Hoosier Morning

THREE-POINT SHOT

1. INDIANA BASKETBALL

In the postgame Q&A, I dive into the road losing streak, Thursday’s opponent and a question about the future.

Going back to Sunday’s coverage, Dustin wrote that the players felt like there was no excuse for such a lethargic effort. I wrote that at this point in the rebuilding process, such an effort is inexcusable and a reflection of the program from top to bottom.

Inside the Hall’s Zachary Osterman concurred with that opinion, noting numbers from the Champaign games in 2009 and this season. Here also is the weekly Inside the Hall prep report.

This season is already over, the Indiana Daily Student’s Nathan Hart wrote. It’s a theme — written by the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel’s Pete DiPrimio as well.

2. BIG TEN BASKETBALL

Here is the Big Ten Tournament bracket.

Ohio State’s Jon Diebler continued to hit 3s like they were free-throws and Jared Sullinger had payback on his mind as Ohio State routed Wisconsin to clinch the Big Ten Championship, the Columbus Dispatch’s Bob Baptist wrote. There was not much to be positive about for Wisconsin, Madison.com’s Rob Schultz wrote.

Minnesota loss to Penn State in much the same manner as it has lost every game since losing Al Nolen last month, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Myron P. Medcalf wrote.

3. ONE FOR THE ROAD

Avett Brothers’ “Ill With Want.”

12 comments

  1. I’d Iike to bring up a line from Hugh’s article in the HT today:

    “Arguing that Indiana does have the talent necessary to win the Big Ten does not hold much water — six Hoosiers were in the Rivals.com top-150 (seven if you count Maurice Creek).”

    Hugh, I can’t tell what you are doing here. Are you saying that we do or don’t have the talent? If you are saying that the Rivals list proves that we do have the talent, take a look at the following list:

    Ben Allen
    Eli Holman
    AJ Ratliff
    Brandon McGee
    Tom Pritchard
    Xavier Keeling
    Joey Shaw
    Lewis Monroe

    What do these players have in common? They were all Rivals 150 3 and 4 star recruits who did nothing (or very little) while playing for Indiana, completely underperforming expectations. Theoretically, as a coach, you could end up with a grab bag full of these guys as the “meat and potatoes” of your recruiting class, who then underperform, and then you get blamed for being a bad coach. It happens more than you think.

    The difference between those guys and the current Hoosiers is that Crean, unlike Sampson and Davis before him, doesn’t have the benefit of Eric Gordon, DJ White, Rod Wilmont, Earl Calloway or even Marco Killingsworth to make us forget about the “bad” recruits. It is true that Crean hasn’t done much to impress with his motley crew of oft-injured and undersized “Top 150” recruits. Yet, it is important to withhold the “underperforming” judgment until next year when he will have a mostly upper-classmen dominated team to nurture the incoming talent.

  2. Almost Live!,

    Yes, it happens, for a variety of reasons. But that does those players were not talented — something happened along the way.
    This team has talent on it. Is it flawed? Yes, but we’ve known that all along. Since the beginning of the season we have said the sum of this team’s parts is the only way it is going to win. But these guys do have abilities.

  3. Hugh- No doubt they do have abilities, or at least did.

    What I am implying is that it would be a bit of a knee-jerk to attribute why a Rivals Top 150 player develops or not to the coach. Sometimes its a factor, but it can be grossly overstated. Sort of like blaming a 24 year-old’s DUI on “bad parenting.”

    In the present situation, I love Hoosier Clarion’s cogent summary: the fact that our “Senior Nights” over the last 3 years have starred Kyle Taber, Tijan Jobe, Brett Finklemeyer and Jeremiah Rivers tells you more about the uphill battle being fought by this program than any other single factor.

  4. The problems are many…but maybe the biggest one is that, once we got to the conference games, our BEST players might not even crack the starting lineup of any of the other Big Ten teams. Then, you have teams like Ohio St, Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan St, Illinois…they’re bringing guys off the bench that would be guaranteed starters on our team.

    Having said that, there is still no excuse for the horrible effort that they gave against Illinois. That was just pathetic. But to try to make any kind of apples-to-apples comparison of talent levels….that is just not reasonable.

  5. I do know that Tom Pritchard was NOT a Rivals top 150 at the end of his senior year in HS. I am not sure about Keeling and Munroe (Monroe?). But with Pritch removed from the list, none of those listed played for Crean. So what was the point? IU is 13-18, we do not have enough talent to be 18-13, but we certainly had enough talent to be better than 13-18.

  6. Beat Purdue: There are many points you can take. One of them is that there are always plenty of disappointments that result from Top 150 players, whether you are a great coach or a poor coach. You can’t argue that Crean had all the tools he needed based on the Rivals Ratings. For what its worth, he had no 5-star players – true “program changer” recruits.

    You can no more blame CTC for “not developing” Elston, for example, than you can blame Mike Davis for “not developing” Ben Allen.

    Another slightly related comment: Sampson probably recruited Elston, Pritchard, and Roth as role players to play behind the likes of Devin Ebanks and co. We, on the other hand, expected them to be instant prime-time contributors, which is highly unfair.

  7. Pritchard was not top 150 and Holman was being redshirted. Joey Shaw acutually did pretty decent his first year but then left. I think Keeling only played one year before he left so that is not fair either to judge him. Your argument lacks some facts.

  8. Steve-

    Pritchard was a top 150 on Scout. Shaw was a 4 star player who underachieved considering his expectations. You certainly can’t argue about Mr. Basketball AJ Ratliff. I still think the point of my argument is in tact: many highly rated players don’t pan out for varying reasons unrelated to coaching. Pointing out “lack of facts” does very little here.

  9. Factor-

    As a follow-up to your last point, Weber’s Illinois team finished with something like 13 regular season wins in 2007-08. Next year they turned it around real quick with mostly the same players (No 5 star heralded recruit to speak of).

    Coaching miracle? Probably not. Most likely just a dash of “the right chemicals” here or there, as you so aptly put it.

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