Poor second half leads to 69-52 Indiana loss to Syracuse

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse went on a 12-0 run early in the second-half fueled by six Indiana turnovers to take a 45-33 advantage en route to a 69-52 win in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in front of 26,414 at the Carrier Dome, claiming another victory over the Hoosiers after ending their national championship hopes in the NCAA East Regional Semifinals in March in Washington D.C.

The No. 4 Orange improved to 8-0. The Hoosiers, ranked No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, fell to 6-2.

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Syracuse sophomore guard Trevor Cooney was a problem for the Hoosiers on both ends. He made six of his 12 field goals and five of nine 3-point attempts to finish with 21 points while also recording four steals and helping the Orange score point in transition. He was, essentially, exactly what the Hoosiers did not have in their quest to break up Syracuse’s 2-3 zone, a reliable outside scorer who could help the Orange score in other ways.

Freshman point guard Tyler Ennis was also outstanding for the Orange, posting 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds while shooting 6-for-8 from the field and also recording four steals. Senior swingman C.J. Fair continued his stellar play with 15 points.

IU freshman forward Noah Vonleh had 17 points, six rebounds and three blocks but also four turnovers for Indiana.Sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell hit four of his seven 3-pointers for 12 points but also had just two assists against three turnovers.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: To hear Indiana coach Tom Crean tell it, the Hoosiers lost their fight and their will. Despite the fact that they had actually fought back to take a lead in the first half and were down just four points on the road against the nation’s No. 4 team, their locker room was quiet at half and they didn’t take the fight to the game in the second half. That’s Crean’s portrayal, anyway.

Objectively, the Hoosiers clearly settled for jumpers in the second half after doing a much better job getting the ball inside in the first half. But more importantly, they gave the ball away. In the first half, they had just six turnovers. In the second, they had 10, including those six critical ones, several of which were live ball that led to easy baskets. The Orange finished with 10 steals, and when they got going in transition, they were difficult to stop. Ennis and Fair took the ball to the rim as did Jerami Grant and Cooney got lost on the perimeter for his five 3-pointers.

The Hoosiers attempted just 13 field goals in the second-half, six of them 3-pointers. They played even with the long-armed Orange on the boards with each team getting 29 rebounds each, and after scoring eight second-chance points in the first half, the Hoosier managed just two in the second. They shot 36.6 percent from the field in the game and didn’t defend very well, allowing Syracuse to shoot 63.2 percent in the second half and 51.1 percent for the game. All in all, none of those numbers look good.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: What disappoints Tom Crean about this game, he said, is that the Hoosiers don’t get to use it as a measuring stick. Because they failed so spectacularly in the second half, they didn’t get to find out what they were made of in a close game against a top five team. Even if they didn’t win, if the Hoosiers had at least hung in there enough to maintain a competitive game, they would leave this game understanding a lot more about themselves, knowing more about who they were and their true strengths and weaknesses and what sort of team they are in a road environment like this one.

But as Crean said, the Hoosiers will never know what they were capable of in this one, and the college basketball world can now make its presumptions about Indiana and certainly about Crean. Fans who were already upset about the Hoosiers’ performance against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone in March now have even more ammunition with which to attack the Indiana coach. Whether it’s fair to blame the strategist when the strategy isn’t executed or not, fans certainly have reason to wonder why Crean did not call a timeout early in the second half when he saw the game plan unraveling.

It will be interesting to see how Crean takes his no-punches-pulled post-game press conference rhetoric into the locker room. Crean said he was “disgusted” by the lack of leadership and the lack of fight in the second half, which certainly seemed to be an indictment of some of the players in the upper classes. How exactly the Hoosiers handle that will say a lot about how the season progresses.

The fact that the Hoosiers not only lost but were blown out also leaves them just one more opportunity at a non-conference victory that will mean much of anything on their NCAA Tournament resume come March. The Washington win will serve some purpose, but by losing to both Connecticut and Syracuse, the Hoosiers missed out on both likely opportunities to claim a win over a ranked non-conference opponent. All that is left in terms of major conference competition before the beginning of the league schedule is the contest with Notre Dame at the Crossroads Classic on Dec. 14. The likelihood the Hoosiers will see the AP Top 25 before the conference season is now close to zero.

WHO SAID WHAT: 

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Jim Boeheim

AUDIO: Yogi Ferrell

AUDIO: Noah Vonleh

59 comments

  1. Two more words: Boston Celtics. That ship has sailed for the time being, Marty. He has to fail there first before he returns to the college game, and I’m not sure that he will.

