Hoosier Morning

Five key questions Indiana will need to answer this offseason, Dustin wrote.

The Indiana baseball team pushed its win streak to a school-record 15 with a doubleheader sweep of Iowa Sunday, we reported.

Indiana is at the forefront of the recruiting wars in the nation’s capital of talent — Washington, D.C., SI.com’s Pete Thamel wrote.

NBA personnel folks say Victor Oladipo is NBA ready, but Cody Zeller could use some polish, Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star wrote.

UCLA’s hiring of former Hoosier great Steve Alford is anything but a slam dunk, Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register writes.

The great debate regarding the Hoosiers was settled with a thud last week, Shane Ryan of Grantland.com wrote.

Michigan’s last Final Four banner had an asterisk, this one won’t, Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com writes.

An appropriately titled and fittingly moody tune from Lacrymosa called “Simple Questions.”


  1. I am still not quite sure what happened vs Syracuse. I think I am still in shock honestly. I read a lot of negative with people saying Crean was out coached and my dad is even in that ball park. I have thought the team looked out of sorts and tired for a while but I really noticed it during Wisconsin and then Temple and of course Syracuse. The drive and passion was just not there, I have known in my heart they lacked leadership and toughness and many others have mentioned that all season. I will always wonder what happened to old Jordy…the leader from the first half of the year that pumped his fist, slapped legs as he went to the bench, and huddled everyone up and the kid that would just “let it fly”. I think the slow development of Perea and Hollowell hurt and the injuries to Elston along the way. Etherington and Creek 100% could have helped too. I also think as good as Victor is he is incapable of taking a game over consistently and the man from OSU I sat next to Thursday night said what I have said all season…Cody gets off his game when he gets hammered a couple times early and the refs don’t call it and why does he not just shoot the 10 footer, why does he drive every time? I am telling myself and maybe I am nuts that next year with Yogi at the 1 and Stanford/Abel at the 2 and Sheehey/Williams/Hollowell at the 3 and Perea/Vonleh at the 4 with Zeller back at 5….IU could be tough and the expectations would not be there like this year. Maybe Sheehey plays the 2, I don’t know. I think Sheehey as crazy as this sounds could be more of a motivator and leader than anyone from this year. The one thing I was most disappointed in was that Jordy, Zeller, Wat, or Vic never really tried to be a true leader!!! Thoughts anyone?

  2. I like Will on the floor. He has a much improved stroke and is just a few thousands of jump shots away from being a reliable 2. Plus he can rebound.

    Mostly I just like his cantankerousness. Will will be the Hoosier’s leader next year. Count on it.

  3. J Pat, to me it is simple. This IU team went as far as its collective talent could take it. Oh, had we been in a different bracket, we may have made it to the Elite 8, but in hind site, it’s clear that we were not going to make it to the the final four. Of course, hind site is 20/20 and I certainly did not see that coming two weeks ago.

    Several key IU players had already reached the peak of their athletic abilities earlier this year, or maybe even last year, and really did not have the capacity to play a lot better during the last two or three weeks of the season. IU peaked earlier in the year when other teams, with more athletic talent, had just begun to get hot. The teams now in the final four, with perhaps the exception of WSU, have more athletic talent and are peaking at the right time.

    While we’re all very disappointed, I don’t think we should be ashamed. These young men gave it their all and wrung every last drop out of their athletic abilities. They played well together and showed a lot of heart. In the end, I will remember this team with reverence and pride for what they accomplished. I also look forward to seeing the level and depth of talent improve as Crean’s investment in recruiting hits full stride.

    IU basketball is back.

  4. JPat…fatigue from underdeveloped players and injured players. next season I would suggest :1 guard-Ferrell,Robinson;2Guard: Sheehey,Abell;3 Forward-Hollowell,Williams;4 forward-Perea; Vonleh. 5 Center Zeller ( if he returns) and Fischer

  5. Even before MI played FL, I thought they would have a chance should they have to play Syracuse. I think MI has a chance because they have a number of players they can get into the middle of the zone. Players like Hardaway, Robinson, Stauskas, and even McGary is more willing to shoot the jumper than Cody for some reason. These players also all have some size. Sheehey and Vic were the two that should have been shooting in the zone, if Zeller wasn’t going to. With how out of sinc they were across the board, it likely wouldn’t have made much difference in the final result.

  6. The biggest problem was the lack of talent coming off the bench. We have projects that came as a result of old entrenched relationships with AAU and Adams…The A-Hope recruits do not belong on Division 1 teams. We have a forward that came because he was recruited primarily due to his friendship with Cody Zeller and his cheerleading for the “Movement.” We have an injured Derek Elston and a Mo Creek which we all knew could never be 50% the player that arrived in Bloomington four years ago. Pritchard, Roth, Jones, and a healthy Elston were far more valuable than what came off the bench this year.

    2nd biggest problem? It’s March Madness. Despite the shortcomings on the bench, this team was still plenty talented enough. Talented enough to win the BIG outright and win the deciding game on the road against what is now a Final Four team? The entire NCAA tournament is a crap shoot filled with unpredictability. The lopsided scores are often do not indicate the reality of how significant the intangibles and the timing of peaking/gelling/confidence/momentum play into outcomes. Just look at our shooting percentages. We simply weren’t hitting shots. Many of the early looks against Syracuse were wide-open looks that just didn’t go down…Teams quickly get frustrated…passes start loosing their crisp snap…movement begins to cease…holes get dug. The opponent comes out and drains everything and their energy is suddenly off the charts. Take any of the teams remaining in the Final Four and have Indiana play a seven game, NBA-style, series with each one? I think we win the best of seven against a Syracuse, Louisville, Wichita, or Michigan. Home court advantage? Deciding game in Bloomington?

