1. Don’t be surprised if we become the darlings of the media. It’s about eyeballs looking at the tube and, apparently, that means us.

  2. Chet, don’t let Doug Gottlieb hear you say anything like that.

    Ronald, hopefully there’ll be nothing more than a share of a B1G title on the line. If not outright, we should at least have a co-championship wrapped up by then. Of course that doesnt mean there still won’t be a lot of intrigue nationwide. Another potential top five matchup to close out the regular season? Doesn’t get much better. And as Chet alluded, despite clowns like Gottlieb giving their best effort to belittle us, the IU brand is skyrocketing. Maybe we can get free publicity like Kentucky’s ESPN all access show. Well, then again… Maybe we better not…

  3. I’ve been watching IU hoops since 1980 and Victor Oladipo has redefined the often used phrase “Indiana kid”. He is without a doubt no matter how this season ends the greatest Hoosier player in my lifetime.

  4. Aruss I recognize that is your opinion regarding Oladipo and you are certainly entitled to it. However, just to point out here that you are saying that Oladipo is better than any IU player since you started watching IU in 1980. The list of other possible candidates would include, but not be limited to:

    Isiah Thomas (1981 national champion)

    Steve Alford (1987 national champion and runner up to David Robinson for national player of the year, IU’s #2 scorer and #2 in career steals)

    Calbert Cheaney (1993 national player of the year; IU’s all-time leading scorer; Big Ten all-time leading scorer; member of a Final 4 (1992) and Final 8 team (1993)

  5. From ESPN:

    Pete (Minneapolis)

    Victor Oladipo had another great game last night. Do you think its possible he is a top 5 pick? Not a ton of comps out there with his combination of athleticism and defense.

    Chad Ford (1:48 PM)

    Yes. He’s moved into the Top 5 on our Big Board and for the first time, I’ve had a couple of GMs tell me that they like him more than Ben McLemore. They are in the minority right now … but still. What a rise. In all my years of covering the draft, I’ve never seen a player improve as much as I’ve seen him improve in such a small period of time. He has weaknesses, but major, major upside. If he continues to improve, I don’t think it’s out of the question he could be the No. 1 pick in June. He’s not there yet, but he’s special.

  6. Victor may not be the best player since 1980 but I would argue this is the best team since 1976. 4 1000 point scorers on one team says a ton, not only about the individual skills of those four but also about their character as teammates. not only can they each score, but they can also share. It is a joy to watch them play!

  7. I find it ironic that we hear so much this year about college basketball being ‘down.’ I guess that means that Kentucky, North Carolina, and UCLA are bad, because I see a lot of good basketball while watching the Big Ten (with the exception of perennial losers like Penn State, Nebraska, and Purdue). I’m too lazy to actually look it up, but I wonder how that 2.7 rating compares with similar matchups in previous years. Does ‘average fan’ from outside the B10 geographic area really think that this is a bad year, or is that just an easy storyline for national media to glom onto?

  8. Aruss, “best” is so subjective but I’m on board with the estimation that I’ve never seen a Hoosier with his combination of amazing skills.

    He is a wonder and, top 5 pick or not, he is easily the best player I’ve seen this season.

  9. kurk81, my father and I were just talking about that…all you hear is how down it is this year, almost all national media are speaking like this. Down why?…because some of the past few years heavy hitters like UK and UNC are down, please. It is strange to me…in the past you have one, two…maybe three teams that you know for sure will win it all and everyone else sucks…up until just recently when our Hoosiers came to the top…it was 10-20 teams that could make a run…maybe it still is, I don’t know but isn’t that how you want it (unless you are an IU fan lol), many tough teams?
    I will be curious to see how IU plays the rest of the regular season…I sure hope to see a banner hanging at the end of the big dance…especially this year with UK down!!! They are coming together at the right time it seems to me and defense is the key…well that and Wat decided to play hard for 40 minutes and rebound (why has this not been talked about?, maybe focus too much on Dipo and Zeller)!!! I am too excited…after the OSU and MSU games my expectations are back where they were this past summer and beginning of the season!!! If you know me though, it is hard on me when my expectations have risen.

  10. Sorry for the following comment. Bored while waiting for the next game.

    JPat. I understand. I’m 70. While it is also hard on me when my expectation has risen, it is also, on some level, exciting.

