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About GnarlyTimGarl

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  1. GnarlyTimGarl

    Season Predictions 2019-2020

    After watching some Media Day coverage, I'll finally throw in my opinion... just a gut feeling. 1) Before the postseason 18-13 (9-11 in the Big Ten). I believe we'll be squarely on the bubble. I truly think it'll be 50/50 NCAA or NIT. A win or two in the Big Ten Tournament would probably be enough. 2) Starting Five By January: Phinisee, Durham, Hunter, Jackson-Davis, Brunk. 3) Top Five Scorers: Jackson-Davis 12.6, Hunter 12.1, Phinisee 10.3, Green 9.3, Durham 8.2. Hot Take#1- Green and Smith begin the season in the starting lineup, but are passed by more effective players. Hot Take#2- Jackson-Davis and Hunter clearly become our top options on offense by January. A few additional thoughts... - I've got to watch TJD some over the last three years. When he's "on", he's a LOAD. Sorta reminds me of a more advanced Jeff Newton at his age. He'll have his struggles as a freshman, but he's got A LOT of talent. His talent will make up for his youth in many games. - People are cautious on Hunter and I get it. But I'm very optimistic about him. I think he's the perfect "3" for us. He may start the first 7-8 games slowly, but I think he'll become a consistent scorer for us and be on the floor more often than not. Let me be clear, this is a prediction. Not my expectation. If he falls short of this, I won't hold it against him as a fan. - I have trouble seeing this year as a breakout year for Green. He can light it up for sure. And he will several times this year. But after watching three years of sample size... my expectations are low. If he's leading us in scoring this year... I don't see us making the tournament. I may not even see us with a winning record overall. - My opinion is that Phinisee, Durham and Brunk will be the team leaders and it will be evident. - I was a bit disappointed (maybe even a little embarrassed?) with how a few of our players handled the media day press conference. This is just my opinion, I'm probably looking into it too much and I know these are college kids. But some of the responses by a few kids seemed a bit snarky, mocking and disrespectful. I understand that not everyone is great at a podium answering questions, but some of the responses seemed a little uncalled for. Again, I'm sure the life of an IU player is difficult. And I know dealing with the media isn't always fun. But I know a simple respectful reply isn't too much to ask because the majority of the team did that. - I think IU will be considered a team on the rise at the end of the season. TJD, Hunter and Phinisee will be on "Player Watch" lists for the next year and guys like Durham and Brunk will be hailed as great senior leaders to-be. The mood around here will be significantly brighter. Although a few posters will still be making knee-jerk reactions to everything... as per tradition. :) As always, just my opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.
  2. GnarlyTimGarl

    Big Week For 2020 Recruiting

    Regarding Matt Cross... According to the following article from Xavier's 247 site... https://247sports.com/college/xavier/Article/Xavier-Musketeers-Basketball-Recruiting-Matt-Cross-2020-Forward-Massachusetts-BABC-Travis-Steele--132210096/ "In addition to Xavier, Cross added offers from Miami, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, South Carolina, Creighton, Georgia Tech, Illinois, and Butler already this spring. Those schools have been the ones most involved in his recruitment lately." Definitely has a lot of high-majors interested in him, so I'm not sure I put too much stock in his current ranking. The same article also says we're rumored to be the early leader in his recruitment.
  3. GnarlyTimGarl

    Cooper Bybee (Walk-On)? 6'1" 190lbs

    Watched this guy pour in an Edgewood school-record 48 points against Eastern Greene a couple of years ago. It was an absolutely amazing offensive display. Scored from all over the court. Not sure if his game will translate to minutes at IU (probably not) but he was a pretty good high school player. Thought this was cool, too... https://usatodayhss.com/2017/video-indianas-cooper-bybee-hits-two-crazy-buzzer-beaters-in-same-game
  4. GnarlyTimGarl

