Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Hoosier basketball.

Sunday, December 17

For Calloway, Ratliff, It's All About Effort

The numbers suggest Earl Calloway had a sub-par game in Indiana’s 57-47 victory over Southern Illinois.

The numbers are wrong.

Calloway’s fierce defense against super-quick guard Jamaal Tatum was huge. Tatum finished with 17 points, but had just four in the second half.

So what that Calloway finished with just five points and fouled out. He had three assists and no turnovers to go along with that relentless, in-your-face defense. It was a follow-up to what coach Kelvin Sampson said was a strong effort at Kentucky.

“Earl had his best back to back games,” Sampsonn said. “He was really good (against SIU). That’s what I’ve been looking for, some consistency. How hard is he competing?”

Sampson had the same question about A.J. Ratliff, who came off the bench for 14 points, plus added three steals.

“This was the hardest AJ has played,” Sampson said. “His challenge will be putting back to back good performances together.

“Can Earl do it a third time? Can A.J. do it twice?

“A.J.’s M.O is he’s good one night; he’s in the witness protection program the next night. Does he step up or do we to get the hounds after him?”

We’ll find out Wednesday, when IU hosts Western Michigan.


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