Hoosier Morning

Indiana’s Tom Pritchard is fouled while trying to dunk during the second half. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

STARTING FIVE

1. INDIANA BASKETBALL

Tom Crean said the team needed fans to show up and be loud, and they responded throughout the second win against a top-25 opponent in six days, Dustin wrote. The Pritch was a big reason why Indiana defeated Minnesota, I wrote.

The Pritch’s play on Wednesday was part of an overall new level of team effort and understanding, Inside the Hall’s Zachary Osterman wrote. It was unclear how effective Verdell Jones would be, but he came through with a big 3-pointer from the corner, the Indy Star’s Terry Hutchens wrote.

The Hoosiers are playing a complete 40 minutes, the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel’s Pete DiPrimio wrote. That was the Pritchard the players and coaches are used to seeing in practice, the IDS’ Greg Rosenstein wrote. Pritchard just exemplifies the team effort, the IDS’ Nathan Hart wrote.

2. INDIANA FOOTBALL

Not everyone in Indiana’s 21-man recruiting class is a finished product, but 5-foot-7 wide receiver Shane Wynn was highly-sought after and gives the Hoosiers a dimension it lacked, Dustin wrote.

Kevin Wilson handled the tough questions about the pulling of scholarships and the departure of Corey Raymond and Jerry Montgomery, Andy wrote.

Fort Wayne Luers Kenny Mullen will have a chance to play early (as will the rest of the class), DiPrimio wrote. The whole recruiting process was abbreviated this time around, the IDS’ Connor O’Gara wrote. The potential arrivals outweigh the departures, the IDS’ Justin Albers wrote.

3. BIG TEN BASKETBALL

Indiana simply outworked and outhustled Minnesota, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Myron P. Medcalf wrote.

Somehow, Indiana beating Minnesota was not the most shocking score of the night: that belong to Iowa defeated Michigan State by 20. Tom Izzo called it the worst effort he has seen at Michigan State, the Lansing State Journal’s Joe Rexrode wrote. Iowa got big fan support during the win, the Des Moines Register’s Rick Brown wrote.

Opponents are trying to limit Ohio State’s offensive possessions, the Columbus Dispatch’s Bob Baptist wrote. AnnArbor.com’s Michael Rothstein gives five keys for Michigan during the second half of the conference season.

Here are the Big Ten standings.

4. BIG TEN FOOTBALL

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill cautioned against judging this recruiting class until at least two years have passed, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Phil Miller wrote. Michigan State found a way to sign players from 11 states and even Canada, the Lansing State Journal’s Denny Schwarze wrote.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz finally handled the issue of what happened during that workout and did well — but why did he wait so long?, the Des Moines Register’s Sean Keeler wrote. Ohio State picked up a high-profile linebacker commit, but an offensive lineman recruit was arrested on suspicion of fondling eight girls, the Columbus Dispatch’s Tim May wrote.

Wisconsin’s recruiting class has one more name to add, in the form of a top-100 QB who will announce his decision Friday, Madison.com’s Andy Baggott wrote. Penn State brought in 10 players late to make up for a slow start, the Harrisburg Patriot-News’ Bob Flounders wrote.

Northwestern put together a typical recruiting class: heavy on guys that fit its mold and totally unconcerned about stars, the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein wrote. Illinois found some big linemen to replace the ones it just lost, the Champaign News-Gazette’s Paul Klee wrote.

Brady Hoke’s first recruiting class added toughness to Michigan, AnnArbor.com’s Pete Bigelow wrote. Purdue had a rough year overall, but the Lafayette Journal & Courier’s Mike Carmin focused on the versatility in the recruiting class.

5. ONE FOR THE ROAD

Jay-Z’s “Encore.”

30 comments

  1. I am very pleased with the entire program from top to bottom,with the effort put 4th in the last few games.
    Coach has finally adjusted his coaching style,to fit the team chemistry,the players see it working thus building confidence.
    Great things to come..stay tuned

  2. I am not discerning any adjustment in coaching style other than what has been accorded to develop through injuries.

  3. TP’s dunk was a thing of beauty but what did Quinn Buckner say in response?? At first it just sounded like Mubo-Jumbo but then I figured, ‘ole’ Quinn just had an epiphany and started speaking in ‘tongues’!!

  4. Looks like TP has the Minny player by the throat. Love how aggressive he’s been. Totally different player than earlier in the year.

