Friday, March 30, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Jenkins posted a line any post player would love - 8 points and a team-high 7
rebounds, including 4 offensive boards. He had no assists in his first career
start but hit a pair of 3-pointers on Northwestern's backbreaking 18-8 run
midway through the second half.
"It affected us with Parker not playing,"
Davis said. "We had prepared for T.J. You could see our guys not focused and not
ready to come out and compete and battle."
Davis was then asked about
"Who's that?" he asked.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
There's no guarantee that firing Mike Davis in 2005 would have resulted in Greg Oden and Mike Conley enrolling at IU, but failing to fire Mike Davis after IU's two worst seasons of the last 35 years guaranteed that the best high school twosome in Indiana history would go elsewhere. Recruits and their parents figured out Mike Davis long before the administration did. Oh well. They made the right decision, unfortunately. Let's just make sure we never again allow IU to be a non-factor in recruitment of players like this.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
New Castle Fieldhouse
Carver Hawkeye Arena
"The Pit," New Mexico
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The IU women managed a 74-71 win over Iona in the WNIT. The reward? A trip to South Dakota State for the round of 16. SDSU is located in Brookings, SD, a town I didn't know existed until a few minutes ago.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Overall record: 27-5
Pac-10 record: 15-3 (plus 0-1 in conference tournament)
Series record: IU leads 6-5
IU and UCLA have a combined 16 NCAA titles. In the history of the NCAA Tournament, the only game that involved more combined championships was Kentucky's win over UCLA in the 1998 Sweet 16. Those two teams had 17 combined NCAA titles, although Kentucky would win its seventh a few days later. IU and UCLA last played in the West Regional final in Alberquerque in 1992, a game that IU won 106-79. IU and UCLA met in the first game of that season, in the Tipoff Classic in Springfield, Mass., and UCLA won 87-72. In that game, Bob Knight famously ended Chris Reynolds's red shirt season in the middle of the game. Reynolds began the game in streetclothes and ended it in uniform.
Of the 11 games between IU and UCLA, three have been in the NCAA Tournament (including the aforementioned 1992 game). UCLA defeated IU in the 1973 Final Four national semifinals, when UCLA was in the midst of its record 88-game winning streak and its long NCAA championship streak. IU returned the favor in the 1976 national semifinals as IU proceeded to its own undefeated national championship. Also, UCLA, led by future Pacer legend Reggie Miller, defeated IU in the 1985 NIT championship game.
Other than Ohio State, UCLA is IU's most formidable opponent of the season. Here is Ken Pomeroy's UCLA scouting report, and here's how UCLA's numbers compare to those of IU:
Pace: Indiana 64 possessions per game (267/215); UCLA 64.3 (257/274)
Offensive efficiency: Indiana 1.105 points per possession (37/9); UCLA 1.116 (27/19)
Defensive efficiency: Indiana .967 points per possession (59/42) ;UCLA .928 (14/9)
Effective field goal percentage (extra credit for made three pointers): Indiana 52.4 (78); UCLA 54.2 (27)
Turnover percentage: Indiana 19.0 (61); UCLA 18.3 (34)
Offensive rebound percentage: Indiana 35.6 (91); UCLA 34.7 (130)
Effective field goal percentage: Indiana 46.7 (45); UCLA 47.8 (82)
Turnover percentage: Indiana 22.2 (101); UCLA 23.3 (51)
Offensive rebounding percentage: Indiana 32.5 (126); UCLA 29.9 (39)
What does this tell us? UCLA is statistically superior to IU in nearly every category and played a quality schedule. IU s better than Gonzaga by the numbers, but UCLA's status as the comfortable favorite is supported by these numbers. UCLA's top three scorers, Aaron Affalo, Josh Shipp, and Darren Collison are all threats from three point range. Affalo shoots 6.5 threes a game and makes about 38 percent.
This has been a promising season, and will remain so even if IU falls short tonight. A win, on the other hand, would put IU in a great position, would increase the buzz around Sampson's IU program as we approach the summer recruiting season, and would be a great start to the new era of IU basketball.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I'll be back with more later, but for now, here is the Big Ten Wonk's preview of IU's four-team pod in Sacramento.
