Brey: The situation’s flipped

Mike Brey last saw Indiana up close when the Hoosiers were just about at their lowest. It was Tom Crean’s first season at the helm. He had just thrown a roster together after most of the returning players had departed in the wake of Kelvin Sampson’s recruiting sanctions and resignation, and he wasn’t quite sure exactly what he could do with what he had.

Notre Dame’s 88-50 win over the Hoosiers at the Maui Invitational made it crystal clear that it was a long way.

But Brey now finds himself facing a much different Indiana team. One that’s coming off an upset of Kentucky that’s made it the darling of college basketball for the week leading up to Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. game with Irish at Conseco Fieldhouse in the first annual Crossroads Classic.

“They’re a great example of a group that was kicked around as young guys and have hung in there, ’cause they’re great kids, and Tom had done a good job leading ’em through the tough stuff, and they’re benefiting now,” Brey said. “Because they’ve had each other’s back. They’re great kids, and Tom’s had the right tone with them. … It’s a great story. It’s the cycle of college basketball if you can get in to one of those where young guys get beat up, get kicked around. They hang in there, they don’t transfer. They don’t complain about starting. They listen to the coach, and all of the sudden something like what’s going on for them happens.”

Brey said he feels like the teams have almost flipped positions since Maui. That isn’t quite true, seeing as how the Irish have already won more games this season than Indiana won that year, but as Brey points out, the analogy works to some degree.

“It’s just opposite now,” Brey said. “They had all young guys running around and walk-ons, you know. And we had all men who had won together. The scenario has flipped, the cycle is different. We are trying to grow up and we’re taking some punches. But we’ve got really good guys who want to be good.”

Brey said the Hoosiers rise to relevance is good for college basketball.

“In our state, it keeps the basketball energy going,” Brey said. “Certainly, they’re a great traditional power that has done it forever, and it’s a great basketball place. Assembly Hall really presents their home games well. But it’s only a matter of time for a place like that to come back. When you have all the things in place, you’re gonna be back. You got the right coach. You’re working hard, you’ve got good kids, they’re not going away forever. They’re gonna be back. Certainly they’re showing, they’re on their way back.”

You can watch the rest of Brey’s press conference here.


  1. Brey just does not want to get his a$$ kicked by 35…reason behind his kind words maybe! I have never been a guy for revenge but certain teams put it to us…never called the dogs off. I want to be classy and clear our bench at the end IF it comes to that but to beat them by 20 would be nice, haha!

  2. How dare he compare his current situation to what this program went through three years ago. He may have young players but we had young WALK ONs. For his comments and how bad they beat us last time we played we should beat them by 30+. However Crean has more class then that and will call off the Dogs.

  3. No situation may every truly compare to what IU went through. It was unique in a large number of ways. But that doesn’t mean Brey is completely off base. He’s just saying “it’s good to be them now, and not good to be us.” Don’t read anymore in to you than you have to.

  4. in to IT…oops.

    I think IU wins this one by 16 or more. Hoosiers play with a chip on their shoulders and the UK win doesn’t change that.

  5. Brey is a class guy. In basketball you only “call the dogs” off with 1 minute to go. Until then you score every point you can and you stop the opponent from scoring with 100% effort. You want Derek, Remy, Austin, Tom, Matt and Danny going all out to get better. IU will need their contributions down the road and each will have to be ready. Football is a little bit different. There you can be so far ahead (40+) that even against your 3rd team it would take the opponents a full week to catch up.

  6. BP, I was honestly being goofy and I have always liked M Brey. It is opinion though on when/if to put subs in. If you are killing a team by 30 plus points…put subs in with 2 to 3 minutes to go.

  7. My idea of “calling the dogs off” is putting in the subs, but they play hard until the last minute. BP, if Derek, Remy, Austin, Tom, Matt and Danny are going all out as you say (and I agree), the dogs (starters) were called off already.

    I think the issue with the last Notre Dame game was that the starters were left in until almost the very end. Personally I don’t even remember, I’ve tried to block out the last 3 seasons as much as possible.

    Crean seems to make liberal use of subs pretty early in games which we control, and I like that strategy. A 15-20 pt margin early in the second half would bring in the subs (maybe even in the first half to some extent). Of course, the subs should play their best even if they are stretching out the lead.

  8. I haven’t followed ND, but it sounds a bit like a lot of overconfidence on here. I hope the game is that easy.

    Unfortunately, basketball is a sport that never ceases to surprise. It surprised us last weekend and it could do the same this Saturday.

    My recollection of most our games the last three years involves opponents that never took their foot off the gas. Call it revenge if you want. I prefer to call it karma or the long awaited proper planetary alignment restored. If the Hoosiers are rolling, then let them roll. There wasn’t a coach or a team that I can remember from the last three seasons that didn’t do everything possible to complete humiliate the Indiana Hoosiers. I have no problem running up the score. I have no problem if ND walks off the court looking like the helpless Labrador Retrievers Michael Vick used to train his pit bulls to kill an animal with no killer instinct.

