Wednesday, December 23, 2009

IU loses to Loyola

Maybe we all should be getting used to December letdowns with Tom Crean. Perhaps like his mentor Izzo, there's just a period of head-scratching losses in the early winter so that the team can learn and grow. In any case, it's hard to find many silver linings to this loss. The Hoosiers continue to take one step forward and quickly take it right back. The overall statline is horrible from an efficiency perspective, the best players for IU were Rivers and Pritchard, and then Hulls had an okay game, while Creek and Jones at least were mediocre. Watford, Elston, Dumes, and the others contributed nothing or were even negative impacts for the Hoosiers.

It's really a shame, because Rivers almost won the game for the Hoosiers on his own, but like Chris Webber, ended up being the goat instead, missing a lot of free-throws down the stretch and instead of blocking a crucial three, fouled the player giving Loyola its second four-point play of the night.

This is the third game so far where the Hoosiers should have a win and don't. If they had gotten this one and Boston, they'd be sitting at 7-4 and the rebuilding would look like it was on schedule. But they're 5-6, and its looking shaky instead.

In other Big Ten news, it's good to see both and the tempo-free godfather, TAFKATBTW, calling for more PT for Zack Gibson. My latest efficiency numbers put him as the top non-starter in per-possession production, and #6 overall in the conference, behind only Evan Turner, Manny Harris, Draymond Green, Jon Leuer, and Damian Johnson. Furthermore, last year he stod out as a player who could use more time, and the year before that I had him pegged as one the top ten players in the conference to look out for the 2008-2009 season. The fact that he's seeing less than 20 possessions a game when Beilien is desperately looking for help for Harris & Sims suggests that maybe small-ball ought to take a hiatus. At this point, what's Michigan got to lose?


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