Live chat transcript: Jordan Howard, football and basketball

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat with Mike, Andy and Jeremy. Happy New Year to everyone. Busy week on the IU sports beat so let’s get down to it, shall we?

How are you doing this morning? Thanks for being here.

JEREMY: Happy New Year to everybody and looking forward to finding out what 2015 holds for IU sports and otherwise. Let’s kick it off with a little chat.

MIKE: Good morning and happy new year, everybody. Glad to be back in Bloomington for the weekend. Let’s chat.

ANDY: B1G day for a certain conference in terms of football to start 2015, eh? And time for our initial 2015 chat.

QUESTION: What are the chances of Brad Stevens replacing Crean in 2 years and arriving on the Bloomington campus as king like Harbaugh in Michigan? I say this because I don’t see Crean satisfying the IU fan base with mediocre runs to tourney. We all know NBA shelf life is short and Stevens will return with NBA experience and Hoosier pride to sell blue chip players into wearing the candy stripes. He will most likely have the success the 2 coaches in the bluegrass state has had. Please agree!!

James, Indianapolis

JEREMY: James,

Let me start by commending your politeness in using please.

I don’t know what the chances are, but if IU makes the NCAA tourney this season and next, I rather doubt you’re looking at a coaching change in two years.

And who knows what the Celtics look like in two years? Right now, it definitely appears to be a long-term rebuild, but a high draft pick or two with a free agent signing could change things quickly.

Look, I agree with you that Stevens is a coach who will likely succeed anywhere he coaches, and that includes the NBA, but let’s focus on 2015 instead of trying to live in 2017 already.

MIKE: Hey James,

I can see Michigan football and Indiana basketball as two kindred spirits, two proud programs that have enjoyed great success but are currently trying to work their way back to those levels of former greatness. So if Brad Stevens ever returned to this state, his arrival would certainly rival that of Harbaugh’s this past week. But that’s a long, long way from happening. A lot can happen in two years, yes, but I also think Brad Stevens will be successful in Boston. And that’s something, too — he’s coaching the Boston Celtics, not the Washington Wizards. That’s a valued job with one of the league’s most storied franchises, and it’s one you don’t just up and leave in the middle of a longterm rebuild. I get what you’re saying and I understand your concern, but I’m not sure that this is a road worth venturing down at this point.

ANDY: James:

For one thing, I don’t think Indiana would ever, under any circumstances, choose to emulate the approach of at least one of those “bluegrass” coaches to whom you allude.

Coach Crean’s club is currently 11-3 and off to a 1-0 start in the B1G after a nice road win at Nebraska. I think everybody knows this is a crucial season, in the wake of a 17-15 disappointment the previous campaign, but I think Fred Glass (and most of the fan base) is a more patient than you seem to be and more appreciative of Crean’s initial rebuilding job and outright B1G title here than you seem to be.

There is some fantasizing about Brad Stevens eventually coming to Indiana on internet boards, but fantasizing is absolutely all that is at this point. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t ever happen sometime down the road, but it seems premature to speculate about it now (and any such overt speculation, mind you, is seized upon and utilized by schools recruiting against Indiana for key players to cast doubt upon how long the current staff might be in place.)

Michigan got its man in Harbaugh. It was a power hire. Whenever Indiana is in position to change men’s basketball coaches, however many years down the road that is, it likely will aim high. Would that entail an overture to Stevens? Depends upon the circumstances and the timing. Would Stevens even be interested? Who knows? Is openly speculating about it more than a bit unseemly, and insulting to the current staff and players? I’ll let you answer that.

QUESTION: What does it take to fire coach Wilson?

JEREMY: More guts than it does to ask a question like that anonymously. And probably another four-win season next year.

MIKE: What? Jack? Jack Trudeau? Is that you?

