Monday, January 11, 2010

Familiar refrain

The Hoosiers have the talent, but the not the maturity to put these kind of games (Illinois) away.

I'm coming around on starting Hulls, as he's getting comfortable and has a really low turnover percentage out there. It's also nice to have three point guards on the floor at the same time. However, with Pritchard and Watford seemingly overmatched inside and unable to finish, the straw that really stirs Indiana's drink is Rivers. Jones has his moments, but has never really been a take-the-game-over kind of guy. Rivers can shake backcourt pressure, get into the paint on any defense, and make nice passes... or turn it over, or get fouled and miss the freebies. He's the make-or-break guy this season. Rivers is getting derided for being a poor point guard, but this is first go-round at this position, in this conference, and he has my sympathy. I saw some improvement in him over the non-conference schedule, and I hope to see some more in conference play as well.

I don't fault Watford for missing the free-throw at the end, I mean, it did probably cost the Hoosiers the game, but I've been watching IU basketball for nearly 20 years and it is the rare player who could step at the end of a physical game and coolly drain the front end of a one-and-one. AJ Moye, Michael Lewis, Brian Evans... and that's about it. I don't expect a freshman to have that sort of poise. This year is just going to be tough, as the Hoosiers have to take some lumps while learning how to win. It doesn't just happen after a couple of games.

The good news is that IU is now a contender for 6-9 center Greg Echenique. Check out his stats from last season, where he was a good rebounder and shot-blocker (as good or better than anyone we have now) and got to the line with regularity, hitting 67% of them in his first college season. If the Hoosiers land him (and he's eligible for next season), with Creek back they could be in the NCAA tourney in March 2011.


Post a Comment

<< Home