46 comments

  1. Holy crap. Blackmon played solid defense.

    I’m on the RJ bandwagon. I don’t know if he is our best player but he is certainly a player who regularly plays the best.

  2. Good for CTC. The Hoosiers look as prepared as I’ve seen them in a while. This is certainly an MSU team with a lot of questions but the Hoosiers looked as focused as I’ve seen them in the first half.

  3. Man, Tom Izzo must be on the hot seat since his team has lost eight games already this season. That’s two seasons in a row in which his teams will not have won the Big Ten Championship, so it must be time for MSU to fire him. LOL.

    As for the “Fire Crean Now” crowd, I guess they’ll be subdued for the next four days, or until IU loses their next game. I’ll defer to all the experts on this site; was this injury depleted team prepared to play today? Was today’s victory a sign of good coaching, or was it that just another lucky fluke?

    1. Yes, Izzo is on the hot seat. He already apologized to his team twice this seasons. No need to fire Izzo though he won a banner in his lifetime. Crean is yet to go by Sweet Sixteen at Indiana. Crean need not be fired now since the buyout too high. Crean will be fired at the end of the season. The AD should look into the many injuries that plague the basketball program. I bet there’s a similar situation with the FB program. Good win today. Imagine what this team would do if they had a real coach.

  4. So as long as a coach wins one NCAA Championship and avoids felony convictions and major NCAA rules violations, he should have a coaching job for life and be immune from the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately criticism. Is that right? Big Ten Championships don’t count, graduation rates don’t count, the number of NBA lottery picks don’t count. The only thing that counts is NCAA Championships. What about final four appearances?

    Unless they win the championship this season, I guess it will be time for UCLA to fire Alford (like they did Ben Howland), Arizona to fire Miller, Gonzaga to fire Few, Virginia to fire Bennett, OSU to fire Matta, WVU to fire Huggins, ND to fire Brey, Michigan to fire Beilein, and Purdue to fire Painter. Because none of those top 40 ranked coaches have ever won an NCAA Championship. There are 22 active college coaches that have lead teams to the final four. Crean is one of them. Sean Miller has not, Alford has not, Painter has not, Few has not and Bennet has not. So, who does IU hire after Crean gets fired?

  5. Po, Has Izzo had a bunch of mediocre seasons at MSU they haven’t told anyone about? Seems like this is the worst they’ve been in forever and they aren’t that bad. What are you talking about?

  6. Well Chet, by the standards applied to Crean by some IU fans, yes, Izzo has had several “mediocre” seasons of late. But it has been explained to me that as long as a coach wins one NCAA Championship, he is immune from termination. The what-have-you-done-for-me-lately standard does not apply to coaches that have won the big dance, it only applies to coaches that have yet to win an NCAA Championship. I must have missed that along the way. Stupid me.

    1. If I may interject briefly, I think the issue here remains a matter of what is good enough at Indiana — Big Ten championships, Final Fours or both. Tom Izzo has seven Big Ten titles and seven Final Fours. Crean has two Big Ten titles and one Final Four (at Marquette).

  7. Podunker,

    Enjoy mediocrity. You seem to really enjoy it.

    Jeremy and Mike, Can you rank the Big coaches from top to bottom. I would be interested in hearing your list. Thanks

    1. Jeff H,
      We were talking about this in the office the other day, and like the league itself this year, it’s a muddled mess in the middle. I could be easily swayed differently, but from top to bottom, I’d go Izzo, Gard (still early to judge on own merits), Collins, Painter, Beilein, Turgeon, Crean, Pitino (early but rising), Matta, McCaffery, Miles, Chambers, Pikiell (way early) and Groce (guy looking most over his head).

  8. How many final fours has Izzo been in, elite eight and championships. Crean beat UK at Marquette and then got clowned by Kansas. You would have thought he would have learned more about defense from Izzo while he coached for him. Izzo gets the ultimate pass because he is one of the few elite coaches.

  9. I gotta say…winning a title absolutely buys you the benefit of the doubt. Having lived in North Carolina for three decades I can assure you that Roy Williams would be gone by now if he didn’t bring home the bacon. There is a pretty big contingent in NC calling for his head as it is.

