Tim Buckley on the suggestion that IU “underachieved”

A short story in the Wall Street Journal suggested that because Indiana had two players taken in the top five picks in the NCAA Tournament and fell in the round of 16 that the Hoosiers might be the “biggest underachiever in NCAA history.”

At the end of a press conference on Tuesday, IU assistant coach Tim Buckley, unprompted by any question from reporters at the press conference, offered this rebuttal.

“I’d just like to say one thing in regard to something that’s been written recently in regard to this basketball team underachieving. The reason I’d like to is because No. 1, I know myself and the group that sits here and the players and Coach Crean, we’re a very prideful group. I’m going to speak to it because I was in coach Crean’s living room at 10 a.m. on April 1, 2008 and I was there when we faxed the letter of agreement at 4:26 p.m. and we came down to Indiana. Every day, we found something new and different that was going to be a great challenge. I was here when we brought 320 unofficial visits here that first year and we continued to build and we had former players here like Calbert Cheaney and we could go down the line who were supportive and the fans who were here and came to the games and when we brought Cody Zeller in for a visit and we weren’t playing well and we weren’t winning. We could point to those fans and say, ‘Look, they’re here now, just think what they’re going to be like when we get really good.’ They helped us do that. We went through three tough years, and then we won 27 games and we went to the Sweet 16. We were ranked No. 1 longer than anyone else in the country. We went through the best Big Ten season in I don’t know how long as far as competition is concerned on a night-in-night-out basis, and we were on that bench and we watched that ball roll off that rim at Michigan and we clinched the outright title for the first time in 20 years. Then we had two guys drafted in the top four, which I believe is the best in the history of the program. Someone point out to me what was underachieved from April 1, 2008 until we went through draft night? I’m going to speak to that because I know what everybody up here put into it. I know what everybody’s family put into it. I know what everyone of the players and their families put into it. I’m talking about out extended families to and the extended support staff and the former players. We’re pretty proud of this group. And we’re disappointed as much as anybody else was with not going further in the NCAA Tournament. Our fifth-place team in the Big Ten played for the national championship. That’s how good this league was. For us to do it night-in, night-out, I don’t think we ever lost two games in a row. We had a resilient bunch. I’m really proud of what we’ve done and I think everyone who’s associated with Hoosier Nation should be really proud of what we’ve done.”

77 comments

  1. Boy…I’m pretty damned proud of Coach Buckley for saying this! Perhaps what the WSJ writer missed or overlooked that made the Hoosiers is the the #2 NBA draft choice, Victor Oladipo was a) recruited b) developed to form the expectations, and the high standards set for Cody Zeller were nearly all met.

    Or, maybe, the writer needs to think a bit that in the rarefied air of the Sweet 16, another team is good enough to beat you on a particular night; and all you can do is home and wait for that first idiotic article that waves an unknowing finger in front of you nose.

    Me…I’m just surprised was the WSJ; generally (and as a subscriber)I expect deeper, more profound analysis that gives the reader a clue about the reality of value. Some days it’s enough and some days it’s not.

  2. coach buckley,

    allow me to help you to understand where we underachieved. it was not throughout the season, just the ncaa’s. a superbly talented iu squad was undermined by a head coach who has no concept of how to attack a zone defense. against a zone the ball needs to move quickly around the perimeter in order to create gaps. crean had his perimeter players constantly running around the perimeter. that only serves to slow ball movement. thus, an early exit from the tourney. that IS underachieving.

    no one doubts crean is an excellent recruiter and motivator and he has done a commendable job rebuilding the program. his weakness is his understanding of offense. as further evidence, I cite his misuse of cody. not only did cody not develop as an offensive player under crean’s tutelage, he wasn’t used in a manner most beneficial to the team. cody said in nba interviews that he was under orders from crean NOT to shoot from the perimeter. not only did that hinder cody’s development, more importantly, it belies crean’s lack of understanding the many benefits of pulling the opposing team’s center away from the basket. I also suspect that zeller’s lack of development offensively contributed greatly to his decision to leave early.

    hope that clears things up for you, coach buck. i’m here to help.

  3. A lifelong fan and season ticket holder recently passed away in Ohio. As part of his obit in the Columbus Dispatch, he requested “six Cleveland Browns pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one last time.” Some people have a better sense of humor in death than others do while breathing. If only every Hoosier fan had that kind of perspective…

  4. Based on the only criteria the WSJ writer used, he makes a case for us underachieving in the tournament. Buckley refutes the argument with different criteria. The writer’s criteria is for 2 guys picked in the top 5 of same draft not advancing past the Sweet 16. Under that criteria compared to the other teams with picks, we underachieved. Biggest underachievers in history? No. Most recent underachiever in NCAAs, yes. I’d say we tie for last place with the other 2 teams that didn’t advance past the Sweet 16; and actually better than a team that had Michael Jordan on it. Either way, it is such a silly thing to even write about. Let’s see what happens this year. If we get to the Sweet 16 after losing 4 1000 point scorers and 2 top 5 draft picks, will there be an article written about us being the best overachievers? Silly article. Admirable on Buckley’s part to support the program and team.

  5. What Crean and Buckley need to both shut up about is “how hard this program works” ….all the top players, coaches and programs work hard, period. Also since when has player development, recruiting or draft night become more important than beating hard nosed opponents like Bo Ryan led teams or showing up and winning a tournament like the B1G or NCAAs? Get your priorities straight Buckley, sweet 16 berth is nothing to be proud of, looks like you’ll have to get back to work at 7:30am Weds, July 10th like the rest of the world….

  6. Really, really well said Punjab!

    If I may add to your observation; I can’t wait until my 3-year old grandson reaches 9/10 years-old so I can try to get him on whatever 4th grade team CoachV coaches.

  7. Where does Kentucky fit in with the underachievers? They have first round picks drafted every season but only get tourney bids half the time.

    Does any coach routinely do less with more than Calapari? What was it, three tourney bids in the past six years with top classes and first round picks drafted every one of those years?

    The title run was the real outlier. This season was more representative.

  8. I’m anti-calipari but your representation was inaccurate Chet, also try to avoid watching them this yr if u really think he’ll underachieve with this loaded group…..last yr the players were weak sauce, not so with cal’s latest class…cal has also gone way further, way more often than Crean just FYI

  9. Chet hits it right on the head. How come so many of the Calipari-coached teams of the past did not make the list of the most underachieved teams in college basketball history? He’s had lots of teams that placed players high in the first round of the NBA daft that did not win an NCAA Championship. Duke, UCLA, North Carolina and Syracuse have had their share of teams that produced high draft picks, but no banners.

