Hoosier Morning


From start to finish, IU didn’t look like it deserved to win against Minnesota, and despite a miraculous comeback, the Hoosiers lost and need to keep the faith going forward, I wrote.

A fairy tale season was spoiled by Minnesota, Dustin writes.

Michigan State becomes the latest team to rout the IU women, this time, 67-47.


A casual attitude cost the Hoosiers against Minnesota, but it wasn’t hard to see it coming, Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News writes.

Will Sheehey flashed some magic in just 15 minutes of action, but it wasn’t enough in the end, Kevin Bowen of the IDS writes.

Avi Zaleon of the IDS writes that Indiana’s mental game will make the difference the rest of the way this season.

Terry Hutchens of the Indy Star offers up a few thoughts on Verdell Jones, following one of the worst performances of his season.

Kentucky’s stars and Ohio State’s stars couldn’t do what the Gophers pulled off on Thursday night – beat Indiana in its own building, Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com writes.

Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com calls IU’s loss a “loss to hide from” in their nightly feature “Night Court”.


Another must-read today comes from Thomas Lake of SI.com with a meticulously reported (and quite long) piece where he looks into the myth of who cut Michael Jordan from his high school basketball team? Was he ever really cut?


  1. I have loved Crean, loved him since day 1. Anyone reading this blog knows that. I have thought about this long and hard since last night and especially the last few weeks watching IU. I told myslef I would not be the one talking trash ever about Jones as he came to this program when it was low and has stayed tough! I will not slam him, period! I will say I am sad he was booed as he did not deserve that. I sat this one out and stayed at home and I caught myself getting upset he was in the game. I think or want to think he was booed because of WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN TH GAME and not really booed because he was playing poorly. Jones has his moments of grace but for him to be getting minutes over Remy and Will is just crazy! Remy and Will handle the ball better, shoot better, drive better, play better D. I wonder how this all plays out!

    IU came out from the tip and was not focused, you could see it from the start. It was different last night. Tubby ran a flex offense and had his kids play D and really hit the glass. Give Minny credit for believing they could win. My HOOSIERS lost a game in Assembly hall they should not have. I am left today feeling like my elite 8 team could and will be lucky to make the sweet 16. Did we have home court advantage last night??

    The team needs a leader and until that happens IU goes NO further on the court this year. I am feeling awful today!!!

    Lastly, Jordan Hulls bad or good should have been in the game after halftime at least after 1 minute or two, just my opinion!!!

  2. Couldn’t agree more. To my casual observation it looks like ‘he who shall not be named’ is, indeed, slowly having his minutes cut.

  3. Atta boy J Pat you’re back. I to think from here on VJ will play less minutes as a starter. He will be in the rotation.

  4. ANY IU player who continues to dribble into 3 players, game after game, no matter
    how many times it doesn’t work, needs to be BENCHED! Had Roth been put back
    in, there was at least a chance that he could score. It is time for Crean to change
    the lineup and take Jones out!
    But where was Watford? Three rebounds?
    This was a game of unfocused, listless play except for Oladipo, Zeller and Sheehey.
    I’m afraid Sunday will be a disaster if somebody doesn’t learn how to rebound and
    get his head in the game.

  5. The booing of VJ was too much… embarrassing for a college basketball program to have a player treated that way by the home crowd! Hopefully it was just a small contingent of idiots that were joined in chorus by a drunken bunch of students who thought they were booing Meg Ryan’s hair.

  6. Just to be fair, Crean said that Sheehey had more or less reached his maximum minutes that they wanted him to play in the game. That, I suppose, doesn’t excuse the other guys who weren’t in instead of Verdell.

  7. VJ III is a 3 and one half year player who makes the same idiotic plays he made as a freshman. IU has been winning in spite of him until last night. I put the blame on CTC for playing him 23 minutes. The booing is wrong, but he should not be on the floor. HE is one the least efficient players on the team.

    Why can’t we block out or play decent defense? Even CTC’s Marquette teams were weak on defense.

  8. It’s one thing if you have a deep roster full of McDonald’s All-Americans like Duke or Kentucky and not lose a hell of a lot of by rotating guys in and out. In their case, the disruption in continuity and chemistry on the floor are erased, or at least minimized, by the level of talent and speed inserted into the game.

