Hoosier Morning for Feb. 22

1. HOOSIERS HQ
Instead of a breakthrough win, Indiana found only further frustration an overtime loss at Iowa, Mike writes.

The Hoosiers didn’t lack heart, just the execution to keep from having it ripped out, I wrote.

It’s Senior Night for IU women’s basketball tonight against Iowa, and the Hoosiers are more mad than nostalgic, Jon writes.

The fourth-ranked IU men’s swim team will take aim at a Big Ten title, starting tonight, we reported.

2. IT’S INDIANA
Indiana’s nosedive continued in the same arena that brought such joy a season ago, Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star writes.

Tom Crean didn’t want to talk about free throws, and there wasn’t much else to say about IU’s latest collapse, Terry Hutchens of CNHI writes.

Lack of basketball IQ continues to prove to be IU’s biggest weakness, one too big to overcome, Chris Goff of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette writes.

IU had every reason to win Tuesday’s game at Iowa, but found more reasons to lose, Zain Pyarali of the Indiana Daily Student writes.

Indiana lost again, and that’s a good thing to create the change that needs to occur, Greg Gottfried of the Indiana Daily Student writes.

Five takeaways from Indiana’s overtime loss at Iowa, Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall writes.

Peter Jok took over in overtime and at the free-throw line to lead Iowa over Indiana, Mark Emmert of the Des Moines Register writes.

The Iowa women’s basketball broke the DVD of its loss to Purdue and is focused on tonight’s visit to Indiana, Matthew Bain of the Iowa City Press-Citizen writes.

IU running backs coach Deland McCullough remains a top target for the same job at USC, ReignofTroy.com reports.

3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
As the losing streak stretches on, “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty.

36 comments

  1. What IU fans are witnessing are traits in players that T.C. and staff recruits due to lack of ability to recruit better higher quality plus higher IQ players. These kinds of hodgepodge of players/characters have been an issue in much of T.C. tenure. C.Z. (among a few others) got out of dodge. Great move and good for him. Then, T.C. has lack of ability to coach. On court performance shows that T.C. and staff have hardly any control and respect regarding many of these players. Example: The bombs qway 3 pointers that any member of team launches whenever they feel like it no matter what the situation is; after the first or second time that player should be benched for the next 5 games. It has gotten so out of hand with that abusive punishment IU could not even put 5 players on the floor. Long ago even when O.G. was playing Davis (should have been on the floor), O.G., Morgan, and Bryant should have touched the ball every single time every play with exceptions of steals and fast break away points. The hell with the guards and big men launching bad looking like puke 3 balls any time they want and dribbling loosing the ball. Then, once they play through Davis, Bryant, O.G., (before hurt), and Morgan then when needed they could go inside out for disciplined 3. Then, the whole team would have to play defense like hell for 40 minutes. If this was the mandated culture of IU in practice and on the court in games from the very start of season IU would be pretty good by now. However, it is to late now and it starts with the characters that you recruited and it has always been a weakness of T.C. in recruiting and leadership.

  2. IU players are physically on the court but their attitudes and minds are elsewhere. Many have checked out emotionally.

  3. One disturbing thought about hiring a new coach is will he be allowed to do his job as a disciplinarian that he will require things to be done his way? Looking at why K.W.was let go. Hiring a guy like Gregg Marshall/Wichita State might want to consider that because his players demonstrate that kind of respectful culture. Or maybe Fred Glass needs to go?

  4. I know that we were talking coaches in the other thread, but I didn’t want it to get buried as a slew of new posts start flooding in.

    I’m fairly certain we’re seeing the last games of Crean on the sidelines at Assembly Hall. This is the time Indiana’s AD and President need to decide if Indiana is going to be a competitive program, or a championship program.

    Firstly, bringing home banners is like World War II. It is all about the Generals. As we’ve been mobilizing here at home, let’s call Glass our Gen George Marshall, as he builds up our infrastructure so that we can compete with facilities, a strong financial backing (for basketball), B1G’s largest recruiting budget and focused vision that our fanbase/alumni can rally around (the latter will only happen when we find our general to rally around). Our decades long isolationism led to a serious under-preparedness and our former long-time rivals have rearmed and are wrecking havoc throughout the Pacific and Europe. We’ve stuck our heads in the sand, proud of graduation rates, lack of NCAA sanctions and values that align with a great movie that came out in the 80’s (the one with Gene Hackman, not Dennis Quade–although that was ’79, either way).

