Hoosiers win ugly, beat Gophers 75-71

MINNEAPOLIS — As the calendar turned to a new year, and the second leg of conference play loomed on the immediate horizon, there was one development Archie Miller wanted to see as much or more than any other.

The IU coach needed to receive steadier play from his upperclassmen, a group that endured a topsy-turvy first two months of action. Perhaps scared straight by a week riddled with injuries to key players, Miller’s veterans responded, while also accepting help from a talented newcomer.

Senior Robert Johnson scored a career-high 28 points, complemented by 20-point efforts from junior Juwan Morgan and freshman Justin Smith in Indiana’s 75-71 victory over Minnesota on Saturday evening at Williams Arena.

The Hoosiers’ first Big Ten road victory of Miller’s tenure was an example of winning ugly, though IU will gladly accept any win as it comes — especially one that saw Indiana prevail despite a short bench and some unideal lineup combinations.

“Just a gutty win by our guys on the road,” Miller said. “It’s very difficult in this league to find a way to do that.”

It came after IU (9-7, 2-2) was dealt a series of blows in practice this week. First, the Hoosiers lost starting center De’Ron Davis indefinitely with an injury to his lower right leg. Davis traveled with the team to Minnesota, but wore a boot while sitting on the bench.

Then, fifth-year senior Collin Hartman recently developed shoulder soreness and was held out of Saturday’s action. Hartman participated in warmups, but did not see the floor.

That created a sense of urgency for the Hoosiers, who were able to limit the lulls that have doomed them in previous losses, while also bringing an adequate amount of energy after ambling to defeat on Tuesday at Wisconsin.

“We just knew it was a next-man-up mentality when De’Ron went down,” Morgan said. “Then, we saw Collin go down. We just knew, the show doesn’t stop because we’re missing a few actives. We have to keep doing, and as we did that, we just stuck together.”

For the Hoosiers, that was good to see. Timing has seemingly been a significant issue that has plagued this team for much of the season. It wasn’t altogether corrected Saturday, but Indiana appeared better at fixing itself on the fly.

After committing eight turnovers during the first half, the Hoosiers had only five in the second — and merely one in the final eight minutes.

Although IU missed eight of its 17 layups, it scored 17 second-chance points and out-rebounded Minnesota, 45-35.

And while Johnson, Morgan and Smith accounted for all but seven of Indiana’s points, their production wasn’t limited to scoring. Morgan posted a double-double with 12 rebounds.

Johnson grabbed seven boards, including six on the defensive end that led to offensive breaks. He also finished with seven assists.

Smith grabbed three rebounds and, most importantly to his coach, he was active defensively. Then there was the duo of Freddie McSwain and Zach McRoberts, who combined for 15 boards, doing what they could to fill the hole left by the absences of Davis and Hartman.

“Everybody was a little pinned in the corner,” Miller said. “We knew we were in some trouble with guys down. Foul trouble was going to be at a premium. For the most part, we weathered first-half foul trouble, stayed out of foul trouble in the second half, played hard and guys got an opportunity to play and played well.”

Nate Mason led Minnesota (13-4, 2-2) with 22 points, while Jordan Murphy and Dupree McBrayer each posted 18 points. Murphy (10 rebounds) tied Tim Duncan’s NCAA record with his 17th consecutive game with a double-double to start a season.

Following a rock fight of a first half, after which IU led 32-31, Minnesota went 6-for-8 from the field to start the second period and quickly took an eight-point advantage. It was similar to the way Tuesday’s loss at Wisconsin developed, but this time, IU had a response.

The Hoosiers punched back with an 11-1 run that gave them a 55-51 advantage out of the second media timeout.

With his team leading by two points midway through the second half, Miller had to make a difficult decision. Robert Johnson and Juwan Morgan, both of whom played 38 minutes, required rest to prepare for the final stretch of action.

So the Hoosiers played two minutes with a lineup consisting of Smith, McSwain, McRoberts, Josh Newkirk and Al Durham — a gritty bunch, but one featuring limited offensive upside as a whole. The Gophers went on a 7-0 run and eventually took a five-point lead with under five minutes to play.

“The staff didn’t really agree with me on that one, but Rob asked for a breather,” Miller said. “I looked at the clock and said, ‘We at least have enough time to get Juwan a spell here.’ It wasn’t as much as those two came out and everything went bad, I think at the end of the day we couldn’t score as much without them. Defensively, we weren’t as good. They made a little bit of a run, but we were fine.”

That’s because IU limited turnovers and got stops down the stretch, punctuating the turnaround with a 3-pointer from Smith that put the Hoosiers ahead 71-70 with 2:30 to play.

