1. This(emotional/physical fatigue…aka peaking at wrong time) was the outcome from the moment Crean started reflecting 2-3 weeks ago about how “far” this group has come, how ‘back’ this group has brought IU, how much they have accomplished, how much they have ‘earned this.’ Can’t do that and expect to stay hungry and desperate in March. Look at the teams left: OSU, Syra etc are all teams that didn’t quite live up to expectations…right now they are making up for it. No top level coach would’ve been as reflective and praise oriented as Crean was this past month, he spent way to much time praising what they had done instead of correcting clear flaws and demanding a higher level of play. Very glad he will no longer get pass about talking about his first 2-3 years on the job. After a couple all-americans, #1 rankings and 2 sweet 16s you can’t force feed the ‘there was nothing here when we started’ bs down our throats anymore. The real job for Crean starts next year. Fresh team and fresh expectations. No ‘hole to dig out of’ like he always had to deal with before. 24-3 to start season. 5-4 to finish the season. I believe as he gets older he’ll be less of a cheerleader and more of a coach, hopefully he is learning that his guys and his program aren’t the only ‘special group’ out there, every coach loves his players, every team over comes adversity, nothing is unique about that Crean….you have to coach, play and win. The layers of drama you add to it are just distractions and silliness.

  2. Bombay, you bring up a great point about Crean– he’s never had to deal with great expectations before. None of his teams were supposed to be national title contenders– including his Final Four squad at Marquette– until this year. Hopefully he’ll be able to reflect back on things and be honest with himself on what he could’ve done differently to help take this team all the way. Great teachers must also be great students. Let’s see what he learns. I imagine there’ll be big changes in his approach to future seasons.

  3. Dustin & Jeremy,

    You guys were both tremendous this year. I’m super bummed with the way this team burned out, but there is lot of time between now and Hoosier Hysteria next year to figure out just what went wrong on the court. However, you guys have brought it throughout. Great work and you put a voice to a memorable season (with the most bummed out ending ever).

    Is that a compliment? 😉


  4. My daughter is a sophomore at IU and so I “followed” mostly the successes of last year’s team. And then fell in love with their story and didn’t miss a game this year. Never missed a live chat either — although I rarely post, you guys have taught me all I know about basketball. This was my first basketball team and I’ll remember them forever. I understand what Hoosier Nation means now and I’ll be following you from my outpost on the East Coast for many seasons to come–even after the kid graduates! Absolutely first rate analysis and commentary–and really good company as well!

  5. SPOT ON Bombay SPOT ON.

    And I’ll echo Dustin and Jeremy’s praises. Thanks for making this blog a living, breathing psychologist’s office. Without the outlet for the passion we all have there would’ve been a few deaths due to spontaneous combustion.

  6. I would love to see one change. Non-conference, play a few teams like Syracuse, VCU, and the new edition of FGCU. Win or lose, get the team gearned to variety beside the B1G. Don’t care if we’re ranked in the top 25 – get the experience.

    After this years journey I’ve got more respect for Butler’s run the last few years. Got to have something together for 2 final fours. We’ll get there.

  7. Bombay, you raise good points, but I think what tethered Crean to the past struggles were the seniors on this team. It was his way of honoring their effort and perseverance during the first two years, when IU basketball was in hell. And remember, for all the times when Crean volunteered comments on that theme, there were even more times when someone from the press brought it up in a question. Obviously the rags to riches angle made for a good story.

    But I agree that Crean needs to drop that narrative. It’s now old news. Incoming freshman won’t have that experience and don’t care about what was happening four and five years ago. It has now gone from being an relevant reference point to boring emotional baggage.

    But guys, Tom Crean is not dumb. And he’s also not isolated. He’s a pretty smart guy and he’s surrounded by smart and experienced people with lots of coaching experience. Not just those on his staff, but his two brothers-in-law, his father-in-law, his former boss at MSU. Don’t you think he’s getting good advice from some of the best coaching minds in the country?

    The reason IU “faded” in the last portion of the season was not because of the way Crean answered questions in the media or anything else he said to the team, they faded because several key players’ ability had already peaked. As a result the team’s performance peaked earlier in the season when other teams were still improving. As gutsy as Jordy is and as much leadership as he provided, his outside shooting did not improve toward the end of the season. In fact, it declined. CWat battled and fought all year long, but he did not get significantly better during the last ten games of the year. And opposing teams learned how to defend Zeller, he became less effective on offense. He did not get any bigger or stronger as the year went on, in fact he ended the season about ten pounds lighter than he started it. To be able to expand his offensive skills, he’ll need an off-season of work. And he’ll be getting paid for his work this summer.