    In particular, one of our foes, after falling into the abyss of sanctions from Versailles, the hired and Erwin Rommel Field General in the name of John Calipari. We loath how he changed the soul of the game, finding moral superiority over his unethical and souless one and done cynicism. While we pulled out of the field of head to head battle, Calipari continues to obliterate the competition. While we argue about whether 2 B1G championships in 4 years is impressive, Cal has 1 Championship, an NCAA runner up, 3 FFs and got past the Elite 8 in 5 of his 7 years. He’s landing in North Africa and we have to find someone who can lead our Hoosiers and beat him….in a campaign! Not just one game. You can’t watch a segment of NBA highlights on Sportscenter without seeing one of his players who’s gone through his program at Kentucky. While some Hoosier fans will pound their chest over Oladipo, Zeller and Vonleh….and undrafted Yogi and Troy Williams (yay!!! He won the D-league dunk contest!!! Retweet!!!).

    In the Pacific (sorry, the direct analogy is going to break down a bit, so bare with me), we have a long-time Military leader, who is a brilliant strategist and a tough commander who learned under one of the long-time great Generals. But, as new technology and culture has changed, he’s adjusted his game to embrace the need for talent. Due to his incredible basketball IQ and long-time credibility, he doesn’t quite need the level of talent Cal does to get the job done. He’s taking over rivals in China and all over the Pacific. The sun doesn’t set. Since 2008, he’s hung 2 banners, and reached the Swt 16 6 times.

    What Indiana needs to compete for banners, isn’t a “solid, good/to very good coach”. We need a MacArthur. We need a guy who, when we destroy your face, stands a foot tall over your leader who just surrendered to you. We need someone elite who has earned that 5th star. We need someone who can square up and strike fear into the hearts of the generals that have put our current program under their boot.

    Solid, good/to very good coaches are guys like the following:

    Bennett
    Bo Ryan-Gard
    Alford
    Marshall
    Smart
    Younger Miller
    Few
    Drew

    MacArthurs:

    Stevens
    Donovan

    The likelihood of Stevens coming home to Indiana as his Celtics are building a powerhouse in the East, is extremely unlikely. Too bad we couldn’t realize that while he was beating the pants off of Crean’s best team in 2012. So, off to Boston he went to the NBA version of the Hoosiers with their history. A meteor hitting Boston while he’s out of town might be the only scenario where Stevens is in Bloomington next year.

    It all comes down to Donovan. He’s likely to lose Westbrook this year (perhaps the Lakers?). There’s not much left after that. If the man could live in Gainesville and Oklahoma City for 2 decades, Bloomington would seem like Shangri-La. But we’re going to have to pay up. And we can. This is why we have box seats at Assembly Hall now. If only we could find a way to charge people for tailgating, we might have some extra cash to throw around.

    If we end up looking for the next up-and-comer, we risk hiring the next Matt Doherty, Bill Guthridge or Billie Gillespie….or Tom Crean. It’ll could be years before we can assess where their ceiling is in terms of competing for national championships. And Indiana becomes more and more irrelevant on the national stage again. As fans, we’ll be arguing about recruiting failures, inbounds plays, substitution patterns and awkward net cutting ceremonies, vs how hanging banner #6 will screw with the symmetry of the north-end of AH.

    We need someone who’s established themselves to be a MacArthur already. The only one who would even be slightly available (MacArthurs are always in high demand), in my view is, Donovan.

    It’ll take a herculean effort to get him to Bloomington, but it can be done. Is Glass the right guy to do it? If he manages to pull it off, there will be a statue of him somewhere on our campus. If not, Glass may end up going back into practicing law. Better Call Fred!

  5. Another note, as conference, Mark Titus pointed something out incredibly sad. The last Top 5 recruit who chose a B1G school was Jarred Sullinger in 2010!!

    That’s for the ENTIRE conference.

  6. Fabulous post, Double Down. Loved it. Creative and fun.

    There’s one major flaw. Crean hired Glass. “General” Fred(when you never did hire the basketball coach at a place like Indiana, it does make you quite general) doesn’t fire Commander in Chief-ly Bad. If he fires Crean now, I don’t want Fred anymore than I wanted him when some bogus committee of Establishment British spies brought him to Indiana. Firing Crean only removes one Benedict Arnold . Hang them both out to dry for treason.
    These so-called leaders of our basketball republic came via a coup…I think General Lafayette had something to do with it….Never trust the French.

