Hoosier Morning

There were ups and downs, but Indiana emerged with its third Big Ten road win in as many tries this season on Sunday, Dustin wrote.

IU is still missing a killer instinct, but its ability to finish games is contingent on Cody Zeller being a closer, I wrote.

Too many turnovers were too much for the IU women’s basketball team to overcome against Michigan State, Mike wrote.

Northwestern feels it took a step forward in establishing its identity against the Hoosiers, Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times writes.

Indiana is one of five teams (Michigan not included) whose offensive and defensive efficiency stats fit a Final Four profile, SI.com’s Luke Winn writes.

The Harbaugh Bowl has some roots in Indiana, including Tom Crean, Rick Bozich of WDRB.com writes.

The Big Ten still sits atop the conference power rankings with at least seven potential NCAA bids, Andy Glockner of SI.com writes.

The best combined tribute to Welsh-Ryan Arena and coaches’ postgame crabbiness I could think of: Deep Purple with “Hush” (live at the Playboy Mansion).


  1. Something about Northwestern brings out the Establishment in Scoop journalists…They start wearing purple! They write indicting commentary! They lose their sanity! They snicker at the coach…They vanish to Ole Miss!

  2. one of the stores out of the game against the multi-directional team was “IU tried to make a case to reclaim top billing”. I think it’s a safe bet that Crean nor any of the assistants or any of the players had any thought about winning the game to get the number 1 ranking. (quote from Sports X Change or something like that)

    I’m sure we all know what the pre-game interview with Cream and/or assistants will say. Good practice, everyone is focused, playing a good team and etc.

    Post game is 90% the same every game. And that is probably a good thing. Anything negative will be handled behind closed doors. Again that is a good thing.

    Dustin is in the “between a rock and a hard place” position. Three quarters into the season and a number of questions to be answered. As a hometown newspaper needing to be rather positive on the team vs agressive reporting on issues that coaching staff would rather not talk about publlicly. I would guess if a local reporter becomes too aggressive they would be cut out of the loop?

    Maybe it’s time for scoop participants to do a pre and post game analysis. Geoff has provided such on occasion.
    Laffy’s analysis but w/o the colotful, demeaning, and insulting adjective/adverbs would be interesting. ??

  3. “Three quarters into the season..?” I don’t think so. Maybe 50% at best if you include pre-conference play. We’re only 5 games into an 18 game Big 10 season(not including the Big 10 tournament)…If we get past the early rounds of the Big 10 tournament, then we have up to 17 games left against conference opponents…And then there is March Madness(hopefully, at minimum, another couple games)..We haven’t even scratched the surface of this season. 13-17 more conference games + NCAA tournament.

    So is it really time for reporters to playing hardball with assumptions or making insinuations this team is anywhere near peaking or approaching the level it may be playing at by the beginning of March?

    And with the suspensions and injuries that brought about a much thinner bench during the early stanza..?

    Some rough waters…players getting accustomed to their roles…freshman getting acclimated to the style and speed of the game. Learning to deal with the hype and understanding how easily one can be humbled in the very difficult Big 10?

    Personally, I think its way to early for the overcritical eye and the second-guessing every strategy and adjustment as if we’re nearing anything approaching a 3/4 mark in the season. We haven’t even got our feet wet in terms of biggest tests on the road(or at home). It’s going to be a roller coaster ride in a Big 10 season barely turning the corner its first quarter.

    The Hoosiers won’t be the first team in history to play to more near a level its challenge. I recently heard an analyst claiming there may be more pressure to secure the home court wins this year. With the abundance of parity and overall strength in the top 2/3 of the conference, expectations aren’t enormous for road success…Teams may go into games looser on the road in contrast to the tightness surrounding the absolute need to take care of business at home.

    All in all…a ton of basketball to be played. We’ve barely played 1/3 our conference schedule. Let’s not get way ahead of ourselves or push panic buttons via Establishment doomsday prognosticators. We can only hope they’re writing off IU…

  4. And keep this in mind, Rufus..Dustin may have been acting like a dufus. We didn’t have the advantage of seeing Dustin’s facial expression aimed at the coach after the initial response to his question.

    Half the participants hiding from view of a camera is nearly as unfair a blogger hiding behind multiple faces of multiple blogging names. ..Easy way to mock your target without the judgment your peers having full disclosure the entire picture.

  5. Crean’s attitude/behavior in the press conference was to me, a sign that he finds being the hunted more challenging than being the hunter. He now must deal with the weight of very high expectations and the direct or implied criticism associated with those expectations. I mean in his mind, his team just won a Big Ten road game (which have been hard for him to come by) and the questions he’s facing imply criticism. I can see how that would be frustrating and require some time to adjust to.

