Friday, June 29, 2007

Baseball Bits

Here's a quick catchup on all the IU Baseball news of the last month:

Defend The Rock favorite Evan Crawford has been named to the Ping!Baseball Freshmen Team. (Second Team, Second Base). Congratulations Evan!

IU Baseball adds Jeff Caldwell (1b, FL), to the roster for the fall of 2007. Stats for this past season: .400AVG/.495OBP/.716SLG/6HR/102B/35RBI (95 AB).

IU Players Drafted: Jon Fixler (Astros, 19th Round). The Hoosiers lost a couple signees in Brock Huntzinger (Red Sox, 3rd Round) and Kyle Leindecker (Indians, 25th Round)

More than a dozen Hoosiers are playing summer ball. IUHoosiers will have a continuing series covering their progress. The latest brings good news on Josh Pegley, more stellar play from Evan Crawford, and fine pitching from Joe Vicini and Eric Arnett.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

Lost in the tragic death of Coach Hep was the fact that on the very same day IU got to work on new projects to enhance facilities on campus.

Quick run down:

1. Memorial Stadium North End Zone Project: Additional offices and strength and conditioning facility. And oh yeah "The Hall of Champions". One day Defend The Rock's boy Evan Crawford will be in there.

2. Basketball Development Center: Alternative practice site, strength and conditioning facility, offices and meeting rooms.

3. New stadiums for the baseball and softball teams north of Mellencamp Pavilion. This is a biggie as any former or current IU baseball fan knows the stadium is barely above little league standards.

Full article w/ quotes from IU officials, coaches, and players here.

Overall it seems like at the very least IU's players will be that much more conditioned and strong once all these upgrades are complete...
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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Assembly Hall To Be....Disassembled

Well, they've gone and done it, the Board of Trustees has agreed to replace Assembly Hall. My favorite parts of this story are right at the beginning, namely "at some point in the future" and "IU currently lacks the funding to construct it."

I've always been a bit cynical when it comes to Universities, especially public ones, financing massive new sports complexes that cost hundreds of millions of dollars. I'd rather see that $ going to the academic/research fields but at this point universities make so much money off of their athletics programs that in some ways you have to fund athletics to be able to fund everything else.

Assembly Hall definitely isn't the best arena in the collegiate world, and boy oh boy are there some terrible seats/viewing angles, but it doesn't need to be replaced ASAP. So I guess I can go along with this agreement that the trustees have come come to: Yeah, replace Assembly Hall, but don't make it the #1 priority at IU.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Goodbye To A Great Man

I arrived at Indiana University as an out of state student 5+ years ago, who knew really only about the basketball program and the Little 500 race. Of all the sports at IU, I quickly learned that football was beaten, broken down, and in disarray. I still went to games early on, but it was more of an offbeat thing to do with friends than anything serious, because really, why even bother rooting for a team certain to lose every game?

Upon Coach Hep's arrival I was still in that mindset, and his early moves to bring in more student involvement and bolster the program made me skeptical. I vividly recall mocking so many of his ideas. The Walk? Stupid. "Coach Hep Wants You!" Played out. "Defend The Rock" + A Giant Rock - Absurd. But something happened, it was the first game of his career at IU. There were more people in the stands, more enthusiasm, I saw students everywhere wearing those shirts. The change was palpable right from the get go, and I quickly got swept up in it.

Watching him on the field interacting with players was fantastic, reading interviews and listening to post-game press conferences was illuminating. This was a man dedicated to not only providing a winning football team for Indiana fans, but creating an atmosphere to rival that of bigger football schools like Ohio St. and Michigan.

I hope that with Coach Hep's unfortunate passing the goals he set for Indiana Football - both the team and its fans - are seen through. Coach Hep provided us with so much in such a short time, the least we can do, as fans, players, administrators, and so on, is to make sure that his quest to reinvent Indiana Football is completed.

Goodbye Coach Hep - We'll Never Forget You!
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Hep Hep

I don't care how cliched or silly any of this sounds...

I had so much fun sharing IU football with a few of my friends... going all the way back to my freshman year before most of my friends got to IU... goin with Deborah... and so on... walking with Patrick to the games... running out of gas on the way... watching on tv with Andy... dreaming of driving to a bowl game...

but anyway... the thing is... IU always sucked... they haven't been good since I became a fan.... but the last 2 years were sooo much better just because of the positive attitude and hope that one man refused to let go of... I guess I kind of feel like that feeling will continue on without him... or that its owed to him... that I... and others should carry it on... with IU football... and more importantly with other aspects in life...
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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Coach Hep Won't Coach In 2007

We here at Defend The Rock and all across Hoosier Nation are saddened to learn that Coach Terry Hoeppner will not be returning to the team this fall due to continuing medical issues. We wish him a full and speedy recovery. Assistant Coach Billy Lynch is taking over head coaching duties for the year, and apparently the top coaching position will be "re-evaluated" at the end of the season - which seems to suggest Coach Hep won't be returning anytime soon.


IDS News Story On Coach Hep
In Depth Article w/ Q&As w/ Rick Greenspan and Bill Lynch
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Monday, May 21, 2007

Hoosier Pride, Common Courtesy, And Let's Say An Illinois Fan

So there I was, late at night (or early in the morning?) with one of my friends at a beloved Mexican restaurant of mine. A few cute girls were making it clear they went to Kentucky, and to strike up conversation I playfully gave them a tough time, namely citing my Hoosier fandom, and Kentucky's recent troubles.

Now we were having a good time chatting it up, but alas their food came, I had a friend waiting, and I'm unemployed, so why even bother? Upon sitting back down a early/mid-twenties guy walked up to my table and said to me "Sports fan are ya?" Naturally I replied affirmatively, kindly stating the great pride I have in my beloved Hoosiers and subsequently my love for the Cardinals. Let's just say that this did not go over well...

The stumbling-drunk guy grew agitated and upset with my response. He started talking trash and using some rather unfortunate words of which is Lincoln Park girlfriend promptly mouthed "I'm sorry" to me for. Eventually came the threats of personal violence against me (please note: at this point I had pretty much just said where I went to school and what teams I liked, and restated said preferences, and more or less just wanted to eat my Mexican food). Let's go to the tape:

Guy: So whattaya gonna do if I hit you?
Me: Hey man, I'm cool with you, I just want to chat w/ my friend and eat my food
Guy: What are you gonna do?
Me: Honestly, I'd file a police report, probably resulting in a criminal charge of assault being levied against you. Plus I'd file a civil suit against you, and might as well throw in requests for damages relating to mental anguish and the like. (note: I have no knowledge of how the law in this case works and I'm sure everything I said was BS, but whatever).
Guy: Oh, so you're a P***y you f*****g Indiana fan.

It got to the point where I kept saying that yes I was both (a p***y and an IU fan) after each repeated accusation and it really flustered him. Eventually his food came and his Lincoln Park girlfriend repeatedly mouth "I'm Sorry" to me again. By that point it seemed most people there were expecting a fight (or as I'd like to call it: me getting destroyed), but funny enough all seemed to be on my side.

So what does this have to do with anything? I just think it shows how us Indiana fans should class it up whenever, be it in our own stadiums by treating visiting teams with respect. Be it in away venues by not destroying/vandalizing the place. Or be it in a bar with drunken fans who want to fight. I learned to be a classy fan from my Cardinal roots, I carried it on during my time at Indiana University, and I wish every other IU fan follows in my footsteps.
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thoughts On Joey Shaw

It is old news by now, Joey Shaw is transferring to The College of Southern Idaho. It's a smart move on his part, he saw very little playing time this past year and with the ridiculously strong incoming class Indiana has he probably wouldn't see that much next season either.

The fact is though, even in limited playing time he put up some decent numbers. 43% FG shooting for 82 points, 41% 3pt FG shooting for 36 points, and 74% FT shooting for 46 points. What's funny is when I look at those numbers I am surprised, I really don't remember doing that well. I guess it's true, he is a "sneaky scorer" a phrase I oft attributed to him during national telecasts of IU games.

The main thing is my mind is he could have been more aggressive on the court, he often times seemed to settle, not move around, and not trust himself. In addition, he could use to put on some bulk, he was the lankiest 6'6" I have ever seen, having a few more lbs of muscle could allow him to be more than just an occasional nuisance inside.

