Bloomington – If Tom Crean has his way, Saturday's second IU basketball scrimmage will look very much like many of the Hoosiers' games this season.
In an up-tempo scrimmage that included plenty of hot shooting out of both teams, the Cream handled the Crimson 91-86 in front of approximately 5,000 fans at Assembly Hall.
"It's just something for us to build on," Crean said afterwards. "Now we have some tangible tape for them to look at, and after media day tomorrow in Chicago, we'll come back and get back after it tomorrow night."
Crean has been looking for opportunities to get his young squad in front of fans and under the lights, and Saturday afternoon provide the perfect opportunity. Most of the fans in attendance made their way over from Memorial Stadium following IU's feel good 21-19 Homecoming win over Northwestern, and the effort on the basketball court gave them even more reason for optimism.
The Cream – which was made up of Steven Gambles, Tom Pritchard, Jeremiah Rivers, Verdell Jones, Malik Story, Brett Finkelmeier and Kory Barnett – was paced by Jones, who finished 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Perhaps even more impressive was the fact that none of Jones' points came from behind the 3-point arc, as he managed to penetrate and create for himself and others.
Jones added five rebounds and four assists and was also 10-of-11 from the free-throw line.
Jones' effort was reflective of the Crean squad, which shot better than 60 percent from the floor and made 4-of-9 3s. Jones' backcourt mate Jeremiah Rivers bounced back from a relatively quiet performance at Hoosier Hysteria to score 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including a 3-of-4 effort from 3-point range. Malik Story, meanwhile, played both inside and out and finished with 15 points.
While the Crimson had to settle for a five-point loss Saturday afternoon, it had plenty of promising individual performances as well. Nick Williams scored points in bunches both inside and out and finished with 28 points, five rebounds and two steals. Williams made 10-of-19 shots from the field, including 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point arc.
Matt Roth, meanwhile, knocked down 6-of-8 shots from behind the 3-point arc and finished with 20 points, and Devan Dumes added 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting (3-of-10 from 3-point range). All of Cream's backcourt sharpshooters benefited a great deal from the play of freshman point guard Daniel Moore, who had 13 assists.
Rounding out the Crimson roster was Tijan Jobe, Broderick Lewis and recently added Evan White. White is a 6-0, 190 pound former Indiana All-Star from Ft. Wayne Harding who has been added to the roster for the time being. He finished with three points and four assists. Crean said White is still going through the try-out phase of joining the team, and a final decision has yet to be made.
The Crimson didn't shoot the ball quite as well as the Cream, but it did make 13-of-25 attempts from behind the 3-point arc and 51 percent for the scrimmage overall.
While the exhibition opener is still a couple of
weeks away, Saturday's scrimmage provided further evidence of what IU fans can expect to see this season – a team that will look to get up and down the floor in a hurry and will have to rely a great deal on guards to make shots from the perimeter. While Tijan Jobe (eight rebounds) and Tom Pritchard (6 rebounds) both did some good things on the glass, there also appears to be little doubt that four-guard lineups will be the norm this season.
There remain plenty of things to work on, but Crean was encouraged by what he saw Saturday from a team that has been doing relatively little scrimmaging during the week.
"We haven't scrimmaged for 40 minutes in
practice, let alone come out and try to scrimmage 40 minutes in a game," Crean said. "We had some very good individual performances."
Indiana will have at least one more opportunity for IU fans to see the team scrimmage before the exhibition opener. IU will host the "Haunted Hall of Hoops" on Friday, an event that will likely include elements of practice as well as scrimmaging. While that's the only other scheduled scrimmage, Crean wouldn't mind adding another before the regular season gets underway.
"I wish we had one more live scrimmage before we play," Crean said. "I don't know if we will, but I'm going to look at the calendar and see if there's a chance we can do something before the 15th."
Scrimmage Shows IU Fans What to Expect
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