Seriously, though, this is an unexpected question. Morale is good right now, especially after landing Tevin Coleman’s immediate replacement in UAB running back Jordan Howard. They’ve been pointing to 2015 for the last couple seasons, and while I don’t want to — on Jan. 2 — put it in black and white terms of “bowl or bust,” I do think the direction of this season will be telling for Wilson’s future at Indiana.

ANDY: Hmmm. Indiana just had a season derailed by quarterback injuries but still managed to win back-to-back Buckets for the first time in 20 years, beat SEC East champ Mizzou on its home field, boast a consensus First Team All-American running back and show some strides on defense. Wilson’s staff might be on its way to concocting a third consecutive recruiting class to rank in the upper half of the league, according to the ratings services, counting a couple of prime UAB transfers (including a potential replacement for said running back.)

Most signs point to Coach Wilson being at Indiana for a long time.

QUESTION: Good morning guys and Happy New Year. As always, thanks for your hard work, tremendous coverage and for this chat. I appreciate it.

1. IU’s football recruiting season has gone quite well thus far and the addition of Jordan Howard appears to be viewed as a major development. I’ve seen pictures of him and I’ve seen his stats and he seems like a very nice addition. It seems quite likely that he will be starting at RB with Redding and Mister backing him up. I know he’s not Tevin Coleman but in terms of running style, how does he compare? Closer to Coleman (explosive plays mixed with some between-the-tackles power) or more of power guy that churns out a lot 4-5 yard runs? Also, what position do you think Isaac James from Carmel ends up playing at IU? I really enjoyed watching him in high school and I think he’s a very nice get for Kevin Wilson and his staff.

2. After IU blew a 16-point lead in rapid fashion, I was convinced they were going to fade away and miss a big opportunity in Lincoln. I was very, very happy to be wrong. It was a really nice win and it was done in impressive fashion. Before the B1G season started, I looked at the first two games and thought a split was necessary. That has been accomplished but it’s certainly possible to knock off the Spartans to get them both. I have thoughts on this particular MSU team (they are pretty limited offensively, solid defensively and actually quite small but it’s hard to imagine a Tom Izzo team starting 0-2 in conference at home) but I’m curious to know what you guys think happens on Monday night in East Lansing.

Thanks a bunch for everything, have a great rest of the week, God bless and go Hoosiers.

TJ, Noblesville

JEREMY: TJ,

1. I haven’t seen Howard play, so I don’t know, but I will say I liked what I saw of Redding and expect them to share a lot of the carries unless one gets hot. I believe James is slated at wide receiver, but as you know, these things are subject to change depending on need.

2. I agree with you regarding the Hoosiers’ ability to bounce back from Nebraska’s big run and regain the upper hand. Indiana has actually done that in the second half now against Butler, Georgetown and Nebraska, showing some real resilience. The next step would be to show a little more consistency and limit the opposing team’s runs.

Anyway, Michigan State will be interesting. The Spartans have Branden Dawson back, and to me he’s the key against the Hoosiers in his ability to post up or offensive rebound and score, as well as whether he can neutralize Troy Williams without getting in foul trouble himself.

You’re right about MSU not being a big team, particularly by Spartan standards, but Dawson and Costello are both capable of posting up enough that IU has to be concerned. To be honest, only Georgetown in the second half has shown the determination to keep pounding the ball inside against Indiana, and it worked. I’m still waiting for somebody else to take the same approach.

Regardless, I think Indiana has a real chance to steal one at East Lansing for the second time in 24 years. Doesn’t mean they will, but this is not an invincible MSU squad by any means.

Take care, TJ.

MIKE: Hey TJ,

Tough to say just from looking at some of the few clips I’ve found on him. It doesn’t look like he brings the overall speed package that Coleman possesses, but he seems to be quick enough to make some nice cuts when needed. He might have a little more of a power profile, and was good for about four or five yards per carry last year in Conference USA. His longest runs were 55, 52 and 39. As for James, I believe he’s coming in as a receiver. Other schools liked him as a DB. We’ll see where he sticks.

