1. What I can’t figure out is that in the coaches poll, a one-point win raises the winner four places and lowers the loser 3.

    Especially if, as is bruited about in the press, UCONN is a Final Four team.

  2. 1. I don’t know that anyone’s calling UConn a Final Four team. I mean it’s possible as a lot of things are in a single elimination tournament, but I don’t think anyone’s thinking UConn over Michigan State, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Duke, Oklahoma State or Syracuse.
    2. I don’t see them every day. Practice is closed to the media. I’ve seen them as often as you have.
    3. I’m pretty sure everyone who has watched this team including Tom Crean can say that no one knows how this team is going to end up, that it has a high ceiling and also a low floor and that No. 25 is probably pretty fair right now considering they’ve lost the only game they played against a Top 25 team.

  3. Zagoria is pretty good at what he does, so not going to hate there at all, but he’s very East Coast as well, so there’s that. (Harvard will soon charge in to claim ESTABLISHMENT)

  4. #24 is not a fair number. We handled the Huskies easily..They’re not top 20 at this time, but they’re a high quality team that could give many top teams fits.

    Anyone with 1/2 a brain would understand the effect of the refs removing Vonleh from having any meaningful minutes against UConn. I tend to think that Cody Zeller getting in similar foul trouble would have resulted in last season’s Hoosier team faring far worse against the same UConn team.

    The game had numerous lead changes in the latter portions of the second half..It was basically a seesaw battle throughout without our McDonald’s All-American hardly present…I believe one announcer explained it very appropriately(paraphrasing): “For the Hoosiers, this is no different than if Vonleh was out with the flu or sidelined from participation because of injury.”

    Bottom Line: There is no justification for IU getting bumped backward in the polls while moving UConn upward. Indiana has plenty of talent to justify a top 20 ranking based on a contest that came down to a final shot to a now #14 team…The Hoosiers were absent their most versatile inside threat/shot blocker/rebounder for nearly the entire game. People in the business of writing sports should know how thoroughly impressive IU’s young team handled the absence of Vonleh.

    It’s all rather predictable Establishment behavior…It’s either to much hype or throw mud in our face.

    To the best of my knowledge, UConn has not played a top 5 team…They squeaked past Maryland. In many respects, IU has more bragging rights, because we weren’t intimidated playing a top 20(UConn) in their own backyard.

    By mid-December, after we down Syracuse, they’ll have no choice but to have IU ranked in the top 20.

  5. And let’s keep in mind that Napier, their senior leader and future top NBA draft pick, could do no wrong(he’ll likely not have a better game all season) and our group of freshman(flanked by a 2nd year point guard and last year’s sixth man)minus their McDonald’s All-American were fighting punch for punch in a game down to the last possession.

    Napier is why UConn is getting the hype. Their team will live and die based on his performances. Hoosiers are a far deeper team and by tournament time that depth will be more experienced and gaining more confidence.

    This Hoosier group will enter the tournament a very dangerous and talent squad with little fanfare. Losing a couple heartbreaking games against decent teams will be just what the doctor ordered. Suppress the Establishment hype while keeping the hunger in these highly talented freshman primed for something to prove.

  6. Damn straight it’s me. Do you disagree? Do you feel they’ll lose to Syracuse? Do you think they won’t be top 20 by mid-December? Do you thinks its a year away? Do you think they can’t mature and come together? Is the competition stronger this year and thus a deeper run in the tournament more unlikely for a young team? Or, do you think they won’t even make the tournament? Not enough inside/outside balance? But when you’re so dominant on the boards, abundantly deep in overall basketball skill sets that help in defending and getting to the rim, do you necessarily need consistent outside shooting from the perimeter?

    I think this team can win without the same outside threats that we’re so accustomed to having in an Indiana uniform. It’s certainly rare to have a team with so many other weapons to make that possible, but that doesn’t change my growing belief that if we can just hit the occasional timely triple(courtesy Yogi, Hollowell, Sheehey, Hartman, or ‘later-to-be-named’ Hoosier) that keeps a certain uncertainty in those defending this dynamic bunch, that the ceiling for this team could be very high.

    I would be far more shocked if it doesn’t come together enough for the pundits to recognize the sleeping giant. I’d be far more shocked if the team remains out of the top 20 for most the season. I’d be more delighted than disappointed in such lack of recognition when a resultant explosion of chemistry and depth their inherent, latent, and dangerous talent erupts in the saving their best for the tournament.

  7. It’s just odd, because I feel like this is what I’ve been saying for quite some time while you’ve been bitching and moaning about the Establishment Jersey Pipeline recruits, and how if we just concentrated on Indiana kids, and specifically finding gems north of 126th and Meridian, with that special grit and gumption and native “it” factor, we’d be able to actually do something after the 2nd weekend of the tournament.

    I feel its strange that while I’ve been talking about how Crean is now getting the prototypes that fit his desired style of play, and how it should be a better version of what he did at Marquette because these are higher rated players and every bit, if not better, athletes. And that while it may be this year, I feel like we need to give him a couple years with these types of player-athletes… I feel like I’ve been hearing from you how Crean is still chasing demons, isn’t recruiting native Hoosiers hard enough, has topped out with Sweet 16’s, and isn’t the right guy for the program.

    Now I’m hearing that you love these pieces and that this team has real potential, maybe even as early as this year…. Forgive me if I was taken aback.

  8. I do believe that I was the first to mention Crean soon to be judged on his experiment of getting his system/”prototype” in place. I will happily dig that old post out of the archives if you’d like to see it.

    I also believe the Indiana kids are bringing a certain grit/mojo to this team far more than what you likely anticipated..Gordon, Hollowell, Yogi, and Davis have already been solid contributors. Hartman and Etherington could get more and more into the mix.

    I’ve got to say that I am pretty impressed with the ‘Eastern Promises’ group as well. I really like Vonleh’s game already…I’m also amazed at his strong fundamentals in the post and his mature demeanor on the court. Very promising or a kid that is young enough to be a senior in high school.

  9. I never thought, nor expressed, that the Indiana kids wouldn’t be important contributors. I never compared the value of the native recruits to those “from away” at any point.

    You’re hilarious Harvard… You always want credit for everything… Even the points I’ve been making in rebuttals to your nonsense. This is why you’re so entertaining my man.

    Good luck tonight Hoosiers!

  10. This team would be lost without the “native recruits”…As would last year’s team without the savior native recruit…As would a Movement bringing many local products on our current roster never getting off the ground without the savior recruit. Not taking credit for Crean being barely smart enough to know NBA potential and raw athleticism won’t replace what he gets from his own backyard.

    If Crean decides to go more than 50% outside the borders with his future recruiting plans(once the momentum he gained from the Cody Movement fades), I believe he will fail and lose the fan base. He isn’t Knight. He needs savvy/”it factor” Indiana ballers that know the game better than he could ever coach it.

    It’s not about being right..It’s the reality of a man more the salesman than a craftsman educating his team how to play together with collective purpose.

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