    But that’s not the nature of the March Madness beast. Every game is a one-and-done. You have to have an undefeated stretch against teams every bit as dangerous your own squad you believed untouchable due to the rankings and hype. The rankings and hype surrounding individuals means diddlysquat. Stumble once and you’re out. Very unfair to now say it’s about the height of our guards or the overall talent our starting 6. This was an extremely talented team that went against a team with a very established coach that’s no stranger to the moment.

    Michigan has be hot as hell. Does that look like the same Michigan team at the end of the year. Much like Indiana, they had also lost a good share of their games going down the stretch of the Big 10 season? So why are they in the Final Four? There’s no simple explanation. The talent differentials are great enough to explain the differences. They do have an exceptional POY candidate point guard, but previous to the tournament, they appeared very young and vulnerable on the inside. How do you explain the exponentially better production and energy coming from Mitch McGary? Other than Harvard beating the drum on this NW Indiana kid for the past 2 years, what blogger or national expert foresaw how much toughness and heart this kid possessed? Stauskas goes 6-for-6 from the 3-point line against Florida…How many(other than Harvard from 4 months ago) were calling this kid the next Larry Bird? How can it be predicted? Can it continue? Will someone else step up in the next game if, suddenly, those watching their shots rip the nets in the last game can’t hit the side of a barn in the Final Four match-up?

    3rd biggest problem? Coaching. Not the lack of x’s and o’s knowledge, but the steady calm and quite believability that players can buy into. The leadership problem was not on the floor. I don’t think Tom Crean’s heart is in the game. It’s like watching a singer wanting to be an overnight star on American Idol. We can manufacture a pop star. You can’t manufacture a basketball coach. The limelight and hitting the right notes for a microphone are not enough. Player begin to sense the charade. Some of Knight’s disciples turned out to be damn good coaches….But with some, he simple dropped an egg. You can have great teachers and sometimes still never get it. It’s gotta be in the heart and emanate from a place of deep confidence. It doesn’t grow from screaming “19 F’s!” and constantly reminding the world the horrible cards you were dealt and the “decimation” when you took the job. If you’re lucky enough to get paid for something you wholeheartedly love, there’s never qualifiers and talk of what terrible circumstances the last guy left it to you. ..That’s my honest opinion. Leaders always look forward. I think Crean’s actions at Michigan(his storming after Jeff Meyer) is indicative of what he’ll always be. He’ll always be looking for an enemy instead of the mirror.

  7. correction:

    Michigan has [been] hot as hell. Does that look like the same Michigan team [we saw] at the end of the year[?]

  8. Typed all that mess quickly. My apologies for the lack of editing.

    …passes start [losing] their crisp snap

  9. Harvard I will add #4 and #5. Zeller plays like a small forward around the hoop but will not shoot past 4 ft out! and Jordy lost his shot the last month! Zeller adds a lot just because of his size but he can could be so much more if he played to his size! Jordy is a shooting guard and what is a shooting guard w/o a shot!

  10. preston-

    I’m perplexed a bit by Zeller. In some games, it simply looks like the mind and body are not on the same page. In high school, he likely touched the ball a ton more…he likely fit into multiple roles and handled the ball it far more extensively. Didn’t he say he played point guard when he was a freshman(prior to his huge growth spurt)? In college, he becomes more singular in role…he doesn’t flow in the offense and get the numerous chances to sustain the comfort level a kid that once played guard…Is he somewhat regressing because his mind needs those reminders?

    You see the moments of pure greatness when his earlier skills developed during days he handled the ball meet with the body now so enormous…When the mind and body are in the same place, he’s one of the best centers in the college game. Maybe he does need to play more as a forward to get some of that harmonious blend back into his being. I think he loves being involved on the floor..When you turn him into something one-dimensional, you’re risking the chance of divorcing the precarious balance between gifts and the burden of an enormous frame that is still relatively young. When he begins to lunge, I think it’s a result of over-excitation a memory of a time he was much more involved and played far more roles on the court. His mind wants it all back quickly and his body begins to lose its memory of when it was briefly in a state of peaceful coexistence.

  11. If Zeller remains in college, I would take him off the basketball court for a few months. I would teach him raquetball and let him get comfortable at changes of speed and moving side-to-side. Give him a chance to develop great hand/eye coordination…stay low without lunging..and just have fun at something that takes quickness and balance outside of hoops.

    There are sometimes enormous hidden benefits in cross-training outside of your normal routine. Go completely outside the box of traditional thinking on where your development is best served. When he gets back onto the basketball court, it will feel fresh again and the body will be more in harmony and ready for the speed of the brain. Play point guard again on the raquetball court this summer.

  12. You can’t lunge for a shot when a solid wall is waiting. You’ll stop lunging real fast. You’ll learn to move on your feet quickly and the proper anticipation will take you to the desired spot on the floor. I wonder if Cody has ever tried raquetball? Doesn’t it really model what a great post player needs to get his body comfortable at? …Back and forth..lateral..up and down…anticipation…leaping..reaching…going low..going high…quickness…etc, etc, etc.

  13. Now that you’ve reminded me of McGary, Harvard, I have one question: Some of the press have been pointing to McGary as one of the reasons for bad blood between Crean and the Michigan staff. But didn’t Crean back off McGary? I seem to remember McGary having a little pout about “not hearing from IU in a long time” at one point. Were we really interested in him in the end?

  14. JPat, I think your comment is indeed part of the answer. There was no team leader for the reasons you mentioned. Most important, part of the mistake may have been CTC’s and shown the anxiety CTC may have had over the issue.

    Last year and early this year, we read over and over that Crean wanted and commanded Jordan Hulls to be the leader, commanded him to be more vocal, and criticized Jordan for being too ‘shy’…etc. You can not ever make a leader if the pre-disposition is not there and with Hulls, it was clear that even when he accepted the role, it always felt ‘artificial’.

