44 comments

  1. I would like to dedicate the following song to John Shurna(Not that Hugh has ever taken any my suggestions for a Hoosier Morning song before).

  2. if you could describe iu offense dibble to center court pass to side so he candribble to center court and pass to m,side and etc. some of the players have horrible attitudes no defense and no coaching please dont give this guy another year

  3. Not accustomed to bashing type posts, I finally have to agree that something is amiss with this sideline of talented coaches. While VIII has individual skills, he doesn’t seem to be encouraged to understand the TEAM concept. Other players can’t find their rhythm and place on the floor. Maurice seems to play in a panic mode. Rebounding block-outs are missing. Jordan seems to be one of the few guys able to play [controlled] at this level but he needs screens and other player outlets with whom to complete his set. Northwestern showed how “coached” mediocre talented teams win out over a individually talented teams with no cohesion. Just my 2 cents.

  4. I dont want to get down on Jones but he loses the ball way to many times. He plays out of control, gets himself in situation where he has no where to go, cant pass it and then falls down like he has been fouled? I believe he must play different for us to win. His errors happen through the whole game but many of those errors come during crunch time and it kills us. It is painful to watch him mishandle the ball that much!

  5. Is Creek anywhere near 100%? Would a massive body like Michel’s in the middle offered substantial pluses on both ends of the court? Do we have a 5-star guard that can attract enough attention from the defense to open up the rest of the floor? We are disconnected, but we’re also absent very important elements a puzzle needed for a team that can legitimately contend on a nightly basis in the Big 10. Though not completely aloof to the belief that responsibility of poor play be placed on the shoulders our coach, I don’t see how second-guessing and abandoning support for him will help move a disheartened and fractured team forward.

    During Bobby Knight’s last decade as Hoosier coach(when frustrating early tournament exits became the first signs of the inevitable writing on the chalkboard that the profusion of athleticism throughout the college game was eclipsing his antiquated style), I can’t remember many the same dinosaurs still running around Bloomington claiming something was “amiss”.

    And can anyone imagine a reporter in their best namby-pamby land voice asking Knight the following: “Have you considered opening things up a bit and being a little unconventional?…Maybe let some of your athletes utilize their skills instead of running predictable robotic stuff that teams with speed can easily defend?

    Just because our current coach isn’t as untouchable the day an intimidating tyrant spit in every microphone a tongue-tied Bloomington reporter his one horse hoops town, should that necessarily open the door for crawling up Tom Crean’s shorts and suggesting how to coach his team? Didn’t we just get some preachy article from HT about respect?

  6. Now on Board – I have to think you are spot on with your post.
    Most of our players are lost on the floor, and are missing many of the basics of the game. Very sad. If I were starting a team from this group, I would only want Hulls, Sheehey, CWat (assuming he get his head permanently in the game and with his team), perhaps Rivers (as a role player), possibly VO (if he will take the time to learn the game at this level, and use his athleticism to his benefit), and maybe Elston (again as a role player). The rest of them I would pass on.
    Unfortunately, I see us as an 0-18 team in the conference this year. Michigan is so much better than us, and NW and PSU are much better coached than we are. Maybe can steal a win at home vs Iowa, but I would not bet on it. Fortunately, we will only be subjected to one pounding by MSU, but will have to endure two embarrasements at the hands of PeeU.
    I believe there has to be a way to win some with this existing team. It requires better play calling, game prep, player substitutions and motivation. You really cannot coach during a game. The coaching has to take place in the practices and in getting inside the players’ heads in advance of games. Our coaches are doing none of the above successfully.

  7. Hammer:

    Jones had 9 assists and 2 turnovers against NW…how the heck can you bash Jones after that one? He actually has been improving his ratio as the season has gone along, and while I too agree that we need a true PG, I will take a 4.5-to-1 ratio any day of the week.

  8. i don’t know which one of you asked crean after the game about running a motion or flex offense (my money is on dustin), but i for one, would like to commend you for asking the question we all want the answer for. i’m sure by now you know this was reported at indystar and the comments also support you. the report also states you were pulled aside by crean for a lengthy private conversation. can you share that with us?

    dustin, you are right on the money with your analysis about this aimless offense. i don’t know what hugh is talking about. running an effective offense lies soley with the coach.

    while i’m deeply concerned with crean’s coaching ability, i’m enamored with his recruiting ability. would hate to lose our future commits if crean were let go. got to give him a couple more years.

  9. question for everyone: could Crean fix the defensive problems and keep this offense and win? When we played man to man d at the end…it was really good and we cut the lead down. Just curious…he will not change his offense as he trusts it and would possibly lose recruits down the road…

  10. How many of you really expected this team to be any good this year? At best, we were looking at a .500 team and that was with a 7’0″ center that we didn’t get to play with.

