Hoosiers’ skid hits three at OSU, 68-59

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Somehow, the path of Indiana’s season led to this.

From a thrilling victory at home versus Michigan State, to a buzzer-beating defeat to Maryland, to a miserable effort at Penn State, a three-game slide continued disconcertingly in a 68-59 loss Saturday at Ohio State.

It wasn’t just that shots weren’t falling. It wasn’t just costly turnovers. At the dais, IU coach Archie Miller was holding his chin in his hand postgame and pondering a lack of energy and toughness from his group.

The Hoosiers (15-7, 5-6 Big Ten) began digging their hole at Value City Arena with nine first-half turnovers, though a halfcourt heave by Devonte Green at the buzzer ensured a nine-point deficit going into the break.

But the visitors sank even deeper thanks to a 31-24 deficit on the boards, an odd turn of events for a team that prides itself on its strength in the frontcourt.

“Teams go through highs and lows, and some teams really find their niche, and this team has hit a pothole, so to speak,” Miller said. “In every season, the story is never written until the end, but we are going to have to change paths here and change course of how we are playing.

“The only group that can get themselves out of it is us.”

Where this season goes from here, the Hoosiers have a week to decide. They find themselves at a break in the action with rival Purdue not making the trip to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall until next Saturday.

A “slow deterioration,” as Miller termed it, brought IU to this point. In defeating the Big Ten front-running Spartans, the Hoosiers were as tough as they needed to be inside. Against Maryland, not as much.

Against the Nittany Lions, and, again, versus Kaleb Wesson and the Buckeyes, IU found itself pushed around in the paint. Wesson finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds on a 7-of-12 shooting performance. Five of his boards came on the offensive ends, as the Buckeyes held an 8-0 advantage in second-chance points.

At one point, the Hoosiers were down 9-1 on the offensive glass. The final margin was 11-4 in OSU’s favor, which Miller described as getting “housed” on the glass.

“We were locked to the ground around the rim,” Miller said. “It’s a little concerning, but, like I said, every team is going to go through their season and write their own story, and we are at a time right now where we’ve got to rely on each other to get ourselves out of it.”

For whatever reason, the Hoosiers weren’t able to pull together from the start Saturday. Wesson was able to establish himself inside, scoring six points in the first three minutes. IU’s shooting form disappeared in field goal droughts of six-and-a-half and five-plus minutes.

The latter spell ended on Green’s buzzer-beater from just outside the “O” at midcourt, cutting the halftime deficit to 31-22. There wasn’t much excitement from IU, otherwise.

“When you are at home, you play with a lot more energy. When you are on the road, you have to play a lot harder,” sophomore Rob Phinisee said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a lack of physicality or whatever. You just have to play harder.”

Phinisee, with 11 points, and Green, at 13, were the only Hoosiers to finish in double figures scoring.

In the second half, the Hoosiers were able to find their shooting form, hitting four of their first five shots. But that’s when the defense broke down. Throughout the final 20 minutes, the Buckeyes’ guards were able to break down the Hoosiers’ perimeter defense and get into the paint at will.

Most of the time, they kicked out for wide-open 3s, especially in the corner. OSU (14-7, 4-6) was 7-of-14 from beyond the arc in the second half.

Success from deep boosted the Buckeye lead to 19 points, 61-42, with 6:06 remaining. OSU finished with 10 3s.

“Really, I feel like it’s on me. I have to guard the ball a little bit better,” Phinisee said. “They were getting in the paint and getting easy kick-outs. Really just ball pressure on the outside, and I feel like that would eliminate a lot more things.”

Just add it to a long list of issues. The question is whether the Hoosiers can adequately address those warts by next Saturday and break a three-game slide.

Miller came back to the story of this season. It’s not over, and IU’s players need to rely on each other more than ever. Thinking ahead to a rivalry showdown with Purdue, at home, it’s a chance for the Hoosiers to rechart their course.

“Nothing,” Miller said, “is going to mean more than that day.”