    The same was true of Cody Zeller. There was no ‘leadership’ in Zeller. He was a leading player with a lot of pluses but, his personality is far from that of a leader, it is ‘contained’ and ‘passige’. When he got bopped in the face vs. Butler, vs. Minnesota, vs. Wisconsin and a reaction was needed (the famous incident when he tried to grab someone’s begonias and the guy forced his arm into Zeller’s)own, all you see is Zeller turning his head and looking at the referee with a “please?” on his face. It happened at other times as well. You can’t make a leader from someone so internalized and without any hint of a leader’s attitude and interior pre-disposition.

    Watford could have been the answer. But Watford also shies away from the role and is generally a quiet individual. And, after the bombardment of criticism for ‘disappearing’, it was probably impossible that he would accept the role of leader when his very value to the team was being publicly questioned.

    Oladipo could have been the answer; but he was too respectful of his ‘leader’- Crean and of his team mates to challenge for the mantle Crean had already passed out (to Hulls and Zeller). Sheehey could have been an answer, but hat is not a role given a sixth man. A missed opportunity too; Sheehey would have benefited as a more team oriented player were he the leader. And, it seems to me his personality- as personalities go- Sheehey was made for that role…he’s assertive, he’s clear and he’s demonstrative and states his mind. Watch Sheehey’s interaction with officials during this last season. If anything, it points the way for a returning strength for the 2013-2014 Hoosiers.

    It would also have changed the dynamic with Yogi Ferrell who is a tremendous talent but was barely out of the protective cocoon that was Park Tudor. Yogi needs time to learn to play the college game’s point man role exclusively, on the floor and from the bench. For the sake of his development, I hope that Yogi is allowed to play the point guard next year and not worry about being the ‘team leader’ until he grows into that job.

    Which goes to my last point. You don’t appoint leaders, they appoint themselves and good coaches watch them grow and lead.

    (An observation: This in no way is intended to criticize the skills, and abilities of the aforementioned; it merely argues the issue leadership and the absence of a leader this year to lead the Hoosiers; especially in those moments when leadership was critical).

  15. I never saw any true interest. There’s been no true interest in recruiting the entire state for a long time. It’s mainly Indy and southward. There was also no interest in Brandon Dawson, Brandon Wood(pretty decent guard/transfer from VU), Robbie Hummel, Glen Robinson, E’Twaun Moore, Zach Novak, Luke Harsngody..even the little guard named Spike Albrecht that’s been putting some very solid minutes in for Michigan. Zilch.

    Crean plays to the fan base(IU’s student body is drawing less and less from the northlands and the AAU teams seem to draw more of the Indy kids. Our loss. Izzo and Beilein have been cherry-picking across the state line and finding some really blue collar ballers)guys that aren’t “soft”). I doubt you’ll ever hear “soft” used as an adjective before the list of names I gave you. Maybe it’s the byproduct of growing up in working class towns instead of private high schools or suburbia…?

    I mean, who would have recruited this kid based on his high school bio;

    Coached by Tom Peller … As a junior (2009-10) … Averaged 22.0 points, 13.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 5.0 blocks and 3.0 steals … Led Chesterton to a 7-14 record, 4-10 DAC recordLost in 4A Sectional quarterfinal to Valparaiso (49-27) … Posted career-highs for points (29), rebounds (22) and blocks (11) … As a sophomore (2008-09) … Averaged 14.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.0 blocks … Led Chesterton to an 11-10 record, 7-7 DAC record … Lost in 4A Sectional quarterfinal to Valparaiso (53-49, 2OT) … As a freshman (2007-08) … Did not play varsity basketball … AAU … Played with Sports Youth Foundation Basketball Flyers (SYF) … Coached by Wayne Brumm … Played for East team at All-American Championship in New Orleans during Final Four weekend (2012) … Played for USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Select Team at Nike Hoop Summit in Portland (2012).

    All we ever hears was that our entire future “hinged” on Zeller. Flash forward a couple years and suddenly Michigan’s hopes at winning a National Championship hinge on a nobody from tiny Chesterton, Indiana. It simply proves how little all the pundits know. Stauskas also got very little attention(then again, he was in Ontario and not residing in our home state just three hours north of Bloomington.

    The only thing that “hinged” on Zeller was Crean’s coaching future and the satisfying a ‘homer’ fan base with very limited perspective.

  16. All we ever [heard]…..

    Funny how nobody liked the raquetball suggestion for Cody..Dare I float my own boat, but I thought it was rather refreshingly outside the common and stagnant approaches.

    I think I am a pretty smart guy.

  17. Harvard, it’s preposterous to honestly believe that IU doesn’t recruit as much in Michiana as in other parts of the state because fans from the Indy area want central or southern Indiana players on the team. Perhaps it’s because Purdue, Michigan and Michigan St., not to mention ND, are closer to that part of the state than Bloomington is, and all of them recruit very effectively. I can hardly believe that you really, honestly believe that.

    For everyone who says the team maximized its ability and did the best it could in the tournament, I ask, if the roster was so limited, how did it beat Kentucky last year? That team was far superior to Syracuse. I know it was in Bloomington, but do you think that really would have made much difference last week? Was Verdell Jones that far superior to Yogi Ferrell? Was Matt Roth that indispensable that he made the difference between beating UK and getting clobbered by Syracuse? I think not. The team regressed in the last month to be worse than it was at the beginning of the 2011-12 season. That’s coaching (or lack of it).

  18. Smart guy, I’m just now getting caught up on the day’s posts. They’ve all been outstanding today, but I particularly enjoyed the racquetball idea. I’ve taken it up the last few years, and when you can find an opponent who can actually volley (but not so good that their shots are unreturnable) it’s not only an unvbelievable workout, but you really do develop skills that translate to other sports.

