Hoosier Morning

1. HOOSIERS HQ
The IU women’s basketball team hounded Minnesota’s Rachel Banham and improved to 13-0 at home this season, Jon writes.

A healthy Kyle Hart is ready to take on the role of ace as Indiana baseball opens the season, Mike writes.

Collin Hartman continues to do a little bit of everything for IU men’s basketball, Mike writes.

Indiana continues to get superb contributions from its bench at both ends of the floor, I wrote.

Indiana’s Haley Lips broke the school, pool, meet and conference record in winning the 500 freestyle at the Big Ten Swimming Championships, we reported.

2. IT’S INDIANA
Defensive improvement and better shot selection were among the takeaways from the win over Nebraska, Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall writes.

Fellow coaches evaluated the top teams in each conferene anonymously and wondered if Indiana could play all its games at Assembly Hall, Seth Davis of SI.com writes.

The IU-Purdue rivalry means more to Yogi Ferrell and Raphael Davis, Brody Miller of the Indiana Daily Student writes.

Purdue’s Ryan Cline is ready for the IU rivalry and his first taste of Assembly Hall, Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal & Courier writes.

Former Hoosier and Olympic high jumper Derek Drouin weighs in on the dunk contest performance of the Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon, Claire McNear of SBnation.com writes.

Alexis Gassion not only made life difficult defensively for Minnesota’s Rachel Banham but made key offensive contributions as well, Taylor Lehman of the Indiana Daily Student writes.

3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
In recognition of yet another Assembly Hall victory, Foo Fighters with “Home.”

28 comments

  1. Keith Hornsby got a mention in the article above. If anyone didn’t already know this, Keith is the son of the musician Bruce Hornsby. He played his first couple years at UNC Asheville before being dismissed from the team for shopping his services to other schools.

    UNCA is currently in first place in the Big South. If they make the Big Dance a matchup with LSU might be interesting.

  2. There is really a swimmer named Haley Lips….who swims a lot of Lips laps? Has she qualified tor the Summer Games?

    We once had quite the men’s swimmer in Spitz…Mark brought home 7 Gold Medals from the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. I understand that Mark has a son, Justin, who attends Stanford..I guess Justin was also a member of the Stanford Swim Team…Too bad Justin didn’t attend IU…We could have possibly had a Spitz-Lips pool romance…..?

    After the Olympics, Mark would soon marry a beautiful woman named Suzy Weiner, “a UCLA theater student and part-time model”. ….(Justin is one of their two sons).

    Remember when the ‘Tonight Show’ used to have a segment where they would show funny wedding announcements across the country…?

  3. A total of eight Big 10 teams with five or fewer conference losses….In terms of the final results in the standings, It appears everything is still up for grabs…

    Not sure how you could begin to crunch all the possibilities.. If we win three of our final four games, we’d sure seem to be in the hunt for the BIG title…If we went on a horrible skid and lost four straight, we could likely be passed by five or six teams.. Much more hinges on the game tomorrow night than many may think. It’s never been easy to play @ Illinois(and they’ll be looking to play spoilers). And then we’ll have an Iowa team(another team in the hunt for the title) on the road hungry to avenge the loss in Bloomington….Finish up against a Maryland team who has stumbled of late…but, much like IU, capable of beating just about anyone when at the top of their game.

    Conclusion: Huge game against Purdue…Great rivalry game..Many implications. Just how it should be…Can Bryant and Beilfeldt match Hammons, Swanigan(Indiana Mr. Basketball), and Haas on the inside? Haas is straight out of a 1951 Howard Hawks film. We’ll need to keep him on ice.

  4. Not so much. I mean, we could be passed by a two or three teams but you are forgetting that most of those teams still have to play each other. MSU could certainly win out and we could lose three more games but it’s not very likely that both those things will happen. It is possible, though.

    It is a mathematical impossibility that “5 or 6 teams” below us in the standings can win enough game to pass the Hoosiers.

  5. …I confess that I haven’t run every single permutation but I’m pretty sure you’d have to map out every single game for the rest of the season for it to happen, if it was even possible.

  6. I’m wondering why I feel relieved that MSU put the same spanking on Wiscy last night as they put on us last weekend. I was doing lots of channel surfing last night after watching the first episode of “Better Call Saul” (I know, I’m always late to the party). The Minny vs. MD game was winding down so I stayed w/ it. The post game interview w/ Minny’s Joey King spoke to whatever soul I have left. What can you say about a young man who wasn’t a bit too proud to show his emotion without thanking the man Upstairs. Hard work does pay. Joey King, I am a fan.

  7. What last night’s MN wins reminds us is that 1) The big Ten is a very tough conference, and 2) it is very difficult to win on the road in this conference. Maryland’s upset makes IU look that much stronger.

  8. MN beating Maryland last night is more proof the conference is weak, not strong.

    B1G currently has the 6th ranked conference RPI. Of the major conferences, that is dead last. That stinks.

