Hoosier Morning

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STARTING FIVE

1. OUT OF THE SHADOW

Today is the start of a four-part series from Dustin on the impact of Bob Knight in the  10 years since his firing. It’s an incredible read, a Mickey Mantle-esque swat out of the park by Dustin. He talked to so many people, from Mike Davis to Don Fischer to Rick Greenspan to Fred Glass to Armon Bassett, about everything that has happened at Indiana since and how Knight’s impressive shadow remains. In the first part, Dustin describes what this series is and is not about, as well as going through the events that led not to Knight’s firing, but Davis taking the job and those first seasons.

It ended there, as the Hoosiers fell 64-52 to Maryland, but by that point, that IU team had seemingly done more for the healing of the Indiana basketball family than it could have possibly been asked to do. It was proof that life would go on without Knight, that there were still big victories to be had and banners to be hung.

“I loved that team because they fought through it all,” Davis said. “No matter what happened, they wanted to leave a legacy. . They proved that Indiana basketball was Indiana basketball once again.”

If this were a movie, that would’ve been a good time to run the credits. Davis and his Hoosiers had emerged from Knight’s shadow, defeated the best team in the land and advanced further than any of Knight’s teams had in the past 15 years.

The words “Everyone lived happily ever after” would’ve fit nicely at that point.

Except everyone didn’t, especially Davis.

2. RECAPPING THE GAME

Lest we forget, there was an exhibition game last night and a spirited comeback by Indiana against Division II Ferris State. Dustin focused on Victor Oladipo’s play down the stretch, as the freshman delivered on both ends on the floor. While granting the impressive effort in the last few minutes, I draw concern with the offensive ineptitude for much of the game and how that is a problem right now.

Elsewhere, Inside the Hall’s Ryan Corazza suggested that Monday was not the last time a crowd chanted Oladipo’s name. Crean said Oladipo played like a freshman for much of the early going, the Indy Star’s Terry Hutchens writes. The Hoosiers needed a replay just to get to overtime, the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette’s LaMond Pope writes. The win should help the Hoosiers build confidence in themselves, the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel’s Pete DiPrimio writes. But, still, Monday just proves the Hoosiers are very much a work in progress, the IDS’ Nathan Hart writes.

3. BASKETBALL IN THE BIG TEN

It was the start of the regular season at Illinois, where Brandon Paul made six 3-pointers to lead the Illini against UC-Irvine, the Champaign News-Gazette’s Paul Klee writes.

Two other teams finished up their exhibition schedule. Michigan State cruised against Nebraska-Omaha, but Draymond Green got to play against his older brother at least, the Lansing State Journal’s Joe Rexrode writes. The troubles have already started at Minnesota, with Devoe Joseph sitting out Monday’s win because Tubby Smith said he and Joseph needed to talk, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Myron P. Medcalf writes.

4. IT’S STILL FOOTBALL SEASON

Four weeks left in the regular season for Indiana, and Bill Lynch repeated Monday that he expects his team to bounce back from that loss to Iowa, Dustin writes. Saturday’s game is at Wisconsin, but the Badgers may be without John Clay. He’s questionable with a knee injury, Madison.com’s Tom Mulhern writes.

Penn State is feeling pretty good right now, after JoePa got win No. 400 and the team became bowl eligible. But Saturday’s game is against Ohio State, and that means the Penn State offensive line must find a way to defend Cameron Heyward, the Harrisburg Patriot-News’ Bob Flounders writes.

5. ONE FOR THE ROAD

Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over.”

7 comments

  1. Maybe I just haven’t found the right thread yet because I don’t have all day and all night to be on here, but…

    Can you guys believe that Bill Lynch almost lost to Ferris State last night. I mean, a mediocre d2 team. He always just plays cream puffs and barely gets by, what a terrible coach. He should obviously be fired. Then he has the nerve to go into his press conference and not single out anyone for the problem, just say the other team played well and that we have to do better, and that we will work harder and bounce back. We will get better. I’m so sick of this, he doesn’t even seem like he can coach, almost losing to a d2 team. That crazy Bill Lynch, now I see what all you guys are talking about why you don’t like him because he almost losses the easy games then finishes at the bottom of the B10. How is this guy the coach, we need a real coach like Coach Crean.
    Crean wouldn’t make any questionable calls and would obviously show he can coach by out-coaching the other team. Crean would have blown out a lesser school and then dominated in b10 play, I can’t believe Lynch almost lost to a d2 team and that he finishes at the bottom of the B10.

  2. That’s an extremely flawed comparison. Look at where the IU football program was when Lynch took over. There was more talent on that team than there had been in years. It was an emotional low-point, for sure, but the players were still there, to the point that they had the best season IU football has had in a long time. But it’s been a regression every year under him. And this is his fourth season.

    Crean took over amidst NCAA investigations, recruiting restrictions, and he had two returning players, one of whom was a walk-on. They’ve improved every year. This is his third season.

    Please consider context when you make these sort of assessments. It makes all the difference.

  3. Yes because Doss, Belcher, and Willis were all here when Lynch took over… and his recruiting class next year sucks. Oh and the Football program has a rich history and 5 National Championships and has always been good and should be expected in 3 seasons to be competing in high bowl games, where as the Basketball team has always sucked, never been good, in their best era still had a coach with a losing record, and does not have a talent rich state in its sport. I forgot. I guess I should just use the short term or the current results and not the overall history of the programs…

    Context indeed sir.

  4. Firing coaches is not a solution to IU’s football program. Actually, I think Lynch is doing very well under the circumstances. The team is very competitive this year. We had some bad lucks against some tough competitions but overall the team is doing fine. So is recruiting. When was the last time IU has a better recruiting class like this one? I think we should give Lynch at least another 3-4 years to turn things around.

    Firing coaches is an easy thing to do but it does not work out most of the time.

  5. You named three players. All of whom are good, yes. None of whom are going to be early-round NFL picks. (James Hardy/Tracy Porter/Rodger Saffold)

    You can’t argue it both ways. You can’t say “Hey, he’s recruited well” and then say “Hey, it’s Indiana, he can’t get players to come here, so his record doesn’t matter.”

    Either he can’t get talent, which means he should be gone. Or he can’t win with talent, which means he should be gone. Which would you say it is?

    And as for the basketball comparison you still insist on using, rich history and 5 national titles don’t mean much when you’re starting from scratch under pending NCAA sanctions. Bill Lynch took over the football program when it was in the best shape it’s been in in the last 20 years. (That he took over under such tragic circumstances is admirable, and rallying the team to a bowl game was, obviously, a very good thing. But, that said, that team was destroyed in that bowl game, and it had lost two or three games that year that it shouldn’t have lost.)

    So, back to my point, Lynch took over at a program high-point. Crean took over when the basketball program was in the worst shape it’s ever been in. Do you want to bet on which coach gets a team into a postseason game first?

    And if you want to argue that being the IU basketball coach is an easier job, or that it’s easier to be successful in that position, well, I’d have to define success. The standards for IU basketball are much, much higher, as evidenced by the fact that people like you are online calling for the coach to be ripped after an exhibition win.

    Bill Lynch has hit his ceiling. He’s a very nice, smart, well-prepared coach. He works very hard. Those are all admirable traits, but they’re not unique to the coaching profession. Four years of regression should not equal continued employment. I’ve seen enough. If you disagree, that’s fine. But in terms of program direction, how you could rate the football team more positively than the basketball team, at this moment, is somewhat laughable, overtime win over Ferris State included. (A midseason 2 point win over Arkansas State is far more damaging than a rousing comeback victory in an exhibition game. To me, anyway. I’m guessing you’ll disagree.)

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