    It’s time for a Boston Tea Party. General Steve “Washington HS” Downing in the Oval Office as AD….General Bill Coen to lead the troops. Butler can keep their Bulldogs.

  7. You know there have been many references to the opinion that we should have hired Stevens ‘when we could’ so he would be at IU instead of in Boston.

    If he had come to IU he probably would have still taken the Celtics gig if it was offered. Let’s not kid ourselves.

    1. Well, who knows.

      It wasn’t going to happen then, so it doesn’t matter.

      However, let’s say Crean decided he wanted to move on from college basketballto become a televangelist, and Stevens got the gig before the 2012 season, I don’t think he’d be in Boston that summer. That doesn’t seem like him at all. He’d probably be firmly entrenched, and likely killing it at IU. Thus, NBA teams would have him on their wish list and would be saying the same thing we’re saying about his status with the Celtics now.

      Life is all about timing.

    2. Butler is making just as much noise without him…..A sweep of Nova. Pretty impressive stuff.
      And let’s face it, Brad is one win away. No championship at anything. No program or coach should ever be considered “elite” until the only trophy that matters is in the case. Butler must be the only program in the nation where more people make more hullabaloo over being a runner-up. Do you think Indiana University, 45 minutes to the south, has anything to do with that?

      He ain’t nothin’ until he wins a championship. No different than Crean.

  8. Those Stevens’ runs were impressive….but he had some damn standout Hoosiers to help(Howard & Hayward, Attorneys at Ball). The kid from Louisville was pretty good too. …Mack Attack.

    The disruption caused by the 3-way scandal(NCAA headed by Brand at the time) opened the door for many prime Hoosier ballers to turn their backs on Indiana.

    1. Props here too….(of course, I thought that was his best fit 9 years ago) but now you’ve all come around.

      He may just come back into view as a coach in the Pac 12(Washington Husky?) and beat us in an NCAA Elite 8 game when we have Brad “One Shy” Stevens.

      1. Who cares about IU Basketball? The fans care a lot. Those who locked themselves in committee rooms to bring Crean? Not so much.

        But thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ben.

          1. He isn’t coming here. Boston is thriving and I imagine the money is too good to give up. If he isn’t motivated by stacks of cash and if this (Indiana) is his “dream job” then ok. Crean has to go. The whole holding signs thing did me in.

          2. It’s sort of scary times for IU Basketball, Ben.

            If a team like Northwestern begins to become a force under Collins, it could be game over for IU. The already lured McIntosh and a growing amount of NCAA notoriety will only contribute to more challenges for IU to recruit Chicago, NW Indiana, Indianapolis, etc. Michigan, MSU, ND, Purdue, and Butler are already getting more attention from Indiana recruits.
            But what young and smart baller wouldn’t want to live in Chicago and play for a coach that is young, fun, and the hottest ticket in the Midwest? Not to mention, Collins close connections to the NBA via his father/coaching family tree.
            And they are pouring 260 million dollars into a gorgeous lakefront athletics faculty… plus over 110 million into renovations for Welsh-Ryan Arena.

            And then there’s are own dismal head-to-head record against Northwestern of late…

            We may have dragged our feet far too long, Ben. So, so many young and talented coaches who slipped through our fingers in the last six years.

            The sluggishness of the final Knight years….but the most critical time for our basketball program to garner any sort of momentum was at the doorstep of the Tom Crean hire. We needed to be thinking home run rather than laying down a soft bunt just to get on base.

            The more I think about it, Double Down is correct. New forces are looming to the north. Purdue is having there best season in a very long time. They are a legit deep run team. Butler has not missed a beat since losing Stevens and is grabbing headlines with the sweeping last season’s national champs. ND is steady and strong and coming off back-to-back Elite 8’s to prove their legit stance as a top basketball destination. And now Collins at Northwestern bringing all that youthful energy to Northwestern basketball?

            Is our chance to claim banner glory again forever gone, Ben? Is Indiana Basketball like the hoops Bates Motel of the Midwest? It does seem that just about every new highway being built to hot basketball destinations are all bypassing Indiana.