So Defend The Rock wishes Joey Shaw the best at The College of Southern Idaho, and hopefully he blossoms there.
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Defend The Rock Welcomes J.D. Campbell

All of us here at Defend The Rock would like to give a warm welcome to new Director of Athletic Media Relations at Indiana University. As an alternative media outlet, Defend The Rock is looking forward to the possibility of working with Mr. Campbell to gain more access to Indiana Athletics in order to provide more comprehensive coverage if at all possible.

So once again Mr. Campbell, welcome to the great tradition that is Indiana University Athletics!
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The One Thing You Can Never Say I Am Is Wrong: A Look At Evan Crawford

With the baseball (regular) season wrapping up I want to look back at one of my predictions from earlier in the year. It was my belief that Freshmen Evan Crawford was going to be something special at Second Base. Now, I had never seen him play, but from looking at his High School stats and reading interviews with, and about him it really sounded like #7 was going to give Hoosier fans plenty to cheer about this year.

So let's take a look at how Evan is doing leading into the Big Ten Tourney:

AVG: .333 Runs: 30 Hits: 61 2b: 13 3b: 1 HR: 1 RBI: 30 SB: 18 OPS: .810

Now let's look at the stats of the other starting eight averaged out:

AVG: .278 Runs: 21 Hits: 40 2b: 6 3b: .75 HR: .6 RBI: 17.6 SB: 7.8 OPS: .672 (yes, really)

So basically Evan Crawford is hitting 55 points better than the "average" Hoosier starter, scoring 9 more runs, hitting 21 more hits, numbering 7 more doubles, 12 more RBI, 10 more steals and a significantly higher Onbase+Slugging average.

In terms of his rank on the team in each category:

AVG: 2nd Runs: 2nd Hits: 2nd 2b: 1st 3b: 3rd HR: T-2nd RBI: T-2nd SB: 2nd OPS: 2nd

Across the board Crawford stands out as one of IU's best offensive players this year. In fact he is 2nd to or tied with IU (probable) MVP Sophomore Andrew Means in pretty much every category. Doing all that with the bat while playing second base as a first year college player is something pretty impressive.

Way to go Evan, you deserve something special.

Evan Crawford - Adam Ahlfeld Team Player Award recipient.
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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Football Schedule

I'm sure I had already seen this, hell, maybe I even blogged about it, but the IU Football schedule blows my mind. I mean, just look at it:

Date Opponent
Sep. 1 Indiana St. 8:00pm
Sep. 8 at Western Michigan 7:00pm (beat 'em 39-20 last year)
Sep. 15 Akron 6:00pm (did not play)
Sep. 22 Illinois TBA (beat 'em 34-32 last year)
Sep. 29 at Iowa 12:00pm (beat 'em 31-28 last year)
Oct. 6 Minnesota TBA (lost 26-63 last year, god I had blocked that out)
Oct. 13 at Michigan State 7:00pm (beat 'em 46-21 last year)
Oct. 20 Penn State 12:00pm (did not play)
Oct. 27 at Wisconsin 12:00pm (lost 17-52)
Nov. 3 Ball State TBA (beat 'em 24-23 last year)
Nov. 10 at Northwestern TBA (did not play)
Nov. 17 Purdue TBA (lost 19-28)

Now why does it blow my mind? First, we're dodging two bullets in missing Michigan & Ohio St. That's pretty good for a team that is sure to be better than it was last year. I'm not saying any of these teams are pushovers, but honestly would you rather IU play Ohio St./Michigan or Northwestern?
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Say it ain't so!

Joey Shaw, the goofiest looking Hoosier Bball player is going Cem Dinc on our asses and transfering to a junior college in Idaho.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Facebook, a reporter's best friend

According to my Facebook "news" page current IU Football player Blake Powers has written on former IU OL Isaac Sowells.

"BIG ISAAC!!! What up?? same old here man, trying out this tight end thing, been doin pretty good...definitely hit me up when you get into town for lil' 5 so we can catch up ma..."

Isaac is now a lineman for the Browns. I poked him, and I will keep everyone updated on his response.

This all reminds me.... I was planning on writing a lot about the Little 500 here. However, I've not found the time. As a former rider in the race I often start feeling adrenaline this time of year knowing the race is fast approaching.

In case you don't know... all of the gossip and inside info on the little 5 can be read at:

This year's racing season has been full of more drama than I've ever seen in my 7 years around the event. The race is a week from this Saturday and I hope to be there! I'm sad to say that my former team failed to qualify for the race for the first time since 2003. DAMN!
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Baseball Spring Trip Wrap Up

Last time we checked in on the Hoosier baseball team we saw a team sitting even at 4-4. Now that the spring trip is over our Hoosiers are still, well, yeah, they're still at .500, with a record of 8-8. It must be said though that a) The Hoosier baseball team took on #2 ranked Florida State and b) They were playing against Florida teams in general, which are basically quality ballplayer factories, so coming out even is actually fairly respectable.

Versus Florida State the Hoosiers were clearly over matched, losing all three games by a combined score of 23-2 (including 2 shutouts). There weren't any real standouts on offense, with Reid Briglia leading the Hoosiers with four hits in the three game series. Defend The Rock favorite Evan Crawford finally met a pitching staff he couldn't destroy, totaling two hits for the series with eight strike outs, but the kid can still hit. The pitching well, let's not go there.

The Hoosiers earned a split (any surprise there?) with North Florida, losing a 16-inning killer and eeking out a win in the second game. Both games were complete slugfests with opposing pitchers leaving early and often. The Hoosiers used 10 pitchers in the two game series, with North Florida employed the services of 11 hurlers, yet it seemed nobody for either side could get an out. Andrew Means stood out in this series, and got recognized for it, earning a Big Ten Player of the Week award. Evan Crawford had a couple hits and three steals in one game.

Lastly, the Hoosiers swept a three game series with Florida A&M, putting up scores of 10-2, 5-3, and 16-10. In the first game David Trager, playing Second Base in place of Evan Crawford had five hits and three RBI. Tyler Tuffs tossed another good game and the Hoosiers got a convincing win. In the second and third games (doubleheader) Andrew Means continued to mash, and catcher Jon Fixler had six RBI.

Overall it looks like the Hoosiers aren't going to have any trouble with offense this season when pitted against decent or worse pitching staffs, but if and when they face good pitching, well, as the axiom goes - good pitching beats good hitting. Speaking of pitching, the Jekyll and Hyde show continues, so we'll see how it develops as the season goes on. It's tough to really gauge things when the Hoosiers went up against such a good team as the Seminoles (and admittedly didn't hold their ground).

I'll have statistics for you soon, but this post has already gone on for far too long. Next up: IPFW (3 games) and Xavier (1 game) then Conference play begins.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Memorial Stadium Back In The Day

Many thanks to Defend The Rock reader Paul for sending us this great picture of Memorial Stadium. The photo was taken prior to October 1960, and is credited to Bloomingtonian Junior Freeman.

Thanks again Paul (and thanks to Junior too!) from all of us at Defend The Rock!

Right-click here to download the full sized picture (perfect for a desktop background!)
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Blake Powers throws really well on the run according to the 3rd string ESPN+ color analyst

I'd like to spend some time with some final thoughts on the basketball team this year. But, not today.

I wanted to post a few notes on the football team.

First of all, Coach Hep will be sitting out the entire spring session of practice to focus on his health. This worries me. I hope that his health truly is getting better. I also hope that Bill Lynch, the assistant coach who is leading the team will do a better job than last year when he lead the team to an 02 record against Western Vermont Tech and Klondike Middle School Nuggets or whoever it was they lost to last year. If IU had won just one of those games, Kellen and I could have had a blast watching IU get thrashed by North Texas in the Music City Bowl.

Secondly, Blake Powers will be getting some play at tight end and on Special Teams. Watch out! I smell trick plays coming out of the wazoo. Perhaps Blake will be the next Randle El. Remember how well things went when Randle El started his senior season at wide receiver? That lasted all of two games. What a sweet sophomore year I had that year. I made it to all of the games, but it was hard because I was copulating with co-eds from Theta on my way to and from Collins.

And last but not least, IU's pass defense will be even worse than last year.
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Saturday, March 17, 2007


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Friday, March 16, 2007

Don’t MARK my words, or “FEW, I did eat my words!”