    This is the challenge for Crean. Outside of the freshman phenom we know to be the main reason for our resurgence to winning basketball, Crean has a 8 to 10 guys that are almost interchangeable. We have a lot of above average talent, but other than Cody, nothing you’re going to see starting at the NBA level. Last year, we saw what happened in a three game stretch when Jones was injured…We saw the Hoosiers put together some strong games and pull a near-upset against a top team on the road. I remember how many were defending Jones and claiming it was more about other players stepping up that was contributing to a team that was running on all cylinders for a change. I wasn’t one of those defenders..I was a Jones basher. I saw the success as a direct result of Jones being out of the lineup…

    I’m not going back to check the stats, but I’m sure Jones contributed when he came back to the lineup last season…He probably had a game similar to what Sheehey did last night…put up a lower double digit scoring night ..nothing that is really exceedingly memooable. Another chance to contemplate why Crean thinks the positives in Jones outweigh the negatives.

    Classic case of too many monkeys in the barrel again last night…Too many options off the bench. A very well coached hungry Minnesota team without a conference win before last night…. add in a poor shooting night for Watford to a broken flow throughout the game because the options off the bench are not offering enough “wow factor” to compensate for the chemistry disruption, and the game had upset written all over it.

    Where am I going with this…? I love having a roster that is deep with 3/4-star talent, but at the same time, the fact there isn’t enough variance in the talent, contributes to a team that doesn’t look together, or on the same page, when the shuffling gets kicked up a notch. When a guy that had previously seen a lot of minutes gets sidelined by injury for a couple weeks(unless it’s Zeller, Watford, or Jordy), the team performs at a higher level and looks more in sync. There is a personality to every kid on that floor…They learn to identify their roles and relate to each other in terms of strengths,weaknesses, positioning.. Those individual personalities begin to mold into what begins to form into the personality of a team. By tournament time they look to each other like brothers and instinctively do things, not because of coaching, but because of familiarity and understanding. I don’t know, maybe the personality of this team is all its many personalities. Maybe it’s more of an orphanage that a small family unit..All I know is sometimes it bites us in the ass. Sometimes they just look like five 4-star kids plucked off of five middle-of-the-pack Big 10 teams forced to play together for one night.

  9. Final Thought:

    I think the inflated ranking put added mental pressure on this team…Along with the national attention comes an expectation to make it come easy. It wears a bit at the chip-on-shoulder/underdog mentality..it might even wear a bit at the camaraderie. Guys can fall into traps of individualistic thoughts and their perceptions of the team’s success is overly attributed to their perceptions of their own individual talents.

    I never thought this was a top-10 team. I’m pretty much at the same point I was after the exhibition games when I predicted 22 wins and a mid-upper finish(4th or 5th) in the Big 10 standings. Not a superbly talented team from top-to-bottom, but the type of team you don’t want as your opponent going into the opening round of March Madness. They are a team capable of upsetting some of the best in the country..They are also a team that can look very young and without leadership and identity.

  10. Actually…that wasn’t the final thought. Forget all that gibberish above.

    Here’s the main point: This team needs to learn to have FUN!

    I would love nothing more than to just see more smiles on the floor and more smiles from the bench. It’s one of the things I love about Zeller that has nothing to do with his basketball skills. On numerous occassions I’ve seen Cody chatting and smiling when he’s getting a breather on the bench.
    Heaven forbid, maybe even smile at Verdell when he makes a turnover..slap him on the ass and tell him you have his back. Of course, his ass will start to blister before the game is over, and Crean will be forced to rest him on a specially designed donut chair. Soon Verdell will develop spank-avoidance, hate encouragement, and pass the ball like a hot potato.

    Let’s have some fun and beat the Buckeyes!

  11. Whoa! What is going on here… I start writing purely positive posts and all of a sudden Harvard is writing realistic ones? I can’t believe this, but I think I just agreed with everything you wrote in those 7 paragraphs.