    I am absolutely sick of all this losing, but I’m not in panic mode yet. If we can’t make deep runs in the tourney from ’13 on, then it’s actually time to reevaluate. Maybe another coach would do well with this group of misfits, but it’s all about what he can do when we get our new guys.

  11. Helter Skelter offense with bazaar substitution patterns.Whatever this coaching staff is TRYING to do is not working.Some of these players have a basketball IQ of ZERO and have not yet learned basic fundamentals that should have been learned while playing on their eighth grade team.Its way past time for accountability. These coaches are well paid and these players are receiving a scholarship from one of the best universities in the land.THE TIME TO PRODUCE IS NOW.

  12. I don’t understand why everyone is on Crean. He is building a team and program. He has 2 (real) recruiting classes that are his on the court. Without a floor leader who commands respect with his heart to play from his teammates, this team will continue to look lost on the court. He needs to find a way of developing this floor leader who will get in the face of his teammates regardless of how many years they have played college ball. My vote is for Jordan Hulls, but if he doesn’t want to take it, Crean floating down a River (and no he is not a leader, but a cry baby). This fan is looking for a floor General…I don’t need the General back to coach we have a coach, but we are missing a General.

  13. I’ve yet to see a Big 10 team that we are more athletic than. The only players we should be considering “athletic” are Oladipo and Sheehey.

  14. IU gets called for 3-4 fouls each game by setting poor picks. How hard is it to stand still for 2-3 seconds? How hard is for the ball handlers to drive closer to those picks in order to rub off the defender? I blame the coaching. We commit moving screens each game and our dribblers NEVER go near the screener. How hard can that be? Watford needs to man up. He had better change his attitude if he desires to play at the next level. He cannot beat anyone off the dribble, how does he intend to do that at the pro level if he cannot accomplish that in college? Coaches… please step up and DEMAND an effort or introduce these guys to the bench. Give me Daniel Moore any day!

  15. I dare someone to call into the CTC Show tonight and have the stones to ask him on the air about the offense.

    At the end of the day, aren’t we all putting lipstick on a pig here? Hulls can’t create a shot, Verdell can’t dribble or shoot, Watford can’t post up, Oladipo can only drive to the basket, and there are no amound of picks, flex, 4-corners, etc… that are going to cure all of IU’s flaws. This is a marginally talented team that can’t beat anyone higher than 85 in the Sagarin ratings. To act like changing up the 4-ball handoff offense is going to create a 90-point per game offense is ridiculous.

  16. Bam, you must not have watched the game last night…IU is way more athletic than NW. I am easy on Crean for the most part but for the first time I hit a wall last night. That NW team more than PSU or any other team we have played was just not that good. Not on the fire Crean bandwagon, far from it but something has to give at this point.

  17. watched the show after the game about Hulls and his high school career…I watched that clip vs John Wall and the passes and driving to the basket, he looked much more confident back then. Love the kid but I could not help but notice that…did anyone else see what I did?? I know this is D1 Big 10 ball but man he looked different!

  18. Hey Hugh, thanks for having the honesty in you to ask Crean about possibly restructuring the offense. I know that may have been an uncomfortable question but it was needed. Props to you. I don’t know if there was any truth to what was said about him pulling you aside. Regardless, I am glad the question was asked.

    Kevin Wilson said it best when asked about what kind of offense or defensive scheme will we run. He responded, “We will adjust our style and play to the kind of personale that we have on the field.” I think Crean must restructure our offense to the personale on the court. This team does not have the talent to play the style he wants. I would like to see more pick and roll and just more screens being set. That is just the beginning.

  19. J Pat-

    Confidence can be sucked out of anyone. Want instant better results on this team? I suggest chaining Jones’ ankles to Daniel Moore on the bench. Jones is a momentum killer whose point production is nullified by his recklessness with the ball, lack of urgency when urgency needed, and negative vibe he rubs off on the rest of the players. The point guard should be the spark and positive impetus a young team. Jones has had his chance. He throws his arms in gyrations of disgust at players and acts as if his own mistakes have no impact. He has zero the qualities required in a confident leader that can build camaraderie instead of the discontent so easily the trappings a young team facing mounting losses. I completely agree with views expressed by Just an Observer. This bunch is in dire need a positive role model directing the team on the floor. It may be too late for Hulls to reclaim his own confidence in running the team, but what the hell is to lose giving him a chance?

    Crean’s weird adoration, and conversely, weird detachments, certain players may be far more crippling to the team’s progress than any lack of understanding some suggest he has when it comes to the X’s and O’s of the game.

