Things to watch for in this game. From the 11/1/07 Kelvin Sampson press conference.

Gotta see what kind of mistakes the freshman make in a real game so they can be corrected.

How are they gonna manage the 4 spot. Eli seems to be making strides in practice.

Eric’s problem at this point is off the ball defending. That’s a matter of experience, though, not talent.

DeAndre is pretty turn over prone. His bad habits (and man I’ve seen this in my own players) revolve around not making the easy pass. He thinks everything has to be a “home run.”

Eric Gordon is the best on the ball defender. Armon has grown into it from last season.

Sampson is very reluctant to address the phone call drama, mostly on the basis that the NCAA investigation is still ongoing.

He expects this team to be a good defensive team that scores well in transition. The offense is not as developed as the defense right now, but this team has more scorers than last years.

It sounds like he’s hitting the table almost in nervousness.

Don’t expect a lot of playing time for Mike White or Kyle Tabor.

Eli’s gonna see minutes. He needs them to develop in order to replace DJ next year.

Just prior tip-off: I can’t wait to get a chance to see this team in action. With all the excitement over how good Eric Gordon is, I’ve never seen him play. Getting my own look at how good he really is, and how well the team works together is really exciting.

Las is back!! With the shift over the years from Raycom to ESPN regional to BTN, John Laskowski has been the one constant. He’s the IU basketball equivalent to Terrence Mann’s view of baseball.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I’m so happy to be able to watch the exhibition games on TV again. It’s been a few years since these have been available any way other then radio, and in my case, outside of Indiana, over the internets (Thanks Mark Cuban). It’s really too bad that the major cable companies in Indiana still can’t get it together with the Big Ten Network to get these games on TV for the residents of Indiana.

Las just made the first in-game mention of the self-imposed sanctions, and the resignation this past week of Rob Senderoff.

20:00: IU wins the tip. DJ gets the first points of the game. Baseline jumper.

19:08: Holy God. There was a lot of standing on the second possession, until EJ took it off the dribble and got all the way to the basket. That’s gonna cover a lot of potential problems this year.

18:36: Freshman. EJ forces a baseline drive that results in a turnover.

18:25: Not doing a great job of setting screens. DJ laid a pretty good one on, to get Jamarcus open, but Lance set a phantom screen.

18:02: Two minutes in. EJ with 5, DJ with 4. We’ve taken at least 4 3’s so far. All good shots, but that’s a lot so early.

17:09: Poor shot by EJ, great hustle for the rebound by DJ, results in 2.

16:36: Armon for 3! North Alabama does not rotate very well. Inside to DJ, kicked out. Good offense.

16:00: At the fist TV time out. Poor transition defense for IU, but the offense in this game should carry the team today. 14-11, IU

15:21: Getting the ball into DJ a lot so far. I really like that. All good things if the offense runs through the post.

14:54: EJ jumper off the screen. Just smooth.

14:14: Transition defense is pretty bad.  North Alabama is pushing the ball really well and we are not keeping up.

13:43: Ellis has been in for about 2 minutes, already has a rebound and a 3. That’s a good start.

13:40: DeAndre Thomas gets his first look This is a BIG BOY!! First thought here. Lucky this is a D-1 program with money. In a high school, he’d have a lot of trouble fitting in AJ Moye’s old uniform. First play offensive rebound.

13:05: There’s not a lot EJ can’t do no offense. Jump shot followed by a steal and a great outlet pass to Crawford for the fast break dunk.  27-15 IU.

12:44: Different look out of the Time out. Full court press for IU.

12:!5: High-Lo to DJ. Nice pass from Dre. Made possible by that being a big-big pass.

11:45. Dre lowers a shoulder, knocks a defender about 10 feet out of bounds and scores the lay-up. How do you stop a guy that big once he gets the ball in the post? NAU doesn’t.

10:57: Both DJ and Ej on the bench. I don’t imagine we’ll see this line-up a lot this year.
Elli, Crawford, Thomas, Basset, Holman.

10:12: Even with this line-up the score is pushed 34-15.

10:03: DJ and EJ back in the game.

9:39: Ellis, poor choice. Forced the drive. Offensive foul

9:11: DJ blocks a jump shot. NAU still scores, but still. A block jump shot.