    You can make an argument that IU underachieved in the tournament this year, but its not anywhere near the most underachieved college team in history. Any teams with Michael Jordan or Wilt Chamberlin that did not win an NCAA Championship were underachieving teams, and arguably a lot more so than IU in 2012/2013. Or how about the Houston team that lost to NCS in the finals? How many first round picks did they have on that team? If you want to use hindsight to create your criteria, why don’t you look at college teams that had NBA Hall of Famers on the squad? At some point, it just becomes a ridiculous debate.

  10. RE: Coach Crean’s inability to understand how to run an effective offense. When Bo Ryan was asked why he refers to Crean as “Tommy Basketball” his answer was simply, “because he thinks he invented the game.”

    Crean is well documented as being quite stubborn & when things don’t go his way he digs in even deeper. Having a retread like coach Buckley covering your backside is probably not ideal but at least coach Buck was classy enough to pry Crean off the UM coaching staff before he made an even bigger ass out of himself on national TV.

  11. Tsau, judging by my softball coaching acumen on display last night, you’d be well served to keep your grandson off my team if you ever want him playing for the Cubbies. (Then again, teaching him to swing at bad pitches and miss the cutoff man could be his ticket to a big contract at Wrigley. Just ask Soriano…)

    But I digress. When I first heard of the WSJ article, my mind immediately lept to Kentucky. Their 2010 team had the #1 and 5 picks in Wall and Cousins that year– which of course averages out to the same ADP as Vic and Cody– plus three ADDITIONAL first round draft picks. They were a top seed with only two losses on the year and more than twice the NBA talent, yet made it exactly one round further than the Hoosiers did this year. However, KY didn’t pay a tough Syracuse team who, if not for a rough six game stretch while one of their key players ( Southerland) was out with injury, probably should have been at least a 2- or 3-seed. No, KY instead played 12-seeded Cornell in the Sweet Sixteen then bowed out the very next game. For a team with so much pro potential, losing the first time you face a decent team is at least as disappointing.

    (Side note: Kansas was a near-consensus #1 preseason and consensus #1 team going into the tourney that year. They lost in the second round to Northern Iowa. Anyone want to argue that wasn’t a bigger bust?)

  12. This is just the same thing I said in March after the Syracuse game and before Oliadipo and Zeller were picked 2 and 4. IU was the pre-season Number 1 and everyone here, with few if any exceptions, agreed. They were also picked by most, if not everyone, to win the Big 10 Championship. They were Number 1 nationally most of the year and at the top of the Big 10 most of the year. They won the Regular Season Big 10 by 1 game. They lost to Wisconsin in the Big 10 Tournament Semi Finals (2nd loss to this team and neither of the games was played in Madison). They almost lost their 2nd NCAA Game and then lost in the Regional Semi Finals. This is a team that should have been in the Final Four. YES…This team underachieved.

  13. Cumback, I think you’re on to something with Crean’s stubbornness. We keep hearing that Crean doesn’t know how to attack a zone, but that’s not entirely true. His game plan going into the Syracuse game was pretty sound, as we had plenty of open looks in the early going. If a few of those go in, we may never be having this conversation. As it is, our guys were cold and then played sloppy, rushed, and scared for most of the rest of the game. It wasn’t so much not having a plan for the zone as it was failure to adjust when our guys couldn’t execute.

    Was it disappointing? Absolutely. Were there things that Coach should have done differently? Sure. Can Crean learn from it? I hope so. But for one game in the tourney, we were outmatched physically, didn’t hit shots we normally hit, and were taken out of our post game with the physical play that was allowed. It was a perfect storm against a really good team and ultimately led to an underachieving finish. Does all that equate to the biggest underachievement of all time? Not even close.

  14. It always amazes me. Every year there are 10 or so teams capable and with a relatively equal chance of winning it all. And, in the NCAA’s there are 10 or so teams capable of winning any one game against one of the first ten teams.

    But, as fans, we tend to look at the teams in terms of their strengths and base our expectations on that. The rational thing is to look at teams on the basis of weaknesses since that is exactly what the good coaches do and exploit.

    So, now look at the 2013 team on the basis of weaknesses and, does it still surprise anyone? Do you think Syracuse’s coach Boeheim saw those? Did he see we were a weak rebounding team under the basket? Did he see that Zeller should be defending him by keeping him from driving by laying back? Did he see Syracuse’s size and athleticism would be particularly bothersome to our two short guards, one of which was a step slower? Or that all those arms extended in a zone would really bother the ‘looks’ by outside shooters? Not criticizing what we had. We accomplished a lot all season with those characteristics? But, we had glaring weaknesses that good coaches would see and feast on because they paired up with their strengths. Example: Tubby at Minnesota, Ryan at Wisconsin. (In turn,, Minnesota had weaknesses that were glaring against some teams and Wisconsin against others.

    It was just about this time last year that the flood of posts going completely irrational about the team and whether it…not would, but should… win the national championship. Wouldn’t it be fun to go back to those days of Scoop and reprint those comments, attributing them to their authors?

  15. Poster #2 I am guessing that you must have underachieved greatly since you seem to know all the answers but you are not coaching at IU. You more than anyone who calls himself a Coach should know that sometimes all your plans and preparations don’t work when your losing a game. A game everyone thinks you should win but the other Coach, his staff and players of the other team on the floor believe they can upset you. You should have used Butler as an example. They beat Florida,Wisconsin,Pittsburg,Syracuse,Kansas St. and high and Mighty Michigan St. during there runs to the Championship games. Because they lost to little Butler should their coaches be fired? Of course not, but they all lost for a reason to Butler because Brad Stevens and his player out played the higher ranked teams. This is the same thing that happened to IU they got beat because the other team had a good hall of fame coach and their players ran their game plan better than we did. I know it was disappointing I hated for my team to lose but I got over it and moved on. You all should do the same. Don’t you think the Coaches and players have heard enough about this? It is time to move on to support a new team with coaches who have learned things along the way. If you don;t want to support our team then move on and stop all the complaining. Go back KY or Ohio State or better yet try and get a job as an IU Coach. They could use a guy like u who has all the answers.

  16. Tsao your post at #14 hit nail on head;I also agree with the “stubborness” assessment.Its nice for fans of ANY school to look at their teams with rose-colored glasses;but its time toi stop the nitpicking and discuss things in a reality base common sense.I also offer this “theory”:perhaps the WSJ has a hidden agenda? Rutgers and Maryland both joining Big 10 perhsps they want their players staying in the area and not travelling to the “cornfields” of the midwest.Putting doubts in the minds of 18 year olds is a recruiting trick USUALLY attributed to other coaches and Alumni…but using a widely read newspaper to advance your cause only serves to help those teams you support

  17. The negativity here makes me cringe. In one paragraph, people point out that Cody went #4 in the draft AND that he wasn’t properly developed. NBA GMs disagree with you, but perhaps your basketball acumen is higher than theirs.