  20. One more thing. Shaun Morris said last night during the game about Indiana needing Watford to go back down on the blocks. I agree. We need him inside especially during big ten season. He can draw some fouls and we know he is pretty good from stripe. I just think we need his size down low consistently.

  21. They laid 90+ on us and the paramount question is about changing the offense in mid season? No wonder there was a private conversation after the presser. The price of egg shells just went up do to higher demand.

  22. It is one of many points that needs to be brought up. Before you go assuming maybe you should ask. I brought up that point about the style of offense because I think Hugh made a valid point.

    I don’t think anyone is disregarding how bad this team is on defense. I definitely believe we need major HELP on defense side. It is absolutely horrible. But our best offensive players play bad defense. Our best defensive players play bad offense. I don’t claim to know the answers and like all of us here we can make our own observations and speculate.

    As tough as this is on us fans it is worse on the coaches and the players. Here is hoping to seeing some major improvement within the next few weeks.

  23. I think RAM’s on to a very basic problem with this team…they are not coached well on the fundamentals and basketball sense. Poor shot selection and recognition, endless defensive lapses, and carelessness with the basketball can be laid at the feet of the coaching staff, which is a 3-ring circus during games as all the coaches are up and down or pacing, constantly directing or micro-managing traffic on-court, and giving players so many messages that it’s no wonder the players can’t execute. I played through college and can’t fathom having to put up with all that sideline frenzy. Prediction: IU fans are in for a long, disappointing ride with Crean.

  24. ^^^hilarious. This is why we need Bobby back in town. Hugh asks the same question to Knight and he’s blacklisted and booted all the way back to Blue Ridge country where his Blue Devil heart forever resides.

    Have fun, Coach Crean. It has begun. The young sports voices in this town have been passed down 25 years pent-up frustration the twisted and tied tongues resulting from the one you’re trying to fill shoes.

  25. Clarion- in basketball there is a relation to offense and defense; everyone is saying that IU plays without energy, effort and enthusiasm on defense. That is directly related to something…and if you watch them on offense they are clearly frustrated by their inability to get anything done. Hulls, a one legged Creek, and a below average D1 athlete Verdell Jones are not players who can successfully execute a dribble drive attack offense. Watch Kansas or Kentucky play or Memphis tape from a few years ago if you want to see that run the right way. Dribble drive is great if you have 2-3 future pro guards. Hulls can’t get anything done in this offense. Creek/Roth are broken in this style of offense. JonesIII dribbles all day looking for nothing but his own crease for a shot. Offensive frustration leads to lack of interest/effort on the defensive end, we had 9pts with like 8mins left in the first half, players were clearly frustrated…..

  26. Fab, you make some good points and I agree with a lot of them and can admit that after last night but Roth and Creek and Hulls for that fact were not bad in this offense last year. I am afraid it might be deeper than offense and defense…not sure what really. I am kind of to the point I would put Vic, Will, Hulls, Wat and Elston in for an entire first half and see what happens, no subbing at all! Just thoughts…

  27. JPat, I watched the first half and about 5 minutes of the second half before flipping over to “Bob’s Burgers”. When I flipped back IU went on a 6-0 run but predictably couldn’t sustain the run. I’m wondering what you considered to be “athletic” when watching IU last night? In my opinion athletes show their athleticism on the defensive end with steals, breaking up the passing lanes, recovering on screens, taking charges, and blocking shots. I saw Sheehey and Oladipo break up a few passes but nobody else in Crimson did any of the above. There were a couple opportunities to attempt to block shots but Watford and Elston were anchored to the floor. I didn’t see anyone that could stop Shurna who is playing injured. Mirkovic may not be very athletic but he sure made IU look really un-athletic.
    I really want to believe IU is more athletic like you do but I honestly don’t see it anymore.

  28. IU could not stop Shurna as he was coming off screens, not because he was athletically breaking down someone off the dribble. IU has Vic, Will, Wat, Elston, Creek…those guys should easily be more athletic than the entire NW team. Being athletic is faster, stronger, and more agile in my eyes. IU was more athletic than PSU in my opinion but that is just me. Don’t mean to disagree but NW looked slow to me…they shot well and moved well and played some D now and then…they also played well together!

  29. Fab5, “In basketball there is a relation to offense and defense”, no s+=t. The offense that did not work in the first half last night, worked in the second half for 81 total points. 93 won the game. The question about changing the offense at mid season cannot be done, that conversation is mute. To play in the dribble drive is why all the talented future recruits chose IU. The D can be overhauled, enhanced, mixed, revitalized, adjusted and transformed in four practice sessions. I fully expect this to be the direction Coach Crean takes, though no shot blocking presence can be masked by changing D. The offense will not be altered now or in the future, but its performance will when Yogi arrives.

