Hoosier Morning

The Indiana women’s basketball team goes for a second straight Big Ten win when it hosts a wounded Nebraska team at Assembly Hall tonight, Mike writes.

The Hoosiers sit fifth in the midseason power rankings, thanks in part to free-throw margin, SI.com’s Luke Winn writes.

Victor Oladipo’s mother and sisters are just about the only people who can ground the Hoosiers’ high-flyer these days, Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star writes.

Minnesota’s 84-67 thumping of Illinois Wednesday night just further legitimized the Gophers, Kirk Wessler of the Peoria Journal Star writes.

Michigan overcame a cold shooting night to match the best start in school history at 16-0 with a 62-47 win over Nebraska Wednesday, Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press writes.

In honor of Minnesota and its impending visit to Assembly Hall, we take the way back machine to 1986 and this ad featuring Minnesota Fats (and inexplicably, Waylon Jennings).


  1. To borrow from the parlance of those times, today’s “one for the road” was completely choice. Totally made my morning.

    Even weirder than Waylon Jenning’s appearance (I can fully believe that Waylon spent enough time in 21-and-over establishments to be a pretty good pool player) was the promise of Minnesota’s album. How exactly could one learn billiards from an audio cd? Or was the Fats returning Waylon’s favor and singing about broken hearts and cold beer?

    If anyone ordered this, I’d like to know the answer. Also, I’d probably like to know you.

  2. Was Minnesota fats intended to be a subliminal Tubby Smith jab? That Minnesota team does have a certain stick-to-itiveness about them. Hopefully we can give them a mighty dose of our stripes and solids..Speaking of cue balls, Minnesota ‘Tubby’ sure took it to Groce and his Illini last night. ..Pardon my English off the glass, but every time I see the Illini I’m reminded, scratch my head if you will, with regard to Eric Gordon’s horrible luck in the NBA..Kid seems to be behind the constant 8-ball.

    Willie Mosconi was such a showboat…Always used the three fingers to felt with a bit more flashy arch when going hand-bridge. He was accused at times of being a little soft against Fats…powdered his hands excessively like LeBron. I’ll stop the Chalk Talk! Thank God that Peter Jurkin is not a pool player. Take it to the rack, baby..!

  3. Yup, I played a ton of pool as a youngster. Sure conjures up memories…My dad actually converted an attic of a 3-story house(one of the many early homes he designed and did a large share of the hammering) into a pool room with a cantilevered screened-in porch. Wonderful place for me to get away. During the summer I would retreat to the porch(it was like a tree fort amongst the branches of tall maples in the backyard) to listen to Jack Brickhouse and take in my favorite Cubs. When I’d shoot pool with my dad he’d call me “Dead Eye.”

    The final home he built in the country had a huge lower level(not deserving to be called a ‘basement’ because the home was built into the side of a ravine..The lower level was completely finished with rustic charm and beams…the siding of a small built-in with hinged doors was built of 100-year-old Indiana barn wood…the ceiling and foundation posts that held up the entire home were massive notched hand-hewed beams that brought the warmth of wood and character the big shoulders a man’s getaway ….and wool carpet in a rich red a beautiful tartan plaid under your feet..Windows and glass doors stretched the back wall of the entire 40+ feet expanse where you could gaze out into a wonderland of tulips and oaks and snow..There was a wide brick fireplace with one of the extra hand-hewed beams serving as mantle..And, of course, the pool table…the centerpiece….the hub. The beers..the sounds of the clanging pool balls..the thud my dad’s forceful stroke sinking a ball into a corner pocket…the laughter…the memories.

  4. That SI article on power rankings was interesting. I had no idea that Michigan shot the least amount of free throws. But what surprised me more was that Michigan is the only NCAA team to ever win a game in the tournament (march madness) without hitting a single free throw.
    (it was against Tennessee and they only attempted one free throw) I am not sure what anyone else thinks, but I don’t see Michigan going very far this season based on their free throw stats alone. What team makes it to the Final Four without creating fouls?

  5. Harvard,
    Working with barn wood, especially really old barn wood, is no small feat. I’ve encountered 50 year old locust I couldn’t get a drill bit or saw through.

    The stuff can last forever though.

  6. I think it did give my dad fits..It was used selectively through his dream house….a couple walls in a bathroom..some hinged arched firebox doors on the sidewall a massive fieldstone fireplace…cubbyhole doors..in the lower level for a pair of doors a small built-in bar(cozy little place..just two bar stools to have a drink).