    A side note about lunging: I was playing my wife 3 or 4 years ago and she lost half a front tooth colliding with the wall while trying to lunge for a return. I jokingly said “most people use their hands stop their momentum, not their face.” It didn’t go over so well. Even though the tooth has long since been capped, I still hear about it to this day.

  19. We can’t recruit out of northwest sector of the state, but we can build a pipeline to DC…Just too bad we didn’t have a enough fuel in a tank of gas to go watch Mitch McGary or Brandon Dawson.

    Michigan coaches thought outside the box. IU’s hillbilly fans thought Zeller was the only answer to get us back. I was even beginning to believe it. But now I’m hearing it mainly brought projects(we can cheer “Tijan forever”), guards “too short” to handle the length a Syracuse zone, and a hell of defender that was part of “Movement” rightfully packing because he scored a C- during a scholarship crunch….

    Guess what? We were sold a bag of goods. Most of our shallow fans only cared that Victor was “going home.” And we’re calling Wichita State a “Cinderella” because a Missouri Valley team hasn’t been to a Championship for 34 years? To paraphrase Hudson in Aliens…I’m not sure if any of you are keeping up with current events, but its approaching 30 years since IU has won a championship(2014 will mark 27 years without a championship). The Establishment only cares to push their propaganda and act like the candy-stripes are not in unfamiliar territory. Instead, all they could talk about was Oladipo going home. When it comes to getting to title games and winning title games, we’re wearing the glass slipper more than Butler….and certainly more than most the teams in the Elite 8. If the trend continues, we’ll be about as irrelevant as IU football. So why does the Establishment continue to put our players on the covers of magazines? They want us to believe the mojo is still there. It ain’t, folks. We’re running a compound in Bloomington with a salesman not far removed from David Koresh as a coach. The Establishment loves it. Bobby Knight looked voguish compared to the hip preacher that will take us into eternal stagnancy.

  20. Many professional athletes take up alternative sports and activities to improve their game in the off-season. Martial arts, yoga, soccer, even dance. So many kids specialize in one sport or another these days, and don’t take full advantage of the benefits cross-training can produce. While there’s no substitute for spending countless hours taking countless shots (or hitting pitches, or taking ground balls, or catching passes, running routes, or whatever) to work on your game, stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking up something new not only helps keep you in shape, but can help develop skills that translate to and advance your own game. I love the racquetball idea.

  21. To pin the late-season swoon on coaching, or bad shooting, or short/sloppy guard play, ineffectiveness from our big guy, or lack of leadership alone is short-sighted and unfair. There were a multitude of factors that led to our perceived decline, not the least of which was running into a hot Syracuse team that matched up well with us to finally put us out of our misery. Does anybody truly believe that Wichita State is one of the four best teams in the country? Do they have such superior coaches and players that they can reliably outlast 64 teams in the tournament? Probably not. Indiana was one of the five best teams in the country all year, but our weaknesses were exposed towards the end. Crean has never had to deal with such expectations before, and I would guess that he will spend the entire offseason praying, meditating, reflecting, and cogitating on how things went south. Then make adjustments. Next year will be much more telling of who he is as a coach and a person, and based on his track record I see no reason to expect stasis or decline.

  22. If I were only this smart…? Seems like such a better addiction than blogging.

  23. The weaknesses were in signing A-Hope players instead of fundamentally sound subs that could give us strong minutes and infused energy in the paint.

    Bench = #1 problem

    Product of the Beast(March Madness/tournament pathway) = #2

    Coaching/Recruiting focus playing to the fan base and entrenched meddlers that all want a piece of Indiana = #3

    Cody’s dipping level of confidence due to limited role/involvement = #4

    Self-anointment and buying into propaganda that sabotages focus = #5

  24. The bench wasn’t supposed to be our problem. Injuries and/or insufficient recovery limited contributions from Austin, Mo, and Derek (and maybe Jurkin.) Will was usually solid, but tried to do too much on offense at times. Remy was streaky and still an unfinished product. I don’t know how much a nine-game suspension to start really limited Hanner’s development over the course of a full season, but it certainly didn’t help. Hollowell was a revelation in spells, and his time will come. But did anyone really expect PJ to be a major contributor right away? We were supposed to be able to go at least nine-deep like Louisville without much of a drop off. For a variety of reasons, it just didn’t happen. That left us with a core of six reliable guys, and endless complaints about substitution patterns. One can’t help but wonder what might have been.

  25. I LOVE racquetball. They sold off the courts I played on to build condos a few years ago and, surprisingly, there are man other options in town. I’ve actually picked vacation spots because they had outdoors courts (a whole ‘nother game).

    My wife and I were very competitive. She had better finesse, I had speed and power. We were pretty even overall which was very, very cool.

    I’ve seriously considered building an outdoor court at home but flat land is in short supply.

  26. I wish that I could still play..The shoulder pops out of joint too easily when it goes into a funky position swinging a backhand overhead..I don’t want the surgery.

    I took racquetball as an elective during my freshman year at Bloomington. Haven’t played much since.

    Just wanted to also say that the Waco reference was very bad taste on my part. Too drastic. Lots of kids died. That was beyond bad decorum and I regret making that comment. Sorry.

  27. IU should be in the Final Four. They should now be poised to win this thing. They started the season in ‘everyone’s’ top 5 and almost everyone’s No 1. I don’t recall many posts all season questioning this. Most of the posts questioned the ‘intelligence’ of those who did not think IU was the best team in the country. They should be in Atlanta and this season is a disappointment. On a side note…I grew up in the Region and IU seldom (if ever) got the best players out of there going all the way back to Knight. This is either a 40 year coincidence or IU coaches just don’t want those kids. However, as Harvard noted, IU this or any year could use the ‘toughness’ that growing in the Region gives anyone who comes out of there.