A quick examination of the things “I knew” yesterday... But, before I begin I want to point out that I spent most of the game catching up with an old friend who was in Chicago on Spring Break. So, while I was watching the game... I might not have taken it all in with the same expertise that I usually do She’s on IU’s Volleyball team again this year and gave me an inside scoop, so look for in depth coverage coming up soon!

1. D.J. White will do most of his scoring on free throws and offensive rebounding. But the ball will not be fed to him enough and I will be screaming to the television for him to be more involved.


DJ did get his first and only bucket of the first half on an offensive rebound. However, this basket plus 4 ft accounts for 6 of 16 points... so it wasn’t most of his scoring.

2. A.J. Ratliff will drill his first three-point attempt and then get into foul trouble.


AJ did indeed come on to the floor and immediately drill a three pointer that was going in all the way. However, his somewhat sloppy and “fuckup” play limited his minutes and he only had 2 fouls.

3. If Xavier Keeling gets many minutes IU will be in trouble. Not that he is bad... but it means key members are in foul trouble.

RIGHT? More of a Does Not Apply

IU was never in major trouble last night, and Keeling only got 1 minute.

4. If Armon Basset can have his minutes limited (because Suhr, Ratliff, Wilmont, and a little Shaw should each get a few more minutes imo) he'll be much more effective down the stretch.


Basset played 38 minutes, the most of any Hoosier. So... would he have been more effective in the end had Suhr played a little? Joey Shaw did get 5 minutes of playing time... the first appearance for the weird looking dude in a while... and by the way... I mean weird in a good way... I love Joey Shaw. Perhaps the most important thing to note is that Suhr, by virtue of not logging a minute (remember when he played 35 minutes against Duke?), was very well rested and able to celebrate and dance and look totally short and absurd in just the right way... that was key down the stretch.

5. Ben Allen sucks. He will never be good.


Ben Allen made an appearance in the first half and logged one minute. It may not have seemed like much. But, look again and reconsider. Allen grabbed 1 rebound without missing a single shot. When projected over 40 minutes that makes 40 rebounds in one game!!! Maybe he should get more playing time. My math may be shotty, but I think I’m somewhere in the ballpark. Further examination shows that Ben Allen may even be worth an NBA contract. 48 minutes in a game? Well, that’s 48 rebounds. Rodman had nothing on that.

6. Rod Wilmont will score less than 5 points. Or he will score more than 29 points.


Rod scored 22. But, in a way I was right. He scored almost all of them in the first half.

7. If IU wins tonight they will beat UCLA.


I watched UCLA a few times this year, but I really feel that the Hoosiers match up well with them. It’s going to be a great game.

8. Watching Kellen's tivo'd Real World episode after the game will help me get over a bad loss.


But, I’m guessing that Brooke is gonna say something bitchy. And, I hope not to watch it Saturday night. Then we can have a 2fer on next Wednesday night.

9. ok... fuck it... I'm gonna say this...
Hoosiers lose by 8 pts. That's my prediction... and I know nothing about Gonzaga this year... so that's why I feel dumb even weighing in at all.

I hope I eat my words tomorrow.


For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 5 Wrongs, 1 Right?, 1 Didn’t need to, 1 TBD and 1 I Dunno.

Not bad, huh?

Other notes from my diary on the game:

Lance Stemler still can’t even make his shot look like its going to go halfway down.... its awful... put some arch on that 3... but he’s still great in loose ball situations and every time he loses the ball he gets it right back... he got 30 minutes last night while Mike White only got 6... a message from Sampson?? I’m not sure, but I think Sampson likes one over the other depending on the situation... they never seem to split time evenly...

Earl Calloway was too fast for his own good again last night... he needs to get his handles under control before matching up against UCLA’s guards...

Watching the game on Sacramento’s home floor made me think a lot of Mitch Richmond... just kidding... actually it was watching Gonzaga’s tall white goofy centers on Sacramento’s home floor that reminded me of watching Brad Miller play for Purdue.... I NEVER would have assumed he’d one day become an NBA all-star... the world is fucked up.

I have a really strange feeling that this year’s team will take me to the heavenly state that I reached as a college Soph in 2001 against Duke...

There you go... I just jinxed it.

Alright... I’m out to turn some tricks, flip the switch, and do my laundry. Keep it undefeated, Big 10!
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Thursday, March 15, 2007

No More Mr. Mustache or My Bracket's Perfect How's Yours Lookin' Tittle500?

So realizing I hadn't posted for a while I hopped onto Defend The Rock and saw that my friend and respected colleague Tittle500 wrote a post about Indiana's first round game against Gonzaga.

I'm not one to put predictions up but I like IU's chances in this one. Why you may ask? Isn't Gonzaga great in the tourney? Didn't Gonzaga have a pretty good year? Why yes, it's true, Gonzaga is no slouch of a team, and it's one of those teams I almost always have pencilled in to go far, but not this year! It's all because Mr. Mustache is gone. I'm not saying that Gonzaga doesn't have some nice playmakers, but they do lack that 70's porn star feel, and that makes all the difference (especially when we've got a player of our own sporting a pretty solid Blaxploitation look going on).

So in conclusion, I have no idea what's going to happen, save for that fact that Earl is going to be running around all those Zags so fast they won't know what hit 'em (until he starts bouncing off them like a pinball).

Go Hoosiers!

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I'm not Suhr if IU is going to win

but I know these things are true...

1. D.J. White will do most of his scoring on free throws and offensive rebounding. But the ball will not be fed to him enough and I will be screaming to the television for him to be more involved.

2. A.J. Ratliff will drill his first three-point attempt and then get into foul trouble.

3. If Xavier Keeling gets many minutes IU will be in trouble. Not that he is bad... but it means key members are in foul trouble.

4. If Armon Basset can have his minutes limited (because Suhr, Ratliff, Wilmont, and a little Shaw should each get a few more minutes imo) he'll be much more effective down the stretch.

5. Ben Allen sucks. He will never be good.

6. Rod Wilmont will score less than 5 points. Or he will score more than 29 points .

7. If IU wins tonight they will beat UCLA.

8. Watching Kellen's tivo'd Real World episode after the game will help me get over a bad loss.

9. ok... fuck it... I'm gonna say this...

Hoosiers lose by 8 pts. That's my prediction... and I know nothing about Gonzaga this year... so that's why I feel dumb even weighing in at all.

I hope I eat my words tomorrow
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Friday, March 9, 2007

Its on little kitties, and kiddos

This is my first ever post from work. What can I say?

Chicago is completely swept up in Big Ten tournament fever. On the el this morning I saw an entire car full of dejected Penn St. fans headed north to O'Hare. They were inspired by the sight of Wrigley on their way, causing them all to say, "Wait til next year!" I was wearing cream and crimson to make it clear to everyone which side of the tracks I'm from and my bus driver kicked me off the bus. I think he was sour about not being able to see Chief Illiniwoiak(or something like that) dance anymore.

Well.. actually I don't think most of the city could give 2 shits... and I guess that's why the tournament will be in Indy for the next 4 years after this one. But, who cares? We've got the olympics coming 2016. ha.. If the olympics come to the USA in 2016 I'll be so so so proud of my country. I mean... we deserve another olympics, don't you think? Salt Lake City and Atlanta seem like ancient memories.

Anyhow... the point is... Should I go to the game tonight at the UC? I really want to... but tickets are sold out... and its supposed to rain... and I am out of money... and the game is on tv...

ok.. so its decided... I'm watching the game on tv. We're going to Kellen's house for the big match up with those blue and orange butt sniffers. According to my most recent stat and "feeling in the air" analysis the Illini are going down in a heap of flames tonight. I predict that Stemler is going to break out of his slump and shoot well... or.. maybe not play at all and Mike White will continue to look better... or Armon will look fearless once again and drill 3 after 3. And o yeah... AJ will drill his first 3 pt att like he always does...

ok... so I have no idea what will happen tonight... but I'm feeling good about the Hoosiers...

and I have ot be honest... I'm really pulling for the Boilermakers to rub one off on Iowa... I'd love to see the rivalry between the two wonderful state schools back to what it once was...

that's all
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Baseball Recap

The Hoosier Baseball team starts it's official Spring Trip today (heading down to Florida) and I figured that now would be a good time to recap the early part of the season.