    My new conclusion, therefore, is to eliminate VJ3 from the equation. Not hit-man style or anything… More like Tonya Harding/Jeff Gillooly type knee cap action. We have him sit out the remainder of the season, and just have Sheehey flow into the rotation like nothing happened. We start Roth, keep Will as our 6th man, give plenty of run to Abel – who gives us more anyway and will get developed slightly faster – and therefore the flow and rhythm doesn’t suffer from having too big a rotation.

    Oh, it’s like a sweet little dream! Damn yer good Harvid.

  12. Unlke the experts above that have all the answers, these games do happen. Minnesota came in and just beat IU, and IU wasn’t in the game from the start. This happens in all sports, somebody has to lose. IU will go on and do just fine, there better this year than last. And next year they’ll be even better…..go Hoosierson Don/Iowa

  13. Bet we play better on Sunday, may not win tho’. I think the guys ere lookiing past Minesota last night.

  14. Geoff-

    Eventually there will be middle ground; the weightiness of our retorts will meet somewhere in the center, a softer line will be drawn in the sand, and the real beauty these discussions will be flanking its surroundings(much like Chet finally removing himself from his secluded cabin in the NC hills and taking his wife and her sister to the beach). I may frequently debate and disagree with you, but it has not put one damper on how much I’ve enjoyed all your posts and the ton of b-ball expertise you bring to Scoop.

    After you hire Melanie Griffith’s brother to break VJ’s thumbs, I would prefer Remy in the starting rotation over Roth.

  15. Note: I shall likely not return until the hours past midnight…Please don’t sit next to the computer screen for the next few hours nor be offended if I fail proper etiquette to send a timely reply..There is the theatre, of course…. Something playing eerily mirroring my to-and-fro …. “Dr Harvard Jekyll Meets Where Billy Hyde”

  16. Next Prediction: As soon as we lose to OSU, the Big 10 Basketball Standings will magically appear on Hoosier Scoop to replace national football standings. Off to the show!

  17. Why would anyone be upset about someone who paid money to watch a game booing an awful player? The kid hurts the team period!! Maybe booing him will get coach to drop his minutes. If he can’t handle that then poor little verdell should step it up huh? WQe took them lightly and when you do that against a Tubby Smith team you get beat. For whatever reason watford will not show up unless we are on national tv. Thank god zeller remains steady and hasn’t taken the watford path. Big picture we are 15-2 so let’s chill and chalk it up as a bad loss and learn from it. One more thing. I saw ctc as mad as i’ve ever seen him when elston thought he was hakeem in the paint but yet have never EVER in 3 years seen him direct any anger towards vj3?? Someone please explain this. His loyalty to certain players is a joke. Let’s just hope that doesn’t spew over next year with hulls starting over yogi.

  18. oops. meant to say Meg Ryan’s brother..(for some reason, I’ve always gotten those two confused).

  19. we really have no offense,if we can,t hit the three we are dead. Too much dribbling around out front and pointing fingers where to go, don,t set good screens aqnd don,t play very smart. They need to find their five or six best players and PLAY THEM WITHOUT ALL THE SUBBING.

  20. I like our offense it’t the defense that kills us. I do 100% agree with elmo on creans substitutions. Very bizzare at times. I still say we are over reacting to this loss. A 0-4 tubby smith team is going to give anybody a good tough game and we had multiple chances to tie the game late. Zeller missed a point blank pass ” im sure in his mind he thought vj3 was gonna pull up” and wat dribbling off his knee. Vic missing free throws ect.. For us to shoot that poor and to get KILLED on the glass and to still be very much in the game let’s me know that all n all we are a good team.

  21. Don’t over think the room. We’re 15-2. The team is fine. ‘He who shall not be named’ is seeing his PT drop. I think that will continue. Hope so.

    I’d kill for my wife to have a hot female sibling (either girl in that pic would be fine) but, instead, I have 2 worthless POS brothers-in-law who are fat, ugly, and stupid. To give you an idea, the older one has a pit bull named ‘Harley’. When he proudly told me that piece of info I replied, “Of course you do.”