    (2020) SG Anthony Leal to IU

    I've watched him probably a half dozen times or so for Bloomington South the past two years. I'm not a scout or an expert. I do support South, though. I think some folks see his ranking and can't understand why Archie hasn't offered Leal yet. I think you saw why. He can look very pedestrian at times and fade into the game. Personally I have never seen him dominate a game (although I know he has in other games.) I may be bad luck because I witnessed probably some of his worst games. You accurately described how he has played a few times. The Edgewood game at the beginning of the year was low point. Outhustled in that one, too. As a whole though, he has potential. Currently a good shooter. Nowhere near a Hulls or Roth or Zeisloft at this moment, in my opinion. But still good. Has the potential to be an above average offensive player at the next level. Solid size for his position. Can defend well when healthy and engaged. Is well coached. Intelligent individual. Good teammate. Evidently lights it up in AAU. I believe he has strong ties to IU... But I won't dive into that for privacy purposes. As I have said in the past, I'd be happy for him to become a Hoosier. I think we get him if we want him. But he can't be the centerpiece of the class. He's a support piece, in my opinion. If you liked the addition of guys like Damezi Anderson and Armaan Franklin, I think you'll like Leal. I'd guess his impact will be somewhere around there. What's funny is the amount of negativity you see against Jalen Windham but love Leal. My opinion is that their about the same.
  5. A few thoughts, some of which have already been stated by others: - There are many things I like about Archie. His emphasis on defense. His emphasis on recruiting the state. I like how he doesn't speak in platitudes like his successor. He has the "look" of a basketball coach... for whatever that matters. That being said... he's 35-31 with no NCAA Tournament appearances during his tenure. That includes embarrassing blowout losses at home to Indiana State and Fort Wayne and losing 12 of 13 games. That's not going to cut it, long term. Similar numbers ended the Davis and Crean eras. I don't want Archie fired, I want him to turn this thing around. Plus, I have little confidence in our administration to find someone better. - Normally, I am a fan of building up a roster and limiting attrition. I think that's Archie's style. However, I am not sure that several players are good "fits" for what Archie is trying to build here. Is it a lack of effort? Are they too okay with losing? I'm not sure... although one of my lasting memories for the season will be watching multiple players laughing and smiling on TV while coming from the locker room after halftime vs. Ohio State in Big Ten Tournament after being out-played in the first half of what was their most important game of the year. I'm not saying their lives should be a living nightmare, but I know I wasn't smiling at that moment. - Who steps up this off-season? The past two off-seasons we were greeted with rave reviews of the improvements of two players in particular. They had many opportunities to step up this season, but could not attain that consistency we so desperately needed. I haven't given up on those players, but I think it would be somewhat foolish to count on them as leaders for next season. However, someone needs to step up with the departures of Morgan and (likely) Langford. Is the leader on the roster right now? Many people point to Phinisee (and I love the guy) but look at these numbers below... - Here are our shooting numbers for our returning backcourt... Phinisee 36.1% FG, 31.0% 3FG, 66.0% FT... Durham 40.3% FG, 34.8% 3FG, 74.0% FT... Green 40.2% FG, 41.0 3FG, 73.6 FT. That won't win many games. I fully expect improvement from all of them next year, but we need some capable shooters in the worst way possible. None of those guys provided us with a consistent shooting threat this season. - Our post game has potential. Davis can provide offense. However, he has never played more than 18.8 minutes per game in his career. It may be wishful thinking to expect anything more than 20-22 minutes per game (if that.) This is not to mention his lack of rebounding that will need to be improved upon. He'll have help with Trayce Jackson-Davis, but I don't see them playing on the floor together much. I have failed to see either be able to hit a jump shot with any sort of regularity and we'll need to space the floor. - What will come of our highly-touted 2018 class? Langford is likely gone. Hunter never played and considering how cautious IU seems to be with their athletic health guidelines, I have concerns about his athletic future at IU. Anderson failed to score a point in the 2019 calendar year. Forrester logged 56 minutes. Thompson played 63 minutes. That means Phinisee will be the only returner from that class with any sort of real experience to draw upon. Need a lot more production from this group. Remember, they are all "Archie's Guys". Hopefully a year in the program helps them improve. - Hopefully Archie can find a couple more players this off-season who will help us win games. Whether that's Watford, grad transfers, I don't know. I do know that the current roster projection for next year screams a 9th-10th place finish in the conference, at-best. Again, that won't cut it. Just my opinion.
  6. GnarlyTimGarl