    See first sentence.

  11. It’s kind funny to me to hear everyone, especially the national media, talk about Dipo as if he’s arisen out of the woodwork just this year. He was really good last year, too; we were having many, many talks at the end of last season along the lines of “If Dipo can just improve his jump shot, he will be scary-good next year.” I’m not sure how much of the Dipo emergence is due to some radical, unprecedented improvement, and how much is simply due to being given a bigger role and gaining more confidence.

  12. Aruss, I certainly appreciate your regard for VO. I too think he is a wonderful player, and certainly one of the very best that has worn the candy stripes. But the “best” IU player I’ve seen since 1980 was Landon Turner. From a physical standpoint, LT was a total freak (that’s a compliment). Oh, he struggled to find his work ethic and consistency, and was in Bob Knight’s dog house for much of that 80/81 season, but when he began to play to his potential and make use of his enormous talent, IU made a run all the way through the NCAA Championship, and LT, in my opinion was the main reason why. Had he not been injured in that car accident in the summer of 1981, Landon Turner would have had a phenomenal senior season and been the first player picked in the 1982 NBA Draft. And most likely would have gone on to a hall of fame career in the NBA. Landon Turner was that gifted.

    I’m not taking anything away from VO, but LT, when he finally got focused and applied his amazing talent, was the dominant player in college basketball.

  13. Podunker, I second your comments and admiration for Landon. Once he got his head straight – about half-way through the ’81 season, he was one of the best I’ve ever seen. However, if we’re talking about one season only (not careers) how could anyone argue against George McGinnis? Averaged 30pts, 15rbs. Not the defensive player that Oladipo is, but he owned the B10 that year – a man among boys. But that’s my top three – Landon, George, and Victor. Different tools, to compare them is ‘apples and oranges.’

  14. VO has improved his game over and over in only a season and a half. As Chet stated his is a focused skill set and in amounts we have not seen before at IU. I still maintain the “81” NC team was the best I’ve ever seen for a whole tournament run. Their score differentials during the dance were obscene. It is still not possible for any IU player to displace Bobby Wilkerson as my favorite IU baller. 6’7″ guard who could handle the ball, rebound extraordinaire(he recorded 19 in the final 4 game against UCLA), could successfully guard man to man positions of each guard, each forward and the center of every team they played. Not to mention he also jumped center. He gave up wanting a larger offensive roll to help the team be more complete and accomplished. It worked.

  15. Theories for why its considered a “down year” in college basketball:

    – UK & UNC aren’t very good (who really cares about UCLA anymore, they play their games after most of america has gone to bed)

    – no team has threatened to go undefeated… So there is no “great team”. I think it’s now pretty clear IU is the best team, but does even the most ardent IU fan on this board have total confidence that we WILL win it all this year?

    – all the top teams are losing, and a lot of the losses can’t be explained very easily. There may be as many as (3) #1 seeds that have 5 losses this year.

    – the NBA execs do not rate this as a very talented draft, and therefore the “experts” don’t consider it a great college crop.

    – too many underclassmen in BCS schools’ starting line-ups.

    – the Establishment doesn’t like the B1G, so they downplay the quality of college basketball overall

    – too much coaching by entropy…

  16. IU/MI rematch tv ratings? Only if it means something, right now it doesn’t. And hopefully it won’t either, we have a 2 game lead over Michigan right now.

  17. In terms of achievement, it’s difficult to argue against Isiah Thomas.

    * 2× NBA champion (1989–1990)
    * NBA Finals MVP (1990)
    * 12× NBA All-Star (1982–1993)
    * 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1984, 1986)
    * 3× All-NBA First Team (1984–1986)
    * 2× All-NBA Second Team (1983, 1987)
    * NBA All-Rookie First Team (1982)
    * NCAA champion (1981)
    * NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1981)
    * Consensus NCAA All-American First Team (1981)

    * J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1987)
    * NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
    * No. 11 Retired by the Detroit Pistons

    In terms of the Hoosier that epitomize the undaunted spirit, values, and heart of Indiana Basketball..?

    Answer: Steve Downing. Indiana kid. Now an old and grown Indiana man with the innocence and kindness still the kid at heart.