            I dare say that I do believe Brad Stevens is the only coach who can rescue this program…. I’m not sold on Donovan. He just doesn’t convey the positive vibe and image of rebirth that must come with the next hire. I can’t think of any other name that can do that right now except for Stevens.

  9. Wow….Haven’t seen a whole lot of UCLA games, but they sure look like they have all the right pieces. Very special team. Alford likely knows this is the rare opportunity to make it all the way to the finish line. UCLA looks like they’re going half speed while abusing opponents. Explosive team. Hard to compare against decades …
    Last team I remember play with such an easy and confident pace while punishing many opponents was the glorious Indiana Hoosiers ’76 team. The talent just doesn’t come together like this very often.

  10. Hope that Boston gets hit with an early exit from the NBA playoffs…At least the Bulls weren’t ready to give up Jimmy Butler. Butler could have put Stevens and the Celtics into that next level. Maybe the door stays ever so slightly cracked…to lure Stevens back to the college game we all know he loves to coach.
    Keep needling and reminding him that he is still Brad “One Shy” Stevens. He knows very well that he can always go right back to the NBA after he brings Bloomington a couple banners. But until that time, he’s just a neutered slobbering Bulldog who came up shy.
    You ain’t nothin’ till you put a banner year notation on your dog collar, bitches. You may think you’re a stud….but a stray Doberman who wandered in from West Point knows better.

  11. My reaction to the Crimson Cast article can be summarized as, “well no s&!$. genius!”

    “It’s not the program, it’s the coach.” Wow, what brillience. Thanks for a blinding glimpse at the obvious! But here’s the point that this genius failed to mention. It’s the quality of a school’s administration and its reputation that allows a school to hire and keep the best coaching talent. Is the administration philosophically positioned to be highly successful in athletics? Tom Crean is not a great coach. There is much about his behavior and coaching performance since arriving at IU to criticize (his Christian faith should not be one of them). Although he has become an easy target, he is not the root of the problem. He is the symptom, not the disease. And if IU fans continue to harp on about the symptom, the disease will continue to diminish our beloved men’s basketball program. Firing and replacing Crean is the quick (but very expensive) fix. But will it solve the real problem that has caused IU Basketball to forfeit it’s once elite status? As the article correctly pointed out, the problem was that IU basketball was “a program that, through a combination of historical errors in managerial judgment, has employed a series of coaches who have not effectively harnessed the power of the program.” In other words, a series of inept IU Administrators destroyed a once great program. And the mismanagement started long before Knight was fired.

    The real question is, is IU capable of hiring and supporting a man that can return IU Basketball to a position of national prominence? Does IU have the money? Does IU’s Administration have the reputation necessary to attract and support a top level coach. Does it really have the desire to do that, or are other considerations more important?

    Please stop with the fantasy of either Stevens or Donovan being lured from their NBA jobs to coach in Bloomington. It’s NEVER going to happen.

    1. You’re insane, as always. Pay one million on July 1st or continue to employ the guy (with what results!) at the rate of 3.5 million/year (total cost by the time his contract runs out in 2020: 10.5 million). That you can’t see which amount is smaller is proof you’re insane.

      Compare the fantasy of bringing Stevens with your fantasy that Crean will leave and win a national title at some other school. Which one of them is more preposterous, can you tell?

  12. Let’s not anoint the only program to have never played in the NCAA tournament as the next big thing. That would be no different than claiming Ohio State football recruiting will suffer because IU played in a bowl game.

    1. And let’s not begin to believe that IU basketball remains our Big 10 bragging rights as football has steadily been a force at OSU.

      We have lost immeasurable ground while other programs of ‘Conference Midwest Elite’ provide consistent and bigger NCAA tournament stages for recruits.

      Northwestern is moving their program forward like high-speed rail. Indiana is building only embarrassment to the lore of what was once their only ‘major’ sport bragging right. Now we merely throw another BIG program into the mix to operate on the peripheral of ‘Conference Midwest Elite’; a program that is breaking through as an exciting and progressive college basketball destination.

      They may not be the next big thing, Chet. But at least they are building a program with a solid teacher being at the foundation. Do you see a solid and exciting basketball teacher at the hardwood classroom of McCracken? I’ve seen your after game comments of late, Chet. You are walking out of the classroom. Recruits are walking out as well. Sure, there will always be a handful of recruits who know they can get a chance under Crean to strut their NBA Right Stuff while never giving one ounce of care to learning anything or truly “building” something memorable via the utilization of those other four manikins known as teammates.