    (2020) SG Anthony Leal to IU

    I'm far from a scout, but I've had the opportunity to watch Leal multiple times over the last couple of years... My feelings on him is something of a mixed bag, to be honest. You look at his #77 ranking composite at a position we'll need and combine that with the fact that he's a hometown kid who (at the very least) had an interest in the Hoosiers growing up and you think it's a no-brainer... he should definitely receive an offer. But then I actually watch him play a whole game instead of select 3 minute highlight clips and then it becomes a bit more complicated. Again, that 3-minute video on the first page of this thread is impressive and really shows you the "Best of Anthony Leal". He has a wide variety of capabilities on the offensive end. His shooting can allow him to get hot at any point in time. He has good size for a guard at 6'5 and can find ways to use it to his advantage. He has the ability to drive through the lane and finish through contact. If that video is representative of his play over the summer and why he is ranked #77, I can understand why. However, watching Leal in-person, I can see why Archie is waiting. Again, judging by that video you would think Leal would be a dominant player. I'll say that he has maybe been dominant in a few games this year. On the contrary, there have been a few games this season when he has really struggled. For example, he had a bad game vs. 3A Edgewood (As Chris007 pointed out earlier in this thread.) While Edgewood has a pretty good team this year they aren't a team I would expect Leal to struggle against. But he was visibly off his game in that one. His shot didn't look good, his handle was loose and his opponents just seemed to play harder. I watched him play a handful of times as a sophomore and again... it was a mixed bag. There were some games when you look at him and feel he's going to be a high-level player in college while there were other games when you wouldn't be so sure. But this is just my opinion. I definitely think he has potential to be a good player in college. But I also have similar feelings about guys like Armaan Franklin and Damezi Anderson. I think they are similar "impact" type players. May take him a year or two before making much of an impact. So if you liked the pickup of guys like Anderson and Franklin, I think you'll definitely like/want Leal. But if you are expecting a McDonald's All-American type of player... I don't believe he's at that level. But then again, if he could become more consistent... look out! He seems to be a likable guy and great student. If we're adding 3 guys in 2020, I'd definitely be cool with Leal as one of the members.
  7. GnarlyTimGarl