    Whys shouldn’t it buy you some breathing room? It bought RMK quite a bit of time. Seems fair.

    As Bill Parcells said, “You are what your record says you are.”

  10. On the flip side, there sure as hell wasn’t much support for Mike Davis even after taking a team to a Final Four/Championship game. I guess that is a foundation for a defense of Podunker’s blind faith in Crean in that supports an argument where going deep in the tournament doesn’t necessarily make for a good coach. Three or four years after Davis’s Final Four run and the fan base was treating him with near equal criminality/sabotage of IU Basketball as a Sampson 3-way call. He couldn’t be kicked out of town fast enough.

    See a pattern? There is none relating to merit….The only pattern is power and loyalty and your ability to seize advantages with those who hold power at IU. Your employment at IU has nothing to do with your competency or ability as a coach. It certainly has nothing to do with Final Fours or defense. Davis’s teams played tremendous defense. It’s not so unlikely that he would have had one or two additional deep runs(at least never embarrassed in defensive effort and team chemistry) if given the time frame and confidence that emanates out to the recruiting efforts(extensions) given to Crean. Don’t tell be of those other places Davis didn’t succeed. Those places do not have the draw of an Indiana(nor the backyard of talent).

    You’re an anomaly when they want you to be an anomaly. You’re given excuses when they want you to be the greatest thing since a plaid jacket. Having a fast and tricky tongue helps too.

  11. Dakich would have been better than the last 8 years. Lucky for him that he wasn’t given that deserved chance. Joey & Papa Fred already had the wheels turning for our future.

  12. The reality of the tenure of Mike Davis was that it was doomed from the start. While I’m sure that someone can come up with the exception it is rare that anyone following ‘the man’, whoever that might have been, lasts for very long.

    There was nothing wrong with Mike Davis that winning wouldn’t cure. He was following one of a handful of guys that there was no following. Despite anecdotal evidence, I doubt it had an overly large racial component. He was just a coach with a thin resume following a legend. At the end of the day he admits to being grateful for the opportunity. He really did not have the resume for the job.

    That’s just the ways it goes.

  13. Maybe so, Chet. But I haven’t seen a Hoosier team coached as well as the job he did against Duke at a regional semi. But, if you want the flip side then he remains a ‘not-so-good’ coach who made it to a Final Four without having the credentials to repeat the task. Sound familiar? Think he would have gone deeper than a Sweet 16 with Zeller, Watford, Dipo, and Hulls?

    Not that race has anything to do with it, but I like Shaka Smart. He could do a phenomenal job at IU.

  14. I just finished watching the game after a day away. Great game. Loved Blackmon setting the tone early and carrying his team. He came out firing and couldn’t miss. Well done, James.

    The key today’s victory? 9 turnovers. I don’t remember the last time IU managed to protect their possessions like they did today.

  15. When an IU coach defeats a #1 Duke to get into the Elite 8 then I feel that deserves an automatic five year extension. Taking down a #1 “Elite” blue blood to get to an Elite 8 during our banner drought should bypass even the thinnest of resumes to usually send a man off to the middle of the ocean with a row boat and one paddle.
    I will happily vote in approval for Crean to get such an extension when he does the same(or comparable).
    Beating UNC at the Sweet 16 last year would have been the equivalent. Crean has had 8 seasons. It’s time to prove that even he is capable of the anomaly. I know he’s a talented guy, but do we have to wait for the return of ‘The Halley’s Comet Hoops Classic’ played one weekend on the moon for something tangible upon his thick resume?

  16. MSU looked shaken from the start. That poor kid, McQuaid, couldn’t handle a pass if it had been handed to him.

    The Hoosier played a good game. MSU never looked particularly competent and it ended up being a close game.

    I’m not sure what, if anything, we learned today. But, a win is a win.

  17. The key, as always, was shortened rotations(and maybe one less “chosen one” in a lineup) simplifying things for Mr. Decaf.

