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Tonight’s second blog will see me go over some past games. I am happy with where the Hoosiers are at. I am still angry about the suspensions that should have been longer at the beginning of the season. But I am at a place now where I can root for the players involved.

The areas where I see from looking in and not seeing all the games where IU has had trouble in rebounding and playing against tough aggressive teams. Hopefully with the recent winning they will continue to get better as the season moves forward. Below is my recap of some of the games I saw.

Mississippi Valley State Season Opener

1. Hanner Perea looked much improved.
2. Yogi Ferrell was great at distributing the basketball.
3. IU’s transition defense was bad early.
4. Nick Zeisloft was hot from 3 and Max Hoetzel showed some three ball shooting.
5. Robert Johnson showed he could handle the basketball.
6. The thing I liked about James Blackmon was he just goes about his business scoring. He’s not flashy, just really good.
7. I spent a lot of time wondering how guys like Tim Priller, Jeremiah April and Max Hoetzel would develop over their careers. I looked at Blackmon and Johnson as better than average freshmen.
8. The final was 116-65 Indiana.

Texas Southern
This game was the Mike Davis reunion game and IU won 83-64. I’ve always liked Mike Davis. A lot of times I felt like I was the only one supporting him after Bob Knight. Mike Davis is the only IU coach I have shook hands with. Here are my observations from that game.

1. Jim Jackson said Texas Southern said injuries were affecting Texas Southern.
2. Yogi played well early in the first half. Robert Johnson was great and really stood out.
3. IU forced two shot clock violations.
4. Indiana just exploded in the last seven minutes of the half to go into half time with a 44-29 lead.
5. The second half saw Tonnie Collier get hot for Texas Southern.
6. Blackmon just exploded in the second half.
7. Hanner Perea had a monster dunk in the second half.
8. IU got beat off the dribble in the second half and there were not as crisp or strong defensively. They pretty much coasted the whole second half.

Eastern Washington
This game I was not going to watch and I saw a little bit because IU was losing late. In the 88-86 loss per ESPN.com. Eastern Washington hit a big three to win the game. I was upset with Yogi because he did not shoot a three pointer at the end of the game. Then what infuriated me was the missed block outs by IU.

A 81-69 win over Pittsburgh
Jeff Rabjohns of Peegs.com said Pittsburgh was big on offensive rebounds before this game and this game was no different as IU got beat off the dribble and on rebounding. The IU defense did improve over the course of the game though.

IU was able to take control of the game in the first half with balanced scoring. Troy Williams was playing well off the dribble and Emmitt Holt played well in the first half. The sting of Holt and his incident with Devin Davis was still there. I just think they should have been suspended longer. Sometimes I feel guilty thinking IU is playing better now. BUT THIS WAS MORE ABOUT BASKETBALL ON THAT HALLOWEEN NIGHT.

Back to the game, Hanner Perea had a good start to the second half and Collin Hartman impressed me with his hustle. Holt also continued to play well. Pitt also missed a lot of open threes but this was a good win for IU.

Things seem to be going well in Bloomington right now with Devin Davis getting healthy. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if things turned for the worse with Davis. The players involved are to be forgiven but these incidents should not be forgotten. I struggle with winning now and what happened. I don’t want to be an IU fan where winning cures all. I’ve struggled with that a little bit this year. I am glad they are winning now but I still wonder if the players should have been punished more. I am now to the point where I can root for these guys but there will always be a remembrance of what happened.

Thursday night’s win over Maryland was huge as they came away with the 89-70 win. IU was striking the three point line with hot shooting and they also used the dribble to stave off the Terrapins.

Here are my observations for the game.

1. In the first half, Collin Hartman came out right away on fire for the Hoosiers as he scored their first four points and IU jumped out to a 12-3 lead.
2. Tom Crean was fully into this game as he really going great on the sidelines.
3. Troy Williams is getting better but he scares me every time he wildly drives the lane.
4. Maryland picked up their defense to get back into it.
5. IU loved to run and they were really successful scoring off turnovers.
6. IU’s fans were tremendous the whole game. They were really into it every asset of the game.
7. Some examples of Williams’ enegery was his big dunk in the first half and a lot of hustle for a rebound.
8. Yogi Ferrell was hot from the three point line as well.
9. IU’s offense looked a lot more fluid. I saw a lot of movement.
10. In the second half, IU extended their lead as they were attacking off the dribble.
11. It was the Yogi show as well in the second half with his three point barrages.
12. Hartman came through with a big lay-up off the dribble late in the second half.
13. James Blackmon also had a big second half shooting the three ball.

Sunday will be a big day for the Hoosiers as they take on the Buckeyes. It will be a good road test. I won’t be blogging for this game but cheer on the Hoosiers to victory Sunday.

I am back here on New Year’s Eve as I watched IU beat Nebraska 70-65 on the road.  This was a huge win for IU.  I will go over today’s game first and later next week I will have have more thoughts on past games.  It’s been a wild year for the Hoosiers to say the least with all the turmoil off the court and getting things going on the court.  Tonight’s game was a special win and here are my observations.

1.  IU did a nice job overcoming adversity in the second half after having the lead in the first half.  That was huge to me and definitely impressive.

2.  Hanner Mosquera-Perea was special in the second half.  He was solid in the post and he came up with big shots when IU needed them.  He was also big on the boards.

3.  When IU gets too 3 happy they get into trouble.  They need to keep moving the ball and they did better as they took control of the game in the second half.

4.  Perea, Troy Williams, Robert Johnson and Yogi Ferrell all had big buckets in the second half to help IU get the lead back.

5.  Watching IU go into a press was good and it worked because they got a 10 second call in the second half

6.  I did not like IU going into a slow down with about four minutes to go.  It became a maalox moment and it made me cringe.  I was on my seat the whole time.

7.  It was good to see Tom Crean fight for his team.  He got into it with Coach Tim Miles of Nebraska after a hard foul on Mosquera-Perea.  Luckily, IU ran with it and kept Nebraska in check most of the way.

8. Terran Petteway helped Nebraska come back as IU had a big lead in the first half.  Petteway and Shavon Shields just tore IU up in this game.

9.  Yogi seems to struggle against big guards and tonight was no different.  He still had an impact on the game even though he did not score much.  He kept the offense together in the second half.

10.  IU took control of the game in the first half behind the play of Robert Johnson and Troy Williams.  Emmit Holt was also unbelievable coming off the bench for IU as Perea had foul trouble.

11.  Seeing former DePaul assistant Jim Molinari on the Nebraska bench was pleasing to me.

12.  Nebraska had a lot of gimmees in the first half and they did not shoot particularly well at times in the second half.

Moving Forward

I find myself still being very critical of Troy Williams after his offseason transgression and suspension to start the year.  I have to find a way to forgive him or this is the way it is going to be.  I have let Yogi off the hook but Stanford Robinson and Williams are under my watchful eye.  I am able to accept Holt though.  It will be interesting to see how I think going forward.

As a team tonight, I thought IU played decently on the boards and their defense was decent except for dribble penetration.  I just want to see the ball move on offense and hope they continue to get better.