52 comments

  1. The most frustrating thing about this team is lack of consistency. We routinely play as well or better than our opponent for 30-35 minutes a game. We build 6, 8, 10 point leads or more, then let it quickly evaporate with rushed, contested shots early in the shot clock/in transition, dont rebound, don’t defend well, and we’re back to square one. Or worse.

    Every team goes on runs. I get it. But it’s not always a case of going cold while the other team gets hot. It’s 2-3 minutes of frenetic play where we just look bad. Every. Single. Game.

    Okay. Rant over. Hope I eat my words. Let’s go Big Red!

  2. Geoff – you’re the worst kind of fan. They just best a very solid Butler squad and you’re still pissed. Pathetic.

  3. Geoff, you may need to examine your expectations. This was a good win, on a neutral court, against a ranked team. Sure there were lots of mistakes. Sure there is much room for improvement. Sure two of the dumbest mistakes I’ve ever seen were committed by IU players in the last two minutes of the game, but you had to have noticed a significantly improved defensive effort today. And I think IU was better at rebounding the ball, too.

    Geoff, are you judging Crean’s IU teams against your memory of Bob Knight’s most successful teams? Or is it a matter of style, the style Crean’s teams play with relative to the great teams coached by Knight? Given that you’re a bit crestfallen in spite of today’s good win, tell us why you’re less than thrilled by today’s performance. I guess it’s relative to your expectations, so given that IU won, what were those expectations for today’s game? I’m sincerely interested because I have a good friend (IU alum) who will never be satisfied with IU basketball again until Bob Knight is reincarnated and returns to coach in Bloomington. This middle-aged man still fantasizes about Knight coming back to coach for IU (I’ve advised him to get professional help). We discuss his disdain and perpetual disappointment for every coach and every team IU has had since Knight was fired, and I think nostalgia is preventing him from enjoying IU basketball. He fails to remember that Knight did not always have great teams while at IU. In fact, he had some lousy teams on occasion. Just wondering if your disappointment has the same origins? Please share.

  4. Geoff,

    You lied. Post #3 says you did say something. What a way to piss on a good win. You’re picky. That’s why I ignore your stuff on this blog. We just want to win. Period. You’re one bizarre fan.

  5. 1) I thought the game was very poorly reffed. No one likes hearing that though, so I am hesitant to point it out.

    2) We took a lot of unnecessary stupid shots. It was really frustrating watching our stupidity be the reason we kept letting them back in instead of some thing they imposed upon us. DD was spot on with his post.

    3) Every coach I’ve ever had would have pulled me from the game had I committed the stupidity that Z did with 50 seconds to go…. My college coach would have implored my teammates to punch me in the face…. I turned to my wife and said, Coach would have pulled me, given me a hellfire look, and then breated me in the locker room in front of everyone saying, ‘we are trying to win a (explitive) game here. What the (expletive) are you (explitive) doing!”
    But Crean just acts like it’s no big deal. Like a mistake like that is acceptable. Z is a freaking upperclassman! he isn’t some fragile freshman… it’s mind-boggling.

    4) We are so much more talented than Butler it’s stupid. This should, and could, have been a 25 point win. We could have made a statement. Instead we made a statement that the other team should never feel demoralized at any point because we’ll always let you back in.

    5) How is it that an interim coach with no high-major credentials can get Dunham scoring opportunities all game, but Crean cannot get Blackmon a single open look in 25 minutes.

    6) It’s nice to win, but I’d prefer we play well AND win. It’s very difficult for me to take my coaching glasses off. I would be thoroughly unsatisfied with how we played. No question it would provide an immense amount to focus on in upcoming practices. However, I don’t get the impression that Crean feels that way. I think he’s happy. I think that it’s not just a motto, or drum beat, of “we’re young and this is progress”… I honestly think that behind close doors he says the same thing.

    7) Yogi bailed us out. There isn’t even a player that’s a close second on the team. I am glad we have him, but I wish other players would play closer to their potential as well. Actually, Colin plays pretty close to his potential as well.

    8) Butler isn’t very good. I don’t care if they win games or beat talented teams. Alex friggin Barlow starts for them. Roosevelt Jones somehow mesmerizes the refs into allowing him to play football on a basketball court. They have 1 guy that can shoot. Woods hasn’t improved since he got there… his per-40 minute numbers are identical to freshman year. They play a style that’s makes life sorta difficult, but they just aren’t that good. Fortunately for them, most of college basketball is very young, and therefore I’m sure they’ll find success capitalizing on other teams’ stupidity.