    As I think I told you long ago, most of the exterior of the house was sided in Montana fir. Most the structural support built from salvaged abandoned beams, the leftovers of a fire in a landmark building that once was used to assemble Pullman railroad cars…Nobody cared to buy them at a steal until my dad decided to put his love for all sorts of lumber that could excite his dream…

    Maybe one day we’ll meet…and I’ll show you shots of one of the most unique and beautiful homes never to grace an Architectural Digest. Stories upon stories are built into this house, Chet. It’s endless. Sounds like I’m living in a shadow, doesn’t it? Probably am. He never got any credit for his brilliant ingenuity…He know lives a lonely life. I think I’m just trying to do him some honor.

    During WW II Pullman-Standard manufactured sleeper cars for Allied troops. Labor troubles and other problems forced the factory to close in the 1970’s. In 1973 most of the 100 acre plant burned. ” – Courtesy of Portable LaPorte County , Copyright 1978 Michigan City Public Library-

  7. How could I forget..He also used the barn wood on a tall door(actually a closet in a 1/2 bath)that housed all the booze in the mansion. Vodka, Gin, Bourbon…My parents often entertained business friends…also lots of holiday parties all the family would gather. The cabinet was richly stocked.. I was left alone(I came along much later than my siblings) in that house many a quite summer as well..My best friend and I hit that closet in the teen years more than Banks hit Waveland. Vodka and OJ..Vodka and anything….

  8. Minnesota is very good this year. They will give Indiana fits with their size and athleticism. They do not really have one go-to scorer, although Dre Hollins is probably the best at putting the team on his back when needed. They rebound as well as IU, and have a very effective fast break offense too. I see this being a very fast-paced, up-and-down game with IU hopefully prevailling by a couple baskets. I hate IU losing to my home state Gophers.

  9. Tubby would still be at Kaintuck except for two things. The first, of course, is because he’s black and Kentucky, where most of my family resides, is one of the most racist places in the country. The second is, I don’t believe Tubby was willing to twist the rules as much as their fan base demands.

  10. A few points:

    1. As they proved last year, Minnesota can beat IU in Assembly Hall. I hope the Hoosiers are really, really motivated this weekend and on their game. They’ll need to be because Tubby is good at instilling mental toughness in his players.

    1-A. psych, did you mean to say that Minnesota rebounds as badly as IU? Iu’s rebounding so far this year has been sub-par relative to the talent they have.

    2. Chet, yes, I think Tubby’s departure from KY was a big F***-You to the alumni and administration. I think Tubby wanted to redeem himself after wallowing in that cesspool. I don’t think he felt he was in total control of that program, but was being scapegoated when things did not go perfectly.

    3. Great and touching article on VO written by Terry Hutchens in the Indy Star. That portrait of his relationship with family makes me appreciate VO all the more. I hope VO’s father can find a way to come to Bloomington to watch him play in Assembly Hall and experience first hand how much the Hoosier Nation appreciates his son.

  11. Tubby is one heck of a coach. Both of Chet’s points hit the nail on the head. It must have been hard for Tubby to see the rock fences that separate pastures in the Blue Grass horse farms surrounding Lexington. Every single rock in the miles and miles of natural rock fences was chiseled by a slave who lived in the various ‘little’ buildings that housed the labor for the local gentry.

    I’ve always wondered how, with that history, a Black player can listen to the ‘Song of the South’ that lures them to that hill country. I wonder if the UK folks give them a tour and explain the sights to them. And, if they do so, if perhaps the ‘prospect’ wonder if one of his ancestors may have skillfully cut the rock, …and if he did so under the supervision of a ‘foreman’.

    I would have loved to hear ‘The Baron’ Rupp, give the recruiting tour to some of his latter-day players.

  12. Kentucky never ceases to set of my “Frickin’ Morons” alarm. They probably have more Confederate flags flying than any state in the country yet they never actually seceded from the Union and, thus, were never part of the Confederacy.

    Last time I spoke with my sister, in Louisville, she was explaining how bankers, like her husband, had saved the economy from government blunders.

    Thank goodness for bankers.

  13. I’ve lived in 9 states in my 48 years, almost half in Indiana, and I never heard the n-word more than I did than in Indiana…..and I lived in Kaintuck for a year.

    And I heard it at church quite often…..which just blew me away.

  14. I grew up on the border. I don’t ever remember hearing it growing up in Indiana. Drive across the JFK bridge and it’s another way to say good morning. I can’t imagine where in Indiana you lived but it sounds like an awful place.

  15. Po,

    Considering Indiana is 11th in the nation in rebounding and Minnesota is 23rd, I’m going to have to go with no, that was not what I meant.

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