  28. …and this avoidance of Northwest Indiana seems to have extended across the entire northern border of the state. I’m glad that Crean went after and got Blackmon but Michigan State has ruled that area for years (Skiles, Randolph, etc) Even when Knight went into Merriville (just south of Gary) to get Dakich from Andrean, Purdue got Bullock (who actually was from Gary and would have played at Roosevelt had he gone to a public school) from that team and he was the better player (though Yeah…Yeah…He never shut down Michael Jordan). If Crean’s ‘pissed off’ because he didn’t get McGary or Harris, that’s a Good Sign.

  29. Just throwing this out there, but where did all that “toughness” get Michigan State this year? I’ve got family up there, and MSU is probably my second favorite basketball team in the conference, so I’m not trying to clown on them. I think they’re a damn fine team. But all those tough kids didn’t get MSU any further than Indiana.

    And as Geoff pointed out, geographically speaking we don’t have a recruiting advantage up north any more than the other regional powerhouses. PU, ND, UM, MSU, even the Chicago and Milwaukee schools– those programs are as close if not closer to The Region as we are, and we aren’t necessarily the favored hometown team of choice for any given household up there. We might as well be recruiting in DC or Vegas with all the home-state advantage that gives us for some of them.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t go after some of these guys, or that we aren’t lacking a certain amount of toughness to our team at times. But some people seem to think that just because a kid is from Indiana, he should go to Indiana. The further north you go, the less IU fandom you’ll see. This isn’t Nebraska. It’s not a given that these kids are as predisposed to attend IU up north as they are in the southern and central part of the state. It’s just the way it is.

  30. Harvard, a lot of what you said was per usual way over the top. I don’t have the energy to get into it all… But I will say this EMPHATICALLY:

    McGary was never a nobody. He was at one point heading into his senior year the #2 recruit nationally. He wasn’t an underdog. IU recruited him. None of us know the behind the scenes details as to why he didn’t become a Hoosier. Quit making up facts.

    Oh and one other thing, you may want to quit painting me as Establishment or an anti-Hoosier snob… It looks extremely hypocritical when you spend paragraphs upon paragraphs disparaging our players and our coach.

    Oh and one last one… It’s hilarious that you scold Crean for not recruiting NW Indiana more and that he spends too much time recruiting nationally, and then say that he’s playing to a fanbase with “limited perspective”. Let me get this straight if he spent more time locally instead of nationally that would increase the perspective? I think your brain is like a Salvador Dali interpretation of a MC Escher drawing.

  31. You lost me on that last sentence but that’s because you’re smarter than me. The limited perspective pertains to playing to a very local fan base(mostly within a 75 mile radius of Bloomington) and the meddlers that want a piece of IU through the influences of AAU/A-Hope.

    Mitch McGary: I was talking up the kid long before he went to prep school out East and long before he was going up in the rankings. We don’t recruit NW Indiana anymore. It’s like a foreign country to IU Basketball. Crean had no choice but to go after the Indiana recruits that were tied to Adams and the AAU circuit/Movement. He would have been crucified if went opposite to the homers wishes that have controlling interest and influence at IU. Limited perspective. Build your pipeline. It won’t bring banners.

  32. IU recruited him, my ass. IU did not put any real interest in Mitch McGary… or Brandon Dawson for that matter.

  33. Harvard, we’ve been through this. Indiana did recruit Branden Dawson. They didn’t have much of a shot at him because they weren’t very good at the time. They were recruiting Dawson at least until the summer before his senior year. And I know this because Branden Dawson told me and I reported this from LeBron James Camp in the summer of 2010. You can look it up.
    As for McGary, I don’t know all the ins and outs there. Indiana was interested, but at least part of the reason they backed off before he went to prep school was that he had significant grade issues. By the time he went to prep school and cleaned that up, they had filled their recruiting class. They showed some level of interest but I’m not exactly sure how much.
    I know, I know, I know, meddlers, Adams, fear of the Region, Establishment.Got it.

  34. Harvard, last time I played was on an outdoor court. You’d be surprised how much harder a cinder block wall is than a wooden wall. I kind of balled up to bump into and rebound off the wall like I’d do indoors and it felt like I got hit by a truck. Did something bad to my rib cage.

  35. *Only 7.8 million people ahead of me- ESPN brackets.

    * Tubby to Texas Tech. “Gate to hell” discovered in Turkey.
    Some how these stories are connected.

    *Will we ever hear from FGCU again?

    *Best outdoor BB court in the US was located in Gilcrest Park, Punta Gorda, Fl. Right on Charlotte Harbor. Always a light breeze, always a beautiful view. Every now and then games would stop to watch a water spout. (the old court not the new one)

    *Amazing how much free time I have not scheduling around IU BB.

  36. Harvard, when reading your comments I would think you were discussing a team that went 5-13 in the BIg Ten. We were sold “a bill of goods” with the first IU team to win the BT outright in 20 years with road wins at UM, MSU and OSU? Really?

  37. PS
    I do agree with your tone in regards to A-Hope.
    We have encountered clearance issues, an appearance of slimy recruiting etc in order to land
    Tijan, Bawa, HMP and Jurkin.
    We should leave A-Hope to the Baylors of the world.

  38. Dustin-

    There was zero noise on the blogs when I was talking about Mitch McGary. How much cut-and-paste examples would you like. Why was there zero interest? Easy. Because there was nearly zero stories. There was push for only one post player…You know, the everything “hinges” guy. Remember the kid named 4guards that took the blog hostage and tried to set Crean up for failure if he couldn’t land the savior named Cody?