    And it was Steve Downing that put Bobby Knight on the map as the center point a miraculous Cinderella run to face Wooden’s mighty Bruins at a ’73 Final Four. And Downing carried us without McGinnis(had already turned pro). Can one imagine the dominance if McGinnis would have come back for his sophomore season? And did Downing buckle with so much pressure going against what the national media named the premier center of the day on the unprecedented stage and pivotal moment in our university’s b-ball history? Downing merely spanked the hell out of Bill Walton. The only thing the Establishmnet could do was pin him with a bogus foul to ensure UCLA was where the media elite had already penciled them in. The Hoosiers and Downing walked away from that Final Four as the true champions.

  18. There might also be an argument for Scott May. Very, very undervalued Hoosier. A healthy Scott May going into the ’75 tournament would have highly increased the probability of another banner hanging in Assembly. I’ve heard many claims that the ’75 Hoosiers were even one rung up the ladder in comparison to the ’76 team(both years were undefeated regular seasons). A foul with intent to injure at a game up in Mackey kept May on the sidelines for the ’75 NCAA tournament.

    And though Damon Bailey didn’t live up to all expectations, it’s hard to put a dollar value and spotlight value he injected into Indiana Hoosiers. I don’t think the national buzz currently surrounding Oladipo can compare to the spectacle surrounding Bailey his every step onto a basketball court leading up to his arrival in Bloomington. And the attention didn’t stop upon his arrival. The kid had so much to live up to. I doubt anyone could measure up to the ‘God of Corncob’ image that young man had to battle everyday. With Damon Bailey came the birth of hype. He should get a lifetime pension from Indiana for the media dollars and journalism careers he helped infuse so much energy. We did Damon wrong. We made him into a god and then we spit him out.

  19. Do you want William Jennings Bryan and the ‘Jersey Pipeline’ forever defining Indiana hoops?

    Or, do want the Hollywood backdrop of an innocent fairytale image of basketball nowhere else such purity and devotion to a game be found?

    I wanted the Sampson “thugs” image. The Establishment, Cowbell Cowherdand, and Hollywood Seth hate guys like Harvard. What are they to do now? We have the preacher in “white” that is an expert a real witches brew. D-Wade of Bible meets D-Bailey of Evolution…What’s an Establishment to do?

  20. Guys, I think the criteria was “since 1980” when Aruss said he first first began watching IU basketball. If we want to go further back, we can include Scott May, George McGinnis, and a lot of other great Indiana players. But since 1980, I still must go with Mr. Turner.

    Does anyone remember the story about Landon Turner having the talent to run track for IU’s great track team? The details are fuzzy after all these years, but I seem to recall a story about IU’s track coach, who was involved in the basketball team’s off-season conditioning, being quoted in an article that if Landon Turner joined IU’s track team, he had the potential to become the Big Ten and maybe even the NCAA Champion in the 400 and/or 800 meter races. Apparently, IU’s track coach at the time challenged Turner to race for time. As it turned out, his first attempt would have qualified him as one of the fastest in country at the time. Landon Turner was a freakishly gifted athlete.

  21. Harvard for Hillbillies
    You are right about Steve Downing and the Final Four UCLA game. I remember watching that game. No one expected IU to get that far in the tournament. But we made the media believers when we beat UCLA at the beginning of the 73-74 season and after that there was no stopping the Hoosiers.

  22. Not offensively… But defensively the gap is just as wide in Dipo’s favor… Plus I have a feeling he’s a much more natural leader, has a couple inches in height and length, and can have a major impact on the game without ever running a play for him, even on offense. I love EJ, but you can’t say that about him.

  23. A couple things. Regarding McGinnis, I think you mean ‘come back for his junior year’. I don’t think freshmen could play varsity his frosh year. I might be mistaken.

    Another thing. I don’t think you can necessarily take NBA careers into the equation. For example, MJ is generally considered the best NBA player ever but pretty much any Tar Heel fan will concede that Phil Ford was a better COLLEGE guard.

  24. Harvard, you are right. Oladipo is no Eric Gordon. He is a much better college player than Gordon, especially mentally speaking.

  25. You’ve got to be kidding Harvard. Victor Oladipo has already contributed more in terms of the team and his meaning to Indiana University than we could have gotten out of Gordon in four years. I respect Gordon’s talent, and I’m not saying either has more talent. But I am saying they are constructed totally differently as far as heart, their drive and their ability to lead and command respect.

