Saturday, December 23, 2006

Who Spiked The Punch?

**Newsflash** The Hoosier volleyball team was dreadful last year. You may be asking yourself "Well, what really qualifies as dreadful when it comes to volleyball?" Well, let me tell you my friends: An overall record of 10-22, with a sparkling conference record of 1-19

Well, Indiana University has done something about it. Defend The Rock would like to give a warm welcome to new IU Volleyball head coach Sherry Dunbar. She's coming to us from the College of Charleston where she had some serious success (read: 3 straight NCAA tourney trips, and a 27-8 record this past season).

President Adam Herbert (who I still believe does not actually exist) had this to say about the hiring of Coach Dunbar:
"Indiana University is committed to building one of the nation's premiere women's volleyball programs. Sherry Dunbar has certainly proven herself exceptionally well qualified to build such a program. The Indiana University family is especially delighted to welcome her back to Bloomington. We are very fortunate that such a talented and accomplished coach will assume the leadership of our volleyball team. She is destined to become one of the very best volleyball coaches in the Big Ten. I am very confident that she will make all Hoosiers proud."

Now, Defend The Rock is a solutions oriented blog, so I would like to make one comment regarding the IU Volleyball team and how to increase it's performance. The main issue is that this team is just way too attractive! (.pdf)

How is this a problem you ask? Well, because who in the world would know it unless they went to games! But you still may ask how is that a problem. I'll tell you how: Nobody is interested in Volleyball save for friends, family, and a few weirdos. If they would make some solid promo spots featuring these women they could lure in a lot more fans to fill up the stands and give IU a real homecourt advantage, you know, DEFEND THE ROCK. In time these fans would transition from mere drooling-at-the-mouth-frat-boys to hardcore Volleyball fans and our ladies would have a greater homecourt advantage than any other Volleyball team in the nation.

Get on it IU Sports PR department! I won't even charge you a consulting fee.

[Editor's Note: Clearly the "suggestion" part of this post is a satire of how many people (ignorant) people view Women's athletics. We here at Defend The Rock hope to dispel any notions that Women's athletics are less important or less newsworthy than Men's athletics. If you picked up on the satire - you're a good sports fan, if not, well, keep reading Defend The Rock and maybe you'll learn something just yet!]
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Adam Ahlfeld is Latvian for "Team Player" -- And IU Wins Again!

So tonight the Hoosiers slaughtered IUPUI 86-57. I should've known that when the score was 10-0 I could've started up with my nightly TV rotation of TUBE, MTV Hits, CMT Pure Country, Great American Country, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, FUSE, and the Gospel Music Channel, but alas, I watched the entire game for YOU - Defend The Rock's loyal readers! By the way, why don't I get VH1 Jams w/ my current cable plan? No, seriously, what's up with that?

First off apparently Lance Stemler has decided to join the rest of Hoosier Nation and read Defend The Rock. I can only imagine his scoring outburst was due to me calling him out.

I only have a few stats for you about this game: 52% from the floor, 44% from 3 point land, and 82% from the line - those precentages will win you games folks, well, when you're making 'em, not giving 'em up.

In honor of Adam Ahlfeld's 1 minute of play, and AWESOME dive into the bench whereupon his fellow Hoosiers literally threw/pushed him back onto the court I hearby announce the Adam Ahlfeld - Team Player Award. While my fellow blogger here on Defend The Rock, Tittle 500, has his own award, mine is completely different. It will go to the #1 team player after each IU game (and this can be for any sport in IU's wide array of athletics).

So without further ado, the inaugural Adam Ahlfeld - Team Player Award goes to:

Adam Ahlfeld

And once again, to make it 100% clear: We here at Defend The Rock love Adam Ahlfeld and the energy and enthusiasm he brings to Hoosier basketball. In no way, shape or form are we trying to make fun or demean him.
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Friday, December 22, 2006

Around The Horn

Sure here at Defend The Rock our focus so far has mainly been Basketball, but as promised, we will attempt to cover a wide range of IU althetics.

