Live chat transcript: Indiana’s postseason outlook

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat with Jeremy, Mike and Andy. We’re glad to have you here.

How are you all today? Ready to get started — and say goodbye to February?

JEREMY: Happy Friday to all, and I’ll gladly say hello March providing it comes with a side of spring. On to the frosty questions.

MIKE: Good morning, everybody. Yeah, give me March, please.

ANDY: My lovely spouse is currently in Florida on business, where February can’t work its wrath quite so forcefully. And those of us still up here should have the good sense to stay inside this morning … and chat.

QUESTION: Just looking at the factors that usually contribute to winning such as attendance, recruiting grounds, facilities, donors, tradition….IU has probably underachieved for 20 or so years. In basketball, IU really has some of the advantages that schools like Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, Florida do in football.

What’s the difference between Kansas and Indiana? Honestly I think it’s coaching and not much else. While we’ve had Mike Davis, Kelvin Sampson and Tom Crean they’ve had Roy Williams and now Bill Self.

I think the importance of coaching sometimes takes the back stage, when in reality it’s one of the most (if not the most) important factors to winning. Why do you think Florida football is down? Coaching, period.

Having said all that, would it be so crazy to make a move on Crean now? He got us to a certain level, but at some point you have to decide whether he’s the guy to take IU to the next stage or not. I have very little faith that he can do anything of significance next year, unless there is some amazing addition this roster. Part of an AD’s job is to look ahead. Does anyone really believe IU will be at a consistently elite level anytime soon? He’s already shown he can’t sustain elite success (both at IU & Marquette) .

Tim, Chicago

JEREMY: Tim,

I can’t disagree with you about the importance of coaching. Kansas has hardly skipped a beat in going from Larry Brown to Roy Williams to Bill Self. To further that point, look at the downturn North Carolina experienced under Bill Guthridge and Matt Doherty as the unsuccessful bridges between Dean Smith and Roy Williams.

That said, the unique and unexpected way the Bob Knight era ended made for a very unusual situation for Indiana, and one where hiring Mike Davis (or John Treloar, who declined to co-coach) made sense under the circumstances, and then there was Davis’ initial success.

But we all know that it rarely turns out well for the coach who follows a legend, and Davis was no exception. But he did provide a significant buffer between Knight and the next coach, which should have been the one to find success � i.e., Kelvin Sampson. Well, we know how that turned out.

So, all that to say that Tom Crean has IU back to a competitive level where elite is attainable, but the question you raise is certainly the one to be asked regarding the future, and we’re past the point of giving extra credit for the difficulties Crean encountered in those first few years.

However, I wonder if the powers that be feel like they have the answer to that yet. Last year was an anomaly in terms of style of play, skillset and lack of chemistry, plus significant losses from the year before. Those things are all better this year despite some fatal flaws in size and defense. My take is that if those things aren’t addressed next year and the team isn’t continuing to trend up from this year, then Fred Glass has to answer that question honestly.

Would it be crazy to make a move on Crean now, you ask. I wouldn’t say crazy, per se, but the timing just seems off. Assuming IU returns to the NCAA Tournament, it’s difficult to argue the product on the floor this year hasn’t been much improved and largely enjoyable to watch. And who are you going to be able to get that is any more of a slam dunk to take that next step than what IU already has?

Regardless, you’re right that coaching does matter, and a program can’t be elite if it’s coach is not.

MIKE: Hey Tim,

I see your point, but I’m also pretty sure Fred Glass is going to give Crean every opportunity to make things right while watching to see how the postseason plays out. The academic success, his ability to bring the program back from sanctions and, I think, his general personal philosophies are all factors that still weigh heavily in Crean’s corner. That said, I do think there has to be concern with the way his team is limping into the postseason. Glass has always seemed to be an administrator who takes the longer view of a situation, and right now, that view appears a bit muddled by the last season and a half. The key to any prolonged coaching tenure is sustained success. Beyond the stretch from 2011-2013, Crean hasn’t proven he can do that. But this current team still has a high enough ceiling that could allow for a tournament run, depending on matchups. A return to the tournament is really the biggest thing — at least on the court — that needed to happen this season and, despite some of the recent struggles, I’d be shocked if they didn’t make it in. From there, it buys more time to build off of that next season. Glass is going to give Crean every chance to prove he can be consistent. If he can’t, there will be someone else.