43 comments

      1. Rodney: Beat me to it. Blase’ might best describe this program. There are a lot of contributors to a situation like this, but ultimately it’s the coaching staff. This season needs to finish out. While it’s in progress, someone, Glass or whoever, needs to be putting together a search committee.

    1. Weeeellll HC,

      Get ready for the hair on fire crowd to start chiming in. None of them have quite figured out until the upperclassmen turnover machines are out of the picture these things will continue. They are supposed to be the team leaders who lead by example, need to get the JH, RT, and RP fully healthy
      and back to form soon.

      I supposed no one notice that RT is still out after the MSU game’s rather flagrant foul which left him injured and out of action ever since. He played a great game until that injury. Also need to remember the key 3 RT hit against against OSU in the earlier match up. He has been sorely needed during this losing streak.

  1. Perhaps “Fire Archie” needs done NOT because of anything he hasn’t or has done…his players are sleepwalking and unless he takes a starter pistol at game time SOMETHING needs to be done to wake up the “Zombie Apocalypse” Someone in a different post that Instate talent is diluted because of the Class System. I offer this comparison as possible proof. Anyone remember Tom Kron from Tell City? He led that small school to Final Four against Van Arsdale twins. His exposure inTourney got him a scholarship to UK and he played against the UTEP Miners in that National Championship. Anyone know who Braedon Beard is?? He is the ALL time scoring Leader at Tell City and hes going to Southwestern Illinois. You would think IF hes a better shooter than KRON he would have gotten more notice,,than a footnote in Indianapolis Star

  2. Tex I do get your drift. But I also believe like tai. Over half the final score differential was created by the Senior basketball abortionist Green during his 1st rotation on the court today. Now that Hunter is showing shooting/scoring prospects there is no need to play Green hoping he is going to sparkplug the offense. On everything else he is a negative with a capital N.

  3. HC, you’re right about Green, but the problems with this team go way beyond Green. Today, it looked to me as if these guys quit! And since Green is so obviously a liability, why does Archie continue to play him?

    Any way you cut it, this is on Archie.

  4. I’m starting to read more and more comments calling for Archie to be fired. Folks, it ain’t going to happen because IU can’t afford to buy out his contract. I believe IU would be on the hook for 100% of his contract, which has two more years remaining after this season. So if that’s about $7,000,000, and IU simply can’t afford to pay it.

      1. What IU cannot afford is a half-empty gym. Let’s hope the malaise on the court doesn’t spread to the seats. Like JMV (WFNI ‘the fan’) said on his program after the PSU loss “sometimes it’s simply unwatchable”. After the OSU game he can drop the word “sometimes”.

  5. PO I wasn’t really calling for Archie to be “fired” just like there is nO possibility of ANYONE setting off a starter pistol at a Basketball Game…but cattle prod might be a good substitute. Many on this team remind me of teens that are so laid back that you have to Literally get them MAD to see if they will respond to anything. IF that’s the case with many on this team, they don’t need Archie. They need Carl Jung. The point about Tom Kron and Braedon Beard as far as dilution of instate talent can be seen when IU schedules a Div 2 school to play instead of a more competitive team. You cant measure your growth or your weaknesses against a lesser opponent; therein lies the Crapshoot of evaluating instate Talent. I posted before that I don’t Think Larry Bird would have gotten the attention if it weren’t for the Classless Basketball played at the time. When he showed his skills against bigger schools that’s when everyone took notice. You have an Indiana Basketball HOF in Tom Kron and a Braedon Beard that no one knows. That is what has happened in Indiana

  6. I forgot to mention that Braedon Beard is the ALL TIME LEADING scorer at Tell City Marksmen. yet Tom Kron from Tell City makes Indiana Basketball HOF and Braedon Beard is a foot note; you would think he would deserve a look-see at the least.