You’re right about the Nebraska win. Especially after Georgetown, Indiana needed that one heading to East Lansing. Obviously, outside of that 2012 game, the Breslin Center has not been kind to IU, but I like Indiana’s chances on Monday. I’d think that, against IU, Branden Dawson would be the matchup problem to keep an eye one, but he’s still working his way back from a fractured wrist. He played the Maryland game with a protective brace and, yeah, he logged something like 42-43 minutes, but I wonder how limited he actually might be coming back. Will be interesting to watch because, as you mention, this isn’t a very impressive group of Spartans.

ANDY: Happy New Year, TJ:

1. Just on the bit of film I’ve seen, Howard seems more like a power guy. He’s not much like Coleman, at all, at this point (and not many runners are. Coleman is special.) Howard is bigger and runs with some real authority, but I didn’t see much in the way of the sort of extra-gear breakaway ability that Coleman exhibited. Having said that, Howard averaged 132 yards per game at UAB and averaged around 6 yards per pop in both is seasons there. I think IU could live with that. It’ll also be interesting to see if IU reshapes his physique a bit. A little less size could affect the speed, potentially. But that’s all speculative. IU seems to like Howard a lot, just the way he is. And I really like Issac James, too. I believe the Hoosiers will try him as a wideout, first.

2. I think this Indiana team has a deeper bond that last season’s team didn’t have. I don’t know if that translates into more wins, but I do think it helped at Nebraska. These guys play hard for each other. They were resilient, and won despite modest scoring days from their scoring leaders. And, like you, I find it hard to imagine Izzo’s team going 0-2 at home to start conference play, but, like you, I’m curious about what happens Monday night in East Lansing.

QUESTION: 1. During the game Wednesday, I enjoyed watching IU respond and pull back ahead of Nebraska after the Huskers erased a 16 point lead. I was sure IU was sunk when they gave up the lead early in the 2nd half based on what happened time and again last year. In 2012-2013 (not that this team is anywhere near that level) every time a team erased IU’s leads they would punch right back and still win save for the Illinois game. Last year every time a team erased a lead, IU would fold like a paper weight and never come back from adversity. So far this year every time a teams erased a lead (SMU, Butler, Pitt, Neb) save for Georgetown, IU has responded and pulled back ahead and won which is very encouraging and means team is mentally tougher it appears. Do you guys agree that IU’s ability to respond to adversity better is key to the Big Ten season?

2. I want to point out that while recruiting rankings aren’t perfect they are a pretty good guide to how good a player will be. Ferrell, Blackmon Williams, Perea and Johnson are all top 75 recruits and look like Big Ten caliber players. On the other hand guys like Jeremiah April, Tim Priller and Max Hoetzel who were unranked don’t look like they can handle the speed of a big ten game. I bring this up because a lot of fans kept saying “rankings mean nothing” when IU brought in some of these unranked players. Even Hartman and Zeisloft who are good in spurts and fill a niche nicely off the bench cannot handle 40 minutes of Big Ten play due to their liabilities. I bring this up because I always hear fans saying ‘rankings don’t matter”. With IU’s team it appears the recruiting rankings nailed the caliber of each player perfectly as they usually do and shows why some fans are upset when IU takes on an unranked player. Even players like Oladipo or Trey Burke who were very under ranked were still top 150 players. Rarely does it turn out well when teams take on to many players outside the top 150 in terms of winning games. Its why people say Crean needs to pick up his recruiting long term and to many more Hoetzel’s or even O.G. Anunoby next year will not give him the talent he needs to win here long term like is expected. Hopefully a good year this year will allow him to bring in a few more 4 or 5 star players down the road because his last few recruits are not gonna cut it.

Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: Darren,

1. You’re right about this team’s ability to bounce back from adversity, and that’s definitely an admirable trait that will serve the Hoosiers well.