The Hoosiers right now are sitting on a .500 record and have shown eerie consistency when it comes to pitching and offense, save for two offensive explosions of 16 and 15 runs respectively (so maybe no consistency, ha). Once we get further into the season it will be fun to use some stats, even simple things like the Pythagorean Theorem to see how the Hoosiers are/should be doing but right now it's a bit pointless. Case on point, after 8 games the Hoosiers Pythagorean record *should* be 7-1, not 4-4
. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm taking the Hoosiers runs scored (60) and runs allowed (23) and doing the following forum la:

RS^2/(RS^2+RA^2), so 60^2/(60^2+23^2)= .87 - That .87 equals the projected winning percentage when scoring and allowing that # of runs. Simply multiplying the % by # of games played gives you number of wins, 6.9. But as you can tell, with such a small sample size thus far, and two outlier offensive performances it throws it a bit off.

So now for that promised recap, let's just look at IU leaders in some basic categories:

So far Freshmen Evan Crawford leads the Hoosiers in AB (32), R (8), H (16), TB (18), OB% (.514), AVG (.500), and SLG% (.563). The fact that hit slugging percentage is so high is fairly odd, as Crawford has proven himself to be pretty much a pure singles hitter, with only 2 doubles, no triples and no home runs. It is being influenced by the walks he's drawn and the sacrifices, obviously this is a stat that will even out and soon.

There is no other single Hoosier on offense who stands out like Crawford, but Indiana's "Mr. Baseball" Josh Phegley leads the team with 6 doubles, thats out of 10 total hits. Keith Haas leads the team in RBI (8) and HR (1).

Overall the team AVG is .281, OBP .345, SLG .348, with a K:BB ratio of 45:25 (that last one's not too hot...). The team has been pretty good on the basepaths, swiping 11 bags in 17 attempts.

On the pitching side, Chris McCombs is standing out, with a 1.86 ERA in 9.2 innings, going 1-1, with 10 K's, and no walks. Joe Vicini has pitched 5.2 scoreless innings of relief, and several other Hoosier relievers have tossed a fair number of scoreless innings, while all striking people out. The Hoosier pitchng squad has about 1.6 strikeouts for every walk, with a WHIP of 1.44. I'm not sure what a *good* WHIP is in college ball, seeing as there is an increased contact rate as opposed to professional baseball, but I'm guessing 1.44 is average to decent. Any help on that would be appreciated.

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Indiana vs. Illinois

Tonight our Indiana Hoosiers take on Illinois in the Big Ten Tourney. Illinois dropped Penn State 66-60. IU is basically looking at a road game, as while there are plenty of IU alums in and around Chicago that will be attending the game, there is little doubt in my mind the United Center will be packed with Illini fans. So how has IU done on the road vs Illinois of late (besides being 1-4 all time in Big Ten Tourney play against Illinois)?

Date Outcome Location
Feb. 6, 2005 L, 60-47 Champaign
Jan. 17, 2006 W, 62-60 Bloomington
Feb. 19, 2006 L, 70-58 Champaign
Jan. 23, 2007 L, 51-43 Champaign
Feb. 10, 2007 W, 65-61 Blooming

Not surprising, but then again, even though this will be in a (most likely) hostile enviornment, it still isn't Champaign, plus even Penn State gave Illinois a run for its money. The Indiana/Illinois games this year have been messy, hard fought Big Ten games, and we can probably expect more of the same. It's certainly nice to have Earl back, and Roderick coming of a couple freakish offensive performances.

Let's get 'em Hoosiers
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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Awards and Honors For Many A Hoosier

As what should come as little surprise to anyone, Wilmont, Calloway, and D.J. White earned All-Big Ten Honors. White made the second team, Wilmont third team, and Calloway was an honorable mention. Errek Suhr wasn't left out either, getting to represent IU for Sportsmanship (we can only assume Adam Ahlfeld will carry that torch beginning next year, man we love that guy!).

Additionally Wilmont was named the Big Ten player of the week. Of course, Wilmont had been a freak of nature over the past week, breaking an IU record for 3's (9), while recording back to back double-doubles, averaging well over 20 points a game. In fact, that is enough for an Adam Ahlfeld Team Player Award!

Roderick Wilmont - This Week's Adam Ahlfeld Team Player Award recipient!
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Saturday, March 3, 2007

Third For The Taking

With a win tonight over lowly Penn State, the Hoosiers can solidify their place in the Big Ten as third in the standings, with a conference record of 10-6. There would be quite the mess below the Hoosiers in this instance, with a handful of 9-7 teams, so let's just get that win!

In other news, D.J. White was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District First Team, making him eligible for the All-American Team. He has some pretty damn good company on the district team, with the likes of Landry and Oden on there.

Lastly tonight is Senior Night and I'd like to point you to this great article about Suhr, Calloway, and Wilmont. It has some great quotes from the players, along with plenty of information. I'll chime in at some point with my own thoughts.
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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Indiana At Northwestern: Fun With Pictures

So before bed I'm just going to toss up the pictures and one great video Defend The Rock managed to take while up in Evanston tonight.

First off, to view the pictures, click here, it'll take you over to a flickr album. Very large sizes are available upon request...

Now here is the video, basically, there were the same number of IU fans, if not more, than there were of Northwestern fans. At times the Hoosier faithful really took over the entire arena, it was fantastic. This little clip is from one such instance.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wiregrass Baseball Classic Wrap Up

The Hoosiers finished up their stint in the Wiregrass Baseball Classic in Dothan, Alabama with a 1-2 record. I already covered the first game here, so onto the final two games.

In the second game of the series IU took on Southern Mississippi and got hammed 15-4. Senior Keith Haas led the Hoosiers in their losing effort going 3-3 with 2 RBI. Freshmen Danny Rosenbaum (coming to the Hoosiers off a stellar Senior year at Loveland HS) lasted only 2/3 of an inning giving up 5 ER, 3 BB, while striking out one. Rosenbaum was followed by fellow freshmen hurler Billy Kitchen who oversaw the Hoosiers allowing 9 more runs (only 2 earned) on 9 hits in 3 innings. Finishing up the game were two more freshmen, Jarrett Casey and Matt Bashore who combined for 4.1 innings, allowing only 1 run with 4 strikeouts.

In the final game of the WBC IU pulled out a win. Sophomore Tyler Tuffts pitched a complete game, and was absolutely stellar in the process. 9IP, 6H, 1ER, 1BB, 3SO. Georgia Southern didn't have a chance. Freshmen Evan Crawford, a freshmen from Reynoldsburg, Ohio led the way for the Hoosiers with two hits, two RBI, and one walk. Also knocking in runs for the Hoosiers were Keith Haas, Sterling Mack, and Tyler Cox.

The series WHIP for Hoosier pitchers was 1.66, yowza!
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Defend The Rock At Northwestern

Tonight Defend The Rock will be making an appearance at Northwestern University. After watching the Hoosiers lose three of their past four games Defend The Rock has decided to make an appearance at tonight's game in order to help IU get a much needed road victory. As you all know Indiana has been awful on the road this year, and the fact is IU has lost their last two games in Evanston.
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Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Game I'd Rather Not Have To Play

So IU (18-8/8-5) heads to East Lansing tonight to take on Michigan St. (20-8/7-6) tonight in what hopefully should be a pretty good battle. The Spartans are coming off a big win over Wisconsin and with a win can cause quite a mess in the Big Ten standings, as we've already seen some shuffling of places go on this weekend with Illinois moving into 3rd place with their win over Penn St.

Now for a nice little table courtesy of

Jan. 31, 2004 L, 84-72 East Lansing
Feb. 27, 2005 W, 78-74 (ot) Bloomington
Jan. 11, 2006 L, 87-73 East Lansing
Feb. 26, 2006 W, 78-71 Bloomington
Jan. 7, 2007 W, 73-51 Bloomington

That's the last five meetings between Indiana and Michigan St., the outcome, and the location. It shouldn't surprise anyone that the home team has won each time out, so the trouncing that the Hoosiers gave the Spartans earlier this year doesn't mean all that much.

All I ask is the IU holds onto the ball and doesn't commit the plethora of fouls we've been seeing of late. If they do that, we'll have a game.
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Play Ball! Hoosiers Open Baseball Season!

Ahh, can you smell it? Baseball season! Yesterday not only did I buy my Cards/Cubs tickets but the Hoosiers officially opened the 2007 College Baseball season.

