23 comments

  1. Great job guys. I like hearing your analysis of the game. It is refreshing to hear people who know the game and look at it objectively and tell it like it is.

  2. I don’t know if you buy the newspaper guys, but I think you should. Korman’s column makes it clear that the loss last night was not acceptable. There’s a paragraph about how much money Crean is making. I won’t give away the ending though, since you need to enjoy that one on your own.

    What I want to say is that Korman’s column does what stevealford has been asking for a long time: states the responsibilities and examines the degree that they have or have not been fulfilled thus far.

    However, although what I will write will hurt a few here, I need to say that even if we assume by reductio ad absurdum that Crean is failing as a coach under our very eyes while Steve Alford may have finally found his groove — the problem isn’t what we think, the problem is what’s going to happen with, and what will be of most help in the long run to our Hoosiers.

    Steve Alford started really well this year. How do we know this is not the exception in an otherwise not too spectacular coaching career thus far? Let’s say New Mexico goes to the Final Four in Indianapolis in March while the Hoosiers continue to lick their wounds after another first round loss in the Big Ten tourney? Can we even then say Alford is better suited as IU coach? I am still not sure. Perhaps there’s a Dwayne Wade there now that makes all of this happen. Perhaps not. But we need time to know for sure. If we made a mistake with Crean, because we acted in a hurry, wouldn’t we want to not do that again?

    Crean’s position (and I know some will find saying this almost beyond ridiculous) is safe and should be safe until Hulls’ senior year. Only then we should put three years of Alford @New Mexico next to three years of Crean @Indiana and start comparing. And if New Mexico is consistently making the sweet sixteen while we consistently struggle maybe then Alford is the better coach. Will he accept to leave New Mexico for Indiana? You see how ridiculous the discussion can get after just one bad loss?

    Last night was a fluke. Period. A bad dream. As much as we have underperformed thus far I’m sure these guys will win more games in the Big Ten than everybody thinks. It’s pure statistics. And those games will really be the ones that matter.

    For what it’s worth. Thanks for your time. Go Hoosiers.

  3. UAB dismantled Butler quite well last night.

    “We beat a basketball team that just beat Ohio State and Xavier,” UAB coach Mike Davis said after improving to 23-0 against nonconference opponents at home. “We played a big-time basketball team. They may not lose another game this year. We look forward to playing teams like this in our home gym.

    The same short thread of patience exhibited against Davis at Indiana will soon be used on Tom Crean…The most detrimental act that Hoosier fans could do to this basketball program at this time would be to fade from supporting our head coach. And believe me, that is not a thought based on the premise of liking the guy..

  4. Bonus Rant:

    What’s the point of questioning the merits behind the hiring of Tom Crean?…Whether you’re hot, cold, or lukewarm on the guy, the deed has been done…The sentence has been handed down…It’s five to 10 at the Assembly Hall pen. It would be easier to remove the Pope from Vatican City. Crean’s a good recruiter. We could have done far worse.

    The effects of coaching on a game’s outcome is grossly overrated…Usually overrated by journalists wanting locker room interviews, other coaches making a living in the same profession, envious wannabees critiquing from porch rocking chairs, and athletically inept dweebs that have never dug cleats into grass, squeaked sneakers on hardwood, thrown a block, set a pick, taken a hard foul ball to the shin, or rebounding elbow to a chin.. Maybe Husky Tom can tell us if Dan Dakich had the magic touch to make Eric Gordon’s 3-point shots against Arkansas fall in… Wasn’t it just “Eric put the ball in the basket” and we win? If the players take the hard fall, why should the coach get the glory of the game ball? Crean enjoys giving praises to his friend at Kentucky..If my grandmother be given comfortable sideline chair, she could coach and win with Calapari’s talent-rich team. Bob Knight had some of the most talented players from the Midwest during his banner-winning seasons.
    Texas Tech and New Mexico have some talent, but have they played any of the big boys you’ll see go deep into the tournament (e.g. Kentucky deep)?…And who are we really trying to kid? Do we sit blindly on our rocking chairs to believe that being a coach that is the son of Bob Knight, or a coach that was once a former player for one of The General’s championship teams, does not help in the attention/ notoriety a coach/program can bring to the recruiting table? These coaches have learned from one of the best in the business…They are perceived as gaining from his continual input and open channel of communication with the programs he directly, or indirectly, has favorable connections. How can that not help recruiting? Why do you think Indiana/Glass/Crean have tried to bring down the wall of bitterness between Knight and IU? The fallout hurts in many ways. Crean is plenty shrewd to understand the benefits in recruiting if those wounds could be patched.