  30. The Hoosiers basketball team does not know how to manage a zone defense. No one knows where to go and guys are left wide open. So on that concept alone, why not go man to man? Why not go full court? It sparked some life in them at the end of the game. If we cannot stop anyone from scoring, we won’t beat anyone. Pritchard should be in home economics with a skirt on; Creek should not be playing cuz all he likes to do is throw up wild 3s. Everyone else needs to stay on their man and play sound offense by moving to get the ball and not standing around waiting to take wild shots. It is bad coaching when teams have no defense and cannot make free throws. No excuses for that and if we don’t change it, we won’t win another game. It is so pathetic that IU is last in basketball and football in the big ten.

  31. Be Patient – 5 more years to build and we will win some games in the conference. Remember, Dynamic Tom Crean is building a career, (oops) I mean a program. It takes time.

  32. Clarion- your assumption that kids are willing to give their all and bust it on D when they don’t score, go through huge droughts, and don’t believe in their own offensive system shows a relative lack of knowledge of how players think on your part. Saying ‘they scored 81 pts, their offense is fine’ leads me to believe you haven’t been watching the games. Its like Crean defending the second half defensive effort, even though we gave up 53 second half points. Stats don’t tell the whole story here. You have to watch the game, use your knowledge of the sport and make your own assumptions. I agree with you that Crean probably will not make offensive adjustments, but for you to suggest that a simple fix is all that is needed on D sorta illuminates your lack of confidence in these players, the coach, or the sport of basketball. If you think sitting down for 45minutes and thinking really hard about defense will lead to a huge difference in that area you are obviously slamming what IU has done the past few weeks, do you really think the fix is as small as saying “let’s D-up!” If so why hasn’t that worked in the past? Why in IU’s 8 losses have they been giving up close to 80 ppg? I think there is a lot more to it then what you have suggested.

  33. Personally, I don’t see how crappy athletes can run anything. In Knight’s heyday, he had very athletic teams with top-of-the-class point guards and extremely versatile big men….The Hoosiers were not confined to Knight’s style because their limitations on talent. Just the opposite-the system benefited greatly because of the damn good basketball players he recruited, the personnel, at every position on the floor. There was rarely a positional weak spot. He didn’t have to shuffle his lineup(though on occasion, a pissed-off Knight, would shake-up starting lineups to make a point about effort/attitude)because his players were thoroughbreds the day they stepped on campus. He had 6′-9″ guys in the middle that could hit turnaround jumpers from all angles around the basket(guys like Steve Downing, Alan Henderson, Landon Turner, Ray Tolbert, Daryl Thomas, etc). First and second team All-Americans like Scott May, Kieth Smart, Isiah Thomas, Kent Benson, Bobby Wilkerson. Do I dare mention Alford? Damon Bailey? Even with the advancement of speed and athleticism in the game, I honestly believe some of Knight’s teams three decades ago had enough size and athleticism to go toe-to-toe with teams this era. Crean’s got zilch in comparison. Isiah Thomas could blow by every guard on this team. A 55-year-old Isiah Thomas might be able to play the point better than Verdell Jones…no disrespect to VJ intended.

    Bottom Line: The reason Knight’s team looked like a well-oiled machine was greatly influenced by the supreme quality the gears running it. Build that engine with the parts Crean has at his disposal? Just because two marching bands go down the street at the same pace doesn’t mean they play the same quality music.
    A great deal of oversimplification from a lot of experts here lacking true perspective the past and the present.

  34. Kirkwood your lengthy post said 1 thing: IU needs to get better players. That isn’t a revelation, people have been saying that for 3 years, congrats to your ‘expertise’ for noticing that. No one here is suggesting that IU needs to be 17-0 and ranked in the top 10, we are merely saying that with this current group there is no reason we can’t beat a Colorado, NW, PSU, Northern Iowa, or Boston College. Many subpar teams have already beaten those 5 schools. Give this exact same team to about 5-6 other Big 10 coaches and I highly doubt they’d be sitting at 9-8 with their best win on the season being against Wright State.

    Your Bob Knight rant is old, Knight was not god. Knight last won a Big 10 championship in ’93, he last made it to the Sweet 16 in ’94, his last 6 years at IU were average at best; he did nothing at Texas Tech. The Knight argument is comically out dated…..

