Thursday live discussion

How about this?

How about we get together around 11 a.m. — but maybe we’ll start a bit earlier, for reasons I’ll soon discuss — and have our regular online discussion in our usual place.

At some point, Dustin and I will probably need to jump in the van and head off to Pike. Not because we think Marquis Teague will pick IU when he announces his college choice, but because you just never can be sure. And because this thing’s been going on forever. We thought we’d get our answer from Teague years ago, only to be flung through a series of broken deadlines and bland statements turned over too often by those looking for any meaning and an endless debate about who he is as a person and a player. The poor kid has had his name on the tongue of every recruitnik out there since his brother Jeff chose Wake Forest prior to the 2006 season. Covering that happened to be one of my very first assignments upon moving to Bloomington.

Watching Teague announce tomorrow will be like the sappy last episode of a sitcom, in which the two characters who dated on and off for years and years will finally stand at the alter. You probably have a good sense of what’s going to happen, but you watch anyway.


  1. speculation has him at L ville and I would think UK is out after the big name guards they have landed. You never know, I am sure hoping for a surprise!

  2. Chris, if you hear the Chapel Bells at Pike playing “Indiana, our Indiana”, don’t faint! I have no idea which school he will choose and there are no Chapel Bells at Pike but if it isn’t IU he will certainly miss the feeling of “Home, Sweet Home” and the embrace of the IU fans.

  3. Now, I think teague is a talent for sure and can be an awesome player. With that said, I’ve seen some of Hugh’s and other peoples stuff that seem to think he has the wrong attitude. All about himself, and for a guy with that much talent, he sure didn’t elivate his High School team to anything special.

    I want good talent and would love for him to choose IU, but if, IF!, he did could we really expect him to lead us somewhere? It’s honestly a question, I’m skeptical, but I haven’t seen him play much. Anyone have a good read?

  4. Yes, but their opinions mean much more due to their knowledge and line of work. I would trust their opinion much more than a Crean Apologists.

  5. Their opinions are not facts and they have no weight than would be for anyone else. But you go ahead and dangle for every bit of wasted air.

  6. The journalists back my stance up and we share the same views on the fact of IU basketball and Crean.

  7. Heard from an insider that UK is out due to all the other guards that are coming in. UL here comes your man!!

  8. I guess IU is going to need to start looking at players at the age of 10 so they can try to get their foot in the door early. There is just no chance that any top rated stud would want to come in to a program that is in a massive turn over. It is going to take the right kid with the right attitude to come in and help it out. I am a die hard IU fan, but we are going to need to work witht the kids that we have for a while.

  9. The difference between the journalists and yourself is that you take opinion and attempt to weave it into something resembling an infallible doctrine. I’ll agree with both Korman’s and Dustin’s reservations about the hire, but what they absolutely neither said nor implied is that Crean is ridiculously incompetent and that this hire is proof of it. When it comes down to it, there’s really no way to evaluate this hire until we see how recruiting and the next season or two turn out. I admit I would have liked to see someone with Indiana ties get the job, but there’s something to be said for player development and coaching ability along with recruiting ability. As of now, I’m not sure any former Hoosiers have demonstrated those two skills in any way that would make up for the possible deficit McClain will face in recruiting Indiana.

  10. coachreporter4disreguards, if journalists are all you have backing, you don’t have much.

  11. CHRIS KORMAN: Casey,

    First impressions of the Steve McClain hire are that Indiana must still be a pretty special place if you can hire a guy with his experience and reputation to be essentially the third assistant.

    The pros are that McClain has seen and coached a lot of basketball. He’s worked at different levels of a recruiting — as a JUCO coach and a D I coach — and in many parts of the country. Tom Crean seems to trust him, and that obviously matters after whatever happened with former assistant Roshown McLeod.

    The cons, as I see them right now without ever having met McClain or even spoken to him, are that he does not have very strong ties to in-state coaches. Indiana’s high school coaches are quite provincial, and they like dealing with people they’ve known and trusted for a long time. They like to know that college coaches respect Indiana basketball and want to hire people who are steeped in its culture. McClain doesn’t exactly fit that profile. He’ll have to do a lot of work getting around the state.

