26 comments

  1. Rivera did get some wide open looks because of the “collapsing” onto Smith….But late in the OT, he pretty much had his way with Yogi in one-on-one scenarios….He made some crafty moves going chest-to-chest while popping in some mid-range jumpers exposing the size differential….Rivera put the game on his shoulders and Yogi didn’t have any answers to stop him.

    Yikes…17 turnovers. Robinson, in limited minutes, brought some quick contributions(per usual)to the ugly turnover monster…Lately, it seems that every time Robinson checks into the game he manages to kill positive momentum with turnovers on his first touches of the ball… Crean’s loyalty to this kid is admirable…For whatever reason, he gives him chance after chance(on the court and off) to clean up his act and attitude.. I see a kid that’s very frustrated and brings negative energy to the court…Stan could use a place where he could start fresh and get his mind right…To save his confidence continues to be a Crean mission that is costing us critical possessions…It seems that the farther in miles that the gold chain with cross on neck traveled from “XYZ” Christian academy to don the candy stripes, the greater the loyalty with Crean.

    Lastly, it’s pretty evident that we’ll continue to struggle against teams with legit post players…Those with more of an arsenal other than one big will continue to be a nightmare…..The loss of Devin Davis was a big blow to this team. It’s more than a miracle that Devin didn’t die the night he was partying with his new Hoosier buddies from the East….The immature actions didn’t cost him his life…Nor did it cost Holt years and years of anguish that he may have put upon his own thoughts of wondering if he was somehow partly responsible….But once you get past all the blessings(and Crean will forever remind us of those blessings found while a basketball career was put on, at best, hold), the reality of just how much we could have used Devin’s savvy inside play is hitting home every night we watch our Hoosiers get taken to school on the inside. Losing Fischer was a big blow….This team losing Davis’s inside play as well has cost us the inside-outside complimentary floor balance that would have likely made the difference against teams that bring the :”pound it to the middle of the Hoosiers gut” strategy.

    Did the soft punishments with Hanner, Yogi, Troy, and Stan for their off-court drugs and late night booze episodes also involve a level of strange “favoritism”(favoritism that would have never been given to a Sampson “thug”) that brought a certain lack of mental toughness and sound decision making on Halloween night? Is it because they’re all part of the coach’s same faith circle that makes them feel there will never be any heavy consequences for stupid behavior(on and off the court)? For all the gratefulness and the typical belief that answered prayers were summoned in the saving Devin’s life, the reality is that a flippant regard for discipline built upon shared “favored” doctrines with the coach could be a large contributor to the view these young men may have of a coach being a Jesus-loving pushover.

    And against Georgetown, with no Davis and no Fischer, we had no prayers that could answer our pushover inside game…

  2. I think what bothers me is the hypocrisy of the situation. Sampson was portrayed as the devil of IU basketball because of several low character kids he brought in to the program and presented a win at all cost attidude. Enter Tom Crean: the man who was suppose to restore character and class to a once proud Indiana basketball program. It was to be the cornerstone of the program and was the main reasoning for the mass exile. We as fans have suffered through several lackluster seasons in order to restore such a culture, but when people’s jobs are on the line….all the discipline and culture goes right out the window and one starts to see through the lip service.

  3. It is a ton of hypocrisy, Ben…Thank you for noticing and proving to me that 1 in 1000 fans can see it and have the confidence to say it. And what irks me almost is much is Crean’s reluctance to admit just how much this team is missing Devin Davis’s “heart” and skills on the basketball court…..He wants to nullify such a loss because it puts the microscope back onto the lack of control he had of his players off-court issues.

  4. And its truly not an attack on Crean personally. An body who brings it to that level should really be ashamed. It’s business. It’s college basketball. It’s Indiana basketball. The Indiana organization has been a mess since Knight was here. Davis was a fine person too, but he was not the right person for the job, but his run to the NCAA made it hard to turn him away. Sampson wasn’t a bad coach, but he too did not fit the bill for the job. Bringing a coach in that was on probation to a school known for its ethics was grounds for a made for tv movie and that’s exactly what the media turned it into. Now we had a real mess nobody with any sense would want to be in the middle of. Tom
    took it over and made it lucrative (which
    was smart) and fueled the romance of
    Indiana basketball once again…but came
    up short. Now he really has to prove iu is a
    place where he can still get it done and it’s
    back to out of state recruiting again. I look
    at it like this…..it appeared IU had reached
    out to Tony Bennett prior to Crean. He
    turned down the job. 6 seasons later he
    has VIRGINIA ranked #4. Had we a guy
    who truly understood how to coach like
    Bennett we may be a legitimate contender
    year in and year out. Just imagine what
    Bennett could accomplish in charge of a
    brand such as Indiana basketball. Same
    could be said for a coach like Stevens. IU should be based on a coach who can unite kids to play smart. A program truly built on a solid understanding of the game. I just don’t we have had the right person for this job yet.

