Indiana Daily Student

The ’stache is back

Less than a minute in, Earl Calloway was finally back in the building. \nAfter senior guard Errek Suhr’s rebound, Calloway got a feed on a fast break, dribbled the ball up court, put it between his legs, pulled up and hit a jumper in the lane. 2-0 Hoosiers.\n“I was confident (Saturday),” said the senior guard, who racked up 15 points in IU’s 94-63 win Saturday night against Penn State.\nThat’s a refreshing statement and stat line for Hoosier Nation. Calloway’s mild right shoulder separation he suffered against Purdue kept him on the sidelines for three straight games. He saw limited action against Northwestern on Wednesday night, struggling through nine minutes of play. But Saturday night, he was his old self, scoring where he saw fit and distributing as needed. \nAnd speaking of distributing the rock, Calloway dished out 11 assists last night – a career-high mark.\nOn a night when fellow senior guard Rod Wilmont shined and played to the crowd, and senior Errek Suhr received cheers each time he touched the ball in the second half, it was perhaps Calloway whom fans should have lauded the most.\n“Earl brings a lot to us, especially when he pressures the ball,” said Wilmont, who notched a double-double Saturday night. “When he’s up there on top of the key, pressuring the ball, everybody else gets real energized. Having Earl there to hit shots and stuff like that, that’s huge for us.”\nRight he is. \nNow, maybe it had more to do with it being senior night and IU’s final home game of the year, but there seemed to be a newfound energy within IU’s play Saturday night. \nBut I do think, as Wilmont said, Calloway had a hand to do with IU’s enthusiasm as well. Saturday night in the first half, as Calloway pressured the ball up top, he had a rather intense look to his eyes, reminiscent of that famous Michael Jordan clip. You know, the one where M.J. is D-ing up the Lakers, body firmly entrenched in a defensive stance, eyes looking upward defying you to get around him. That was Earl Calloway on Saturday night.\nThere are still questions about his shoulder, though.\n“It’s always going to be a factor, you think about it as a player,” he said. “But you have to just be cautious and just play with confidence.”\nIU coach Kelvin Sampson had this to say after the game: “Earl’s shoulder probably doesn’t hurt as much tonight as it will tomorrow.”\nBut Calloway will have a time to rest it. IU’s next game is Friday night; its first game of the Big Ten Tournament.\nIn 2005, the Hoosiers stormed onto the United Center court in Chicago for their first game of the Big Ten tourney, the place where the aforementioned M.J. called home. Almost the entire team shaved their heads, as an ode to His Airness. They fell flat against Minnesota, losing by 16.\nFriday night, Calloway’s imitation of Jordan should serve the Hoosiers much better.

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