  6. I knew you couldn’t stay away Geoff. What’s your problem? You’ve been increasingly negative lately. Butler is a decent team. Always an ass in the crowd somewhere. Ignore his negativity folks. His flame will dimmer sooner rather than later.

  7. Geoff. In the last three yrs, can’t remember any game that IU has blown anybody out. Excepting the cupcake pre-conference games. Think that’s kind of a hallmark of CTC’s teams.?

  8. 983 – we’ve had lots of good wins, and I think more wins against top 5 or top 10 teams since Cody arrived than any other program… however, I think the only blowout of a “good” team was UNC a couple years back. a

  9. Seems as if we get a 10-12 point lead followed by a couple of bad shots and a turnover and are back to a close game. Long run, possibly positive – learn to handle close games, but no killer-instinct? Georgetown will be good indicator.

  10. Geoff….is right. 100% right. There came a point in the game where IU could of just simply held onto the ball and won. Tom Crean never sees when it becomes a game against the clock and not the opponent. I understand the game can be manipulated towards the end with free throws…..but Butler shoots 60% as a team.

  11. I guess I’ll catch hell for my comments too. We just beat a team that is slow, under sized, limited talent and very little athleticism. If that is a good win-enjoy it.

  12. Apparently some of you have misplaced your Rose colored glasses. That’s a shame because they have served you so well for the last five or six years. You cannot watch IU basketball without them. I understand if contact the Athletic Director’s office you will be issued a new pair free of charge. This offer is good for at least another three years.

  13. The one thing I completely believe is something I heard RMK say over and over and over against probably the one thing he was absolutely uncompromising about, “Play against the game or the game will kill you.” What he was saying is that each possession, offensive or defensive, is a separate game in and of itself. The player needs to do everything perfectly, rea and see the floor, control the tempo to what he can or can not do, make each pass perfect, block out each time the ball goes up and block out in the right angles, avoid over-dribbling even to the point of not dribbling unless force to change the angle of a shot or a pass…defensively always see the ball, project the opponents movement, use your team mate’s position help…

    Geoff’s right.. Hoosiers are sophisticated basketball fans and watchers. We beat Butler tonight, the way we always saw Butler. Only Butler played like basketball is supposed to be played the last two years and became its own legend once again. Only that was clearly not who we played, we played the 2014 version of Butler and Indiana is relatively far too talented to be beaten by ‘this’ Butler team.

    So we beat Butler and played well enough to beat them. Enjoy it. Did we play good, solid basketball, basketball, intelligent basketball…not even close. Geoff and HClarion are right; we throw the ball all over the place, patience is a word we can’t spell, vision is limited to the tunnel vision of the offensive basket. Compared to most teams; Butler tonight, (from what I hear Michigan this year),… we may be good enough that it won’t matter.

    But, if you value ‘playing against the game’, think that playing ‘good basketball, the Indiana way…not even close. And the fact that many of us know what it looks like makes this crazy thing very frustrating because it is not good basketball. And we know what that looks like.

  14. Everyone is right. Butler probably won’t make the dance due to being in the Big East and that conference is really good this year. Butler will do alright at home versus some of the teams in the BE and may even upset a Villanova at home, but they will struggle on the road. The BE crowds are brutal and tend to be very hostile environments. They make Big Ten crowds look like nuns. IU will be okay in the Big Ten, because outside of Wisconsin every team is very vulnerable. MSU getting beat by a 1-8 team, Michigan falling to SMU, Iowa getting beat by NIU and ISU, Ohio St. looking sluggish vs. NC, and Purdue just looking terrible against ND. I think Wisky will win the Big Ten and the next 2-5 spots are wide open.

  15. Tsao – loved your post… the first paragraph was exactly it. I couldn’t crystalize the words as well as you due to my immense frustration. Well that and my lack of ability with the english language.

    I think earlier Po asked me about how I guage my expectations. Am I hoping for a reincarnate of Knight? Well, yes and no. I am waiting for someone with his level of expectation and singular focus on excellence. I got to watch it with Knight for a long time. I’ve seen it with Izzo and K and Pitino and Smart and Stevens.

    In the New England market I’ve very consistently watched and listened to coaches who embody the philosophies I believe create excellence. Rivers was an amazing leader for the Celtics. Was able to take a bunch of aging stars who hadn’t won and bring them to a title by having them lose their egos and buy into defense. His singular focus was winning and he did it with great class.

    Belichick is essentially a coaching God in my eyes. He doesn’t always win, and he doesn’t always make the right call, and occassionally he gets outcoached. But there is no doubt in my mind that every day his entire focus is on preparing his team to be better. Every play executed flawlessly. Every read made correctly. Each person understanding everyone elses role initimately so they know how and why they fit the way they do, and if need be, can step in for a teammate and fulfill their role in a pinch. He doesn’t care about the media. He doesn’t care about fans. He tunes every outside influence out. He demands the same from his players.

