Miller questions Hoosiers’ passion, togetherness

In the middle of fan questions at his weekly radio show, Indiana coach Archie Miller received a sharp critique of his team.

It came from Linda Taylor, a fan of the Hoosiers for 39 years.

“That team comes out of that locker room flat. There is no enthusiasm, there is no ‘This is my floor and you gotta take it,'” she said. “I don’t know what you do to change that.”

Just two days removed from IU’s sixth straight loss to rival Purdue, amid a four-game losing streak in conference play, Miller couldn’t disagree.

“It’s actually a really good point,” Miller said, “because I think part of our struggles with our team has been passion, emotion, togetherness.”

That interaction reflected some of the frustrations of the fanbase, but it also delivered an honest assessment from a coach still trying to drive a program in the right direction, toward a consistency that has eluded the Hoosiers up to this point.

Throughout his radio show Monday, the third-year coach came back to demeanor and mental toughness as much as anything. Reminiscent of his tone following a near-loss to Northwestern, Miller talked about finding players who will compete and sticking with them versus No. 17 Iowa on Thursday.

If there are only six, he said, IU will play six. If there are 11, all 11 will see the floor. “At some point,” Miller said, “you have to draw the line. If you don’t want to be a part of winning, you have to not be a part of what we are doing.”

When Linda Taylor preached, Miller was her choir.

“They don’t talk to each other, they don’t get excited,” she said.

“You sound like me,” Miller said, as the audience laughed. “I think you should probably come to talk to our team, because I don’t think they believe me when I say they don’t talk to each other.”

It was humorous, but it was also brutal honesty. It was the words of a coach still trying to find a measure of passion and togetherness from his group. It’s a team that, far too often, turns quiet and reserved when things aren’t going well.

The question is how Miller drives that out of them. After the Northwestern game, for example, the Hoosiers responded in a win over then-No. 11 Ohio State. But it didn’t require shortening the rotation. Every available scholarship player saw court time. Just launching a threat of reduced minutes was enough.

But what to do now? 

That victory over the Buckeyes, like wins over Florida State and Michigan State, showed IU’s potential.  But Miller and his players still have to find a way to bottle what’s made them successful — and better respond when adversity hits.

“This team has enough in the tank … that on a given day, when your heads are right, (it) can beat anybody,” Miller said. “I think consistency is something you’re always on a quest to get. Sometimes, like I said, you have to be able to get up from getting knocked in the mouth. There are certain guys on this team that have been knocked in the mouth a few times, but have they really been able to … work through it? Has it worked out for them well when they’ve worked through it?”

IU (15-8, 5-7 Big Ten) is bound to take some more shots over the next few weeks. After a home contest with the Hawkeyes, the Hoosiers take to the road in four out of their next five games. In true road contests, IU is just 1-5 this season.

Miller tried to downplay the “doom and gloom” of the Hoosiers’ recent skid by playing up the fact that they are still “relevant” in the NCAA tournament conversation. But as IU comes down this home stretch, Miller needs a more player-driven team than what he’s seen thus far.

“An ugly face of this team has been when things are hard, whether it’s on the road, or a losing streak here or there, they tend to be more reserved, more quiet, somebody has to fix it for them,” Miller said. “To me, this team has to find a way to assert themselves, and nobody is fixing it for us right now.

“It’s time right now to forget everything, and make sure our house is in order and we are doing things the right way. There is so much ball to be played, this month has so many more twists and turns.”

Miller reiterated his belief that the Hoosiers have enough players who want to do well. They just have to find their way. They have to regain their confidence.

But when IU radio man Don Fischer asked if he’s seeing enough improvement from the Hoosiers individually in practice, Miller came back to the idea of making some difficult choices as a coach.

“At some point in time, the coach needs to be not only getting responded to but the coach needs to figure out who is responding,” Miller said. “It’s not equal opportunity as you are struggling. It may be as simple as this guy is not playing well, let’s not play him anymore. Let’s play this guy a little bit more, let’s figure some things out.

“We need some guys out there that really want it. That will help our team respond when we see some guys really giving max effort, doing some things we’ve seen our team do a few times this season.”

56 comments

  1. Will the real “Linda Taylor” please stand up?!?! We all have a lot of Linda Taylor in us.

    It’s time for Archie to put up or shut up. I’m bored with the ‘we have to make changes, we’re going to shorten the rotation, we’re going to play with the one giving their all, etc….’ Nothing ever happens!

    To me the adjustments are obvious & we’ve been mulling them over on this blog for 3 1/2 months.