  22. Chet, I kinda have a similar situation with my bride’s half sister. Who until contemplating the hereafter had the morals of a coatimundi. Now she is an expert on life which blends well with her incessant talking. Upon retirement she purchased a late model Mercedes and a vintage Corvette to celebrate. That event offered me the opportunity to understand what it must be like to pour perfume on a pig. What did you get Haaarrrley for Christmas?

  23. Step off the ledge people. This is the team a year away from winning 12 games. They have overachieved all year but laid an egg last night. It happens. It’s league play they weren’t going to win them all.

  24. Good comments JPat! I agree totally…whether they succeed beyond our expectations or go through deep and sometimes costly (for us fans) periods or have severe challenges in their games that they can not or mentally will not overcome, these (more than one who have had to withstand spittle and abuse) are guys who ‘chose’ IU over other major schools, represent us with dignity and sometimes are forced to hold up under very, very unfair and indecent abuse. One thing is to criticize them….do so but many have lowered yourself way below the level our program had reached just 3-4 years ago. Consider, on this team, several chose us, IU, Our Hoosiers when many around the country saw us as untouchables in the game with the plague.

    I want to win, to return permanently to the level of great basketball that goes with being named Hoosiers…but I want to do so with dignity and with merited gratitude for our attitudes. Someday, they will be fellow ‘brother co-graduates from IU.

    Thanks for stating the message JPat.

  25. Harvard! Harvard! You outdid yourself in these posts, especially #9. Wisdom and brilliance in its capture of the heart of a team that beats strongly.

    I don’t know if you are still in your sometimes frustrating search to find the best and most suitable expression for your talents. I definitely think you should re-read your own posts and think hard about evolving and following your obvious talent.

  26. Tsao-

    Thanks for those kind words of encouragement…Too late for this old buzzard to likely find his way. You must be a bit tipsy.

  27. Had to share this video clip form the Celtics vs. Bulls game last night..One of the most fabulous moves to the hoop I’ve seen in years. Derrick Rose is something very special. Go to the 1:55 mark of the clip.

  28. Why do you waste space at the bottom on ‘Hoosier Nation?” There’s been no new content since the Kentucky ‘model’ was nearly trampled to death at a Brazilian soccer match or some such thing.

  29. HforH, that was my ‘go to’ move. Of, course, I was a little quicker than Derrick. I just became a wrestler because there was nothing left to prove in basketball.

  30. CREAN…..Do not start VJ111 at Ohio State. It is time to start Roth or Sheehey and bring in Jones for short breaks for other players. Jones does not seem to pick up on his own mistakes and try to correct them. We have a great season going do not let Jones screw it up.

  31. While it does appear that Jones is not likely the player to be on the floor many times, this team has arrived here with him, this includes the previous 3 years.

    I have a solid belief that Jones playing time is a result of his commitment to this program that 1st year when no else would. I believe that CTC made a commitment to Jones about his playing time then about the next 3 years. As this season has been magical, I would rather Crean follow thru on his promises to a player and the commitment both made to each other 3 years ago. It showed alot of Jones’ integrity back then & Creans integrity today. Which is what made IU bb what it has now become again!!!!

    We will still be ok. I attribute this loss to being brought down off cloud nine, it was inevitable that this incredible high these players have been experiencing had to be grounded at some point in time. These kids are not developed well enough to deal with the sudden explosion of celebrity sports status. It was not the simple fact that this team became somebody this year but the fact that it came about at such an incredible speed & reached astronomical heights!!!

  32. That makes no sense. Why then the endeavor to ever recruit the better players who are now Jr., So. and Frosh?

  33. Funny thread, this one…

    The funniest part is HfKY calling out people for over-reacting to the loss, when in the “Hoosiers Stumble…” comments (#15) he was jumping on Jordy for not bringing anything to the team except shooting, oh and turning the ball over too much (false – see my analysis in post #26 of that section).

    Clarion I like your concise wit…

  34. Larry All about what have you for me lately? and being in the moment regardless of game plan. If you are a senior and a freshman can take your spot, it’s time for the freshman to contribute. Verdell REMY IS PLAYING BETTER EITHER IMPROVE OR GET OUT OF THE WAY.

