Hoosier Morning

Victor Oladipo leads the Hoosiers off the court on Thursday against Illinois. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

STARTING FIVE

1. INDIANA BASKETBALL

Indiana came up with its best defensive performance of the season and got some key contributions from unlikely sources, Dustin wrote. Of course Tom Pritchard made the shot to win the game — it only seems appropriate that someone with 56 losses in 2.5 seasons would make it, I wrote.

At least one teammate was happy Pritchard chose to tip it in, the IDS’ Ryan Winn wrote. Jordan Hulls was so vital in the victory, the IDS’ Greg Rosenstein wrote.

It was the first win against a ranked opponent since Purdue during the 2007-08 season, the Indy Star’s Terry Hutchens wrote. Pritchard made the shot after Hulls and Christian Watford both missed, the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette’s LaMond Pope wrote.

Indiana saw what happens when it brings its practice game to the court, the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel’s Pete DiPrimio wrote. Inside the Hall’s Zach Osterman is done trying to predict what is going to happen next.

If Illinois was not concerned about making the NCAA Tournament, it should be after making just five field goals in the second half, the Champaign News-Gazette’s Paul Klee wrote.

Here are the Big Ten Network highlights.

2. BIG TEN BASKETBALL

Its all chaos and questions in Lansing after the Spartans lost to Michigan on Thursday, the Lansing State Journal’s Joe Rexrode wrote. It was an absolutely joyous scene in the other locker room, as Michigan celebrated the win, AnnArbor.com’s Michael Rothstein wrote.

Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser is earning comparisons to Mike Kelley, a starter on the 2000 Final Four team, Madison.com’s Rob Schultz wrote. A concussion may keep Northwestern’s John Shurna on the bench against Ohio State, the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein wrote.

Here are the updated Big Ten standings.

3. BIG TEN FOOTBALL

An Indiana note: former commit Jalen Schlachter has verbally committed to Ball State, the Flint Journal reported.

Ohio State hired a former Florida assistant to coach the wide receivers, the Columbus Dispatch’s Tim May wrote. Minnesota’s new offensive coordinator holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Phil Miller wrote.

Iowa is investigating what happened with the 13 players hospitalized after a workout.

4. SOMETHING TO READ

An interesting story about a wrestling prodigy giving up the sport, then coming back to it, from Yahoo’s Tom Bergeron.

Andrew Campolattano is probably a future Olympic wrestler, but he initially decided to play football at Rutgers. He’s just an average football player, and the decision seemed to be more about what he would not have to deal with (a 12-month diet, complete and total adulation from the wrestling community).

5. ONE FOR THE ROAD

Because embedding did not work last night during the chat — FFFFFFFLLLLLLAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGSSSSSSSSSSS

36 comments

  1. Huge win. Wonderful to see how the players responded to the fallout from the Iowa game. I was afraid that having people like Dakich and Fischer say that “you need to transfer” might cause this team to crumble, but they roared back and gave their best performance of the season.

    Bravo to Coach Crean, Jordy, and the entire team. This was a program-building win!

  2. Over the next three years we’ll be seeing alot more of what we saw tonight! Never daunted,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.!!

  3. This team is a Dr.Jekyll-Mr.Hyde the last few games. Kudos to CTC for a well prepared- well coached game–rather we won or lost. One suggestion—set some screens for Hulls! Refs almost blew the game at the end–moving screen not called even though Rivers was rammed and missed tip out of bounds. Not pretty but great win.

  4. Now is as good as time as ever to go into the Breslin Center and try to steal a win. The Spartans are slumping big time. Lets hope we can show up with the same heart and tenacity on the road.

  5. Best effort to date for an IU Crean team. Everyone contributed, and had the proper mindset. Fun game to watch – got my juices flowing.

  6. That picture sais it all. Look at the faces of IU’s players. Look at the student fans in the background. Let’s hope all of them remember how they felt at that moment for a long time.

    And for the players, let yesterday’s effort be the new standard, something to build on and something that gives them confidence going forward. It won’t be a great season, but all things considered, it was a great win.