    1. Less Green. If he isn’t hitting, sit him.
    2. Give the damn ball to Jackson Davis every trip & stop passing the ball around the perimeter & then taking a poor, late-in-the-shotclock, prayer.
    3. Light a fire under Brunk, Race & Davis. I might just play 2 of the 3 of them together (w/ Trayce) & just pound the ball inside. Tell them “Nobody scores against you in the paint.” & “Every rebound is yours”. (Force them to be physical and give up their 15 collective fouls, in other words.)

    Do these 3 things & we’ll win again.

    1. I say play Jerome on offense at the FT line, driving to the bucket, taking the 10’ shot, feeding the Bigs, slashing through the lane, setting off ball screens, constantly moving. He is definitely improving! Also when IU is down, no player can shoot a 3 unless the ball has been passed into the paint!

  2. AWin..I believe Archie got the message tonight. Especially on the heels of Knight’s return. What NEEDS to be done and what Archie Does may be 2 different things because Archie may not Have learned that its ok to dismiss kids from team for
    not hustling” The Coaches he learned from may never have done that and so he leans on the lessons of the past which (and probably) aren’t going to work.

  3. Anyway, if we win that would really be nice. However, if it doesn’t happen; thanks for the multi million dollar contract. Regardless, in the end I win either way.
    Such is the life of most in the club. Not just AM.

    1. t,
      You need to remember how and why that “club,” you refer to, was formed. It developed many years ago as far too many “fans” and administrators decided that “we’ve got to have it now.” As a result, a great number of very good coaches were shown the door before they had time to turn some very bad situations around. I know many of them needed to go, but not everyone.

      The great coaches decided they were not going to live with this level of career insecurity, and if you wanted them, you would have to pay the piper. All it took was a few great coaches proving the point, both in their ability to win and their willingness to go elsewhere for that security if needed, to start the ball rolling to evolve into what you now call the “club.” For every action there is always an opposite reaction and this is what you get.

      Moral of the story, be careful what you set in motion, you may not get what you thought you were getting. Recommend the critics think about it, but I am sure they probably will not.

      1. Don’t be afraid to use names. “The Club” “great coaches” are terms with no meaning. Whom are you talking about? IU did have one great coach, Knight. But he could not control his own personal outbursts and his coaching and recruiting were declining. Then Sampson who apparently did not know the NCAA rules and IU had no one to watch him. Then Crean who did OK but inconsistently and without motivating the State. Now Archie who has never motivated his team to truly fight for him. He has motivated the State but has no W/L record to support himself. We are surrounded by good coaches, just none at IU Men’s Basketball!

  4. Coach – get Oladipo in there to give them a pep talk. He made some good points and mental awareness comments after their loss to the Nets.

    Let’s make IU basketball fun again.

  5. Knowing, Understanding, Owning and Implementing Concepts. IU looks out a window and lives it. Their opponents look out a different window and lives it. As the going gets tough, the tough get going. As opponents more clearly see out of a sparkling clear window…The IU window becomes iced over and very hard to see out to implement Winning Concepts.

  6. The club is more than coaching/sports etc. that is whether ask for or not. It’s (whether earned or not, fair or not, smarter/intelligent or not, worked harder or not which in some cases are all true) is still very very very argumentative or debatable. The fact it is an elite society all its own.

    1. Bravo, t!
      The “Club” is far more than supply vs. demand economics…It’s also about the 1% keeping the 99% right where they are. It’s about collusion and nepotism. It’s about inheritance of jobs (see politicians and rigid bureaucratic structures built for insiders and family)…and family inroads in sports too (see our previous coach’s ties to the Harbaughs and how that aids in marketing oneself no matter how inept in the profession)…

      Let’s please not pretend that the obscenely rich getting more obscenely rich every decade while the vast majority of the population experiences stagnancy in wages when compared to cost of living over the last 25 years has anything to do with supply and demand…or who, given an equal shot, could do a given job just as well if not better.

      They say not to bring politics into this blog….Wow. There was nothing more political than in ThiNkABoutiT’s defense of the obscene as if it “our” fault…or the average worker with 3 jobs trying to make ends meet fault for influencing the wage injustices in all things.
      How foolish to act as if talent is not the equalizer of all things…Give me a break. Archie came straight from a coaching family as well…End of story. The beauty of Knight? No coaching family. Trump? “Here’s a few million (in the 1970’s) and some Manhattan properties, now go make something of yourself, son.”

      Put those happy-go-lucky blinders on, t. Do as your told. All is well in the Land of the Freely rich who take all their tax breaks to buy more stock and place it into dirty internet suitcases sent to tax-free overseas investments …And don’t forget the home of the brave business mogul in NYC able to bypass Vietnam because of swollen warts on a big toe. The economy is doing GREAT! Hell yes, you’re not building it from a foxhole, genius…You’re building it from FAKE FOX NEWS!