  5. The only person that should be ashamed is Tom Crean…He built his career on obsessing over the failures of those that he lumped together as one giant evil and :”cancer.” He could have built is career on learning the game rather than mastering insults aimed at Sampson’s degenerates, pious blow from podiums, making public villains of an assistant coaches on national TV for “wrecking the (IU basketball) program,” and becoming a Doctor of Twitterology at the Joyce Institute of Higher Learning….

    Shame..? We hired shame…Don’t go putting that label on yours truly. Those that brought preaching and witch hunts over forgiveness and teaching are the keepers of the shame..

  6. Ben_M-

    Don’t know how you made that funky paragraph, but it’s noticeably cute. I’ve seen it somewhere before…? IDS Basketblog?

  7. I was in masters classes on campus at the time and yes, Tony B was offered and was quoted as saying he didn’t want the pressure. It was rumored and when answering questions in the media one could conclude Mark Few was contacted next and Thad Matta of all people. Crean has done what I expected at Indiana and maybe even more if you watched him at Marquette. His death will be not learning on the job and failing to take advice from others…oh, not using big men properly doesn’t help either. I will always respect him for embracing Indiana and the fans more than thin skinned Davis and crooked Sampson!

  8. It was all done half-ass backwards…It should have been new AD followed by new head basketball coach…Crean was put on the committee to hire his own AD.. That level of cronyism is never going to produce winning and it certainly involves no pressure…Crean’s job involves absolutely zero administrative pressure because he played a game of collusion with the man that most other coaches would need to be accountable. What wonderful job security to a coach that played a significant role in the naming of the AD?
    What wonderful means to extend big $$$ contracts…Crean will be here for a very long time….It would take something of a major catastrophe or scandal to oust Glass….The only way Crean departs or gets canned is if Glass gets the axe beforehand.

    We’ve had far more off-the-court drugs and drinking issues(one that could have ended very tragically) than thin-skinned Davis or crooked Sampson ever had with players under their watch….But what’s the big deal now….? Now it’s simply boys will be boys…Cut them from a couple meaningless exhibition and early season cupcake contests and everything is back to hunky-dory….Nobody’s actions are “wrecking the program” now…..Yes, such respect for Indiana…Such admirable examples of young men not looking at their coach as a complete pushover…Everybody has job and roster protection as long as you’re praying in the locker room and are part of the Crean Compound that brought in Fred. But if Tommy notices something with more raw talent and there’s no room for a scholarship, that clan loyalty lasts about as long as our leads when the opponent brings out a zone defense. ….But for Crean…? With Fred at the helm, Tommy C will never have the pressure most head coaches must face….

    Indiana hasn’t been “elite” for decades..There’s no pressure here anymore than anywhere else. Indiana has an ocean of basketball talent…It’s a luxury and an unbelievable blessing to have such talent in your own backyard…Let’s stop pretending with the BS that nobody wanted the job except Crean.. Like many carnival salesman, Crean was just one hell of a salesman that sucked in people with no clue that wanted Indiana to play into the righteous palms of his piousness and victim act… Please stop it, JPat. Stop with your rumors and BS that mocks Davis…Davis could coach circles around Crean. He just wasn’t the carnival salesman that melted all the homeys hearts….with the empty “because” talk and villain chasing.

  9. Completely disagree w you Harvard but I respect your opinion. You care and I care and in the end we are all Hoosiers. Rumors about Davis, I don’t understand that part. I am frustrated as well Harvard and I am not sure Crean is meant to be here either. You can have the last word…Happy and safe New Year to you and everyone here! Damn Harvard, you have never been this hard on me?!

  10. I believe the Few and Matta part to be true as I remember newspaper and media quotes but I stated “rumor” so as to cover myself from one individual on here…Not you Harvard! Lol

  11. JPat-

    Don’t take it personally…I do respect your opinion…I also respect your ability to take the high road in disagreements. I am frustrated..I’m frustrated with getting our asses handed to us on national TV and all the Big East propping itself up as something premier to Indiana Basketball….I’m tired of Indiana being an undercard to bigger games and bigger tournaments….I’m tired of watching guards from Indiana beating Indiana.