    IU vs MSU: 9/22 7:30PM BTN

    I haven't posted much this year, but figured this might be a good time to start... - Friends, you could see this one coming a mile away. And I am not talking about IU losing to MSU. I'm talking about fans upset/baffled that their team plays well one week and not so much the next. This isn't just an IU thing. This happens a LOT in college sports. Inconsistencies. Unless you are one of the 3-4 best teams in the nation, this happens. You play really well one week. You're feeling good. Then next week happens and you struggle. College football does not operate through the transitive property. Every week can be/usually is something different. One week does not define a team. But a series of games can. And what that has shown us is that IU is a 3-1 team. Not a great team. But not bad, either. Decent. Doubtful we contend for the Big Ten. Probable we can contend for a bowl. - Now... back to the game (as Coach Knight would say.) Yes, I was disappointed. Particularly because MSU didn't play that well, IMO. That is, except their defensive front seven (more on that in a minute.) They turned it over 4 times. They struggled running the ball. Lewerke wasn't particularly sharp. If we played well, we could have won this one. But we didn't. So why didn't we play well? - Let's start with the typical "bad break" for IU. The INT return for TD in the first quarter. Yes, we've seen this too many times before in our history... and it stinks! We were driving and that absolutely killed momentum. It put us behind the 8-ball early and we could never fully recover. Throw in a few other deals like the fake FG TD and those are plays we need to go our way in a game like this. They didn't and we lost by 14. - We heard about how good their D-Line was. And they lived up to the hype. 4 sacks. 9 TFLs. Countless QB hurries. And they held us to 29 yards on 32 carries... that's a 0.9 avg. for those who are interested. Quote simply, our O-Line was thoroughly beaten. They played a bad game and that really hurt us. I saw some people say, "Welcome to the Big Ten, Stevie Scott." Well, yeah. But where was he supposed to go? Just a tough night. - Peyton Ramsey. Friends, he what he is. I said this last year against Michigan and MSU and I'll say it again this season. When he runs the offense, we rely on dinks and dunks. We just do. And against mediocre defenses, that may be enough to win. But against good defenses, we'll struggle to score points. As Wayne said above, the offense is tailored around his strengths. We rely on guys like Philyor, Timian, Harris and Taylor to catch short passes and create yards after catch. Notice how many targets they get compared to our outside receivers with Hale and Westbrook? Those are two great talents at WR, but we can't get them the ball. That's frustrating. Is that a QB problem? Maybe. - Does that mean I was clamoring for Penix? Not exactly. He wouldn't have had time to throw. It's not like our O-Line was suddenly going to pass protect better for Penix. And I dunno if that would have been the best growing opportunity to throw Penix out there in that mess anyway. My hope is that I hope our O-Line gets back on the right track with pass protection (and run blocking) and that we start throwing the ball downfield a bit more. I'm not asking for 20+ yard throws. I''d just like to see a few more 10-15 yd. out routes to Hale and Westbrook. I don't feel they've been utilized well and they're legitimate weapons. Can Ramsey do that? Is Penix ready for it? Evidently, the answer was "no" last night. - I really can't blame our defense. They kept it from getting ugly. Ball had himself a night before his ejection. They were getting some good pressure in the backfield. Had 4 takeaways. But again, we got beat on that last 75 yard run that sealed the game. Just tough. But all in all, I am still very impressed with Allen's defense. He knows how to coach it and with him in charge, we've seen three of the best defenses we've had in decades. I think some forget how impressive that is at IU. - So where do we go from here? Thankfully, we get Rutgers next. Fortunately for us, they have looked downright pathetic this year. However, as fans of IU, we know that we can never take anyone for granted and we are capable of losing on any given night. BUT! I think/hope that the Hoosiers are going to have a mad/rejuvenating week of practice this week. I think you'll see us click and get back on the right track and come out of Piscataway with a win. While I don't believe our offense as-is can lead us to victories against Ohio State, Penn State or Michigan, I do believe we're capable of beating the likes of Minnesota, Maryland and Purdue. I think if our O-Line gels better the Iowa game is a possibility as well. Long story short... I still think 6-6 and a bowl game is entirely possible and we're right there in the thick of things. But for those expecting an 8-9 win season, I am afraid you're going to be disappointed. But that's just my opinion.
  8. Interesting article, although I have never been a fan of the writer, Tom Davis. In regards to his articles about IU basketball, he always comes across to me as someone who watches bits and pieces of certain games and then looks at the box score the day after to try and tell us what happened. Look at this quote... “Our defense was dramatically improved,” Glass said, “which you can see with the eye test.” Again, that is depending on your eyesight. He goes on to point out that our opponents' shooting percentages were higher last year. I mean, sure. Guess we need to scrap the pack-line and move back to playing man-to-man until 7 seconds left in the shot clock then try switching to zone for some ridiculous reason. And we should probably bring back the "call out" signs. Those innovative coaching techniques did wonders for our defense in 2016-2017. Seriously though, there are better metrics to use these days (which is why Glass used defensive efficiency) that are mathematically more accurate to determine the overall success of the defense. It's not really debatable. Points per possession is another one. Plus, when Crean was playing Houston Baptist, SE Missouri St., Miss Valley State and Delaware State, that's gonna pad your stats in a positive manner. The fact is, once conference play rolled around, our defense had structure. There was purpose. There was understanding. Guys were in the correct position a lot more. They were active. They played a lot smarter. They weren't great, but they were better. You could see it by watching the games. Ask any non-biased observer and they'd agree. But the numbers say we gave up a higher shooting percentage... give me a break. And oh yeah... our offense suffered. Imagine that. We lost OG, Bryant and Blackmon and our offense suffers. Must be an Archie problem. He shoulda ran more iso plays for guys like Yogi... oh wait a second... it's almost like his predecessor left him a flawed roster. I just get the vibe Mr. Davis is skeptical of Archie and IU basketball and wants to make sure we know that he is. Sorry for the rant. Little pot-shots like that just annoy me.
  9. GnarlyTimGarl