  7. TJ. Tommy Kron didn’t achieve the Indiana HOF induction based on what he accomplished at Tell City. played on a one class final four team at Tell City(playing at Tell City, Indiana was his only Indiana High School HOF requirement), played at U of K for a final game team,(Rupp’s Runts) and played in the NBA and ABA professional basketball leagues. Tommy Kron was a complete basketball player and his scoring wasn’t the only metric to judge his play. I was at the Tell City/Indianapolis Manual game, so I saw Tommy Kron in person, also living in southern Indiana we got a lot of U of K television games to see his games. Only time going forward will determine Braedon Beard’s basketball honors will be in comparison to Tommy Kron.

    1. as good a player Tommy Kron was. Braedon Beard HAD TO BE good enough for at least a look see because of his accomplishments but I think small school now get dismissed much the same WE as fans of IU dismissed the soft schedule early on. ona sad note ..I only saw him in the state tournament game and he was a very good shooter. Sad note Tommy Kron died in 2007 from bladder cancer. 🙁

  8. Blasé. That is a very good adjective to describe our team this season.

    Note: In order to create the accent mark over the e hold down the “alt” key and, using the keypad (NOT the numbers on the top of your keyboard), type in 0233.

    1. Harvard for Hillbillies says:
      January 25, 2020 at 1:11 pm

      I’m always a bit leery of Sunday games….Don’t like the Sunday crowds in March Madness as well. Weekends are winding down. Hangovers are hanging around…. and many students already have Monday classrooms, exams, papers….on the brain.
      Hope we have the same energy in the building that we had against MSU. Rather blasé crowds are worse than playing in hostile environments.

    2. I believe this team is more like Frisée than Blasé ……

      This team will likely not improve until a certain bitter “green” leaves.
      You could say he saladifies our offense.
      Archie has tried addressing it. What begins as a touch of bitter green soon takes the team into an endive.
      We go from on a roll to escarole.
      It’s a shame …Lettuce not forget, this team has a radicchio amount of talent.
      But it’s that one “green” turning us all Frisée and getting us too frazzled! Is he ever garden anyone?
      If only we had a dependable chicory on our hickory romaine around the 3-pt. line.
      Before I continue on our need for a salad shooter, you best Phinisee your salad….Or is it Phinisée?

      1. I want to complement you. That is very well done!

        Have any of you read The Endurance? It is the story is of Shackleton guiding his crew to safety after his ship The Endurance was crushed by an iceberg. He did it be separating his “bitter green leaves” from the remaining good crew. This simple action kept his crew alive and moving forward to safety. It is too bad Coach Miller can not find a way to separate the ‘bitter green leaf” from the others.

        As for comments regarding a few of the players trying to torpedo Coach Miller. My Mom, who is 91 and I have been discussing this for 3 years. Have you heard this saying? A Mom asks her son to stand up and he does, then says, “I may be standing up on the outside but on the inside I am sitting down”. How would this translate to a basketball team? Step out of bounds, miss free throws, make errant passes, on and on and on. It is so subtle. I am sure a Parent or someone who manages people can detect the behavior.

        1. Thank you! I have watched various documentaries on Shackleton, but I have not read the book you’ve referenced. I’ll put it on my list.

          I thought your 91 year old mom’s quote was marvelous….It’s great you’re still having basketball talks. My late mom used to love and talk basketball with me…I miss those random chats a ton. She sure loved hoops.

          I do believe a majority of the problems with this team reside in a sort of internalized insubordination.
          Speaking of greens…Sometimes I get so frustrated watching a team with little respect for their coach that I nearly gone into Caesars.

        2. Yes, I have heard your Mother’s old saying,

          It is an old one and a very good one. While would prefer the kinder approach that the problems with the upperclassmen is merely a significant lack of leadership skills, I would hate to think any of the actions would be deliberate. Can’t rule it out of the realm of possibility but it certainly would be a sad commentary on the caliber of players CAM inherited from his predecessor.

          Speaking of predecessors, saw an interesting article regarding a game yesterday involving the fabled CKS. Appears one of his players was ejected from the game after apparently biting an opposing player during a scrum for a loose ball on the floor. As one would guess, it was a Houston player (sorry H4H, but another old saying is “Birds of a feather flock together).