    That was Indiana basketball!

  7. Loved this win (and the IU-slanted BTN broadcast), but I’m still left with mixed feelings.

    So why did we play so last night vs. the Iowa game or others earlier in the season? What changed…and what’s it going to take to replicate that?

    We can’t survive on hoping for strong home performances alone and consistently crumble on the road. I hope Crean does some positive reinforcement & helps the team evaluate what they did well this time to get a good result, as well as some self-reflection. This team knows (at least now) that it’s capable of playing at a high level.

    – “It’s a pinetree air-freshener…” “Great you’ve pin-pointed it…step 2 is washing it off.” – Ray Zelinski, Auto-Parts King

  8. That photo definitely made me smile too, especially because of all of the grief the players have been receiving (some justifiably so) and all of the losses they’ve had to endure. They earned this one, they deserved this one, and it’s my sincere hope that they’ll build on this one.

  9. I’m with Yeagleyball on this one. I feel great to get the win, but our offense is still just terrible. Illinois did not have that great of D and it still took some very high percentage shooting from Jordy and the normal 16 pt effort from Christian with some junk sprinkled in to muster 52.

    If we play D like we did last night, we will be in a lot of games, but we are nowhere near over the hump or near consistency if we don’t do something about the offense. I don’t like it even if we had ‘top talent’ here. No matter how good you are, every coach in the big ten can teach how to defend our one screen at a time offense. We need something more than ‘chin’ which everyone in the Big Ten has seen 100 times. We can’t rely on Jordy to always shoot that well (He finds a way to score, and I’m not knocking on Jordy at all because who can always go 4-5 from 3 and shoot over 60% overall every game? no one).

    I wanted to get excited and just love the win, but some peoples ridiculous proclamations and celebrations just killed it for me. It was Illinois. A good win, but nothing spectacular. It took the imploding of Michigan State tonight to keep the Crying Webers barely in the top half of the Big Ten. If you hold that Illinois team to 49 pts, you need to win by more than three.

    Great D, Good Win, A lot still to work on before we are seeing this regularly. I wish I could feel like we had a shot at winning like this every game, but my eyes just don’t agree with what my heart wants. Way to steal one boys… keep working hard.

  10. Kudos to Coach Crean and the Hoosiers. Great win and a much needed boost for the program and its fans. Even you negative fans. I must confess to some doubts of which I still harbor a few after some of our hapless efforts in other games. Iowa? Yet, if we continue to see the intensity and effort exhibited in the Michigan and Illinois games things will get better. We need a few more bodies with some height and bulk in order to compete night in and night out in the B10. After seeing true Hoosier Hysteria like we witnessed last night, I believe those kinds of kids will want to join the fray at Indiana. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?

  11. Hoagland:

    Ugly win vs. pretty loss, moral victory vs. actual victory… in the end all that matters is the darned W.

    This was a huge victory on many fronts: beating a ranked conference team with a decimated, demoralized squad, surpassing last year’s win total, boosting confidence for the remainder of the season… you just can’t get much bigger of a win right now.

    I am not sure what you hope to achieve by posting your glass-half empty analysis of the game. Bob Knight took talented veteran teams into the tourney and lost to Pepperdines and Colorados. DJ White and Eric Gordon lost to Indiana State. The game is a mystery some times, and I feel sorry for the fans who can’t sit back and celebrate for a day or two without whining about imperfections.

    Isn’t the point to being a fan to enjoy the victories – unconditionally – and endure the defeats as best you can?

  12. With all due respect & non-antagonism, I’m no longer interested in celebrating moral victories for very long. Last night we were an under-manned team who beat an Illinois team who shot cold and didn’t have their typical leaders play up to their game…what if McCamey actually got going in the last 2 minutes? We have to be able to handle that situation. Bottom line it was a great game & great win – not trying to take anything away from that or offer a glass-half-empty view.

    I’m comfortable being one of those perpetually-positive fans, but until I see us implementing things that we NOW know WORK (better/more screens for Jordy, tough pressure defense, etc), I’m saving my celebration. The next time you see a player take a backcourt shot with more than 1 player near the rim OR actually convert a dynamic dunk attempt, feel free to get revved-up. Until these types of things change, we’re stuck with slow progress. That’s not half-empty, that’s coaching with a purpose.