      Archie may not be out of touch with his basketball team as much as some who want his head on stick (mostly Crean apologists) as they would like you to believe. But, as ‘t’ pointed out…There is a sort of “thanklessness” virus afflicting the super-rich. He is out of touch just as much as our last head coach numbskull…because what he (and most the super-rich now taking their mega paychecks for granted…Who wouldn’t? After your first year, you’re never going to be on welfare)…. fails to recognize is amateur/college sports used to be that place you could find commonality…It would be found in cheering as one without the class differences of sky boxes and obscene dollars just thrown like mud pies into your face. To them, that pittance you spent on a $50.00 ticket to see a so-called team. They have normalized it all…including those select prima donnas who don’t give a rat’s ass because they know some fool will give them a million dollar base contract in the NBA to dribble off their fungus toes too!

      Out of touch, indeed, t…..Archie’s wallet is more out-of-touch than a Hall & Oates tune. Dayton…to Beverly Hills for this team? And I used to think the Beverly Hillbillies television show was for those lucky fantasy world few who found oil in their backyard. Sign a coaching contract, and you’ve struck oil. No motivation required from coach or players. Just pack up the heap and head to L.A.

      With the gazillions they’re paid, I honestly don’t see why it’s such a hard decision to make a coaching change. It’s not like we are risking being quickly irrelevant. We’ve been irrelevant as the fan in the balcony seats for the last 30 years….So much to lose for our reputation while they walk out the revolving door with a lifetime of cash. Just remember, that cash is ‘out of touch‘…and they’ll land on their feet (or wart toes).

  7. Good for Coach Miller to hear from a longtime fan that it’s alright to shake the team up with tough actions. It has to be a bit positive for him to know a focused demanded guidance is welcomed. Green has to set, Hunter plays more than Smith, and put the whip in the hands of Rob and Brunk to demand and achieve the results needed on the floor.

    1. Trayce is our only All-B1G player! Play him 30 minutes/game; get him some touches on every possession; screen for him; have him shoot the 10’ jumper and hook shots. Use him!

      1. BP,
        I think we may have a player who may have the potential to be more than an all B1G player. The only problem is can we get him back to the form he had before the illness. I think over the next 2 years the fortunes of IUBB rest on that.

  8. Want to make sure I get this straight. Our Coach at INDIANA UNIVERSITY needs a fan to call in to advise him as to what is needed??? As if it is not plain to see. As if it was not plain to see last year after losing 4 straight of what would be losing 12 of 13. Geez Louise.

  9. Agree with chuck81. No excuses for the string of losses last year and the way they are playing right now. Very inconsistent. And since when is an IU team last in the B1G in three point shooting..really sad. Was happy with the AM hire, but getting a bit impatient at this point. I would be less impatient if IU had any reasonable amount of success lately. They should at least be making the dance every year, but if they can’t even do that, why would anyone expect them to make a Final Four.

  10. Well put – chuck81 – Where are the assistant coaches?? There has to be more problems with this team, then the fan is witnessing or seeing. Green has been inconsistent for four years and this coaching staff continues to play him. This teams lack of passions started last year which most fans attribute to or blame Romeo Langford …. IMO …. passions for the game comes from within….The only players seemingly enjoying (having fun/passions) the game of basketball is freshman and sophomore. But, all of this could be effects of injuries (physical and emotional) on this team over the last two years. Also as fans we have to face the fact that maybe the Tom Crean holdovers do not believe in the direction or philosophy within the new coaching staff. But IMO i think the mental hangover from all the injuries is the main cause of the inconsistency within this team, hopefully they will correct itself by years end

    1. Very good post, IU79.

      Respect for coach and candy stripes? None. Entitlement? Plenty. Passion? Most playing for Calipari probably don’t know how to spell it ….and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a foreign language at IU Basketball as well. Passion? Guys on our roster keep cutting off more hair….I’m wondering if they soon go full shaven heads as they transform into the Hurryin’ Hare Krishnas.

    2. Things never “correct themselves”! Identify the problem, identify the short term solution, identify the longer term solution, then work, work work!

