Wednesday, January 18, 2006

IU Over UI

The win over Illinois is big for IU's rpi rating, and another nice W over a conference championship contender. Indiana played pretty good defense, but when Dee Brown's not hitting, the Illini are just incompetent on offense, relying on the missed shot and fast break for most of their offense. However, just when it looked like Indiana was demonstrating that it was a better team, they go and let the Illini take some moral victory from it and prove that the Hoosiers will almost certainly be hopeless on the road versus title contenders.

I was thinking this the other day, and then Marco goes out and throws a cheap shot and confirms it. Mike Davis is the new Don Chaney. Both can get their guys to play pretty decent defense, can get some really good talent, and both have had a nice NCAA tourney run (Chaney to the Elite Eight 3 times, Davis to the Final in '02), and both are just slightly below the top-level of Championship coaching. Sure, Chaney is a hall-of-famer, but that's largely for his crazy 2-3 match-up zone that has proven ton be remarkably less effective once teams figured out how to maximize the 3-point shot. It's a gimmick that's easily figured out, like the Pitino full-court press. Davis also relies on a gimmick, the NBA offense.

These gimmicks will take them far with the right personnel, but probably not ever to a championship (although eventually Jimmy Boeheim got the right frosh and won a title, so who knows?). Anyway, enough speculation. I still think Davis is a decent coach, but still not what Indiana deserves. But you know, I wish him the best. And I hope that this team continues to win, but maybe they can just go ahead and hit their free-throws down the stretch.

late edit:

It was unfair of me not to mention that I really appreciated Marco & Rod & Monroe battling through injuries to play a lot of minutes and at crucial times. Whatever else may be wrong with these guys' heads at times, they do want to be on the floor to help their team win. And that's worth praising.


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