    Podunker, I don’t know. Landon had about 1/3 of a season when he really stood out. No question he was a great talent but no question he was an enigma. The saddest part of the Turner tragedy is that Landon himself never got to see all his great physical potential emerge and catch up with the man he became and is today. God Bless him. If anything, the role Ray Tolbert played makes him one of the great leaders to wear the Indiana shirt and one of the best human beings I ever met. I saw their relationship evolve and Tolbert become his ‘older brother’ figure and nurture him into adulthood. It is still one of the greatest memory I have from my days at IU.

    Likewise George Mc Ginnis and Steve Downing, a friendship that defines friendship, and reflected on everyone around them. The tragic death of McGinnis’ father forced a decision I did not really think he looked forward to; and for Steve, it was literally losing ‘his brother’. You and I know life has its strange curves Podunker, and sometimes everything is already written… to this day I wonder how George would have meshed with RMK (or vice-versa).

  26. I don’t know Eric Gordon “mentally.’ I can only tell you that, from my perspective, he is a thing of beauty to watch on the basketball court. I see his personality and this shy kid transformed once a basketball touches his hands.

    I love the fact that he was never a showboat or played to the crowd…He plays the game because there is a passion separate the limelight of it all. I can’t put my finger on it but it stands alone and in contrast amongst so many that feed off the attention. Eric Gordon is a sculpture displaced in a world basketball more about self-promotion. Sports, business, politics…It’s all about the sell. Gordon’s game has a more selective audience not caught up in gaudy egos or shallow impressionism attempting to capture it all in a headline.

    He is a modern Van Gogh..The hardwood his canvas..The loner in a town of celebrities and “in crowd.” Trained in the home of details an Indiana provincial hoops teachings, but wildly creative and eruptive in color and passion when the play at hand, the move to the basket, the deep rainbow three, becomes his private canvas…He has never been for the good of the classroom. He is of Indiana but he is nothing of it’s structure and puritanical disciplines and desires to constrain the inner voice on the court. He listens to his own drum that pounds from a love for the game more than a love for winning. He will always remain only popular to those with unconventional forward vision; an eye beyond the pedestrian lot that slobbers over LeBron and Koby in the gallery of narrow beauty.

    EJ’s raw and vividly untamed masterpieces are even more the delight when overlooked in the staleness of the present. I have no problem being in the very small group absorbed by his wholly unique style and inner passion for the game removed from mainstream tastes and the manufactured popularity of what is truly “art.”

  27. …nothing of [its] structure

    Lastly, Walton is an ass. Knight had more personality than a hundred Woodens and a two hundred Creans. He tapped into a different well of a man that the big redhead, reefer-brain, flower child, blowhard will never understand. And face it, Bill. They all hated Bobby because he was smarter than those carrying the thick degrees of privileged Establishment upbringing. He condescended in the press room but he never played the condescending intellectual superior to his students of the game. He made them love to learn on the court and in the classroom. He prepared them for more than the one in a thousand that will get to blow wind in a microphone. Heaven forbid he couldn’t play the piano…

  28. All due respect, I think EJ is a special talent (in a Greg Odenish or Brandon Royish way) but I believe that your fixation with him is unduly influenced by your obsession with the Sampson years and the perception that the team was fatefully and cosmically wronged. This has led you constantly weave “Titanic”-style tale after tale of EJ, Sampson, and whoever else; usually with EJ playing the role of DiCaprio. But in real life, instead of dying in the icy waters letting go of Kate Winslet’s hand, EJ jumped in his private rescue yacht and was whisked off to Hilton Head Island (the NBA).

  29. …and finishing up by bringing it back to Dipo, I will always prefer the 3-star unheralded kid from DeMatha who decided to come play for downtrodden Indiana and Tom Crean and work his way up to greatness, over the Prince Gordon, the 5-star McDonald’s All American who was too good for Mike Davis and IU, so good that he chose Bruce Weber, and could only come back to IU once the proper “One and Done Mentor” was in place to accomodate his desired career move.

    I also like Dipo’s game around the rim better. Gordon has the hammering dunks, put I prefer Dipo’s bloodhound sense of getting to the basket, and ability to use soft touch along side his hammer when necessary.

  30. “All due respect..?” That’s a laugher. You’ve never had any respect for Gordon.