  11. I think, Linda Taylor’s comment to CM could be repeated by most of the people that post on this blog. I read an opinion piece about I U Basketball, Monday evening on the The Daily Hoosier website, that doesn’t paint a favorable opinion, about the present or going forward and gave some interesting historical data. The future of I U Basketball is very much in question to me, there’s a need to staring coming up with actual results. as we are way past the excuses for what occurring. There’s a lot of changes in the future of NCAA sports, professional payments to players, a new AD at I U , a new I U President to be hired, will the revenue stream continue to flow to I U Basketball if the program doesn’t show some remarkable improvement in the next couple of seasons and I think we saw the last I U Sport’s Icon Saturday as the school’s administration and the University doesn’t want to share the limelight with a sport’s figure. The new AD will have a lot on his or her plate, once hired.

  12. Yep – unfortunately all of the team’s woes falls on the coach and his assistants! I hate to say it cause I like AM but this situation calls for a certain toughness to take necessary risks that I’m not sure he possesses?
    It’s very hard to watch such a talented bunch of players consistently fail to execute!

  13. think, what you failed to reference when you made the comment “As a result, a great number of very good coaches were shown the door before they had time to turn some very bad situations around” is that people in charge of large organizations, especially sports organizations, understand that the best indication of future performance is a person’s past performance. Furthermore, those people’s jobs were (are) also on the line if they did not “fix” what their customers (the fans) perceived to be a problem. It’s better for leaders of big organizations to to take action than it is to sit pat and risk being thought of as clueless and incompetent. America is and always has been an impatient society, and we’re getting more impatient with each passing decade. People will stick by and support a coach who shows progress, whose plan seems to be producing improved results, even if the pace is slow. But many, if not most IU BB fans are not seeing progress, not even a little bit. We’re not seeing progress during the games and we’re not seeing it in overall recruiting. We’re seeing something that is unacceptable, and so naturally, we want change. If Miller can’t produce that change, then we call upon the people in his chain-of-command to make a change.

    But most importantly, what you failed to acknowledge is that the risk of NOT making a coaching change is that a program can get worse. A lot worse! It can decline into the sports abyss, to the point where the program becomes irrelevant and very difficult to resurrect. That’s the risk that motivates people who run professional and college sports organizations to make the coaching changes you referenced. I don’t think IU hired Archie, or expected Archie to take five or six years to begin turning IU BB around. If they did, they’d have given him a seven year contract like they did when they hired Wilson to turn IU FB around.

    “Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left behind by those who hustle.”

    1. But most importantly, what you failed to acknowledge is that the risk of NOT making a coaching change is that a program can get worse.

      Is that really coming from someone who had blinders on to this? What on earth?

      And Linda Taylor, where in the hell were you for the nine seasons we didn’t know how to run an in-bounds play…or communicate to a team to foul and stop a clock …or when we were ranked near the bottom of the league for defensive efficiency…or topping out at Sweet 16’s while nine other Midwestern teams were going to a collective 25 Elite Eights and 17 Final Fours with less talent…Earth to Linda…? Earth to Linda? Were you in a coma in the nine seasons preceding Archie inherited the Duke Blue Devils?

    2. You know Po,
      I glad you reminded me of the danger of keeping a coach too long. If anything should have taught us that lesson, surely keeping CAM’s predecessor too long should have taught us that. He may have won a few more games but he didn’t inherit players from his predecessor possibly undermining his success. He just didn’t inherit anybody and had basically a clean slate to work from, although the first few years were tough. That may be easier to work from than trying to change the basketball philosophy of the players you inherit.

  14. Hey Po..to quote Aristotle ” Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet” and who’s to argue against Aristotle.

  15. one other thought I have based on Archie’s comments the other night about the development of the person and personality, and the “motor” of Luka Garza. Maybe Archie and staff should look at personality first instead of “stars” a team of Luka Garza-like players would beat anyone on any night.

    1. tjT,
      If you look at what CAM is recruiting, I think you will see what you are looking for. Check out what is going on with the class coming in this fall in their final years of HS.

  16. I remember a Luka Recker…..I think the whole downhill slide began with Luka Recker transferring …Remember when he buried that killer shot which stopped our Hoosiers from getting to a rare BigTen Tournament Final and a probable tournament title?

    I’m still not healed…A guy at Iowa named Luka just hits too close to Luke.
    And then after seeing Bobby at halftime on Saturday…? Would things be different if Luka Recker doesn’t transfer to Iowa…? Maybe Recker never has that big moment and Luka Harangody comes to Indiana instead of going to ND…..? And then maybe Luka Zeller too?

    Can all the course of history hinge on one transfer or one game-winner floater? You’re damn right it can.

    Luka, you are not my son. Luke, you are also not my son. Darth Vaden used to play for the candy stripes…Neither of you are his son. May the 3-point force not be with you on Thursday, Luka…and, instead, be with the good guys.