Down in Dothan, Alabama the Hoosiers took on the Troy Trojans, and well...lost. That may not come as a surprise to many of us who have come to know IU baseball of late, but there are some encouraging signs. First off, the Hoosiers limited the Trojans to only 4 runs which is microscopic for Indiana baseball teams of late, and pretty damn good in general considering how college ball is focused on offense due to that damn metal bat. While unable to watch the game, I do wonder how lucky the Hoosier pitchers were in this game, considering they gave up 11 hits, 4 walks (only 1 strikeout), all while the defense committed 3 errors.

Indiana's Mr. Baseball Josh Phegley had a quiet Hoosier debut, going 0-4 with a strikeout but apparently took part in a pretty nifty double play. On the whole it looks like the offense struggled a bit with only six hits, but with only 5 k's and a couple walks at least the boys are making contact.

We have a full season of IU Baseball coming up and I'm looking forward to covering this team. From reading offseason articles about all our new players, I like the direction this program is going. Go Hoosiers!
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

IU Football Signees in Moving Picture Form!

So this is a brilliant idea and kudos to the person who decided to implement it. On their official sports page, Indiana University has put up a compilation video of all 19 players who have signed onto IU Football for next season. It's not often you get to see HS players on TV during the year, so this is a great opportunity for all of us Hoosier fans to see who is going to be playing for us next year. Sure it's basically a highlight reel of each player's HS career so it may not be the best talent indicator but nevertheless a great resource for us fans.

Click here for the page containing the article and video.
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Back In The Game

So we've had a week or so off from posting here at Defend The Rock and it's time to get back in the game. Hopefully, after two bad losses at Purdue and Michigan the Hoosiers can get back in the game as well. Rather than dwell on those two losses that occurred during our blogging break - we'll look ahead - seeing as Defend The Rock has always a forward thinking blog.

So tonight IU plays Minnesota at home (we're in the midst of a 4 out of 5 away game stretch so it'll be nice to have homecourt for once) which is good news as the Hoosiers are undefeated in Assembly Hall. The Golden Gophers come in being just dreadful (9-18/3-10) and have lost five straight. The question is this: Will Minnesota be discouraged and run down by their awful season performance and just roll over, or will they look at IU's last two losses and say, "Hey, we have a shot!"?

Let's see a win tonight boys....
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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Indiana - Purdue - For Real

Well, tonight - after a one evening delay- our beloved #24(AP)/#19(ESPN/USA Today Poll) Hoosiers will take on the in West Lafayette.

Over at The Goat there was a post and subsequent discussion of the IU-Purdue rivalry, the coaches, and allegiances. I'll chime in here rather than cluttering up their comment section.

IU: I liked Mike Davis and wasn't one of the fans running him out of town. At the same time, it really appeared that things just wern't going to work out no matter what, so I basically was glad to see him go. Moreso because he could (hopefully) move on to some school where people actually appreciated him. I haven't followed his career @ UAB or the reaction to him, but I hope it's positive. As for Sampson, I knew little of him other than the whole "defense first" bit and the fact that he was a coach that got teams to the tourney with regularity but never really sparkled once there. I've loved what I've seen of him this year coaching wise and I'm looking forward to having him for years to come.

Purdue: So I never really had an opinon of Matt Painter formed in my head until the last time IU & Purdue met. He seemed like a mini Bruce Weber - having hissy fits, stomping around, yelling, looking and acting like a little child. Maybe (hopefully) tonight he'll be a bit more professional. And yes, I'll acknowledge that Earl fired Painter up a bit last go around with some comments but still Coach, get your act together....please?

As for the rivalry itself I have never had a hatred for Purdue and probably never will. I was an Indiana transplant from Missouri. I found myself in this heated rivalry, and while I clearly took sides - IU - and continue to be passionate about it, I just don't get that worked up over Purdue. Sure when the two teams play eachother I put a bit more emphasis on the game than were IU to play Northwestern, but it's never been a HUGE thing for me. As long as the rivalry is healthy, I'm happy, I just don't want to see one team always crushing the other - but hey, an IU victory each time out against Purdue - I'm all for it.

Go Hoosiers! (and not the one's playing for Purdue!)
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Indiana-Purdue Postponed

Today's Indiana -Purdue game has be postponed and rescheduled for tomorrow, Thursday February 15th assuming the weather allows it. We already got pummelled in Chicago, and it looks like the storm has moved on past the Midwest and to the east coast, so we should see these two teams duking it out on the court tomorrow.

So much for my opportunity to work in a "Valentine's Day Massacre" pun into a game post. Maybe next year.
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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Illinois vs Indiana - Part II

So, Illinois and Indiana meet for the second time this season, this time at the good Assembly Hall. That's good news as Indiana has gone 12-0 at Branch McCracken Court. The last game in Champaign was absolutely brutal for both teams, 51-43, but Illinois came out on top. Hopefully the change in venue and a Sampson smackdown to this Hoosier team will have them fired up.

Once again we have the Eric Gordon storyline, but as the game is in Bloomington I can only imagine it having an effect if IU goes up...chants of "Eric Gordon" reigning down on Bruce Webber and the Illini just to ruin their spirits, we'll see.
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Friday, February 9, 2007

19 Players Sign With The Hoosiers

So just because Jerimy Finch decided to run off and play in Florida (He should've looked to Kellen Lewis for an example of what to do -- come to Indiana FROM Florida) doesn't mean IU football is doomed. There are 19 other players who decided that Coach Hep has this team going in the right direction, and Defend The Rock commends them on their decision to attend Indiana University and play Hoosier football.

Below I have included a little chart of all the signees, iuhoosiers has a full list with bios of all the new Hoosiers here. But I would like to point out a few potential impact players.

1. Chris Adkins, CB. Teammate of the departed Jerimy Finch at Warren Central. He's got the height and athleticism (according to reports) to come in and make an impact right away. Plus IU has a seriously vacancy at CB, so he'll have his chance to come in and make a difference immediately.

2. Jeff Boyd, DL. Another teammate of Finch at Warren Central. Rated the #6 prospect in Indiana, 40th nationally. I like his talk of winning, "...going to bring a winning attitude...That's all we're accustomed to," and he's got the pure talent to help IU return to winning ways.

3. Matt Ernest, WR. #9 prospect in the state of Indiana. He's a big receiver, 6'2/180, and hopefully can blossom into another solid target for Kellen Lewis to throw to.

4. Dennis Zeigler, OL. #10 in Indiana, a big boy at 6'7, 315. Formerly a basketball player, he could be a project but apparently made great strides in football as evidenced by his ranking and presence on the All-State team and All-Conference team. Let's hope he can help protect Kellen.

5. The Florida Duo (Zach Davis-Walker & Jarrell Drane). Teammates at Plantation High school in Plantation, Florida, both of these players have the potential to shore up positions that IU is lacking in. Can Davis-Walker become a possible solution at RB? Can Drane step up as a Safety and possibly lessen the blow of losing Finch? These are questions that hopefully will be answered in the affirmative.

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Finch Jumps Ship. Illinois and Eric Gordon to blame?

So naturally after we find out our Big-10 Conference foe Illinois has a top-ten recruiting class, should it come as any surprise that #1 recruit Jerimy Finch decided to ditch IU for Florida? What is the connection you ask? Eric Gordon. We snatched him away from Illinois and now we're the victim of some sort of awful curse where not only does Illini football dramatically improve, but IU's chance for a huge leap forward gets stopped in its tracks by its #1 recruit jumping ship.

[rathole on Illini football]And seriously, Illinois a top-ten recruiting class? I'm not going to be one of those bloggers who goes out there saying that something suspect is going on down in Champaign, but how did that happen? The man seems to be genuinely hated by fans, hell he was run out of Florida on the shoulders of! But when it comes to recruiting it doesn't matter what the fans think of a coach, or what management things. It matters what players - and their parents - think of the coach, and Zook must be a fairly likable and convicing guy regardless of all the flak he gets in other quarters.[/rathole on Illini football]
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Sunday, February 4, 2007

Defend The Rock - The Superbowl Edition

Kickoff for Superbowl XLI is in under two hours - and you may be wondering "Why does Defend The Rock care? It's not like either team is called the Hoosiers."

Well let me tell you something I went to college in Bloomington, Indiana (where Rex Grossman is from), then moved to Chicago (where Rex Grossman plays QB for the Bears). But wait, Indiana is Colts country! Am I not torn, is my heart not split in two?