  2. He certainly isn’t so far… I can tell you from someone who is a both a Celtics fan and inundated with Boston Sports Talk Radio up here in Maine, he is very popular. The only complaint people have is that the team is playing TOO well. Obviously the current C’s roster isn’t going to make noise in the playoffs, and this is a great year to have a lot of ping pong balls, so at least half the fan base is rooting for losses. Meanwhile, Stevens has taken a rotation of:
    PG – Jordan Crawford
    SG – Avery Bradley
    SF – Jeff Green
    PF – Brandon Bass
    C – Kelly Olynyk
    Bench – Sullinger, Courtney Lee, and Gerald Wallace

    …and has them in 1st place in the Atlantic Division. And he’s a great interview too. I get to hear him in weekly spots on WEEI and I love his communication style… Always have.

    It is safe to put away your “Hoosiers LOVE Brad Stevens” sign for a few years Marty. He’s pretty busy, and Ainge has always been a long term vision kinda guy.

  3. He said “Leadership took a step back”….IM terribly disappointed in Will ALL his experience from last year AND with his summer play for US in World Games……he has shown Nada,zilch,none in leadership. Will’s game is much like that of a man whose house is on fire;running around aimlessly while yelling” whatta I do!!!”

  4. There’s a gazillion coaches that could prepare a team better than Crean. Take Crean completely out of the picture, and I honestly believe McClain makes better adjustments, makes fewer excuses, and gets the team more prepared. Basketball is not a disposable, short shelf life, product. It’s not a box of sugary cereal consumed and merely replaced the following week with a different sugar fix of empty calories. Basketball has to be more than sold. It has to be more than sugary draft picks and bright packaging. It has to be nurtured..It has to have substance. It has to be healthy to the mind to get something out of the game that goes beyond your own best play on Sports Center’s Top Ten…I long for someone like Majerus to represent Indiana. I don’t care if the man has flaws. I don’t care his religion anymore than his pant size. I simply what a man that can be a bit humble to the game for a change..A leader that can enjoy the simple role of trying to instill pride in results achieve together…A coach that loves turning young kids with a world of talent into something immeasurable the gifts and dollars put on display nightly. I don’t think there are many coaches that can just teach young men to love the game more than the glory in their own name. Crean is not a bad man…He’s just not a man sophisticated enough for the beautiful lady that is basketball. He turns hoops into a trophy wife and merely inflates the game with more artificial boobs..All surface. No substance.

    It seems almost sacrilegious to do that to a program residing in a state known for basketball as a teaching tool where passions in the combined singular heart of ‘five’ on the floor was always believed to be the keys to expanding upon the little truth left in the swish of a net; some humble hope that the endearing aspect of the game, doubts being put to rest for forty minutes in a belief that five working together are stronger in purpose if even lost in results, and reasons content to wear the Hoosier jersey in that respectful purpose would never die at a place like Indiana and could live forever in the lessons of selfless achievement. The wins and loses are not part of that achievement…It’s only the “purpose” and reason to put on a uniform that once made us unique and separated us from the rest the follies and vaudeville acts now bringing Vegas lights to college and high school and selfish purpose of promises filled with “me” as the only thing that should matter to a teenage mind. Indiana was once a place you could be different. You could come to play the game for a different purpose.

    And the saddest part….? To play as a team is where so many rewards can be found.. It’s shameful that a college representing a state epitomizing the concept of basketball as a team game displays such clueless and hopeless attitude to where the true rewards their skills pooled together can be found…So terribly sad to witness the abandonment of the gritty togetherness in victory and defeat while listing to announcers excuse it all so easily away with the empty slathering on candy stripes a misuse of the word “success” with the talk of Hoosiers that were top picks in last season’s NBA draft…

  5. I hold out very slim hope that even last night’s loss can shock true “purpose” back into the jersey. I live the dreamer that they look into the eyes their teammates, look to each other to find that purpose so forgotten.

    There may be coaches better than Crean…That debate remains forever and will be forever debated and put through the wash cycle a pair of worn out words laundered to death. But the young men wearing the jersey can do better than that debate. They can reach into the depths a different purpose and find a love for game and teammate they never knew existed.

    So, I live the dreamer that the game does not live in the test tube our rankings and Rival’s lists. I live the dreamer that the game lives in the hearts of men that find something together in purpose that can never be coached or measured.

  6. And I’m proud of Tom Crean today..I’m proud of his words at the 1:10 mark of the first clip on this thread. The most essential element to the “purpose” lost in basketball is where all take responsibility. Wow…Maybe all hope is not lost.

  7. H4H: what a boat load of horsemanure,you offer NOTHING but criticism;no replacement names. You only offer “I wouldnt have done it that way or thats not the way I would do it.Through your writings,you illustrate that old saying: “Its hard to be humble when you are as perfect I am” Next time IU searches for a BBall coach;lets make sure you are made CHAIRMAN of the search committee–because you would choose the PERFECT coach

  8. And here I thought those posts contained some of my kindest words for Crean.

    There may be coaches better than Crean…That debate remains forever and will be forever debated and put through the wash cycle a pair of worn out words laundered to death. But the young men wearing the jersey can do better than that debate. They can reach into the depths a different purpose and find a love for game and teammate they never knew existed.