    Take a look back at the scores during the regular season from the years we hung our banners. It wasn’t uncommon for Indiana to nearly double up the score on the lowly Big 10 and non-conference foes. Knight beat Digger 100-10 in one game…It’s a fish story…maybe it was 95-30. Anyway, you guys need to take off your pantyhose and priest collars and man up. This is the Indiana Hoosiers we’re talking about. We spank them until they say thank you.

    You want to know what was embarrassing? Derek Elston tripping a Northwestern Wildkitten cutting through the paint. That was the low point for Indiana…Let us pray upon the holy pages of Tom Crean’s Twitter account that we are never the unloved and unwanted homeless Labrador at the Humane Society that Michael Vick walks in to rescue. It’s a cruel ass world, and if you’re lucky enough to find yourself with sharp teeth and a fierce bite, then do the same thing every millionaire in a boardroom that ripped retirement away from senior citizens had no problem with…or what a grotesquely over-payed popular pro athlete that has no sense of right vs. wrong had no problem with…Remove the meek from this earth, spill their blood, and revel in the advantages your lot has earned you. No sooner will you be reminded by some grinning smart-ass pit bull that your hair is gray and your banners are dusty….no sooner will you be an afterthought in a world run by slimy softhearted bigots that truly believe you will never be “back” to being relevant at anything.

    I would love a rout, but I have a hunch this will be a tight game. I’m picking the Hoosiers by four. Let’s go with 72-68.

  9. I disagree with almost all of you. Last time we played this team they beat us by 38. They kept their starters in till the last min and still were shooting 3s. I hope crean replayed the game during a team meeting, if he did there will be no let down from KU. We need to beat them to the point their fans shut off the TV at half time knowing it was over.

  10. I have no moral objection to running up the score because of the past, I’d just rather see our subs get more PT and experience (assuming we get a big lead). Let them do it if they can.

  11. Hey, what’s the debate? It’s Notre Dame. I say play hard and play clean, but run them off the floor. Run up the score without thinking twice. When the blow-out is assured, rest your starters, but insist your subs play as hard as possible. IU needs to develop that killer instinct again, learning how to finish and dominate weaker teams.

    A blow-out win on national TV will help IU when the NCAA selection committee seeds the tournament brackets. And improving IU’s ranking is not a bad thing either. Any time you get to blow out teams that are in the same recruiting geography, you do it. I would not be taking three pointers in the last two minutes, but otherwise, run up the score as much as possible. Remember, it’s Notre Dame!

  12. I get a little concerned about all of the bravado expressed here, IMHO this game will be a real test. I think IU wins but no blowout. I hope I’m wrong, go IU!!

  13. Sounds like someone is looking for some mercy! I know ctc is a class act but after n.d ran it up on us he needs to return the favor. Some teams deserve what they get! Im sure we will.

  14. HforH, you crack me up man. I agree with your entire rant. Even the final score…

    on a side note, I made a few comments on your previous post about my Top 5 Checklists and such, but forgot to put in the spam # and lost my whole post. Didn’t feel like re-typing the whole thing. Anyway, I still can’t figure out how shooting 50% from 3’s vs ND helps us beat OSU.

  15. My, the difference a week makes. A week ago we were hoping we would beat Notre Dame. Now we are discussing when to ‘call off the dogs.’

    Just win, baby.

  16. My previous post was not intended to convey that I was taking the ND game for granted. I was not and am not predicting IU to blow-out ND. I’m not even expecting it. In fact, I believe it will be a tough game for IU.

    I’m just saying, against Notre Dame, if you get the chance, you blow them out and don’t look back. To do so would be good for IU basketball, the rankings, the future recruiting, and this year’s NCAA tournament seeding (if we continue to win).

  17. We’ve all been cautious with our optimism because we are supposed to be ‘a year away’. There are still plenty of Crean haters out there. We don’t want to be disappointed. but, let’s face it, we’ve watched the Hoosiers blow a bunch of teams off the floor and pretty much lead the #1 team in the country wire to wire in a game that, though it was nearly lost, could have just as easily been a double digit win. Plus, we are absolutely going to be better next year.
    Okay, I’m gonna say it. We’re baaaack.

    On a side note, the UK forums are hilarious. According to them, our win was a once in a lifetime fluke/the referees hate UK and cheated them by only calling them for 4 fouls in the second half. They are saying the Cats will win by 50 next year.

  18. Anyone going to check out the Cuse NC State game afterward on ESPN2? I want to see NC State pull off that win to help IU’s resume even more. It’s at State, so I think they definitely have a chance.

    I’m sticking with an 81-65 prediction in this one. Close for most of the game, but IU controls it and pulls away late with FTs and timely defense.

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