    Tom Crean is not the reason that we lost versus Syracuse. It was a tough matchup and our players just didn’t rise to the challenge – they were timid and missed tons of open looks early. He is, however, the reason we were at our second straight Sweet 16. We’ll hang more banners with Crean – B1G and NCAA. Just cool your hot heads and enjoy the ride. Coach knows what he’s doing.

  18. I suppose the “75” squad should also be considered underachievers. Right next to the 92 and 93 teams. The opinion of 1 sports writer can not harden to concrete.

  19. Yeah, Buckley doesn’t quite get it. Everybody knows they did a tremendous job from 2008 to present, getting the program to where it is now. Working hard, developing kids, recruiting great – and getting quality kids at that. We had 2 picks in the top 4 and with those guys, we could not get past the Sweet 16. That IS underachieving. Own up to it. You didn’t underachieve in the season, but you did in the post-season. Yes, you can be proud overall of what you did as far as the outright Big Ten championship, but this is Indiana, not Purdue. We want that 6th banner, and this was the year for it.

  20. And I would like to add, I agree that this team was nowhere near the most underachieving in history. It did underachieve but not by that much. I agree with Punjab – that Kentucky team that had 2 top 5 picks plus THREE additional 1st round picks…..no way they shouldn’t have won it all.

  21. Good point Mike. As long as we’re nowhere near the most underachieving team in history we should say: Crean, job well done! Nice to know what your priorities are as a fan.

  22. Oh, there’s nothing like a post from a crean-hating troll suffering from TCDS to provide a good laugh.

  23. The fact that Indiana kids went 2 and 4… doesn’t speak to underachievement on the court (B10 champs, cmon)… it speaks to how well adjusted these kids are coming out of school (esp for a Junior and a Sophomore). They not only impressed their prospective teams with their talent and potential, they are great kids, great community oriented individuals. There is a lot to be said about having a “great talent” who comes in with a “great potential” of embarrassing the franchise. Afterall, these are 20 year old kids. If these 2 were Seniors, playing on a team that was always good, it might be a different story. They took their short college careers and turned atmosphere around with their hard work… which is, ironically, why they were drafted so high. Overachievers… the NBA sees it, why can’t you?

  24. There are two ways to look at this, and I can see both sides…and Coach Buck should, too. However, whenever there seems to be a shot at the coaching staff, especially from the media, our coaches almost instinctively revert to the challenge they were faced with when they were hired on. I’m not trying to take anything away from the job the staff has done in rebuilding the program from ground zero and I’m pretty everyone on here can agree that the staff has done an incredible job in that aspect, especially in the short time they have been here.

    HOWEVER…that is were the problem lies — the program is not in shambles anymore. There are expectations from the hoosier nation and within that very coaching staff. I can remember the coaches and players saying that was the year and they were going to be pushing to get that elusive 6th banner. They had the same expectations that we all did and they fell short…no excuses.

    Not taking away from the regular season and the achievements that they made. It was a tremendous year and a lot of fun to watch. But come time for the big dance, the regular season means squat. Every team in the field starts over fresh and if you don’t come to play, you’re going home…and they didn’t come to play…plain and simple. They were outplayed and out-coached…and personally, as much as I do like Crean and the staff, I’d like to see them take some responsibility for that instead of making excuses.

  25. Austin, also well stated and very fair… It’s easy to not perform in a small sample size. It happens. One team every year meets every challenge. That’s it. IU was an A- team in a year when no other team was better than a B+… Then they got a C on the final. Is it an under-achievement? Yes. Certainly not the worst ever. And I still agree wholeheartedly with Kevin’s perspective.

  26. Remove two A-Hope projects put in uniform to appease those that run the program along with the AAU program Cody was closely involved…? Have Matt Roth available to shoot over a zone, hit a couple monstrous bombs, and get the rest of the team pumped up in the process? Have the athleticism, defense, and tenacity of a Ron Patterson to counter the Syracuse backcoutt size advantages…?

    It was over-recruiting due to over-selling projects that kept stronger recruits from staying in their uniform(pushed out of their eligibility) or keeping the one on the back they were promised(because they were purportedly borderline not academically sound0. We didn’t underachieve..We underutilized and deceived.

    The media bought into a lot of the hype but didn’t investigate the details nor see the dynamics truly at work….a very weak bench(especially in terms of backing up Cody) that could have been much stronger.

    The draft was very weak this year…Don’t be too fooled by those numbers.

  27. Bottom Line: Crean is ruthless where he wants to be rather than where he needs to be. It bit us.

  28. Kelvin Sampson had three in the NBA draft:

    1. D J White
    2. Eric Gordon
    3. Jordan Crawford

    Still ahead of Crean…

  29. Harv, prior to this year I’d never coached anything but tee-ball. It was perfect for me because everybody plays and everybody wins. It’s a stark contrast to the pressures of my everyday job, where lives can literally hang in the balance with the actions I take. Without trying to overstate my importance– in most respects I’m just a small cog in a very large wheel– I don’t like being the a-hole, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil to get the job done. I don’t often have the luxury of worrying about feelings or who’s going to be the odd man out. But I’m pretty good at flipping the switch when I head home at night, if only because I have to.

    This year I’m coaching intramural softball. This may sound silly at first, but please bear with me– it’s like my worst nightmare. It’s not life or death decisions here, but somehow I feel more emotionally connected to my responsibilities. We have a core of 5 or 6 good players, and another 4 that reliably show up to every practice and game even though they’re really just not very good. We also have a rotation of other guys who can only make it to a game here or there. Those are the ones that give me heartburn.

    When we have all the pieces in place, we’re a damn good team. But as coach, I have to choose between putting in the guys who give us the best chance of winning on the off chance they show up (and risk alienating the ones who are there everyday but who may no longer be there when i need them) or rewarding the ones who dependably show up even though it may weaken our product on the field. Despite trying to compromise with substitutions, I’ve already got people griping from both sides whether we win or lose. It’s a no win for me.

    I’m realizing exactly what I’d always assumed to be true: that it’s much easier to criticize someone else’s coaching moves than to make your own. And I’m coaching freakin’ intramural softball. I’m not coaching a program with millions of rabid fans and journalists frothing at the mouth to critique my every move, and players who potentially have millions of dollars riding on how I help develop and utilize their skills.

    Roth may have been the key to another banner. Or Buss. I believe that Hanner’s going to breakout in the next year or two, but it’s looking at this point that PJ may never materialize into the player we’d hoped. Did Crean make the right call? We’ll never know. But at the time, he was investing in the future while it seemed like we already had the veteran pieces in place to win now. What decision would you have made? Loyalty to the two guys you’d made promises to, or loyalty to the other players and fans to put the what you see as the best possible product out there? It’s easy to criticize after the fact. But as dozens of coaches in every level of sport in every town accross America discover every day, it’s not as easy when you’re the one making these decisions.

  30. …or maybe I’m just bitter about another softball loss and don’t have any answers…

    Either way, cheers. It’s time for this blowhard to get to bed.