  35. We were not ready to play,plain and simple!Thats coaching no getting around it! We were out coached and out played by a team with no big ten wins and weakest preconference schedule in the nation! And out coached by a guy run out of KY who never won anything there except the first year with Pitino’s kids! We have been reading our own press clippings and it bit us! We had many mia’s its hard to count!Granted we only won 12 games all last year but how do you not get up for a key conferance game at home knowing whats coming at OSU on Sunday ! Crean cannot continue to ignore the VJ3 nightmare any longer! Other coaches are taking notice and making us pay when he is in.
    No excuse for Watford if he’s ready for the NBA so is Jones!This is the big ten you have to bring it every night,Minn. sure did If your loseing anyway why not play Remy and give Etherington a shot,at least he is fundamentaly sound and a team player! Pray we don’t get blown out Sunday ! OUT!

  36. As a college player there were always a couple times a season where we came out flat. It was definitely never our coaches fault… Coaches are always hyper-aware of a let-down and are always guarding against it. There’s no question in my mind that Crean was on them all week about not having a let-down, about not letting success get to their heads, about not looking ahead to Ohio State…

    I am not saying he didn’t get out-coached – I think the simple act of playing VJ3 for 23 minutes can create a good argument for that – but I don’t think coaching had anything to do with how Watford played or how Minn made 6 3’s in the first half… However the adjustments he made in subbing and defense in the second half both sent a message and gave us a chance to come back and win. Jordy played much better after the benching, and Minn didn’t hit a single 3 in the second half.

    Do you honestly think Crean teaches Verdell not to box out and/or displace his man when a shot goes up? Do you really think he tells Watford to take his first step toward the rim on the low spot during FT’s instead of stepping into the guy next to him. Do you think it was Crean’s fault when he did it twice in a row?

    Hey, I am not gonna sit here and tell anyone that CTC is the best coach in the world, the conference, or even in the state for that matter, but he is plenty capable, and vastly under-rated by some people on this site.

  37. Tsao, thanks for the words. The booing really bothers me…makes me sad but trying to look at it from all sides!! BTW, Moneyball is a great movie!!!

  38. Now we’re finally getting to the nitty-gritty. Now the blogger that is building his reputation as the all-knowing basketball aficionado of Hoosier Scoop…the blogger dissecting every nuance of the game into advanced theorems of statistical analysis that would leave Leonhard Eulerto scratching his head…Did you guys see the last stat formula he did on Hulls? I think it had something to do with the standard deviation of short slow white guys vs. fast semi-slow white guys divided by the number of follicles on Jordy’s scalp multiplied by minutes played on his 5th grade team….the blogger that has the ability to predetermine with a 99.45% accuracy a newborn’s chances of ever making it the NBA…FINALLY, we get down to the 1+1=2 of the mountains of crap thrown at VJ..FINALLY the big question that every blogger is attempting to sidestep.

    Does Indiana have a coach that puts an irrational level of bias, loyalty, and faith in a very poor basketball player ahead of winning? Is he blind to everything even the most casual fan of the sport is witnessing when VJ is on the court? What is the implication when we claim a coach can’t make hard decisions that will help the team? Personally, I think the implication is harmful and undermining. It is no better than calling a coach a “jerk.”

  39. Whoa… That’s what you got out of my Jordy post? It was a pretty straight-forward statistical analysis… TO’s per 40 min. Simple calculation and simple concept… With a simple conclusion. I thought Hahvid PROfessors would easily understand it.

  40. Or should I say…

    I thought our blogger that is building his reputation as the Hoosier Scoop’s poet laureate, that writes blogs that even Dr. Seuss would be jealous of, would be able to easily understand.

  41. Harvard….never too late friend. NEVER!! Pursue your passions, I know it to be the only street address for success.

    More so today, where the internet and blogging (your own) give you a chance to do something by first sticking your toes in the water. I won’t write ‘Just do it!’ because it would make me barf, but give in to it and get it out in front of your face…then stare it into submission!

    Man that was deep.

  43. Tsao – Just to clarify, are you urging Harvard to start his own website or to seek publication for his intricate musings? For the latter would you be willing, and have the skills/connections, to become his agent?

    Just Do It Harvard!

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