Monday, March 19, 2007

Post-game thoughts

Well, I wasn't happy that IU missed a golden opportunity to upset a good UCLA club, especially due to things as simple as missed free-throws and inbounding the ball. But on the other hand, unlike certain Hoosier teams in the late 90's, this club didn't roll over when things weren't going its way. It fought back, tooth and nail, and almost sprung the big upset.

Final thoughts

*Rod, Earl, and Erreck- we'll miss you. Great job this year.
*Coach Sampson- well done. I'd like to see the defense (& the road-toughness) improve, but I'd give him a "A-" on the year. I don't see any other coaches doing much better in the situation he came into.
*DJ White- Way to be tough in the tourney. Now please just come back for one more year. With you and Eric Gordon, the '08 Final Four is calling.
*Lance Stemler- Where have you been? Nice tourney. Keep it rolling next year.
*Armon & AJ- Don't shake this off. Work this summer on your shooting, and especially on running then offense.


At 8:36 PM, Blogger The Taco From Indiana said...

Hmmmmm.....I am not sure I like Sampson's system. It seems to work, but I am not sure how. I had to switch over to NBA ball to see some structured offense.
I understand that part of the reason for the good drives in the pro game are due to the spacing. I assume this is why Sampson has the guards 30 feet from the basket and passing the ball around. Only why 30 feet??? They can't shoot out there. You could reason that the defender won't shadow them out there and they have better passing vision; except that the defenders DID shadow them out there. Why on Earth would you elmimate 1/3 of the triple threat?
Also, much of the offense seems to go through the one dribbler. Yes he amazingly quick, but does he really need to dribble for 30 seconds and then drive and throw up a fade-away? I think it was against Michigan State where the announcer was saying that DJ White needed to touch the ball on the last pocession. Nope. I think it was Calloway who just dribbled the clock down and drove and shot it.
Why wouldn't the best player who commands double teams NOT touch the ball in a pocession. Regardless of his play up to that point, he still draws a ton of attention. BTW, I suspect DJ will be back for two reasons:
1) IU is suppose to have some great recruits next year and they have a good shot.
2) I don't think DJ is a 1rst round lock in the NBA draft. 2nd round means no guaranteed contract. I think he tests the waters and then stays.
Much Props to Mr. Neps. During the last IU game he asked why we called our last timeout w/ a minute left. Sure enough it came up to bite us. Down two, we get trapped in the corner and end up throwing up some crazy fade-away that catches nothing but air. After that, the game consisted of fouls and free throws and IU never really had a chance.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger Indiana Fan said...

In the MSU game, as in the Illini game, it was frosh Armon Bassett with ball making bad decisions and not making the shots.

A defense of Kelvin Sampson:

First, it's hard to come into a program your first year and start running your own stuff. You need to know what you're working with as a coach, and then you can start tailoring your strategies to your team's strength. Both the defense & offense should look a little better next year, but keep in mind that the Hoosiers' offense was the Big Ten's BEST offense (per possession).

IU's guards are 30 feet away because they can (& will) shoot out there- at least AJ & Rod will. It also worked in the Big Ten because guys can't help from that far out, or they leave Rod or AJ open, who often made them pay. Earl Calloway often starts the offense near the halfcourt line because he is hella quick and get the defense back-pedaling. The problem when Earl was out injured (the MSU game being a key game there) was Armon took over PG duties, and Armon just can't drive & dish and like Earl.
I don't know if it's because he's a freshman, but he doesn't really look for anyone who's not under the basket. Earl was better at finding our shooters.
Also, finding DJ on offense late in games hadn't worked earlier this year. What had worked was finding a swingman with a hot hand (Rod at UConn, AJ v. Wisconsin) and riding them down the stretch. But Armon wasn't very good overall at finding DJ at appropriate times and often forced shots inside he had no business taking (like @MSU). If he's our point next year, his court sense really needs to improve.
And most of all, IU lost against a UCLA club who took down a very tough Kansas team to get to the Final Four. UCLA's defense is the best in the tournament, and made our offense look ugly.
I do think Sampson out-clevered himself with his timeouts, but he did get IU into a tie after being down 11 with less than 4 minutes to go. You can't fault him too much. I gave Sampson an A- because I thought he did a good job. Not great, but improving to a 10-6 finish in a surprising tough Big Ten after losing four starters was definitely a good result. I couldn't've have asked for more from any coach.

What I want to see improve is IU's much-praised but actually mediocre defense and rebounding, and some toughness in dealing with double-teams and traps, especially on the road.


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