  31. Punjab-

    Enjoyed that post..You tell a nice tale without coming across as arrogant and overly into yourself like so many on here. Sounds like you’re a great coach. More importantly, it sounds like you are genuine and fair.

    That’s all you can really ask of a coach. Do your best to be honest, genuine, and fair. And do your utmost to be loyal to those that have been nothing but loyal to you.

    We seem to take very firm and unwavering stances on minimum academic bars to be met. But this is Indiana Basketball…Shouldn’t there also be a certain minimum foundation of basketball skills/bars to be met?

    At what point do you hurt a team(whether in games or behind the scenes in practices)when the bar is so low for certain “projects” that it creates the absence of challenges of others?

  32. O.K., while I support and and have defended Crean from the trolls and unreasonable critics on this site, I will, after reading most of the posts on this subject and thinking things through, contribute my own criticism of Crean regarding the 2012/2013 season.

    “Everything is relative to expectations.” That may be the most obvious, yet profound thing I’ve ever heard regarding performance. We tend not to appreciate the psychological importance of managing other people’s expectations. In my opinion, and based on the benefit of hindsight, Crean did not do a good job of managing people’s expectations of his team’s potential last season. He allowed the media circus and fan hype to get a little out of control and did not do enough to “keep it real.” Starting with being ranked #1 in the pre-season, coming off the Sweet 16 success (losing to the eventual champions in a game where KY’s free-throw shooting was off the charts), having his star player making the cover of SI, and winning most of their pre-conference games, I think Crean and staff were still in their selling/promoting/recruiting mode at the time, or maybe just enjoying some positive notoriety for a change. I mean, who could blame them given what Crean and his staff had gone through in the previous years? But Crean should have been more aggressive and outspoken in trying to manage expectations of last year’s team, especially from the press and the fans. Watching the team play last year, I think he did well managing his players’ expectations and keeping them humble and focused, but he did not seem to put that same effort into telling the media and fans that IU was NOT the best team in the country, was NOT a final four team, and was still capable of losing to a not of teams. Even if he really believed they were that good, he should have they were not. He should have continued to manage expectations. I’m sure he emphasized those points to his players behind closed doors, but he was less-aggressive emphasizing those themes to the the media, especially at the beginning of the season.

    Bob Knight used to use that tactic all the time, and he used the media to manage expectations of his players and IU’s fan base. Heck, he’d spend more time talking about what his teams’ and star players’ deficiencies were than he did telling people what they did well. He was a Hall-of-Fame sandbagger for most of his time at IU. It’s a different world these days and many coaches feel compelled to continuously stroke their players and promote their teams through the media. But when Knight was the coach, he was already out in front of the hype and expectations created by the media and fan base. It was a smart thing to do, because Knight knew first hand how hard it is to win an NCAA Championship. He knew that an injury to just one key player (Scott May, 1975), or a few bad calls (against Duke) could prevent his team from hanging another banner. He had many, many teams that were capable of winning it all, but only three that achieved that goal. Crean should have taken a page from that book, but until you’ve experienced such disappointment, hope springs eternal.

    IU basketball did NOT under-achieve last season, it’s just that Tom Crean did not do a good job managing expectations. Therefore, some people, relative to their expectations, now feel that they did. The recent WSJ article is Crean’s punishment for that mistake. I’m sure Crean has learned a valuable lesson and I hope he will be more aggressive in using the media to refute the hype and downplay his team’s potential. There’s no substitute for experience.

  33. I’d sort of disagree with that, though, Podunker, because there was a period last year when, objectively, Indiana was the best team in the country. I just think they peaked too early. If you play the NCAA Tournament in February, Indiana probably wins it. Obviously they don’t and that’s the point, but still. I mean, I understand media can be manipulated and all, and I’m not saying I’ve never been duped, but under what circumstance would last year’s team with that record and that resume not been given a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament? You can say whatever you want about magazine covers and hype, but objectively, a 27-6 record with two wins each over Michigan and Michigan State and wins over Georgetown, UNC, and Ohio State, there was no way whatsoever to put them below the No. l line. And when you’re the No. 1 seed, you’re expected to make the Final Four. It’s one thing to downplay hype when you’re in the muddy middle, but in a wide open field with that resume, they were going to be there.
    Now, what shouldn’t be lost in this argument is that Syracuse started playing way better than its seed when it hit the tournament, the zone presents a tough matchup and that there are a lot of teams that advanced further that would have lost that game as well, but there was no way of convincing the media in early March that a Sweet 16 was all that should be expected of that team. Under achieving is a harsh way to put it, but that team — along with several others who didn’t come close — was capable of winning a national championship.

  34. Dustin bought into his own hype that Perea was the next Hakeem Abdul “The Dream” Olajuwon.

    Cody had a better backup player in Pritchard. And with Elston fighting injury most of his senior season? I think the sidelining of Elston and the far slower ascent in the skills curve of Perea’s game did make for a weakness that wasn’t being identified by a media Establishment that wanted to keep expectations high.

    And let’s not forget that ESPN put a big spotlight on Perea. Did some of that spotlight push the NCAA to look deeper into the A-Hope recruits? Did local journalists that watched Perea in high school, possibly getting overly absorbed by his advanced physical attributes, contribute to the national hyping of Perea and investigations into A-Hope…? Did some of the unreasonable expectations grow out of the belief(negative spotlights on Perea’s recruiting compounded by googy exaggerations that a body equates to basketball skills quickly transferable to Big 10 level) that Hanner, alongside Cody, would make us exponentially more athletic and nearly unstoppable inside?

    Hammer hardly made anymore impact than Tijan Jobe. Where was Cody being challenged in practice? Where were chances for Cody to be somewhat extra aggressive in his game without a true backup that could take a bit of pressure off strict adherence to narrow roles on the floor?

    There were a ton of dynamics missing that could have made the Hoosiers as athletic and balanced as the early hype. Not landing Ron Patterson(part of the celebrated “Movement”) took a way a defensive tenacity and a removed a solid basketball acumen from the floor…Perea ending up light years shy of the hype(both nationally and locally)left Cody on an island.

    Where are the articles stating the facts that the Hoosiers were nothing near the team we envisioned…? A fully healthy Elston…A ferocious and athletic defender in Patterson…A Perea that makes one wonder what all the ESPN fuss regarding A-Hope, laptops, and airline tickets was all about(positive in terms of skill and negative in terms of the national sports outlets painting IU as doing something seedy to get the next Hakeem)?

  35. ….compounded by [goofy] exaggerations that a body equates to basketball skills quickly transferable to Big 10 level.

