Tuesday, December 04, 2007

IU over TSU 84-72, Gordon injured

So, the Hoosiers beat Tennessee State, and it could've been a real blowout, but some things fell TSU's way, and Eric Gordon only played 8 minutes. It looks like Gordon's going to be fine, just a little sore for a couple of days. Hopefully he uses the time to watch tape of Kentucky. What I found impressive about the IU-TSU box score wasn't so much DJ White's dominance (altho' it is nice to see DJ rounding into form), or even Mike White 11 pts & 8 rebs., but Jamarcus Ellis stat line: 10 pts, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, and 7 turnovers! Without Gordon in the line-up, it's obvious that Ellis will be handling the ball a lot, as he shifts to the 2-spot, Stemler shifts to the 3, and Mike White takes over power forward. In that line-up, Stemler needs to be hitting threes as foes aren't going to leave Bassett open, but will probably be otherwise trying to clog the lane. It was good also to see Brandon McGee back and producing. Call me crazy, but I think McGee could be a starter next year.

Anyway, I expected TSU to be a semi-decent team coming into Assembly Hall as I projected them to finish 3rd in the mediocre OVC. But they've not beaten a D-I team yet, even though Bruce Price is a player that any team could use. Would you tell me that UCLA and UNC have no room in their rotation for this guy? C'mon. At any rate, the Tigers have 5 more road games awaiting them, so they could be looking pretty bad before their conference play starts.

While I'm confident in our backcourt as I think Gordon will be fine for Kentucky and IU will be welcoming back Jordan Crawford, the facts are that Gordon is our back-up point when Bassett sits. Ellis is a nice all-around player, and Crawford is a smooth scorer, but to break UK's pressure we're going to need Bassett and Gordon in a "composed attack" state-of-mind. IU needs to beat UK's press (and if I were UK I would certainly test a team that doesn't necessarily have a true point guard) and then needs to work the ball deliberately into DJ. UK doesn't have anyone that can handle DJ White inside, and DJ will draw fouls and move the defense so Stemler, Bassett, Crawford, and Bassett can get good perimeter shots. Hopefully, the Hoosiers won't turn the ball over 18 times and will shoot better than 25% on threes - as they did against TSU.
Prepare, Eric. We'll need you on Saturday.


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