    Translation: They(the team)can take responsibility and find truth in the game beyond the easy criticisms. Everything around them is rather transient in life. The purpose they can still find in the college game, in the bonds and immeasurable collective spirit their trust in teammates, and in the Indiana jersey, can last beyond and forever.

    Sometimes the shots just go above more than the bow…

  9. I thought you had a few kind words in there Harvard. I agree with some of what you said. Bu here’s where we diverge… Crean has proven he can beat everyone except Bo Ryan and Jim Boehiem… He has beaten everyone else. You can say he has ONLY been to the Sweet 16, and you have no faith he can make it further. But I submit that he lost to the clearly best team in the country 2 years ago and last year he ran into Syracuse and Boehiem.

    I have no reason to believe that he couldn’t go further…. Even win a NC. Now if he runs into Wisconsin or Cuse in the Tourney then it’s a lost cause, but there are 65 other teams, so it would be strange if they saw them that often in an elimination game. If he runs into a team as stacked and hot as that UK team was he’ll probably lose… Everyone else lost to that team too. But there is more and more parity in college hoops each year because so many of the best players leave early, so it isn’t illogical to think he could avoid a team like that until the final game.

    You can say he’d be nowhere without Zeller, but that’s no less true for any coach and the great players they get.

    I have no illusion that Crean is an amazing tactician or that he gets his teams to consistently reach their absolute potential, but is know that he is excellent at accumulating talent and developing individual players. I know he has beaten very good coaches with equally talented rosters – Coach K, Calipari, Roy Williams, Izzo, Matta, Beilein, Tubby Smith, Pitino, Calhoun, and even Bo Ryan on a couple occasions back at Marquette. He’s beaten up-and-coming young coaches that have made a habit of being giant killers – Shaka Smart, John Groce, and Brad Stevens.

    So you can continue to say what you want about Crean, but his resume is both impressive and gives reason for optimism. He’s not a flawless diamond, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t worthy of being put on a the finger of our beautiful woman.

  10. I don’t think one Final Four is very impressive.

    There’s a point where you can’t attribute it to bad luck based on match-ups.

    And I don’t have a lot of confidence in a tournament committee not continually testing him in brackets where those potential roadblocks will be placed.

    The D-Wade run was likely his one shining tournament moment…It’s better than many coaches ever experience, but is he capable of putting Indiana back into the cataloger of a disciplined and heady group that teams with even greater talent would cringe to see in their March bracket?

    He accepted some responsibility for his team looking horribly flat last night…Like I said, I commend him for finally accepting some responsibility. Then again, he really has no choice…The villain-chasing opportunities are gone. After seven years in, you begin to live and die by your own designs and your own sword.

    It will not be my unfairness evaluating his resume that will place heat in his chair. Parity, or no parity, it’s Indiana and the fans will not be patient to embarrassments in March or against the select group of teams across the nation that we used to share the category and consideration of “elite.”

    Zeller, a premier and high profile recruit that we finally had bragging rights to stay within the Indiana borders, gave Crean a greater window of opportunity(in terms of time frame)to extend the level of patience with the tactical vs. the magical salesmanship.

    That patience is now on a much shorter leash. If last night is an indication of his “system” working its way into place….? I’m not sure any outsider watching that game witnessed anything other than systematic self-destruction and a once elite basketball program just as stuck and frustrated as in their final year of “zero tolerance.”

    It’s a “what have you done for me lately” world..And “lately” is on a shot clock. The AD feels that shot clock ticking. The impatience in a stagnant basketball program, a program that hasn’t sniffed a banner in almost 30 years while existing in a premier talent-producing state, is more choking than a Syracuse zone. When you come in on hire date blowing sweet kisses into microphones of “Because” and “It’s Indiana,” then there is a promise that it will return to whatever “Because” brought in cloth hanging from the rafters.

  11. Last night was Syracuse… His Huckleberry… It has nothing to do with whether or not his system will succeed… If he played Syracuse 35 times a year he’d be a terrible coach, but he doesn’t. He will play them usually 0 times per year, sometimes once, and probably never twice.

    When he has an had elite college talent on his team this is what he done…

    Wade (’03) – lost in Final Four to Kansas, a higher seed with more talent, including Hienrich and Collison.
    Zeller (’12) – lost in Sweet 16 to Kentucky, the clear #1 team in the country. If we’re in any other bracket we probably go to the Final Four.
    Zeller/Dipo (’13) – lost in Sweet 16 to Syracuse, who he clearly has never had any answers for.

    In my mind those are three games he is supposed to lose.

    Every other year he’s had mediocre-to-good talent. I’m not sure this is the year that he goes past the a Sweet 16, but he certainly has an elite college talent in Vonleh. If the bracket falls right we could make a run. If Vonleh stays another year or 2 then I’ll have very high expectations.