    1. I remember that shot… I was only about 50 feet away in a lower-bowl corner seat… although I had imbibed too much that day as a young twenty-something at my first B1G tournament. I remember very little after…

      1. I thought I remembered a 3-pointer from the corner….but all I could find was the ‘floater’ winner…Was there a 3-point dagger from Recker earlier(just before the floater)…? Maybe I’m justI thinking of a different game he had against the Hoosiers where he delivered a game-winner from the corner….or, maybe, I’ve just gone very fuzzy over time. Oh, well….

  17. Speaking of Luka Garza, this chap was a stick figure his freshman year. He was pushed & shoved around like a rag doll. Now the script is flipped. He’s doing the pushing. And guys with his inside-out skills have murdered us all season. Add him to their other 3 pt shooters & I foresee the 5th straight loss coming. Iowa will shoot 20+ 3’s & I suspect they’ll hit 8+. I enjoy watching them play & they have a really good coach who doesn’t take any crap from refs or his players. We’re in trouble!

    So much trouble that we are now 61 in the NET & clearly on the proverbial bubble again. We have to go 4-4 & win 1 in the Big Ten tourney to get in the dance. And I have no hopes about the dance other than to show our youth the platform & build experience.

  18. Come to think of it….Alford coaching at Iowa and then Luka Recker transferring and leaving Bobby? Hell, I’d be grabbing a snidely frat rat trying to rub dirt in my face too. Bobby had some real back-stabbers during that tumultuous time.

    No, Alford should not be invited to the Bobby reunion. Heels and back-stabbers don’t deserve a healing party.

    I actually like to think of Iowa as more a rivalry than Purdon’t …Not to mention, Fran McCaffery was always a big Crean defender/a$$-kisser.

  19. I believe we’ll make Garza look like a clod….He’ll brick all night. He’ll get in foul trouble and we’ll see Luka Bazooka with no ammo chewing bubblegum on the bench.

    Hoosiers 79
    Iowa 64

  20. Interesting time travel….Once you get to the end of the column, some mention of Iowa and Alford occurs….and ‘you know who.’ Interesting, that’s the first piece I’ve ever found where Crean’s name was mentioned (by a player who was very loyal to the departing Mike Davis) before the hiring of Kelvin Sampson. https://www.idsnews.com/article/2006/03/players-feel-davis-fallout

    Ratliff:

    “Everybody’s talking about Steve Alford,” he said. “He recruited me hard in high school. I like him. Randy Wittman is a good guy. And Tom Crean, he recruited me hard out of high school. I love all the candidates that they’re talking about.”
    “It would be great for it to be an IU guy,” he responded to a follow-up question. “A lot of people don’t want Steve Alford because of what he’s doing at Iowa, or that he can’t recruit Indiana players. But I think it would be great if he came to Indiana because he could get that many more Indiana players, I think”

    Yup, I despise Iowa.

  21. Oh yes, I despise Iowa too.

    Thursday we shall show them what a team with its back against the wall does…it sticks together.

    Harv, I cannot believe that you’ve gotten me to give this crew one last chance.

    But I am. Garza will have 2 fouls at the 10:00 minute mark in the 1st half and rightfully so.

    But the real surprise is that it will be Devonte Green who gets hot and and does not cool off.

  22. The amnesia so many Hoosiers have about Tom Crean’s tenure is just unbelievable.

    think, what are you talking about? Your comment “surely keeping CAM’s predecessor too long should have taught us that” is nonsense. IU fired Tom Crean on March 16, 2017, 12 months after his IU team went 15 – 3 in Conference and won the Outright Big Ten Championship. That team was 27 – 8 overall and made it to the Sweet 16, which was IU’s third Sweet 16 appearance in five seasons. Do you believe IU should have fired Crean three weeks after his team won the Outright Big Ten Championship? Or maybe you believe IU should have fired Crean in March of 2015, the year before IU won its last Big Ten Championship? That’s just ludicrous.

    In 2016/2017, after losing seven players to graduation, the NBA or transfer, including Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams, IU went 18 – 16. That season came to an abrupt end when OG suffered a season-ending knee injury. Tough to lose a guy who was still a first round NBA pick in spite of having knee surgery a few months before the draft. That team was 16 – 8 after the game in which OG was injured, but lost 6 out of the next 8 Conference games before beating OSU in the regular season final and Iowa in the first round of Big Ten Tournament.

    If IU was willing to fire Crean so soon after his team won an Outright Big Ten Championship, how much longer will IU tolerate Archie, whose teams won’t sniff a Conference Championship in the two seasons following this one? Crean won the Outright Big Ten Championship five years after inheriting IU’s dumpster fire. Anybody believe Archie will win a Big Ten Championship in the 2021/2022 season?