  13. Yeagley- You are naive if you think that 1) the Coach isn’t aware of the issues you bring up, and 2) that he isn’t “coaching with a purpose.”

    Tom Crean has won over 200 basketball games in his career. He has a system, a plan, and a purpose. You, on the other hand, are an armchair quarterback that doesn’t practice with the team, doesn’t coach the team, doesn’t recruit, doesn’t know the players personally; your only claim is that you watch the games like everyone else and think you know what’s “really” wrong and how to fix it. I trust the first guy a lot more than the second.

    Sometimes good practices don’t translate to success in games. Sometimes a coach gives it his best to sell a plan to a team, and the players don’t execute. Sometimes highly-touted recruits end up being “practice all-stars” that lack the mental toughness to get the job done when it counts.

    A head coach is not a puppeteer who controls players like marionettes on the court. Coaching is not an empirical science, where A + B = C every time. If it were, then Tom Izzo wouldn’t be slumping right now, Roy Williams wouldn’t have lost 17 games last year, Jeff Fisher wouldn’t have been fired today, and Bob Knight would have never lost to Pepperdine.

    Coaches always have a plan and a purpose. Most fans only see one very narrow aspect of a team’s dynamic, filling in the rest of the picture with their imagination and passing it off as factual knowledge.

  14. Dantes,

    Honestly, I just typed out a very satirical post that explained all the contempt and hatred I have for what IU basketball is now and for fans who are okay with just barely beating Illinois. I answered all your criticism in a way that I don’t think you’d have a comeback for. It was a thing of beauty, but then I realized, what would positing that do? nothing. So I will just answer in short:

    I prefer Pretty Wins at a greater frequency than they are coming now. I believe that is possible. I didn’t mention any moral victory. I don’t understand what you hope to accomplish by acting like everything is fine now because we could beat a mid tier Big Ten team who’s program has 1 National Championship back in 1915. If I wanted that type of greatness, I’d just be a Cubs fan. I didn’t say anything about him, but since you brought him up, I didn’t care for it when Bob Knight lost either, but I am grateful that he won a heck of a lot more than he lost and his teams caused problems on both ends of the floor, or, were often times ‘complete’ teams.

    I don’t enjoy victories unconditionally because I know we won a lot of games and were ranked with him at the helm, but I just don’t think I would be okay if Kelvin Sampson were still the coach. I didn’t think I was whining, just backing up Yeagleyball’s assessment that we can’t hope to just be good at home but have IOWA’s on the road and expect everything to be just peachy. I think we can be better and would like to be, but I accept that you are happy to just beat Illinois. That is what makes america great because you can choose to be happy with Miller High Life Lite, or you could prefer Brooklyn Local 2. I have my taste and opinion, which is what I believe a message board is all about, and you have yours.

  15. Hoagland-

    I understand where you are coming from, but don’t mistake me for “thinking things are fine.”

    Every single fan would like to win more. No rational adult Hoosier fan thinks things are peachy at the moment. However, anyone with a brain knows that the program can only change through signature wins that build confidence. And that’s what we did last night.

    We should bask in the warmth of a good victory, even if the feeling is short-lived. A close win against a ranked Illinois team, minus two of our starters, is an achievement, and it beats the hell out of losing. Smell the coffee and enjoy a 70 degree day in the middle of winter.

  16. One more thing: bad example with the Cubs. Do you think that the Cubs lose because “the fans don’t demand enough”? Do you think that there would be a trophy hoisted at Wrigley if they only had more Hoaglands and Yeagleyballs as fans to smugly pick apart the team from their couch year after year? Do you think that Cubs management doesn’t want to win?

    The Cubs have had one of baseball’s highest payrolls for a decade. Every year they have high-profile free agent signings. They paid high salaries to two managers with World Series rings, and go nothing out of it. Cubs fans, all the while, are about as boisterous and passionate as any group out there. If they come off as “accepting losing,” it is because they are victims of one of the worst bad-luck streaks in modern sports, not because they are happy-go-lucky.