    At that point I’ll just be hoping we don’t end up facing Syracuse in the tourney…

  12. Without an unbelievable above-the-rim block by Watford, he likely loses to Temple in the second round. Is that a game he was “supposed to lose.” Very, very fortunate we even got to be embarrassed by Syracuse last season..The previous game was not much less of an embarrassment as we witnessed a team ill-prepared and uninspired to play March Madness ball.

    Coming from 17 points down to win against a #1 Duke team in a regional semi….? That’s a coach that gets his players to believe no opponent is has some secret “mojo” juice you don’t stand a chance.

  13. And the year you claim we would have made it to the Final Four if not for Kentucky in our path is the same year you predicted Sullinger and OSU to have their way with our Hoosiers in our house.

    There’s no ideal in the NCAA tournament. The taste could be even more bitter when getting to a Final Four game and finding Syracuse waiting.

    I’m hearing a lot of “he can’t beat Syracuse.” I’m not hearing much of any reasons why he can’t.

    Could we beat them in Assembly? Personally, I think we win the game in front of our roaring fans.

    It’s when all other factors equal(Madness or neutral sites)that the cream of coaching rises to the top.

  14. And where do assistants fall into a roll of designing plans and ways to attack a Syracuse zone? Even a President relies on his cabinet for research and tactical decisions. A head coach can’t extract from his assistants solid ideas to get past the unbeatable Boeheim? Is our entire coaching bench weak of ideas as well or is Crean so blockheaded that he is unreceptive to anything outside his own methods. If it is a team he’s incapable of designing winning schemes, then maybe hand the game plan over to an assistant…What’s to lose?

    Maybe hand the game planning over to Will Sheehey…What’s to lose? Sheehey seams like a damn smart kid. Maybe he hangs his head because he isn’t treated as if his input is of any value. No mortal coach(outside of Knight)can survive solely on an island by way his own plans. Delegate instead of dictate. Involve your team. Involve your assistants.

    Maybe he talks to god so much, he’s begun to believe he is one.

  15. Does he take his team into a film room a week previous to the Syracuse game…Does he ask his students, “How in the hell do we beat this thing? Noah, I’m clueless..They say I can’t beat Blowwhine’s zone…Got any ideas? How do we attack this thing..? Will? Yogi? Anyone? Jonny! Close your Bible for a minute… Is there any hope other than prayer against the Orange? Should we just forfeit and save ourselves, the ESPN viewers, and our fans the pain and anguish? Does Peter Jurkin have a better shot at becoming the next Scottie Pippen than we have beating a team from mighty Syracuse? Did I tell you guys it’s o.k. that we lose this one because Indiana teams I coach are supposed to lose to Syracuse. Should I stay home so we have a better chance? The floor is open for discussion. Anyone?”

  16. I wonder if Crean ever uses sarcasm? Somehow I think it’s completely out of the realm his puritanical, stuffy-a$$, being. He’s just too damn heavy his own good..and that heaviness is apparent in a young team that should have been floating above the floor as if feathers would envy such carefree enjoyment the competitive air and gratitude to be young with the world your stage.

  17. Yeah, but he didn’t lose to Temple… And he didn’t lose to VCU (whom by the way was picked by almost every talking head to upset IU because they were just a match-up nightmare)…

    And guess what… Keith Smart hit the shot at the end of the game in ’87 to win Knight another title… And Valvano got a miraculous alley oop at the buzzer to win a title… And Mario Chalmers made the miracle 3 to give Self a title out of nowhere… Coach K doesn’t win his first title unless Laettner’s miracle shot in the Final Four finds the bottom of the net…

    Did all those coaches under-prepare their teams just to get bailed out by a player making a great play?

    It’s all part of it Harvard. It happens to Crean and everyone else.

  18. I wonder how many coaches in the world have a resume that since 2000 includes wins over:

    Duke
    UNC
    Wake Forest
    Kentucky (3 times)
    Louisville
    Georgetown
    UConn
    Pitt
    Villanova
    Indiana (yes)
    Michigan
    Michigan State
    Ohio State
    Wisconsin

    That’s a list of blue-bloods and who’s-whos of college basketball since the turn of the century. The only big time programs he’s faced and not beaten are Kansas, Arizona, and Syracuse.

    I just don’t think the list of coaches that have done that is very long… And I’m sure the names on it are quite impressive.

    Again, I’m not sure he can bring us a title… But I’m also not sure that he can’t, especially considering he’s beat just about every program and coach that is likely to stand in his way. There’s much more evidence to support my thought process than your steadfast belief in his ultimate failure.

  19. Evidence in the NCAA tournament is one Final Four. Mike Davis has gone deeper. He went to a championship game. Stevens has gone deeper twice.

    Marquee wins at our house with home cooking refs isn’t comparable to winning in March. Your list looks real pretty though. And Purdue has a lot of Big 10 banners hanging in Mackey…They also look real pretty. I guess Crean could be the next Gene Keady…nearly as gross and almost as square.

    I don’t totally blame Crean for the current climate and the difficulty in retaining talent for more than a couple seasons. If “savior” recruits showed more allegiance to the jersey, he’d probably have his Final Four this year.

  20. When did your little stat book have Crean beating Indiana..? Not that I doubt it happened. Just curious to the year. I hope to god you’re not counting wins while he was an assistant.

  21. And that’s why he, like almost every coach needs elite talent to really challenge for a title. Elite talent and a little luck is the recipe almost very single year… Certainly more years than not.

    Whether it’s a late shot in the 2nd round to avoid an upset… A tough matchup for you getting taken out by a lower seed… A block/charge call that goes your way and allows your guy to stay in or maybe fouls out one of the other team’s top players…

    First you need elite talent (unless your Brad Stevens) and then you need to catch a break or two…

    Here’s a question… Was it an amazing coaching job by Calipari that got Cody a couple questionable foul calls and saddled him on the bench 2 years ago? Was it a coaching failure by Crean that led to a notoriously mediocre FT shooting team making 35 of 37?

    I’d have felt much more comfortable if the 4 seed in our bracket was any of the other 3 – St Louis, Kansas St, or Michigan (who we’d already beaten twice). But no, we draw Syracuse… And if we get the Indy Region, like almost every expert predicted, do we not have a much better chance of advancing?

    Was Crean a better coach in 2003 when he upset #1 seed Kentucky in the Elite 8 (that’s March by the way, in the NCAA tournament…), was that only because it was Tubby, or does that big win not count in HarvardWorld?

    Here’s the bottom line… Crean has only had the talent on 3 occasions where you could reasonably expect a coach, ANY coach, to go to the Final Four. And on those occassions he’s 1-for-3 with losses to the best team and eventual champion Kentucky, and his worst nightmare in Syracuse.

    Next year he should have the talent and experience for us to reasonably expect a deep tournament run… If he can’t produce one then I’ll be on your side… unless of course there’s an untimely injury or we draw Syracuse in the Sweet 16.

  22. Psych – feel free to use whatever cut off you’d like. I would argue that it’s more impressive to rack up those wins in 14 seasons than in say… 30.

  23. Everyone talking about how he cant beat Syracuse.there IS a reason he has been on the LAST 2 Olympic Coaching staffs to teach ZONE principles.He IS the “Grandmaster of the Zone” He has Personalized the “matchup zone” its NOT a true matchup ..its almost a “Manzone”….Time to acknowledge as FANS what Boeheim’s peers already know.that his “zone”is an individualized work carved from the raw zone foundation

  24. Correct TJ…

    As I go back to his first few seasons at Marquette Crean has wins against Calipari at Memphis and Denny Crum-led Lousiville as well…

    There just aren’t many top coaches or tradition-rich programs this guy hasn’t gone head-to-head against, often with less talent, and beat.

  25. Boeheim’s been a head coach since ’76. For all of his 90,000 wins and countless top five rankings, he only reaches a FF once every nine years or so and has won it all exactly once– and needed a future NBA superstar to do it.

    Crean could be on his way to a similar career path, except he’s already slightly ahead of the Boeheim curve. The biggest difference, to me, is that he’s not an indigenous Hoosier and is therefor on a shorter leash with the yokels.

    We’ve been through the early struggles, and returned to regular season glory. We’re probably a year of experience and a couple of shooters away from taking that next big step, but I’d be surprised if a Deep tourney run isn’t fright around the corner.

  26. Ha. Geoff, I promise I did not intentionally plagiarize you. Started typing 45 minutes ago, but got interrupted by the chitlins. Haven’t had a chance to got on here much lately, but good to see we’re still on the same general wavelength when it comes to perspective.

  27. Harvard,

    Just take a moment from seeing this argument as pro or against Tom Crean. Step back a sec and just consider a few things.

    I’m going to list a number of consensus top coaches who have had some longevity with which to judge their career. For the sake of brevity, I’m only listing championships and final fours as milestones. So going to the finals and losing doesn’t count.

    Lute Olson: Overall 781–280 (.736) – 1 Banner, 5 FF, 13 conference championships. Years between 1st year and 1st Championship: 18 years.

    Jim Calhoun: Overall 866–369 (.701) – 3 Banners, 4 FF, 14 conference championships. Years between 1st year and 1st Championship: 28 years.

    Jim Boheim: Overall 928–314 (.746) – 1 Banner, 4 FF, 9 conference championships. Years between 1st year and 1st Championship: 27 years.

    Tom Izzo: Overall 446–177 (.716) – 1 Banner, 6 FF, 7 conference championships. Years between 1st year and 1st Championship: 5 years.

    Mike Krzyzewski: Overall 891–240 (.788) – 4 Banners, 11 FF, 12 conference championships. Years between 1st year and 1st Championship: 16 years. (These numbers are just sick)

    Roy Williams: Overall 287–81 (.780) – 2 Banners, 7 FF, 12 conference championships. Years between 1st year and 1st Championship: 15 years.

    Rick Pitino: Overall 20* Years, 668-236, (.739) – 2 Banners, 3 FF, 9 conference championships. Years between 1st year and 1st Championship: 18 years (NBA Stint).

    Billy Donovan: Overall 20 Years, 456-188, (.708) – 2 Banners, 3 FF, 7 conference championships. Years between 1st year and 1st Championship: 12 years.

    Tom Crean: Overall 15 yrs 280-180, (.609) – 0 Banners, 1 FF, 2 conference championships. Years between 1st year and 1st Championship: 15+ years.

    John Calipari: Overall 22* Years, 575-167, (.775) – 1 Banner, 4 FF*, 14 conference championships. Years between 1st year and 1st Championship: 24 years*. (NCAA violations & NBA Stint).

    —–

    Ok, so the point here is, that we develop these narratives that suit our arguments, when we should be using some measurables to back it up. it isn’t all data and I think qualitative analysis into coaching is definitely needed, as well.

    So, point being, look at the list of coaches that I picked. I don’t think there’s much argument that these aren’t top coaches apart from this argument about Crean.

    Point is, look at how long it took many of these guys to get their first banner. Only two guys on that list did it in less than 15 years. Donovan and Izzo. None of these guys had 3 years that Crean did in starting from scratch (or less than) at IU.

    We can all sit back and argue until we’re blue in the face about how to get there. But, as Geoff and Punjab said, we aren’t sure if he can get us there or not, but he’s on a similar trajectory in some areas, and steeper in others. Calhoun and Boheim earned their championships A LOT later in their careers.

    Crean is learning and developing as a Coach just as these guys did. Will he develop into an elite coach in these ranks? Dunno. He has placed bets on what we need to do to compete on a national level in 2013. He’s recruiting well and built our program from nothing back up to contending again. We have players coming in that MIGHT get us there. We’ll see. However, when taking the stick out and criticizing Crean by comparing him to these others, you need to apply the same standards to them.

  28. Geoff,

    Since I was unsure of when Crean started coaching, I did a quick google search and found out he started coaching in 2000, which makes sense that you would use that as your starting point for marquee wins. If Harvard had done the same, he would (likely) not have accused you of potentially using assistant coaching wins to pad your argument that Crean is a good head coach.
    In other words, I think your argument is valid. I think Crean is a good coach. I think he deserves a little more time to prove he can get his teams past the Sweet 16, since the first three seasons basically were throwaway seasons thanks to the sanctions.

  29. A couple of years back the consensus among the pro-Crean camp on this blog was that he is the new Coach K. Where is that argument now?

  30. Stanislaw, um……yeah. I’m gonna call bovine fecal matter on that comment. I don’t think so. I’ve never ONCE heard Crean compared to Coach K.

    Regardless, no one is Coach K. I hate and loathe Duke, but the Polish one is unmatched in the modern era. None of the coaches I listed above come close to touching his success.

  31. What I saw was a young team that competed well and kept their composure for the first 22 minutes of the game and then started unravelling against a vastly superior, more experienced team. The inexperience and uncertainty of IU’s young team really became evident a few minutes into the second half as Cuse cranked up their defensive game. The outcome, especially in that stadium, was not unexpected.

    Let’s see, playing in a dome, in front of 30,000 people, that just happens to be the home court of the number 4 ranked team in the country, that is loaded with talent and well coached, and Hoosier fans expected IU’s young team to win that game? If so, those people were dreaming. While certainly hoping for an upset, I would think that most IU fans saw this coming.

    And if you want an example of a team that failed to demonstrate leadership, that unravelled, that really failed, we should be discussing Michigan State’s loss to UNC last night on their home court. They were dismal and had no excuse for that terrible showing. Are spartan fans debating whether Izzo should be fired or replaced by Brad Stevens? I think not. Some people need to develop a perspective.