  23. Since BK; has anyone noticed the leadership responsible regarding men’s basketball walking around the IU campus like a bunch of town drunks with messed up head hangovers (for the last two decades)???

  24. Crean did more dancing on a ceiling than Lionel Richie….Sweet 16 ceilings, that is.

    His ceiling was Sweet 16’s…and they all really came as a result of landing one recruit, Cody Zeller. Yogi came because of Zeller….and there’s your 3rd ceiling.

    If Archie had Zeller and Yogi…and the benefit of far better timing (a much weaker BigTen than the now top-to-bottom strength fully being recognized by all the talking heads on ESPN, etc) , I believe most IU fans are intelligent enough to know Archie doesn’t have the meltdowns under pressure we saw teams coached by Crean.

    It’s not always about BigTen titles during down or substandard conference years…Purdue has plenty and they are still never to be considered as a blue blood or elite program. They have simply failed to hang any March cloth when it matters.

    We all saw what Crean could coach against zones (Northwestern and Syracuse)…any zone. We witnessed his meltdowns against Wichita State …We watched him put the ball in the hands of Jordy Hulls against a VCU press until it was nearly too late. The man was a train wreck when he had to coach a truly meaningful game. He went to one Final Four in his career….where he was absolutely destroyed.

    Please stop…He had a decade. He walked away with 30 million dollars plus. He was allowed years of time because he could paint his predecessor as a villain. There will never be a bigger clown act in the history of Indiana Basketball. Thank heavens above he is where they grow peaches instead of where the game of basketball began with shooting at peach baskets.

    A football school was the only place willing to hire him after all his glorious success at Indiana …Does that give you a clue?

    Sorry to take your question from the Grand Apologist, thinkaboutit. You will likely respond with far more diplomacy. I have no patience for someone who wants to undermine our new coach so quickly…(before he’s even had a chance to fully assemble a team of his own recruits). It’s insane.

  25. Think about it…, shall we? Many peg Mike Davis as one of the worst coaches we’ve ever had…Yet, Davis took a team deeper into March Madness than any in Purdue’s history, any coached by Crean at Marquette, any with D-Wade …or any at IU with Cody Zeller…or any of the nine years of coaching Crean had at IU.

    Our worst coach in the last three decades defeated a #1 Duke at a regional semi-final at Rupp…and went deeper into March Madness (Championship game) than Crean or any Purdue team in their collective histories. I repeat, our worst coach.

    But nobody wants Mike Davis back….They want Tom Crean back. Hysterical.

  26. Purdue getting destroyed by Penn State at Mackey….Purdue shooting about 1 for 12 from the 3-pt. line. Typical Purdue…They won their banner Saturday…Now it’s sit on their thumbs time.

    And that is the theme with most BigTen teams. Doesn’t matter if it’s been 33 years since our last banner, we have the banners. All BigTen teams get up for Indiana far more than any other team in the conference. Their house…Our house…Doesn’t matter. You bring everything and the kitchen sink when you play Indiana. Thank that very old an ill man we paraded out on Saturday….because every time an opposing team comes to Bloomington, they are blowing him a kiss.

    When you coach at Indiana, you just don’t inherit the last coach’s dysfunctional recruits….You also inherit the lore and reputation that somehow doesn’t fade with time….The target on the back of candy stripes is like no other. We had one of the most despised coaches ever known to college basketball. He wasn’t about handshakes and flattery…He was completely about kicking the opposition in the teeth…and turning that working on teeth into more of a perfection in profession than found at the Indiana School of Dentistry.

    Beat up on Hoosiers…and then go home for a vacation. Welcome to inheriting the candy stripes. Biggest target of payback in all of college hoops thanks to the General. The banners may be dusty …but there’s nothing out of style about still throwing paint at them.

  27. H4H people not only forget Crean couldn’t coach against zones; he wasn’t an X’s and O’s guy! He couldn’t draw up an out-of-bounds play to win 2 games. An out-of-bounds play isn’t about commitment or passion ; its ALL about coaching, understanding your players and your opponents. Coaching with cue cards was truly embarrassing. Made you think Crean was coaching at the school for the deaf. Archie knows the problem but only so much you can do when the underclassmen don’t feel they can speak up or out against the Upper class and especially when both are Captains. The so-called “Toxic Environment” has ,in part, been brought on by Crean recruits. Goes without saying Green but Justin Smith deserves some accountability. ALL I have heard from local announcers and National announcers is his POTENTIAL and UP SIDE. Its one thing to “let the game come to you” its another to be “a participating spectator” too many times Smith has been the latter. The video that was played before Coach Knight’s arrival should be played EVERY fall at start of BBall season. Telling the players THIS IS WHY YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE A TARGET ON YOUR BACK ( Knight’s accomplishments) and the former players telling what they learned . I don’t think any kid coming into this program fully understands what it means to wear the “candy stripes”. Even the those recruited recently from Indiana.