ANDY: Tim:

Can’t broadly disagree about the clearly importance of the coaching factor, though I would note IU basketball went through the sort of trauma never seen almost anyplace else, Kansas included. Going from RMK to Mike Davis obviously was a huge demarcation point from a Hall of Famer to a guy who had never been a head coach, and in terms of real upheaval and splintering the fan base, but then Kelvin Sampson really deep-sixed things. Probation and zero scholarship players — it was almost the equivalent of a death-penalty ruling. Has SMU football ever come back from its death penalty? People should be under no illusions about just how low the IU hoops program was laid in the wake of the Sampson fiasco. It was a historic-level nadir.

Tom Crean had to tie up a bunch of scholarships in guys that Indiana, frankly, would not have recruited under normal circumstances. And we all know what that meant, and the repercussions of that extended. But perhaps the biggest factor in play right now is that any program, no matter how “elite” or healthy, needs to have “foundational” recruiting classes pan out. By “foundational”, I mean a class with at least four or five scholarships extended.

And when the Hulls-Watford-Elston class departed along with Zeller and Oladipo, the program really needed the Ferrell-Perea-Hollowell-Jurkin-Patterson class to work out well. It didn’t work out well enough and I think that is a crux of the current issues (though I’d say 19-10 is obviously an advance on 17-15, with recruiting having addressed some of the shooting woes that afflicted last season’s squad). RMK had a similar issue when the Andrae Patterson-Neil Reed-Charlie Miller class ended up counter-productive.

Because while coaching is certainly a factor, as you note, any coach has got to have the players. It is the coach’s responsibility to recruit the players that will help make the program successful, and that is a huge part of coaching for Roy Williams or Bill Self or Tom Crean or anybody else. And this current Indiana club has overt flaws in the roster. I’m not qualified to criticize any coach from an Xs and Os perspective, but recruiting and retaining a well-rounded roster to compete at an elite level is a big part of coaching at a place such as Indiana. I think this current club entered the season too youngish and too smallish to be very good defensively at a Big Ten level, no matter who was coaching.

Coach Crean and his staff recruited and coached well enough to take IU from the absolute depths to a No. 1 national ranking and the first outright Big Ten title in 20 years. Can they do so again? If so, can they sustain that? They pretty clearly can develop prospects into players, despite what some of the naysayers might say, but can they recruit and retain well enough on a consistent basis? That, to me, is perhaps the crux of the issue moving forward. It’s not easy to do, but should be easier at a place such as Indiana than at a place such as Marquette.

QUESTION: Hi guys, I hope all is well. I apologize that I’ve missed a couple of weeks…things have been rather busy. Anyway, thanks for the chat and for your continued excellent coverage, I appreciate it.

1. Spring football is rapidly approaching (although it certainly doesn’t feel like “Spring” is anywhere close to being here) and I am really looking forward to the 2015 season. I know that it’s very difficult to take anything out of “Spring Ball” but…who are the redshirt freshman/redshirted players (members of the 2014 recruiting class that redshirted last season) that you think will have an impact this season or that you are looking forward to seeing play in the Spring?

2. IU’s second half at Northwestern was ugly and something I don’t want to ask about or think about in any further detail. So, I’ll move on to the future and ask…in your opinion (granted, the “bubble” is fluid and depends on what others do), does IU squeak into the NCAA Tournament if they split these final two home games (losing both would deservedly leave them out in my opinion) or do you think they need to get them both to Dance? I’m confident IU gets one of them but given recent form, I don’t know how realistic it is to expect them to win both.

I took Hunter to his first high school basketball game (he was fascinated by the Fishers Tiger mascot, enjoyed watching the ball for about 10 seconds and then liked running around by the bleachers…still, it was a good memory created) and it was a nice reminder that sports, at least for me and my Dad, have always been about more than just wins and losses. Anyway, have a great rest of the week, God bless and go Hoosiers.