  18. Harv, to be fair, if Davis had gotten UAB to a Final Four at the same point in his career he might still be a hot property. But he didn’t. He coached a talented IU team there as an interim coach.

    So it goes.

  19. Though having the crowd and our home of Skjodtland was a huge disadvantage, it’s still good to be playing Sparty now…Wouldn’t want them in East Lansing or at a BIG tournament in 6-8 weeks. They will be the turbocharged and precisely tuned machine…We will have rebuilt our transmission seven times because our teams are forever slipping from fifth gear overdrive into reverse.

  20. Look at where Majerus had to coach? Lord, I would have loved to see him get a shot at a place like IU. Those in real basketball junkie circles still consider him as one of the brightest minds to work the maple. I just liked him. The real deal.

  21. Yeah, beating UNC last year would have brought quite a bit of cache, for sure. But we didn’t. We haven’t won many of those types of games. Recently, the Hoosiers do great as the underdog. That’s fine but I’d kinda like to be the favorite a little more often.

    But, hey, my first two years at school (I was a fan long before then) we lost ONE frickin’ game. IN TWO YEARS. That pretty much ruined me for several decades regarding expectations. I’m over it now but it was a journey.

  22. I should say, “Other than Kansas and UNC this year.” That was great and they deserve major kudos.

    This team has so much possibility.

  23. We had the Watford shot game as well…Plenty of top-10 teams defeated at home or at neutral sites. I’m sure many BIG teams have similar achievements intermittently. But you don’t see the chemistry and “upsets” in the tournament..
    When we need all players and a coach completely dialed in as one, our core of identity weakens or breaks down. We just never look like ND, Butler, or Wisconsin during those stretches that need utmost focus and near mistake-free basketball. Real swagger in March….? That needs to manifest in enough consistency to propel a team beyond Sweet 16’s. We’ve hit every excuse in the book why that swagger doesn’t stick at the Dance; rhythm theories, bridge years, loss of a lottery pick, youth, injuries, bracket misfortune/seeding, jet lag, refs, etc, etc, etc.?
    How many years until we finally get around to “coaching ceiling?”

  24. Talent on a basketball team is akin to a good hitting lineup on a baseball team…But as the season progress and big games mount, it always seems like pitching puts a team over the top(even with less or equal bats). I see college basketball coaching like pitching in baseball. It becomes the “it factor” when you need some sort of edge during some crucial/closing innings.

  25. Very good game to enjoy but DD’s point is focal, as 16 TO’s yesterday would have lost this game just as the turnover crap repeatedly has lost so many games for IU teams coached by Crean. It is so apparent through the years it cannot be blamed on any 1 position or any 1 player. It is by design, as it is instituted by Crean’s style of play, period. But the turnover #’s will again be a prominent large # in the box scores of future games this season. That is why splitting the sheets with Crean at the end of the season is the best next step for IU. Or we are resigned to accepting being satisfied with many many more games filled with and lost by TO’s. Makes 0 sense and is unacceptable for IU.

  26. Michigan is quite undervalued right now. I fear that we may just get another reality check at Ann Arbor on Thursday. Meatchicken’s(courtesy: Clarion) sophomore big, Wagner(vɑːɡnər) is coming along. DJ Wilson played very strong against the Illini.

    And they’ll probably put that Dakich kid in to stop our JBJMJ.

    With our early stumbles, this is probably the biggest opportunity to fully right the ship before the back half of violent seas that will truly test our crew.

  27. HC, absolutely. Turnovers make a talented group of players into an average team.

    I was noticing during the game that Newkirk makes his turnovers seem worse than they are because of his timing. He so wants to be ‘the man’ that he picks critical junctures in the game to make an ill advised move to the basket. He got bailed out yesterday with a ticky tacky foul call on MSU when he drove under the basket on the baseline and picked up his dribble well under the backboard. Another time he got his pocket picked trying to drive through three defenders. Both of these were when the game had drawn close.

    He has talents but, until he develops his offense skills, he doesn’t need to be trying to score off the dribble by trying to outathlete 3 defenders. We have tons of explosive scorers. He’s just not one of them. Don’t take the ball out of their hands at crunch time.