Posted by John M at 7:41 PM
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
1. IU over Duke, 2002 NCAA Sweet 16: Ultimately, the Mike Davis era did not end well, but clearly, this was the highlight, and is the highlight of IU basketball over the last 20 seasons. That particular IU team had some great games, but ultimately ended the regular season 20-9 and outside the AP top 25. IU knocked off Utah in round one, and profited from UNC-Wilmington's upset of USC, and prevailed over Wilmington in round two. IU was fortunate that the South Regional was held in Lexington, Kentucky, that year. Many IU fans found their way into the building, and Kentucky fans hate Duke even more than they hate IU. That particular IU team thrived on three point shooting, but how many recall that in the amazing 17-point second-half comeback against Duke, IU did not make a three pointer? I still cannot watch the Dane Fife foul on Jay Williams.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Overall record: 23-10
West Coast Conference record: 11-3 (plus 2-0 in the tournament)
Series record: tied at 1-1
Monday, March 12, 2007
2006: Salt Lake City
2001: San Diego
1994: Landover, MD
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Friday, March 9, 2007
IU won the rematch, 65-61 in Bloomington. Again, the two teams' stats were uncannily similar, even in free throws this time (IU shot 23 to the Illini's 20). IU shot just a tad better from the field and from the line and took care of the ball just a bit better than the Illini (14 turnovers compared to 17 for Illinois). IU's offense still wasn't pretty: only 9 assists on 23 field goals. To my rough calculation, even in the game at Bloomington, IU was at exactly 1 point per possession, below the season average. Because of the unfortunate drunk driving incident, Illinois is not the same team it was for either of this year's IU games. But Illinois will have the crowd today in Chicago, and this will be a tough one. It's a game that does have some importance for IU's NCAA seed. I am hopeful that a win and a strong showing against Wisconsin could put IU into the 6-seed range. The 7-8-9-10 range makes it much more difficult to reach the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Obviously, the #2 and #1 seeds are the best teams in the country, meaning they are tougher to beat and less likely to fall in the first round. Two wins in the BTT likely would guarantee IU a seed in the 4-5-6 range, which is much better.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
The Big Ten has a nice summary page setting forth the history of the tournament. Here’s some info divined from that:
Illinois, 2 (2003, 2005)
Iowa, 2 (2001, 2006)
Michigan State, 2 (1999, 2000)
Michigan, 1 (1998)
Ohio State, 1 (2002)
Wisconsin, 1 (2004)
Michigan State, 10
Ohio State, 10
Penn State, 5
Michigan State, .588
Ohio State, .556
Penn State, .357
Last to lose a BTT game for the first time: Michigan, which won its first four before losing to Ohio State in the 1999 quarterfinals. As far as the NCAA is concerned, none of that ever happened, but if we actually disregarded all of the games played by OSU, Michigan, and Minnesota at various points, we wouldn’t have much left.
Last to win a BTT game for the first time: Iowa in 2000. Penn State won its first earlier in the same day.
- Wow, has Purdue been awful in the Big Ten Tournament. The Boilers have had four NCAA Tournament teams during the BTT era, but after advancing to the final game of the first BTT, Purdue has only one win in the last eight tournaments, a 2001 win in the 8/9 game over Minnesota. Purdue’s current six-game losing streak is the longest in BTT history.
- This is no surprise to anyone who has followed the BTT, but Iowa is the main outlier. The wins and winning percentage rankings pretty closely follow conference performance during that period. Purdue is a bit low, but Iowa, ranking #2 in wins and winning percentage and tied for first in number of titles, has overachieved in the BTT.
- Along those lines, Steve Alford, in seven Big Ten tournaments, has all 13 of Iowa’s wins, more than any other coach. Tom Izzo is second with 10 wins, but he has been at Michigan State since the BTT’s inception(he’s the only Big Ten coach who can say that). Bo Ryan has five wins in the BTT. He has been at Wisconsin only since 2002. Illinois’s 16 wins are allocated among three coaches: Lon Kruger (6), Bill Self (5), and Bruce Weber (5). Ohio State’s Jim O’Brien won 7 BTT games, as did Mike Davis. Bob Knight’s only BTT win was against #11 Ohio State in IU’s first BTT game in 1998.