TJ, Noblesville

JEREMY: TJ,

The fact that you might have had something better to do than chat with us is more than forgivable.

1. Football dudes …

2. For this discussion, let’s just adopt the philosophy that you aren’t a lock for the NCAA Tournament unless you can lose the rest of your games and still get in. Obviously, IU can’t do that after the loss at Northwestern. So if the Hoosiers beat Iowa, could they lose to Michigan State and a lower-half team in the Big Ten Tournament but still be in. That answer is maybe, maybe not.

So, I think Indiana probably just needs one of these two and a win over the likes of Minnesota, Nebraska or whoever in the Big Ten Tournament. Right now, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has IU as a No. 9 seed. He has Iowa in as a 9 seed and Michigan State as a 7 seed, so a win over either of them would be solid. The bubble really starts with the power conference teams seeded 10-12, such as LSU, St. John’s, UCLA, Stanford and even Purdue (because of those two bad losses in December). Really, compared to a lot of bubble teams, Indiana’s resume is pretty strong and avoiding an 0-2 finish is pretty much all the Hoosiers have to do.

Glad to hear Hunter enjoyed the mascot and wasn’t terrified of it. Keep creating those memories. They last longer than wins and losses, indeed.

MIKE: Hey TJ, welcome back.

Former Ohio State offensive tackle Tim Gardner is probably the biggest — no pun intended — guy on my radar. Gardner redshirted after transferring from Urban Meyer’s program, where he was sent home and suspended heading into his freshman season. The Lawrence Central product was listed at 6-foot-5, 301 pounds last season and should be a guy IU can rotate in at tackle, and possibly at guard, too. Tommy Mister was expected to be in the mix at running back last season before his knee injury, and I fully expect he’ll challenge Jordan Howard, Devonte Williams and Devine Redding for carries this summer. Also, former Notre Dame linebacker Niles Sykes was also drawing praise from Kevin Wilson and could be a guy that moves around and sees time at bandit this season. Lots of intrigue with those guys.

The Northwestern game was bad and it certainly doesn’t seem that IU is hitting its stride at the right time. That’s concerning. Both Iowa and Michigan State are fit to give IU some trouble, but Indiana is always going to be a tough out at Assembly Hall. Win one of those — especially considering the Hawkeyes are a No. 9 seed and Sparty is a No. 7, according to Lunardi — and you’re in. That said, given the way the bubble currently looks, they could probably squeak in even if they lose their final two. Of course, a win or two in the Big Ten tourney would certainly help. Indiana’s overall body of work is still stronger than the rest of the teams on the current bubble, namely Purdue, UCLA and Stanford. One win gets them in, no question. But losing out — while awful, terrible, and pretty much inexcusable in some fashion — probably doesn’t kill their chances outright. We’ll see.

Glad you enjoyed a fun time with Hunter. First sporting event my dad took me to was a hockey game when I was 5 or 6. I remember nothing about the game, but I’ll never forget hanging out with him, buying tickets in the parking lot and eating a hot dog in the stands. Seeya next time.

ANDY: TJ is back chatting so, therefore, all seems right with the world.

(Well, maybe not quite all for IU hoops partisans, given that second half at Northwestern, about which I’m happy enough to follow your lead regarding no further discussion required.)

1. Obviously, a lot of key 2014 recruits played as true freshmen, but that wasn’t solely based upon talent. There are some very talented guys yet to see the field. IU’s offensive line, for example, was already two-deep or more in terms of returnees last fall and didn’t require a freshman influx. So, now, I’ll be interested in seeing how guys such as Delroy Baker, Tim Gardner, D’Andre Herron and Wes Martin look. I think all four of those guys are intriguing prospects and, potentially, in the playing rotation this coming campaign. I also want to see what Tommy Mister looks like as a running back when healthy. Defensively, Nile Sykes is an interesting guy, even with all the other young linebackers. I think he’s going to switch outside from ILB to Bandit, and that we might see some other personnel shifts regarding that position this spring. Sykes and Robert McCray are a couple of guys who could surface. Some of the DL guys, too, though, again, the returning depth is pretty good there and, with the 3-4, there aren’t as many guys needed for the front line spots.