  36. Of course the biggest thing is that they lost to Syracuse… A legendary program who won 30 games last year and 2 of their losses came with their 3rd leading scorer, 2nd leading rebounder, and most dangerous perimeter threat (Southerland) out of the line-up. Here is the list of other schools that lost to Syracuse last year:

    Louisville (won national championship, 1st and 2nd round picks)
    Georgetown (top 10, with #3 pick)
    Pitt (ranked, with 1 lottery pick)
    Marquette (ranked, higher seed)
    Notre Dame (ranked)
    Cincinnati (ranked)
    San Diego St (ranked, with NBA draft pick)

    Hard to bash a team to the extent of “most underachieving” when they lose to that highly credentialed a team, with multiple NBA picks, including a lottery selection on it.

    Now one other point… Something that Kevin began to touch on, but I will expand upon. The NBA draft happened exactly 1 day after Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder. In a draft that lacked what most considered any franchise-changing talents, I think that it’s extremely possible that teams reacted and went with the best combination of talent and character over straight up potential… Probably said to themselves, “w heave no idea if anyone in this draft will make a huge impact, but at least if I draft Dipo/Zeller I know that we won’t be dealing with any weird off the court issues.”

    Does the article change if Zeller drops to his predicted draft slot of 11? Dipo had a lot of juice by draft night, but Zeller was a true shock to most… So if we have the 2nd and 11th pick are we still the most disappointing team ever? The 5th and 11th?

    But hey the article, and more importantly the title, did what it was supposed to… Moved the needle with a huge alumni group and fan base and created buzz.

  37. Honest to God Harvard, if you bring up Patterson one more time I’m going to unfriend you…

    Don’t you think it’s a bit premature to say that Pritchard was a better player than Perea. You constantly bash Dustin and Perea because he didnt have a stellar year. I wonder if you will apologize and spend 1/100 of the energy recanting if Perea turns out to be a good, or even decent, player.

    You spent a lot of time stroking Abell, but he never amounted to anything other than a few bright spots – a shot against PU, a steady game against VCU, a couple other moments… In the end he wasn’t good enough to get consistent minutes, and you can try to spin that any way you want, but the truth is you over-valued him.

    I don’t know yet if you are under-valuing Perea, but you seem just as set in bashing him as you were stroking Remy… I wonder if you’ll be just as wrong.

  38. OK, Harvard, I get it. I thought Hanner was better than he was. Lots better. And even with him not contributing much, they were still 27-6 and won the best conference in the country. This team was flawed, but let’s not start acting like it was so deeply flawed that it should have had no expectations or hype whatsoever. It beat the national runner-up twice. It beat Michigan State twice. it was good, and teams that are that good get national exposure.
    The answer to your questions Geoff, are obviously no. The article was four paragraphs and it was using very narrow criteria for defining underachievement. The only teams who were even eligible for the discussion were ones that had two top five picks.

  39. Pritchard created more value in 2011-12 than Perea in 2012-13…I highly doubt most of those that were piling the hype on Perea would have ever predicted that reality.

    I believe we get past Syracuse with an inside player to back up Cody that’s, at minimum, equivalent to Pritch. Throw Matt Roth and Patterson into the mix and I think our are even better.

    I’m not saying that Perea cannot eventually be a more talented basketball player than Pricthard. It doesn’t change the fact that he provided hardly anymore value than Tijan Jobe.

    The nine game supsension(likely brought on and fueled by extra media attention on A-Hope/Perea due to the belief that Perea was going to make us nearly unstoppable around the rim) also didn’t help.

    In many respects, we overachieved. Why are we left with a feeling we lost a great opportunity? We believed that every kid with rudimentary b-ball talent and athleticism can result in a Victor Oladipo. We bought into the hype that refused(or was too naive or inherently bias to see the changing dynamics) to think that having..(1)no Patterson..(2)no healthy Elston providing energy, senior leadership, and additional outside shooting threat in a body bigger than 5′-11″ tall..and (3)we had no legit backup for Zeller which could have enabled him to stretch his game away from a conservative/”soft” approach.

    Lastly, if Watford doesn’t come back for his senior year, I almost believe we’re a more dangerous team. We keep Patterson in bending a C- into a C+… and Hollowell and Remy both get added PT.

    Examine the dynamics. A ton of variables had changed from the days of preseason hype to the team that entered the NCAA tournament(its health. its roster, and its actual pieces equating anything near the hype).

  40. Remy…? “a steady game against VCU…”

    Remy doesn’t bailout Jordy and “steady” the nerves of a very rattled team against VCU, and Crean never has back-to-back Sweet 16’s to claim/project/insinuate we our an “elite” program again.

    To even put Hanner into a discussion with what Remy brought to the table and meant to a program turning the corner in 2011-12 is ludicrous.

    You’ll see Remy’s value at Xavier. He’ll get his chance to shine and develop.

    Peter Jurkin forever.

  41. Does anyone honestly believe Wisconsin beats us if we have the heart and tenacity of a Ron Patterson, a legit backup/double threat for Cody’s inside game with at least the equivalence in savvy and vision to Pritch, a healthy Elston, and the outside shooting daggers of a Matt Roth?

    I would contend that all of the above is a hell of a lot more important to banner runs and defeating that thorn in our ass from Madison, than three fingers to a temple, a nose plugging gesture, or the compensating delights found in the bragging of high NBA draft picks.

  42. Funny that you believe Buss has SO MUCH heart and desire when he couldn’t get a simple C to gain eligibility at IU. Where was the heart then… Listen Harvard, you are the one that forces Buss to get railroaded on here by consistently ignoring reality… I like Buss and wish he would have showed a little heart in the classroom.

    It’s quite funny that you are so assured that Buss would have made the difference, when none of the Movement lived up to its billing outside of maaaaaybe Yogi.

    Equally funny that you think Pritch would have made a damn bit of difference against that Cuse zone. The most dangerous spot, the one that McGary took advantage of, was the FT area… Probably Pritch’s weakest spot. He was almost as likely to hit the backboard as the rim when no one was guarding him there.

    Roth was the 8th man and celebrated Senior Night the previous season…

  43. Your right Harvard…

    I’ll give you Roth, Patterson, Pritch, Creek, and Abell… Coached by the ghost of Rick Majerus.

    I’ll take Hulls, Yogi, Dipo, Sheehey, and Zeller… Coached by Crean or me or coachv or Aruss or my newborn son. (If you want I’ll sub out Yogi or Hulls for Perea)

    We’ll play a best-of-7 series and see if you can come within 30 points of my team even once. Your last paragraph in post 49 is hilarious.

  44. When you’re program is oversigned on scholarships and has nowhere to go, I doubt he could have got a D+ if it were the minimum standard of the momentous test given two weeks before his days in a Hoosier uniform were to begin.

  45. Right… Then it must be that he had so little heart and/or talent that he wouldn’t have been able to contribute more than Abell or Creek last year, and therefore he was the guy pushed out.

    So which is it Harvard?