    Wishing you a Happy New Year as well…..Hope all your family is healthy and happy. My apologies for taking it out on you.

  12. Going to sign off for a day or two but no apology necessary. I too am unbelievably frustrated. I wanted that game yesterday in the worst way. My kids put on the autographed Hulls jerseys and candy stripes to watch Indiana get beat by a mediocre team. I want to be back so badly…wow! I am just trying to hang in there…you do the same. Take care Harvard!

  13. JPat, as I’ve said before to you…get rid of the word and repetition of unsubstantiated (reasonably) ‘rumors’ while hinting at something and there is absolutely no problem. This is a great blog when we argue and fuzz with each other based on factual truths, not rumors. They victimize too many good people, like Davis. Let’s face it, those who were victimizing him had a much deeper and ugly motive.

  14. Tsao…I actually stated it was rumor about Matta and Few and never said anything about Davis rumor wise, I stated my opinion. I had many one on one personal dealings w Davis while he was here until the end. Please spare me the lecture from three years ago. I will say what I want on here. I choose to look past your posts and you can do the same with mine. I have never been attacked in any situation like you did to me some time back…never in my life. It was so mean spirited and you did it to many, still do. It is sad!

  15. Let me say it again…Mike Davis was thin skinned, search for a fantastic Jason Whitlock story, espn online. Wilson is still a jerk by the way but I have grown to like the jerk! I want to see him succeed! I wonder who the bigger jerk is/was Dinardo or Wilson lol???

  16. I’m bummed about the game on Saturday, too. I can’t say I didn’t expect this result, but while this team is tremendously flawed, they are so fun to watch, so it stings a little harder to watch them lose. Turns my stomach to think of how different things would be with a Luke Fischer or Vonleh still playing at the 5. JBJ is quickly becoming of my favorite college players ever. Just love how smooth and effortless his game is. Needs to improve on D, though.

    I admit I might be a little generous here, but I thought Hanner has done a pretty good job considering the herculean task that he has faced this year. If we had a true 5, seeing him at the 4 would be really fun. His basketball IQ might be hovering around the price of a barrel of crude oil, but he’s played pretty damn hard and has been really tough. Against GT, I thought he played well on Joshua Smith for a half. Smith didn’t get going until Crean pulled him after he got his 2nd foul early in the 2nd half. JT3 immediately put Smith back in the game with 3 fouls against an extremely inexperienced and smaller Holt. The ten point lead vanished. Crean was too quick to pull and too slow to put him back in. Isn’t that the continuing refrain?

    Also, Stan Robinson. I have no idea why he’s even getting a minute of playing time at this point. We don’t need him. He comes in the game and not only turns it over, but he disrupts the entire rhythm of the offense. I’m going to buy a ticket to attend his graduation in 2 years.

  17. I tend to think Crean is more thin-skinned than Davis ever was…How can we forget “smirkgate” and how Crean responded to Dustin in a Northwestern postgame presser?

    Is it possible that just about all coaches are rather thin-skinned…? I mean, they likely get tired of the scrutiny that simply never ends…And now with the speed of criticism and critique of every armchair coach from Maine to the Ukraine via twitter and other internet forums, it’s gotta get very, very old.

    I don’t care how thin-skinned Davis…He seemed like a decent and kind man….He beat a #1 Duke in the most exciting basketball game I ever attended….He brought a masterful plan out of the halftime locker room with a team of gritty Hoosiers that erased a 17 point deficit against the most highly regarded team in the nation….Maybe he didn’t have the full array of slathering skills to equal Tom Crean’s gifts of persuasion(along with some early connections to the East via Doc Rivers and that assistant that left for Louisville), but Mike Davis taught tenacious defense and never chased villains or excuses though he inherited more than a difficult situation on the heals of a Knight firing.

    Many failed to give him credit…I tend to remember how strongly his players stayed by his side and were willing to walk off the team if Davis wasn’t given his shot to be the new head coach after “zero tolerance” meltdown in Bloomington… He came very, very close to a banner….We just caught that guard from Maryland on a career night….Can’t remember his name…?