  5. Now that’s Hoosier Basketball.Congratulations to Coach Crean for getting the most from the talent he had on hand.

  6. Creaniac: Love your enthusiasm, and it’s great to see the positive energy in general flowing from all corners right now towards the program.

    I have to mightily disagree with you about Crean’s “adjustments,” though. It is very simplistic to believe that everything that happens on a basketball court (or baseball field, or football field) is a direct result of some “adjustment” made by the coach.

    Crean has been a positive force for the program for almost 3 years running now. He brings constant energy, optimism, and intelligence to the position. I didn’t like his play call in the last few seconds last night.

    I have also watched Bill Belchick, Mike Shanahan, Joe Torre, and Phil Jackson make bad decisions before. Looking at the big picture, every coach makes bad calls, and a coach’s ability must be measured over the long haul.

  7. Normally I have enjoyed the music that you guys have been posting. Until today. Sorry, Jay-Z, not a fan.
    Maybe it is a sign of my age but that sounds like listening to traffic noise with a bad hang-over. Maybe I’m just not cool enough.
    I will give him his due… he does have Beyonce. That girl not only looks good, she can sing too. Lucky dog!

  8. I can see three more victories that we have a good chance at getting(home against Iowa, @ Michigan, home against Northwestern). I see two more decent chances (home against Purdue, home against Wisconsin). I see little to no chance @ Purdue (rivalry, we’ll play well for a half and then fade), @ OSU (way too talented), and @ Illinois (they will be pissed). 15-16 if we win the good chances and lose the rest. If we could pick up a couple wins in the Big Ten tourney, we could maybe make the CBI or whatever tournament that is one lower than the NIT. That would be a great achievement for us this year.

  9. And the word of the day is…..?

    I’d venture to guess that if we took a poll (and I’m not quite keen on that at this point) the top two players most would put on the transfer list would be Capobianco and Pritchard, which is understandable considering they’ve committed a combined 85 fouls and scored 57 points.

    What The Fudge! What happened to The Dakich and The Fisch with all the throwing of The Sludge? Would somebody hurry and please give The Pritch, The Nudge? If Tom Pritchard’s official new nickname is The Pritch, can I officially declare his Baryshnikov dunk as The Nudge?

    Nudge…Nudge is the word for the day. Air Jordan? You got nothin’ on Air Nudge! I want me a pair of Air Nudge’s!

  10. The Hugh: I am enjoying your columns of late. Thanks for giving us the origin of The Pritch. I’ll have to congratulate Bozich for such a moniker.

    Possible suggestion for a poll question:

    How does the Pritch Dunk compare to Eric Gordon’s dunk against Arkansas?

    * E.J. all the way, baby
    * T.P. in a landslide
    * Two different players, two different dunks, two different directions for the program…better not to compare

  11. Everyone myself included has beat up on the DUNKMISTER TP.Without question he has that look in his eyes and he is aware of everything and everyone around him .We have not seen that in almost three years and I LIKE IT! Last night was the most complete team effort of the season everytime we got in trouble someone would step up and save the team,thats what it’s all about! Coach Crean seems to have settled in and the players are buying in and have responded with a great refuse to lose attitude and attitude is everything .The Gophers kept waiting for us to crack but it never happened.GREAT TEAM EFFORT!

  12. I thought the team needed to hear from “IU Voices”, the frustration, the expectations, the disappointment that we all have felt. I also think it might have gotten thier attention. The kids that are playing now are the toughest. When we started playing better, Jones and Watford could’nt hang. And I mean that for physical reasons. And probably mentally too. The ones that are adapting, learning from thier mistakes are the reasons for better play. You have to be there at the finish line. And, not throw up bad shots, or dribble the ball off your foot. I don’t mean to throw VJIII or CWAT under the bus here, but we all knew somthing needed to change. And like some have alluded to, the injuries kinda helped that change take place………Sorry, drunken stuper.

  13. IU Voices? Can the dude in the tree hear them? I disagree with your assessment. Watford is a stud. Jones is a better shooting guard and the team has blossomed when Hulls took control of the offense. That was by happenstance, but had nothing to do with VJ being weak.
    I Actually think the season turned with the COMMENTARY written by Hugh concerning the Elston intentional trip at Northwestern. That’s when the team collectively said “screw you” to all the naysayers. There was already a chip on their shoulders from the unfair questions/suggestions(less than tactfully dropped upon their coach at a Iowa post-game press conference)about the inept offense..And then the icing on the cake was selling these kids out before the Big 10 season was half over with the garbage rumors about some of them wanting to transfer.Are these all the “IU voices” your alluding to? NOT THIS VOICE. Don’t paint this fan with your wide brush…The Pritch breakout performance, culminated by The Dunk, has left every mud-slinging expert/voice in this town in a bit of a thunk. They’re searching for an explanation but most just look like the smartypants guy hanging out in the tree.