2. I think Indiana just needs to win one of its remaining home games to secure a berth. And it wouldn’t hurt to win at least one B1G tournament game, either. But, Northwestern debacle aside, the Hoosiers still have more wins against the Top 50 RPI than any B1G team except Wisconsin.

Many of my fondest, most visceral memories of my dad stem from sharing athletic events with him. Good for you and Hunter.

Again, welcome back, TJ.

QUESTION: Where should my panic meter be at on a scale of 1-10 with this IUBB team? Because I’m at an 8. I was at a 4 before Northwestern. Just one more win and they’re in the Tourny, right? Also, what has Tom Crean’s mood been? We only see him in public settings. Rarely see him after games. Does he seem concerned yet about this team?

False, Ellettsville

JEREMY: False,

I’d take it down a little to 5, maybe 6 if you have to. Now, if IU loses to Iowa Tuesday, go ahead and peg it on 8 again.

Yeah, one more win should about do it, although a loss to Northwestern or Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament could make for some nervy moments on Selection Sunday.

Well, we don’t see Tom Crean a whole lot more than you might via postgame press conference videos, but overall I think he’s remained upbeat. There’s no doubt he likes this team, and he likes how it’s responded to adversity this year. Like any coach, he’s more irritable after a loss, but there’s no sense whatsoever that the panic button is in sight. I wouldn’t go so far as to guess practices leading up to the Iowa game are going to be particularly enjoyable for the players, but Crean seems fine to this point.

MIKE: Hey False,

Yeah, one more win almost assuredly does it. But as mentioned in one question above, I still think there’s a chance if they lose both of the two remaining home games. Their five wins in the RPI top 50 are a boost to their overall resume, which is better than some of the other bubble teams at the moment. For what it’s worth, eight Big Ten teams have made the dance with conference records of 9-9 or 8-10 since 2010. Of course, of those eight, only the 2010-11 Penn State and Michigan State teams made it in with 19 wins. They were both No. 10 seeds. So to answer your original question, the panic meter should be somewhere at a five and no higher than a six. One win and they’re in, two losses and they’re not toast.

Regarding Crean, he can be irritable at times — which is after just about every loss — but I don’t think he’s gone into full-blown panic mode just yet. Without diving too deep into his head, I really believe he enjoys coaching this team and is upbeat about reaching its ceiling. Don’t sense any noticeable degree of concern right now.

ANDY: False:

Were I an IU fan, outside of the context of sportswriting objectivity, I’d not register too highly on the panic meter. My preseason expectations of this particular team weren’t inconsistent from what has transpired, overall, and, if anything, they’ve been exceeded. This is a bad defensive team, which it always figured to be given its lack of size and experience, but a potent offensive team that just had a terrible half shooting the ball. I’d try not to over-react to one bad loss, or one bad half. And there is almost a week interval before the next game, so there is plenty of time to settle down and look ahead. My feeling, given IU’s resume of Top 50 RPI wins, is that one more victory probably should secure a NCAA berth, and with two home games looming before conference tourney play commences, I like the Hoosier chances to obtain it. There are no guarantees, of course. If the Hoosiers lose out, they could well miss the dance, and then we’d be having a different discussion. But we’re not at that sort of “panic” point just yet.

Can’t really comment on Coach Crean’s mood except for seeing him at Bloomington High School North games, where he and Joni watch their son Riley play for the Cougars, and he seems fine. I’ve generally observed he engages with fans who come up to him at those games in a patient, friendly and gracious manner. He doesn’t looked panicked, I’ll put it that way.

QUESTION: I have always followed and enjoyed IU basketball until now. I don’t recognize this as Indiana basketball and no I don’t believe that motion is the only way to play. I hate the lack of attention to detail, the awful defense, the poor blocking out, the odd substituting. In short I hate this Loyola Marymount try and out shoot them style of play. And yes, I was worried even when beating Maryland and Minnesota as we easily gave up points. The writing was on the wall to me that we would cool off and start dropping games we shouldn’t.