That said, much of the adversity has been of Indiana’s own creation, whether it’s poor defensive awareness or silly turnovers on offense. IU’s ability to limit those lapses will help limit the opposition’s runs and make those bounceback runs more effective in building a cushion that will win games.

2. I think we’ve been down this road before, but rankings are a pretty good guide, as you note, however incomplete. It does take player like a Hartman and Zeisloft who may not fit your 40-minute profile to bring things that the higher-ranked players don’t. And sometimes a guy like Jeremy Hollowell, a top 50 recruit, doesn’t really pan out.

You also have to be patient with individual development. Perea is finally looking like a contributing player as a junior, and I think a guy like Jeremiah April might be similar. I think Hoetzel has shown flashes of potential to be more than a role player as well.

Can Indiana thrive recruiting just three-star players? No, but it also has to get more out of the four- and five-star guys it does get. And I’ve heard a lot of good things about Anunoby, despite being unranked, while Juwan Morgan will be coming in currently just outside the top 100.

To me, the issue is more about putting the right team together. Last year, Indiana had a dominating post player in Noah Vonleh and little to no shooting around him. Now it has plenty of shooting and limited post play with it.

MIKE: Hey Darren,

Yes, without question. Like you say, they’ve shown that ability through the non-con season and, obviously, at Nebraska. That’s what good teams do.

First, I would take exception with your characterization of Hoetzel. While far from a finished product, I think he’s shown an ability to contribute in more meaningful stretches down the line. He’s inconsistent and mistake prone right now, yes, but I’m not willing to write him off. You mention Mosquera-Perea with the rest of Blackmon, Johnson, etc., but it has taken him two and a half years to get to this point. The key is patience. I understand your point because a program like Indiana should not have to build its future on 2- and 3-star recruits, but with someone like Hoetzel, you bring him in to complement the 4- or 5-star guys.

ANDY: Darren:

1. I do agree, and I think time, circumstances and some determination among the personalities involved is developing a bond on the current team that last year’s team didn’t necessarily possess. And I think that’s part of what you’re seeing, in terms of resiliency. We’ll see if that continues, but the early signs are good. There will be adversity. IU’s Big Ten schedule is front-loaded. If the Hoosiers can stay around .500 heading into their last six league games, they get four of those at home.

2. The rankings aren’t always accurate but do generally mean something and, yes, it basically behooves a program competing at IU’s level to garner players in the top 150 if possible, but that doesn’t mean every recruit has to come from that pool. Here’s an update about Anunoby, by the way: he averaged 25.5 points and 8.0 boards over a three-game holiday tournament for his high school team this past week. He’s a three-star on Rivals. I think both he and four-star Morgan will contribute next season.

QUESTION: Hope you guys are enjoying a fun week in IU sports. I know as reporters your job is to be scrupulously impartial, but didn’t you get a vicarious thrill watching Big Ten teams drill the SEC’s best yesterday?

And with Harbaugh returning to Michigan, Penn State another year removed from exile plus a healthy, maturing IU team in the mix, will the B1G East Division become the toughest in college football?

Happy new year & congratulations on the H-T’s well-deserved Blue Ribbon Daily award – thanks for keeping up the good work.

Straigt Arrow, Bloomington

JEREMY: Arrow,

Thanks for the kind words.

For me, I don’t know that it was a thrill to see the Big Ten do well so much as to see the SEC taken down a peg. That said, it always seems like too much emphasis is put on bowl results, when it’s just one game and sometimes the matchups just go in one conference’s favor or another. Still, nice to see it go against the SEC, which has had a pretty darn good run of it.

The Big Ten East will be good, but this year the SEC West was supposed to be the toughest in college football and what did that amount to? To quote Jim Mora, “diddly-poo.” So while it’s fun water cooler stuff, not sure there’s much practical in it.

MIKE: Hey Straight Arrow,

First, thanks for the nice words about the H-T. It’s a great place to work and we’re proud of the award.