    Was he forced out by Crean-corrupted faculty because he didn’t have the talent to overcome 2 non-factors from last season… (And therefore wouldn’t have been able to put us over the top of UW or Cuse)

    Or did he have the talent, but not enough heart, initiative, or intelligence to get a C and gain his eligibility at IU…

    You can only contradict logic for so long before you absolutely corner yourself. I think you’ve reached the threshold.

  46. Abell had already proven himself as valuable insurance in full court press situations. And there is no way Crean pushes off A-Hope projects….or a Mo Creek coming off those horrific knee injuries and still wanting to give it a go.

    He put himself in the situation(mainly through the A-Hope relationship with Adams that was tied to getting the AAU recruits) to have to turn an incoming freshman away.

    As I said earlier, he is ruthless where he wants to be and not where he needs to be.

    Bottom Line: The over-hyping of Perea(national attention from an ESPN investigation into A-Hope)..Jurkin being a complete non-factor. The nine game suspensions hurting two guys that had very questionable skills ready to transfer to Division 1 level.

    The fact that Watford did not turn his sights on the NBA/Europe after his junior year(something Crean was likely anticipating)and thus making Patterson the fall guy(I mean, he was from the Indy inner city school and not a Park Tudor kid..Cutting a Broad Ripple kid would most likely get the least backlash).

    Elston never getting healthy.

    No legit post backup for Zeller. Unless you’re counting his good friend on the bench that would have made a far bigger impact than Patterson..Etherington? Yeah, we pushed out Capo to get Remy. But would he push out Cody’s good friend, a kid that was key to keeping all the buzz and focus on the “Movement,” to bring in Patterson?

    When Plan A fell through(Watford not leaving after his junior year), there was no other option than to cut Patterson. Remy was the next option…He did that this year when Gordon become the Remy Abell of 2013..

  47. Dustin, what do you mean you sort-of disagree? Crean either managed expectations well last season or he did not. I’m convinced that he did not. He didn’t at the beginning of the season, in the middle of the season (in February) or as his team was awarded one of the #1 seeds at the dance. At the very least, after losing to Wisc in the Big Ten Tournament, he should have come out and tempered the public’s expectations about his team. I watched that game, thought IU played terrible, and that they were in trouble. Winning the Big Ten Tourney was not important, but losing to Wisconsin, clearly an inferior team, was an indication that, as you suggest, IU had already peaked.

    But you raise an interesting point, and one that ties into this continuous “everyone-works- so-very-hard-around-here” theme we hear from IU’s coaches. Maybe last year’s team was physically exhausted by the time the NCAA Tournament began? Maybe IU had a few too many “workaholics” on the team last year and they were physically and emotionally spent after winning the Big Ten Conference title? There IS such a thing as working too hard! I remember being surprised and concerned when Cody Zeller told a reporter that he finished the season about 20 – 25 pounds lighter than he started it. That should not have been the case and it certainly did not help him bang in the paint during the tournament. If anything, a young man of Cody’s age should have maintained his weight during the season, not lost 8% to 10% of his body weight over five months.

    Crean would be wise to deploy some psychology and manage expectations about his future teams. My guess is that the recent WSJ article has painfully emphasized that point to him and his staff. If nothing else, he get a perspective from the coach who’s team ended IU’s season. In over 30 years of coaching and over 900 wins at Syracuse, he’s only hung one banner.

  48. Adding up all the above factors:

    -No backup for Zeller. Perea being a flop for 2011-12(Note: this is NOT an indictment of his entire future/potential..Will he be Hakeem by his senior year? Doubt it).

    -No Patterson

    -No healthy Elston

    -Throw in the Creek dynamic that wasn’t present in our surprise run in 2011-12. Throw in the fact that Crean likely felt a sense of obligation in the form of PT that should have been going to Remy because Mo Creek was his first high profile recruit.

    Summary: The dynamics of the team had changed greatly from the squad hyped during preseason polls from the one absent many of the expected pieces in place to win it all. Thus, the WSJ piece was written by someone as naive as Geoff when it comes to basketball. The same people naively labeling us as underachieving. without looking at how much the dynamics of the team had changed, are the same that will give Crean 10 more years on a contract for having a couple heads land millions on draft night.

  49. Interesting points by Podunker…The working too hard angle…?

    And what of the extreme push to get kids to a near graduation point by their junior years? Add that mental push to the physical demands. And why do we push them so hard to get their degrees early? Answer: To keep the revolving door moving faster. You get less backlash from the fans when kids are pushed to the NBA…or told their not getting their final year of eligibility when degrees are nearly in place…This allows Crean to recruit at a higher turnaround pace without the labels of kids leaving with little education.

    But is the push-push too much? And is it necessarily right to the slower blossoming stars that may never see their greatest moments in their final year of eligibility?

  50. So then why was Cody so strong at the NBA combine if he lost all that weight? Did he just gain it back in a couple weeks? Stop beating a dead horse. We lost to a top tier Coach with more wins than Bob Knight. IU played poorly in that game so why keeping discussing it?
    The Coach’s plan did not work, the players did not hit shots, the players did not play defense well, we got out coached and/or out played by the opposing team, so on and on.
    Take your pick but the bottom line is we got beat and we can’t go back and change it we can only move forward. I enjoyed last season we had some great wins and we did things that no IU team has done for 20 years. Move on and stop trying to argue or agree with HH because that is a classic waste of time. He will never change. He is never going to like our Coach even if he goes forward and wins 3 or 4 NCAA titles. He is and always will be a Cream hater along with hating the other coaches,even CC, most of the players and IU in general but yet in his mind he is an IU fan. What a Joke!!! All he loves is posting negative comments to get the rest of us to respond. He lives for it and if he left tomorrow someone will take his place or he will come back with a new name and start all over. Lets talk about this years team and those after it because Coach will keep recruiting top talent so fans, at least the most of us can keep on cheering for my Hoosiers!! Enough is enough!!!!

  51. That should be Crean Hater not Cream but he probably hates Cream too since it is an IU color.

  52. “…IU played poorly in that game”

    They also played poorly against James Madison and were very fortunate their one superstar didn’t end the season with even a greater percieved level of “underachievement”

    And for the record, there is no way in hell that a freshman point guard, a recruit that went from obscurity to the #2 draft pick, and a center with all the pressures as a “savior” of the “resurrected” program resting primarily on his sole shoulders(pile on to those shoulders an over-hyped Perea being a non-factor), should be labeled or feel they were the one of the greatest underachievers in college basketball history.

    The dynamics had changed and some vital impact players that were expected to come off the bench were either not available or pushed off by way of scholly crunches.

    This team was never going to catch anyone by surprise and they were believed to have many more weapons than were actually present or healthy.

