

Practice, players said, has been more physical. There have been scrimmages without fouls and some nasty rebounding drills. The team also had to watch film of Wednesday night’s game and see exactly how ugly it was.

But Crean said he’s also made a point to show them positive plays on film, contrasting what’s happened when the Hoosiers have done things right to what happens when they’ve done things wrong.

“We don’t have a bunch of guys that had nails for breakfast with their wheaties, and then they’re going tonight and they’re gonna munch on some boulders and bricks,” Crean said. “We don’t have that. We gotta make sure that we’re not patronizing or being condescending. We’re trying to show, ‘Hey, here’s why you got beat. Here’s what it looks like when you’re doing it right.'”

In addition, of course, the Hoosiers had to watch film on an Illinois team Crean says is extremely balanced. They have five players in double figures and a great inside-outside game with guards Demetri McCamey, D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul on the perimeter and forwards Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale inside. Tisdale stands 7-foot-1, and the 6-9 Davis is averaging a double-double.

“They can put five guys on the floor who can score,” Crean said.

Some audio follows, but we’ll have to try to put up the Crean video from Indiana’s website. The IT guys at the H-T just hooked me up with software that shrinks audio files, but even the shrunken version of Crean’s was too big to put on. I take responsibility for that because, well, I set him off on a ramble at the end.

AUDIO: Verdell Jones talks about no-fouls practice

AUDIO: Jeremiah Rivers talks about watching film from Wednesday

Illinois at Indiana women

Illinois’ Fabiola Josil has her 3-pointer rim in and out at the buzzer and Indiana comes away with a thrilling victory — not to mention a much-needed one — to even the Hoosiers’ Big Ten record at 2-2. HOOSIERS 50, ILLINI 48

0:2.7: This time Braun loops in the lefty runner to give IU its first lead of the second half. HOOSIERS 50, ILLINI 48

0:6.7: Braun has a layup blocked out of bounds, and it is IU basketball with just a few seconds between us and overtime. ILLINI 48, HOOSIERS 48

1:33: Jamie Braun’s 25-footer from straightaway ties us up once again. ILLINI 48, HOOSIERS 48

3:57: We were tied at 39, 41 and 43, but Indiana just cannot get over the hump to this point. Whitney Lindsey at the line when play resumes. ILLINI 46, HOOSIERS 43

7:04: Indiana tied it on a basket by Jori Davis and had a Davis 3 rattle in and out for the lead, but Illinois got the rebound and scored to reclaim the lead. IU has not led since it was 12-10 in the first half. ILLINI 41, HOOSIERS 39

The Big Ten is really proud of itself

Rose Bowl Ohio St Oregon Football

My dad was born in Wisconsin. He moved to California at a young age. He grew up believing the Rose Bowl was the only bowl game. Even now, it is really the only one he gives a damn about.

But even he doubts the Big Ten. When we were talking a few weeks ago about the bowl games, he said, “The Big Ten has always sucked in the bowls. Always will.”

Well to my dad and the millions of Americans who have lived by the three truths — death, taxes and the Big Ten falling apart during a NCAA postseason — the Big Ten says, “No more.”

Because, well, the Big Ten went 4-3 this bowl season. Won the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2000. And the conference is proud. Damn proud. So proud it’s going to air all four wins — and a fifth game in which it came really, really close — on the Big Ten Network during the coming days.

So enjoy it, Big Ten fans. Because 4-3 is better than 3-4. (more…)

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