219 Chapters
Medium 9780253008589

A Job Well Done for Verdell Jones III

The Herald-Times Indiana University Press ePub

By Dustin Dopirak

Verdell Jones III is at peace.

The Indiana senior guard is in a situation he’s never been entirely comfortable with, surrounded by reporters trying to probe him about his innermost thoughts. He’s toed a fine line with the media in his four years in Bloomington, providing enough honesty to be accommodating but being sure to maintain something of an emotional wall.

But in this case, the still baby-faced Jones exudes an easy serenity, smiling and laughing with the hood of his bluish sweatshirt hanging sideways off his right shoulder. He draws guffaws from the reporters with stories from conditioning sessions in his freshman year and self-deprecates about the twiggy frame he came to Bloomington with. He is as relaxed in the presence of microphones as he’s ever been.

Part of that is just the mood around the entire Assembly Hall/Cook Hall compound following IU’s landmark upset of No. 5 Michigan State. But more of it is that with Jones’ career coming to a close, he finally knows validation.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781626567719

3 Reframing from Trying Harder to Trying Easier

Peterson, Rick; Hoekstra, Judd Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You don’t get paid by the hour. You get paid by the pitch; the fewer, the better.

—RICK PETERSON

From the time we were young, we’ve learned from parents and coaches, “It’s not enough to give 100 percent; you need to give 110 percent!” As a result, when we find ourselves stuck in a pressure-packed situation, many of us believe the best way out is to try harder.

Despite what we’ve been taught, at crunch time trying harder rarely works. Many examples, across a number of fields—athletic, military, and business—show that trying harder under pressure is counterproductive. Think about your best performances. Were you grinding and full of anxiety? I’m guessing no. More than likely, you remember your best performances as being almost effortless. These performances are often described as being “in the zone.”

Instead of trying harder when you’re under pressure, a better approach to getting in the zone is to “Try Easy!”1

We often try harder under pressure because we have some performance-limiting beliefs. For example:

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253008589

Big Ten Tournament: Indiana VS. Penn State, 3-8-12 (75-58)

The Herald-Times Indiana University Press ePub

Indiana Hoosiers guard Jordan Hulls (1) lays the ball in during the Indiana Penn State men’s basketball game at the Big Ten Tournament at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., Thursday, March 8, 2012. Indiana won 75-58.

By Dustin Dopirak

Even though it was expected, this was a win Indiana should’ve been able to bask in. The fifth-seeded Hoosiers’ 75-58 victory over No. 12 seed Penn State in front of 17,936 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament represented yet another milestone for this resurgent squad.

It was Indiana’s first Big Ten Tournament victory since 2006, a slump that not only included the first three seasons of the Tom Crean era but also both of Kelvin Sampson’s years at the helm.

But the tears Crean was fighting back in postgame interviews were not tears of joy. Indiana couldn’t enjoy the victory quite as much, because someone who had seen all the tough times was missing from the bench at game’s end.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253010285

13 Highway 61 Revisited

Mike Roos Quarry Books ePub

Game day arrived, and an unusually agitated Roy Allen stood in the doorway to Pete Gill’s office. “Pete, now you’ve really lost your mind! Hitchhiking home from Spurgeon? It’s nuts!”

Pete was studiously shuffling through a stack of index cards. He glanced up expressionless, then resumed the shuffling. “Did you see the looks on the boys’ faces, Roy? I think I got ’em stirred up.”

“I’m not worried about that. We will win the game,” Roy said. “As bad as we looked the other night, Spurgeon is likely to be several degrees worse. And if we play better, which is a real possibility, then it’s you and me I’m worried about, Pete.”

Pete did not look up. “Take it easy, Roy.”

“Listen, Pete, Spurgeon is thirty miles away. And there’s no direct route between here and there. You have to take a bunch of different roads. Hitchhiking so late at night is—well, it’s no simple matter.”

“I’m going to start Stan Klem,” Pete said, lifting out one of the cards. “Don’t you think he looked the best of what we got?”

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253008589

Indiana VS. Purdue, 3-4-12 (85-74)

The Herald-Times Indiana University Press ePub

Indiana Hoosiers guard Verdell Jones III (12) drives the baseline against Purdue Boilermakers guard Ryne Smith (24) during the Indiana Purdue men’s basketball game at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Sunday, March 4, 2012.

By Dustin Dopirak

The last game in Assembly Hall in Indiana’s enchanted season of renewal couldn’t have ended any other way, could it? It certainly would’ve spoiled the narrative some if the Hoosiers would’ve suffered their second loss in Bloomington this year and for it to happen against their in-state rival. And it certainly wouldn’t have been quite as sweet for Indiana if the Hoosiers weren’t able to send in together in the game’s final minute their five seniors, the ones who willingly signed up to rebuild a kingdom in ruin and finally got to see it rise again in their final season.

But the Hoosiers’ 85-74 win over Purdue in front of 17,472 at Assembly Hall made sure this chapter of the story book ended the way the fairy tale writers would have it. Despite a second-half charge from the Boilermakers that was just enough to make the Hoosiers nervous, the double-digit lead in the final minute allowed Indiana to check in seniors Kory Barnett, Verdell Jones III, Daniel Moore, Tom Pritchard and Matt Roth with 22 seconds to go, as they exchanged hugs with each other and all five players who were coming off the floor to allow them their Assembly Hall swan song.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters