Former players react to IU’s loss at Duke #iubb

Here’s a sampling of the reactions from former Indiana players after Duke’s 20-point victory over the Hoosiers in Wednesday’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Christian Watford:

Jarrad Odle (after a Troy Williams block in the final minutes):

A.J. Guyton:

Steve Risley:


  1. I love Jarrad Odle. A true unsung hero. Saw him at the Indy 500 in the SW Vista 10 or so years ago, and told him so to his face. He was astonished I knew who he was.

    Dear Risley and Watford, you can’t teach a dog to be a wolf.

    When I saw Duke on the schedule I had the game circled as a loss, just like everyone else. If not, you were blindly hopeful. The problem is the two losses and how they occurred in Maui to Wake and UNLV. That and how it happened are why we are annoyed and fed up.

  2. I said earlier that Bryant is about 25 lbs and a year away from being a really good forward…. IU should still be looking for a center. DeRon Davis is closer to the real deal and with a even a GOOD center, IU would have what they dont…. A forecourt. I dont WANT to rule them out just yet, because Duke was having their ” when everything falls in game”, Anonoby might be getting more time than he thought. We’ve seen them lock down and press for brief stretches… with favorable results….Can they piece it all together? Doesnt matter, come on home Steve Alford… Come on home Brad Stevens…lead your Hoosier flock from slaughter!

  3. It would take some sort of tectonic shifting for Stevens to end up at IU unless he just hates Boston. He’d be leaving the most storied franchise in the NBA, where he is very popular, to take a massive pay cut (sorry, the NBA plays with Monopoly money, IU doesn’t).

    Personally, I’d leave just to be out of Boston…unless I was coaching the Boston Celtics.

    Alford is more complicated. It just depends on how deep his feelings run toward Old IU. It’s not like he doesn’t have a great situation. He does. An objective observer would say he has to be crazy to leave. Maybe so. It’s hard to say whether or not he’s doing a good job at UCLA. They are all over the map.

    People are calling for another ‘generational hire’, ala McCraken and Knight. Would a 51-year-old coach qualify?

  4. I wonder if Collins up at Northwestern would be interested…? Young….very good pedigree…Possesses more of an X’s and O’s coaching intellect while still having the recruiting shot in the arm because of the understated NBA insider appeal via his father’s background..

    Alford is in Hollywood where Jessica Alba comes to his games.
    Stevens is in a great East Coast sports town with tons of vibrancy and history
    Collins is in the Midwest’s greatest sports town..Food, entertainment, museums, shores of Lake Michigan, Gold Coast shops

    When you get right down to the truth of it all, a college campus stuck in the limestone hills of nowhereland seems the perfect fit for Tom Crean….So much has changed since the days of Knight. It’s all entertainment now. Who in the hell wants to be isolated that is already a big name? IU is not an easy sell anymore…The expectations placed on the coach in this isolated village just don’t line up with the returns. Where is the cosmopolitan appeal? Where is the chance to give your family and kids a bit of a buffer from the microscope a town that lives and dies so much on so little?

    Under Knight, the reputation, allure, and sex appeal of Bloomington grew as his experience and success grew with it.. But what does old reunions of 70’s teams and John Cougar songs really sell now? It almost seems unfortunate that Indianapolis wasn’t the home of the main IU campus ….There might just be a little more than the “compound” atmosphere that brings a guy like Crean.

    Don’t jump the gun on firing this Crean guy too soon. I just don’t think Bloomington has the “it factor” brought to you by it’s hippie and cool culture of the early 70’s and a coach that was taking NCAA tournaments by storm every five years. It’s all gone out of fashion…Young people are even evaluating the real strength of traditional 4-year degrees where lots of funds are needlessly spent to live in dorms and support the sports and all sorts of other money-sucking arms of institutions that do nothing for their future job prospects…

    I know these aren’t popular things to say, but would you trade Jessica Alba at your Bruins game for candy stripes and chrome helmets in god’s oasis just south of Martinsville? Big draw is gone, folks..There is really no one to blame…It was simply Bobby getting old and tired and the appeal of isolated campuses maybe growing tired with it. Throw in the decimation of our high school basketball tournament and the success at Butler…..and it brings us to a place of carnival salesmen simply milking the old money out of the old dusty banners…

  5. Harvard: Nicely stated point, with the usual Harvard color and gift for wordsl

    I must take exception to the depiction of Bloomington as undesirable and off-the-map, however. Bloomington is rapidly acquiring a “college cosmopolitan” vibe that makes it compare favorably to Midwest Big 10 meccas like Madison, Ann Arbor and Columbus. Over the last 5 years when I lived there, I saw Jon Stewart, BB King, and Flight of the Conchords play in the IU Auditorium. I waited on Joan Baez and her band before a show at the Buskirk Chumley. Another night when I wasn’t working, the guy who plays Mike Ehrmentrout on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul came in to eat. Meg Ryan and John Cougar, of course, were fixtures there, although their fame is the same category as IU’s 5 banners. People continue to pour in, recognizing there’s something special about the place. How many customers I used to talk to that cashed in their house LA or SF, and moved back to B-town to retire into rural, small town bliss on the profit they made.

    The construction going on around town is mind-blowing. New condos, breweries and restaurants galore.

    Yet, while it grows, it still seems to be preserving its unique identity as a proudly weird and progressive rural oasis. On any given day, stroll past the eclectic coffee shops and bead stores on Kirkwood, stop and have lunch at hip, open-late Korean restaurant that sits in a renovated 1920’s house, grab a libation at the remodeled family-owned Uptown Cafe where hipsters, townies and international soccer followers rub elbows on a polished mahogany bar backing up to exposed brick walls and chalkboard menus. Head south of town 5 minutes and check out the community gardens and orchards, where hippie types and people you might dismiss as “rednecks” co-mingle in their joint endeavor to grow local food and support local communities.

    Stroll down the Jackson Creek trail, and watch Hawks soar over a beautiful wildflower field framed by lush maple trees and a big red barn. Keep walking through the grove and you’ll open up to a flowing, clear creek that winds past an old basketball court, and a softball field that cuts into tall grass a la “Field of Dreams”. Head up a forested hill to the middle school which opens up to a viewpoint, exposing the miles and miles of hilly Southern Indiana that spread out around you. Count the number of Koreans, Indians and Russians you see as you stroll. You’ll be shocked at how deceptively international this beautiful bucolic little town has become.

    I think you’re jumping to the conclusion that good coaches want big cities and glamor. College towns have really caught up these days and offer the benefits of the simple life, but without the privilege or cloistered atmosphere of the white suburban cocoon.

  6. I guess what I’m sort of saying is this….

    There is so much more to bring joy to the sports enthusiasts and populations of these other places…So much pressure in Bloomington.. It’s “everything hinges” and “Fire this guy now!”…and “that guy next!”. There is absolutely nothing to take off the daily macroscopic examination of a coach on this island that everything our world hinges, teeters, or causes us to drive off every drastic quarry cliff.

    It takes a certain sort of person that is satisfied with the limits of Bloomington’s cultural offerings while still having the guillotine displayed in front of the face on a regular basis. A coach in Bloomington has to feel like Anne Boleyn sitting at the quiet dining table with Henry VIII. .”Well, are you with banner child? Can I expect a banner child any day now? I still don’t have my banner child. Do you feel like it’s my fault you can’t produce my banner child? Do you like your head?”

  7. Maybe we can get a job for Crean at the “bead store.”

    Loved your portrait of Bloomington….but I still believe the benefits of the traditional college experience and the passion it helps fuel into the sports programs supported by students is changing.

    I believe the “going back” thing is sorta weird. A college town shouldn’t be a ‘Bong & Blues’ cultural revival for those going through mid-life crisis. I had a cousin move back to Bloomington…Her and hubby(teaches at IU) send these grotesque long Christmas letters that do nothing but oversell and give overkill to their perfect life….They always speak of all the wonders of Bloomgiton and the shopping and the theater…and the country club that John likes to golf…..blah..blah…blah. I want to vomit when I merely recognize the name on the envelope in the stack of cards. They are likely very big Tom Crean fans. They are ultra conservative with never a day any dirt found the underside a fingernail. They were always very envious of my parents ….I wont’ bore you with more. Sadly, they taint your portrait.

  8. Indiana fans don’t necessarily deserve the overly critical judgement HFH expresses in the above post #9. When Crean was hired, there was tremendous support for him for several years. The nay-sayers could barely get any traction when overwhelmed by what we now call the “Crean cool aid drinkers”.

    It took most IU fans longer than expected to realize, and then accept, that our current coach was the epitome of a “pretend person” in many areas of his life, but especially in his chosen profession. That Crean is getting extreme dissatisfaction at the moment is partly a product of how high our initial support was, and how much we loved and
    believed in Crean’s empty words, vs. how painful it is to FULLY REALIZE we have been duped. That should NOT be an indictment of IUBB fans being a “bad” fan base. That argument can be used in the case of IUFB, but that is an entirely different story.
    The IUBB fans STILL believe in our storied program, just not in an incompetent coach and HIS inferior product.

    The returning joy and enthusiasm of IU fans, if Stevens somehow decided to take the job, would be an incredible thing to witness. Our pride in the program would immediately return, and would sustain for a long time with Stevens at the helm. (Any problem areas would automatically be attributed to “the man that WRECKED our program”, the hapless Mr. Crean himself).

    And with Stevens as the IUBB coach, there isn’t much reason to think that IUBB won’t live up to the high expectations of our “rabid” fan base.

    BTW, I’m SO GLAD you are back, HFH. It was too dry here without you, IMHO. (Still wish I’d know why you dropped out, whether it was your own choice/decision, and why, OR if it was at the request of higher authorities)

  9. This Hoosier fan never fell in love with Crean nor was bamboozled by his sappy slogans juxtaposed with witch hung tactics that were for the small-minded. And, thus, Bloomington rather ids appointed me. IU disappointed me as it turned on some kids that made mistakes for the sake of a Bible and a basketball game.

    You got it wrong, NoMendacity. i know where I stood and I stand no differently today. Bloomington was modeled for Tom Crean. It was modeled after the hatred thrown at Davis after the firing of Knight. It was modeled after a frivolous NCAA investigation likely fueled my IU insiders. It became “smaller” by the passing every season until it found the superficiality of itself that revolves egocentrically around itself.

    I smirked like Dustin Dopirak long before a Northwestern postgame press conference. I saw Tom Crean coming. I just can’t figure how my alma mater ever got so lost in itself to not see him coming.

    Brad Stevens is not coming…

  10. Thanks for your kind words, NoMendacity. I had to sew the Herald Times under the ‘improper censorship an equal blogging participant’ laws now granted to every Indiana resident. That’s me just kidding…

    I just needed to stop…Probably need to stop again. Seahawk Tom is the dude with the magic…He is verbal art in motion. You simply won’t find a more gifted writer. I write…and write…and write…and think…and write some more…and it all falls so glaringly short. I am forced . He is natural…We both love IU. But, like the writing, my love is likely more forced these days. IU is going to have to start loving me back. They’ve found my love useless as they brought the bamboozling and empty slogans upon my heart. .

    And you are also a wonderful writer, NoMendacity…Double Down, as well. Punjab too. and Chet…and never leave out Tsao. I miss Tsao

  11. Yikes…I’m really tired….[sue] the Herald Times. We best sew this up. So long for now.

  12. Harvard, I sympathize. And i know the type, the cousin you had who moved back to Bloomington. Fair point.

    The issue you raise about “it all hinges on” pressure is a valid one. I’ll reflect more on this tomorrow. For now, time to curl up and watch some streamed TV with my wife. We’re in a show drought, but “Southland” and “Girls” are proving to be decent time-killers.

  13. And the longer you’re without, the more it “all” seemingly hinges. I honestly think it all hinges somewhere between a few that care way too much and a very large portion that have grown tired and indifferent.

    Gong to games for students/alumni/residents presents something to do, but the deep Indiana passion is being watered down by the ocean opened up from our “streamed” lifestyles; our attachments to devices that can give us sixteen games at the tap a few keys.

    The selling of the pressure is needed to prop something up as salient in importance when it is actually fading…Going to the McCracken becomes watching a bad movie. It’s a few bucks, but we got out of the cabin We scream and yell..On the drive home, we wonder how it all became so removed from the headlines of championships and the streets filled with celebration when banners once rolled in every five years….and Final Fours were always a possibility….And then it’s over. Back to streaming..Back to ‘facebooking”…back to ‘tweeting’..back to submitting comment….back to surfing….back to CNN on ISIS rewind…back to the shallows of inconsequential informational overload and all those verb actions morphed from a screen we only stare….It all washes away any passion for anything in the heart to truly care….

    Thus, EVERYTHING must hinge…For if it does not, we must be without passion. And who in the hell wants to look into that mirror? it’s far more fun to scream the empty scream…clap the empty clap…nap the empty nap…as we exist for sending that Christmas letter and shopping for the latest device snapshot our lives away.

    Hate to be such a Debbie Downer…but the “Win Today”….and the “Everything Hinges” …and the “Because it’s …blah…blah..blah….and “Hoosier Rising”:….and Hoosier diving…and the constant need for the next Hoosier firing …? All this sell is the tell of a tale gone.
    And then we open the ‘Good Book’ and turn faith into just another marketing tool to sell the next fool.

    Tell me about that streaming sight you use…HBO ? Showtime? ….Do you watch on a big screen TV…? Does the sound sync with the images…or is there always a millisecond delay when the moving lips of your favorite show actor or the drive to the basket in a Hoosier game skip to a different parallel universe that is exceedingly irritating to watch? I’m sick of spending way too much for crappy cable offerings….and package deals that “everything hinges” to get the next package deal of channels.

  14. EVERYTHING HINGES on Brad Stevens! Did you get that, Brad? Everything in Bloomington hinges on you! Nothing hinges on me. I’m an old fart in a room with nothing to do but sell you.

  15. I haven’t watched a “show” since the first ‘True Detective’ series on HBO…Never fully understood it, but, damn, it was fun to watch…It was dark and it was fun while being dark…It was sexy and cool…
    I went from Gilligan’s Island to True Detective. Whatever happened in between…?….I’m not really sure.

  16. Down here in the good ole home of John cougar word is that Tom Crean is a good recruiter, but not so good bench coach. In my opinion he’s not getting the best talent in our own state on a yearly basis so I think that puts him far short as a good recruiter. His timing of substitutions is often bizarre, I often wonder if he’s watching the same game as I am. Switching to a zone defense doesn’t hide the defensive liabilities of his current players. A big part of defending is a burning desire to not let your opponent score! You don’t have to have a huge amount of talent to be a good defender, look at one of Michigan State’s assistant coaches that used to play for IU, Dane Fife, not an abundance of talent, but a great defender who exhibited a tremendous desire to work his tail off on the defensive end of the court. I don’t see one IU player willing to even try to play defense like Dane Fife, and I have to ask why? Do they like being mediocre? The players and Tom Crean need to ask themselves, are we ok with having a season like this one is turning out to be or are we going to bust are tails to become a good defensive team. This is a team issue, not just a coach or player issue.

  17. Something to keep in mind. I supported CTC until I realized what a few of you feel was so obvious from the start. That’s all fine, well, and good. But, at the same time, we were winning more games each year, we won the Big Ten championship for the first time in, what?, 19 years, the team had reached the #1 ranking in the polls, we made a couple pretty good though ultimately disappointing runs in the tourney, we had players going in the first round of the NBA draft, and the players, up to then, were saying and doing all the right things.

    I’m sure you felt prescient but, if you were given all this information in a vacuum without involving personalities, are you going to tell me that that collection of information does not indicate success?

    Alas, I agree, it was all smoke and mirrors. Coach Crean can sell the program to players. It’s a great skill but it would be nice if he could coach, too. I accept that this is the apparent situation. That doesn’t mean that he did not have steady success for a period of time. He simply doesn’t have a long shelf life.

    I supported the success.

  18. Chet-

    We’ve been through this. Cody and Jordy were doing the coaching on the floor. Everything hinges can get you to a Sweet 16. That’s where you’ll top out.
    John Calipari could have got that team to a Final Four. That’s why Mr. Crean won’t play Mr. Calipari. Calipari not only gets way more talent, but he can actually coach..He instills a commitment to team defense(which usually is developed as the season progresses….unlike Crean’s teams that get more dysfunctional with time and tournaments).

    Your an honorable man..You supported him from the beginning. I could not while he blamed kids labeled as hoodlums and conducted twitter sermons while going on witch hunts. To you that may be positive energy. To me, it sent the messages that cut down nets after losses. It send deflection of accountability…It sold us as something wrecked …Sorry, Chet. You weren’t alone. Carnival salesman are a perfect fit for witch hunts. And when he slapped his faith quotes on a twitter page littered with images of IU Basketball(something I never stopped harping until his Bible blow was removed from our public logos of Indiana Basketball long before his recent total twitter shutdown), I new what we were getting from the start.

    Yippee ..He recruits…Every coach that heads up programs with tradition recruits. The wonderful abundance of talent in the state can also add a huge boost to personal sales skills.
    Stevens and Butler went to back-to-back Final Fours without a preseason #1 and without all the savior, we’re back, everything hinges, carnival blow and bagpipes.

    He backed into a Final Four with Marquette on the heels of a very special player. They bonded. It happens. He was subsequently annihilated in the first game of that Final Four.

    But with all of it rehashed and retold a thousand times over…(I’m sure I’m up a thousand), it just doesn’t matter. He hired(sat in on the decision process of a caddyshack committee built to have zero accountability) his own AD. He is going nowhere…just like us. Brad Stevens is not coming…Jesus will show up with John Cougar and flying scarecrow before Brad Stevens comes as the Crean afterbirth.

  19. Good enough.

    I’m not defending him. I just wasn’t go to condemn him when the program was trending upward.

    I’ve never been a religion guy but lots of coaches are so I try to ignore that kind of thing.

  20. Yeah, I don’t see Brad Stevens taking this job unless Mark Cuban got drunk and gave him a boatload of money.

  21. I also supported the “success” of his players that came despite the total sabotage of dysfunctional coaching. It had its ceiling…Only the great roots in understanding the game from savvy and well-taught Indiana recruits pushed that ceiling twice as high the coach’s ability.

    But what did Crean do with the rest of the backup spots on our roster? He sold them out to A-Hope projects and played favorites to “chosen one” turnover masters instead of making solid use of a bench.

    A beauty pageant judge at a storied basketball school with a great fan base. They rebuilt Assembly, but it’s reputation had a wrecking ball work its magic from within.

    If Crean’s coaching miscues were termites, there would be no more maple left of McCracken. When those three big beasts come down from Purdue, are only hope for defense is if they fall through our rotted and flimsy floorboards…It should really be called “softwood” with our Termite.Tom…It ain’t only Mccracken under your feet..It’s a fully McgGving away.

  22. If Crean’s coaching miscues were termites, there would be no more maple left of McCracken

    You know, I hate to brag.. i hope Geoff woke up Grayson and the honeybuns with that one.

  23. Here’s the thing.

    When you initially posted that I was going to cut and paste it and say something nice.

    But you got a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct and you lost your team 15 yards.

    You’re a big boy. When you make the big play you just knowingly nod and walk away.

  24. Typical thread from the recent past, 30 posts, 16 by h4h and the woodpeckers have headaches.

    Chet I mostly resemble your thoughts of the IU BB progression under TC. As improvement was displayed my satisfaction grew. And I like a guy if he is religious to wear it on his sleeve a little and if he isn’t like your action I pay no attention.

    I still do think there is salvation for TC if he would do what Al McGuire did and find himself an X&O guy like Hank Raymonds was at Marquette. In other words if 1 of the present assistants has that talent turn the dirt under the fingernails work over to hum. If he has to find 1 do it and trade in 1 recruiting assistant coach. What would IU’s BB blog contain today if an Izzo was TC’s assistant. It would be pretty scary.

  25. Grayson enjoyed it Harv… he said, “dad, dada, daaaad, can I have donut dad?” To which I replied, “It’s a bagel buddy…” and he said, “can I have bite of your donut?”

    We are an appreciative readership here… keep em coming.

    I’m remembering back to last year, when I finally had to let go of my Crean-dream. I have to say, I’m twice as against Crean now as I ever was for him at any point.

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