    If it isn’t a topic/exercise/discipline concerned with being better going forward then he just doesn’t care and doesn’t let it effect his universe.

    He’s a risk taker… routinely allowing good players to leave his team before they lose their luster. But he’ll also take on strong or controversial personalities if he thinks they will fall in line. If it doesn’t work out with a player… if that player is more interested in themself than the team, that player is GONE – regardless of their talent.

    Every interview from every coach and every player, even Gronk, sounds almost identical. It’s a cult – and the religion is winning through teamwork and preparation and selflessness.

    That’s what I want to feel like my coach at IU is working towards.

    I’m not feeling it. And I see the lack of it more and more with every game I watch… Even the wins.

  16. I am betting the Villanova vs Bulldog game will be a good 1 but an even disbursement of scoring along with too much speed and athleticism will topple Butler just as it did against IU.

  17. Geoff–

    A word about Shaka Smart, whom you rank with Izzo, K, and Pitino…..

    Shaka Smart is the most overrated coach in America today. He has exactly the same number of Final Fours as Tom Crean, and literally nothing else to his credit. He has won no regular season A10 conference titles, no conference tournament titles, and outside of that single Cinderella run, has never made it past the round of 32. “Havoc” is a total gimmick defense that creates lots of turnovers and generates all kinds of overheated commentary, but isn’t all that great. According to Kenpom, VCU has had one great defense, one good defense, and 4 mediocre defenses under Smart:

    2015 — 46
    2014 — 6
    2013 — 45
    2012– 19
    2011 — 84
    2010 — 106

    For that matter, here is how Kenpom has rated the team overall during his time at VCU:

    2015 — 19
    2014 — 17
    2013 — 20
    2012– 38
    2011 — 42
    2010 — 51

    Hovering on the edge of the top 20 and then getting bounced in the round of 32 does not add up to greatness in my book. Heck, he doesn’t even have as good a winning percentage as his predecessor (Anthony Grant: .752, Shaka Smart: .748), and has a losing record against Jim Crews. Sorry to hijack a thread about IU basketball, but the fawning over this guy just amazes me. Seeing him on the same list as guys who have a combined 24 Final Fours and 7 national championships is kind of stunning.

  18. Arch, really good post… I admit that it’s more about perception than any real digging I’ve done with Smart. I think it’s about how I view his program to be coalesced behind him. That he gets his players to buy into a philosophy and play it with an amazing amount of energy and determination. In the instances where I’ve seen him talk I’ve been impressed with his ability to hold people accountable and do it with class.

    In reality he may not be a better coach than Crean, but my perception is that he is a far better leader.

  19. Geoff, just to be clear, my comment was not meant quite as sharply as it sounded. I re-read it, and it comes across as a bit of a jab, which it was not meant to be.

    I agree that he comes across as a more polished and assuring presence that CTC. He is a bright guy, and may very well end up being a great coach. But again, not aimed at you, he hasn’t done anything yet to merit the esteem in which he is held. ESPN ranked him #13, exactly one spot behind Jim Boeheim and ahead of Larry Brown. Larry Brown!

    OK, enough about him. Back to IU basketball.

  20. Geoff, good posts. Not being sarcastic when I say that you confirmed for me that it’s your perception of Crean’s coaching style/philosophy that bothers you, and that it is relative to Bob Knight’s coaching style and philosophy. That’s O.K., but I suggest you’re going to be disappointed for a long time to come, maybe even for the remainder of your life. It’s a different world.

    No coach in this day and age could use the same disciplinary techniques that Knight used for decades at IU. First, none of today’s elite players would play for him, and second, he’d be fired soon after taking the job. Knight and his style are politically incorrect.

    Crean has seven freshman and a bunch of sophomores on this team. They are very young. There are no seniors to serve as team leaders. I think that’s a part of the problem regarding the “stupid” decisions these young players make. Yes, it is frustrating, and I’m sure Crean sees it too. How he tries to change that behavior and eliminate those mistakes will determine how this season goes from here on out. But I think we have to consider taking the bad with the good regarding Crean’s coaching style. Here’s my hypothesis. If Crean coached in a manner more similar to Knight’s style, he would not be able to recruit the elite athletes that he has signed over the last five years. Those elite athletes don’t want to play that disciplined (Knight) style of basketball anymore. And they certainly would not tolerate being screamed at or yanked off the court in front of a stadium full of fans or a national T.V. audience. If a coach with Knight’s style could sign those elite players in the first place, they would not tolerate those coaching tactics for long.