    1 Big 12 Conference 103 23 0.8175 0.5889 1 0.5975
    2 Pacific 12 Conference 111 33 0.7708 0.5797 2 0.5869
    3 Atlantic Coast Conference 145 42 0.7754 0.5691 3 0.5801
    4 Big East Conference 95 30 0.7600 0.5586 5 0.5682
    5 Southeastern Conference 117 59 0.6648 0.5597 4 0.5600
    6 Big Ten Conference 128 49 0.7232 0.5457 6 0.5596
    7 Atlantic 10 Conference 109 57 0.6566 0.5337 7 0.5403
    8 American Athletic Conference 89 48 0.6496 0.5263 9 0.5383

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/bracketology/conference

  9. And we had the weakest schedule in that power conference “dead last” in RPI. Other than Iowa, we were delivered happenstance atop of cupcakes, only playing the top-tier teams of the “weak conference” only once each(and most of those at home). Crean is a genius. This is how you build approval ratings.

    .

  10. Q. When will Indiana get a banner under Crean?

    A. Upon giving him one to use as a hallway runner.

  11. Well, that’s all hypothetical until the NCAA Tournament begins. As posted before, we’ve been hearing for a while how great the Big 12 is and they have a habit of getting destroyed early at the Big Dance while the Big Ten has done pretty well in comparison.

    Those computer numbers are great but I’ve never seen one hit a jump shot or pull down a rebound.

    We’ll see.

  12. NCAA Champions by Conference 2000-present

    ACC 6
    Big East 4
    SEC 3
    Big Ten 1
    Big Twelve 1
    American Athletic 1 (UConn…formerly of the Big East)
    Pac 12; 0

    NCAA Champions 2000 – present

    Duke 3
    UConn 3
    North Carolina 2
    Florida 2
    MSU 1
    Maryland 1
    Kansas 1
    Louisville 1
    Syracuse 1
    Kentucky 1

    There is nothing hypothetical concerning the fools gold in our record…We have absolutely no signature road win while we sit atop the conference standings…..@ Michigan is not a signature road win.

    Many claim the banners are quite dusty above McCracken….The Pac 12 is approaching twenty years without a banner…The Big 10 isn’t far behind(last championship was MSU in 2000)…

    Final Four appearances are great….Runner-up’s are great..(just ask Butler).
    But unlike Bobby Knight’s great Hoosier teams, most Big 10 teams don’t get the job done once they get there.

  13. Q. How does Tom Crean rebut his absence of X’s than O’s?

    A. X-cuses.and HOOs-yOur-landOO-ladip-O.

  14. Yes, but…

    Kentucky and Florida have had some nice runs…but not a single other team in the SEC has done anything…ever. The SEC is a HORRIBLE basketball conference. The Atlantic Ten would leave them in ashes.

    If you look at overall results since 2000 there’s an eyelash between the ACC, the Big Ten, and the Big 12 overall in the NCAA Tournament. The ACC has a great overall percentage but ONLY as a higher seed. They have sucked as the lower seed. That indicates they may have had the benefit of high seeds that they might not necessarily have earned. In the past few years the Big 12 has looked good during the regular season and has been abysmal in the Big Dance, no matter the seed. They’ve just been awful.

    When you take the seeding into account the Big Ten has actually done better than the ACC or the Big 12. The Big Ten teams actually win games as lower seeds.

    It’s all just data to shape as you choose but to take NCAA championships as your main criteria and try to make the SEC look like a decent basketball conference is, once again, laughable. They just aren’t. Take two teams out of the mix and they are the Atlantic Sun Conference.

  15. You’re probably right, Chet. The Big 10 is a conference with a lot of quality teams…That parity is sometimes undervalued because records reflect a lot of beating up on each other during the regular season…As a consequence, maybe some pretty tested teams come in as a lower seed. That may very well be the norm..But that is not the norm of this year’s Hoosier team. They have not been tested..They will play most of the stronger teams of the conference once(and the majority of those stronger teams had to play us in Assembly).
    This Hoosier team does not have a go-to scorer…nor do they have a go-to defender to stop a true scoring machine. The individual effort on defense has shown improvement. But on team defense, awareness, communication, and helping from the weakside, they are borderline deplorable. And that deplorable ‘team defense’ is the only thing signature of a team in the hunt for the Big 10 title….I’m not sure how any of that reflects on the conference as a whole.

    Many BIG teams have had recent leadership changes…Many are in reloading phases….I don’t think this was the same conference top to bottom as it’s been going into many of the previous years March Madness.

    Once you get to a Sweet 16, there is no fooling anyone. Regardless of a conference’s overall real or perceived strength, the cream of the crop usually rises…
    But who wants predictability anyway? What makes March Madness the true delight is when it betrays the expected….That’s where you often find the great future coaches of the game. There’s a lot of old coaching blood still floating around. …A ton of cream settles into deep rosters for these few iconic coaches…Championships tend to follow the longtime draw these names command. ..It would be good for the game to start seeing some names not as accustomed to Final Fours start to break through. And that’s where my optimism ends in the world of Indiana under this coach. At some point, you have to break through. whether that be coaching at a place like tiny Butler….or making a Underlain run in the style of a Florida Gulf Coast..or taking a team in a strong conference from a place as once storied as Indiana.beyond the usual tempered expectations.