          1. Listen, there can be bad seeds on any team….I would probably guess Houston gets a higher seed in the NCAA than us (especially if we continue in this funk).
            We just witnessed a Kansas prima donna picking up a stool to beat over somebody’s head had he not been stopped. Where is the outrage? All those players in the Kansas vs KSU brawl were given little more than slaps on the wrist.
            Mike Tyson once bit a guys ear partially off. That’s earreplaceable! Tyson still has plenty of fans…and kept plenty then.

            Guys will do crazy stuff in the heat of battle. They’ll also swing flagrant elbows or sneakily push someone in the back driving for a layup. Dirty stuff happens everywhere. Let’s please stop with acting like one coach is central to dirty deeds. I’ve watched plenty of Houston games (didn’t see the incident you are referring to)…For the most part, his teams play tenacious and respect their coach. I’ll take the occasional emotional breaks as long as I see respect for my teacher/coach.
            Sadly, I’m not seeing a lot of discipline on our squad and that reflects upon how much they respect their coach on the sideline. And I’ve seen pick-up squads at the park or at HPER play with more togetherness and camaraderie.
            I’ve rarely seen a team as disjointed as our current Hoosiers….This isn’t about talent…This is about five to seven guys purely enjoying being on the floor together and representing Indiana together. Their representation of the candy stripes is taking quite the “bite” out of our lore and reputation to be knowledgeable and fundamentally sound.

          2. K. Sanctions has a clear pattern over decades of recruiting very questionable characters. He had the same style at Norman. Attracting and developing thugs are a specialty in his bio.

  9. The talent exists to win and win a lot with this team. The positive results are largely correlated to “being locked in”. At home & in known big games (FLA St., MSU, MD) they show up, albeit in spurts. But 40 min of focus with this bunch simply doesn’t exist and isn’t possible. Even with MD they only played to their potential for about 25 min. Their game focus is very easy to see very early by their defensive posture and will to pre-execute what the opponent is running. They looked “locked in” in must-win or should-win games. On the road, they look broken. They hang around until it starts going south, and then it’s over. It then turns into the “pad my own stats & let’s get outta here”.

    In summary, an overall lack of mental toughness & focus. That factor is a player thing, not a coaching thing. We don’t have kids with the right fortitude or maturity to enforce our will on a game. My bet is they prepare the same way, with the same film, scout & game plan process before every game. But the ATTITUDE isn’t there unless it is a must-win environment. I personally believe that our younger guards don’t feel like they want to take the reigns from Green. Nobody on the floor is grabbing that kid by the shirt & pointing out him to what he should be doing. So it just goes on and on and on. And clearly Archie doesn’t have any answers for it.

    One of mine would be to empty the bench when the “don’t care” sets in. Let’s see what the 11 – 14 slots on the bench have under the hood in garbage time when it is clear that we’re done.

    Perhaps we should invest in buses to get the students to every road game. There are plenty of seats available. Offer free food, pizza, etc. Make 1 bus over 21 only, supply kegs. The cost would seem to be a drop in the bucket for what we pay the coaching staff.

    1. I personally believe that our younger guards don’t feel like they want to take the reigns from Green.

      Another perceptive comment ….albeit following the same worries about this team I had months ago. ‘Big man on campusitis’….NBA connections….players feeling like they have more friends in high places than the coach….all adding up to no respect for the head coach.

      Can any of you honestly say you’ve seen anything on the sideline …or during timeouts that indicates anyone on the roster is showing a lot of respect for their head coach? I saw some signs of attentive ears and respectful manner with Brunk….but that’s even fading because the players are running this team and not the coach/coaches.

      I want to give some of the holdovers benefit of the doubt…It’s getting more difficult…I go off on conspiracy theories thinking some of them are subconsciously sabotaging Archie’s efforts to simply make Crean look wrongfully discharged from Indiana. I know that’s overboard, but this team doesn’t respect their coach…and I have a hard time not thinking some of the more senior members are contributing to that dysfunctional environment just as much behind the scenes as in games.