    The whole team has a loose handle on the ball. All of CTC’s teams have a loose handle on the ball. WTF is that about? I can understand if you’re down your top two ball handlers or something like that, until the problem is corrected, but we still haven’t seen a season of ball security yet. Obviously, it has SOMETHING to do with his scheme. Players come and players go but IU committing turnovers seems like forever.

  28. How ironic that I was criticized for calling for the Football program’s Defensive Coordinator to be fired a few years ago. My comments posted on the Scoop were considered to be detrimental to IU’s football program (I still laugh at that drivel). But now, some of those same Hoosier fans are calling for Crean to be fired this summer, about a year after he leads IU to the Outright Big Ten Championship the third Sweet 16 of his tenure. Have I walked through the looking glass?

    But you folks calling for Crean to be terminated after this season have yet to suggest who IU should replace him with! Come on guys, which man gets to replace Tom Crean? I want to see some names from the experts! And how long will it take that next IU BB coach to return IU to the outright Big Ten Championship? The truly elite college BB coaches (Coach K, Calipari, Self, Pitino, etc.) are all committed to staying where they are now and will retire in their current jobs. So unless we can lure Ben Howland (he’ll be 60 this May) away from Mississippi State, or Few away from Gonzaga, or convince Donovan or Stevens to return to the college game, I’m wondering which “up and coming” coach is capable of leading IU to another NCAA Championship within a few years? I’m not seeing the names of any coaches in any of these strings! Don’t tell me you want IU to hire a man currently serving as an assistant coach!

    As for calling the winning of two Outright Big Ten Championships in four years “mediocre,” that’s just ridiculous! If Glass follows the advice of some of Crean’s most outspoken critics, he’s at risk of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    Yes, IU BB can and should do better, and Crean is NOT a great basketball coach. But to suggest that because IU basketball was an elite program 40 years ago justifies firing Crean is to ignore the fact that IU basketball was all but destroyed ten years ago and before that, had suffered from terrible mismanagement for many years. IU basketball is no longer an elite program, and it hasn’t been for decades. It’s OK to dream of it returning to that status, but as long as today’s best coaches continue coaching at their current elite programs, IU is going to have to be satisfied with the “mediocrity” of winning Outright Big Ten Championships and playing in the Sweet 16. As we’ve seen before, hiring the wrong head coach can devastate our beloved program. So be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.

  29. If you are referring to any of my posts that’s simply not what I have said. Not even close. What I have said is that there are still a lot of really good basketball players on this team (courtesy of the recruiting by CTC) and this is an opportunity for CTC to demonstrate his ability as a coach.

    We’ve lost Colin and OG. Morgan missed a couple games. A really good coach should be able to take the remaining players on this team and put a really good team on the floor. There are at least 4 guys still playing on this team with NBA aspirations. Probably more.

    I am by no means calling for CTC to be fired. I just want him to prove he is the coach we are paying big bucks for. I think that is perfectly reasonable. People are not measured by how they perform under ideal circumstances. They are measured by how they overcome obstacles.

  30. Dear Ms. Crean(Podunker)-

    The football DC you are referring to was to prove that the worst football team in the history of football teams could play, under his instructions, a Big 10 worthy defense from the moment he was hired. Those parameters would have ended as labeled failure for 100% any name given the same task at the same time. Defense improved not just as a function of the DC but as a function of continued improvement in recruiting, maturing of new talent, and a belief bestowed upon the overall culture thanks to Kevin Wilson.

    The basketball coach who you have immeasurable love and loyalty has been given 9 years to prove his teams can simply grasp a concept of FIVE guys willing to play a collectively strong-willed form of defense. His teams have also been given 9 years to clean up their constant Achilles’ heel of liking to give the ball to the other team on a rather consistent basis. He has been given 9 years to prove we don’t look totally out of our class at a Sweet 16 game.
    It’s time, my darling Clementine. Take your BIG 10 titles courtesy of Cody and an unprecedented soft BIG schedule. Take your Sweet 16 appearances(though opponents treated us like a Division II rag doll once on that stage)…and disembark the ship now. Things aren’t going to change. This state knows basketball. Most with sound mind and heart not so invested as your own realize we were duped pretty early on. Those so influenced by empty blow, t-shirts, reunions, and stars placed on waistbands of those yet to be “stars”…? Well, “it’s Indiana.” We know hoops, but we also voted for Trump. We want to believe when we are told “they” believe in us. We’re sort of gullible that way…even if our beloved hoops is the topic.