    (2019) SG Brandon Newman to Purdue

    I have no inside information, but this recruitment seems to share similarities with Damezi Anderson's recruitment... Last year, it was no secret that Anderson was a top Purdue target. He admitted it in an interview. He was a Northern Indiana guy... the one area in the state where Purdue seemed to have an advantage over IU. A number of people were saying that he was Purdue's to lose. But that went on for a couple of months, yet he never committed. Meanwhile, Archie and Co. was still recruiting him, albeit withholding an offer until the staff was completely sure he was worthy. Then, Archie offered while he unofficially visited. Evidently it was a game-changer because a few weeks later he became a Hoosier. And Purdue lost him. Now, we have Newman. Another Northern Indiana guy. Offered by Purdue early this month. Message board chatter claiming that put them in the driver's seat and that he was a top target for Matt Painter. While it's only been a few weeks since the Purdue offer, he still hasn't committed to them yet. Meanwhile, Archie and Co. has kept tabs on him all this time and still recruited him. Then, he gets an offer this week while unofficially visiting campus. And one crystal baller has already thrown his prediction to IU... What's going to happen? I don't know. I do know that I think Newman is a good player. Personally, I like him better than Armaan Franklin, although some rankings disagree with me. I was impressed with his play at Valparaiso last year. He's a good shooter, but there seems to be more to his game than that. Seems to be quite active.. can hit the boards, fill up the stat sheet. And his team had a pretty good season playing 4A ball. Doing well thus far this summer in AAU, too. Not GREAT size at 6'3 and not a PG, but I think he's got the potential to be a good "2" guard in the Big Ten. Definitely could see him as a double-figure scorer at some point in his career at any Big Ten school. As an IU fan, do I want him? Sure. Right now for 2019-2020, we'll only have three ball-handling guards with Green, Durham and Phinisee. None of which are known to be shooters. Newman can fill that role and still provide other things to help the team win. He's not the highest rated player, but he's still on the radar. He's a top player in the state and if we want to focus on nabbing the top players from the state, I think he qualifies. I'd love to have guys like Carton or Lewis or Ramsey, but if our chances on those guys are lower... Newman would be a great consolation prize. We could still use a PG like Carton or Lewis, but if we're talking a 4-man class, there's a spot for Newman. Do I think we'll get him? Hard to say. Just a (probably biased) gut feeling... if Archie REALLY wants him, I think we'll get him. As in, Archie makes him a top priority. Over guys like Ramsey, etc. But if he's deemed as more of a tier-two guy throughout the rest of the summer, I think he'll head elsewhere. Just my opinion.
  10. GnarlyTimGarl

    (2019) SF Trendon Watford to LSU

    I don't believe there will be much clarity in Trendon's recruitment until he (presumably) visits IU. I have no inside information, but let's just take a look at this from a logical standpoint. His brother is in the Top 10 of points scored in IU history and was a Big Ten champion while being remembered for one of the more iconic shots in program history. By all accounts, his family loved their experience in Bloomington. You can even see Trendon in the stands behind the basket of the Wat-Shot picture. The Watford family knows what basketball means in Bloomington. He knows how special it can be and the heights it can reach. I would guess he understands the lore and tradition of IU basketball better than most in-state kids do. I do not believe for one second that IU does not have a special meaning to him. That HAS to be a strong feeling and a major sell for IU in this recruitment. So will he come here? I don't know. But what we do know is that Archie had TWO in-homes with the family during the Spring that supposedly went very well. He has visited several other schools, thus winds may seemingly be blowing favorably in their direction at this point. Admittedly, the Brian Snow prediction caught me a bit off guard because he's more reliable. However, let's see what the vibe is after he (presumably) visits IU. I really believe that while IU may not be THE favorite in this recruitment, it's going to run through us one way or another. Now that is pure speculation on my part. The question is... how bad does Archie want him? More than Keion Brooks? Who knows? But if he visits us here and Archie shows him to be a HIGH priority, I think you'll hear plenty of pro-IU vibes like you have heard about Alabama and now Memphis. That's just a guess, but one I feel strongly about. If IU really wants Trendon, they're not gonna let him go elsewhere without a big fight. If Archie really, REALLY wants Watford, I think he'll be a Hoosier.
  11. GnarlyTimGarl