  17. Yeagleyball, with all due respect & non-antagonism, I can’t accept your premise. You say that we were an under-manned team who beat an Illinois team who shot cold and didn’t have their typical leaders play up to their game. You ask what would have happened if McCamey got going in the last 2 minutes. In my opinion, the illini didn’t play sub-par and they didn’t shoot cold. What happened was that Indiana’s defense shut them down. Time after time, we denied them what they wanted to do and left them with few options. McCarney wasn’t going to get going in the last two minutes, because our defenders had gotten in his head and shut him down by that point. You said we have to be able to handle that situation. We did handle it by preventing it from ever happening.

  18. Dantes,

    You make respectable points. However I think that one of the things that differentiates the Indiana fanbase is their desire to learn, understand, and appreciate what “good basketball” looks like. Lots of colleges’ fans bask in the warmth of signature wins, as should we, but I think our IQ + high standards come from also discussing how we can improve – especially at a time when it’s expected we’ll be doing a lot of growing. It’s not hard to spot a pattern of mistakes without a significant change in that pattern.

    I’m no college coach, and don’t play one on TV, and I firmly believe Crean is the right guy whose system will yield results in the near future. But I never said I thought the fault was in the coaching. The players are at this level b/c of their exceptional ability to understand and play the game – however it gets done, I’m just looking forward to seeing them learn from their mistakes and translating that into better results. Crean can only take them so far before they become self-accountable.

  19. Dantes,

    There is the disagreement again. Cubs fans, what you call ‘boisterous and passionate’ while those are some adjectives to describe them, suffer every year from an inflated sense of self. They pump rainbows up each others backsides. Maybe if someone had pointed out their flaws to management, they wouldn’t have one of the highest payrolls in baseball while still having one of the worst teams. They pay high dollar for big time free agents then just expect them to perform how they are supposed to. When they don’t they don’t change anything until far too late. It doesn’t work like that. You have to realize what you actually have, not what you thought you would have or what someone should be based on their pay scale. Keep on being over optimistic instead of realistic and then repeating the same problems time and time again. I for one, would rather take what we have and make it the best it can be.

    Last year the NL MVP was payed $525,000 and came up through the Reds organization. He was groomed, and coached, and he tweaked his game by working on what he was not good at. Nobody thought Joey Votto was Albert Pujols 3 years ago but he worked on his weaknesses and had a great year. Most people look at Jordan Hulls and think he is not ________ enough to be a real Big Ten point guard. He’s worked his butt off to get better on D and worked on his shot and has become incredibly efficient and I wouldn’t trade him for anything. We can win with what we have, we don’t need reinforcements to do that. We need to fix what we struggle at, which is what I said I hoped for in other posts. Our offense sucks, but it could be a lot better. I wish we would work on that and win a few more games. If you want to go with well they try really hard and sometimes the game is crazy and we will be better with more talent and have to win then right… then go for it. I don’t subscribe to that for a number of reasons, most of which I learned in my time at IU while earning my degree.

    Just because you have won somewhere else or ‘want to win’ does not mean you will. It is by tweaking everything that you can, its about adapting. I don’t care if Crean won in the Big East, this is the Big Ten. The leagues and teams are different. I don’t care if this system worked or will work with more talented players. Those players are not here right now. We’ve shown we can play the D, but our offense is lacking. You said earlier that it is not a simple equation and it doesn’t equal out every time,which I agree with. However, there is a reason some coaches have won a lot more than others, and that is because they take out as many variables as possible. They tweak the equation until they have found what is closest to right they can be. There are things you can do that give you a greater probability of winning, and right now we don’t even try to do them. I’d rather have 80% of my equation right and know thats the best I can presently do, than to be happy with 50% being right and occasionally getting the right answer anyway. Just hoping someday the right pieces come along and pan out doesn’t work.

