Back to speed

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to throw out a good, debatable thought for you guys out there. But with the tournament a few days away, I figured we’d have to have at least one or two. I’ve been away from Bloomington the past week (my last college spring break, spent in the Caribbean sun, which needless to say has made Bloomington’s weather all that much worse) and have just taken the last few days to catch up to all the madness here. Here’s a few of my thoughts that hopefully will generate some good debate:

  • I spoke with former IU standout Tom Coverdale yesterday for a bit about this Hoosier squad, the Arkansas team they face Friday night (who beat Coverdale’s University of Louisiana-Monroe team 85-60 earlier this season), and how he thinks the head coaching search should go. The one thing he noted about the Razorbacks is their athleticism and how much they attack teams defensively. “The one area they like to hurt you in is down low because they have so much depth,” he said. “D.J. White will have his hands full.” Also, he said he supports Dan Dakich and believes IU should give him a full year to see what he can do behind the Hoosiers’ bench.
  • Anyone else a little surprised about the timing of IU’s announcement of the 10-man search committee? I’m sure this point has been brought up before, but it clearly comes at an interesting time. Why announce it in the days leading up to Indiana’s first round game? Surely, the one person that can’t be too happy about it is Dan Dakich and rightfully so. But, in interviews after the announcement was made, Dakich gave all the right, politically correct answers to reporters in saying that all he’s focused on this week was getting his team ready to play Friday night. It’s practically a shot in the face to Dakich, who, like he has throughout this whole debacle, has been a true class act.
  • Indiana got absolutely ripped by the NCAA committee. There’s just no way around it. This team is 25-7! Maybe it’s a shot at the Big Ten. Actually, it is certainly a shot at the Big Ten. But an eight seed? For a team that was in the Top-25 all season and was in the running for the Big Ten title as late as the second-to-last game of conference play? For me, if anything, this just shows how much the committee weighs in the team’s final stretch of games, because that was where Indiana was at its worst. Losing to Penn State on the road and Minnesota were backbreakers for the Hoosiers.
  • Lastly, how’s everyone’s bracket looking? Final Four picks? Major upsets? I can’t say I have too many, mainly because I believe the No. 1 schools are very, very sound clubs and it’s going to take a lot for someone to beat them. I do have Memphis falling before San Antonio (my only No. 1 seed to fall before the Final Four) in part because I can’t say I think the Conference USA schedule did a lot to prepare them for these types of games. Honestly, how can road environments like Rice, Southern Methodist and East Carolina really prepare you for an Elite Eight matchup against Texas, Stanford or Pitt?

That’s about it for now. As always, it will be a great weekend for college basketball fans. Can’t think of a better time of year. As for Indiana fans, it’s hard to tell which Hoosier squad will show up Friday night in Raleigh. No one doubts their potential, but whether they’re able to play as a team on the offensive end and avoid costly mistakes will play a major role in whether or not they’re able to get the victory. They’ll have to face up against Arkansas’ speed and athleticism. They’ll have to, somehow, combat the Razorback’s size down low. Should be a great game.


  1. the ncaa committee is a joke. going one step further, the NCAA itself is a joke. going beyond iu’s poor seeding (which I’m split on them deserving) – just to name a few – butler’s poor seeding, arizona state’s lack of invitation, IUPUI’s lack of invitation to EITHER tournament, the poor officiating nationwide, the joke that is the “opening round game”(do they think fans are really that ignorant? it’s a play-in game, no matter what color you paint it)

    i could go on, but i’ll spare everyone. the NCAA is a joke that is getting in quite the habit of pissing on its base fans. example – anyone out there wanna cheer for their team in the final four? good luck finding a decent priced ticket. joe basketball fan isn’t invited anymore!

  2. I thought the selection committee looked at a team’s resume as a full season overview. Not who’s hot at the end of the season. There is no reason for a big ten team with 14 conference wins, 3rd in the big ten, and ranked in the top 20 the week before selection sunday to have an 8th seed. That’s a crock. Then to give MSU a 5 seed and Purdue a 6? How does that make sense. We beat Purdue, and they finished poorly too. IU got royally screwed.

  3. I heard on the radio this afternoon from one of the ESPN Radio announcers that although these message boards were a good idea to begin with they have become dominated by the mean spirited hacks that cannot pen a reasonable thought but just take spiteful jabs at various concerned parties that are trying to do their jobs… I see what they mean! Watch to see how many more this one gets.

    I think the timing of the announcement by IU was necessary. If you’ve ever been involved in these things you’d know that it is extremely time consuming, and time is almost as critical as getting it right. I’m sure it took them this long just to get the committee formed (i.e. get everyone to agree to serve), and now they need to go through a lot of data, interviews, discussions, etc. just to be in a position to make an offer. Then if that offer is refused they will need a fall back plan. A very daunting task and we’d all like to see them make an announcement the week after the final four. Good luck people and bring home a great coach this time!

  4. I remember during the season, I really thought IU could matchup against UNC.

    But I haven’t seen that hoosier team since sampson left.

    Hopefully they can reappear in time for Arkansas. Then maybe. MAYBE. We have a shot at the #1 seed in the land. March madness magic?

    That being said, I have IU losing in my brackets first round.

  5. 8th.seed is crap,I also think it was crap to force Sampson out before the end of the season.It shows they care less about their student athletes and more about reputation wich was already tarnished.

  6. 1) Why should we give DD a whole year when the team has SUCKED since he took over?

    2) How is it a “slap in the face” to form the committee now? Hate to break it to ya, but other schools are looking for coaches too and we need to be able to move fast.

    3) I agree we got hosed with our seeding.

