Hoosier Morning

1. HOOSIERS HQ
Indiana continued its late-season surge, even without Noah Vonleh, by upsetting No. 22 Ohio State on Sunday, Dustin wrote.

With Will Sheehey taking the lead, the Hoosiers have come together instead of splintering apart, I wrote.

A technical foul on LaQuentin Ross helped spark Indiana’s rally from an early deficit, and Ohio State never fully regained composure, Andy wrote.

Jared Jeffries reconnected with his IU family by returning to Assembly Hall for the first time in 12 years, Andy wrote.

Michigan State wrapped up a share of the Big Ten title at the expense of the IU women’s basketball team Sunday, we reported.

2. IT’S INDIANA
The Hoosiers are coming back from the brink of a lost season with two straight top 25 upsets, Rick Bozich of WDRB.com wrote.

Ohio State lost its new-found swagger in the last three days, the latest blow a loss at Indiana, Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch wrote.

The Buckeyes aren’t hitting the panic button despite a disappointing result in Bloomington, Ari Wasserman of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote.

Undermanned Indiana’s performance against Ohio State was one to be proud of, Evan Hoopfer of the Indiana Daily Student writes.

Former Hoosiers and top White Sox second base prospect Micah Johnson is keeping success in perspective, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote.

3. IT’S KENTUCKY
John Calipari got tossed from the game and didn’t show up for the postgame press conference in a loss to South Carolina, leading to a lot of questions regarding the bed the Kentucky coach made and how he will lie in it, Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports wrote.

4. ONE FOR THE ROAD
Whether you think Indiana’s back from the brink or still on the brink this season, here’s Three Chord Society with “On the Brink.”

20 comments

  1. I really enjoyed that Forde column.

    In a rough and tumble year of IU Hoops, one thing that has been a pure joy is watching yet another Calipari coached/recruited/potentially-compensated team underachieve again. It shows how relying on a bunch of untested 18yr olds to come in and OAD every single year can be massively problematic after you have just one underperforming class. The back-up piles, recruits coming in the next year expect to be OAD and Cal, being the classy guy he is, just throws his current players under the bus.

    Crean is no humble man, but he comes out, takes questions and answers like a man when Indiana put up their stinkers this year. Seeing Coach Cal throw his tantrum and refusing to answer questions shows the spineless weasle he is. There’s no more loathsome character in all sports for me.

    This is no anti-UK rant either. I did and still respect Pitino and think he’s a great coach. I respect Tubby: great guy, but not a great coach.

  2. Wow! That is seriously scalding stuff from Forde. What is the history there? That seemed personal… True, but unapologetically so.

    If there weren’t a wedge between Cal and Forde before then there certainly will be now. I

    t’s always funny to watch Cal act like a b*tch.

  3. Wow is right. I cannot recall ever reading anything like that in college sports. It is almost like Forde has been waiting patiently for the proper time to be able to bring forth such ridicule and disdain down on Criminalipari. The timing is perfect.

  4. I LOVE the Kensucky article. I am an unabashed hater of all things pUKe. If Calipari gave me $50 I’d still spit in his face….ok not sure what my point is. Oh yeah, anything ripping Big Blew is good with me, if it happens to be true, all the better.

  5. Why do I hear so many veteran TV sports analysts claim Calipari is a superb coach? I’ve heard Dickie V repeatedly claim that Calipari is more than a recruiter.

    None of this bashing changes the fact that IU lost a great rivalry game. And playing that UK group packed with one-and-done NBA talent is a great opportunity for a coach like Tom Crean to prove that it’s not just about raw talent. He could have been the South Carolina or the Arkansas beating the tar out of John’s teams…

    Or, outside of UK, is it possible that SEC doesn’t have the “star power” teams wrought in deep basketball tradition? Don’t get me wrong, Florida is a great powerhouse program led by a top coach..They’re just not very sexy. Maybe Calipari’s players will elevate their games once the stage is bigger than that boring conference they’re forced to showcase their talents nightly…? I think many of these one-and-done types are difficult to extract their top performances until the games are of national attention and the center stage lights come on. And that might be part of the problem developing and keeping them focused throughout the grind of a boring SEC season.

    Knight loves to bash Calipari…Now Forde is bashing him. I tend to think it’s all press. It keeps Kentucky in the headlines. It’s all theater. Are we in headlines? Are we part of the crowd that enjoys the bashing because we can’t seem to sustain relevancy? Maybe Forde is seeing his numbers slip…Bashing UK is always the cheap and simple way to distract from your own inadequacies and falling popularity.