Worry not dear readers, because you know what? I'm a St. Louis Rams fan, so the only way this game will have any meaning is if Kurt Warner, wearing an old Rams jersey he stole after being given the boot from St. Louis, lands a hijacked helicopter in the middle of the field and starts yelling "THANK YOU JESUS!"

But in all honesty, it'll be fun to watch an IU alum (Adewale Ogunleye) play in the Superbowl, and I'll be cheering him on. If anything I'd like to see the Colts win just so all the talking heads won't have anything to say about Peyton and his "legacy." Just let him win a Superbowl so there can no longer be any debate regarding how he will be viewed by future generations. Really though, this city is going to explode regardless of the outcome, either with raucous joy (Bears win) or drunken rage (Bears lose), so at least the post-game will be fun to watch outside my window.
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Iowa Topples Indiana

Well, so much for beating Iowa. Sure it's tough to win on the road in the Big Ten, but that was a BIG game. Securing a solid road win right on the heels of toppling the #2 team in the country would've looked real good (not to mention bringing us even with the big two at the top of the conference in terms of wins).

Wilmont was huge again with 24 points. A.J. continues to show off the player is can be, giving the Hoosiers 15 points, 5 rebounds and a couple steals. Throw in Earl and his 16 points and IU had a pretty good triumvirate of scorers at Iowa, so why the loss?

D.J. White. Whether it was just an off game for him or stifling Iowa defense, D.J. just didn't the job done, and as D.J. goes so does this Hoosier team. 2 FGs, 2 FTs, 3 Rebounds, and 4 Turnovers is not a line anyone expects from D.J., no matter the opponent.

In the end it would've been a real good win, but at the same time it was not a tragic loss at all. IU is still sitting pretty in the Big 10 and Tournament Contention.
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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Winning Is The Best Medicine (hopefully)

Tonight I sat down in front of my TV and watched the Indiana-Wisconsin game on Lakeshore Public Television. Prior to the game I thought to myself how ridiculous it was that the game would not be televised nationally as more thank likely it would be a great game (not to mention that it featured the #2 and #25 teams in the country).

So, sitting there I had my Thai food (Bangkok Inn), my Emergen-C, and my "micro plush" blanket, and the beginnings of a cold, I watched Indiana knock off the #2 team in the country and the #1 team in the Big Ten.

Hopefully winning is the best medicine as I don't plan on being sick for long.

Full write up on the game tomorrow when I'm (hopefully) feeling better.
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Another Nationally Recognized Hoosier - Megan Martz

Move over D.J., there is a new Hoosier getting lots of attention from the national media and it's none other than IU's Megan Martz.

"Megan Martz?" you may ask. "Is she on the volleyball team?" No. "Softball?" No. "Swim team?" No. "Ok, I give up, just tell me already!!!" Ok, Megan Martz is an IU Cheerleader, and she just so happens to be SI's Cheerleader of the Week!

First off, what the hell!?! How did those of us at Defend The Rock not know about this award earlier. With choice interview questions and answers like:

Perfect Date: Dinner and a fun activity like bowling or a ball game to get to know the person better.

at our disposal Defend The Rock could've long ago become the prime blog for tips on how to date cheerleaders. Personally I find that date suggestion of hers fairly weak and I feel she may be throwing us a curveball as earlier in the interview we get this:

I like to spend my weekends: Back home in Fishers spending time with my boyfriend and family and attending the Colt's games.

I don't want to ruin the whole interview for you, so you should follow the link earlier in the post and read it for yourself. But for our first installment of "How To Date A Cheerleader" here are some general tips I learned from the interview.

1. Like sports
2. Buy her a (little) dog
3. Don't generalize/buy into stereotypes about her (and others in her line of work)

So congratulations Megan on being selected as SI's Cheerleader of the Week, we here at Defend The Rock are very proud of you! And guys, go get 'em (but not Megan, she's taken!)
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

David Jack = Class Act

In an earlier post Defend The Rock introduced you to David Jack, one of IU Volleyball's new assistant coaches. Well, now we have learned that David Jack is a real class act. Aside from being a very successful coach in the past, in a recent interview (with we heard some things we really liked.

1. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
If I could visit anywhere in the world, it would be Africa. Why? I heard it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. My main reason for going would be to help decrease the plight of AIDS that is devastating a continent.

Ok - we here at Defend The Rock are big fans of Africa. Well, maybe "fans" isn't the right word, but in our time at a certain Big 10 school in Bloomington, Indiana we focused our studies on Africa to a fairly high degree. Also, it's always great to see from anyone, especially those in the sports community have the recognition of, and the desire to help eliminate/alleviate the AIDS crisis.

2. What is your favorite childhood memory?
The food ... for breakfast, fried dumpling, callaloo, friend plantain, for dinner, rice and peas, chicken or beef, boiled bananas. The food is delicious. I dream of having dinner at home every once and a while.

My god, that sounds scrumptious. I haven't eaten yet today and now David Jack has gone and made me even more hungry. I'll be making a trip down to Bloomington at some point and hopefully I can be a guest at the Jack residence for dinner, damn that sounds good.

3. What can the fans expect from the Hoosiers next season?
Playing hard, competing and challenging the best teams in the Big Ten. That type of intensity every time you step on the court can only lead to success.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! That's what I love to here from IU athletes and coaches. IU Sports always has been, and will be continue to be about intensity. The fans like to see their teams playing with intensity and passion, and I can guarantee you that if IU Volleyball displays it, fans will flock to the games.
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On this day 20 years ago...

Today Defend The Rock and all of Hoosier Nation celebrate the birth - 20 years ago- of our star Quarterback Kellen Lewis.

Defend The Rock and friends were among the first to sing the praises of #15 and urge Coach Hep to start him (even before he was technically eligible, redshirt and all).

Happy Birthday Kellen!

Birthday Boy <----Birthday Boy
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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What team was that playing in IU road jerseys tonight?

Seriously, what team was that playing against Illinois? Anyone who can tell me gets an official Defend The Rock T-Shirt*

43 Points? 43 Points? 43 Points?

Watching that game it was clear from the get-go, even with the strong start, that the team wearing the Indiana road jerseys just wasn't into the game. I didn't see the emotion, the drive, the passion, or the hustle that I've come to associate with the Kelvin Sampson coached IU team that I've watched all year.

From the looks of it, the IU team playing tonight just didn't care....and I'm sure they're gonna get a good yelling at from Coach Sampson.
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Game Preview: Indiana at Illinois

Tonight at 7PM EST/6PM DTRST (Defend The Rock Standard Time, i.e. Central Standard Time) the Indiana Hoosiers will take on the Fighting Illini of Illinois at that *other* Assembly hall down in Champaign, Illinois.

Indiana has been dominant of late (Winners of last 5, and 9 of the last 10), while the Illini have decided it's ok to lose four of six conference games and drop five of its last seven games.

Personally I will be watching the stands to see all the signs that Illinois students are holding up. One can only assume they're none to pleased with Kelvin Sampson snatching away #1-in-the-nation recruit Eric Gordon from Illinois and bringing him to Indiana next season.
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Monday, January 22, 2007

D.J. White Continues To Be A Man, IU In The Top 25!

I'm not quite sure how many times I've written this on Defend The Rock, maybe some loyal reader can get back to me on it, but DAMN, D.J. White is a man! What has he gone and done now to deserve recognition for this? How about being named the Big Ten Player of The Week. All he did was go and average 22 Points, 7.5 Rebounds and 2.5 Blocks per game this past week. Not only did he help lead IU to two victories over Iowa and Connecticut, but he played a crucial role in.....


Indiana currently sits at #23 in the AP Top 25 and #24 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll. This marks the first time IU has been ranked this year. I'd have to guess that IU will be sticking around on one or both for quite a while, or at least make plenty of appearances through the rest of the season.
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IU Over UCONN, Adam Ahlfeld Team Player Award

It almost seems of a late an IU game means just another victory. With IU's 77-73 victory over UCONN our Hoosiers made it 5 straight wins. Sitting pretty at 14-4 (4-1 Big Ten, T-2nd), it's hard to imagine IU not winning 6 more games to make it 20 and a bid to the Tourney.