    And let’s not forget that Davis defeated Sampson’s Oklahoma team in that same run to the championship game…I think that’s where Brand got the big idea to hire Sampson and get his vengeance for all the hatred he received for canning Knight.

  18. Harv, you were actually at that Duke game? That’s tremendous. I would have given my right arm to be there.

    I agree. For me, I would put that win over the UK/Wat-shot in terms of importance in my time as a Hoosier.

  19. Yup….It’s a beautiful story….I had a Duke fan sitting directly behind me screaming “All day long!!” every bucket Boozer was scoring in the first half….I sent him back the same chant in the second half as the Hoosiers climbed back from the depths like I’ve never witnessed in any other contest to this date.
    I got so into it that I scared the hell out of my wife and kid…..I’ve never seen such pandemonium….It was beautiful to see the Hoosiers pull it off in Rupp Arena as well…

    Someday I’ll tell you how I got three tickets via a phone call to a Rupp ticket office….

    Also went to the Final Four in Atlanta….Credit cards are a dangerous thing. No regrets. It was a blast. Man, how the time flies. My daughter was so young at the time….She got so into it…We sat right above the CBS team You gotta go to one Final Four in a lifetime.

  20. Should clarify…We drove down for the championship game of the Final Four in Atlanta….Didn’t attend the game against Oklahoma. I remember having dinner at a restaurant named Houston’s(north suburbs of Atlanta.)…I think we stayed at a Crown Plaza hotel that had very nice surrounding gardens you could stroll…

    Anyway….Happy New Year to you Double Down….Hope you had a nice Christmas.

  21. That’s a great story. Sounds like it was worth every penny and then some.

    I was at a sports bar in Palo Alto with a few friends of mine from IU. We walked into a bar where we were outnumbered 5 to 1 by Duke fans. Eventually, the bar was filled with neutral NCAA watchers who instantly turned into IU fans.

    Duke fans are a particularly irritating bunch. They cheer for a favorable ball out of bounds call with the same fervor as a reverse dunk on two defenders. Their stupid Cameron chants make my hair stand up. After Jay Williams missed that free throw and AJ stuffed Boozer, there were tears as we erupted. Watching a 30+ year old fella weep like his puppy was just run over felt magical.

    Happy Christmas/New Years to you too, Harv. Been a tough road here since Nov. I have a very sick friend (as close as a brother), but he is great spirits. Talk about real courage. We are celebrating with the best of them anyway.

  22. Harvard, I can’t really disagree w post 17…you make good points. I supported Davis until that home game vs Iowa he failed to attend. If I had a dollar for every time I defended him we would have had a much better Christmas!

  23. DD, I wish your friend the best. My dad is struggling w cancer right now and my wife’s father started w severe health problems too. It puts it all in perspective. My young daughter apologized to me after we left the pub watching Indiana lose to Georgetown. I can get really down after losses and you know as a father and person you are growing when your response is…we were all together and had fun cheering, nobody was hurt and you are a good kid. My daughter smiled and said…it was overtime, no shame in losing in overtime without a big man!

  24. Sorry to hear about your very dear friend, Double Down. I’m sure you give your friend a chance to laugh again and find hope by knowing you’d rather be nowhere else.

    Same to you, JPat. It’s very difficult to feel helpless when such terrible illnesses find those so close. Do your best…That’s all you can do. In the last two years, I lost both my mom and dad. My dad went into severe kidney failure and his heart failed him on Christmas Eve of last year…My mom battled breast, colon, and stomach cancer….It was 10 years of fighting before the stomach cancer took her very quickly…

    My best friend was probably my beautiful Yellow Labrador …Sweetest dog you’d ever know…She had to be put out of her pain just a few months after my father died….Christmas felt very strange this year…No calls and cards from my dad….My Lab loved to tear the wrapping paper to shreds when we would open gifts….She’d sniff out her one present under the tree…and I felt so happy just to watch her go nuts to get at a stuffed squeaky toy…

    You both take care..

  25. Thanks fellas. I mean that. In a sea of bad news, genuine and kind words really go a long way. Especially from folks that have been there before.

    Still wish we beat GT though!! 😉

  26. Wow Harvard…I must have been away last year when your dad passed. I wasn’t aware of it (I did know and we wrote about the passing of your great Lab). Sorry to hear it was such a heavy year. Perhaps a great 2015 will give some balance. My thoughts and prayers for your dad, mom and the Lab.

    (Sorry for your dad’s and wife’s pain as well JPat).

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