IU won the free throw contest late in regulation, willing itself to an uplifting road victory.

“Those are hard to come by,” Morgan said. “Most of the games, we’ve been right there in the last four and it’s just those last couple turnovers or open 3s that we give to the other team that have really been hurting us. We really capitalized and didn’t have those today, and as a result, we got the win.”

50 comments

  1. Much like the Notre dame game I feel like Minnesota beat themselves. Nonetheless, this is the 2nd biggest win in the Miller era. Many good IU teams have been beat in the barn by a lot worse Minnesota teams over the years. Johnson finally had a solid game which was refreshing. It was great to see Smith get some quality minutes in. The injury to Davis could be similar to the injury to blackmon 2 years ago. Players have a chance to step up and prove themselves. Only 5 out of 8 players scored.
    Morgan 20
    Smith 20
    Johnson 28
    Mcswain 5
    Green 2

    Another big goose egg for Newkirk in 16 minutes of play. No way should a 5th year senior be held scoreless in multiple games especially at the guard position.

    What exactly is the deal with Clifton Moore? Preseason, he’s on next years NBA mock draft yet he isn’t good enough to see the floor? I don’t get it. Half these guys can’t even compete at this level. How in the world did they end up on a roster at IU. It would be interesting if half these kids had were replaced by Indiana kids like McRoberts how much different things would be.

    1. Nice post, Ben. I’m somewhat elated to see three Hoosiers get over 20 points each. I doubt any betting man here would have ever put down cash for the perceived long shot odds of that ever happening.

      All we’ve been hearing for the past weeks is “Where is the scoring going to come from?”

      Justin, Johnson …and Juwan. J’s baby!

  2. Happy with the win, but what the hell is going on in the locker room at half time? IU is making a habit out of coming out flat to begin the second half. They have no energy in the first few minutes of the second half! I’ve lost count of how many half-time leads IU has squandered in the first four minutes of the second half. This time, they were fortunate to be able to dig their way out of the hole they dug and win this game. They showed some heart in doing that, but Archie needs to change this team’s half-time routine, because the one they’ve had isn’t working.

  3. I don’t care who’s missing from the Minnesota roster…..This was a great confidence builder. Archie brilliantly orchestrated the closing minutes by not calling needless timeouts…..He put full confidence in the kids on the floor. Strong coaching already making a difference. Never hit the panic button because of last week.

    It’s a beautiful thing to see the rewards of acumen and subtle leadership from the sideline creating confidence and hope in the team. Thank god.

    1. When you watch a lot of college hoops you realize the importantance of fouls and momentum. Two quick fouls on a big man in the first half and he’s on the bench and no longer a factor for the rest of the half. When he comes back to start the 2nd, he’s usually out of rhythm or playing too cautiously to be as effective.

      Harvard, as you pointed out, timeout usage is huge. It’s a big part of coaching and is a tool to shift momentum. Crean it seemed always let his teams play through crowd noise too often at crucial times. I’m sure almost all the posters on here have watched enough college hoops to be able to pin point plays during the game that will more than likely effect the outcome. There are times to let the kids play through and times to call a time out to quiet the crowd. You see a lot of time out usage to quiet the crowd by opposing teams in Assembly Hall and it can make all the difference in the world. Creans inability to draw up an inbounds play probably led to a lot of playing through. Archie definitely made the right call this game.

  4. Blah blah good lord you people are awful whiney this is a first year coach what part of rebuild dont you understand?great win showed heart that Justin Smith looks like a really good player down the line

    1. Brownbomer, I don’t feel anyone is whining. There are plenty of other places on the internet that are though. It was a great win and as I stated probably the 2nd best win of the Archie era. Both Notre Dame and Minnesota missed key free throws down the stretch. When they are in control of free throws and miss, I feel like they are beating themselves more than IU is beating them. On the other hand I feel the Hoosiers have beat themselves a few times this year so to inability to connect on foul shots.

      I ask about Moore because I find it puzzling. We lost our starting center and we have a 6’10 scholarship player who still doesn’t play. Is he sick? Is he injured? Is he just not far enough along to contribute? Will he ever eventually contribute? How is it we have too front court players on scholarship who never see the floor but a walk on starts?

      I’m a big Archie fan. I understand this rebuild will take time. I understand the level of talent he is working with. At Archie’s age, if he can get it going, he will enjoy a long term tenure of sustained success especially with some of the big time coaches on the verge of retirement.

  5. Stat of the game…Smith, Morgan, Johnson were a combined 25-47 from the floor. Everyone else was 3-23.

    Dakich, fwiw, referred that Smith wasn’t working hard in practice during the Wisky game. Hate to say it, but by default Davis was “benched”, albeit by injury, and Archie benched Newkirk twice on his own. End result is, we won with 2 freshman in their place.