  32. I wasn’t accusing Geoff of anything. Here’s what I know.

    The last two high profile games in front of a national audience watching the Hoosiers on ESPN have been complete embarrassments. Championships may be far and few between, but deep runs are not. Outside of Crean’s one Final Four trip, he never got past the second round with Marquette(never higher than a 4th place in standings post D-Wade). Two Sweet 16’s at Indiana. First year of that Sweet 16 was somewhat of a sweet surprise to many casual college basketball fans really not understanding just how much Zeller was adding to the potential of the overall product a team already having a very versatile forward and perimeter threats. Many considered the December game against UK as a fluke. Last season’s Sweet 16 is regarded as a momentous letdown considering the volumes of hype, the magazine cover photos, the early season rankings, the video promotions proclaiming Crean’s godlike turnaround gifts, the “Movement”…blah…blah..bhah…all of which was proclaimed to be a near guarantee for, at minimum, a Final Four trip. Guess what? They all forgot you need a coach and not just a New Testament salesman. Oh, and that’s right…We forgot about Sir Jame Arthur “The Great” Boeheim stood in the way of Hoosiers with no answer and fear in their eyes. Do you remember the fear in Alford’s eyes as he drained a deep corner pocket dagger 3-pointer in front of their bench at the buzzer of the first half? Did you see the fear in his eyes during the other six 3-pointers and the 70% shooting percentage he brought from beyond the arc? Matt Roth could have been on the team last season. A bum shoulder on poor little short Jordy…One more perimeter shooter and the draining of a couple bombs from the outside and momentum can turn in any game. You also live and die by your decisions to push pure shooters off for your trapeze acts.

    And where are our shooters this year? Oh, yes, they’ll get better. They’ll all be Coverdale, Fife, Hornsby, Alford, Bassett, Wilmont, Roth, Hulls, by season’s conclusion. Guess what? Wait ’til next year, Harvey. We have a guy that can’t even decide which hoop he wants to shoot at coming in next year. Father went to Kentucky..Prima donna kid that changes his mind on colleges as often as Geoff changes his son’s diaper. Coachv says he’s famous and he was once a member of Josie and the Pussycats… Yup, Final Four next year with all Tommy’s NBA trapeze acts, projects that still sit on the bench, and one shooter that every team will swarm like honeybees to a nest.

    Lastly, I never thought I’d see the day when IU basketball fans are claiming to be o.k. with defeatism, fear in the eyes, uninspired locker rooms, soft play, and theories we are incapable of beating another premier college basketball team sporting a coach that has claimed one banner in a 40 year career.
    That sounds like Establishment pansy talk. It sounds like people that want to rob Indiana of their talent and place a bozo in our castle that picks up the East Coast leftovers of players the other premier programs were never in that hot of pursuit to begin with. Sure, you get a few diamonds in the rough every 20 years that make an impact on the game. That’s not going to make a difference when you have Bozo the Crean holding the chalkboard. You’ll ride the athleticism only so far.

    NEWSFLASH: Somebody is beating Boeheim in the tournament. And I will never buy into the BS that simply because he’s had our number during Knight’s burnout years, rebuilding years that included Davis, NCAA meltdown years, and CharlaTom ValvoCrean stupefied scratch the noggin years, that they stand unbeatable and we are screwed if we see them again in a tournament game before Sir James rests in his orange silk-lined coffin teats up. In the biggest game Sir Orange ever played against a true coach, he’s looking at the butt cheeks of the man that put three banners in McCracken…His bosom isn’t facing up anymore at IU…His crack is smiling at Beoheom and it’s blowing kisses to CharlaTom still attempting to get an autograph and a closer look in hopes of some secret ‘General’ smell rubbing off so he can figure out a zone.

    Suggestions for Tommy Valvocrean:

    Plan A: Get some shooters to compliment your trapeze act instead of running them off the team. Sometimes these high fliers just can’t shoot the ball.

    Plan B: Virgil Sweet…Put in a call to Virgil. Is he still alive? Bring him in now…Name him video coordinator..Invent some title like you did for that crony act that brought in from the Adams camp. Virgil could teach any bricklayer how to burn nets.

    Did you notice how Syracuse’s deep bomber shot right over your trapeze act when you decide to try your rudimentary version of a zone? Did you notice, Tommy? You gotta have havoc, length, and shooters over 5-11. It’s really a good starting point…It’s a recipe. It won’t help your pure inability to cook up a victory against a stronger chef during March Madness you get ‘Chopped’ when it’s all the line in a short amount of decision time……But hey, at least, it’s a staring point.

    Crean’s career in a nutshell.

  33. And now so-called Hoosier bloggers slathering more praises on that drifter down at NC that learned everything under the greatest college coach of all-time.

    Yup, more verification to why they so desperately cling to Crean. The Establishment egomaniacs on here love to watch IU get embarrassed in NY while slathering love on a man that couldn’t coach an Indy high school team to win a sectional without his fortunate years he learned the game around true genius.

    And now UCLA will see there greatest turnaround in decades because of the same experiences gained from the day IU basketball ruled the cornerstones of the intellect necessary to win ball games. And that’s why they still hate Knight. He’s still smarter than Boobheim, Mary K, Valvocrean, Izzo, and Seth Davis even his senile years of blabber and bitter pills as commentator on ESPN.

    1. Harvard,
      I put your initial post through in its entirety. For the last time, as I’ve explained before, it’s not always me that blocks you. There is a filter in place that catches certain words or phrases on occasion, even out of context, and then I have to approve. Sorry I stepped away for a whole hour.