To be quite honest, I didn’t see much bowl action at all yesterday. Photojournalist Chris Howell and I were running around airports trying to get home from Lincoln, Neb. I did, however, catch the end of the Alabama-Ohio State game. Wow. The Big Ten East should be on the upswing, but I’m more interested in what that means for Indiana. The next few years, especially with a more talented core of defenders, should be interesting and tell us a lot about where IU stacks up against the football giants. That, more than conference comparisons, is most meaningful to me.

ANDY: Straight Arrow:

Many thanks for the kind words.

I do think what happened yesterday helps the B1G football brand considerably, and another thing that matters is having “flagship” programs such as Michigan and Penn State seemingly on the upswing — though both of those programs will still have to prove some things moving forward, obviously. The Harbaugh news was huge. Coaching matters, and it does seem pretty delicious to contemplate the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry featuring Harbaugh-Meyer matchups for a few years. And the Big Ten East? Not for the meek, for sure. But as Coach Wilson has already noted, the notion of “playing with and against the big boys” isn’t such a bad thing for IU’s recruiting pitch, either. And the Hoosiers, as things are shaping up at this juncture, have no choice but to get good. I think Wilson is on the right path in that regard, but we shall see.

Happy New Year backatcha.

QUESTION: I wrote in about the cross roads prices last chat and we all agreed they were to steep. From TV it appeared the balcony was half empty and announced attendance was almost 4,000 below a sellout. Now that the event has passed and it’s seen high ticket prices brought the crowd way down is there any chance they will be lowered down to Assembly Hall prices next year ($40-$50) so the venue is full. You will make just as much money selling half the balcony at $80 as you would selling the whole balcony for $40 and it’s better to have a full venue if you ask me. As I said I would have gone for sure if tickets were reasonable and I am sure many fellow fans would have also.

Mike, Seymour

JEREMY: Mike,

I have no idea if the prices will come down or not. If all four teams can have successful years and make the NCAA Tournament, in theory that would make the event more attractive next year, which means the price probably wouldn’t go down. We’ll wait and see.

MIKE: Hey Mike,

I’m not sure if ticket prices will go down and it’s probably too soon for anyone to say for certain. Butler and IU brought pretty healthy representation. Purdue was there, and Notre Dame was virtually absent. At least to me, it seemed. I’m totally with you about lowering ticket prices. That’s just too much money to spend on an afternoon of basketball during the holidays. But, by all accounts, the event seems to be doing well. If it’s profitable as currently laid out, I’m not sure we’ll see a change.

ANDY: Mike:

I agree, again. And, again, it isn’t as if IU unilaterally can set the ticket price. Hopefully, The Powers That Be will take it under advisement.

QUESTION: What’s the most important game on the IUBB schedule simply in terms of possibly being the decisive game between NCAA/NIT?

TwitterWizard, bloomington

JEREMY: TwitterWizard,

Incredibly difficult to pinpoint one game, because as big as a win at Wisconsin would be, a loss at Rutgers would be an equally low point. But if I’m going to pick out one significant game, I’d go with at Northwestern on Feb. 25. It will be late in the conference season, it’s the only time IU and Northwestern play this year and it’s a chance for IU to grab another road win. Hoosiers have one in the pocket already. If they can beat the Wildcats, that’s two and a trip to Rutgers should make for three road wins. Steal one more somewhere and four victories away form home should guarantee Indiana finishes a couple games over .500 in the conference and in line for an NCAA berth.

MIKE: Hey TwitterWizard,

Good question. It’s difficult to pick just one. I feel like we should have a better gauge on tournament hopes this time next month, which is why I look at the stretch of games from Feb. 3-11 as being pretty pivotal — at Wisconsin on Feb. 3, home vs. Michigan on Feb. 8 and at Maryland on Feb. 11. Getting a win against Michigan at home and in one of the two road games vs. Wisconsin and MD would seem to get IU in good position heading into back-to-back road games at Rutgers and Northwestern at the end of the month, both of which should be very winnable games.