    Newkirk somehow ended up with only 1 TO. Seemed like 1 per min played to me.

    1. I really like Durham. For how low he was rated out of highschool he is a pleasant surprise. He didn’t score tonight, but I like the way he plays. I feel like he should take as many of Newkirk’s minutes this year as possible. Phinisee and Durham could be a solid point guard rotation.

  6. I have been as hard on this roster as anyone, but when the overachieve, kudos are in order. Wasn’t expecting a road win, but glad to see. You can’t diminish the value of this victory due to the other team missing key players. IU was missing two key players of their own.

  7. Regarding IU’s Freshmen: as the late, great Al McQuire used to say, the best thing about a Freshman is that he becomes a Sophomore. Who knows how these guys will turn out? At least give them a chance. They were on other program’s radars, so it wasn’t just IU that regarded them as potentially decent D-I players. It’s not like the desperation recruits of April and Priller by the previous coach. They’re still just 18-19 year old kids who are still mentally and physically developing. For what it’s worth, Knight’s last powerhouse group of recruits Cheaney et al. went 8-10 their first year in the Big10. And Cheaney wasn’t even the most heralded player of that incoming class. I’m not saying these guys could rise to anywhere near the level of that group, but in this day of over zealous analysis of kids in high school and AAU ball, people want too much instant gratification. I would hesitate to decide a guy is likely a bust in early January of his Freshman year.

    1. Completely agree. 5 star kids bust as well or aren’t always good enough to go pro after a year or two. Take Blackmon for example, would he of even got off the bench for Kentucky until his Jr or Sr year? He was a 5 star kid. He wasn’t good enough to get drafted after 3 years of college ball. Bryant was a 5 star he went in the 2nd round after two years and he just flirts with being on the official roster. OG was a 3 star and a lottery pick who actually plays on an NBA roster. Oladipo, another 3 star who was a lottery now a potential all star. Quinn Cook was the 5 star out of dematha and teammate to Oladipo and he stayed at Duke 4 years. You look at Langford joining Vanderbilt and having 3 5* kids in that class but Kentucky gets 5 5* kids every year and they haven’t won a title since 2012.

      1. Langford could join those others at Vandy and maybe win the SEC for a third time ever (and the first in 25 years) but I doubt Kentucky will let that happen. The ceiling for Vandy is the Elite Eight. Ever. Three conference titles and a trip to the Elite Eight. That’s the complete Vandy highlight reel.

        Players go to Vanderbilt and are never heard from again. Their fan base could fit on a bus.

        Or…he could come to IU and play in loud, packed arenas and have ever game televised.

        I’m guessing this has been pointed out to him.

        1. If Langford racked up a 30 point game in conference for Vandy it would only be notable if it happened against Kentucky.

          At IU they would lead off Sportscenter with that story if it happened against Michigan, Michigan State, OSU, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, and maybe one or two others.

          Their basketball facility was built in 1952. The Vandy/Ole Miss game will probably draw fewer people than watched the IU women’s team beat Purdue. Shoot, Indiana FOOTBALL draws 10,000 more per home game than Vanderbilt football.

          Vanderbilt has had a TOTAL…in their entire basketball history…of 8 All Americans. IU has had forty five coming into this season.

          Vandy is where you go to be insignificant.

        2. Three conference titles and a trip to the Elite Eight

          Crean never got us to an Elite 8 in nine seasons. Indiana U. hasn’t been to one since Mike Davis in 2002. Previous to that, it was 1993
          (The Damon Bailey years).

          One trip to Elite 8 in almost a 10 year span (’93- 2002).
          Over 15 year absence under current Elite 8 drought (’02-2018).

          Conclusion: We’ve had less success in March Madness than many mid-major programs for the last 25 years. During the last 7 years, nine different Midwestern programs went to a collective 23 Elite Eights. Many went on to Final Fours.

          We really have no reason to piss on any other basketball programs. We’ve played like piss in March for most of the last quarter century.

      2. The handful of 5-star recruits that came to IU under Crean were falsely valued. They weren’t refined players. They weren’t multi-dimensional talents. Blackmon was a bit plagued by some injury issues.

        Landing Langford would be bigger than Zeller. He would bring refined talent rather than hyped promises and a Radio Flyer wagon full of Sunday School buddies to needlessly fill up roster spots.

        1. The handful of 5-star recruits that came in during the Crean era were not improperly valued… Their skills were refined… They were all drafted in the first round of the NBA draft… as well as some 3-star players.

          There is no reason to continue these (misguided) resentments Harvard. We have a good coach and a bright future.