  53. Harvard – are you talking about the same Abell and Creek that got “pushed” off the team this year?

    You argue that it’s all Crean’s doing (Abell, Creek, Buss)… But then you want it both ways… It was because he had loyalty, confidence, and/or pity for Remy and Creek last year, even though Buss was better. Now this year they are expendable with the talent coming in…

    Bottom line, if Crean was willing to cut them this year for talent reasons there is no logical reason he wouldn’t have cut them last year if Buss was truly better.

    You can’t have it both ways Harvard… Sorry.

    But in actual, real, true life… Buss just couldn’t pass the test. It was his own fault.

  54. Podunker,
    I actually kind of agree with the workaholic thing. I think there were periods when that team felt like it was expected to save the world, and I think there was a fatigue caused by that.
    My point was that you’re suggesting that if he would have told us (the media) that they weren’t that good and tried to manage expectations, we would have believed him even though he took a 27-6 team into the NCAA Tournament that was without question a No. 1 seed, the media at large would have painted them as some kind of underdog. I mean, we’re dumb, but we’re not that dumb. At least not all the time. Seriously, how on Earth was he going to convince the local and national media to look at the team that beat Michigan State and Michigan on the road and say, “‘Nah, no way that teams makes the Final Four.'”Again, I’ll grant you Crean very much has a penchant for self-promotion and for building up drama, but that team was national championship capable and we wouldn’t have believed him if he told us otherwise.

  55. Also, in fairness, I think there were a number of teams that could have won that title. Louisville wasn’t at all invincible. I’m not saying the fact that Indiana didn’t win it is an inexplicable upset because they weren’t a prohibitive favorite either, but IU had as much a right to expect to win that title as any other team in the field.

  56. Last thing, just so I make sure I’m clear, I’m not saying the pressure couldn’t have been lessened. I am saying there was no way to avoid the fanbase believing that a national title was a realistic hope. Maybe he could’ve kept that sort of fever from being there for the entire season, but by February — heck, just after the Carolina blowout – they were going to have to live with some of that.

  57. Look at it anyway you choose. He gets insurance when he needs it and then proceeds to kick out the door those that will result in least backlash from fans.

    Push out the Broad Ripple flunky because it’s more important to keep a kid with nerves of steel as insurance behind a stature-challenged backcourt.

    Pushing off Mo Creek or the A-Hope projects was not an option. From what I’ve seen thus far, the A-Hope projects should have been dealt the same pink slip as Bobby Capobianco. They are not Division 1 caliber basketball material. And if you’re arguing they’ll be far better by their senior years, then you could make the same argument to give Capo and Roth their full time/eligibility to shine. Good students that represent the team with dignity shouldn’t be pushed off simply because you’ve found something better waiting in the wings.

    And I keep hearing of all these bad games we had…Is it possible that Michigan had a bad game when we were in Ann Arbor?

    Yup, and it’s very possible that the Hoosiers under Mike Davis were one unfortunate “bad” final college game of the season from bringing home a sixth banner. One “bad” game turns into a “good” game and Mike Davis is coach for another five years. We never hire Sampson because Mike Davis’s team actually has one “good” game…I mean can fans still rip him to shreds when his one shining moment of luck and competence comes with winning it all?

    And why must “decimation” and “heroic deed”…and “bad” games(which by most of the definitions on here means Crean’s flawless and excellent coaching but poor player performance) be solely the providence of Tom Crean? How many “bad games” did Bobby Knight’s teams come from adding five more banners to the three he already had brought to Bloomington?

    Everybody has bad games. They can come in first rounds on the heels of NCAA witch hunts, in Sweet 16’s…and in championship games after getting past a #1 Duke. Butler was two “bad games” from two banners hanging in Hinkle. We should be rather thankful for bad games.

    Where is IU basketball if that scoundrel Knight if not for some of those “bad” games once his team got into all those Final Four trips?

    What is IU basketball if Mike Davis doesn’t have a bad game against Maryland?

    What is IU basketball in terms of recruiting if Brad Stevens doesn’t have the terrible misfortune of two back-to-back “bad” games when his teams found a way to “bad” their way to back-to-back championship games?

    What if Eric Gordon and Armon Bassett don’t have bad games against Arkansas.. Think of the consequences of not having a bad first round game and having an administration think more positively about hiring Dan Dakich as head coach.

    There’s been a ton of good that has come out of “bad games” for IU basketball. Don’t be so down.

  58. Dustin, a coach can remain positive and promote excitement for his team while still tempering expectations. Of course, this discussion is all moot if Crean does not care about things like the WSJ article. But his assistant coaches obviously cared about the article, so my guess is that the article hit a nerve. And unless he learns to do that, he will continue to leave himself and his program open for those blindside hits.

  59. It’s difficult to temper anything if you don’t have an ounce of humility. Is the screaming of “19 F’s!” and a thousand “decimations”…and the charging a coach after a game as if you’ve just finally broken free from the shackles of your lifelong puritanical self-burdens of guilt to tell another coach that he “wrecked” the program you stand proudly as head…..? Is there any tempering bone in that confessional booth?

    This is now and forever a coach that is obsessively fondling himself with the past. When you’re finished with anointing yourself that they picked you, all the running after Bobby at Georgetown to tell him they picked you, the chasing and old Sampson cohort to tell him in front of rolling national cameras that after he was done “wrecking” the Hoosiers they picked you, and the crème de la crème(or shall we say the ‘cream de la crean?), the standing upon humble maple our humble game of hoops, changing it to water while doing a postgame interview with a cute little ESPN reporter that she now stands before God’s choice to lead the Hoosiers…”Did I tell you who God picked to lead the Hoosiers out of the fires of Hades? Did I tell you we pray before every game?”

    Yup, I told every microphone ever placed in front of my nose…I told the microphone that told the fans that saw the decimation…I told the microphone that told those little Sampson devils that brought their 19 F’s…I told the microphone that told the program-wrecker Jeff Meyer ….And I just told you, it was not VCU thy Lord listens to..It was I, it was me, that leads the team God finds his only ear for a prayer be answered…and, most importantly, I told the world while I chased thy Lord Hoops Jesus all around a press table at Madison Square Garden…Thy Lord of Three Banners was wearing his white hair…white as the beautiful clouds drifting above Assembly Hall on the most delightful of a July summer day….Lord of Chair Toss in White Hair and Three Banners was wearing a green vest as green as the million dollar NBA contracts grown from my greenest of coaching abilities… I told him, “Look at me!! I am tempered as can be! I have brought them back from ashes to you thy Lord Hoops Jesus forever Lord of Chair Toss in White Hair and Three Banners of a Green Vest…Look!..Why won’t you look?! They picked me! They picked me!…Look at me!! God picked me!”

    Tempered? His players underachieved with that self-serving temperamental homely cheerleader in a sweaty expensive suit screaming and clapping at their every careful shackled move defined by repeated public confessionals attempting to live up to his shackled tongue built on mountains of piety instead of humble quiet ground our true Indiana? Considering the buckets of false guidance mud stuffed into their ears over the past four years, they are unequivocally the most OVERACHIEVING bunch of basketball choir boys in the history of the game.