  6. I know people say Crean shouldn’t “throw the players under the bus”, but I wasn’t fond of his “They need to tune everyone else out.”

    Crean keeps saying how “great” they’re playing.

    No…..they aren’t.

    And other coaches who have actually won Titles have not been afraid of saying…… publicly….their team needs to get tougher.

    How many times has Crean said, “We’ve had the best practice of the year” then they come out totally flat?

    More people need to question them as they ALL have said, “It motivates me when people tell me I can’t do something”….so Crean shouldn’t be telling them to tune those people out.

    His motivation tactics sure aren’t working……

  7. I take the “Tuning everyone out” comment to be all- inclusive– naysayers, doomsday prognosticators, blind apologists, hopeless optimists, and rational fans alike. Right now, we’re neither as good or bad as some people would argue, and I think CTC is just saying the players should have faith in their coaches rather than the vocal fans and critics. I don’t have a problem with that.

    I’m sure we’ve all seen film of IU’s practices, and they’re usually anything but kumbaya sessions. Throughout history, coaches have had to balance behind the scenes teaching/motivation with the comments they make publicly. Part of their job is to be de facto politicians, and some are more comfortable being abrasive and calling it like it is whereas others like to take a more positive tone. I think Crean was caught in a moment of aggravation, which is refreshing. At least it seemed genuine– Especially since we don’t have the full context of the exchange. And it shows that he won’t always just blow sunshine up our butts.

    And my shoes are on, so my math skills are somewhat limited right now. But an eyeball estimate shows we’ve out-scored our five B1G opponents some 60 points in the first half thus far. That hardly indicates we’ve been coming out flat. Say what you will about half-time adjustments. Most of the criticism is fair. But it’s hard to justify any claim that since conference play began, we haven’t come in with good energy and game plans.

  8. We’ve probably played the weakest schedule so far in the Big 10 so I’m not going to brag about any numbers when it comes to “out-scoring” anyone.

    The Northwestern game shouldn’t have been close.

  9. It’s Crean’s first ever win at Northwestern in five years. And he didn’t even have to defend anyone tripping Marcotulio. You can imagine the pride and then Dustin has the guts to ask a question instead of just congratulating him. Dustin you should have just limited to congratulate him and tell him how great he is. Or ask the question dressed as a stranded motorist and he’llbe more approachable. Next time bring a footlong Dentyne to the presser and that will soften him. Drop it on the floor in front of him and he’ll be at your feet in an instant.

  10. So I suppose I have to address this on some level. Harvard is right in that my facial expression was what triggered Crean’s reaction.
    I smirked.
    I didn’t smirk at him and I wasn’t even looking at him when he noticed. I was in the fourth of four rows and looking at my computer but I just happened to be sitting behind Peegs when he asked his question and was therefore in Crean’s line of sight. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful. It was more a product of my bemusement at the combination of a number of things that had occurred during the press conference. I was neither trying to call attention to myself — no one else there even saw that I was smirking — nor to upset Crean. He called me out into the hallway afterward and we had a brief discussion that I will keep between us. But that is the context of this situation. To the extent to which my behavior would be deemed unprofessional, I apologize.

  11. Laffy, I can’t argue with the beginning part of conference our schedule being the easiest by far. Preseason, best case scenario was that we cruised to theMichigan game unscathed. Being 4-1 at this point neither shocks nor disappoints me greatly, although I would’ve assumed any loss would have been either on the road or against MN. I’m just pointing out that coming out flat (except after halftime) has not been a concern lately.

    Dustin, thanks for the contextual clarification. I’m appreciate your professionalism and discretion… even though I’m sure most of us would love to have been a fly on that wall…

  12. Dustin – Believe it or not, I didn’t know or expect your situation with CTC occurred when I made my original post.

    I’ve noticed during his post games this year that when there is an obvious situation to critique CTC and a reporter asks the question in a nice, roundabout way, CTC’s response has always been passive aggressive confrontational with “what’s your point”, “i don’t get your point” or completely dismissive. He tends to try and bully younger reporters.

    Those of us who lived through RMK and saw the warning signs with Sampson through his attitude long before the phone call and player issues are on high alert for any coach who thinks he’s more than a caretaker for the program.

    I support CTC but not blindly. I look to you and Price as part of the safeguards of the program the same way Korman and Wilson were when they staked out Greenspan all night at Assembly Hall when the Sampson situation happened. Don’t let us down.

  13. I’ve replayed the DD, Coach Crean portion of the video 4 times and I see nothing that raises my eyebrow. I would describe it as mundane.

  14. Did you know that “Hush” was written by Joe South (“Don’t It Make You Want to Go Home”, “Down In the Boondocks”)?

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