Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Indiana Struggles to its first Big 10 win

NCAA Basketball - Indiana Hoosiers/Iowa Hawkeyes Box Score Wednesday January 2, 2008 - Yahoo! Sports
This is just what I was afraid of . . . Indiana reverts to its Xavier form in beating a weak Iowa team. The game wasn't really as close as the score indicated, and I'm not worried about the late-game heroics displayed by Iowa's Justin Johnson, who went unconscious at just the right time.
But I am worried about a few things, in no particular order:
- Too often IU reverted to pure 1x1 play, forcing quick shots both inside and outside. We showed on occasion how we could break down the defense with good screens, penetration and dishing off. But too often Gordon, Ellis and Crawford forced the action unnecessarily.
- Sampson's substitution pattern was strange and disconcerting. We have DJ, Gordon and Ellis on the court for long, long stretches when things aren't working in the offense, and the defense is breaking down. I want to see more rapid substitutions, and think that Brandon McGee needs to be in the rotation from time to time.
- I don't understand what happened to Armon Bassett. Was he hurt? In the doghouse? On the bench, he didn't seem to be hurt or particularly chastised, so I am not sure why we didn't see more of him on a night when Crawford was spotty at best.
- DeAndre Thomas had some good opportunities, but was too tentative on some (forget the shot fake when you're inside 5 feet, Dre. Power up!) and too aggressive at others (backcourt foul on the defensive end - just silly). More playing time should help him to smooth out these aspects of his game.

On the plus side, Jamarcus Ellis kept us in this game late in the first half and early in the second half with clutch rebounds, baskets and defensive stands. DJ was dominant on the boards at times - including some key ones. And when Gordon really wants to score, he is pretty darn tough to stop.

It's good that we have weak sister Michigan next, although they showed some solid flashes against a very tough Wisconsin team tonight. Onward and upward!

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