ANDY: TwitterWizard:

A pretty big one coming up Monday, actually (and the home regular-season finale against MSU could loom large, also.) The Hoosiers managed to beat Wisconsin last year, but this season their only crack at the Badgers comes in Madison. Obviously, it’d be a terrific boon to IU’s chances if it can pull the upset there. And I think, given the current rankings, both games with Maryland are big. Indiana’s Big Ten schedule looks really rugged early and in the middle section, but then four of the last six are in Assembly Hall. Almost any game can seem big or even “decisive” if it’s gauged as a great win or a bad loss by the selection committee.

QUESTION: Is there anything new regarding Devin Davis? Do you have a guess about his returning?

Safari, Naples, FL

JEREMY: Safari,

Nothing new reported on Devin, but his dad did post a video to Instagram last week of a workout. So Davis is certainly getting back in shape and has also been tweeting about how much he’s looking forward to being back in Bloomington with his teammates for the upcoming semester.

That said, I would guess there’s still some concern over putting him in full-contact situations coming off a head injury. I would guess in the end Davis will be cleared to play before season’s end, but the question is whether he would want to give up a redshirt for, say, a month. And then the other part is whether he would be up to speed enough to help the team make a postseason push.

I would think that just sitting out the year would be the thing to do, but that’s easier said from afar than done from inside the daily grind.

MIKE: Hey Safari,

Nothing new beyond what we reported last week. Davis worked out with Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams at Warren Central on Christmas Eve, but he still hasn’t returned to practice and we’ve been given no indication of when that will happen. He’ll return to classes when the spring semester starts on Jan. 12, but his return to basketball is still very much unclear. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear something.

ANDY: Safari:

Reports surfaced last week that he was back doing a few basketball drills on his own, on court, but I’m not sure if that means anything regarding the current campaign. With a traumatic brain injury, recovery timetables are always chancy. I’m not sure if even the doctors could say anything definitive. Coach Crean has stated any decision that potentially arises about Davis eventually playing this season or taking the medical redshirt will be up to Devin and his family. My guess is that we’ll see him playing for Indiana again next season rather than this season, but I could well be wrong about that.

QUESTION: The new running back, Howard, gained a lot of yards, but how many were against teams like Mississippi State? Of course, no matter the opposition, its still difficult to gain all those yards? Will IU have the offensive line to help him get the yards next year?

ChuckFlynn, New Castle

JEREMY: Chuck,

Howard had 89 yards and a touchdown rushing against Mississippi State and ran for 91 yards against Arkansas, for what it’s worth.

I think IU will be OK on the offensive line, and if it can throw the ball more effectively than in 2014, that should open things up even more.

MIKE: Hey ChuckFlynn,

Well, he rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown against Mississippi State this past season. He rushed for 90 against Arkansas and combined for 430 yards and three touchdowns over his final two games against Marshall and Southern Miss. Only Collin Rahrig departs from an offensive line that returns plenty of starting experience. Also keep an eye on former Ohio State lineman Tim Gardner, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound freshman from Lawrence Central, who will be eligible this season.

ANDY: ChuckFlynn:

On the bit of film I watched, Howard looked like a really good grinder with a bit of giddyup. As you note, playing in Conference USA isn’t necessarily akin to playing in a Power 5 league, but it’s still a Division I context in which to compare, and the consistency of Howard’s production was impressive. Indiana’s offensive line will return almost entirely intact throughout the two-deep. Collin Rahrig is a significant loss in terms of ability and leadership, and reserve David Kaminsky will be missed, too, but everybody else is due back and there are some significant new faces slated to contribute (including several who redshirted this season.) There is no reason to think IU’s offensive line won’t be very competitive in the Big Ten wars next fall.