Watching the game I was struck by the size of the Huskies, in fact early in the game I logged onto UCONN's athletics site and found that they have 5 players 6'9 or taller, topped off by 7'3 Freshmen Hasheem Thabeet. Wilmont continues to be SICK. 23 Points (5-8 3pts), 5 Rebounds, 3 Steals, 1 Block. This guy continues to carryt his team on his shoulders, or perhaps his heart would be more appropriate. Roderick Wilmont is IU Basketball this season, no doubt about it.

As for this week's Adam Ahlfeld Team Player Award, the deserving recipient? (Here's a hint, he's getting it for the second time!):

Roderick Wilmont

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Its T-Shirt Time Again

When an IU alum sacks a former Purdue legend, causes, and recovers a fumble in one play while helping to lead his team to the biggest bowl of them all, (and I'm not talking about the Outback Bowl here folks...) he is worthy of something very special...

That's right, the AJ Moye T-Shirt Award! Here it is:

Congratulations Adewale Ogunlye. Put on your t-shirt and go partying with J. Jeffries.


In other news, DJ White is this week's Big Ten Player of the Week. Its no secret that DJ White wears a T-SHIRT! More on that when YouTellemKellen posts the recap of the exciting victory over U-Conn and all their 7' players from Dar es Salaam.


Aj Moye made the All Star team in his German league. He is not a starter, but was selected by the coach to be on the bench. Here he is in recent game action.... GASP! not wearing a t-shirt. He is wearing one in our (or at least my) hearts.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

The Newest Dolphin

Cam Cameron is the new coach of the Miami Dolphins.

I had the pleasure of watching a season of IU football lead by this great man. It was slightly overshadowed by the Gerry DiNardo era.


all I have to say is...


Tittle 500
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

More Stellar Football Recruits - Thank You Coach Hep

So as you all recall, Eric Gordon earlier in the year decided to switch his commitment from Illinois to Indiana in order to play basketball for the Hoosiers and Kelvin Sampson. Not wanting to be outdone by the new Hoosier hoops coach, Coach Hep has managed to get the #1 ranked recruit in Indiana to decommit from Michigan and play for his new and improved defensive squad.

That's right folks, Jerimy Finch, all-star Safety from Indy powerhouse Warren Central is coming to IU! Finch is the #1 ranked played from Indiana and a four star recruit, and comes in as one of IU's most accomplished recruits in recent history. Finch isn't making the drive south to Bloomington alone though, he's bringing with him defensive tackle Jeff Boyd, who also had the opportunity to play for a multitude of bigger name schools and was named to the first-team all-state team.

Another IU recruit, defensive back Chris Adkins received an honorable mention for the first-team all-state team. In addition, offensive lineman Andrew McDonald is on his way to The Rock as well, and will help keep Kellen Lewis safe and sound behind the line of scrimmage.

It really is amazing to see the effect Coach Hep has had on IU Football.
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We're Back and With A Few More Wins

No need to fear, Defend The Rock is still alive and well, we just disappeared for a few days. So, as for the Hoosiers, LOTS of news, so there will be a flood of posts to catch up on everything. First off, basketball.

Two solid wins by the boys in Cream & Crimson over Penn State (84-74) and Iowa (71-64).

A road win in the Big 10, can it be true? Yes indeed! It was a close game against PSU, that saw the Hoosiers behind early and often, but once again, the guys who are supposed to be leading this team stepped up. Wilmont with career highs in points (25) and rebounds (12), D.J. White with 14 points and 11 boards, and not to mention three other played in double figures for scoring (Ratliff, Bassett, Calloway).

So, the man everybody seemed to want to come to Bloomington to coach the Hoosiers ended up coming to Bloomington and losing to the them instead. Sorry Steve Alford, but Defend The Rock prefers Kelvin Sampson, and we're glad you're still a Hawkeye. This was a game that really made me want to be back in Assembly Hall. The crowd was going crazy the entire game, the action on the court was fast paced and exciting, and it had a perfect storyline in place. Wilmont once again showed up, and showed up BIG, while Bassett continues to put up great performances quietly.

In case you haven't noticed IU is now 13-4 (4-1) and 2nd in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers are at UConn next for a non-conference game , but other than that, the schedule really isn't all that bad from here out save for a couple games with Michigan....
Be sure not to miss the Hoosiers being featured on a couple episodes of ABC's FREE Ticket: Inside College Basketball. From iuhoosiers:
Over the next two weeks, college basketball fans can get an insider's look at the Indiana men's basketball program, as ABC airs FREE Ticket: Inside College Basketball featuring the Hoosiers.

The show provides viewers with a behind-the-scenes experience of all aspects of the Hoosier program. Produced by Chicago-based Intersport, FREE Ticket: Inside College Basketball followed the Hoosiers during the Purdue and Penn State week.

The show will air the following dates and times:
Saturday, January 20 at 3pm (EST) on ABC
Saturday, January 27 at 5:30am (EST) on ESPNU
Tuesday, January 30 at 2pm (EST) on ESPNU
Thursday, February 1 at 2:30pm (EST) on ESPN2
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Friday, January 12, 2007

Another Hoosier Victory + Adam Ahlfeld Team Player Award + The Kirkwood Bar & Grill

Sorry for the two days of no posts, had a bit of the Defend The Rock Birthday Bash hangover.

Let's see what has happened since then? Oh yes, IU crushed Purdue 85-58. The short story: Four players in double figures, a sickening 9 team blocks, a fine team rebounding effort with 30, and a prison sentence worthy 11 steals.

This has now been two VERY impressive games played by this Hoosier squad in a row. We won't be seeing wins with a point differential of 20+ every time out, but damn is this team really turning the corner and showing the Big Ten that they mean trouble.

So, the Adam Ahlfeld Team Player Award normally is given at least a week off between appearances, but one Hoosier forced out hand, the winner this go around is:

A.J. Ratliff. 16 Points, 2 Blocks, 2 Steals, all in just 18 minutes of play, oh yeah, and he was coming off an injury. The kid played his heart out for his team and has not only an IU win to show for it, but also an award.

So Defend The Rock made another appearance at The Kirkwood Bar & Grill here in Chicago, this time to watch the Purdue-IU game.

The place was packed to capacity (160 I think I heard?), with Hoosiers everywhere. Your's truly had a Whiskey & Ginger ale - seemed a tad bit weak but got the job done, although a bit pricey. Then again, it is a sports bar, where you can easily find the beer on tap to be cheap and plentiful. Many of the patrons were treating themselves to huge ass beers in commemorative IU mugs. Naturally for food I ordered "The Hoosier," known better by its more common name "cheeseburger." It wasn't anything special, but my oh my, the seasoned fries that came with it were some of the best I've had in Chicago. As for watching the game there, TVs are large and placed throughout the bar. The atmosphere is great as one would imagine, with hundreds of IU fans packed in tight.

The only major complaint Defend The Rock has with The Kirkwood Bar & Grill is that after the IU trouncing of Purdue they played the IU fight song, but cut it off early, leaving us fans to finish it off ourselves without iPod driven accompaniment, but I'm sure that issue will be resolved.

On the whole it was a fun place to watch the game, grab some drinks and eat some decent food. The Kirkwood Bar & Grill gets Defend The Rock's approval for an IU Gameday Bar. Good work guys!
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

We're One Month Old!

So today Defend The Rock turns one month old! In weeks one and two you, our readers were merey a glimmer in our blogging eye. Slowly but surely we began to fertilize your minds with essential IU sports knowledge.

In week three we finally bonded, sure the bond may have been small, maybe even just the size of a pin, but a bond none the less. Granted, we bloggers didn't notice any changes, too soon to really notice aything.

In week four our readership was still small, but multipling, continuing to be nourished by plentiful amounts of IU sports information and analysis. As for Defend The Rock, well, let's just say we're late....


But in all seriousness, it's been a fun first month of blogging about IU sports. Looking at our logs it is clear we're getting regular visitors not just from across the United States but also a few in Europe and Asia. Hopefully you're enjoying Defend The Rock and we'd love to hear from you, either by email or comments in posts. Who are you? Did you attend IU? Where are you now? How did you find us? What do you like best about Defend The Rock? What could be improved?

Thanks for a great month folks, we'll be keeping up the good work.
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Sunday, January 7, 2007

Indiana 73, Michigan State 51 + Adam Ahlfeld Team Player Award

As any loyal reader of Defend The Rock knows predictions aren't made on here, well, at least not made public. But those around me today prior to the game would've heard me going on and on about how Indiana was set to not only beat MSU but trounce 'em. Even so, no way I was expecting this sort of win.