      A blind man could tell this team is not invested in their coach…or they’re afraid to be invested because they won’t fit in with the cool holdovers.
      I haven’t seen this sort of collusion in dysfunction since the Senate refused to call witnesses..

  10. Here’s the real problem gang,

    I imagine HC already suspects this but this team has no upperclassmen leadership. It is as clears as can be. The problem is the underclassmen are not ready or physically able at the point to fill the vacuum. You have 4 holdovers who should be the core of this team but they are no where near what is needed in terms of leadership. Brunk is trying to get there, but he is new to the program.
    There is a core developing but that growth has been stunted due to injury. If the 3 I keep talking about can get to the form they were recruited be, most of the problems will resolve. Unfortunately JH, RT, & RP have been significantly set back due to unforeseeable events.

  11. yes,…and the Q asking why play Green?…there is no choice(as much as I hate it)…RP is visibly struggling with a nagging affliction and can’t play his fair share of minutes…Franklin being a Frosh is suspect to how big a load he can bear up under…Al plays lots of minutes…Green is it…regrettably…as Archie is out of eligibility…we did find out today shooting 3’s at an acceptable % is not the only answer…I still have positive hopes for this team and Coach Miller has a lot to do with that approach…

    1. HC,

      I think CAM gains a significant net talent increase next year with the Senior class departing and the incoming Freshmen. I also believe from what I have read regarding Leal and Galloway (Not seen much written on Geronimo yet) in future years there will be team leadership in abundance. This is a major shortfall which CAM, the team, and Hoosier Nation will have to suffer through for a while longer. I think as JH, RT, & RP heal and mature next year and beyond, this major problem will alleviate.

      Armaan (Not sure how long before TJD goes pro) is waiting the wings to follow them, but until the underclassmen mature, I’m afraid I am seeing this as you do. CAM has little choice at this point but to do the best he can with the very deficient hand he was dealt, both in what he inherited from his predecessor, and unbelievable amount of injuries to his intended primary solution to the overall problem.

      Sadly, the biggest problem CAM may have to deal with is the failure of a significant portion of Hoosier Nation having the ability to understand what he is facing. This indicates a major concern I have for the future of IU basketball, as this lack of understanding is a symptom of a serious lowering of the traditionally high basketball IQ of Hoosier Nation. A drop in Hoosier Nation’s basketball IQ is not exactly what is needed to get back to and maintain a championship caliber program.

  12. ^^^ Well said. IF Archie can get this team to 20 wins & a tournament bid, it will be measurable progress in the right direction. It’s a big “IF” though.

    1. You get it Awz!

      The upperclassmen leadership problem is so obvious even a basketball novice should see it! Look at the wrap up to the last Maryland game. In the clutch, your 2 upperclassmen guards made blunders which you would expect from underclassmen, not experienced 3 and 4 year players. Blunders which cost IU basketball a 1 point game.

  13. Anyone thinks we don’t have a significant upgrade coming next year needs to look at the Anthony Leal end of game tape from last night. Hit a 3 pointer at the buzzer to win the game. Both teams #1 in their respective classes and on the opponents home floor. I think I saw where Galloway had a good game for his team in another contest as well.

    1. I think counting on the incoming guys as a significant upgrade over what we have now is unwise and highly unlikely. Experience counts for a great deal, and expecting too much too soon is a recipe for disappointment.

      1. BD,
        I don’t expect too much from them in their first couple of years any more than I do from the current underclassmen. However, I do expect they will get a considerably larger amount of upperclassmen leadership than what is currently being provided to our current underclassmen. This would bode well for a couple years down the road. Remember Leal hails from the same HS and coach which produced Jordy Hulls. There certainly was no shortage of leadership where Mr. Hulls was concerned despite the lack of credible coaching from the sidelines while at IU.