    Soon you’ll have no lifeboat. Soon the waters of truth will flood all illusions of what never was. The ship is tilting to the point of how Bobby wanted to be buried. ….Can you say “turnover?” It’s time. 9 years is enough to guard somebody. 9 years is enough to look like a “blue blood” at a Sweet 16 party sometimes shared with other blue bloods. Please let us have our candy stripes back. Please don’t paint them onto football helmets to equalize the ugliness in their current state of deficiency. It’s not fair to anyone…and it’s certainly not fair to a place where FIVE banners still hang in disbelief from the rafters at what is accepted underneath the intended pledges of their honor.

  31. When I interviewed people for any position I always assumed anyone who made it as far as an interview could do the job as described. I wanted to hire the person who could handle some sort of misadventure.

    That’s the person anyone should want to hire.

  32. I sort of get a kick out of hearing “we lost Colin” on this site …..If I had a dollar for all of those disparaging posts aimed at Hartman from Scoopers a few years back? Unfortunately, since the changes to HSR, the archiving abilities are beyond dastardly. Barely a thing of old Scoop entries now show up in google searches….Attempting to use retrieval methods here is a lost cause.

    Back then, outside of this often censored scapegoat for all the true trolls, there was a hope that Hartman would get “lost.” He was called a wasted scholarship. Now he’s Bill Walton’s favorite Hoosiers. Now he’s why Tom Crean won’t get to a Final Four. Hilarious stuff. You guys are truly too much. Almost as funny as Dakich comparing RJ to Bobby Wilkerson. Almost as delightful as Hanner to Hakeem the Dream….Almost as mind-blowing incredible as placing Dipo into a sentence with MJ.

    Even those who were wasted scholarships all become Globetrotters if it’s an excuse for Tom Crean. How do you say this stuff with a straight face? Everything hinges on Hartman. Truth? He’s a poor man’s Robbie Hummel.

    Hopefully we never see McRoberts get injured….We will have “lost” Dave DeBusschere.

    Whatever happened to next “man” up? Are the candy stripes warm-up pants or pantyhose?

  33. CTC is going no where soon ! Fred is loving life ,sold out crowds all home games $3 million reasons to stay with what he has going on. CTC is a promoter / flim /flam guy who impersonates a real coach who has a great agent, and laughs on his way to the bank. The crowd was huge and electric against MSU and pure and simple most of the players were locked in which was great to see. In addition Blackmon could have scored from the parking lot ! If this team could ever finish a game for a change it would turn their whole season around . MSU down 20 and they let them right back in the game . Clappy slept through 10-0 run by MSU before putting Blackmon back in almost too late . He has a bad habit of doing that when a guy is hot you roll with it . Not take him out of rhythm. He has done that to RJ and Ziesloft many times. Loved Dakich’s comments on Bryant and Blackmon and the upside of Davis . Bryant is on a different page for some reason some kind of identity crisis and CTC keeps letting him play outside for some reason the one 3 he forced up because he was being taken out really hurt other guys wide open. But he showed up during the melt down which was huge ! Mike Davis won with a RMK team and was never really competitive after that . Not his fault ,they him gave a big raise after the final 4 .He was in over his head and they couldn’t make a move for a while. Sampson was a hell of a coach just couldn’t play by the rules. AD was clueless and he was a panic hire. All his infractions are now legal .He slipped back in a University of Houston we will see if he has learned anything? The MSU win was team defense most of the game ,being locked in and Blackmon in the zone as well as outstanding game by RJ on both end of the floor and the crowd. Because of so many guys out CTC was forced to go with a rotation like everyone else. McRoberts grinder of the day have to respect that ! You have to like Green needs more time . Newkirk not so much ! All in all the question of who would we get to replace CTC is a valid one ? Fred is not going to do anything he is loving life and will continue to take heat from the fan base . CTC is safe doesn’t cheat, kids are getting their degrees and every game is sold out it’s all good ! On the down side the fan base knows the game and he will constantly have to be somewhat be accountable for his lack of bench skills . He is truly a spin mister and will leave only if he chooses.