    Evan Fitzner to IU

    A few thoughts on the addition of Fitzer... all of which are simply my opinion... "He’s looking for an opportunity to showcase what he does. Obviously not just as an individual, but he’s a very team oriented guy.” -Fitzner's dad "He wants to go out and have an even playing field so that he can go out and earn his spot on the team.” - Fitzner's dad "He wants to get back to the NCAA tournament" -Fitzner's dad "We wanted him back... He will enhance their program" - St. Mary's Coach Randy Bennett I really like all of the above quotes and I think they pretty much explain what kind of player we're getting. I'll admit, the 5 PPG kinda puzzled me first as to why Archie would pursue him, but then you read these quotes and you start to understand. Notice there wasn't as much focus on "wants to become a more focal part of the offense" or "wants more playing time". Instead, you see him talking about the TEAM. About how he wants to work hard and EARN his spot. He talks about wanting to WIN and making the tournament. His old coach (who is pretty successful in his own right... look up his record) didn't want him to leave and believes he'll "enhance" our program. Those are promising sentiments you don't hear too often from transfers. Will he have a higher statistical impact than what he had at St. Mary's? I would doubt it. (I'm not even sure he'll match it.) Do we need him to produce more than that? Not really. What we could use is senior leadership to help bring along the five freshmen and three sophomores. What we could use is a guy who can knock down an open shot and be an offensive threat when on the floor. Check and check. If this team reaches its potential, it will have to have good team chemistry. While the talent on the roster has been upgraded in the off-season, we're still not talented enough to "out-talent" most other teams. They'll need to play well together. It sounds like Fitzner can help with that. Am I worried that this may mean Morgan is leaving? No. I think there's a better chance of another transfer before Morgan would leave. Am I worried that Fitzer is Priller 2.0? No. By all accounts, Priller was a good guy. But his on-court effectiveness made Richard Mandeville and Robbie Eggers look like All-Americans. Could Fitzer be Eggers 2.0? Possibly, but remember that Robbie Eggers never missed the NCAA Tournament. If Fitzer isn't effective, it isn't much of a loss. He only occupies the scholarship for one season. There are only two ways that this was a bad addition. #1) Fitzer is a detriment to team chemistry (seems unlikely) or #2) there was a more effective graduate transfer out there that specifically wanted to fill this role.
  12. GnarlyTimGarl

    (2018) SG Romeo Langford - INDIANA HOOSIERS

    Reasons to feel good about where IU stands with Romeo... - BTownBanners "insiders" feel good about it. Chris007 has been discussed. Don't forget about hoosierpap, either. He's come through with a number of nice recruiting tidbits over the years as well. The fact that both of these guys feel good about the situation is a good sign. - National insiders such as Andrew Slater, Brian Snow and Jerry Meyer have all predicted Romeo to IU. They aren't IU guys and they really don't care where Romeo ends up. Meyer was even quoted in a Kansas newspaper that his sources told him it was a "done deal". When a national recruiting expert says something like that and allows it to be printed, that's a very good sign. - Beat writers from all three contending schools gave their predictions in a recent article from the Tennessean (I think?) and all three guessed IU would be the choice. They all admitted that it was just a guess, however, I think it bears worth mentioning that even the Vandy and Kansas guys think IU is the choice at this point. - Some insiders at other IU fan sites seem to feel good about Romeo to IU. How much stock you want to put into that is up to you, but when you stack it up next to everything else, it seems plausible. - A commitment ceremony open to the public at New Albany High School. First and foremost, there will be New Albany fans there to support him. They have wonderful support for their team and always have even before Romeo came along. However, you can be assured there will be plenty of Hoosier fans there as well. It will be the crowd favorite. The Langford family knows this. Would they open it to the public if Romeo was going to Kansas or Vandy? Perhaps. But I believe it's reasonable to look at this setup to be more Pro-IU than anything else. I guess my point is that there's a lot of positive buzz here that points to IU . I don't know if there is much else that can be said that would make you feel any more confident of IU's position until Romeo announces himself in two weeks. I certainly understand being cautious and not wanting to list him as a commit just yet. I'm with you on that. Romeo isn't a Hoosier at this moment. But if those positive tidbits don't make you feel good about IU's chances, I'm not sure anything will. As someone else has already said, I normally hold off watching too many highlight videos of prospects until I feel there's a good chance that they'll become Hoosiers. Let's just say that I felt comfortable enough to start watching Romeo highlights last week.
  13. GnarlyTimGarl

    College Bball Thread

    I'd be relatively surprised if Crean doesn't land at Pitt. Fogler Consulting definitely seems to be an advocate of Tom Crean...
  14. GnarlyTimGarl

