Here’s a little more detail on the news about IU and Kentucky keeping their basketball series on campus the next two years.
IU Senior Associate Athletic Director Tim Fitzpatrick said late this afternoon that Indiana and Kentucky have come to a verbal agreement for the 2008 game to be in Lexington and the 2009 game in Bloomington. The change is being made, he said, because Kentucky doesn’t have access any longer to Freedom Hall in Louisville on the second Saturday in December, when the game is traditionally played. Â
Yesterday, Kelvin Sampson said he thought it was only fair that Indiana host Kentucky at Assembly Hall this year after traveling to Rupp Arena last year.
As for the future of the game and where it would be played — on campus or in Louisville and Indianapolis, like it has been for the past decade and a half — he said he’d let the administration handle that.
It did. The athletic department confirmed today that the series will continue and be played at campus sites the next two seasons.
Now, who agrees? Or disagrees? Or sees the game a bit differently?
Come Saturday at 4:00 pm, I will have seen North Carolina, Duke, Connecticut, and Kentucky all venture to Assembly Hall in the past four years.Â While I love seeing national powerhouses come in, Iâ€™d like for the Hoosiers to finally get on the board in one of these marquee games. This Kentucky team is not one of its strongest, so IU better exact revenge for last yearâ€™s narrow defeat at Rupp Arena. With that said, here are five things Iâ€™ll be keeping an eye on (besides Eric Gordon):
1. DJ White vs Patrick Patterson
– Patterson is a legitimate low post threat, and is every bit the athlete that White is. DJ will need to contest shots, stay out of foul trouble, and hope Patterson is having an off night from the floor. Still, it couldnâ€™t hurt for White to get Patterson in foul trouble on the other end. Give DJ the ball on the block! Please! He scored 29 last game!
2. Jordan Crawford
– After three games, the IU backcourt finally has a sub off the bench. Crawfordâ€™s one on one skills will be needed if IU continues its lane-penetrating offense. He will also need to match the defensive intensity that the starting backcourt has put out over the last few games (most notably against SIU). Oh, and please shoot better than your 3-13 against Xavier.
3. 3-Point Shooting
– The Hoosiers shot an abysmal 16% (4-25) in last yearâ€™s border war, perhaps the main reason for the loss. If Kentucky can return the favor, I like IUâ€™s chances. The Cats come in shooting 35% from beyond the arc this season, with Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley as basically the only threats. If IU hits 8 or more threes I like our chances even more.
4. Kentuckyâ€™s Morale
– Potential starters Jodie Meeks and Derrick Jasper are sidelined with injuries, All-American freshman Alex Legion decided to transfer this week, and they boast an unimpressive RPI of 164 (per Ken Pomeroy). But what better time to turn it all around? Expect the Cats to be fired up despite the events of the 07-08 campaign so far.
5. The White-Out
– Still with the white-outs? Has IU ever won a game where there was a white-out? Do we think the stripe-out could work better than the white-out? What about two years ago when DJ was injured, and my brother thought white-out referred to White being out? Regardless, Iâ€™ll be wearing crimson (itâ€™s my good luck t-shirt).
Just so all of you know, it’s a whiteout planned for Saturday’s game against Kentucky and not a stripe-out like many thought earlier in the week.
I wrote a story on this for Saturday’s paper, and the general gist of it is that the head of Take Back Assembly Hall, IU Junior Brian Bulgatz, met with IU Assistant Athletic Director Frank Cuervo Wednesday and the two came to a compromise: Saturday’s game would be a whiteout, and a stripe-out would be planned for a highly-anticipated Big Ten matchup later in the season.
I think the stripe-out idea is very creative. Essentially, it would consist of each section alternating in color. For example, section M would be red, N would be white, and so on. In effect, Assembly Hall would be dressed in stripes. I think it would look very cool and am anxious to see how it goes.
What do all of you think? Which is cooler, white or stripes? Any other cool ideas for Assembly Hall attire during games?
For more info on TBAH, visit their website at TakeBackAH.com.
Ohio forward Tom Pritchard, an Indiana signee for the class of 2008, and his St. Edward team will play defending California state champ Campbell Hall (North Hollywood) at 9 pm. tonight on ESPN2.
Pritchard is not the only big name playing in the game: his teammate, Delvon Roe, is the No. 14 recruit in the class of 2008 according to Rivals.com and is headed to Michigan State. Campbell Hall is led by Jrue Holliday, a UCLA-bound guard ranked third in the country by Rivals.
Complaints? Compliments? Suggestions? Requests?
We’ll be tweaking for the next few days, so let us knew what you think.
On Gordon: “He’s getting better.”
And Sampson expects him to play.
Gordon won’t be 100 percent by Saturday, but like many college basketball players, he probably won’t be 100 percent for a while. In fact, let’s make an agreement to throw the term “100 percent” off the Hoosier Scoop forever.
Everybody plays with pain. Many of you are probably in pain now, sitting at your desk. Maybe it’s poor ergonomics. Or that chili dog you had for lunch.
Anyway, Gordon is expected to play.
Other notes of interest:
- Mike White’s play has changed the identity of the Hoosiers, Sampson said. His aggression on the boards has rubbed off on other players, including D.J. White.
- Sampson can sympathize — though he probably won’t until Sunday — with new Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie as he tries to work with a team he didn’t recruit. But Sampson sees evidence that the Wildcats players are buying into the new system — a process his team started about this time last year — and believes they will have a good season.
- Speaking of “new” teams adjusting to playing together, Sampson said he thought this team went through the same sort of process this year because of how many players left the team. D.J. White’s improved play is the product of learning to play with the new guys.
Indiana head coach Kelvin Sampson should be here in 10 minutes to discuss the Kentucky game.