      I’ve always been a believer that the “high b-ball IQ and sponges eager to learn” sort of kids know when your chalk is legit. You ask yourself this question: Would we have ever imagined to have become so lost at Indiana that the most introductory and basic elements of classroom chalk is no longer legit?

      Stevens may be a fantasy….but no chalk at Indiana is a nightmare. And it’s the legitimacy of the basketball classroom that keeps fueling places like Butler.
      UK has found a different niche….We all know Crean couldn’t maximize that niche either. Even all those class-skipping 5+ stars of a future NBA one-and-done traveling show know when the chalk is legit. Crean would be laughed out of Lexington no different than a place like Butler.

    2. Chet the simplicity of your analogy is astounding. The arrogant and dismissive tone of your message also is very insulting. Anyway… If (in your anaology) we’re OSU FB and if Northwestern BB is IU FB where (i.e., in what universe) can you find the following results:

      2008-09 IU - Northwestern 75-77 and 53-75 (0-2, NW finishes 9th, IU 11th of 11)
      2009-10 IU - Northwestern 61-78 , 88-80 and 58-73 (1-2, total 1-4, NW finishes 7th, IU 9th of 11)
      2010-11 IU - Northwestern 81-93 and 64-70 (0-2, total 1-6, NW finishes 8th, IU 11th again (of 11))
      2011-12 IU - Northwestern 71-66 (1-0, total 2-6, NW finishes 7th, IU 5th of 12)
      2012-13 IU - Northwestern 67-59 (1-0, total 3-6, IU finishes 1st, NW 11th of 12)
      2013-14 IU - Northwestern 47-54 and 61-56 (1-1, total 4-7, IU finishes 9th, NW 11 of 12)
      2014-15 IU - Northwestern 65-72 and 71-56 (1-1, total 5-8, IU finishes 7th and NW 11th of 14)
      2015-16 IU - Northwestern 89-57 (1-0, total 6-8, IU finishes 1st, NW is 9th of 14)
      2016-17 IU - Northwestern 55-68 (0-1, total 6-9, NW is 5th, IU is 13th of 14)

      When OSU will underperform consistently like Indiana has under Crean.

      When Indiana FB will beat OSU (not nine times in nine years, but just ONCE).

      THEN and only then your analogy will start to hold water.

      Weren’t you the one that kept comparing Knight’s twilight years at IU obsessively with Crean’s? Well Knight finished the conference play in 1st, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 6th, 5th, 3rd, and 5th place(s) in his last 10 years. An average of 3.33, over his last 9 years, buddy… In his nine years at IU Crean finished conference play in 11th, 9th, 11th, 5th, 1st, 8th, 7th, 1st and is now in 13th place. That’s an average of 5.83 over the last six years and 7.33 overall. Crean is so abysmal as a coach that he would not last the month at Northwestern.

      Read this (the IDS gets it). Here’s the most important part:

      As the overtime period came to its fitful conclusion, ESPN color commentator Dan Dakich said it was the players’ fault for not showing up, seemingly defending Crean. This is absurd. With the campaign almost over, the team is clueless. Yelling step-by-step plays from the sideline and holding up signs explaining simple basketball maneuvers does not just deserve reprimanding of the players. It’s an organizational issue from top to bottom.

      In your face apologists!

  13. Good points Po. Are you including Glass in the problem areas? Seems to me he has been a + to IU Athletics over the last 5 yrs. Somewhere in the above “It’s Indiana” noted CTC wanted a contract extension last season, which was not offered.

    Has there ever been a team collapse such as IU’s this season?

    Seems to be generally accepted OG will head to the NBA this season. Really? He was not having a great year prior to the injury.

  14. Those are all valid points, Harvard. Sorry if I came across brash toward you. Just learned I might need surgery on a disk on my neck and possibly back. Guess it’s better now to have it while I’m relatively young. Sure does seem the program is at a crossroads for sure.

  15. OG was playing like he was the lead in the new “Invasion of the Peach Basket Snatchers” movie…Maybe some body has the podcast.

  16. Is this team underachieving mightily because Crean did not get a contract extension in the off season. Many things have gone rotten in Denmark before.

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