    Post Season Thoughts Thread

    This one's gonna be a long one... - I am not going to focus too much on this past season. Rather, I want to look ahead to the future because I believe there is definite reason for optimism next year and beyond. Our marked improvement in several statistical categories such as Defense Efficiency and TO% shows me that we have a coach who can identify our weaknesses and address them. This gives me confidence that our poor shooting is something that can and will be remedied sooner rather than later. I don't believe that's optimism as much as it is logical reasoning but I suppose you could debate that if you wanted. Anyway, next year... - Our returners will be key. People have a tendency to want to disregard certain key players during a bad season because they didn't perform to certain standards. While I understand their frustrations, it is important that we keep building onto the foundation that has been set this season. The constant roster turnover was a trademark of the Crean years and is a clear example as to why our teams failed to consistently perform at a high level each year. Stability will be key for this program moving forward. We're already losing 5 scholarship seniors this off-season. That's plenty... we don't need anyone else to leave. - Frontcourt Returners. Juwan Morgan (16.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG) should be a senior. His improvement this past season was remarkable and he developed into a 2nd Team All-Big Ten player. He was a major mismatch problem for the opposition with his ability to both play bigger or smaller than he actually was. His consistent level of production is something that few other players in college basketball can replicate. I know some are worried about him leaving, but I don't see it. Unlike guys like James Blackmon or Troy Williams, Morgan has never come across as the type of player who is bent on playing professional regardless of their draft stock. He may "test the waters", but I think he'll return. If he can continue to work on his outside shot and get even stronger, he's got 1st Team All-Big Ten written all over him next year. I've seen some people downplay De'Ron Davis' (9.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG) role on next year's team claiming he isn't an Archie type of player. I disagree because Archie spent all of last off-season grooming him to become a better player. Coaches don't put that much effort into a player if he isn't expected to be a key cog on the team. Now, I am concerned about him returning from his Achilles' tear and his conditioning. I don't know if we'll see him play more than 20 minutes per game, but he still has the potential to be a strong player for us, especially with post offense. I'd compare him to the effectiveness level of a Sophomore or Junior Isaac Haas. He'll be invaluable going up against the frontcourt of Michigan State and Purdue in addition to guys like Mike Watkins and Bruno Fernando. Justin Smith (6.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG) may be the real key for our future. There has been a lot of talk about needing top talent to be elite. IMO, Smith definitely fits that mold. He has athletic ability that can't be taught. He's the type of guy you see on teams like UNC or Villanova when they're in the Final Four. It'll be interesting to see how his game progresses. He could stay more post-centric and be another Juwan Morgan, or he could develop better handles, defensive quickness and outside shooting to become an NBA-style wing at the "3". At the moment, he has the highest potential to be "great" as anyone on the team, in my opinion. Returning Zach McRoberts (2.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG) will be good for this team because he sets the tone with his hustle and defensive intensity. We'll need him to continue working on his shot to become a better threat on offense. But ideally, we need someone to deservedly take his spot in the starting lineup. That will show progression by the other players. Clifton Moore (0.7 PPG, 0.9 PPG) had all the looks of a guy who was playing against players A LOT better than what he faced in high school. I think he has an interesting skill set and could still play a role on the team, but I'm guessing he'll need to re-evaluate his own expectations. I'm also including Race Thompson as a returner because I think a year on the team will do wonders for his preparedness for the college game. He was a Top 100-level recruit out of high school and he seems to have a body that is built for the rugged Big Ten. I'd say there's a good chance you'll see him in the rotation next year giving us good minutes at the 4 or 5. Don't sleep on how much he could help us. -Backcourt Returners. We're gonna need Devonte Green (7.6 PPG, 2.5 APG) to step up his game as much as anyone. As Archie said, we need singles from him as much as home runs. If this was a baseball season, he would have had way too many 0-4, 3 K types of games this year. He has potential to utilize his ability to create for others and his own shot, but we're gonna need him to be steady for us to have success. A bad Devonte Green really hurts us. But a good one takes us to another level. I was pleased/impressed with how Al Durham (4.8 PPG, 1.9 RPG) ended the season. Similar to Green, I hope he can embrace the role of a steady hand and defensive presence in the backcourt. We'll need him to continue improving his shot to be more consistent from the outside. However, if he attempts to become something he's not (i.e. a "go-to" scorer) it could hurt us more than help us. The fact that these are our only returners in the backcourt makes it imperative that they both take the next step in their development. -Newcomers. I'm a Robert Phinisee fan. As Old Friend has stated on numerous occasions, if there are 100 better players than him in the nation in his class, I'd like to see them. He's got a quick first step and is much more athletic than he looks which allows him to get to the basket. People rave over his play-making ability, but I think he'll be a better scorer for us next year than what many think. While not an elite shooter, he can more than hold his own in that department. He'll need to get bigger and stronger, but I could definitely see him as an effective starter next year. I won't say he'll be as effective as Yogi, but anyone remember Armon Bassett as a freshman back in 2006-07? Maybe something like that. I've also seen some others make some statements about how Damezi Anderson won't help us much next year, but I am not so sure. I love the way he moves without the ball and comes off of screens. He has a shooter's mentality and will provide us an offensive threat anytime he is on the floor. I do agree that he'll need to up his defense, but that is one area that I have faith in Archie. It'll be interesting to see what position he slides into as a frosh... that may be the tricky part. Every time I have watched a clip of Jerome Hunter I have been impressed. He seems to have an advanced and diverse skill set that could allow him to play early and often next year. If rankings are a good indicator of that stuff, he probably will. I'm curious to watch his motor. Guys like him with high motors usually become REALLY good. Guys like him with low motors usually end up like Jeremy Hollowell. We'll see. Jake Forrester seems to be a guy who might be able to provide some athleticism, energy and effort in the frontcourt next year. It seems like he has a developing skill set, but he can still run the floor well and could thrive in the "dump off" role that Justin Smith filled this year. I think you'll see him as our future "5" in the coming years. -Players yet to commit? Personally, I think we'll add 1-2 more guys for next year. The elephant in the room is Romeo Langford. If he comes, we'll have our leading scorer and instantly become a contender in a wide open Big Ten. Our backcourt will go from being a question mark to being a strength. However, I do not believe all is lost should he not come. The grad transfer market always produces a number of quality players every year and I think there's a good chance we could pick up a starter caliber player, there. Maybe even a couple for the backcourt. In short, I believe our backcourt will be bolstered in the offseason. By whom? Dunno yet... -Final Thoughts. Honestly, it's too early to tell. But I'd be surprised if we didn't see an improvement in our overall record next year. I think we could definitely be a bubble team, if not better. If Romeo comes? Let's just say making the tournament won't be a problem... Looking forward to the offseason and seeing how the program is progressing. I really like how Archie seems to be prioritizing the state with the 2019 guys while also looking at guys like Carton from Iowa for the point guard needs. Guys like Jackson-Davis and Keion Brooks will be very important prospects for us and I think we're doing as good of a job recruiting them as anyone right now. Throw in other guys like Brandon Newman, Alex Hemenway, Armaan Franklin, Mason Gillis, etc. It's gonna be fun seeing how that class shakes out. I like Archie's direction, though.
  15. GnarlyTimGarl

