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January 11, 2014
It's Game Day
And for me, today has a different feel. Good morning. I'm the new guy around here, and I've got a formidable chore ahead of me. In addition to picking up the donuts and making the coffee around here, I'll also be breaking down IU game action the day-after the Hoosiers play in a new segment titled, "Hoosier Breakdown". I'm a proud Hoosier kid - from Evansville. I played AAU with IU great Jared Jeffries for Bob Pryor's Bloomington Red, and learned much of what I know and believe about the game of basketball in my two injury-plagued seasons playing for RMK protégé Jim Crews at Evansville....what an education in basketball.
But I'm humbled to be here in front of you. As a lifelong Indiana follower, I understand what I signed on for by stepping into this den. You're a tough crowd. Smart, savvy, and you are not afraid to show it off. I like that about you. You truly are the best basketball fans in the game, and it's my intention to only grow that. Maybe I can teach you something, make you smarter, somehow, and that's my challenge. That's why I'm here.
Sunday morning I'll have my first "Hoosier Breakdown" to discuss the Penn State game. Inside each game will feature a "Spotlight", which will consist of an area or facet of the game that I'll highlight and discuss in-depth; the "Spotlight" on Sunday will be on the quality of Indiana offensive possessions. At any level of basketball, within any given game, whether there are 32 minutes or 40 minutes or 48 minutes available, there's only going to be so many possessions possible, a set, finite number. And when you use them up and throw them away, as IU has done this season, you don't get any new ones, it's game-over. And in a couple instances, it might have cost in the win column. It's a simple concept, yes, but it's about as important of a nuance of the game as there is to understand and recognize as player. No, it's not just the turnovers that have plagued IU this season, although I fully understand why that gets the lead. The situation also dictates what's needed, too. And as young kids are accustomed to doing, IU hasn't had the type of possessions it's needed at critical moments in the game with the momentum in jeopardy (basketball is a game of momentum and rhythm.) Bad shots, quick shots, and not understanding the concept of feeding the mismatch or hot-hand have been themes for an inexperienced team. But as we get into deep January, this team should grow. Today should be an ideal chance to take a step in that direction.
On Sunday, we'll look at all of it and go in-depth on the quality of Indiana offensive possessions in the "Spotlight", along with the full "Hoosier Breakdown" of Penn State from State College. See you tomorrow morning.
Hey, Peegs, how's your coffee?
Questions, comments, suggestions, and monetary donations welcome. Contact Nick.