8:10: Good offensive board and put back for DJ. Having a second post presence has made a difference already this season. It’s really opening things up for DJ. 39-17 IU.

7:36: Shot of Dakich on the bench. Doesn’t appear to coach cross-eyed.

7:23: DJ looks much more confident this year. More sure of what he wants to do once he gets the ball. Missed 2 free throws. Blech

6:49: Huge block by DJ leads to a fast break dunk by EJ. 43 points  so far this half. This team is gonna do some damage this year.

5:52: KS is right about EJ off the ball. He’s standing up straight off the ball. Not a lot of movement on his part.

3:55: EJ and DJ back on the bench. This is a great chance to get a lot of the younger guys some good minutes. Ellis handles the ball well. Seems to want to take a lot of weight when he’s got the ball. Could be a big help when EJ is on the bench.

2:31: Ill advised long contested 3 for Crawford, but he hits it.

1:32: First appearance of Dre trying to make the tough pass. One hand bullet doesn’t make it to Stemmler.

41:1: Just noticed this. The NCAA, I’m assuming it’s an NCAA rule have moved the players up the lane for free throws. First man placed above the block, not below. Probably a good idea.

18:7: Diving NAU player lands on a ball boy. Ouch.

Halftime: 55-39

19:49: Slow defensive rotation. Easy basket for NAU.

19:42: The ball boy is OK. You can stop worrying now.

19:08: That’s how you set a screen. NAU just laid out Armon with a solid screen.

18:27: DJ just got the ball in the post and made his move away from the double team before it got there. That a HUGE step in the right direction for him

17:33: Ellis makes a nice move and finish along the baseline.

17:10: EJ leaves the game with blood from the mouth and maybe a lost tooth. An NAU player leaves the court bleeding from the fore arm. Not too sure what happened, but I’ve got visions of Fletch driving the lane.

15:51: Inside out passing leads to 3 for Armon. Very nice.

15:50: Armon’s playing on the ball with this hands behind his back. Apparently Sampson’s got him doing a live game nose-on-ball drill. I haven’t noticed it, but maybe he’s been a little too grabby, like an unsupervised gentleman caller. Roman hands and Russian fingers.

14:03: Well this is just getting silly. Turnovers and fast break points abound for IU.

13:29: It’s a little early in the season to revoke my multi-year criticism, but it looks like DJ has learned how to pass out of the double team.

12:45: Jordan Crawford is 6-6 from 3 point. That’s fantastic. An impossible standard to be held to, but what a tremendous start.

12:04: Getting greedy. Good outlet but no numbers and Armon takes an ill advised 3.

11:33: More inside out. This time Brandon McGee is the beneficiary of the outlet from DJ.

11:01: Nice cut by EJ and nice pass fro DJ.

10:21 Ellis adds a 3. Not sure I expected this team to be such a good outside shooting tem, but so far they look really good.

9:59: EJ hits the ground for a loose ball. Very good to see.

9:29: Fantatic pass from EJ down low to McGee. McGee to the line because of it. Great unselfish play.

9:22: Dre, 298 lbs. Tries for a steal 30 feet out. Surprisingly quick.

7:53: Eli has two blocks in the last two possessions. He is LOOOOOOOONG.

7:22: FLOP! Dre gets called for the charge as he backs in on the post. Too big for his own good there. Well sold by NAU.

7:22 THE BIG FLAGS!!!!!!

6:50: Fantastic rebound and outlet from Armon. EJ big dunk.

Now the “Er-IC-Gor-Don” cheer. First of the season. I hate this cheer. Can we all agree not to use this same cheer for every player that does anything good

5:27: Armon is doing well pushing the break dn making passes. Crawford makes a great finish. He’s got 24  in his first game. I’ll take that every night.

4:40: This team really does run well. Full on fast break ball never hit the ground. A failed oop, but with a foul.

3:52: Blocked shot by Eli leads to fast break points for Armon. BTW, the score is 113-69.

1:45: There’s not a lot to criticize in this game. I’m sure patterns will emerge. Things that need to be worked on. Transition defense being the only one that jumps out at me after this game, but the new players all look like they can contribute. Some of them in really big ways. And the improvement in DJ and Armon so far has been impressive.

36.4: It will be nice to have something to focus on other than the phone calls. Now that there’s a game to talk about, that crap should take a back seat to the play of this team.

Final Score: 121-76.

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