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Indiana center Tom Pritchard goes up for the rebound against Minnesota. James Brosher | Herald-Times
Judging from the calls to Tom Crean’s weekly radio show on Monday night, the Indiana fan base is pleased with the Hoosiers’ win over Minnesota, but they’re still a little concerned with the free throw shooting.
The Hoosiers were 25-for-40 from the line (62.5 percent) against the Golden Gophers, which put them a hair under their season average of 65.5 percent. As per usual, junior point guard Jeremiah Rivers was one of the most frustrating detractors, making just one of his four free throws. He’s now shooting 50.7 percent from the line, problematic for anyone, especially a point guard who handles the ball so often. (more…)
OK, it’s mid-January, and it’s way too early to discuss this, but ESPN’s Joe Lunardi just posted his Bracketology today with five teams in from the Big Ten in Michigan State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Ohio State and Illinois. Of interest, the Fighting Illini are one of the last four teams in and Minnesota is one of the last four teams out. That loss to IU obviously didn’t help the Gophers.
It took a few days, but I finally reached Florida Air Academy coach Aubin Goporo, who confirmed Scout.com’s report that 6-foot-7 forward Will Yeguette has been offered a scholarship by Indiana.
“I actually just talked to coach Tom Crean an hour ago,” Goporo said Monday afternoon from the school in Melbourne, Fla.
What the Hoosiers are interested in, Goporo said, is the same thing a number of teams are.
“He can defend and he can rebound,” Goporo said. “I think the whole thing is really rebounding, I believe. Indiana got involved based on a tournament in Florida with all the high school kids and he had 50 rebounds in three games.”
But there is more to his game, Goporo said. On defense, Goporo said Yeguette could defend post men and point guards. On offense, he can pass, handle the ball and score from inside and out.
“He’s got great post moves,” Goporo said. “He’s got a mid range jumper. He shoots it very well. He really understands the game.”
Centers Tom Pritchard and Bobby Capobianco might not have made any of the signature plays in Indiana’s 81-78 overtime win over Minnesota on Sunday, and both of them fouled out before the overtime. But their improved play still made a significant difference, and made the five spot look like less of a weakness than it has all season.
“I just think the bottom line there was the movement and the energy and the effort we got from them,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said Monday morning on the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference. “Especially on the backboards.”
Pritchard earned his starting job back after two games out of the starting lineup. He responded by scoring seven points and grabbing six rebounds, though his foul trouble continued.
“I’m not sure if I was looking for him to respond to get his job back,” Crean said. “I just wanted him to respond and be the player he was capable of being.”
The state’s other Big Ten coach was not nearly as pleased with his team’s play. Purdue entered the week ranked No. 6 in the nation with a 14-1 record, but lost to both Ohio State and Northwestern this week extending their losing streak to three games.
“Success can mess with you,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said.
Painter said he started to see a fall-off in his team’s effort in their win over Minnesota, which gave them a 14-0 start. The Boilermakers won that game by 19 points, but he said he could tell then they weren’t playing together.
Since then, things have gone downhill.
“We’re just not very tough,” Painter said. “We don’t play hard enough, we don’t chase rebounds hard enough.”
Indiana fans rushed the court after the overtime win against Minnesota. James Brosher | Herald-Times
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