IU v. UNC Pembroke

This is IU’s last exhibition game this season. UNC Pembroke is Kelvin Sampson’s alma matre.

From Kelvin’s Sampson’s Weekly press conference:

The focus of the team since UNA game has been defense. It’s consistently been the thing Sampson says is the focus of his teams early in the season. And based on watching the UNA game transition D, is the one place I noticed issues.

Almost all of the post UNA game press was about the new-comers and their high scoring. It will be interesting to see how that holds up and how the defense has improved.

Prior to the game Matt Devlin said “one of those special years”  twice in the first 3 minutes of the broadcast.

Lots of mention of DJ White’s leadership this year.

Back from commercial “one of those years.” I’m beginning to pick up a theme here.

Tip-off:

IU gets the tip

19:32: UNC P comes out in a 3-2 zone. Interesting to see how IU handles it. Not too well, but DJ gets the put back.
The zone offense looks like a 3 out 2 in with a high-low post. High post stepping out to set screens.
19:09: Armon gets the steal, ball lost on transtion, but put out by UNC P. EJ gets the long 3.
Gordon’s first 3 comes off a good solid screen by Lance. Body-body.
18:44: Ugh. A drive all the way to the basket while Lance and DJ both look the other direction. 2nd possession and all the focis on degense hasn’t shown.

18:36: WOW! In transition another long 3 by EJ.

18:04: Good rotation and a 3 for UNC P.

17:38: Forced 3 by Ellis, nice reb, by Lance.

17:21: Now EJ’s hitting 20 ft. jumpers off the dribble and Armon’s got his second steal of the game. There’s your defensive bright spot this year. Also, Lance has an offesive rebound and seems to be one of the few college players who know how to put a body on someone when he sets a screen.
Shot of the crowd. There’s a guy with a hi-top fade Kid N’ Play style. I can’t wait until Eric Anderson gets into the game.
17:01: Second attempted alley oop of the season. 0-2.

16:39: Armon disrupted another pass. This one lead to an over and back. If the team can take their defensive cues from Armon this will be a scary defensive team.
Conscious effort this possession to pass the ball into DJ. Neither time very effective.
16:30: One of the things Sampson talked about as an advantage of playing this game is UNC P’s tendency to play zone. Likely we’ll see some zone in the next couple of weeks so this will help to test out how we play against different defenses.

I think the teams shorts have pockets in them. I saw EJ putting his hands in them while DJ shot a free through. For what possible purpose could these shorts have pockets?

Armon with another steal and a lay-up. So, the one bad defensive possession seems to be an anomaly.
Ellis makes an impressive pass to DJ. He can really deliver the ball.
15:00: Another 3 for EJ. Dear God this kid is good. 10 of our first 16 points.

14:47: My GOD! Another steal for Armon.  This is getting ri-goddamn-diculous.
These steals remind me of a team I coached once. We could take the ball away from just about anyone who showed the slightest inability to handle the ball, but we couldn’t get the ball other ways. We’re clearly better athletically than this team and these steals are proof of that. Doesn’t really mean there’s good solid defense going on, just that we’re quicker.
First TV Time out: IU 18 UNC P 7

14:21: Jordan Crawford in the game for the first time. Missed his first 3 this season. Dre’s also in the game. Offensive rebound. Just the kind of thing we’re gonna need when DJ needs a break. Plus 2 free throws.

13:30: Shot clock violation. 100% caused by Dre’s movement on defense. I’m amazed at how active he his. He hedged on two separate ball screens that possession.
Two possessions into the game and he’s the difference on both ends of the floor.
12:57: GREAT PASS by EJ. Missed lay-up.
Poor transition defense again leads to a 3 for UNC P.
12:36: O-Reb for Lance. We have been on the glass really well so far this game. I’m curious to see if they have this kind of rebounding success against D-1 competition.

12:00: Forced turnover in the post, leads to Armon on the free throw line. Defense creating offense tonight. Gotta please Sampson.
Everyone on the court is playing defense standing straight up.
11:23: Good defensive possession for 33 seconds. 3 pointer for UNC P.

10:58: Offense rebound. Another one. Put back and foul for DJ.

TV Time out: IU 25 UNC P 15. The story for IU so far this game is tremendous defensive pressure, and offensive rebounding. If that’s the story of every game we’ll win them all, regardless of whom the competition is.

10:33: Armon to EJ alley oop is good. Much better timing this time.

9:56: UNC P in a 2-3 now. Very little post play against the zones tonight. All the inside points, except the alley oop have been put backs.
2nd look at it. They didn’t change defenses. It’s the same set-up every possession so far. They just have the low post wings take the gusy free throw line extended so it looks like a 3-2.

9:29: Slow rotation on defense. The on the ball D has looker really good all the way around tonight, but he help has not been great.

8:54: Really bad offensive possession. Looked lost lead to a turnover.

8:37: CHARGE!!! Lance stepped up and took a good one there. Stopped a lay-up.

8:25: Getting decent dribble penetration against the zone, but once we hit the lane it collapses and we don’t really know what to do there.

8:03: Great post defensive pressure by DJ and Lance forces another turnover.

7:40: Much better possession this time. Lots of ball movement around and over the zone. Good dribble penetration and kick outs. Still looks hard to get a good shot, but the approach was better that time.

TV Time out IU 28 UNC P 18

7:35: Two missed free throws for DJ, offensive board, no basket. UNC P hits a 3. Not able to pull away from these guys despite the defense.