    The only other concern I have is that Indiana might lack that dynamic young recruiter who can really relate to kids. Obviously a kid is going to deal with four different coaches (a head coach and three assistants) and I think it’s important for there to be some sort of good-coach, bad-coach dynamic within those relationships. So I wonder a bit whether kids can immediately identify one of the current guys as ying to Crean’s yang.

    DUSTIN DOPIRAK: I don’t think you can look at Steve McClain’s resume and say he isn’t qualified for a job like this. He’s had head coaching experience, he’s been an assistant coach at major league programs. Even though he was fired from his last head coaching job, he had a winning record and an NCAA Tournament berth there. He’s well respected throughout the coaching community and he obviously has a good rapport with Tom Crean, which is obviously important in itself.

    That being said, at the beginning of all of this, Crean said that he was not going to hire someone and make the position fit around him. He would instead determine his parameters for the position and find someone who fit those as exactly as possible. I wonder if he didn’t end up doing exactly what he said he wasn’t going to do. He already has a former head coach on his bench in Tim Buckley. If it were Buckley who had left, this would have made absolutely perfect sense. But it Roshown McLeod. For whatever shortcomings McLeod might have had (and we don’t really know) he was the guy who worked with the big men and he was young and he had recruiting connections. If you were to ask me what this position needed to be considering what else was already on staff, I’d say a young guy who could deal with the players on their level and still had the stamina to be on the road recruiting all the time. McClain’s 47, and while I’ve heard he’s a tireless recruiter, I do wonder if Dane Fife wouldn’t have made more sense.

    Again, that’s just a first impression. By all accounts, McClain can coach and he can recruit, and that’s really what you need. Whether he fit the mold or not, Crean might have just decided he was too good of a coach not to hire.



    Why hide that in a chat session? Don’t you know how to cut and paste? I’m impressed at Chris and Dustin’s ability to cover so many angles/perspectives and put so well into words many valid concerns. All in the constraints of time limitations. Now I know why these guys are journalists. I may(or may not) agree with the opinions, but the evidence of their seasoned professionalism is worth acknowledging.. Frame it, Korman. I’m not big on compliments.

  12. Well my insider was wrong. He said he went to work this morning and talked to a few people close the family and they told them UL. I guess it was i diversion to all of us on here. Oh well, what did we expect? IU. RIGHT:)

  13. 4guards,

    If you suddenly trust the opinions of Korman and Dustin more than anyone else’s, why then, do you not take heed when they say that expecting Crean to have had the ship righted this soon is unreasonable?

    Why don’t you listen when they say that despite the progress, or lackthereof of the team, Crean deserves more than two seasons to prove himself?

    If their knowledge and line of work yields opinions that are based in truth, fact and experience, then why do you only choose to suddenly value those that align with yours?

    Isn’t it fair to say that even their opinions that don’t align with yours are more legitimate, then?

    If their cons are so well-founded, then aren’t the pros that they outlined valid as well? Be consistent.

  14. Look it’s not my fault that they want Fife too. He was the right choice to get us back to the NCAA. Crean already failed to get us back to respectability. How much longer do we have to put up with this.

  15. ..and I didn’t cut and paste it becuase of its length although it didn’t seem to phase you.

  16. Thought it deserved the big stage. Some very fine work by Korman and Dustin. We don’t often get to see them speak at length on this blog.

    Think of the sensible paragraphs as a stunning first glimpse at the Rocky Mountains bursting from the endless flat redundancy of The Plains of 4guards(boring impostor and stale regular).

    That ‘rhoid’ is sure making you grouchy.

  17. Korman said:

    “First impressions of the Steve McClain hire are that Indiana must still be a pretty special place if you can hire a guy with his experience and reputation to be essentially the third assistant.”

    Maybe McLain remembered that another third assistant became the IU head coach 10 years ago.

  18. DUSTIN DOPIRAK: No, but only because they play 12 games. With Towson, Western Kentucky, Akron and Arkansas State on the schedule, you have to feel like there are four wins there. Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa and Penn State are probably lock losses. Michigan, Illinois, Northwestern and Purdue become the swing games, with Michigan being closer to the loss category. If they pick out two of those four, I’d say it’s a successful season at 6-6, and they have to feel good about getting at least one. My guess, 5-7.