    Don’t get me wrong, IU had players that improved during the season. I think Yogi got better, Hollowell improved and VO got better as the season went on. But a team is only going to go as far as it’s key players will allow it to go, and a few of our key players started the season as good as they were ever going to be. They really did not have much capacity for additional improvement. That’s not knocking them, that’s just stating the facts. They gave it their all, worked as hard as they could work, and got as much out of their bodies as they were going to get. But relative to other teams with more talent, IU’s rate of improvement as a team could not keep pace with the rate of improvement other teams demonstrated.

    As IU’s talent pool continues to evolve and Crean recruits a greater number of highly talented players, IU will get deeper and they will have the ability to improve at a faster rate as future seasons progress.

  8. Every real fan should watch this video story line by Dustin/Jeremy. The last 90 sec. are very enlightening and I think well thought out. I’d not considered that Crean did not have “his” kind of team yet but that he will from here forward. I think that is very keen insight. It also brings to the surface that he is fully responsible now for what happens after he, his staff and these seniors bore the cross of a deep tradition at IU and rose again. (Bear with me, it’s Easter w/e.)

    I think even w/o Oladipo and Zeller, this team could be a lot of fun to watch next year and I’d predict back in the limelight in 2015. Next year will be one of those steady-improvement type years I think where we have a lot more in March than we did in Dec. Probably a “bubble team” w/o Dipo and Z, but I suspect a bit better than mid-pack in the Big 10. Likely a 6 or 7 seed come March.

    This Year’s team clearly was tired after the MSU road win. They looked slower and out of sorts. Coincides with Glass’ release of that new book. Credit to H4H for pointing that out, impeccable insight. We were just over .500 after that was released. But the reality is that this team was no better than last when the dust settled. Same # of losses and the same distance traveled in the tourney. No improvement. The highs were higher, but the lows are now lower than anyone expected.

  9. Thanks for all your in-depth analysis! I will miss reading your insightful articles and watching your videos. How many days until the next game? Very disappointed, but not as down today as I thought I’d be. Must be due to the fact my only S.U. fan friend is a psychologist and was so nice about this when he could have gloated and rubbed it in. Thanks to the Hoosier Men’s basketball team for all the wonderful memories.

  10. A complete and total collapse.

    A hideous embarrassment on national TV.

    The Establishment and the Dukie lovers bathe in the bliss our ineptitude.

    Any casual fan of the game that heard Indiana had a preseason POY candidate, a COY candidate, and a team that was ranked #1 in the nation for several weeks, would conclude that aliens abducted are real team.

    Hulls and Ferrell looked like middle school kids against the Syracuse backcourt.

    Zeller looked like he couldn’t make the Jamaican National Team yet the NBA.

    The team had no energy, no edge, and a coach with no know-how.

    An embarrassment of epic magnitude. Pathetic.

  11. And maybe some of you experts can open your eyes and see why I was blabbering about Mitch McGary so much over the last two years.

    Pure and simple, the kid is tough. He’s playing bigger and owning the moment as a freshman more than Cody would likely provide if he stayed two more years…

  12. Yes. A team IU beat twice. Good for the league.

    Please pass me my vomit bucket as I remember beating them twice again.

    I’m assuming MSU might have me using my bucket again for the same reason.

    Love when teams are COACHED well.

  13. It’s the tournament that counts. Rankings, contract extension, and covers of magazines dont’ equal banners.

    Case in point…UCLA.

    25 points for McGary…Looks like a damn seasoned veteran.

  14. HforH, why must you always rant? Just make your damned point and then leave it alone. You do make some good points and sometimes they are even salient but the verbose outbursts are getting old. You are like a kid screaming for attention and you don’t care if it is negative or positive as long as you receive that which you crave. I guess that I just fed the beast a bit, huh?

  15. ^ This is Podunker’s way of defending his position of eating sh!t on this blog on Tom Crean’s behalf day in and day out. That’s all it is.

  16. You do make some good points and sometimes they are even salient but the verbose outbursts are getting old.


    Who cares? Don’t like it, don’t read it. You should know the product by now. I find it interesting how you can identify the highfalutin neediness of Harvard’s gibberish but, contrastingly, hold it up to the heavens as the purist of redeeming mysterious qualities in our basketball coach.

    Watching a “kid” pretending to be a “coach” while he just witnessed his team win a huge game at Michigan for a Big 10 title? Using that stage and the cameras as a podium for “screaming for attention” and publicly displaying “you don’t care if it is negative or positive(stealing the attention away from the team) as long as you receive that which you crave?”

    I model Tom Crean…You should love the sh*t out of me.

  17. Oh, and Bob Knight never did anything in front of a camera that drew attention to his behavior. Tom Crean’s the only coach in college basketball that has done something in front of a TV camera that drew attention from the media. What a ridiculous comment.

  18. Nice deflection Harvard. I never even mentioned Crean in my post. It was about your favorite topic. You.

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