    Speaking of which, one of the biggest voices on your blog(at the time, I guess we could call it more Korman’s Scoop blog)showing tons of animosity toward Brandon Dawson was also 4tickturds(isn’t that the handle Clarion used to give him?). I can provide you dozens of posts in which he never stopped going after Dawson and how “Dawson could fit in Cody’s jockstrap” in terms of an important recruit for Indiana.

    And I do believe the blogger known as 4guards gained a certain amount of legitimacy/credibility by the fact that he got very little backlash from journalists or other bloggers on these sites with regard to Dawson, McGary, and extreme positions/opinions about our basketball program’s future completely hinging on Crean’s ability to land Zeller and the probable flood of primarily Indy recruits that would poor in as a result. And though his opinions were not very supportive of Crean, I do believe his thoughts on Zeller being the savior for the program were shared by nearly all. Of course, there were some tiptoeing through the tulips(the ardent Crean supporters/”apologists” crowd that backed off the importance of Zeller because they still feared the possibility he would decide to leave the state.

    Radio: I listened to the Dakich show and other Indy sports stations(TV and radio)during the Zeller and “Movement” recruiting period. There was NEVER a hint of the name Mitch McGary. Rarely a hint of the name Branden Dawson…In years previous, never a hint of a mentioning the name Zack Novak. Hell, Dakich is from “the Region”(and, yes, you’re fully aware that I despise that negative connotation for the area of the state I grew up), and all he ever blabbered about was Zeller and Ferrell.

    McGary and Dawson were not talked about…(other than by Harvard). Show me any your threads from Thursday Live Discussion where his name was discussed.

    You hate it because the the kid was a sleeper and has turned into what some are calling “the player of the tournament” thus far. Harvard was the only person that saw it coming. That’s what bothers you. It bothers you because you always bought into 4guards blow.

    And Remy could have been a far more productive guard given the right coaching and confidence from the bench.

    So, how did McGary suddenly surge to notoriety so quickly? How did he turn what appeared to be a rather quiet/unnoteworthy Big 10 season into an explosion onto the national NCAA March Madness stage with bust-out performances NOBODY(except Harvard two years ago) saw coming? The kid is a freshman for God’s sake. And you’re acting like you brought his name up on here. You should be ashamed of even hinting that suggestion. I expect that sorta crap from Geoff.

    You want the many cut-and-paste examples of my posts mentioning McGary? I’ll put up mine and you go find yours(or other bloggers..or transcripts from Crean…or ANYONE)..Deal? When I was talking up McGary(and Dawson), you couldn’t shut up about how Hanner Perea and how he ..(paraphrasing more than exaggerating here) had the wing span of a 747 …was a human specimen and athlete like you had never before seen in your lifetime of covering sports…and was the next Hakeem Olajuwon.

    Please don’t get on here an lie that you gave a hoot about some recruits from a far, faraway land foreign to you and only known as “The Region.” Yes, they play some damn good hoops up in those parts the state. It’s not just about Indy. Northwest Indiana hasn’t been too foreign to a Michigan coach(Glen Robinson, Zach Novak, Mitch McGary, Spike Albreht(a 3-star with no ranking))and it’s paid rather large dividends.

    Northwest Indiana recruits have been off IU’s radar for 20 years. Matt Nover(probably slightly more relevant than Dan Dakich)was the last player Indiana had any real interest and signed.

    As late as March 2011, McGary ranked 92nd in the national class of 2012 by Rivals.com(courtesy: Wikipedia)

    You weren’t on board, Dustin..Don’t feel bad. Other than Geoff, nobody saw McGary coming. You and Korman let 4gaurds(4guards was probably Korman) turn the entire “everything hinges on Zeller” into the trademark phrase.

  39. And DCDave is totally right about A-Hope. It’s all beautiful to hear Establishment journalists blabber “Tijan forever” at the end of every LiveChat you do in covering games. The reality is that just one or two locally skilled forwards or JC transfers outside Indiana landed in lieu of the required projects to appease the meddlers, and we’re likely playing for the national championship.

    We do remember that the Adam’s boy(Did Alford take him to UCLA) did work for Crean…? We do remember that, don’t we? What’s wrong with Track & Field. A-Hope forever in Track & Field?

    Yes, I know..I sound like a horrible person because I think winning banners is what the primary goal of our basketball program should be about. Not about tweeting Joyce Meyer…Not about spreading Christianity to China through the Jordy Hulls Foundation…Not about appeasing meddler attempting to use Indiana Basketball for their missions to Africa and finding young men that will never get up to speed fast enough to play winning basketball at the Big 10 level…I mean, it’s only been 26 years of watching Duke and NC steal post players…It’s only been the same amount of years watching the East Coast grads of the ACC, etc. put their journalists on the TV and smile ear-to-ear over our irrelevancy. Yes, I can imagine they’d love make Indiana into “Tijan forever” forever.

    Could you also explain where the cozy relationship with Doc Rivers got us…It got us a bricklayer as we watch Duke get Austin. And now Doc Rivers has the gall to put one of those thugs that played for Sampson(you know, the same kids that made Crean storm after Jeff Meyer in his diversionary tactic to take the limelight off a team that just gutted out a Big 10 title?) on his Celtic roster. No wonder Crean is so pissed off all the time. See where cronyism gets you? The NCAA shut down the A-Hope projects for nine games…and a thug goes to play for his East Coast buddy(the one that thought Crean was good enough for Jeremiah but never Austin).

  40. Well, let’s take this apart piece by piece.
    First off, Indiana just needed human beings when it took on Jeremiah Rivers and no one’s ever suggested that Crean believed it would get him Austin Rivers. He was looking for somebody with some level of winning experience. It didn’t translate to much but it at least got him a guy who could do something.
    Second. I tell you I talked to and reported on an interview with Branden Dawson in 2010 saying he was being recruited then by Indiana, and you combat me with lines from 4guards? That’s your argument?
    Third, I’ll give McGary some credit for what he’s become, but if Zeller goes to North Carolina and IU instead gets McGary, where exactly do you think Indiana is right now? I get it, you think McGary would be better than Perea. You’re probably right. But are you really suggesting Zeller’s recruitment shouldn’t have overshadowed McGary’s?