We might as well start off with a continuation of our D.J. White Is A True Man series. With 21 Points, 2 steals, 1 block, (but just 3 rebounds?!?!) in 27 minutes this guy keeps giving us massive performances week in and week out. You often hear that there are more than just stats to a player, and I'll trot out that cliche here. Watching this man play is simply a pleasure. You wouldn't know from just looking at the box score the type of shots he's taking and making, just some truly unbelievable shots for a guy who is 6'9".

Lance Stemler provided yet another solid performance and looks to be well out of that nasty funk he was in for three games. The scary part is that he scored 16 points all while being 1-8 from three point land. If this guy ever completely regains his 3-shot, watch out Big 10. It really looked like he was forcing his shots today from beyond the arc, and it doesn't help that he has a very awkward release point to begin with. Maybe Defend The Rock will make an instructional video relating to three point shooting for him, keep your eyes on YouTube Lance!

And of course we have to mention how this team continues to be an absolute freakshow on defense. 20 turnovers by Michigan State w/ 24 IU points scored off turnovers. That's just madness. And of course once again that "bubble drill" of Kelvin Sampson's paid off with a nice round 30 rebounds, with 17 second chance points scored.

All in all a solid win by the Hoosiers. This team is no Ohio State or Wisconsin but as Big Ten play progresses there is a great chance the Hoosiers will see themselves atop of the "second tier" of Big 10 teams, and maybe if everything falls into place, nudge there way into the conversation regarding the big guys in the conference.

And now for the Adam Ahlfeld Team Player Award This weeks recipient is:

D.J. White who I basically said would win it a week ago kept up his high level of play to actually deserve it. Admit it, this guy is such a basketball monster that you'd have no problems if he stole your girlfriend. (Plus it doesn't hurt that he dresses well, he probably wouldn't even have to try too hard)
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Defend The Rock + Kirkwood Bar & Grill For The IU/MSU Game

On Sunday January 7th our Hoosiers take on the Spartans of Michigan State at 3:30 CST. Defend The Rock's very own YOUTELLEMKELLEN will be at the Kirkwood Bar & Grill for the duration of the game. Sure he has a pretty nice A/V setup to watch the game, but he wants to be amongst other IU fans for the game (plus it doesn't hurt that he lives two minutes away from the damn place).

After the game, plenty of drinks and hopefully a hand-numbingly high amount of high-fives due to IU's first victory over a ranked opponent, we will have a full review of the Kirkwood Bar & Grill up on Defend The Rock. We're always looking for good places to watch our Hoosiers play, let's just hope this new place is up to our standards.

So if you're in the Chicago area, be sure to make it out to The Kirkwood Bar & Grill @ 2934 N. Sheffield, either in person or in spirit to cheer on the Hoosiers.

[Disclaimer: In no way is this blog or its editors affiliated with The Kirkwood Bar & Grill]
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Friday, January 5, 2007

Where's The Defense? The Rock Being Dismantled!

Ok, so it wouldn't be a blog without a little bit of hyperbole now would it?

The fact is that construction has begun on the North End Zone Project at Memorial Stadium. The bleachers are in the process of being torn down, and will soon be replaced by a new strength and development area for over 600 IU athletes. Also, the area will also be home to new coaching offices along with an IU "Hall of Honor."

While we here at Defend The Rock are always excited when new projects are taken up to improve IU athletics, the removal of the bleachers disappoints me. The first time I ever saw Kellen Lewis really play (a scrimmage game over last summer), I sat in the bleachers and watched him throw bullet passes right in my directions, hitting receivers right in the chest for TDs. Just not the same experience from other areas of the stadium.
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Thursday, January 4, 2007

Sherry Dunbar's Posse

Sherry Dunbar has just brought in a few fresh faces to assist her in her first year as IU Volleyball's Head Coach. First up is Sarah Gustin who is following Dunbar from the College of Charleston where they both were instrumental in leading a very successful team. She was also a stand out volleyball player up at Michigan State (don't worry Sarah, we here at Defend The Rock are more than welcome to happy former Big 10 opponents into the IU Sports fold!).

Second is David Jack. He's helped lead teams to Junior Olympic national bids, coached up multiple students who went on to receive Division 1 scholarships, and played with the Jamaican National team for 13 years. Can't hurt to mention he was an 8 time All American too...

Gotta like what Dunbar's doing here, bringing in people with long track records of success in recruiting for, coaching, and playing the game.
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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Sic semper tyrannis! Or not...

Well, that's what I was hoping to yell tonight after an IU slaying of the tyrants of Big Ten Basketball - Ohio State, led by Superfreak (now that the nickname is available...) Greg Oden (I mean seriously, look at him, he is what, a 7' tall, soon to be 19 year old kid who looks old (and talented)enough to be mistaken for a 10 year NBA vet) but it was not to be.

Watching the game I was struck by several things:
1. Joey Shaw, regardless of his youth, has got some serious game. You know I'm serious here because I have NEVER used the term "has got some serious game" in any way before in my life. 16 Points, of which 12 came off 3s. There is no question that he's mad as hell over my recent post in which I said "No disrespect to Mr. Shaw, but he has plenty of time to make a name for himself at IU." Well excuse me Mr. Shaw, it appears you're ready, willing, and able to make a name for yourself as a Hoosier.

2. D.J. White - What a great athlete willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win (Adam Ahlfeld Team Player Award awaiting him in the future?). He had his hands full with Oden most of the night and was visibly exhausted towards the end of the game but kept fighting.

3. This entire Hoosier team. I've said it all year because it's been abundantly clear, this team does not give up, they never even LOOK like they are thinking about it. We may not be winning these games against ranked opponents, but at least we're giving them a good fight each time out, losing on average by five points.

That is not to say I'm happy, or even content with the loss seeing as IU drops to 9-4 (0-1 Big Ten) and has a very nasty schedule to play in the Big 10, and regardless of the opponent, every game is a must win in this conference. I'm sure soon enough we will see the Hoosiers topple a ranked opponent or someone we're "not supposed to beat" but for the time being this team just looks "good enough," and that doesn't cut it for this IU fan.

Let's just plan on taking down the Spartans at home on 7th...
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Monday, January 1, 2007

To Victor Go The Spoils

With the NFL regular season over, I believe it is time to look back at our very own NFL Draftee Victor Adeyanju and see how he did this year. It's no secret that I'm a Rams fan, so it was great for me to see Victor head to my favorite team, and a team that could use his defensive prowess no less!

In case you don't know Adeyanju's IU stats/bio off the top of your head, here's all you need, courtesy of

As for his first year in the NFL, Victor Adeyanju was selected by MY St. Louis Rams in the 4th round (113th) overall, and the Defensive End quickly found himself in the starting lineup once injuries (and the realization that the Rams starting D wasn't all that hot) kicked in.

Adeyanju saw action in 12 games, with 30 tackles, 4 assists, 1 sack, as well as 2 fumble recoveries including one for a touchdown. Unfortunately for Victor, and the Rams, Adeyanju suffered a series of forearm injuries that kept him inactive down the stretch.

Look for a big year year out of Victor next year. Us Hoosier fans were spoiled watching him play week in and week out here at IU, and now for the past year - and hopefully for years to come, Rams fans will have the same opportunity.
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Sarah McKay - A Woman Amongst Girls

When you think IU Basketball this season, and #32 shows up, who are you thinking of? Joey Shaw? No, you're thinking of Sarah McKay. No disrespect to Mr. Shaw, but he has plenty of time to make a name for himself at IU. On the other hand, Sarah McKay, the 6'7 Senior Center on the IU Women's Basketball team has been making a name for herself her entire IU career.

From her crazy-good Freshmen year where she set an IU Freshmen record with 55! blocks to her recent dismantling of Michigan (23 Points, 7 Rebounds, 2 Blocks), she has been a force here at IU throughout her career.

To sum it up, I'll give you a quote from Sarah after the Michigan Game:
On coming back to win after the loss:
"We got back to playing Indiana basketball, and that's what we've been working on the last two days in practice."

Damn, I love when players talk about "Indiana Basketball" as a way of playing the game and as a tradition. There are only a certain number of teams and sports where I think one can say such things, another example "Cardinal Baseball," and I'm always proud to know that both IU fans and players recognize that "Indiana Basketball" means much more than simply a game.
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