QUESTION: With the UAB recruits in hand, better defensive recruits coming this year and for 2015, Wilson deserves an opportunity and the fan support to continue as our coach. He seems to have limited the go for it on 4th down debacles and have taken the points. His recruiting is up at the biggest loser of college football. I want to win as much as any alumni. But I am also realistic that until IU pays the coaches well enough to not lose them to UNC and continues to support the program, IU football will never start to win. If you fire Wilson after next season, then I think the cycle starts again. IU will never spend or be able to get a Harbaugh to come in and resurrect the program. Do you agree or am I apathetic to football? I am much less patient with basketball and Crean better start progressing in the tournament or he should be relieved of his duties after 2015 season.

Dave, Valparaiso

JEREMY: Dave,

Indiana football is in a spot where patience paying off is the only hope, because quick fixes just won’t happen. So I think you’re realistic there.

As for basketball, I think making the NCAA tournament this year is critical to restore some forward progress, to borrow a football term. I’m quite sure you’re not the only one feeling a bit impatient.

MIKE: Hey Dave,

I thought the calls for Wilson’s job this past season were ridiculous. Fred Glass has preached patience, as that’s the only way you build a football program from the bottom up. But this will be a telling season. Entering Year Five, it’s time for internal progress such as recruiting and basic structure to manifest itself onto the field.

ANDY: Dave:

I agree that Coach Wilson deserves a full and legitimate shot to make things work here, that increased overt fan support in terms of attendance would be most helpful to the entire enterprise, and that making a change after next season would likely just start the sorry cycle all over again.

Having said that, looking down the road however many years, whenever it comes time for Indiana to look for a new football coach, I have always felt it would be intriguing to see the Hoosiers really go for the gusto with a clear big-name hire. I don’t know if IU has ever really done that, and it isn’t as if it couldn’t find some alumni to write some big checks. And you’d maybe be surprised at some of the folks in previous hiring cycles over the years who have expressed some interest in coaching football at IU. One of them (according to Dan Dakich, and this goes back to the Gerry DiNardo hire) will have his team playing for the national title and carrying the Big Ten banner next week. John Gruden, who went to elementary school in Bloomington, flew in for an interview when (then fellow NFL assistant) Cam Cameron was hired. Heck, I can go all the way back to Knute Rockne and Jim Thorpe, believe it or not. But I don’t know if IU has ever really gone for the “power hire” with football. A lot of coaches would never be interested. But all coaches have egos. Some select few, especially if they have some sort of IU or Bloomington tie, might relish the notion of being remembered as “the guy who worked the miracle at Indiana.”

And you never know. Kevin Wilson might end up being that guy.

QUESTION: Just saw you post that Iu has not won in East Lansing in 24 years. Did you already forget our thrilling win there 2 years ago which was best win of many in 2012 on way to Big Ten title? I remeber you being there and covering the game and even being in scoop talk.

Anyways we all make mistakes so not mad and just rbbing you a little. I do have a question though related to that.. How many road wins will it take IU to be succesful in Big Ten play?

Frank, Indianapolis

JEREMY: Frank,

Ha, sent the correction moments after hitting the submit button. Some things get so cemented in your mind, it’s hard to change.

Anyway, I think four road wins would do it. That would mean IU has to go just 6-3 at home to finish 10-8 in the Big Ten.

MIKE: Hey Frank,

Well they already have one, with eight to go. Rutgers and Northwestern should be pencilled in as W’s, with trips to Michigan State, Illinois, OSU, Purdue, Wisconsin and Maryland in the balance. I think four or five road wins should be a reasonable aspiration.

ANDY: Frank:

I plead innocent regarding the East Lansing comment.

As to road wins, I’ll say three minimum. Anything above that could put the Hoosiers in pretty good shape. And from their perspective, it’s nice to have one already in the bag. Generally, you want to win everything at home if at all possible and go .500 on the road. Do that, and you generally challenge for the title. The league seems very balanced after Wisconsin this season, and I think there will be some surprises for just about everybody, home and road.