  34. Chet that 2nd sentence is a tremendously accurate characterization of properly evaluating candidates. It is what I call the “1 up approach” to add key people. Great thought.

  35. …And Chet’s “second sentence”(12:09 am post) is exactly why it should have been clear from the beginning that Crean was a weak hire.
    From Day 1 he spent way too much effort and time on topics like “!9 F’s” and a “wrecked program?” Five years into the job and he chased a former IU assistant coach with more of the “wrecking” of Indiana topic(while national cameras rolled). Rather than handle the “misadventure” and act like you’ve been there before, he wanted to build a protective wall of unprecedented circumstances to serve as qualifiers/asterisks upon his own record and his own qualifications.
    Crean’s focus was never to quietly tackle the job at hand, but to turn misadventures into propaganda.
    Why would someone confident in their abilities ceaselessly hammer at the mistakes of a previous hire that didn’t work out? Tom Crean was never hired on qualifications. He was hired to buy 10 years’ time for the AD via endless shaming and confessionals nothing of his own deeds. More a pawn than a coach.

  36. No Chet, I was not referring to any of your posts. Your posts are far more intelligent, thoughtful and rational than most of the Crean-haters. In fact, some of these folks are starting to sound like Kentucky fans. Hey, just consider how deranged their arguments are: Crean leads his team to the Outright Big Ten Championship and Sweet 16 in the spring of 2016. Less than ten months later, some Hoosier fans are calling for Glass to waste millions of dollars of the Athletic Department’s small budget in order to fire the man. And still, no one has the insight to offer up the names of potential candidates who would lead IU back to elite status. Tom Crean Derangement Syndrome is back, and more virulent than ever.

  37. Hey, here’s a better idea. Let’s spend IU’s limited Athletic Budget on keeping IU’s best Football coaches in Bloomington and helping Allen build a football program that will fill Memorial Stadium for every home game. That would produce a far higher Return-On-Investment compared to paying Tom Crean’s severance.

  38. Starting to sound like Kentucky fans? That’s a laugher. Kentucky would have toasted three coaches by now for going no deeper than a Sweet 16 in a decade.

    There is no defense of mediocrity in March. And to say that IU has a “limited budget” while Crean was one of the highest paid public employees in the state of Indiana validates just how “deranged” some blind apologists can truly be. Knight has 11 BIG titles, but he wouldn’t sniffed the first five years of his tenure without something to show competency on college basketball’s most notable stage(The Big Dance).

    Lastly, I have offered up names of plenty of competent coaches who could do no worse than Crean at a lot less expense. They would cherish the opportunity. But it ain’t happening. The Vanderbilts of Bloomington are in no danger. Tom would get fired as a high school coach in this state, but he has more job security than a Supreme Court justice.

  39. We should give Tom another extension for defeating Izzo’s Spartans in Assembly. We’re back, baby! What? Huh? Purdue just went into East Lansing tonight and did what? And they did it to the Spartans after MSU was coming off that tough loss in Bloomington? Never mind.

  40. Still no names being offered up for Crean’s replacement. Where are all the expert Crean-haters. It’s so easy to recognize a problem, but no one can offer up any solutions.

    Meanwhile, KY loses to NCS, Kansas loses, Villi loses, and Izzo is starting to hear it from the MSU fans. But as he said last night, “I don’t care about the fans.” What is MSU so far this season, 12 – 9? Ouch! “What have you done for me lately,” Tom? Oklahoma and Texas basketball have losing records so far this season.

    I guess the virus is not limited just to IU basketball fans! LOL.

  41. It is so obvious that Crean’s replacement need only come from the lips of AD Glass. Anything else stated by others would be irrelevant and inconsequential. In other words folly.

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