THE IMPORTANT STUFF
Who? Ohio State Buckeyes (11-5 (3-0), #47 KenPom) v. Indiana Hoosiers (13-3 (3-0), #25 KenPom)
When? Sunday, January 10th, 1:30 PM, CBS
Vegas? INDIANA -7.5
Pomeroy? INDIANA by 7, 74% chance of Indiana victory
OH NO AN INDIANA KID VS. INDIANA GAME
- JaQuan Lyle (Indiana kid) vs. Indiana: After the multi-year will they / won't they that was JaQuan Lyle's recruitment to Indiana, it should come as no surprise when he walks into Assembly Hall and drops a triple-double on the Hoosiers. Lyle's talent is undeniable, but he's struggled a bit as a freshman for the Buckeyes, with an Offensive Rating of 90.9 despite the highest usage percentage on the team. His assist rate (34.4%) is outstanding, but is tempered significantly by his 25.9% TO%. Regardless, I would expect to see one of Lyle's better outings on Sunday, because time is a flat circle.
NO BOB KNIGHT WON'T BE AT THIS GAME, EITHER
In a society that deals only in absolutes and extremes, the reality is that Knight's legacy at Indiana falls somewhere in the middle. The man's basketball acumen, his impact on those that stand by him today, and impact on the state of Indiana as a whole is one that, again, can't be understated. Hell, there's a tangential argument that Indianapolis' entire emergence as a sports capital could be tied to Knight's success in the 1970's at Indiana. A number of players speak for what he did for them off the floor -- and close friends will forever defend him vehemently. He's also a man that would not have existed in collegiate athletics in 2015. Knight was a man who achieved success in spite of his flaws, rather than because of them. Our sensibilities as a sporting society have changed over time, and physical and mental abuse of unpaid "amateur" athletes doesn't fly anymore. One need not look further than a now-member institution of the Big Ten conference to understand such. Some members of an elder generation will use this point to complain about the "weakness" of millennials, but the reality is that yelling and screaming and toeing a very thin line of physical abuse doesn't get you anywhere at home or at work. If you're needing to get out a protractor to determine whether Knight's hand was on a neck or a chin or chest in this video, then you've already reached a point where we can safely assume that, yeah, this is probably not very good.
All that said, we've forgiven members of Knight's era -- or even today's -- for far worse sins. Woody Hayes punched an opposing player and still has a building named for him in Columbus. Adolph Rupp was probably a racist. Same for Bear Bryant. On some wholly-broken continuum of sins upon which we judge the fate of our coaching heroes, Knight's behavior certainly isn't becoming, but it wasn't wildly nefarious in the ways listed above. With the exception of Hayes, it's not even in the same ballpark. There's a reason ESPN didn't view him as a toxic waste upon leaving college athletics. If Indiana wants to honor Bob Knight, they should. That's fine. He's absolutely deserving of such.
They should just stop bending over backwards to do it. Because a return would require Bob Knight to be something other than prideful, stubborn, hypocritical, and petty --something that will absolutely not ever happen.
COTTON CANDY / SWEET N' LOW / LEMME SEE THAT PICK-N-ROLL
Thomas Bryant and Yogi Ferrell's two-man game should become the team's identity, and that certainly isn't meant to marginalize the other players on the team. Indiana's best shot at sustained success likely comes from those two doing the heavy lifting and finding others as they command more and more of the defense's attention. As opponents shift their focus to keeping one eye on Yogi and the other on the post, guys like Troy Williams who are so skilled at moving without the ball will be given plenty of opportunities to dominate the game. Thomas Bryant has shown a developing ability to pass the ball back out of the post, and should he find himself doubled, finding the open man will be more important than ever.
HEY, OHIO STATE MIGHT ACTUALLY BE OKAY, MAYBE
With the seven-game winning streak, the Buckeyes have crept back into the top 50 in Ken Pomeroy's rankings as of this writing. After a stretch that saw the team lose five of seven in late November and early December, most left Ohio State for dead. Even an NIT bid seemed like wishful thinking. But the Buckeyes are trending in the right direction, and while an NCAA tournament bid may still be a longshot, the scarlet and gray have put themselves back into the conversation.
INDIANA GOT A NEW HOOPER YESTERDAY, Y'ALL
Devonte Green is a 3-star G out of Long Island Lutheran High School in Manhasset, NY. The Greens are very much a basketball family, as his brother Danny is currently the starting shooting guard and role-player extraordinaire for the San Antonio Spurs. Devonte is currently ranked #195 in the class of 2016, but his stock has been on the rise since this summer, where he originally caught the eye of the Hoosier staff. Since then, Tom Crean and Chuck Martin have made multiple trips to check in on Green personally to get an in-person look at his development.
TWO VERY ODD PRE-GAME PRESSER QUOTES FROM TOM CREAN
Crean on JaQuan Lyle: "If he was a quarterback, he’d be one of those guys that could make that back-shoulder throw." #iubb— Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) January 9, 2016
Tom Crean here. Calls Ohio State the best team IU has seen overall, says Buckeyes are "growing up." #iubb— Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) January 9, 2016
THERE'S NEVER TOO MUCH SNOW ON THE GROUND TO GO FISCHIN'
INDIANA PLAYS OHIO STATE IN SPORTS SO THIS IS AN EXCUSE FOR ME TO POST THIS VINE OVER AND OVER LET'S WATCH ZANDER DIAMONT RUN RIGHT BY A FUTURE NFL SAFETY SET TO KENDRICK LAMAR'S M.A.A.D CITY