    I’m not sure where you guys are getting 5 wins here. If you assume that we win all four Non-Con games (which, barring catastrophe, is going to happen), you’re saying we only win 1 Big Ten game.

    Illinois is going into what could be their worst season in a long time, and we beat them pretty handily last year. We should win that one pretty easily.

    Northwestern isn’t any better than us, and it took a last minute Field Goal to beat us. They lose a ton on Defense (particularly on the O-Line and in the Secondary), and they’ll be breaking in a new guy at QB next year. They return some solid guys on the Offensive line, but lose their two top receivers. That’s a home game this year, and as good of a coach as Fitzgerald is, I’d put that at 65-35 IU.

    Michigan doesn’t scare me a bit. Their Defense will be terrible. They lose some important starters (namely, Brandon Graham) from a defense that gave up 40-plus points in four games and for the season allowed an average of 29 points per game. It’s entirely possible that they’ve got 3 Freshmen in the secondary, and their linebackers flat out suck. They’ll have an incredible offense, but I have no confidence in their Defense. While you could say the same about IU at this point, IU has fewer questions on Defense in my opinion, leading to 60-40 odds in IU’s favor.

    The Purdue game’s always been hard to predict, and I’m not sure if I’m up to that. They lose all four starters in the Secondary, and have to replace three starters on the Offensive line, but they’ve had our number the past few years to say the least.

    Regarding your other picks, I absolutely agree that Ohio State and Penn State are pretty much lock-losses (even though we traditionally play Penn State pretty tough), but I don’t agree on Iowa or Wisconsin.

    Minus an epic fourth quarter breakdown at Kinnick Stadium, we outplayed them for three quarters, and they took two IU scores off the board due to some tremendously shady officiating. We’ve got them at home, and I don’t think you can say that it’s an automatic loss. It’s probably 60-40 in Iowa’s favor, but it’s not a “lock-loss”. Wisconsin usually beats us, but I’m not entirely confident that it’s a lock-loss either. They only beat us by 3 points last year. While they’ll look to have a rock-solid offense this year, they replace their entire D-Line. Playing that game on the road definitely changes some things, but it’s not a lock for a loss.

    In my opinion, there are 5 “I’d throw down money on it” wins on the schedule, and I think it’s pretty likely that we win 2 out of the 3 of Michigan, Northwestern, and Purdue, and have a moderate chance at upsetting one of Iowa or Wisconsin. You’ve got to remember, last year, we were 7 points (total) away from a 7 win season.

    I’m guessing 6-6 (which was the high end of your prediction) is a high possibility, 7-5 is likely, and 8-4 is possible, but I wouldn’t bet anything on it.

    One other thing confused me: you guys said in chat that you could see IU placing 7th, and with your “one big ten win” prediction, there’s no way a team can place seventh with a 1-7 B10 record.

    You guys run a solid blog here, but I think that the Football guess was a little “iffy”.

  19. Mike R, Will grant you that. I was kind of rushing some of the last answers. Don’t forget IU lost a lot on defense too, though. Maybe 6-6 makes more sense than 5-7. I wouldn’t go 7-5, though. And obviously, my Big Ten finish needs amended.

  20. Mike R that was a well thought through breakdown.
    I believe our D will be stingy this season and our overall depth will make the special teams more efficient.

  21. Mike R, how long have you been watching IU football? In the past 15 years or so have there ever really been any “throw money on it” guarnatee wins. I hope you are right and I love your positive outlook but one win Big 10 games are the norm at IU if we are lucky. I hope I am wrong and I give you Illinois but it is away remember, your version of NW was a little skewed as Pat F and NW killed IU in the second half last year, and Mich does not scare you…when did we beat them last? IU could maybe beat PU this year but you say we have a moderate chance to beat Wisky away and Iowa after last years season for those schools. Again, I love your outlook, I used to post similar to you but after the last 2 seasons I am worn out. I still say…GO IU Football and as traditional as I am I like the new uniforms!

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