So question is what would it take for a coaching change. I think if we drop the remaining games and miss the NCAA’s and have a mediocre season next year that the fans will demand change. It is clear that Glass won’t change without pressure. He knew the team would be in the lower half of the Big this year, knew about failed drug tests, passed on drinking and driving that hurt DD and keeps saying Crean is his man. Amazing how far we have come from zero tolerance. Fans are going to have to force what the AD will not do. To me, this means we have to play poorly enough to get a change. Do you see any other way we get a coaching change? I hate not pulling for the team, but I don’t want to see this brand of ball continue at Indiana and I don’t have confidence Coach is willing to play differently or that the Admin will do what is required without pressure.

winecountry, sonoma

JEREMY: winecountry,

There are certainly some things not to like about this Indiana basketball team, but I don’t know that I’d agree on the bigger premise that this isn’t IU basketball. From the Hurryin’ Hoosiers on, playing with pace has been a trademark, and offensively this team with its ability to shoot, make the extra pass and backcut can be a work of art, even if it is missing a few “bigger” pieces overall. This is a little bit of a unique offensive approach, although the 2011-12 and 12-13 teams bore some similarities, including that Sweet Sixteen game against Kentucky in ’12, which was one of the most entertaining and enjoyable college basketball games you could ever hope to watch.

And I, for one, prefer teams capable of thriving offensively as opposed to relying on a physical, bruising defense to bully the game in their favor.

Still, you have to be able to make enough defensive plays to spark the offense or get a stop in a crucial situation, something the Hoosiers aren’t doing a whole lot. And it is exceedingly difficult to rely on offense to carry a team night in and night out, so as you note, some struggles were to be expected.

As for Glass, he’s not going to have a quick trigger finger. He doesn’t want to make a basketball coaching change just for the sake of change. I suppose more off-court incidents could incite a coaching move, but I’m not sure you want to root for that anymore than you want to root for the Hoosiers to lose games.

If there’s a lack of success on the court, there will be no shortage of pressure off of it, even if it’s not as quickly as you might like.

MIKE: Hey winecountry,

The current style of play certainly has its high and low points. For fans, I can understand how maddening it might feel to watch it, especially knowing just how terrible this team is on defense. Either hit 12 3-pointers or lose by six. That’s the way it often feels. But I would say that, given the current personnel, Crean has done a pretty good job of tailoring his offense to fit what he has. It’s not perfect — far from it — and it was never going to be a lineup or style that we’ve seen here before. Whether it’s sustainable — or better yet, if Crean can add necessary pieces to fix some of the shortcomings — remains to be seen. But a coaching change likely isn’t happening unless this program falls into a rut and can’t build off of things next year. I thought this team would be pretty good this year, given all the shooting and scoring talent they have. They pretty much lived up to that. They seem to be ambling into the tournament right now, which isn’t good, but the overall portrait of the season is enough to give Crean another year. Now, should next season be mediocre, or just not really do anything to move the trajectory of the program along, then I think there are serious, serious problems. But I doubt anything happens before then.

ANDY: winecountry:

For one thing, I don’t know that Fred Glass “knew” that the team would finish in the lower half of the Big Ten standings this season, or that it, in fact, will, given it still has two home games left. Pundits picked it a consensus 10th. I have a feeling Fred, though I don’t want to speak for him, was a bit more optimistic than that.

This was always going to be an unconventional team, given the roster (and, yes, Coach Crean is ultimately responsible for the roster). It was too small and too inexperienced to be very good defensively, and, offensively, it was going to have to really spread the floor and shoot well to win. It was going to have to win high-scoring games. I think the style of play reflects that. And it’s really not the same style than when Zeller and Oladipo were still here, not the same style even as when Noah Vonleh was here last season. So if you hate the style, hang around. It’ll probably be a bit different next season, too. They’ll adjust to the personnel at hand. But this current crew remains a pretty potent offensive team when it shoots reasonably well.