QUESTION: MODERATOR: That’s all the time we have for today’s chat. Thanks for being here.

Mike and Jeremy: Thanks for your time. What else should we know as we head into the weekend, and the new year?

JEREMY: The gang’s all back in Bloomington and gearing up for Monday’s road trip to East Lansing. In the meantime, the IU women have a shorter trip to West Lafayette on Sunday. We’ll have the coverage of both, as well as any football recruiting developments. Thanks for chatting and Happy New Year!

MIKE: We should be meeting with Tom Crean and a few players at some point this weekend to discuss Monday’s trip to East Lansing and Jon Blau is heading to West Lafayette to cover Sunday’s women’s basketball game at Purdue. So stick with us. Thanks for checking in, everybody. See you next week.

ANDY: Happy New Year, all.

4 comments

  1. Meek- you almost made it but they dragged you back in!… There is a tradition of serious comments on The Scoop. Did you really write; “[W]ell they already have one (basketball win), with eight to go. Rutgers and Northwestern should be pencilled in as W’s,..”? Have Jeremy or Andy hold up a flaming wooden cross in front of you, ‘Dracula’ style.

  2. Well to began Happy New Year to all and to Hoosiernation as well. I am going to say this once and never say it again. I am sick and tired of all the reports and stuff said about Coach Crean. He is the Coach of Indiana University period. His team is off to a wonderful start and this team knows what their short fall is. Working hard to work on those. I am sick of who the next coach is when we are in season. Geez come on how would it be if it was you or your spouse oh we have someone that maybe interested in your job at the end of the year we are thinking or talk to replace you. I have heard it and tired of it . Coach Crean is our Coach let him Coach Indiana University at the end of the season then have this talk not ever at the beginning or in the middle. One thing you need to know his teams over the last three years have had the best APR what College Basketball about graduation and grades have been the best of the Big Ten. I believe it more than Basketball. He cares for his players and he also wants to be men once there done at Indiana. I am sadden that people take shots at Coach Crean all what he has done for this team. Big Ten Champs back to back Sweet 16. oh when he came here only one scholarship player and walkon. He is our Coach cheer for him and the players that have on the Candy Stripped pants cause they need everyone and Hoosiernation to believe we can win and win like Champions.

  3. For theodore’s sake, I just hope coachv’s grammar ruler isn’t of the drafting variety with a sharp metal edge….Aside from the normal and acceptable puritanical beating given to excursiveness in all Crean apologists, theodore’s only hope from a ‘slaying by grammar ruler’ bloodbath is a certain amount of sympathy based on shared desire to not capitalize the first letter of a proper noun in a screen name.

  4. We are all stuck with CTC like it or not ! By far the worst coach in the conference in the last five minutes of a close game. He panics and never knows who is in the game and who is on the bench. He had the #1 team in the country two years in a row with Zeller and Dipo ! They never improved from one year to the next ,in fact the second year they were unprepared and never got out of the Elite 8 with a great team . CTC made no effort to force the guards to play through Zeller or Vonleh . They both left because they were not improving and it was killing their careers at the next level. CTC had no out of bounds play then or now! It almost cost us the Butler game this year. The guy is a good person whom can’t coach. He did a good thing cleaning up the program without a doubt. His strength used to be recruiting but that to has failed as well. We have several panic recruits now that he will push out as usual. What ever happened to we are going to keep the Indiana kids home? They are going everywhere but Indiana ! We only got Blackmon because KY signed a top 10 guard ahead of him. Thank God for that. How can a head coach not realize that we had no bigs that could play? He keeps offering every 5 star in the country hoping to luck out, they are not coming here they want to play in the NCAA tournament .He needs to hire a good bench coach and admit he has a problem with X and O’s . Oh I forget it’s never his fault ! We have great players In Indiana instead having them beat us try and get them to join us. The team is fun to watch and support this year but we need leadership and a seven footer who can play.

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