Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Shake it up

I think if the loss at Iowa proved anything, it's that the Hoosiers need some scoring from someone at the 4 or 5 spots. It could be DJ, Stemler, or even Mike White, but IU just didn't get it going from anyone other than Calloway, AJ, and Rod on Saturday, and that wasn't enough.
So, I know that Sampson doesn't want to destroy Stemler's confidence, who can be so valuable when he's on (his demolition of Goran Suton in the MSU game was probably the best evidence), but Stemler really doesn't add much when he's having an off-night offensively (or an off-month). But I think Lance has to take a seat on the bench for now. He'll have other chances, but right now Indiana needs some production, and definitely needs to not be working their sets to get him open shots.
And yes, I'm unironically moving from that sentence to suggest insertion in the starting line-up of Ben Allen. Allen is the least productive member of the squad (excluding Adam Ahfeld & Kyle Taber), but putting him in the starting line-up would have the same benefits that Lance Stemler has offensively, and defensively would give DJ a break against the opponents' top post threat. On the road, it would also give Sampson the chance to see if Allen could do anything, and if not then maybe he absorbs a couple of the "off-the-bus" fouls. If Allen can contribute, then he earns more minutes. If not, then he's not getting significantly more minutes anyway.
But the real wrinkle here is that it would allow the Hoosiers to still bring Mike White off the bench while at the same time expanding his minutes. Keeling gets the "breather-minutes" for DJ, and Lance -for now- plays only mop-up duty.

Indiana can feel pretty good about itself at this point in the season. There have been some tough losses, of which Iowa was probably the worst, but nothing to really hang one's head about (Michigan, on the other hand, who Iowa had just beat in Ann Arbor, can certainly hang their heads). But still I think at this time of the year, just to let everyone know that they can't rest on their laurels, Sampson has to shake it up.


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