    I wish it wasn’t so, but the good old days of IU basketball are gone forever. Let’s hope Crean evolves in that direction while maintaining his ability to recruit elite basketball players to IU.

  21. I think this is a team with enough talent to be in the NCAA tournament (just like last year’s team) and I believe this team should play like and be ranked between 20 – 25th in the country. I would not be impressed if this happens because I feel like it’s expected. A great coach would exceed that expectation.

  22. Po – I didn’t particularly care for Knight’s demeanor. There are lot’s of coaches that are able to hold their players accountable and get them to be disciplined and selfless. I think I named a few. There are guys out there… I want a guy that can do it and have players want to play for him… Donovan at UF…

    It’s even tougher to get spoiled millionaires to give up their egos and take a tongue lashing. They are “adults”, but guys do it for Belichick, Popovich, Thibodeau…

    I don’t need a Knight clone, but I’ve come to the realization after 6 years that Crean isn’t the guy… won’t ever be the guy. So I’m ready to try to move in a direction that will get us going in a championship direction.

  23. Just thinking out loud. Is Hartman’s high IQ playing time enough to get him into the stating 5? To me he is showing the composure of the Senior we do not have. While I am at it I am still shaking my head at how good Williams has gotten since the 5th game of the season and how good he will become. He is certainly demonstrating the old adage “honing talent into skills”. HMP is gaining on it too. Now some negatives. I have lots of confidence in Johnson handling point but I still do not understand Ferrell sitting on the bench resting against a team with a slower tempo like Butler. In fact I doubt they would have made the run such as they did at the end of the 1st half if Yog would have been on the floor. For several Butler possessions IU did not have their hands up as if saying “if were doing well enough for Yogi to rest we can too”. Why keep a man as important to this team as Ferrell on the bench for 12 minutes yesterday? Jr. did not have a good shooting day but he sure worked the boards over.

  24. oh, and one other point. I actually love the style of basketball that IU plays. I just hate the lack of discipline with which they play it. I have always preferred up tempo, 4 out, multiple shooters, drive and kick, value skill and quickness over great size. So I love our roster and the way he uses it. I just feel like he should be a GM and not a coach. He understands the necessary ingredients and has a good recipe, but for whatever reason…. maybe it’s the heat, or how it’s mixed, but for some reason it just doesn’t taste right when he cooks it.

  25. Talk about rose colored glasses. IU has not been an “elite” program for a good 20 years. After BK made an ass out of himself with Cheney, Bailey, et al, his teams were slightly better than decent leading up to his implosion in 2001. Rarely does any program sustain greatness when a high achieving and long tenured coach moves on. IU’s mistake was in not identifying a quality replacement right away. Even MD admitted he was not ready, so shame on the administration for not taking action. Crean has always had to carry the burden of IU’s past on his shoulders, as evidenced by the continued abuse he takes on sites like this one. I commend him for what he has done to stabilize a messy situation, even though it hasn’t come without its share of setbacks. When I look around the conference only WI and MSU stand out as teams who have attained any semblance of an elite status during this 15 year period, which shows how hard it is to find the coach who can get his program to that level. Eventually Crean will either move up or move on, but for now I am not discounting any win against a top 25 team, for Crean’s success in that area – all things considered – is impressive.

  26. wow… anyone see the UVA/Harvard score??? Harvard is a decent team… 8 points in the first half… 8! only 27 for the entire game.

    I’ll take Bennett.

  27. Just a few thoughts…and then you experts at the details and 3-on-3 guessing games can get back to it…

    -Not a lot of stability in the roster…Not enough working with the same group to develop any collective dynamic or chemistry…..If you go to the fridge, more than likely there’s a new Hoosier group on the floor before you get back to the viewing.
    -And when you have a clear athletic advantage, it’s easy for guys to take their defender in a one-on-one fashion…Though it doesn’t account for the long and appreciated processes of cooking a fine meal, sometimes you just want to get the quality to the table quickly….Sometimes it can be more of an advantage in ingredients rather than cooking technique….
    -It could be inhibiting to force athletic kids(with clear advantages in speed, offensive scoring repertoire, length, etc.), to regiment the style of play…It may be more “pure” basketball for the traditionalist, but it doesn’t necessarily optimize the talent advantage…
    -Sometimes selfish ball is winning ball.
    -Attempting to take our roster and coach them into a “Butler style” of hoops would likely be very agonizing to watch….Crean has to allow a certain amount of individual freedom to exploit some clear athletic advantages…You gotta let Troy be Troy sometimes….(’cause he’s never gonna have the need or desire to play within a Jordy Hulls chassis).
    -Maybe the coach has to let go of the coaching to foster confidence and recognizing clear talent advantages sometimes?