    Outside of mailing Bob Knight a lovely Christmas card, the most important thing Crean can do to insure more victories in the coming seasons is to find more talent; specifically talent in the middle…We need a dominant post player. We’ve been told he has the magic recruiting wand…I’m ready for him to soon turn banner dust to fairy dust and put us in a hocus-pocus Final Four.

  5. IMU and Downing. Good posts. Too bad that there is a need for them to be written.

    One thing that I think is interesting is that while Crean’s entire record is under stevealford’s intense scrutiny, the Steve Alford record is selectively discussed. Certainly his last few years at Iowa are never mentioned. So I hope as we hold people accountable for their bodies of work we use the same standard for everyone.

    I agree with Casey and others that think it is really too bad that a great Hoosier like Steve Alford has to be included in this discussion. If he had been hired by IU I certainly would have supported him. He wasn’t. He’s at NM. Crean’s at IU. I don’t think either condition is changing anytime soon.

  6. Here’s how I see it: little teams like Loyola and NCCU have more respect for what it means to play basketball in Assembly Hall than our own guys do. In spite of being in a “rebuilding process” our players seem to have fallen into the idea that, because their jersey says “Indiana”, they’re going to beat all of these little schools. All of these little schools understand that, no matter where the team is at the moment, it really means something to go into Assembly Hall and take down Indiana; those players will be able to tell their kids and grandkids that they won at Assembly Hall for the rest of their lives.

    IU was able to get itself pumped up for a huge game at Madison Square Garden and they were pumped up to take on Kentucky, but they weren’t ready for the game when NCCU and Loyola came in and killed us in the first half.

    I don’t know if it is Crean and the assistants not doing enough to get the players going or the players’ attitudes, but the staff needs to fix this. You don’t become Scott May or Kent Benson or Isiah Thomas just because you’re wearing the same uniform they did; those guys put in the effort, did the school work, and understood that it is a great privilege to play for Indiana. The mentality that every team we play is just as good as the last one needs to be instilled in these players. If we play every game like we did Pittsburgh or Kentucky, we WILL win games in the Big Ten.

  7. I enjoyed the posts from above. Not picking a fight, just my opinion. Mike Davis ran himself off at IU by being too thin skinned for the job and whining like a baby. Read archived stories on ESPN by Jason Whitlock…Davis did that to himself and he is to blame…plus he was never qualified to begin with.
    That said, I am surprised by all of the negativity toward Crean on message boards. I guess people really did give him a free pass last year because I don’t remember all the hate.
    That said again, IU has lost 2 or maybe 3 games this year that they should have won and won big! I don’t know what to think at this point. I am fortunate enough to sit low enough to notice Rivers is a prima donna and I am sure it gets on some of the kids nerves, would me after a while. Hulls is improving quickly and I am thrilled with that. Creek is the go to guy and the team needs to all understand that!!! I support Crean 100% but I too am tired of the…”This thig was wrecked” and “They are so young, we have so much youth” excuses. No way that team last night should have beat a veteran like Rivers and talent like Creek, Wat, and Elston…I finally said it, can’t believe it!!!

  8. Knight ran the “motion offense”. Calipari uses the dribble drive. There’s the Princeton offense. What does Crean run? He seems to run sets, but I can’t be sure. I am very curious what you guys think or would call it.

  9. A few thoughts:

    – Dumes should either not play or be reigned in on offense. I understand that he’s an above average defender, but almost every shot he takes is ill-advised and most of his passes are failed attempts at circus plays. He needs to start acting like he’s a senior in college and use some discretion.

    – How many point blank layups did we miss last night? Why is Rivers driving to the basket during crunch time if he can’t make free throws? Why not Creek? Jones?

    – Perhaps this is the kind of loss our team needs — a completely embarrassing, inexcusable one. This is where we’ll really see how much different this year’s squad is from last year’s. Will this loss demoralize us, sending us stumbling into Big Ten play, or will it kick us in the ass and wake us up?

    There are still a lot of interesting moments in store for this year’s team.

  10. my wife brought this up. The crowd was dead and rightfully so. whether young or old and whether you like loud music at the sporting events or not…GUNS N ROSES Paradise City was played and the crowd went nuts and the run was made immediately after that in the second half. There is someething to be said for the right music at the right time.