  34. Sing along…

    Went to the ’13 Sweet Sixteen….

    Should have worn short shorts in my dream…

    Here comes Tommy Tweet in handcuffs of gold …

    Look at all the hype tents how they fold….

    The motor don’t run like a Hoosier engine should…

    When candy stripes sputter in the Boeheim’s neighborhood…

    Got no Zeller…Got No Shooters…Got No Bobby Handshakes..So I’m told….

    We’re just clueless Hoosier hicks on the ValvoCrean Road!

  35. There you go, Mr. Basketball Brains of Maine..

    Write a song…Can you write a song? Or are you only a rocket ship to the moon with engine powered by lobster butter and stat gas to ride a thread 252,000 blogging miles long?

    Bring it on.

  36. How ’bout you, Pimpledonker? Got a song for Mallory? Need one? Can’t find a single creative bone in all that pure and beautiful logic you carry around in your stuffy baggage of tricks and spin? Running on empty like the rest the Spanish professors and lifelong bookworms?

  37. Just another example of a string that Harvard has derailed and utterly ruined with another one of his infamous rants. I doubt that anyone has or will read any of the last five or six posts.

  38. Knew you didn’t have one tiny creative bone in your blowhard arsenal. Can’t come up with a Mallory tune, huh? Guess Mallory isn’t the only guy in wanting. You’re an example of a filing cabinet.

  39. 10-4. Would you like a “Rhinestones” song? Something that rhymes with lustin’ and Dustin?…No mojo to solo?

  40. Double Dumb, um … yea your stupidity seems quite genuine. You are still far from the master of idiocy on this blog (Podumber) but that’s because he’s trying real hard to sound as the most challenged mentally and he suceeds. But you’re a natural it seems so you’ll always have that.

  41. Podumber, you hopeless comedian: UNC is coached by Roy Williams, the same one that crapped all over Crean and Wade and Marquette in that lopsided final four game in 2003. The monumental incompetence of Clown Crean was on display then for the world to see and remains visible with the naked eye today. So far Crean played six cupcakes and two good teams. Take away the cupcakes and you’re left with 0-2. It’s not enough to look for an upset elsewhere to argue Crean should be spared criticism. You’ve been doing this since forever. Come up with something new. This time you had to wait three days to find something suitable and what did you come up with: Roy Williams slapping Papa Izzo the way he slapped Crean in 2003. Williams has two banners, Izzo only one (while Crean has this). UNC has five banners, MSU has two, Indiana has five, Syracuse and Boewhine have one, Crean has zero banners but unlike the others he has a signature move… Oh, OK, I see your point now.

  42. ^You’re still the master. Love the t-shirt.

    Hate to brag, but I still thought my song was sorta cute(Note: You need to sing it with Joyce in mind).

  43. Well Troll, your screen name is finally appropriate. But you gave yourself away with the “Clown Crean” comment. It’s just a matter of time before your hatred for Crean and your “condition” gets the better of you and you’re banned from this site again (or will the next time be the third time? I’ve lost count). Let me know if I can do anything to help you on your way.

  44. Haha. Love it. It absolutely delights me to upset you, Troll. Critical thinking: not your wheelhouse, but that’s ok. The list is long and undistinguished.

    Plenty of things to criticize Crean about. Plenty. Coming here and writing 14 pages essays belaboring that fact, makes you seem less like someone looking to discuss basketball, and more of a preteen who is upset at Daddy for not letting them go to the Justin Bieber concert. The obsession with hating this coach is so far beyond my my capacity, but of course as you so deftly put it, I’m a little slow on the uptake.

    Anyway. Go do your homework, cupcake. Maybe you’ll get to go, if you’re good.

  45. Troll-

    They’re still clueless as Crean. It’s all rather comical.

    “Critical thinking not your wheelhouse…?” Why am I cracking up from that one? Double Down sorta reminds me of Patrick Swayze in Road House.

  46. Harvard,

    You continue to not surprise me.

    And you’re still crabby. Why so angry?

    I still ain’t mad atcha, puddin’.

  47. Harvard, no problem. They lowered the standard for Crean so much that when he’ll finally beat Wisconsin (through happenstance) they will immediately ask for a contract extension: “Hey, the man beat Wisconsin! And you know how hard was that for him…” If Crean ever beats Boobheim that’s two banners! It’s all quite sickening. (Song was awesome, though!)

    Double Dumb, Podumber: glad you recognize and respond to your real names now. Good boys. Now sit. I’ll bring some dog food for you guys soon.

  48. Does he have to run up and down the sidelines on every possession telling them what to do. I think he totataly confuses them I didn.t see the Syracuse coach running up and down the sidelines all the time. I think he does it more for show than any thing else. Coach during the week and sit your ass down during the game and quit trying to direct every play.

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