  41. I’ll give McGary some credit for what he’s become

    He’s a freshman and you’ll give him “some credit”…OMG. That’s damn hilarious when your peers at those sports desks you dream to aspire are calling him the “player of the tournament” thus far. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said on how much you’re in denial knowing Harvard recognized the potential when it was in the infancy its development when nobody was talking about the kid. ..”Some credit”…Cody couldn’t likely come up with the toughness, grit, and composure McGary displayed on the big stage if he had four years to find it. He can go cash his multimillion dollar NBA checks, but he’ll leave IU proving nothing in his clutch arsenal that can approach what a freshman(a freshman from Indiana nobody spoke of in the circles the Bloomington “Tijan and your AAU friends forever” compound) just showed the nation what March is all about.

    Laffy was right. Cody is soft. And the big paychecks will just have to suffice as piles of paper where there is no rock of a man.

    You can’t produce anything where you wrote more than one sentence where you talked of McGary’s promise. And you know from recollection that I was the only guy talking about Mitch McGary.

    Do you remember me mentioning Stauskas a few months ago…Of course not…You’re a busy man. Geoff remembers. I’m sure he recalls me saying that I saw flashes of Larry Bird in his game. Did you see what the mini Bird did against Florida?

    But ere’s the bottom line and the painful unfortunate truth our future under the current coach….Some kids have the maturity to recognize quickly what Tom Crean is. It really doesn’t take a thousand highfalutin words from Harvard. All it really takes is the 20/20 vision found in one Dustin smirk.

    Even if Crean would had put any real effort into McGary, Robinson, Albrect(there’s are Jonny Marlin walk-on)…they would have immediately seen what Ron Patterson had the misfortune to have to taste. That’s what we lacked on this year’s squad; sophistication and a level of mature instincts in the young men on the floor something beyond the holier-than-thou righteous and pretentious blow Crean packages. The compound atmosphere would have creeped McGary and Dawson out and scared them away. It likely scared away Gary Harris too.

    Look how many years good instincts didn’t exist at Penn State. It’s not the fault of the naive that buy into opportunists and frauds that built castles of nothing truly solid in heart. How many thousands cheered at Penn State football games that bought into a man that basically had no character?

    I’ll save you four more pages of ranting and let this piece serve as metaphoric replacement. Nice try, Dustin. Of course Crean was attempting to get Austin. The man is slimy but he ain’t stupid. It all worked out how it was supposed to..Doc Rivers got Jordan Crawford.

  42. ….McGary, Robinson, [Albrecht](there’s our Jonny Marlin walk-on)

    Your still the man, Dustin. And you’re still the most gifted journalist(very gifted on camera and the art of impromptu) that I’ve seen come out of these hillbilly parts in quite some years.

    I give you a ton of crap, but don’t for a minute think I don’t know just how good you are at what you do. I blabber from a closet and could approach the multifaceted talents and the drive that you exhibit everyday. Thanks for not taking away my small chance to escape the darkness my turmoil. I know you have a great heart. I will miss you when you finally do leave this rat hole state I’ve rotted in my entire life.

  43. McGary has had a couple really nice games in the tournament. During the regular season he averaged 7 and 6. At 6’10’, 250lb, those are perfectly adequate numbers. Nothing more.

    Let’s no pretend the guy is Hakeem based on a couple big games in the tourney. That’s Jimmer territory.

  44. “legitimacy/credibility” 4tickturds??? Hee Haw never provided better humor.

  45. Baseball season is upon us, and those perennially pathetic Mariners are 2-0. That’s a pace for 162 wins, folks!

    Downing, what are your hopes for the Flubbies this year?

  46. Just trying to transpose and live out a fantasy a bit, Chet. Mitch McGary is from my hometown. A tiny forgotten town with my memories so distant. I dreamed of capturing the moment on a basketball court in all the same fashion McGary has usurped in reality the fantasy that lived in my largest hopes throughout my childhood…

    The thousands of hours I spent on a basketball court…lost under the stars and moonlight of summers all lumped into one thought and desire. I live out those dreams lost in his small town heroic deeds unfolding on the stage he has stolen from my heart.

    There. You know the root of my lofty idolization. If we all were so honest, isn’t that the reason many of us become so fixated with sports. Aren’t we transplanting our hopes and dreams; those with hopes to still fulfill, and the melancholic high to move into another man’s skin to play once again in dreams our time has passed?

    How can I not cheer for Mitch McGary?

  47. My ‘Flubbies’ poems still too dear to my heart to share…I will share an MJ poem I wrote 17 years ago…Wow. 17 years..Da Bulls are due.

    I remember Geoff saying how much he loved MJ. My mom loved him too.

    Michael Jordan: Ruler of the Hardcourt
    by Harvard (May 23, 1996)

    It’s likely the game of basketball,
    will never again,
    see the greatness of skill,
    to that of Michael Jordan.

    From UNC, a “Tar Heel” he came,
    to the city of Chicago,
    and a Bulls team destined for fame.

    Soon every fan knew “MJ” was special,
    so quick, fluid, and fast.
    Oh how far the Bulls could go
    once Michael had his supporting cast.

    The Bulls in the NBA Finals,
    don’t wake me, it must be a dream.
    What happened to the Celtics, the Knicks,
    the Lakers and Kareem?

    There’s a new star in town,
    in that old “Windy City.”
    It’s no Hollywood movie,
    and it’s no Broadway play,
    This is the real thing,
    the incomparable “MJ.”