      2. My expectations won’t be too exuberant of the 3 Frosh. I have no doubt they’ll play with more energy, intensity and BB-IQ than “Hero” Green. He is also (-) in team chemistry. I believe he undoubtedly thought more of his long 3 before halftime than reflect on his braindead performance during his 1st rotation in the game. Next season IUBB will be notably better just by his absence.

  14. Do we have a 5-star point guard coming in….? Banners and Final Fours are damn near impossible without a premier point guard. Actually, they’re damn near impossible without premier talent at every position. Building a 1987 roster isn’t going to cut it anymore. Backcourts by committee don’t cut it anymore. Parking a slow lights-out shooter on the perimeter will help but it’s the unique and steady orchestrator in the backcourt that makes teams go from very good to great.
    The teams sitting atop the BigTen and national contenders have premier point guards. …

    Love the fact that Archie is making the strides to improve Indiana/in-state recruiting but talent does not always cycle through the state at the same levels every year….and premier point guards can take more expansive recruiting efforts (thus convincing said point guard that Indiana is a destination they’ll likely get to play on the biggest stages).

    Isiah Thomas could fit and lead a team to championships today…He eclipses the 33 year banner drought with the array of speed, leadership, vision and shooting ability that still works today. Find those rare gems doesn’t necessarily happen even if you have the entire state locked down.

    Can Archie find this team a premier point guard…..Really like Phinisee and Franklin but I honestly don’t see either possessing that true “it factor” and confidence seen in premier points throughout the country.

    Wonder why we’ve had the long banner drought? You can point to scandals, firing Knight, one-and-done, inept coaches given far too long of contracts, and a slew of other potential excuses. Fact remains, premier All-American level point guards from our last forty seasons can be counted on one hand…..Hell, maybe you can count them with a ‘peace sign.’

    If you placed a premier point guard on this team tomorrow we’d be a threat for a deep NCAA run. The poor shooting would improve dramatically because Hunter and others would get the ball in timely rhythm. Confidence in all would escalate.

    It’s not just about timetables and locking down recruiting in Indiana. Banners and deep runs count on locking down imperative positional talent. In this age of basketball, I consider the point guard more imperative than ever. Hell, Yogi Ferrell would make this team so…so…so much better.

    My favorite guard from our home state in the last decade, Nic Moore, went to SMU….The only reason SMU wasn’t in a Final Four that season was because of very minor academic violations handed down to Larry Brown. Felt bad for the Indiana kid robbed of much limelight…

  15. Regarding the guards, if Phinisee, Durham and Franklin see most of the minutes next season, IU will be no better than this year. That is unless Franklin can show significant improvement. Leal and Galloway would need to be able to contribute immediately. If one of them has leadership qualities and skills to match, that could be a difference maker. I have no idea about Geronimo, but it would be great if he is fundamentally sound and could take minutes from Smith. Perhaps Hunter shows a lot more next season and takes minutes from Smith too. It seems to me that if Trayce stays, IU still needs some help. The glaring need is a dynamic point guard.

    1. So I’m to believe regarding our guards Franklin as a Sophomore plays like a Frosh? Also Phinisee healthy(remember his D against Winston in both games last season?)will play no better than when hobbled this season? Or Al a year stronger doesn’t become harder to guard? The real advantage for next season is no “HERO” will be impersonating an IUBB player in Cream and Crimson. Lot of improvements just by subtraction.

      1. HC,
        The more I see posted not only on this board but on some others, a lot of folks are starting to come to the same conclusions. The lack of upperclassmen leadership is a serious problem for the program. Whether or not this is simply a leadership vacuum or simply the wrong example being set by the upperclassmen is up for debate, but the problem is making itself very clear. Sad thing is, with as impatient as some fans can be, this is only going to resolve itself with time.

  16. Hopeful as far as guards in the future,…Arrows pointing Lander to Michigan. and really there is poor coverage for fans to follow recruits and targets…almost every other BIG10 towns newspaper covera the recruiting trail and targets very well..They tell you who is visiting..who’s leaning and who committed elsewhere..I have NO CLUE who IU is looking at after Lander.