    Jay, there are some ball screens here and there but many sets are run especially after timeouts. Other than that it works on spacing one on one and dribble drive similar to Davis and Sampson. In other words I will admit that it is a hard offense to win with without much much athletic talent. What I see failing is when a set does not work, there is lots of standing around and dribble dribble dribble which drives IU fans nuts!

  11. jub, I am not sure about that but a couple posters think that. I will really watch for it next game. Creek was defended well, they focused on him and he was a little tentative at times I thought.

  12. Downing-

    Great to see the old you again. I remember reading that kind of stuff back in the old days, before I brought my annoying, brash, confrontational self to the Basketblog and focused on winding you up. Pure sincerity and joy, mixed with a lot more basketball knowledge than I will ever posses.

    On another note:

    Alford’s team lost to Oral Roberts last night. Outside of major league baseball, folks, college basketball is the sport where upsets can most easily happen. They happen in the regular season just like they do in the tournament. So many teams, so many conferences, so many games played – it is bound to happen and catch us all off guard.

    I have a feeling it is Only at Indiana where people can work themselves up into such a frenzy and use words such as “unacceptable”and “fraud” to describe a team only 40 games into their young existence. We had an uncomfortable loss on Tuesday, but we could have easily won that game and lost at Pitt, which would cause a much less extreme reaction.

    These growing pains may last longer than we wish, but there is no doubt in my mind that at the end of this season and going into next, we will be looking at a group ready to challenge for a postseason spot. We need to heed to the wisdom of the Caseys and the Donwnings witnessed in this thread, and not act so petulant and impatient. I hope the tone changes a bit after we win our next two.

  13. Hey Husky, I’ve got a name for you . . . ANDY RUSSO. Do you remember him? We played against each other in high school, then coached together for two years in high school. I talked with Andy about two years ago. He’s in Florida, runs basketball camps. Not sure, or brave enough to ask him, what happened at Washington. Just a trivia question for Xmas time.

  14. Jay-

    Interesting. I actually hadn’t heard of him. I lived in Los Angeles until 1990; hated the Huskies until I enrolled at UW in 1994. Back then, UW basketball was somewhat comparable to Hoosier football in its current state – completely neglected and underfunded; an ugly step-child of sorts. UW did have some good years in the 80’s with Detlef Schrempf and Christian Welp, but those guys were competing with Warren Moon and Sonny Sixkiller for attention.

    I’d be curious to see who Russo had on his teams. It looks like he did OK – a 60-61 lifetime record at UW. Thanks for the trivia.

  15. Husky-

    The purist sincerity and joy I felt for many a year were the days we spent firing away at each other on Basketblog…Do you actually think I would trade that in for this anal retentive prison of sports talk conformity? I will always consider myself extremely lucky to have taste of your gifted writing and friendship.

    Merry Christmas Tom,

    Downing

  16. D-

    I’ll toast to that, compadre. All the same back to you. Enjoy your Xmas and I look forward to further discourse.

  17. I was not at the game but my son was and from watching the 1st half we all saw the team trying to dribble drive but the key thing is when you drive and the lane is full you must kick the ball out to the side for open jump shots and 3’s. This keeps the defense honest. The problem: numerous times Hulls and Creek were wide open but Rivers, Jones and Dumes chose to be selfish and try to dribble thru 4 defenders losing the ball, getting their shots blocked or shooting off balance shots that didn’t have a pray. For us it was sort of a replay from last year when Jones and Dumes did the same crap and now Rivers is doing it also. Those 3 are the upper class men for this team and they all need a seat on the pine. Plays don’t work if the main play makers decide to leave your best 3 point shooters and your best offensive player out of the play. Basketball is a team sport and right now for whatever reason some of these guys have lost that fact. It was nice to see them open the game up by using that zone press and the come back was great until we could not hit are free ones. Coach has a lot of teaching material this week.

  18. Coach Crean is in a tough situation. We play better with Rivers on the floor: 6/10 FG, 5 Reb, 15 points, 4 assists/2 TO, 3 steals and 1 block, but he is a 53% lifetime FT shooter. I like him, I know he will try to improve the FT %, but he has been playing basketball all of his life in a house with an NBA player and coach. He is not a good shooter! Pritchard always shoots over 50% on FG, but he is a 50% FT shooter also. How can you win with 2 top players shooting 50% on FT at “winning time”? You have to play the freshmen at “winning time”! Creek, Watford, Hulls and Elston can all shoot the ball and make their free throws! They have to do it. Put them in the game at the end!

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