  28. Excellent post, TJ in Texas. Your last paragraph sums it up very well.

    Can the video of Knight be found anywhere (the one you said was played before he entered Assembly at halftime)? I didn’t get a chance to see it….

  29. Thank you, Jeremy. I’m sure I would have thought different of that video four or five years ago. It’s pretty cool….I love the line from Buckner: “He prepared you so much for the moment…that you never knew it was the moment.”

    I think Knight’s refusal to ever make one player bigger than the collective importance of a team ….is likely another rather unique way to take pressure off individuals when big moments arrive. Nothing is ever felt to be solely on ‘your’ shoulders. Ironically, being about a team helps superstars realize their best. It frees them in some sort of way to raise up for the big shot…The bitching from Knight was doled out equally from superstar to last man coming off the bench. That’s likely where the “respect” begins….Respect begins with equal expectations and equal repercussions.
    How has the growing influences of the NBA (along with the absolutely crazy $$$) changed the element of respect between players and between players and coach….and players and the uniform (or what Indiana is supposed to represent)? If you don’t like being “equal,” you just move on. If you don’t like equal repercussions for your laziness being as unacceptable at Tim Priller’s laziness? You just move on…There is a pot of gold waiting and it truly nullifies unselfish basketball to a huge degree. Knight was not becoming a loser in his latter years. He was growing increasing frustrated because college basketball was becoming a loser by destroying the very things that make the game of basketball a true teaching lesson in life. Does that make any sense?

    Rock has a fabulous command of vocabulary….but I got him on “doled” …lol.
    After 30,000 Scoop posts, that may be the first time I ever used “doled.” Doled, where have you been all my life? Are you sure you’re not a pineapple?

  30. I keep reading comments about the “toxic environment” and the accusations that it is caused by the remaining players Crean recruited. We have no idea if there is a toxic environment affecting this team, nor do we know if the remaining Crean recruits are the cause. Did Juwan Morgan contribute to a toxic environment in the two previous seasons? Did he not adapt to Archie’s style of play even though he was often dinged-up and played out of position for two seasons?

    But, for the sake of the debate, assuming the accusation is true, why is Archie tolerating players that create such a toxic environment? Why are those players still on the team or getting any playing time? Who has the power on this team, Archie or a few upperclassmen? To assume that the problem with this team is connected to the behavior of two or three players recruited by the previous coach is to indict Archie’s coaching ability! If Archie can’t affect/manage two or three players that he’s coached for almost three seasons, he’s not qualified to be a head coach for any major college BB program. I don’t buy it.

    1. Put the blame on Archie if you must…or if you will, but show me roster members who played for Knight with these sort of facial expressions during the waning moments of an NIT loss in front of a home crowd.

      Explain to me how those facial expressions are not indicative of a toxic environment. Blame it on Archie if you so choose. But tell me how you “don’t buy” those expressions as not being toxic when you were just completely embarrassed on your home court in front of a home crowd at THE Indiana University. Call it being young…Call it kids being kids…Call it being flippant…Call it wondering what you’re going to order on your pizza in an hour. But don’t call it a Bob Knight team…and don’t call it something not toxic to a team.

      Pictures don’t lie…They don’t lie when witnessing a very health challenged Bob Knight from last Saturday…and they don’t lie when seeing some highly motivated guys laughing it up on the bench during an NIT embarrassment.

      I don’t fault Archie for trying to detoxify what he didn’t bring to Indiana within the constraints all coaches must now operate. You can’t even cuss at a kid without a lawsuit against a university…so give me a break as if this is easy. You can’t change the wiring in some brains. How many do want to make examples out of…? Do you want to put three or four in an imaginary penalty box at the end of the bench? Yeah, that will really help. Good luck with that one. There is only one “upside”…and that’s when those who think they are forever “big man on campus” find the door exiting Bloomington into real life and reality. Hopefully, that’s not the NBA…because they won’t find it there.

  31. It doesn’t mean they’re toxic individuals….They have toxic basketball habits nearly impossible to break. They have NBA on the brain….just for starters.

    You can try to change how a kid practices. Good luck changing what’s on his brain since the day he first picked up a basketball. Study up on Nate Archibald. His dream was to win. His dream was to bring out the best in his teammates rather than simply make a game his own stage. These are deeply imbedded differing arrangements in wiring in each and every basketball recruit.