I’m not disagreeing about the awfulness of the defense. The inability to simply keep one’s man in front is pretty alarming, just to cite one factor, no doubt about it. The substitution patterns have sometimes seemed a little strange, I grant you, under this staff. I would agree that if IU was to lose out the rest of this season and have a mediocre campaign next season, a lot of fans would demand change, and circumstances might warrant it. Is that what you want? Feel free to feel that way. And just blithely assume the grass would always be greener, if you wish.

QUESTION: 1. Several basketball thoughts:

A. Like I said Rutgers and Northwestern are neutral site games at 30 and 50% IU fans and should be counted that way in terms of RPI.

B. IU can sneak into the no. 4 seed in Big Ten Tourney still with 2 wins, a Michigan St loss to Wisconsin and 2 Ohio St loses (there may be other ways but thats the easiest one).

C. Tom Crean is very bad at calling timeouts to stop momentum of other team.

D. We are on a roller coaster with IU basketball and the next couple games will determine if we hit a peak or stay in the valley

2. Moving onto baseball and I know you have not seen team yet and i have not either, but the fact that Ricky Alfonso and Brian Wilhite are starting over some of these highly ranked freshman tells me either Lemonis is bad at putting his best players in the lineup or this recruiting class is not living up to its rankings as those 2 veterans are not great players (no disrespect to them). With that said I am not particularly panicked as team started slow last year and got better as season went on. Big series against a good College of Charleston team starting today.

Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: Darren,

1. (A) Yeah, we’ll just differ on that.

(B) Well, Michigan State is at Wisconsin, home to Purdue and at IU, so I suppose catching the Spartans is possible, while Ohio State has a home game with Purdue and a trip to Wisconsin as possible losses. Still, that would be pretty miraculous if the Hoosiers found their way up to No. 4.

(C) I don’t know, sometimes yes and sometimes no. He does very much seem to prefer to save his timeouts than use them. As an aside, there was interesting graphic earlier this year that showed IU was very efficient out of timeouts offensively and not efficient at all out of timeouts defensively.

(D) Well, yeah, the valley being losing both and missing the NCAA Tournament. The peak may have been in January, we’ll see.

2. It’s baseball. It’s early.

MIKE: Hey Darren,

A: I see your point, but disagree. At Northwestern, especially, there’s still a good amount of Wildcats fans to provide a boost and make it seem like a home game for them. It’s just not a neutral floor game. At least, it wasn’t this year.

B: That could be, but I still think IU is looking at the 5 or 6 seed when it’s all over.

C: I thought he could have called at least one timeout early in the second half and was surprised he didn’t. Seems like most of his timeouts come either before the half to set something up, with a dying shot clock or at the end of a game. I could be wrong, but just riffing off the top of my head.

D: I raised that point — or at least one similar — with Crean after Wednesday’s game. He didn’t want to get into it. But yeah, IU hasn’t won back-to-back games since its four-game streak in January.

Regarding baseball, I think it’s wayyyyyyyy too early to say the class isn’t living up to any rankings. They’re two weeks in. I wouldn’t overthink things just yet. Either way, you’re right about Charleston. Seems to be a pretty good program that’ll give IU a nice challenge this weekend.

ANDY: Yo, Darren:

1. A: I’d say those are still road games. It isn’t like shooting in the comfy confines of Assembly Hall. Granted, the home crowd advantage is more muted when IU plays in those venues, but, still. It’s not “neutral.” I’ve been to a dozen games at Northwestern and the IU turnout there can help sustain the Hoosiers at times, but the Northwestern band and students are still right on the floor. And they are loud when their team is cookin’. Most of the IU fans, even though there are a lot of them, are sitting up high.

B: Interesting observation. That doesn’t seem overly likely, but would certainly change the tenor of the conversation around here.

C: Maybe. I don’t really know if I’ve noticed a pattern of that, over and above how other coaches handle timeouts. I think fans generally would be quicker on the timeout trigger than most coaches tend to be.