    You can call the Cubs, or even what’s happened at IU ‘bad luck’. I for one think that luck had nothing to do with it. Both teams made decisions over time that resulted in where they are. Regardless, we are here and could be a better team and thats what I wish for us. Not to rely on ‘effort’ and ‘confidence’. I can show you some 50 year old guys at the HPER that have effort and confidence for days. Every team has effort and confidence, you don’t think Illinois tried last night? Shoot, going into the Iowa game Crean talked about how focused and confident we were and how good our effort had been in practice. Those worked out really well there. You can be fine with for one night that worked, I choose to say what I did, which is good win, great d, now lets work on that offense so we can steal a few more W’s than we should.

  20. Hoagland:

    I have posted this on several message boards about IU and it bares repeating to you – And I have coached a sport at the very highest levels – Good coaches change their system and program to fit strengths of players/athletes. Great coaches establish a program and a system and then they may make very minor adjustments to fit athletes – but the have a program with kids coming up in that program and learning a system year after year. That way, your older players become assistant coaches and big brothers to the younger players.

    On your comment about IU making decisions resulting in the team being where they are – I guess one could truthfully say that, but it is horribly unfair. IU didn’t put the cell phone in Kelvin’s hand. IU didn’t decide to have the NCAA lay down punishment so far out of line with the seriousness of the offense. Tom Crean had exactly zero to do with any of it, and the players- well blaming them is below the belt. It is a little embarrassing the way grown men on this site treat 18-22 year old men.

  21. I’m with the folks who think this was a great win for the Hoosiers. The team played great defense and showed a lot of heart and grit against a much more talented team. They hung tough, didn’t fold down the stretch and won the game.

    But, some fans are still discontent. First, the complaints were that we weren’t winning against the right teams, and then the complaints were that we weren’t winning at all. Now the complaint is that we didn’t win by playing the right way. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but for those who aren’t happy with the win, well, maybe you want to come back later when we win the way you want us to win, against the teams you deem worthy of us beating. We’ll still be here.

    For those who want to wait to be happy until we play perfect, let me say that I, myself, am a very big fan of “perfect.” Absolutely love it. But I’ve learned that you can miss a lot of joyful things in life waiting around for it.

  22. A timely and well deserved win. My ears are the most appreciative for the W seeing how it has dampened most of the native drums – for now. Damn I just can’t believe how competent and well thought of as a coach Tom Crean has become in just a couple of days. Boomer is right about the D denying Brucie’s team their offensive head way or a momentum change or a sustained run at us or even allowing many good looks. IU just dug in and wanted it. They earned this win without three fifths of the originally intentioned starting five. McCamey worked damn hard on offense as was displayed by how wore out Rivers was at the end. The crowd last night as has been mentioned was the best sixth man we’ve had since maybe, well hell for decades. The footnote to the game is simple; play 95 of 100 games and hold your opponent to 49 points and the outcome will be pleasing. MSU is down and on a slide, ripe for IU.

  23. Dantes post #15 and OldIUGymnast post #23 accurately assess the situation. The Hoosiers pull off a big win, not due to a hot shooting night, quite the contrary, but due to gritty, hard fought fundamentals. Sitting at home in their recliners are the naysayers who can’t wait for the next, inevitable, failure so they can say, “I told you so.”
    Five years from now I see Tom Crean’s Hoosiers as a consistently good program and these same naysayers will claim to have been supporters all along.
    Another prediction, this one for those who yearn for the return of RMK. If, in those same five years, the Hoosiers are turning in seasons equal to the last decade of Bobby’s tenure (which are certainly better than now), they will be calling for Crean’s head.

  24. I like that I said we played great D, it was a good win, and it was a lot of fun, but that to keep doing it we needed something different on offense. Also, that I think we can be better even with our injuries. Apparently that means a whole host of things such as ‘stuck in the past’ and ‘not a true fan’ (because you can only be a fan if you agree with everything and everyone thinks like you).

    I apologize to anyone i offended by even suggesting that 52 points against a weak defensive team is not enough to continue this win streak. I will gladly admit I was wrong when we go on a winning streak here while scoring in the low 50’s.