- Illinois won its first BTT game every year until 2006. IU, which lost its first game only in 1999, 2000, and 2005, is second only to Illinois in first-game performance. Of course, that stat does not distinguish between teams with and without a first round bye.
- Of the #1 seeds, only Michigan State in 1999 and Illinois in 2005 won the tournament. It is fitting that only Iowa has defeated two #1 seeds. Minnesota, Penn State, Indiana, Ohio State, and Wisconsin have all defeated one top seed.
- The class of 2001 was the fourth year of the Big Ten Tournament, meaning that the league's seniors had experienced the tournament every year. Since then, only three senior classes have failed to win a Big Ten Tournament game in their four years: Penn State '05, Purdue '05, and Purdue '06.
Also, for the first time in several years, IU held a postseason awards banquet. Nearly everyone received a trophy. DJ White and Rod Wilmont shared the Most Outstanding Player award. As IU fans for a certain age will recall, IU used to have such a banquet between the regular season and the NCAA tournament. In 1992, after IU blew a share of the Big Ten title by losing the season finale at Mackey against a mediocre Purdue team, Bob Knight (after a, er tense flight back to Bloomington), abruptly canceled the banquet, which was open to the public and served as the primary fundraiser for some nonprofit organization. That IU team recovered nicely, reaching the Final Four, but the banquet didn't return for 15 years.
Monday, March 5, 2007
As promised, more to come on the Big Ten Tournament. For now, here's a link to a fun Teddy Greenstein article from the Chicago Tribune article with highlights and even an all-time all-tournament team for the six Big Ten Tournaments that have been played in Chicago. Again, note that the three tournaments played at Conseco are not part of the article. The Chicago media is sued to pretending that nothing important happens in Indiana, but at least this article is up-front about it.
This was the first 20-win regular season since 2000 and first undefeated home season since 1994. Now that it's tournament time, IU can lose only two more games this season. Accordingly, IU's loss total will be the lowest since 1999-2000. In 2001, when the media was in the midst of its successful campaign to berate Myles Brand into hiring Mike Davis for the long run, much was made of the fact that Davis's 21 wins were the most for any first-year IU coach (although his winning percentage did not approach that of the first seasons of Bob Knight (17-8) or Branch McCracken (17-3). I haven't heard anyone mention it this year, but with one win in each of the upcoming tournaments, Kelvin Sampson will have won more games than any first-year IU coach.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
Overall record: 11-17
Big Ten record: 2-13
Series record: IU leads 25-3 (23-3 since PSU joined the Big Ten in 1992-93)
Last year, Penn State improved to a near-.500 record and went 6-10 in the Big Ten with a young team. While many expected the Nittany Lions to move into the middle of the pack in this year's Big Ten standings, that did not happen. Instead, the Nittany Lions regressed, and lost 13 consecutive Big Ten games before upsetting Iowa earlier this week. While Penn State likely will tie for 10th in the league with Northwestern instead of having the cellar to itself, this season must have been a bitter pill for Penn State. Anyone who watched any part of the Iowa-Penn State game on ESPNU saw the unbelievably meager crowd on hand for Senior Night. Penn State has had short periods of success, but has had no sustained success since joining the Big Ten. After the false hope provided by last season's improvement, this season must feel like a kick in the fruitstand for the hardy few who follow Penn State's basketball program. As a supporter of the IU football program, I can identify.