    I would rather deal with those inadequacies by playing Kentucky on any neutral site of choosing and beating them…and giving back to the fans a cross state rivalry game that should have never been effed with.

  6. Pat Forde is a journalist. His motivation for writing that article was timely. UK had just lost their 2nd game in a row and were swept by Arkansas after all the talk of 40 – 0. I think the UK story is an important one for college basketball. Calipari has cynically committed to building his team through taking advantage of the OAD rule. I think a discussion about the merits of the longevity of such a strategy in college hoops are not only important, but maybe even paramount.

    This has nothing to do with the IU/UK rivalry or bashing for the sake of it. It has everything to do with an entire strategy that may have a big, soft, Rick Majerusian-underbelly. As you pointed out in Jerry West’s comments the other day, at 18 yrs old, these kids might be physically gifted, but their emotional maturity is far from being ready to play at the highest level. Not all of them, but many.

  7. “Are we in headlines? Are we part of the crowd that enjoys the bashing because we can’t seem to sustain relevancy”

    Harvard, you seem to be saying that it’s better to be Calipari, and to be in the national headlines for negative reasons and at the center of a developing firestorm, than to be us right now, having a 17-win off year in which we “only” beat 5 top 25 programs. Not sure if I’m on board with that sentiment. Do you remember how “good” it was to be in the national spotlight the last time we had a cheating slimeball coach? Was it better to be “relevant” then than it is to be “irrelevant” now?

  8. It’s not like Calipari is doing anything outside the rules. Noah Vonleh may end up being a one-and-done. There have been many posters on this very blog that have said Vonleh would be very foolish to not seriously consider such a high draft possibility.

    I really don’t understand all the fuss over Calipari. I haven’t seen any pieces written that can verify any cheating.

    I don’t think Jerry West would believe much stronger in a kid being a two-and-done that is not prepared for the next level. Cody Zeller was nowhere near prepared for the next level. We have bought into the process no different than any other program…There’s almost an expectation that once a kid reaches a top-15 spot on a mock draft, then he should go pro. Calipari didn’t create that culture or all the BS of mock drafts, etc. The entire industry is at fault. College basketball got in bed with the NBA long ago and it’s simplistic and shallow to put all that ugliness on one scapegoat down in Lexington.

    Majerus was a damn good coach. Good man, as well.

  9. Calipari is a figurehead, not a scapegoat. There are many sleaze bags and violators out there, and Cal is simply the most powerful and the richest of the group, so he gets the spotlight- and deservedly so.

    I realize that he hasn’t technically been caught for doing anything outside the rules at UK. But he’s been caught in the past, and certainly pushes rules to their limits (I’ll never forget when he called Terrence Jones 2 minutes after his press conference when he put on the UW hat, and persuaded him to decommit).

    Bottom line, I love seeing UK lose, and as an IU fan (a bigger one than me), so should you. Your love of taking the most controversial position in any argument shouldn’t stop you from this.

  10. Nothing to do with taking the controversial position. Calipari is not solely responsible for the trend to treat star-powered/future NBA talent like their gods.

    The NCAA spent their time hunting down a guy that made too many 3-way phone calls. If Calipari was doing something wrong, one would certainly believe it can’t be nearly as horrible as a 3-way recruiting call.

    It’s guys like Jeff Meyer that are program wreckers. I don’t think Tom Crean would be a close friend to Calipari if he were a cheater.

    And there’s been a lot more cheating in the news coming from North Carolina than anything coming out of Kentucky…The recent academic issues brought to the forefront by an adviser comes to mind…Much of this stuff aimed at Kentucky is how many these journalists attempt to shield their own corrupt alma maters as if they remain more pure than holy water.

    And I could care less about Terrence Jones changing his mind. How corrupt must Indiana be to get Blackmon to change his mind? …or Eric Gordon to change his mind. Many top recruits are immature head cases..They’ve been slathered with so much attention, they likely don’t know if they’re coming or going.

    Bottom Line: I don’t believe Calipari cheats or sells anymore than anyone else fighting for the prima donnas. And I don’t think you can win a championship by being a substandard coach regardless of the talent. I would think it may be even more difficult to get guys that know they could have went straight from high school to the NBA to actually believe any coach is worth a crap. They know their millions are waiting and they’re just buying time until the bank accounts are overflowing. Can’t be easy to get five big-headed, ship-jumpers, like Terrence Jones to play together.