    To OldIUGymnast, you can choose to look at things a certain way, IU didn’t make Kelvin make those calls, but they did hire him even when he was under past sanctions, then fail to monitor him. There were plenty of other coaches out there at the time. Also, I don’t think I once blamed that situation on Crean or the players, in fact my position has been that even with our injuries and the roster we have that is a result of the Sampson fallout, I think we can be better. I apologize for wanting to win more rather than be content with an exciting, but not as good as everyone is acting win over Illinois. I’d personally like to win a few more games this year.

  25. I’ve watched a thousand Hoosier basketball games. It’s easy to say this wasn’t a big game. Malarkey! Talk is so damn cheap. I don’t think Assembly Hall has seen bigger..Daggers of destiny from Hulls. Three years of frustration came pouring out of that stadium. The energy was undeniable. The moment was undeniable.
    Hulls, with the ball in his control, created his own spacing for most of his shots(reiterated by the Big 10 network commentator throughout the contest..I’m not sure if any were the result of quick looks rolling off a screen). In such a low scoring contest, every shot in the game was pressure-packed. Each 3-point bomb Hulls lofted seemed to hang in the air forever. And I surely don’t want to minimize the unbelievable defensive play from Rivers and the tip-in by Pritchard that nearly brought me to tears because the kid so deserved something to bring a huge smile to his face. And Watford was proof once again his great versatility and a forward on his way to becoming one of the best in the Big 10…A great team effort through and through. Important contributions from everyone on the court…But if you don’t realize how rare and gut-checking the performance that Hulls put on…? I have no words. Even the one shot he missed made the rim look like a cat coughing up its last hairball.. All I know is that I won’t forget the performance. That kid is special. He grabbed the moment and he abused it.

  26. I agree putting up 52 against the defense Illinois offered last night was not stellar, but to hold a bunch of shooters like they have to 49 is absolutely stellar. Stubborn defense every game is the only way this young team survives because the offensive fire power is not on hand to be potent.

  27. You ask what would have happened if McCamey got going in the last 2 minutes. In my opinion, the illini didn’t play sub-par and they didn’t shoot cold. What happened was that Indiana’s defense shut them down. Time after time, we denied them what they wanted to do and left them with few options. McCarney wasn’t going to get going in the last two minutes, because our defenders had gotten in his head and shut him down by that point. You said we have to be able to handle that situation. We did handle it by preventing it from ever happening.

    Great assessment, Boomer. Team effort all the way with some big time clutch shooting…I’m a born pessimist and it would decieve my nature to find anything bad to say about Indiana’s performance last night. I was happy for the entire team.

    And did anyone see the interview Charissa Thompson did with Maurice Creek? What a classy kid. What a positive image for young kids of the game.

  28. I don’t get, you people bash Crean and this team for every single little thing, but you can’t give credit EVER! So what if they didn’t win the way you wanted them to, THEY WON. Why is this thread complaining about things and discussing Cubs fandom when we just beat a ranked opponent for the first time in three years?

    Yes I know “we should beat ranked opponents every single game, should never play unranked opponents in the non conference, and should only score when we set 5 screens and a short slow white kid makes 15 footers all night”. Wake up and relax this is a new beginning to IU hoops. Enjoy the win and save the griping for a more negative day.

  29. I thought Rivers did a great job on McMamey. His defense was real. I’ve seen Rivers up close, he’s a big kid. With his size an speed he can be intimidating defensively.

    I have been hard on Hull and this team. Specifically their mental attitude and talent. However, watching Hulls last night, and coaching for 10 years at the Junior High level, I find it quite enjoyable to watch a kid grow. I hope Hulls continues to believe that he can make his own shot, and just needs a little room to get off his three point shot. I hope they are all starting to believe.

  30. Would you please get off your duff and have some articles on football recruiting. All major programs have daily updates during the final days of football recruiting. All I know from your staff, is it is a long drive to Iowa. Please step up, we want to build some momentum this fall.

  31. Coach Crean and the team did what was expected of them on Thursday night.For that they deserve congratulations and a pat on the back.Now let’s hope that they carry that attitude and effort into the future.

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