  14. Cupcake- I am not quite as hard on the journalists as you are. I feel like they’ve done a better job than during the Korman regime, when reporters seemed so eager to provide the “gotcha” story (thank you, Clarion, for putting that term in my head) that recruits had to questions about a falsely ominous “Scholarship Situation” that turned out to the ultimate mole hill.

    However, I love your passionate defense of the team and coach, through-and-through. I think you are right on about the team collectively rebelling against the widespread invective and apathy.

  15. I don’t like being a buzz kill. I thoroughly enjoy Scoop. Hugh and Dustin do a fantastic job. There may be a certain amount of backlash the result of some tasteless and unfair negative press aimed at this team that has encouraged a bonding and spirit in their play not seen before. Is it why they won two games against top-20 teams and played to the wire against MSU on the road? If it were only that simple. I’m as big a hypocrite as any that I’ve taken my cheap shots. The journalists are easy targets. I sometimes think there’s just too much obsession to find a story when none exists..Like you said, the “gotcha” syndrome can take over objective reporting. I’m not so sure making a mountainous deal out of a tripping incident is any different from a “scholarship situation”. It’s not always easy to find the balance when losing puts everything under a microscopic examination…I best quit rambling. The Hoosiers are playing far more entertaining ball than we’ve seen in quite some time. I hope they can keep surprising us despite all the misfortune…I’m not so blindly optimistic to believe the loss of Watford in the lineup will be easily countered by others stepping up. Either way, it is nice to finally see some national attention for Indiana basketball again. It’s nice to see some young kids shedding a huge monkey off their collective backs and receiving a little positive feedback for the perseverance they’ve demonstrated in the face of such seemingly endless adversity. It’s time to bury individual pride and be happy for them. It’s time for all of us(this blogger included) to admit we were far too hard on some of these kids and embrace how good it can feel to be wrong once in a while.

  16. ^No one says it like you. Nice work.

    I agree that we must relish the sensation of being wrong here, and also try to learn from our mistakes to avoid such rash judgments and condemnation in the future. We are the Immediate Gratification Nation; we hate to wait, hate to reserve judgment, hate to think that a quality product might take a lot more love, patience, and hard work to create than an Ikea do-it-yourself coffee table.

    I think 5 years is a nice timespan to expect a complete turnaround from a program essentially built from ruins. Through a 5 year lens, there is nothing about this rebuilding project that isn’t running on – or even ahead – of schedule.

    We witnessed one of the greatest recruiting streaks in IU history come to fruition right before the season. I think somehow that made us lose our “big-picture” focus temporarily, as if we expected the recruiting momentum to somehow translate to rapid player improvement and maturing on the floor. These things have to happen on their own time line, not ours.

  17. Appreciate the kind words, but you’re in another league in the category of eloquence. Loved the Ikea metaphor.

  18. As a lifelong IU fan I will take my lashing for being down on the team for a bit. I never quit believing in them, I just wanted to see effort put forth every night on the floor. We were not getting that for several games. I’m not down on Fisch and Dakich either. While their words were harsh, the logic behind their premises was fairly sound. Maybe that helped to light fires under some people. Whatever it was I’m glad the kids have responded and hope we see continued good effort for the next month or so. GO IU!

  19. Cupcake Hogwash,
    First, go back and read some of my earlier posts. I support IU. I have been positive. Two people I have been most unhappy with was Tom pritchard at the beginning of the year because of his stupid reaching , lazy fouls. The other, is Verdell Jones for his sloppy, untimley turnovers. I have not been real impressed with the way Watford the “stud” was forcing things and taking ill advised shots during crunch time of some winnable games. I have never wanted anyone to transfer.
    Secondly, by IU voices, I mean Dakich and Fisch and a couple of others. Buckner(he has always given IU a hard time) and Laz have mentioned some shortcomings in some way or the other. Even though I think Hugh and Dustin try to be a little to cute somtimes, they are just reporting what they see. And, I also think they do a good job. They are nowhere near as harsh as east coast writers or as harsh as they could have been. Whether it was one or all things accumulitive, somthing woke them up. I call it growing a sack. At least they now look more fluid. I was just mentioning that they have done as well with three of thier better players on the bench. Was it because they were content with thier playing time? Or the efforts or results from the stars. Watford and Jones need to get tougher, meaner and stronger. And learn to focus more. Watford has good potential for the next level. And we need him.
    Thirdly, don’t be in such a hurry to call someone out. Your last sentence in your second to last comment is you being a hypocrite, and using a very wide brush yourself. So please don’t put me in that picture.
    Lastly, I really liked your last comment. I bet we are more alike than you would think. I hope this cleared up any imcomplete thoughts or sentences on my part. An English teacher I aint!