  17. The lack of leadership is clearly a problem. But there’s no rule that stipulates that seniors have to provide that leadership. I seem to remember an IU point guard leading IU to a National Championship in 1982, and he was only a sophomore. If AM wants Phinisee or Franklin to provide the leadership, then it’s Archie’s job to make sure they’re empowered to provide it.

    It seems some folks continue to twist themselves into Tell City Pretzels in continuing to defend Archie in the face of some terrible performances. As if it’s all on the players recruited by Crean. Their habits/attitudes were so ingrained as freshman when Archie arrived almost three years ago that there is nothing Archie can do to change their behavior and attitudes, or improve their skills. “We can’t hold Archie accountable because these are not the players he would have recruited!”

    Well that’s just silly. It’s all on Archie. He and his assistants are the adults in the room. Archie has all the power. He’s the one getting paid $3.5 million a year to fix or minimize these problems. He’s the one responsible to improve the players’ skills, regardless of who recruited them. If Green is a destructive/derisive influence on this team, bench him for goodness sake. Hell, play one of the walk-ons when Phinisee, Franklin and Durham need a breather, especially when playing on the road (the game’s outcome would not be affected!).

    Maybe we should blame Glass for implementing the IU Student-Athlete’s Bill of Rights that prohibits (frowns upon) IU’s coaches from running a bad seed off the team or “encouraging” a player to transfer? I wonder if the incoming AD will enforce the Bill of Rights and concur with those Archie supporters who believe Archie’s only problem is that he got stuck with some players that he did not recruit? I wonder if the incoming AD will extend Archie’s contract for three years just to be sure he’s getting treated fairly? Because as everyone knows, it’s not fair to expect a college coach to turn a once elite program around in just five years, especially when that coach inherited so many players that were incompatible to his style of basketball.

    1. Po,
      Speaking of pretzels, you made a pretty good one too when you defended TLC.

      That being said, you missed a couple points on the leadership issue. Yes, if the upperclassmen cannot provide the leadership then the underclassmen hopefully can. One problem, those underclassmen who could have done so (JH, RT, RP) have been battling significant injuries their entire time at IU. I do not recall that sophomore point guard you referred to as having battled any significant injuries his entire 2 years at IU.

      Let’s also not forget this point guard you alluded to was likely the greatest point guard ever produced by IU, arguably one of the 2 best ever produced by the B1G, and one of the all time great point guards in college basketball. Those kind of point guards do not exactly grow on trees everyday and IU was very fortunate to have him as long as they did.

  18. Sorry, that should have been 1981.

    While I agree that next year’s freshmen may provide a “talent upgrade,” their lack of experience will probably neutralize that improved talent. And isn’t it Archie who is always talking about the limitations of freshmen in his program? In reference to Hunter, he continues to say “he’s really only a freshman.” Well, if it takes at least two seasons before a player recruited by Archie can be trusted to thrive in his system, we should not expect much from next year’s freshman class.

  19. Po not just talent upgrade with next years freshmen…an infusion of hopeful and positive attitude. Justin Smith is Too laid back to find any fire in him; for all the good games he has had this year IF he exerted ANY effort ,he could easily be averaging 22 -24 points a game and close to 10 boards. BUT he’s happy JUST to float along , and as Archie says” you cant practice soft and play hard” Smith can do so much more for the maturity of the front line players but what we see in games is the result of his lackadaisical attitude from practice and the “moving thru cement ” in games.

  20. TJ, I give Smith a pass this year because we have no idea what his leg condition was or how he’s recovering. But any time a kid goes to The Cleveland Clinic for surgery to correct an undisclosed lower leg condition, it was probably serious. Typically, people don’t go to The Cleveland Clinic for routine medical care.

    I get the impression that Smith’s recovery is being carefully managed and that he’s being brought back very slowly. Because we don’t know how hard he’s being allowed to train, practice or how many minutes he’s allowed to play, I’m not going to criticize him this year. My hope is that by start of next season, any limitations that were imposed on him will be lifted and he will go full throttle.

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