    Why? You mask it like every Establishment coward and blame Sampson as if you care about team over self-interest. Gordon worked his ass off to be a 5-star, McDonald’s All-American.

    The reason you despise him is simply because he’s an Indiana kid far more humble in God-given talent meets hard work than Oladipo could ever be with all that butter rubbed on him by the oily preacher. Crean is a master with the stick of butter. And you are exactly right, that isn’t the type of coach that would appeal to Eric Gordon.

    The bigots hated Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird as well..hated them about as much as Bill Walton would like to fantasize that progressive attitudes toward African Americans started in California. It started at Crispus Attucks, my friend. Read your history, Establishment haters that want to paint Indiana as simpleton corn growers.

  31. Is it also possible that Gordon felt Davis was weak and a puppet to an overpowering administrative hand with backward and racist attitudes that filtered into Indiana’s athletic department after the departure of Knight?

    The hatred of Sampson went beyond taking chances on a few players deemed as risks from hard streets. Gordon couldn’t see that hatred brewing.

  32. The “all due respect” was for you, not for Gordon.

    And it just amazes me how you can proclaim to be a faithful Hoosier while dumping buckets of sewage on current players and coaches. What has Dipo done for us all but provide us with constant thrills on both ends of the court this year? Why dump on him to lift up Gordon (you brought it up, not me)? Why is your obsession with the Sampson years so strong that you must drag one of the all-time Indiana greats, which Victor is becoming, through the sewagy mud? Truly unbelievable.

    Crean takes 3-star players – Wade, Sheehey, Dipo, Novak, Deiner – and opens their potential by allowing them to work hard and function in a system that fosters their growth. There is nothing buttery or slimy about that. And if it is buttery, it’s in a good way: like making a crossaint, which involves lots and lots of butter skillfully and delicately kneaded and shaped and baked into flaky perfection.

    And please, me despising an Indiana kid? Ridiculous. I love guys like Cody, Yogi, and Jordan who knew they wanted to be Hoosiers without using a calculating “What’s my quickest route to the NBA?” logic. My feelings about Gordon have nothing to do with his birth state. I liked him as a Hoosier but his contribution to the program was overrated, and the consequences of getting Gordon were catastrophic for the program (or maybe providential, since it lead to us getting Crean, Zeller, and Oladipo).

  33. I didn’t bring it up. There were comparisons being made long before I got into the discussion.

    I’ll get back later to address the rest of your malarkey. Sorta busy today.

    Oladipo is no Eric Gordon. Gordon’s range, ball skills, and power are built for the NBA game. I enjoy Oladipo as a Hoosier, but I don’t think he’ll be the NBA player(or one of much longevity) many are envisioning.

  34. Mularkey, eh? I thought there were some good points.

    Well, it looks like we are back at each others throats, getting into the same old arguments. I guess there’s some comfort in that. And I expect some credit for bringing the croissant back into play.

  35. Dude someone does not know ToeJam is written in one word! 😮

    Harvard I am currently on the moon. Great landscape, rivals Arizona in places, plus there is no road side trash. I know the Moon well, I was once stationed here—though I am far more familiar with its Far Side than the side that’s visible from the Earth. Kept in touch with all things NCAAB just didn’t have much time to get involved on the Scoop. Saw UNM demolish Colorado State: That Kendall Williams was like a man from another planet (Can’t find the updated, “ineligible for flight” version, sorry).

    I did run into Andy Kaufman a while ago, he confirmed that in his view too Eric Gordon (when healthy) was the most skilled player to ever wear the candy stripes. He said he’d wrestle anyone who doesn’t agree with that.

  36. Yes-man,

    That is a picture of the Hoosier who (as a freshman) tied the school-record with nine made three-pointers against Ohio State, tying Rod Wilmont for the all-time mark. KW scored ten three pointers yesterday and how essentials they all were for UNM! Roth would have easily been able to beat his own record and others’ if not for the injury as a sophomore and the insult of not being used nearly as much as a healthy junior and senior.


    Much, much appreciated. That is a very rare picture, I must tell you. Here’s another one that I find blessed with the same sublime sense of humor: one of the best. Thank you!

  37. An example of the old Indiana proverb; It’s OK to talk to self but worry when you start to answer yourself. Or; I’ll show you your picture if you show me mine.

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