  20. Dantes,
    Your comment #22 is good also. Who?, I think you put it clearer and simple. That was my main thought basically.

  21. Dustin and Hugh are far too smart than to report on only “what they see”. Like all thinking human beings, they have choices..They can attempt to look deeper or just as cleverly find reasons to dumb it down. Sometimes what they see doesn’t necessarily turn out to be. What they write is filtered with objective. Even within the narrow constraints of IU Basketball, they have boundless topics to place their thoughts to pen. There can be an agenda tied to that choice of topic before one word hits the page..I guess that’s why I have a bit of a cynical chuckle when I see the word “COMMENTARY” used as if we naively buy into thinking opinion cannot exist outside the bounds of a word in all caps. There can be a gargantuan amount of commentary simply based on choice of story. There can be far longer lasting commentary in image than a thousand eloquent words(Haven’t we seen quite a few of those silly pictures of Tom Crean with the arms frozen in position as if he’s attempting to take flight? How about the image of “Frankencody”?). There is commentary in calling Tom Pritchard “The Pritch”. There can even be commentary in Hugh’s YouTube song choice for Scoop’s Hoosier Morning. Do you think readers would perceive Hugh as being hip if he let Downing pick the songs? I’m not judging the honesty or truth in any their convictions. They are in a competitive business and I’m sure there are plenty of pressures behind the scenes. They must answer to bosses and continue to stimulate interest in their product. I don’t dare place myself into a position of believing that a specific written viewpoint by a journalist for a newspaper is necessarily attached to their own deep belief system. I hope Dustin and Hugh understand that my rebuttals, disagreements, and harsh sounding “cheap shots” are always directed at the printed word and not the innermost character the author. I am not taking up arms against them as individuals..I’m taking up arms against an opinion. I can’t begin to know their true intent anymore than they now my own based on what I choose to let them think I claim to see.

    Maybe all that gibberish I just wrote makes zero sense..Please don’t judge me too harshly. Please believe there is more to me than what I have the skill to convey on a sports blog. I’m certain there is more to Hugh..more to Dustin..more to Dantés…more to Clarion…more to Chet..more to who?…and more to you, whoever MassHoosier, you, is. Sometimes stupid words and stupid acts have no explanation. Sometimes forgiveness is more powerful the incrimination for a momentary loss of sanity forever locked in a careful word or deed. I can’t make sense of someone that has always seemed to be a decent kid pointlessly tripping a Northwestern player in a meaningless game no more than I can make sense Tom Pritchard suddenly being blessed for one play the basketball powers of “Dr. J”. It easier for me to just forgive them both for the typical and inexplicable human behavior than choose to publicly condemn one while turning another from goat to hero. I’ll leave that to the more than capable journalists..And may I add, you have every right to see it all differently than this hypocrite.

  22. I would say they are also smart enough to realize that their position puts them out there for criticism. Same goes for all of us that post on here. I also think one may interpret somthing totally different than I do. Somtimes we may not catch one anothers tone. Somtimes it’s hard to decipher or convey during a busy day. But we are all here because of the Hoosiers right? When it comes down to it, this sh?t really does not matter in the larger picture. Maybe that is where some of us fail, getting to worked up or depressd because of a game that we have no control over. Or did we?

  23. I guess that’s where the lines are getting more and more blurred. News and images can be manipulated and packaged quickly to millions of eyes in nanoseconds. There has to be a tendency for those in “control” of that power to believe they play a bigger role than maybe they should. I think Dantés said it perfectly in this excerpt from his post:

    We are the Immediate Gratification Nation; we hate to wait, hate to reserve judgment, hate to think that a quality product might take a lot more love, patience, and hard work to create than an Ikea do-it-yourself coffee table.

    We may not be blocking freewill and natural maturation, but we seem awfully obsessed with its quick manipulation. Control seems to be something everyone wants these days…the power to be the judge, jury, and executioner all in a matter of minutes from a keypad.

    Take care, MassHoosier.

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