D: Yep. Iowa and MSU are obviously potent foes. The Hoosiers have almost a week interval before seeing the Hawkeyes, so it’ll be interesting to see how IU emerges from that, how stoked (or not) the home crowd is, etc.

2. It’s just too early, especially to gauge how recruited players are adjusting and performing at the major-college level. And as is the case with any coaching transition, no matter how benign, there will be some adjusting required for all concerned. We’ll be able to tell more by the time B1G play rolls around.

QUESTION: Going into their last six games, I thought IU had a chance to go 5-1. They are now 2-2 and 19-10 on the season. How many do the Hoosiers have to win (last two in the regular season and Big Ten tourney) to solidify a place in the NCAA. I think they are now on the bubble.

Mike, Bloomington

JEREMY: Mike,

IU is still on the good side of the bubble, but they’re definitely on it now. I think one of two in the regular season probably does the trick and most certainly one of those two plus a win in the Big Ten Tournament.

MIKE: Of the remaining two regular season games: one and they’re in, two and it’s a sure-thing. Zero and all hope is not yet lost. Big Ten tourney could be very, very important — or at least more so than originally anticipated. Not sure IU’s on the bubble just yet, but they’re knocking on the door that leads to the bubble. Big week coming up.

ANDY: Mike:

They may or may not be on the bubble, but they still have two home games and the Big Ten tourney to play, and my guess is that one more victory (particularly over a legit foe such as Iowa or MSU) will probably solidify a NCAA berth for the Hoosiers. That’s not a given, though, obviously. It has to be earned.

QUESTION: MODERATOR: That’s all the time we have for today’s chat. Thanks for joining us and remember to follow IU sports on the

Hoosier Scoop blog and app.

Thanks for the time, Andy, Mike and Jeremy. What’s on the beat this weekend?

JEREMY: We’ll be keeping an eye on how the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament is shaping up over the weekend while the Hoosiers are idle, then ramping back up on Monday for the Iowa game. Thanks for chatting!

MIKE: Indiana is off, but there are a few games worth keeping tabs on. Iowa is at Penn State on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. (BTN), Michigan State is at Wisconsin on Sunday at 4 (CBS) and Purdue closes the weekend at Ohio State on Sunday at 7:30 (BTN). Meanwhile, we’ll be following IU baseball’s trip to Charleston and working on a couple other things. Thanks for stopping by, everybody. See you next week.

ANDY: I’m quite happily immersed in high school hoops this weekend, with the final regular-season games ensuing and sectional play looming next week, starting Tuesday. And I again encourage any of you Indiana-based hoops fans out there who want to get in touch with your Inner Hoosier to try seeing a high school game (as T.J. just did with his son). It’s pretty much the best entertainment value around (at usually $5 for regular-season games and $6 or so for tournament play, or $10 for a twin-bill of tournament games) and tends to be especially fun and dramatic at tournament time, when it’s one-and-done. The level of coaching and overall play at Indiana high schools is still generally very good, class-divided tournament notwithstanding.

4 comments

  1. “Having said all that, would it be so crazy to make a move on Crean now? He got us to a certain level, but at some point you have to decide whether he’s the guy to take IU to the next stage or not.”

    Someone wasn’t around for or doesn’t remember when IU fired Bill Mallory.

  2. Jim – I can only laugh at your comment. You’re wrong for a couple reasons, first of all IU basketball is not IU football in any way. Comparing the two is ridiculous. Second of all, name a solid hire by IU football since Mallory (outside of Hep), by solid I mean name a coach who went on to be a successful HC somewhere else (even if it were a smaller school). Also it’s somewhat defeatist to not fire a coach just because it might get worse.

  3. I am definitely favoring a change in coaching for IU basketball. There are several reasons, and won-loss is only one of them. There are obvious problems in recruiting/retention. Defense is an issue. Offense against a zone is problematic. Team motivation/morale is another. That seems enough, and I have no reason to believe these will get better. Better to bite the bullet now than to wait and delay the needed transformation. Go for someone like Shaka, Brad S, or Archie Miller

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