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  1. Let’s compare and contrast coaches, shall we?

    Tom Crean took over Georgia, struggled to win games. In the beginning of February, he throws his team under the bus publicly and deliberately in the media. Creaning his guys in February:

    “And it was his fault, he said, ‘because I’m the one who decided to keep these guys’ after replacing fired predecessor Mark Fox at UGA.

    ‘It doesn’t mean that they are not great kids,’ Crean said, ‘but very few programs when there’s a takeover, when you have guys that haven’t done it at any point in time really in their career, a lot of those guys, they move on. That’s what happens in a job change. And I didn’t do that. So I’m not going to complain. We’ve just got to keep doing everything we can do to fix it and make it better.’

    More of that “faux, take responsibility, but I’m really passing the buck and blaming these kids” that we had to endure for almost a decade. Georgia has won one game since.

    While Indiana was losing 12 of 13, and the shine was rubbing off of Archie, he kept his head, his temperament and kept coaching these kids. After the worst game of the season at Minnesota, he didn’t “deflect”, but also issued a challenge to challenge to his team, which was asked up by it’s senior leader, the call was answered and the team responded:

    “‘This one, this is sort of a deal breaker,’ Miller said, in the wake of that 84-63 defeat. ‘We have to make some real, in my opinion, drastic changes to the way we’re doing things right now. We’ve got to get some guys’ attention, and we need to get some guys to play better.

    ‘If you do that, you give yourself a chance to be in more games. But for us right now, we’re not playing at an urgent enough pace on either end.’

    ‘Urgency’ was a buzz word postgame Saturday. It came up over and over in Miller’s media session. Senior forward and team captain Juwan Morgan used it in comments that felt particularly pointed at Indiana’s locker room.

    ‘People have to play with a better sense of urgency,’ Morgan said. ‘I think coming out of the gates, it’s just too lethargic. People (on IU’s roster) just think teams aren’t going to attack us. I think they’re thinking ‘woe is me,’ instead of ‘we’ve got to fight out of this rut’.”

    ‘Nobody else,’ Morgan continued, ‘is going to do it for us.'”

    The fan base was screaming for heads, calling Archie garbage, fawning for Chris Holtmann and Chris Mack, but he kept his head, kept searching for answers and didn’t give up on his guys. He was doing all the things leaders do when they’re in a difficult position and the heat is turned up. He took responsibility, not “faux responsibility” and now he had kids who most thought were hopeless, playing the best basketball of their lives…in March, when it matters the most.

    I don’t think this is coach of the year to stuff for Archie, Indiana had lost too many games for that to be the case, but it’s far more important, save the program, building into the future kind of stuff. Keion Brooks and his family should take a hard look at the character and meddle of this man and realize that next year, they could have an incredible shot to really take this program to the next level. These are the kind of traits in a coach, who makes millions, that is exceedingly rare in today’s world of epic narcissism. He has the opportunity to play for someone special, who will improve his game the right way, with no short cuts. And he definitely won’t get up in front of the press and throw him or any of his teammates under the bus, no matter how hot the seat gets for him personally.

    I can understand now, why Archie took teams deep into the tournament with inferior talent. Watching this season unfold had been humbling as a fan in so many ways. Really happy for Archie and glad to see we have someone running our program who gets it. Time will tell, but I think our hoops program is in great hands.

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