6:27: 2-1-2 now. We’re still having trouble with the zone and UNC P has started scoring. It’s a 7-point game now.
Fooled again, not a 2-1-2, but a very active and morphing 2-3. It is a different rotation than ealier, but not that much.

5:41: Great full court pressure by EJ gets a turnover. He follows it up with a long 3. Steal by Crawford and a lay-up. Defense is getting it done again.

4:53: DJ’s defense causes a travel. He pumps his fist in the air, during an exhibition game. Gotta love that kind of enthusiasm. So far the defense is not consistent. Really good for a while, then lapses leading to points for the other team.

4:37: First post entry. DJ kicks it back out and Armon hits the 3. Very nice.

4:17: HUGE swat by DJ!

4:04: A two minute stretch with great defense and now it’s a 17-point game.
Not really great defense. We are getting turnovers, blocks, steals, etc. But it’s all caused by our better athleticism and speed. Not really by solid consistent defense. The turnovers look impressive and can be deceiving, but you can’t hang your hat on that.

TV Time out: IU 41 UNC P 26

3:17: Another defensive trip where our posts have the backs of their heads to the ball.

3:11: two more missed free throws. I can think of two things to work on this week.

2:27: Not looking good since the time out. KS takes another one. So far this season this seems to be a team that suffers from lapses of concentration. Not the 8-minute scoreless stretches of the Mike Davis era, but a cause for concern, none the less.

2:11: Good interior passing. DJ makes a nice pass to Lance out of the double team.
1:47: JESUS! EJ with another long 3 in transition.

1:26: We’ve given up 35 points in the first half. WAY too much, esp. for an exhibition.

.36: AMAZING! EJ with another big 3, but Armon is limping off the court. Stupid Er-Ic- Gor-Don cheer.

Some bull fighter defense there in the final possession.

Halftime: IU 49 UNC P 26.
Sampson not pleased with the defense. Good focus for 5-10 seconds, but that’s not enough against a patient team. When Las asked him about Eric Gordon, Sampson couldn’t keep the grin off his face. “Hell of a player.” That just about says it.

19:57: Armon still in the locker room after half time. Not good.

19:28: MUCH better ball movement. Hardly any dribbling and great passing leads to a 3 for Lance.

19:05: 3 blocks on one possession. EJ, Ellis, and DJ. Armon not returning tonight. No word as to why exactly.

18:44 Another block by EJ a jumper this time. leads to big fast break dunk by Crawford.

17:37: This half so far has been a much better offensive half. More team ball. Very good passing.

15:38: Despite the better passing we’re still largely settling for outside shots. The last two minutes have been cold shooting, so there’s the downside of that.

TV Time out IU 61 UNC P 41

15:14: Remember when George broke his glasses and he had to resort squinting. Jerry couldn’t figure out whether to trust him as an eye witness as George spotted a dime from across the room and followed that up by taking an onion out the fridge and biting into because he thought it was an apple. Our defense is a lot like that. One minute we’re spotting dimes, the next we’re eating onions.

13:35: Big back cut, but really nice help for the block by Dre. Perfet example. We completely lose out man (onions) but Dre gets a huge block (quarters).

12:07: nice steal by Dre leads to a nice move in transition by Ellis for a bucket.

TV Time Out IU 73 UNC P 47

11:52: So here’s what I love about IU fans. It’s a 26 point game. An exhibition game. And the stands are still completely full.

11:20: Armon’s on the bench with ice on the left ankle. So, hopefully not such a bad injury.

11:00: Here’s the problem (and it’s only a perception problem) with having an EJ. He had 24 points in the first half, hasn’t done a lot on offense this half, and Las just pointed out that he’s having a slow second half. True, but Christ he put 24 up in the first half and has at least two blocks and a number of assists this half. I’ll take that as a slow half.

9:44: Ellis and McGee are responsible for the last 16 points. That’s good bench contribution, but this is getting silly. We’re just raining threes at this point. It’s 85-47 now. Just sick.

9:10: This is the point in a game like this where it can be really easy to lose focus and start to play really sloppy.

8:40: Another 3 from McGee. Looks like he’s the Freshman who’se allowed to score a lot of point tonight.

8:03: I guess Jordan heard me type that. Long jumper and then a three.

TV Time out IU 93 UNC P 49

6:14: Really nice pass into Eli for an inside score against the zone.

5:54: It’s Tapak time. The walk-ons are in the game. Not all of them mind you but Taber has hit the court.

4:47: He has been joined by Adam Ahlfeld. It’s nice when these guys can get on the court.

4:27: Ahlfeld gets the offensive rebound. Just proof that rebounding is all about size.

3:27: Ahlfeld gets an open look and the crowd gasps in hopes he would hit it.

3:05: McGee hits another 3.

3:00: We’ve taken 29 3’s this game and hit 18. That is a TON of 3’s. I’d love to see us figure out another way we can score against a zone.

2:48: Brett Finkelmeier has hit the floor. Hands down has to be the best name ever for a college walk-on.

2:46: Stands are still full as Taber hits the free throw. Proof that Finkelmeier really packs ‘em in.

1:48: Again they mention that UNC P took an 11 hour bus ride to play this game and another 11 hour ride back home. That is a lot of time on the bus. The glories of Division II ball. It gives them a lot of time to work on their clichés for when they make it to the show.

Final Score: IU 111 UNC P 62. That’s about right.

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