  16. oops…I don’t know where ‘underlain’ came from…That was supposed to be ‘Cinderella’ run.

  17. I wholeheartedly agree.

    The Hoosiers schedule, both the self scheduled and the league scheduled, tells us nothing about the Hoosiers. Let’s face it, they have, by and large, folded against quality competition (certainly outside the conference).

    I don’t feel good about their chances. Sure, if they are draining the three then they can be world beaters. Good teams have stopped that.

    Do I think the Hoosiers are talented? Oh, hell yeah. I think that CTC has assembled a remarkable mix of talent. Do I think Dean Smith, Bobby Knight, or even Rick Pitino could win a title with this bunch? Maybe.

    I don’t, by any means, think CTC has done a bad job as coach. It’s all about expectations. I defended the guy as much as anyone but I’m also a Hoosier, ergo, not basketball stupid. I just think that a guy making millions more than me should be vastly superior in his skills, given remarkable advantages, than a couple dozen other guys in the same field.

    There’s no reason to think that, systemically, IU shouldn’t do as well as Duke or UNC. Historically they have…depending on your cutoff point.

    Let’s face it, UNC and Duke have always had a sh!t ton of Hoosiers on their rosters. Big time programs are not scouring North Carolina (except for the Plumlees who were from Indiana) for talent. We always hear about how there must be a mix of talent from other states but, let’s be honest, if you shut down the borders and could only recruit from your home state every year it would be California versus Indiana.

  18. I made some calculations and Harvard’s intuition was right. If we assume the Hoosiers lose their last four games (I am not saying they will but let’s assume we are the only ones to fade, just as an assumption, ok?) and that the rest of the games end as predicted in KenPom then the final standings in B1G would look like this:


    1. Iowa 15 - 3 (24- 6)
    2. MSU 13 - 5 (26- 5)
    3. Purdue 13 - 5 (25- 6)
    4. Maryland 13 - 5 (25- 6)
    5. Wisconsin 11 - 6 (19-12)
    6. Indiana 11 - 7 (21-10)
    7. Michigan 10 - 8 (20-11)
    8. Ohio St. 9 - 9 (17-14)

    I made these calculations just because the exchange Harvard – Chet was interesting to me (it started with Harvard’s remark about how much the end result in the conference was still up in the air.) Hope the Hoosiers win their last four conference games!

  19. Talented can be a very long definition in the world of college basketball..

    Probably the two most important additions to the team were transfer afterthoughts(Zeisloft and Beilfeldt)….We’d be screwed without those two pick-ups….Is that the result of marvelous recruiting or simply guys hoping to stay close to home and extend playing careers?

    I think Bryant has some nice aspects to his game…But I also see a lot more sell in emotion than truth in a composed and quite dominant game. Maybe that poise will come…but I don’t see him as a Mitch McGary type ready to bring out some unexpected taking of a tournament by storm mojo. The foot speed …the awareness..the savvy…the fronting to the basket and ball skills…it.just isn’t there.

    OG is very talented….but he is also very rough around the edges in on the defensive side of things…

    Bottom Line: Talented in terms of a smaller standard deviation up and down the roster. Some very good outside shooting that doesn’t accompany a lot of speed(other than Yogi) How does that play out against a team long and athletic(e.g..same Syracuse nightmare?)…. But where is the supreme talent? I’ve always felt it takes usually two supremely talented guys on a roster to flirt with any sort of a deep run. Yogi is certainly in that class of player….Where it the other? Is it Troy Williams. ? If Troy Williams plays to his potential while not trying to do too much, there may be some magic in this team.
    Now place those already somewhat slim odds of everything gelling and playing to strengths in the hands of a coach that has had some pretty glaring warts in big March Madness games…?

    Would you be anymore confident with a NC or Duke roster in the hands of Crean? Would a couple more ;’supreme talented’ guys make any difference?

  20. coachw-

    Thanks for giving some validation to my unproven intuition…..I don’t have the smarts to do that sort of thing. And where would tiebreakers play into all of this seeing how we will have played many of the upper tier teams only once? Don’t need an advanced degree in statistics to know that a win on Saturday night moves a ton of future outcomes more to our favor…Conversely, a loss adds to the plot twists where nothing of a definitive ending can rely….And all four of these final conference games will be anything but ‘cupcake paradise.’

  21. Chet,
    I agree with your comments about the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12. I haven’t seen enough of ACC games to comment. Overall, the SEC isn’t that tough. The Big 12 is overrated. Though the Big Ten may not be the strongest conference this year, it’s not that weak either as the pundits have made it out to be. Watching the SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten games, at this time of the year, the best games I’ve watched have been in the Big Ten.

  22. The Big Ten has three of the top ten teams in the country and five in the top 22 teams, and it’s a weak conference? I’d say the bottom of the conference is very weak, but the best teams in the conference make it much stronger than the stats suggest.

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