    4) UCLA has a cakewalk to the Final Four.

  7. Indiana at an 8 seed? What were they thinking? Giving Purdue and MSU a higher seed is questionable. And what about Miami Fl and Oklahoma getting a 7 seed? That’s ridiculous! IU would KILL them!

  8. Zak, Nice Comments, Hear are my thoughts:
    1. Coverdale is right but IU and Greenspan just threw him under the bus with this committee announcement.
    2. The only reason for such a large committee with very little
    basketball knowledge is so Greenspan and his compliance lady can pass blame unto others if another bad hire is made. If his department and his staff had done their jobs Sampson and his staff would be still coaching. Any one who knows anything about business understands that a compliance officer is to keep you out of trouble before it happens. It is terrible that an intern found the problems after the fact. I know it was Sampson and his staff who did things wrong but Greenspan knew his history. If he had any brains at all he would have watched for problems and stopped them immediately. This committee gives him a way out AGAIN. He and his staff must be FIRED. Anything less is a joke!
    3. You could make a case that all Indiana schools got the
    shaft by the selection committee. Even IUPUI got screwed
    by not even an NIT spot this year.
    4. I’m picking Pittsburgh to win it all. Call me a guy who
    believes coach Knight still knows something about teams.
    I do hope that IU wins it first game to give DJ and coach DD
    a shot at NC before they leave IU.

  9. Greenspan is the one who got slapped in the face. Last time around he flew solo and hired Sampson. This time McRobbie not only named the search committee members but he made someone other than Greenspan chair of it. That speaks volumes.
    The committee had to be named to get things rolling. It’s no disrespect for DD or bad karma for the tournament. Dakick knows he isn’t being seriously considered for this job and he shouldn’t be — he doesn’t have the resume.

  10. I agree with you Hoosier and think you made an excellent point.

    The fact that McRobbie decided he had to name a 10-person committee, rather than simply giving the job to his athletic director, says a lot.

    What I’m taking from this is that McRobbie doesn’t trust Greenspan enough to make this decision alone. Make no mistake, this is one of the biggest decisions the IU Athletic Department will face this decade. Hands down. And Greenspan was slapped in the face by this.

    McRobbie is practically saying: “You screwed up last time, so this time, I’m not going to let you do this on your own.”

  11. As an IU student who grew up in Arkansas (I graduated high school there in 2006) and as a son of an Arkansas professor, I follow the Hogs religiously. They are my second favorite team.

    While it is true that the Hogs are big, they seem lackadasical and aren’t very good rebounders. Hill, the 7-footer who sunk the game winner against Tennesee, lacks any atheletic ability so DJ should be able to have his way with him. One of the other three bigs just shoots threes and is a non-factor about it. I think DJ will get his double-double but the guards will need to step it up.

    Arkansas’ best player is Sonny Weems, a combo 2/3. I think JaMarcus matches up with him well here. JaMarcus is a good defender, rebounder, and assist man. Weems usually just plays on the offensive end, but I think Ellis has the edge.

    The greatest strength for IU is with Gordon and Armon. Gordon is bigger, faster, and stronger than any guards on Arkansas. Armon will be guarded by Gary Ervin for most of the game who is a little bit of a headcase.

    Prediction: IU 78 – U of A 67

  12. Once again I must protest those putting the blame of the Sampson hiring on Greenspan. It was Herbert, the former president, who pushed Sampson on Indiana. Sampson was not on Greenspan’s short list and I believe he said that.

    I think McRobbie is doing the prudent thing given the way in which our last two coaches were hired.

  13. i’m not sure DD sees it as a slap in the face. if he did, he would be justified as you said. but i’ve heard him talk many many times, and he almost always drops the line “well whoever is coach next year…” even when it isn’t necessary. he’s a very open person, something i find very refreshing and needed here at IU, and very different from sampson and the majority of the athletic department. my point is, he is a very nice guy, and handles the situation great, but he’s also open and genuine. i really think if he saw this as a slap in the face, he wouldn’t be saying things like “whoever is coach next year”. i was very pleased to see he will be back next year in some fashion. i don;t think he’s right for the head coaching job, but he’s a great person to have around in whatever position we can find for him.

    i also think IUPUI got royally owned by all 3 tournament’s. there are not 113 better teams in this country than ron hunter’s squad. the big ten got owned as well, in general. purdue should have been higher, wisconsin should have been a 2, and iu you all know about. but how did msu get a 5? seriously. crazy.

  14. I have a tough time letting the Kentucky selection go. They would get in the NIT by reputation but there is no way they should be at the Big Dance. Virginia Tech finished ahead of Miami in their conference and Miami gets picked but VT doesn’t? Couldn’t be because Miami is a bigger city than Blacksburg, could it? Butler hovered around the top ten all season and gets hosed by the NCAA. Duke or UNC could be playing .500 ball and still be a 4 seed.

  15. The committee not being headed by Greenspan does speak HUGE volumes….to me it says SEE YOU LATER. Seriously, the University is biding it’s time with him, not allowing him to pick the coach. Once the coach is selected (and me thinks if Pitt makes it to the sweet sixteen, Dixon is the man) Greenspan will be “relieved” of his duties, and DD will then step into the AD slot and everyone will be happy….well not everybody, but you get the drift.

  16. What the hell are you doing in the Caribbean? Hee I just got back from a two day run in Philly. It rained every minute. I love your questions. The Zak I love. Also…….just got done reading the Doug/Chris Thursday chat. Great answers guys! Tell it like it is. I am not optimistic about IU vs. ARK but I do look forward to a good coach selection. I hope I am not disappointed. I am too tired to argue with above posters.

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