    And to think that Bobby was fired for grabbing a heckling kid by the arm. They picked me!

  60. Podunker (#56), excellent post. You are right, managing the expectations is a very important part of Crean’s job. That should have been obvious to anyone who read some of the fantasy posts here during this same time. I thought then that we had a potentially very good team, with some real (not imagined) holes in it. (more on these in my comment to H4H). Your point, however, was correct and a lot of people missed it. (Including me). If someone said, hold on…expectations are way too high and they could even affect our performance, I don’t remember seeing it here).

    Harvard (and Podunker)- the thing that drives me absolutely crazy about you Harvard, is that I have a very high regard for your basketball ‘eyes’ and ‘mind’. You really see the game well and the role of the pieces (not so sure about your philosophy of how it should be played but that is a taste ‘preference’, I like, I don’t like developed with a number of factors; taste, experience, history, talent available…, staff makeup).

    Just the same, your points about Roth; the loss of a fully functional Elston and its impact; I agree, both of them would have had a very strong impact on the 2013 team. The partially effective Elston, not only because he would have been able to substitute for Cody Zeller, but with him. Elston was a very physical player and we were not.

    Just as important, we were not a team with really good guards. Hulls had challenges that put him at a disadvantage with bigger, more athletic guards. It was not hard to frustrate him, which compounded the problem. Good coaches saw that and took advantage of it. (To make it clear, he was a good player with what he had. Sometimes it is not enough.

    There was a cost for playing Ferrell and his inexperience as well. He, too often, tries to force the game, force passes, force drives and his doing so puts the offense out-of-control. Given the above paragraph, Hulls could not take command and re-establish our control when lost. Not in games where coaches like Stevens, Ryan, Matta.

    And, I believe this is where a player like Abell, Roth and Creek , if he had gotten more time to scratch away the rust and rediscover in the non-physical part of his game, would have given us. If someone said to me what facet of a great team Indiana lacked to finish out how they started, my answer is “Easy, they did not have enough leadership when someone needed to take control of the team as a team.

    Thinking about it, this team did not ‘underachieve’ given actual limitations. Nor did it ‘overachieve’, it couldn’t do what it didn’t have the capacity to do. It played at its level. Last point, all the teams (with the exception of one or two) that beat us, it makes sense that they beat us. I don’t blame it on Crean, any one player or even the system. It is what it is.

    Bob Knight said it best. You play ‘against the game or the game will beat you.” Sometimes, it did.

  61. Tsao-

    Those are all good observations…But there couldn’t be an Abell, Roth, and Creek. There couldn’t be a Ron Patterson.

    And whatever you want to believe to be true(whether or not Roth was given any sincere interest to come back and whether or not Patterson was given any sincere and fair chance at admittance), there were never going to be enough scholarships.

    How can we forget all the discussions about Jordy or Cody paying their own way so a particular recruit could still retain his scholarship?

    If Roth comes back, who is out?

    If Patterson gets his C+, who is out?

    And were these decisions made early and justly?

    And I do find it baffling that Remy would not want to remain at a school that gives him the best exposure and best fans in the world. I find it baffling that Creek doesn’t want to just finish out his long struggle to get back in a Hoosier uniform. Why are we not good enough for such average talent? Etherington, Marlin, Jurkin, Jobe, Howard, Raphael Smith…? They don’t dream of more PT? They are all just fine being dead weight on a Hoosier bench? If there is an academic standard, then shouldn’t there be a basketball skills standard? When the next best thing comes through the door, it’s never the least skilled on the bench we witness leave the program..It’s always the sixth, seventh, or eighth young man down the row to be replaced by another sixth, seventh, or eighth? And if you’re grading on potential..if you keep some of those extremely raw projects because you believe they all can be the next Victor, then why can’t you believe a borderline academic kid could also become the next Victor in the classroom given the proper example and tools. Why are they pegged as stagnant with no ability to adjust their level of determination, focus, skill sets, values in the classroom no different than someone saw raw in basketball fundamentals should be given fair chance(at a Division 1 program)to take his skills from rudimentary to refined?

  62. Harvard, the biggest point of disagreement we have is on the subject of Patterson, and it wasn’t ‘his game’. I think Patterson was given every possible chance to succeed and he threw them away one at a time. If you want to feel sorry for anyone, feel sorry for his coaches and teachers who, among others things, had to be seen as helping a ‘special player’ because he was good at basketball.

    He also got a chance, a second chance through Crean (whether it fits your image of CTC or not) and he did exactly what he had been allowed to do at Broad Ripple, try to get by on the self-perception of his importance, and simply blew it off. At that point, TC, the academic advisers, the tutors, the counselors…all they could do is loosen their grip. I would have been one of those alumni, fans, etc who would have cried for somebody’s head if our academic standards are loosened for anyone. If nothing else, be happy for “Buss”, he landed on his feet and once again will get by on people’s willingness to give him extra privileges because he can bounce a basketball up and down. Don’t feel sorry for him. Feel sorry for all the other Broad Ripple kids who saw him get breaks while they got shorted.

    Likewise, I made my position on over-commitment of scholarships clear a year ago. As much as I want to see Indiana a champion, I believe that when a coach makes a commitment it’s a commitment. I find the idea of taking it away, without just and clear cause, absolutely repugnant. But, obviously, I’ve lost that argument. Now, as Kojak would say, “I’m just watching’.

    The only other point I want to make is about Perea and Jurkins. I really believe they could be big surprises but I expected them to have early difficulties. Three-four years ago they were better with the ball on their feet than in their hands. Instincts grow. A good example is Mgabwe at Minnesota. It think it will happen with Perea and, maybe (I don’t know much about him and there is very information otherwise) Jurkins.

    Now, this comments on your view of basketball. Where I believe you lose it is when you get into behavioral causality and issues totally internal to you. Your posts, sometimes, remind me of a spindle top (I think that;s what they were called) where you spin them, they gain momentum, they spin and hypnotize and then, lose energy and start wobbling and fly off into the wall and break. Then, I cry for mommie.

  63. I think it’s Peter ‘Jurkin’…(not Jurkins)…Maybe you were thinking of Jergens hand lotion.

  64. Jergens/Jurkins/Jurkin/Jerk-in;Jergens/Jurkins/Jurkin/Jerk-in;Jergens/Jurkins/Jurkin/Jerk-in;Jergens/Jurkins/Jurkin/Jerk-in;Jergens/Jurkins/Jurkin/Jerk-in;Jergens/Jurkins/Jurkin/Jerk-in;Jergens/Jurkins/Jurkin/Jerk-in;Jergens/Jurkins/Jurkin/Jerk-in;Jergens/Jurkins/Jurkin/Jerk-in.

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