Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Yikes! So much to write about.

Boy, you just get busy for a week or so, and the news just stacks up!

Well, let's break 'em down into bite-sized categories:

IU Soccer
The kickers won their NCAA tourney opener then lost in the round of 16 on PKs. They could've won it with their final Penalty kick, but Sophomore striker Brian Ackley hit the left post. Inches away from the round of eight, but as I said earlier, I think that would've been as far as these Hoosiers could go. Tough defense, but just not a goal-scoring squad. And if you can't score at least one goal in 120 minutes of playing time, then you don't deserve to move ahead.
The good news is next year looks pretty good. The seniors Julian Dieterle, John Michael Hayden, Kevin Robson, and Josh Tudela will be missed, but there's a solid crew returning (8 of 11 top scorers/3 of top 4) next year with:

Promising young Goalkeeper Chay Cain,
Defenders Greg Stevning, and Ofori Sarkodie, and Charley Traylor,
Midfielders Kevin Alston, Brad Ring, Eric Alexander, & Jon Mellencamp,
Strikers Brian Ackley, Kevin Noschang, and Darren Yeagle

and redshirted frosh phehom Daniel Kelly will join the rotation next year, to boot.

IU's tradition of excellence should continue, but we'll have to wait to see if they'll be a real title threat.

IU football
went on to break hearts as usual, but it was the best year for the sport since Bill Mallory was coaching. Next year looks pretty good tho'. Coach Hep is turning things around.

IU Basketball
Since the win over Lafayette, they've gone 2-1, but played themselves out of the preseason NIT. It's hard to take too many lessons from this early in the season, especially a NIT loss to Butler where the NCAA is evidently continuing their early season experiments. This one appears to be: "What if we had the Referees whistle on every possession?"
I gotta say, I don't like it.

But that aside, IU has both potential and problems. Frosh Joey Shaw and Armon Bassett are showing some really exciting upside, and even Xavier Keeling might be able to help out the team this season too.

But let's break down IU player-by player thus far:

DJ White: (14ppg/7.5rpg/1apg/1.8bpg/1spg/2topg)
Looking good, when he's not in foul trouble. Or limping. Jeez, we'll be watching those feet this entire year. All we really need from DJ is a little better passing, and to just stay healthy.

Rod Wilmont:(14.3ppg/5.3rpg/0.5apg/2spg/1topg)
So dangerous. Both to opponents and to Indiana. I love his confidence, but he can take us out of game as quick as putting us into it. But he does rebound, and that's valuable on this squad.

Lance Stemler: (12.3ppg/4rpg/1.3apg/1.3topg)
Good scoring and hustle, but passing, rebounding, defense are not really strong points. Would probably make a better 3-forward than the 4-forward he's playing now.

Earl Calloway: (11ppg/3.8apg/2.8rpg/1.3spg/3.5topg)
Amazing first game, less impressive since then. Still, should be the starter all season long, but needs to show more of a killer instinct.

AJ Ratliff: (8ppg/2.3rpg/1.3apg/3topg)
AJ has some nice plays, but still just not playing at potential. Maybe he'll make a Dane Fife-like turnaround this or next year, but he also needs to 1) stop turning the ball over & 2) hit the glass.

Armon Bassett: (3.5ppg/2.5rpg/4.3apg/2topg)
Great offensive instincts. But defense? That needs to improve.

Joey Shaw: (6ppg/3.5rpg/1apg/1bpg/.8spg/2topg)
Great upside showing here, but also too many turnovers. Classic freshmen mistakes being made, but this kid looks like a future starter.

Ben Allen:(1.3ppg/3rpg/1.3topg)
Much better rebounding instincts, and the shots will fall, but he also needs to work on catching the ball in traffic.

Mike White:(3.5ppg/1rpg/1.3topg)
Nice scoring touch, but where's the rebounding? May be the most disappointing so far, but maybe Sampson wants to get more effort and recognition of offensive & defensive schemes before he starts giving him more opportunities.

Erreck Suhr:(1.5ppg/1.3rpg)
Good job drawing charges, and his shots will fall, but Zero assists?

Xavier Keeling:(3ppg/1rpg)
Only played in two games, but showing a nice scoring touch and good athleticism.

Too many turnovers, too little rebounding. Those need to tighten up big time if IU's going to have a shot against Duke. More about that later.

Also, IU landed two more recruits. 6-4 combo guard Jordan Crawford will probably back up Bassett at the point next season. And Top 100 SG 6-4 Eshaunte Jones will spend a year in prep school and rejoin the Hoosiers in Fall 2008. Just after AJ Ratliff and (probably) Eric Gordon have moved on.

Bears and Colts continue on, Colts suffer first loss. Still hoping to see them both in the Superbowl!

Chicago is underachieving right now, but Scott Skiles' clubs often get off to slow starts.
Indiana has a star in Al Harrington, which is good given the mediocre nature of the rest of the team. Sigh.
San Antonio doing well, but as with IU, everything rests on the health of the big man (Timmy).


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