  35. Fab5, I have enjoyed reading you and everyone else. I think the offense has looked bad but defense has looked awful. I think defense can be fixed easier and quicker at this point. On offense we are running with NO true big man, best player from last year in Creek is hurting and not anywhere near 100%, Jones…won’t go there, Hulls is not agressive, Pritch has taken a step backwards, and Elston and Wat are hot/cold.

    The zone defense has looked as bad as I have ever seen and the kids are confused by it and last night when they played man…they looked organized, confident and tough! I just am not sure Crean can change the offense this late in the season and quite frankly if he did he might lose future recruits. You can comment freely but I think defense is the way to go…

  36. Hugh (and Dustin since you thought it was a $20,000 question) – why ask about changing the ofensive structure in a game where the offense scored 81 points? 81 points should be enuff to win. I’m not a big fan of the dribble drive (especially right now since we we aren’t able to pull off). But, please, if you want to ask a question about something to change, then ask about the defensive scheme. Almost every team lately has had their best game against us and at least one player sets a new career high in scoring. Let’s talk defense!

  37. Fab5-

    I am the furthest thing from a Knight-worshiper. My lengthy post was intended to exactly support the opposite. What greater purpose served by your hypothetical arguments that other “subpar” programs would have won games we lost? Erase 2/3 of Jones’ errors and we hypothetically beat two of the five on your list. Put in a clone of last year’s Creek and we hypothetically beat three of five. Put in a 7-foot tall beast with a body and a wingspan a 747 wearing tennis shoes and we hypothetically win all those games you claim we should have fared better.

    One journalists has the mighty balls to ask the most earth-shattering question known to every blowhard ready to spout, and suddenly all doubters crawl gloriously out of their sewers because they now have a “professional” opinion in their favorite blogging corner to take a most awaited heavy rat-crap on Tom Crean.

    I was not big on Crean when he was the choice for our head coach, but I’m willing to give the man a chance to bring in the program’s Indiana 3-A savior and some additional dominoes of talent(a point guard with some explosiveness would be nice) before declaring him the greatest charlatan the coaching profession. If anyone should know talent makes a difference it should be a blogger using the name “Fab5″(albeit talent amassed by a crooked, rule-breaking coach no less seedy than a Kentucky coach from these great modern basketball times).

  38. Kirkwood- if you are asking me to agree with the statement that once IU gets better players and we start to have very talented kids play ball for IU, IU will start winning…Then the answer from me is yes. I agree with that point. IU will hopefully someday soon have some players who are absolutely above average D1 level talents. And that should assuredly lead to more wins. Everything will be easier, the offense will run smoother and look much better, we’ll assumably look solid defensively. We’ll have the talent to win close games, etc. I won’t argue with those statements from you at all. My argument is to the people who once again feel like Crean is off the hook for this entire season because “we don’t have Yogi, Cody, or Hanner.” My feeling is that we do have enough here on this current team to play with and/or beat Colorado, NM, NW, NoIA, BC…you do not need elite players to beat those 5 teams I mentioned, just ask Yale, Rhode Island, Harvard, Southern Illinois, Missouri State, Iowa, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Maine, and Michigan they were all able to beat one of those 5 schools IU went 0-5 against. I also agree with you about supporting the coach and hoping for the best, that is a valid point. But I don’t think expecting solid offensive possessions, or effort/enthusiasm/energy on defense is asking too much. I’m not on here just bashing the players or saying things like “we suck.” But being involved with basketball my whole life I’ve learned you don’t have to just sit back and say “Go IU!” all the time, you can be critical and ask questions, why is Crean off the hook with this team? I do not believe he is doing his best work with the group we currently have.

  39. I’m not in a position to know if he’s doing his best coaching work. Do any of us do our best work on a daily/nightly basis? Do the players bring their best game every outing? We may be witnessing Crean best. I just don’t know. I tend to think he’s intelligent enough to be a good coach. Sometimes egos get in the way of smarts. The Big 10 is a strong conference and he faces a lot of challenges to get us back on track. I agree with many your points and that some of the games on paper appeared very winnable.

  40. The coaching or lack of it will continue until the recruits start decommiting.With a team with limited skills why not slow the game down and work for good shots and at least compete .I could live with some of the losses if we were competive .We have become a team that is beat before the game starts .Having said that you can be the best coach in the country and you will not win without players .Our team with the exception of four or five players will not play defense or hustle ,theres not much left after that .We need to play man defense and stay with it Crean and his coaching posse are so busy trying to out coach each other they actually run into each other throughout the game.The team needs to take a attitude and become hardnosed .For the first time ever no respects IU .VJ3 has his own agenda and needs to be benched ,he doesn,t get it!Recruits will not come here to be subjected to this circus!

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