    IU vs Rutgers game thread

    So this is the way it ends, huh? - Let me state that I am a pretty big fan of Archie and really like 95% of the decisions he's made both on and off the court since taking over the program. I believe he is more than capable to bring IU back to consistent success where (at minimum) we are in the tournament every year. That being said... - This Rutgers game was absolute garbage from an effort and execution standpoint. Extremely disappointed with the lackluster and lackadaisical effort from the team last night. We got on top of them early and had them stymied with our defense. Then, we played extremely careless with the ball and stopped moving on offense. This level of play carried over to the defensive side of the ball where we allowed them to drive to the hoop, gain some confidence and ultimately win the game. I simply cannot believe some of the lackluster passes we were making last night. And the decision making was every bit as bad at times. I was absolutely shocked when we had a guy who's mired in a shooting slump take a step-back fade-away three in a close game with 5 minutes to go. Absolutely unbelievable. Our offense has been inconsistent under pressure all season long and last night proved it once again. And how we let a team that is more void of offensive threats than we are go on the runs they did is beyond my comprehension. - Perhaps what frustrates me the most? We have a win or go home scenario. A chance for a re-match against Purdue in the next round in the Garden. An opportunity to extend our season and build some sort of an NIT resume to build for next season. And we just allowed Rutgers to out-tough us and win the game. They wanted it more and it wasn't even close. We were so mentally soft for the last 28 minutes of this game that it wasn't even funny. That was a trend in several games this year and I expect that Archie will remedy that soon. - So there's your motivation for next year. To be honest, I hope Archie has TVs inside our locker room all off-season showing all of the Rutgers dunks we gave up. Add it to the compilation of Indiana State and Fort Wayne running us out of the gym. Throw in the stupid Nebraska bench and all the choreographed nonsense that they rubbed in our face, too. Whoever is on this team next year is going to have to have a whole lot more pride and desire to win or else we'll be right back at 16-15. - To quote Coach Knight, "I had to sit around this (expletive) league with an 8-10 record and you will NOT make me go through that again!" Archie can replace that with 16-15 and it works all the same.