January 9, 2011

Game Review, Game 18: Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne

IUPUI pulled out yet another insane victory after going down 16 in the first half. Christian Siakam blew up for career highs in six categories, while Alex did something he hasn't since the conference tournament last year.

Player of the Game: Christian Siakam, IUPUI.
If Christian continues to play like this, the Summit League better look out. He went 9-13 from the floor and 2-3 from the line, adding 11 rebounds, SEVEN of which were offensive. He set or tied career highs in minutes played (34), points (20), rebounds (11), shot attempts (13), shots made (9), and efficiency rating (27). For the 10th time in his career, he had more offensive rebounds (7) than defensive (4).

Six Man of the Game: Jeremy Mixon, IPFW.
The junior hasn't started a single game all season, but was absolutely key to the Dons' run early in the game. He ended 7-13 from the floor, 2-5 from superhoopland, and 3-3 from the line for 19 points. He added 2 rebounds and an assist.

Stat of the Game: 52-47, 78-73, 45-38
IUPUI was out-percentaged in all three categories by IPFW, but the Jaguars scored nine more points from the foul like (16-7).

Play of the Game: Stephen Thomas' Steal
Stephen had missed the front end of a 1-and-1 that could have potentially put the Jaguars up three, but as IPFW was trying to set up their offense, he jumped in front of a pass from Zach Plackemeier back to Ben Botts. As Thomas took off towards the basket, Botts was forced to grab him from behind, resulting in an intentional foul. After hitting both shots, he was delivered the ball on the in-bounds play (as a result of the intentional foul), and proceeded to hit his first which put the game completely out of reach.


Et Cetera...

  • I don't know how many times I have to say it to the guys, but these games hurt my insides. Down 16 halfway through the first half? Their band chanted "Score Board". We won in the end, but I'd really like to see our guys actually do their thing from the BEGINNING, not battle it out down 10 with 10 to play.
  • The Coliseum is one of the worst venues for basketball I've ever seen. The Jaguars have played six games in non-basketball specific locations (three in Oxford, a concert hall; two in Las Vegas, a hotel; one in Fort Wayne, another concert hall). These places are extremely difficult to shoot in and take a while to get settled in, which could account for at least some of the poor shooting percentages that they've been turning in.
  • My goodness do I hate IPFW.
  • At the beginning of the season, my pal Ben and I kept talking about how IUPUI needed a leader to step up. Billy Petiford was the go-to last year, but his graduation left a major hole that needed to be filled. It was obvious that without it, games like Gonzaga would be the norm. Gritty defensive performances and an all-around competitiveness have propelled him into the roll of leader.
  • Sean's shot was insane. For those of you who missed it, he took a three from the corner on his first attempt of the game, it bounced up to the top of the backboard, and without touching anything but the glass, rolled into the cylinder. His performance was clutch, especially as basketball's version of a place kicker (football) or a closer (baseball). He's always ready to go in during crunch time and hit an important shot.
  • I am extremely disappointed in our other students. Two of us made the trip to IPFW, which is only two hours (maximum) away from the IUPUI campus. They brought bus loads of people to Conseco last year, I have been informed they plan to do the same this year. Come on, guys.
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Post Game Stats

9-9 (3-2)
10-5 (5-1)
BB State Rank
Points Against/Game
Fieldgoal %
3-Point %
Free Throw %
31 (14 O/17 D)
28 (8 O/20 D)
O.Rebounds/Missed Shot
D.Rebounds/Missed Shot


Key Matchup: Revisited

IUPUI Front Court
IPFW "Front Court"
Christian alone absolutely bombarded the interior of the IPFW defense, exploding for seven offensive rebounds and 20 total points. The Jaguars had 32 points in the paint and out were able to snag offensive rebounds on 41.2% of their misses.


Keys To The Game

1) Dominate Early. (Goodness, no.)
Going doubled up by the 10 minute mark (32-16) was not a good way to start the game. Not even if you're counting by 4's. But IUPUI found a way to slowly climb back into the game. Alex Young's superhoop at the buzzer brought the Jags back within nine, and momentum continued to swing towards IUPUI for the rest of the game. Starting fast, however, did not happen.

2) Execute. (Better.)
If the offense was a car, it was being driven by a first-time driver. When they got in the door, they had a fit because last time out was a bad experience. Then they turned the key but forgot to check all of the mirrors. By the time they got going, it was time for a bathroom break. Eventually everything fell into place and they felt confident, but not without a couple close calls first. IUPUI needs to be consistent in their execution. This crap-shoot momentum is making me rip my hair out.

3) Kick Their A$$e$. (...)
Well, I have to say this could semi-apply. One of their guys came out wearing headgear, so maybe he's a daily reader. (Hi Opie!) Their fans got super angry at me for saying I was glad I wasn't from Fort Wayne, but hey, I don't like the city. Not my fault. It felt amazing to get yet another win at the Coliseum, even though we didn't cruise like before.

4) 48% FG; 80% FT; 43% 3P. (No.)
47% FG; 73% FT; 38% 3P. I feel like the number of free throws we hit could actually make up for the other shots we missed. Oh yeah, they do.

BONUS! Open The Land For Stephen Thomas.
Stephen struggled all game to find open shots, despite the dominance inside by the bigs. He went just 2-8, but his 5-7 from the line is what sealed it. His intensity and leadership were huge down the stretch, too.

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