  11. Calipari may not have been caught cheating, but he has benefitted from his associations with cheaters at schools where he coached. Wink-wink, nod-nod. Just look at the record of violations and penalties at the schools where he held coaching jobs. He leaves a school in the wake of a cheating scandal and suspension and then converts that into a higher paying job at a better basketball school.

    Giving him the benefit of the doubt, it just does not seem that Calipari places much, if any value on helping his players get a quality education. I’m sure he sells them on his ability to prepare them for a lucrative NBA career, but when that comes to an end, how well will those men be prepared for the 50 remaining years of their life?

    Calipari personifies what is wrong with college basketball and the exploitation of so many young men. It’s not all his fault, but he contributes to and exploits a deeply flawed system.

  12. And don’t tell me that Zeller and VO did the same thing that Calipari’s players are doing. When VO left a year early, he had his degree. And Zeller was a gifted student that will finish his education within a couple of years at most. Both those young men appreciate the value of their education and were strongly encouraged by Crean to make it a priority.

    Last year, I read somewhere that Kentucky’s five freshman one-and-done starters averaged about 14 credit hours in school before they went to the NBA. And most of them stopped going to class in the second semester. If that’s true, that makes a mockery of the concept of student athletes. In essence, they were professional basketball players with deferred incomes. It’s a disgrace that the NCAA allows that crap to go on.

    If you’re 18, you should be allowed to pursue your chosen legal profession without any restrictions. And if the NBA wants to mitigate its risk of drafting a young man after he graduates from High School, they should incur the expense of creating and maintaining a developmental league, like Major League Baseball does with the minor league teams. If that happened, Calipari would be out of college basketball within two or three years.

  13. Harvard,

    You’re making arguments against another strawman you created. Many respectable programs have OAD players. Cal has decided to go all in and fill his roster with them. Duke, MSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Arizona, UNC, Kansas and Indiana all have early departures. That wasn’t my argument. Nor was my argument a moral one. But I’m sure it suits you fine because you get to make another Jeff Meyer reference. Flogging that deceased equine into dust aren’t we?

    Cal is the only one who is basing his recruiting and program building strategy almost exclusively on it. I think it is a questionable strategy. Not all these kids who are All Americans in high school are ready to dominate at the next level. The flaw in the strategy, is that you get a glut of kids who expect to be OAD, but some need a couple more years to develop. However, Cal is recruiting another 5 guys who think they’re going to be the next batch of OADs. Now you’re stuck with team chemistry issues and some players who instead of being developed are being thrown under the bus.

    This isn’t morality. It is Cal’s strategy showing its cracks and Forde did a great job of providing facts that point out those flaws. Facts are devilish creatures on the internet, I know.

    Majerus was a great coach. He was also a huge fat guy.

  14. There’s not guarantee that Zeller will finish anything. He ran for the money no differently than any prima donna.

    And Zeller should have a sound educational foundation. He’s from a small town in Indiana and had the benefit of going to a quality school. Many of the young kids Calipari gets are possibly so far behind the curve, it’s hard to say how much extra years of college will benefit them. I would think the education deficiencies start long before John Calipari attempts to improve their lives and gives them a shot at a dream. Let’s not blame the gross discrepancies of rural America opportunities with those in impoverished and crime-ridden neighborhoods our many forgotten inner cities. These young men look at John Calipari as a man that cares more than an America that has abandoned their home streets. It may not be the best use of college, but I’m not prepared to pass judgment on some of these young men that haven’t had the opportunities a banker’s son in White Plains who signs on to play Lacrosse at Duke.

    What Calipari is doing is not outside of any NCAA rules. And as far as academics, the stories hitting the news lately show pretty ugly signs of athletes at very low learning levels everywhere…It’s far from just a problem at Kentucky or wherever Calipari sets up camp.

    All strategies have their cracks. There’s no easy formula to blend talent that will stay for the long haul and talent that will be lured to the NBA stage(whether fully ready or prematurely).

    I wouldn’t get too hung up on UK’s record as much as Forde….That’s a very good team with a post player as tough as any seen in years. They could easily win another championship.

  15. Wow..Syracuse has lost 4 out of their last 5…Stunned by Georgia Tech tonight. Wonder what’s happened with their strategy…?

  16. Michigan wins the Big Ten.

    Harvard is celebrating with a tub of Crisco, a neon wetsuit, 4 houseboys and the Bay City Rollers.

Comments are closed.