    To the Bulls and the fans he became a God.
    Three NBA Championships one after the other,
    a new stadium, a statue of bronze,
    in “Mike’s” honor.

    But after he felt he could give us no more,
    it was time to try baseball,
    a time for opening a new door.

    Some believed he could do it all,
    but Michael soon realized this game
    he played poorly, basketball was his love,
    and how he missed it sorely.

    But could he get it back in his heart,
    return the Bulls to glory?
    Was his rule over?
    Was this the end of his story?

    At first he was doubted,
    to critics a forgotten star.
    “He’s just doesn’t have it anymore,
    the Bulls won’t go far.”

    But how they misjudged this ruler of the hardcourt,
    The critics are silent,
    and have seemed to change their thoughts of sort.

    The Bulls are back, another dream season,
    with jersey number twenty-three,
    it goes without reason.

    I think I’m dreaming again,
    “MJ” and the Bulls heading for the Finals,
    and title number four.
    A seventy-two game record winning season,
    What an encore!

    The Bulls are destined,
    and the will win it all.
    For the greatest basketball player,
    Michael “Air” Jordan,
    it’s the final curtain call.

  48. Cubbies are well on their way to 152-10. Then, the playoffs. Did everyone see Rizzo’s 710 foot home-run? But, they’ve got to get rid of Marmol…Zembrano Forever!

  49. I acknowledge that MJ was the best of all time (still hoping Kobe wins more championships though). But I never rooted for MJ. I identified more personally with Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, Craig Ehlo and those poor Cavs teams that came but oh-so-close to beating the great MJ. Or the Supersonics team that went down 0-3 to the Bulls in the NBA finals but, following fearless Gary Payton, scratched back to win two games and make a series out of it.

    The MJ bandwagon was too big, with too many non-Chicagoans like Geoff on it, for me to feel comfortable.

    I felt the same way about Alex Rodriguez in Seattle. Was glad to see him go.

  50. Very fair… I probably never would have cared about the NBA had it not been for Michael. I certainly didn’t care before him and could basically care less now.

    I will say that it would sicken me a bit to see the sex offender known as The Black Mamba surpass Michael in titles.

  51. Regardless of what you think Kobe is, let’s remember that M.J. hasn’t always been exactly a model citizen, either. And his Hall of Fame speech was sad reminder of his true character. It’s no surprise he and Tiger Woods hit it off so well.

  52. The entire Laker scene gives me a vomit reflex. Chicago’s championships grew from the grassroots a fan base loyal through decades of teams always falling barely short. Jordan could have easily left for greener pastures. He stayed loyal to the city and endured some rugged seasons early in his NBA career. He’s no LeBron. He didn’t abandon the Midwestern values of fans never in tune with the elitism in sports. He took beatings from Celtics and Lakers and remained invested while the team grew and improved around him. A true champion that didn’t move to seek a championship, but stayed with faith and determination and honor Bulls like Bob Love and Chet Walker…and Norm VanLier..and Jerry Sloan…Bulls that epitomize the heart and scrappy determination a city not built on superficial self-indulgences..Working class people with working class athletes that never quit(Sayers, Halas, Butkus, Banks, Payton, Makita…William “The Fridge” Perry, and Brian Urlacher).

    MJ was a gift to Chicago long overdue. The lights were never deservedly bright on Chicago sports. Some of the greatest to ever perform on gridiron, hardwood, and diamonds, but so little to show for it. The money in sports forever favored the dominant East and West with population and monopolistic media centers that offered dominant coverage, limelight, and rubbing of shoulders with politicians and celebrities. MJ is much like a Roberto Clemente. Removed from the superficial manufacturing a hero…He’s genuine in his art. The number on his Bulls uniform was never going to be for sale to the highest bidder. Those six Bulls titles, back-to-back threepeats, will never be threatened in terms of meaning to a city. They stand alone as the last remnants a day when championships were not built solely through backstabbing billionaire vagabonds moving from city to city; cities that are losing their old dominance and traditions, moving to whomever has the thickest wallet to steal away a level of talent that could never match MJ.

    It’s easy to understand why someone like you would resent MJ. You’ve always bought into the celebrity teams. To be a Bulls, Bears, or Cubs fan takes a loyalty and steady love that an Establishment mind could never understand.

    Ernie Banks is pure class. Unimportant to such character rare in sport is a twit throwing around a “Flubbies” reference.

  53. Whatever. I bleed Seattle sports. In other words, nothing but suffering, failure and misfortune. The Lakers are my only vice. Get over yourself. You come from a city with Hockey, NFL, MLB and NBA championships all in the last 3 decades. Quit the whining and false claims of being an “underdog.”

    I love Brian Urlacher, Ryne Sandberg, Patrick Kane and Toni Kukoc, by the way. Just can’t stand MJ.

  54. Harvard, my simple hometown has been blessed with quite a few talented athletes. As far as IU basketball goes it hasn’t been all roses. If you go back a few decades there are some nice names but in the years I can remember it has consisted of the late Tommy Baker and Sherron Wilkerson. I’ll leave it at that.

    Geoff, I started getting interested in the NBA with the Big O and Kareem. I pretty much lost interest after that until Larry and Magic brought the League back from the dead. While I stayed in tune through the Jordan years there just wasn’t the magic (no pun intended) of the personal rivalry of Larry and Earvin (plus Dr. J and a few others). Mostly it seemed to be about stroking MJ’s ego.

    I don’t think many of us knew what a creep he is as a person until after he retired. I sure didn’t. Why would someone on top of the world be such a petty little man?

    Nowadays I can’t sit through a game. It’s like Canadian football. I know it’s basically the same game but the way they officiate it just takes too much away to interest me. I guess I’m just old fashioned but they never call palming or traveling or many of those old fashioned rules that I grew up with

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