    You can be a selfless individual of fine character…but still be selfish as hell on a basketball court. Crean recruited toxic basketball…more than toxic people. He recruited on “upside” …meaning “we give you the ball until you get it right.” By your third year at Indiana, you’ll either be still trying to get it right here…or the NBA will draft you on your potential(based on your uncanny amount of athleticism) and we’ll leave it in their hands to get it right.

    Morgan was an outlier….He was also an inside player. Inside guys are wired differently from the get-go. He was also not ‘East Coast’ ..ESPN…and only thing that matters is ballin’ in the NBA..
    Morgan was Midwestern taught. And most inside guys are used to not being the showboat …They are used to fewer touches and have learned to live without the infectious obsession to constantly think the leather dimples on a basketball were made for their hands only.

    Crean was a toxic coach because he perpetuated the game of basketball to be more important for what is offered beyond college. “His upside is incredible”…but his “downside now” was killing teams.
    Crean would be great running an NBA camp….but I don’t think those “testing the waters” camps pay 3 million/year to the ‘evaluators’…and upside ‘judges.’ Crean functions at the college level like a tutor for the NBA SAT (Someday Athletic Transference) exam.

    The X’s and O’s were being taught by Cody, Jordy, Yogi…and those poor assistants forced to hold up non-toxic cue cards on storied McCracken.

  32. Don’t get me wrong….There is good ‘toxic‘…but you just don’t want to be thinking about it during a basketball game.

  33. Po if you cant buy the fact that upper classmen can affect younger players then you forgot about this……. Bird received a basketball scholarship to Indiana University in 1974. However, he was overwhelmed by the size of the campus and number of students and, as he would later admit in his biographies, wasn’t mentally ready for this stage of life. Bird was also treated poorly by an established IU star, Kent Benson; as Bird recalled, the other upperclassmen of the team treated him well. IF YOU CANT DEPEND ON THE QUALITY OF PLAY FROM YOUR UPPER CLASSMEN , THEN ARCHIE IS BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE; NOT KNOWING IF THE GOOD GREEN SHOWS OR DOESNT . NOT KNOWING IF JUSTIN SMITH IS GOING TO TAKE THE NIGHT OFF, FRESHMEN TRYING TO HARD TO FILL THE GAPS LEFT OPEN BY OLDER PLAYERS AND MAKING MISTAKES BECAUSE OF THAT. Archie is caught between inexperienced players and the Yo Yo attitude and performances of the older players…..and rules state you have to start 5 players at each position or forfeit.

  34. TJ, this is Archie’s third season coaching these players? You mean to tell me he’s tolerated them creating a toxic environment for at least two years? If these Crean recruits create a toxic environment as you suggest, Archie should have encouraged them to transfer or simply not played them. I don’t buy it. I think a lot of people are emotionally invested in Archie and his style and therefor twist themselves into pretzels coming up with excuses as to why his players and teams are not improving.
    Does this team lack of Leadership? Yes. Do these players lack of key skills? Yes. Does this team lack of mental toughness? Yes. But have a few Crean recruits created a toxic environment that prevents Archie’s recruits from playing well? No one knows, but I don’t buy it. And if I did, I’d still hold Archie responsible.

    Next year, Archie’s going to have even fewer experienced players on his team. But he’ll still have Crean recruits on the roster. So does that mean Hoosier fans must suffer through another bad season poisoned by the toxic environment they create? Good grief.

    1. Po,
      You gloss over too many issues in your lingering “emotional investment” in TLC. I hoped TLC could have been successful long term at IU but as the years went on, it became obvious he was not the right guy for the job.

      Enter CAM. His first task was to salvage what he could of a roster depleted by players leaving for the nba. His late hiring date meant he had no time to recruit his own personnel but was forced to salvage TLC’s last class who were obviously not a good fit for the CAM system. They were recruited for the TLC system, not CAM’s. However, he honored their scholarship offers and did the best he could with what had been recruited to this day.

      The real turning point should have occurred with CAM first recruiting class. By all accounts it was an extremely good class, as we well know. Then catastrophe struck, the most important 3 recruits (JH, RT, RP, not RL he was a one and done) of that large class we devastated with injury and illness in their freshman. Combine this with a couple of those recruits who haven’t panned out and you have the recipe for what we see now. Add to this, being forced to use the upperclassmen far more than desired and it is very clear what has occurred, that is, unless you were too emotionally attached to TLC.

      As for CAM, he has a couple more years to prove himself. That is only fair considering what he has inherited.

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