  28. as I said in 34 Harvard, I (for one) do not want to change the style of play. I love it. I just don’t like their execution. I expecially dislike that Crean seemingly doesn’t hold players accountable for stupidity. Most of my issues are with defense and easily executable things like blocking out and closing out under control. Offensively I’m still shocked we can’t come up with a way to get JBJ a clean look in the half court offense. I understand some of the unnecessary forced shots in the early part of the shot clock… it’s part of the freedom that comes along with this offense and for players with a certain amount of talent. But what I can’t understand is Crean’s inability to call time outs when those shots are in the middle of negative momentum swings to make sure the trend is reversed and the young players properly directed.

    You are right that sometimes selfish ball is winning ball. Without Yogi’s selfishness in the second half we never would have pulled that game out. But we shouldn’t have been in a situation where he needed to do that.

    Ok, kids crying… time for a diaper change and some dinner.

  29. HC: End of post #33 about YF sitting. He was sitting because of picking up his 2nd foul mid 1st half. No other reason.

  30. I have nothing against tom crean. I had nothing against mike davis. They both produced exciting teams. They both produced exciting players. They have both been to a final four. They have both had some outstanding season. They have both had some huge wins. I’m certain there are plenty of schools across the country that would love to have them as a coach. I just don’t feel either fit the mold of what many fans would expect to continue the overall consistant success at Indiana. Kentucky….hired a proven winner. Louisville…..hired a proven winner. North Carolina….hired a proven winner. I just don’t think hiring an up and commer to manage the overall long term legacy of what has been built over the years is the way to go.

  31. I for one enjoyed the win. Not quite sure why Geoff is trying to discourage people from this win and the coach.

  32. Andrew – I’m not trying to discourage anyone. Just telling it like it is. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I stood behind Crean until this year. I gave him every opportunity to prove he could be the guy at IU, but he has run out of rope. My cautious optimism about where he could lead the program has officially turned to resigned pessimism. I’m looking for consistent excellence, and after 6 years and several excellent recruiting classes we just aren’t there, nor do I have any reason to believe we’ll get there.

    There are a lot of coaches that can recruit… there are some coaches that can get their players to over-achieve… The great ones get blue-chip recruits to over-achieve… Crean cannot do that. IU deserves someone who can.

  33. Andrew, don’t know what the hell you mean about my “rose colored glasses”. I obviously couldn’t find them because my comment on IU play was deeply critical. Geoff was equally critical, so he didn’t take them. Perhaps you took my rose colored glasses and are hiding behind them while posing as me.

  34. That’s fine Geoff. It’s the same every week with you though. So we know you don’t care for the coach? Move on and talk about something else. You’re not going to change anyone’s mind.

  35. Clarion – I meant to address your Hartman musings from earlier… My guess is that, unless Robbie J falls off a cliff, we are looking at our starting 5. I like it that way. I think having a steady Hartman and Z (hopefully, christ almighty tho buddy!) coming off the bench makes us a consistently difficult team to play against. I think it’s important to the confidence of RJ and JBJ to start. I think it’s great to be able to get a read on which of the 4 non-Hanners forgot to bring it that day and be able to put Colin in for them and be relatively assured that he’ll make a positive impact on the court.

    I also don’t think that starting is that big a deal really. I mean, some players need it for their egos, which is too bad… some need it for physical reasons, so they don’t cool off after warm-ups, which is more understandable. I think a much more telling sign of a coach’s belief and trust is the number of minutes and who is in during crunch time. I’d like to Colin in during the most important moments of the game, unless our more talented specimens are really playing well.

  36. Andrew!…declaring war on me son?…you’ll lose,.. you’re not smart enough! The vintage is 1941; leaving lots of cadavers behind;…behave and be a good boy son or I’ll pull your tongue out through your nostrils.

  37. Crimson, Hear you loud and clear but I knew that. It was unneeded as Yog ended up with the same 2 fouls at the end of the game. My point is he is not foul prone especially against a slow paced team. IIRC he has only fouled out of 1 college game in over 2 seasons. His presence would have help stem that 11-1 run to halftime. It was an error by Tom Crean.

    Geoff, Felt good about Colin and his possibilities last season before the injury. He has proved out right. I have very near the same feeling about Max. Something about a high waisted(Max)BB player is normally damn good. Remember Dean The Dream Memminger, Nervous Purvis and another name I am presently not pulling up. Just a thought.

  38. geoff is right but i don’t think anyone should accuse him of trying to change minds. after all, i changed his mind

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