The sports nearest and dearest to my heart is baseball. Now, I must admit, I never really was an IU Baseball fan, mainly due to the fact I never really got into college baseball, not the fact that the team was dreadful. Occassionally I'd head up to Sembower Field and watch 'em get crushed but I never really got behind the team.

Well, there is a whole new season on its way, and this is a whole new blog, so let's give 'em some love.

A few incoming recruits:

Kyle Leiendecker, a 6'2 lefty SP. Couldn't find too much about him other than Coach Smith's praise.
Brock Huntzinger, a 6'3 righty SP. Gotta like the 72 k's and only 37 hits in 52 innings he had last year for Pendleton Heights. Record of 5-1, 2 Saves, 2.02 ERA
Ethan Wilson, a 6' SS. .370AVG/102Bs/33Bs/32RBIs/10SB.
Johsh Phegley, 5'11 SP/C, named Indiana's Mr. Baseball (in the company of the St. Louis Cardinals' Scott Rolen!) He finished last season with a .600AVG, exhibiting excellent defense behind the plate, all while being the #1 Pitcher for his team.
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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Somebody Call A Doctor

'cause IU's defense is SICK. Ok, I promise to never do that again, but the temptation was too great this go around.

First off, we saw the Hoosiers score more than 70 points, and guess what, we saw them win. The trend continues. I won't gaurentee it, I won't promise it, but it sure seems like if the Hoosiers score 70 or more they just aren't going to lose.

The Hoosiers allowed the Broncos to shoot 39.3% from the floor, but look at the TO totals. Western Michigan: 21 Indiana: 10. You could tell from the start of the game IU was going to put pressure on the Broncos and they kept it up all night. Sure the Broncos kept it close, but it just seemed every other possesion IU was forcing a turnover.

Does anyone want to dispute the fact that
D.J. White can now officially be classified as a monster? 16 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks, 1 steal. On the flip side Lance Stemler has gone cold, real cold, as in one for his last fifteen cold. But once he regains that 3-Point shot of his watch out.

Fun fact: IU was outrebounded for the first time this season, but still came away with the win.
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Ahlfeld Emerges

First off I would like to introduce everyone to Tittle500, the other main blogger here on Defend The Rock. His first post can be found directly below this one and it's chock full of Hoosier goodness!
I'll be honest, during my time in the stands at Assembly Hall I never caught Errek Suhr fever. I fear that the same could probably be said for Adam Ahlfeld

In fact, for all my attention to IU sports, and specifically basketball, I didn't even know Ahlfeld's name for quite some time, he was merely "The Ass Slapper" to me and my friends. You see Adam doesn't really play for IU. He mainly sits on the bench and gets up now and again to cheer his teammates on, usually with plenty of ass slapping to go around.

Recently this article on Ahlfeld appeared on IU's official athletics site, basically providing some backstory for his backside-slapping. And truth be told I started to like the guy, where previously I was merely "meh" on him. Unlike Suhr who has, and continues to come into games, hit a 3, take a charge, etc, Ahlfeld doesn't display those ingame symbols of sparkplugishness (due to lack ot PT), but if his sideline actions really do have an effect on the play of the team, then hey folks, his name is Adam Ahlfeld, not "That ass slapping guy."
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T-Shirt Award and... AJ Moye's favorite movie is The Notebook??

I'd like to introduce you all to one of the most prestigious awards that an IU student or alumni can win. Its called the "T Shirt" and it looks something like this.

