Sunday, February 19, 2012
Connecting IU-Iowa with Jeremy Lin-Kim Kardashian
Are you like us? Do you prepare for Indiana’s game at Iowa tonight by debating the pros and cons of Jeremy Lin following up on Kim Kardashian’s publicly revealed dating interest?
Sometimes we get distracted.
Anyway, here’s what we know as Indiana braces for Iowa:
It really, really needs to win if it wants to show it is worthy of a No. 4 (give or take) NCAA tourney seed and, perhaps, a top-four seed in the Big Ten tourney.
Yes, we know, that’s not as shocking as, say, Josh Oglesby scoring a career-high 24 points, as the 6.1-point-a-game freshman did the first time these teams played in Assembly Hall, but we’re still trying to get over the fact that Ohio State is not the Big Ten bully we thought it was.
But we digress.
The Hoosiers (20-6) have a great opportunity to win at least seven of their last eight regular season games. They’ve already won the last three, including at Purdue when the Boilers were at full strength and not dealing with the repercussions of youth gone wild.
Iowa is 13-13 and 5-8, which means it’s an okay team, but not Kentucky. This is very much a winnable game, and IU has to take advantage of that.
So what do the Hoosiers have to do to win. Here’s what Tom Crean had to say thanks to the power of a media release:
Q: What IU needs to improve on from the first meeting:
“We know when we get to Iowa, we’ve got to be way better defensively. That’s the bottom line. We allowed them to shoot too high of a percentage. There were times they really earned shots, especially Oglesby, who had people in his face. But there were times we let their team get way to to comfortable in the game, whether it was in the post or on the perimeter. So we’ve got to make sure that we understand that our defensive mindset and our defensive energy, and most importantly, starting with defensive transition, have got to be really really high in that game. I’m sure it will be a fast-paced game, but we can’t be in the situation where we go on the road and try to trade baskets with a high-powered team like Iowa.”
Q: What about the last meeting:
Crean: “They really did a great job of getting out and running and getting some easy baskets, but our guys continued to respond. We didn't want to get into a situation where we were trading baskets and there were a couple of times that happened, but overall, it was a solid effort for us.”
Q: What about IU in the last meeting:
Crean: “We had a very solid game from a lot of people, but the bottom line was that the ball moved. And when the ball moves on offense and when you're active on defense and we kept understanding the pace of the game, it worked out well for us. I was very excited about the 20 offensive rebounds and the 20 assists.”
Q: What about playing Iowa at home:
Crean: “I don’t care who it is, it takes a focused, 40-minute effort to win anywhere in this league. There is a toughness about the Big Ten, whether it be the players, coaches or that make each possession of each game critical.”
Q: What’s up with Jeremy Lin:
Crean: “Who’s Jeremy Lin?”
Okay, we MIGHT have made up that last question, but the key here is IU absolutely has to play better defense. It’s done a much better job in that area the last three games, and can’t let up now.
Courtesy of that same IU media release, here are some game thoughts from players Tom Pritchard and Jordan Hulls.
Why those guys and not, say, Christian Watford?
We don’t know. We are just pawns in the game of life.
Tom Pritchard Thoughts: “Every road game in the Big Ten is a tough test. We have had some success this year on the road and we just have to build on that. We need to try and get the crowd out of the game and rely on our own energy.”
“We know they are very good in transition, and we have to get back, protect the rim and we have to take that part of their game away.”
Jordan Hulls Thoughts: “When you are on the road, I think its important to get some shots to fall down early. I just look to see what the defensive will give us. I do like to be more aggressive (on the road) because I think it can help my teammates as well.”
“Playing on the road is no easy task for sure. We need to be prepared for a dogfight. We have to play a lot better defense than we did last time and not give them easy buckets. We can’t give them any easy touches.”
Jeremy Lin Thoughts: “Heck, yeah, I’m going to date Kim Kardashian. Do I look stupid? I mean, what could go wrong? She’s hot and sexy and I suddenly have all sorts of money and no real thoughts on how to spend it and …”
Sometimes, as March Madness approaches and we realize IU will finally, finally get to participate in it again, we get carried away.
Oh, yes. IU wins by 6 tonight.