Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A win is a win, right?

As Indiana faced off against Georgia Tech last night, without freshmen Jordan Crawford and Brandon McGee, and with AJ Ratliff already on the bench, Kelvin Sampson decided to forsake next year and un-redshirted Mike White. This tells me a few things: 1) Sampson's worried about rebounding (and he should be, IU just gave 15 offensive rebounds to an opponent for the second straight game) and 2) Sampson's worried about the interior defense, and consequently 3) Sampson doesn't think Eli Holman is ready yet to contribute.
At times in the first half, the Hoosier interior defense looked like swiss cheese, but I do think that will improve as Ellis & Gordon begin to understand more fundamentals of not reaching on the perimeter, sliding in on help-side defense, and as other players besides Stemler understand the value of drawing charges (Armon, I'm looking your way). IU did tighten up the D a bit in the second half, asserted themselves to get up 10 before not scoring a basket over the final 3:38, winning 83-79.

It does look like the point of my last post was already on Sampson's mind too. "We have to get the ball to [DJ]. We have to work from the inside out. The outside is not very good if you don't have an inside."

But still, I'm worried. Even though Indiana is clearly a better team than Georgia Tech, they let them hang around, and when they played uninspired, GT took advantage. I'm really worried about Saturday's game at Southern Illinois. Going into a hostile arena as a ranked "name" opponent and having problems with turnovers and rebounding is a recipe for disaster, and against SIU, it's a recipe for a thumping.

But who knows? Maybe the Hoosiers get it all together and get a great road win, and all is forgiven.

I called it!
I was for 5-5 last night in my ACC-Big 10 predictions. Yay me!

Yeah, but...,
I was WAAAY off on Monday's Iowa-Wake Forest game, and my predicted blowouts (IU, PU) were close games and my predicted close game (Minn.) wasn't.

in my defense
Iowa was playing for the 5th time in nine days, and still is without their best player and returning point guard, Tony Freeman. Of course, I should've known that. Also, Georgia Tech had a nice lay-off to prepare for short-handed IU, and Purdue faced a Clemson team without its best player, James Mays, and Clemson helped the scored by missing 16 of 26 free-throws. Minnesota may have had an off-night, but they just may not be as good as I thought they'd be this year.


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