HoosierNation.com looks back at IU's 100-49 win over the Longwood Lancers. Read who was the player of the game, what the biggest surprises and concerns were from the game, and what the players and coaches had to say afterwards...
Game MVP - Jamarcus Ellis. In a game where six players reached double figures and everyone contributed, it's a little hard to single out one player. But if you're looking to do that there's no better choice than Ellis. The 6-foot-5 wing guard once again stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, a game-high 11 rebounds, five assists, and just one turnover. Afterwards, Sampson praised the junior's all-around game and said he recruited Ellis ‘because he just fit'. Sunday afternoon Ellis proved his coach right once again by orchestrating the offense with aplomb.
Biggest Surprise - Lance Stemler. Granted, the competition was vastly inferior, the game was never in doubt, and the scoring opportunities were ample and plenty, but Stemler still had a great game. The senior has been suffering through a slump of epic proportions for the last nine months that has been as much psychological as physical. The second-year Hoosier was even booed by his own fans on during the season-opener. Certainly not making things any easier on him was that he lost his starting job after just one game this season to DeAndre Thomas. But instead of throwing a pity part, Stemler responded to the benching with determination and grit.
Sampson talked after the game about how the staff has been urging Stemler to relax on the court and just let his play come naturally. Sunday he did just that. Stemler's first bucket of the season came on a testy 10-footer, the type of mid-range jumper that puts the touch in touch shot. Once it rattled in you could see the relief on Stemler's face. Later in the game he would sink back-to-back three-pointers that pushed the Hoosier lead to 96-41. His 12 point, four rebound effort had to help his fragile confidence and was a pleasant surprise on Sunday.
What I Found Most Impressive - In a game like this it would be easy for one player to think he's "feeling it" and try to break the scoreboard, but no Hoosiers took that bait on Sunday. Instead, IU got a balanced scoring effort as nearly everyone chipped in. What was most impressive, though, was that 22 of IU's 38 made baskets came on assists from teammates.
The unselfishness was clear as players continuously looked to make the extra pass all afternoon. Leading the charge was point guard Armon Bassett and Ellis, who each dished out five assists and really kept their teammates involved. Every scholarship player scored in this game and it wouldn't have happened without the selflessness of the IU players.
What I Found Most Concerning - Uhm…let's see here…a game in which IU shoots 59 percent, holds their opponents to 26 percent shooting, outrebounds them 46-33, wins by 51 points, and puts six players into double figures and I'm supposed to be concerned. Needless to say, this game didn't raise a lot of concerns. The Hoosiers put their opponents on the line more than you would like, but that's really nit-picking.
Turning Point - The beginning of the second half. Once again the Hoosiers left the halftime locker room and realized that their coach wasn't going to be satisfied with the same level of defense they played in the first half. After surrendering 30 points in the first half, the Hoosiers got serious in the second half. Everything the Lancers got in the second half didn't come easy. Through 17 minutes of play in the second half the visitors scored just 11 points and they would finish the second half with just 19 points. IU's defense was so aggressive that Longwood made just 5 of 29 shots in the final frame, 17.2%. So once IU decided to put the defensive clamps down at halftime this game became horrendously lopsided in a hurry.
"First of all, that is a team that you will have difficulty finding seven teams around the country that are better than that. They have talent, leadership, and there is a poise that exists when you have guys with that level of ability. It's not physical talent, or even mental talent, but emotional stability that just controls the flow of the game and it is at a different level here. When you have a large number of guys on one team that all have that ability, and unless you can do something to interrupt that during the flow of the game, it is going to be difficult to achieve success against them.
"You have to understand, there is an upper echelon that exists and I have a hard time believing there are seven teams in the country better than the team we just played against." -- Longwood Coach Mike Gillian
"As far as our team today, I just think we continue to get better. Our defense is going to come along. One thing that we talked about last night in our film session was that we have so many new players, they are going to make mistakes so we just have to be patient with them. You can tell that every time we hit the court, we're improving. Jordan (Crawford) is making mistakes, Eric (Gordon), DeAndre (Thomas), all of our new guys. They make mistakes. A lot of them are playing a different defense than they have ever seen, but their attitudes are good. They are hard workers and I think we will continue to get better in that area. – Indiana Coach Kelvin Sampson
Coach (Dan) Dakich had the scouting report and he did a great job of preparing us. (Kirk) Williams had 29 last game and he did it all driving right and really slashing and getting to the rim. And we knew that was going to be a challenge for D.J. (White), guarding a guy that can really slash. D.J. did a great job today. He really, really guarded the dribble. If you think back to our exhibition games, most of our big kids were getting beat off the dribble, but its two weeks later. This team is playing early like it should and now we're starting to get better." -- Indiana Coach Kelvin Sampson
"You have to understand, when you have D.J. White and DeAndre Thomas and they are 8-for-11 from the floor in the post, and we say we have to be able to defend the post area, an area we are a little better in than we have been in the past. But you have to have talent to be able to have guys to be able to do that. So if you defend the post, then you have to be able to take away the perimeter. If you look at (Indiana's) three-point shooting (11-for-18), that makes it hard to defend the post and the perimeter. They have all the pieces that make it difficult to defend or take away any one piece. – Longwood Coach Mike Gillian
UPON FURTHER REVIEW: Longwood
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