The award, is of course, named after one of IU's all time student fan favorites of my era, A.J. Moye. Moye was lovingly called t-shirt by his fans for his practice of often wearing an enormously large t-shirt undeer his jersey during games. And in case you are curious, Moye is now playing for the Walter Tubingen Tigers (this site is worth visiting for the music alone) in Germany. Last season he won Iceland's leage MVP. His player bio page is in German, but I believe it says his favorite movie is The Notebook. Can anyone help me out here? Perhaps I should actually see the movie...Gage and Trout would be happy to know that he is living with last year's leading Boilermaker scorer, Matt Kiefer. Kiefer may not be a good person to lead your team in scoring. But, he makes a great model (notice that he doesn't have a t-shirt, as he is not eligible to win).

If that last image made you feel sick, or perhaps strangely excited, watch this video to get your mind back on the subject at hand.

Seeing that makes me want to riot at Showalter and Kirkwood just one more time... anyway... without further Adu...

Congratulations Jared Jeffries!

You are the first winner of the Honorable T-Shirt award!
(and here it is)

It was nice to see you and Eduardo Najera embracing during what I can only imagine was a conversation about his former (and current IU men's) college coach, Kelvin Sampson.


In other news, a nice win for the Hoosiers tonight over Directional Michigan.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Hey all,

Sorry for the recent lack of posts. A combination of tech issues, battling sickness, a terrible sleep schedule and other going-ons I haven't been able to post of late. Expect posts to pick back up, starting tomorrow, 12/21/2006.

So let's have another IU Men's Basketball win tonight, this time making Western Michigan the victim of IU's stifling defense. IU has never lost to the Broncos so why start now. Keep your eye on DJ tonight, if he contains Reitz IU shouldn't have any trouble winning this game whatsoever.
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Monday, December 18, 2006


I will have a full post up on the game a later. But just want to jump on here and say way to go IU on tonights victory. What a defensive battle tonight, and great to see AJ and Armon step up big time.
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Sunday, December 17, 2006

What We Know So Far

Thanks to our exclusive Defend The Rock Stat Matrix these are some things we know so far about our men playing b-ball in the cream & crimson. Of course be sure to check out the matrix for much more info.

In wins IU averages +9.6 rebounds over their opponents (19.6/g). In losses averages +6.6 rebounds. Not too shabby. So far Kelvin Sampson's strategy of turning his Hoosiers into rebounding machines seems to be working. Never doubt the Bubble Drill

Well, the good news in wins on average IU is DOMINATING. On the whole outscoring opponents an average of 24.4 points. But of course the bad news, in losses IU is losing by an average of 4.3 points. Now, this is a small sample size (3 games), but all three of those losses have been simply devestating. On the whole IU is scoring 68.6 points a game while allowing 58.6. If IU scores over 70 it'll be a win, mark it down.

Pretty simple here, an average of -3.8 TO's per win, and an average of +1.3 per loss. The weird part, in 4 of IU wins they've turned the ball over 18 times. That's simply bad news, and we're not going to win many more games if they keep that up. The overall average turnovers per game for IU is a little lower at 15.3.....

3 Pointers:
IU basketball is always about the threes, how are they doing this year? 7.4 3s per win, and 3.6 per loss. One way to put it is to say in our losses we're scoring about 12 less points in our wins. Obviously overall that's not the case, but put that way it does show how big a part three pointers play in our offense.

A Tale of Two Teams? Not So Fast:
Averages in Wins: 84 Points, 39.8 Rebounds, 15 Turnovers, 7.4 3's
Averages in Losses:53.3 Points, 38.6 Rebounds, 15.6 Turnovers , 3.6's

As you can see the biggest problem is the disparity between scoring in wins and losses. As I add more stats to the matrix, such as FG%, 3PT FG%, per w/l things should become much clearer. But as it stands now, IU simply needs to score to win (as obvious as that is). Sampson's preaching of defense and rebounding is working, unfortunately we're also seening what goes with Sampson's system....low scoring by BOTH teams.

As I said earlier, if IU can eek out 70 or more points in any given game I have very little doubt that they will win the game. But they HAVE to hold onto the ball, turnovers are going to hit this team hard if nothing is done to correct the issue.

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