On the Hoosier side, this game represents an important milestone, at least for me. I enrolled at IU in 1992-93, near the front end of IU's school record 50 game homecourt winning streak. The streak began in 1990-91 and ended in a loss to Michigan in 1994-95, near the end of my junior year. Accordingly, I consider any loss at Assembly Hall to be an abomination, a disgrace, and inexcusable failure. The Indianapolis Star has a graph today (not available on line as best as I can tell) that shows my standards may be a bit high in that regard. If IU beats Penn State today, this will be the eighth undefeated home season in the 36 year history of Assembly Hall. The others? The 1973 team, Bob Knight's first Big Ten champion and a Final Four participant. The 1975 team, which did not lose a single game until the regional final against Kentucky. The 1976 team, college basketball's last undefeated NCAA champion. The 1987 team, Indiana's last NCAA champion. The 1992 team, which advanced to the Final Four. The 1993 team, which finished the season ranked #1 in the nation but lost in the regional final to Kansas. The 1994 team, Knight's last IU team to advance to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. With the exception of the 1994 team, the list of teams that went undefeated in the Hall is remarkably similar to a list of the best teams that have played at Assembly Hall, period. The 1981 NCAA champion is the only obvious omission. So, my belief that IU should win every game we play at home is probably unreasonable. And it's worth noting that this year's team, barring what would be the biggest upset in the Big Ten this season, will become the most limited team to have successfully defended the Hall for an entire season. This wasn't the toughest home schedule we have ever played, but we did manage to knock off second-ranked Wisconsin, so it isn't as if we didn't have at least one really challenging home game. IU now has a 16-game homecourt winning streak. So, congrats to the team and the new coaching staff for renewing our homecourt advantage. Also, today's Star notes that if IU wins today, it will be IU's first 20-win regular season since 1999-2000.
It is Senior Night, of course, and that means Roderick Wilmont, Errek Suhr, and Earl Calloway will be making their final appearances at Assembly Hall. None of the three will go down in the record books as all-time greats, but all have contributed in their own ways.
Rod Wilmont has been the most productive of the bunch. He has always been a hot and cold shooter, but finally, as a senior, was more hot than cold and became a reliable scoring threat. He has still had bad games, but finally emerged as a top player. Wilmont shot an astoundingly awful .296 from the field/.258 from three as a freshman. He shot .391/.410 as a sophomore, .424/.325 as a junior, and this year is shooting .442/.410. Rod has become a more efficient scorer every season.
Errek Suhr has contributed sporadically in each of his four seasons. He grew up in Bloomington as a Hoosier fan and and had the honor of wearing the uniform as an invited walk-on. He is now on scholarship, but certainly knew that he might do nothing but ride the pine for four years. Instead, he managed to become an important part of the team.
Earl Calloway came on strong at the end of last season and played very well in the NCAA Tournament. He had 13 points, 10 assists, and 9 boards in the loss to Gonzaga. Earl continued that into last year and has been IU's undisputed floor leader. His absence in recent games certainly hurt the Hoosiers, and perhaps cost us a signature road win at Michigan State.
Absent a really improbable tournament run, this class is going to leave IU without having won a championship of any kind and without appearing in the Final Four. Hopefully, in a few years these guys can look back and realize that the were a part of the beginning of a special era in IU basketball history. Thanks for your contribution, men.
Friday, March 2, 2007
The Hoosiers prevailed comfortably in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, defeating Iowa 67-53. IU faces Ohio State, the top seed, tonight. OSU was as dominant in women’s basketball this season as they were in men’s basketball, so this is a tall order for IU.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
It really has been a rough road for the women’s program in recent years. Former coach Kathi Bennett was seriously injured in a car accident during her tenure at IU. After a promising first season, Sharon Versyp bolted for Purdue, her alma mater (how could Rick Greenspan have not had a Purdue-specific buyout or non-compete provision?). Former coach Jim Izard, who led IU to the NCAA Tournament when I was in school in the mid 1990s, committed suicide under strange circumstances. Still, the one positive moment in recent years for the women’s program was the 2002 Big Ten Tournament title. The Hoosiers defeat #1 seed Purdue in the semifinals and #2 Penn State in the final. This is the tenth year of the men’s Big Ten Tournament, and given the relative stature of the men’s and women’s basketball programs, it is hard to believe that the women have IU’s only Big Ten Tournament title.
This year’s Hoosiers enter the tournament 6-10 in the Big Ten and 17-13 overall. IU had a nice win over a ranked Western Kentucky team in the pre-conference but clearly struggled a bit in the league. IU is ranked #60 in the latest RPI projections, so presumably they will have to win the whole thing again to make it to the NCAA.
I won’t feign expertise on women’s basketball (I’ll talk about all IU teams on this site, but I will only feign expertise on football and men’s basketball). Instead, here’s a link to a nice tournament nutshell from the Indianapolis Star.