          1. I’m not misguided about the new coach.

            Most here were very misguided by calling the previous guy a “coach.”
            He was nothing without one questionable 5-star….who was not a refined post player. I don’t give a rat’s ass where they get drafted…It’s all a marketing machine. Hype propels more hype. OUr exaggerated rankings helped these guys more than anything. They couldn’t go deep in the NCAA tournament…and I would guess that most of Crean’s lottery picks(outside of Wade) will never play deep into NBA playoffs. They find teams always short on legit star power.
            If you have true value/star power, teams that get to conference finals will find you. Isiah Thomas wouldn’t be farting around on the Pacers and doing push-ups after a decent performance of regular season game…..nor would Isaiah Thomas.
            Call me when any of Crean’s 5-star lottery picks recruited to Indiana are playing in NBA conference finals anytime soon. Charlotte? Nope Never. Pacers? Nope. Never. Toronto? Nope. Never. Lakers? Nope.
            Complete game? Nope. Never.

          2. Crean coached like a misguided resentment….I’ve seen your comments on Inside the Halitosis. You take your much heavier hand of criticism over there….and it sounds no less resentful of the time we lost.
            5-star power …or no 5-star power, UK fans and other top programs don’t sit on a coach for nine seasons who can’t get a team past a Sweet 16. If Crean’s Hoosiers were legit 5-stars, it’s even a greater insult to his coaching ability.

            I’m helping the guy, for god’s sake. The IU fan base would have been incensed if he wouldn’t have gone strong after Zeller. Dakich nearly forced him upon us. The hype never stopped. Getting Zeller saved him his job….but probably cost him the type of player/players(don’t forget we had to offer all of Cody’s buddies too) that could have given him a better shot against athletic/quick/long teams in the tournament(e.g. Syracuse).

            More athletes with more repertoire in their games will come via Archie….And they’ll be coached and understand team defense. I’m elated and have never been more relieved. Resentment? None here….but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be fed BS. Crean didn’t get the best recruits from the state of Indiana. I’ll happily go through a list of the best he missed on….and it goes far beyond Mitch. You can start with Nic Moore…or Gary Harris….or Trey Lyles…or Glen Robinson, or Bluiett…etc, etc.

            Just consult the long lists of Indiana Mr. Basketballs…and most of the runner-ups and the runner-ups of runner-ups…and you’ll see the slew of better talent from the borders who were never considering IU.

          3. Good stuff on the Kent Sterling show this afternoon…

            Appearance by someone from a competing IU forum. Won’t throw the usual his way. Bizitch actually did a very nice job during the long discussion with Sterling. Alex said something to the effect that Langford may be the best he’s ever seen come out of Indiana high school hoops. Went on to urge anyone having a chance to see him play in person during his last season at New Albany should feel utterly grateful to witness such talent at the low price of admission.

            Sterling also had a guy named Jon Crispin from the Big 10 Network…Very intelligent analysis of the conference and coaching carousels from this man as well. Unfortunately, his assessment of Indiana Basketball and the ‘Archie Way’ as it functions within the idea of an “elite” program heading into the future might be rather unsettling to many Hoosier fans. There was a lot of talk on Holtmann….Crispin had the view that Holtmann is a true teacher of the game(basketball that starts with fundamental observations/demands …along with the idea of coaching guys to prepare against certain “systems”). He didn’t blame Archie’s current struggles on talent deficiencies. He believed Holtmann is doing more with less talent than Archie inherited.
            Wow. Also didn’t realize Dakich’s son(now on OSU?) buried a backbreaking triple at the end of the first half during the Buckeyes huge upset of MSU.

            Overall, very informative show.

            This is ‘One Who Should Be Ignored’ signing out.

  8. I agree somewhat with Benin the lead post. I would love to see more Indiana kids on the roster. I know there are, especially guards, in Indiana, MEN and WOMEN who are as good as or better than the ones on the roster now. The Men have 5 from Indiana on the roster, 4 of them are walk-ons and 1 a 5th yr. senior. The Women have a grand total of 2 from Indiana with one of them a walk-on and the other a transfer. 2 of the 3 best players on the team are from Ohio and 1 from Illinois. Apparently we can’t either recruit Ind. kids or at least not trying hard enough.

    1. hoosierguy….Kyle Guy…The irony.

      Kyle Guy might be da ‘guy’….but Carter Skaggs is da man. Goeff was right.

  9. HG,
    When you say, “we can’t either recruit Ind. kids or at least not trying hard enough;” I don’t think either of your scenarios is the case. I would postulate the problem to one of paying for the sins of past coaching staffs. Particularly, the prior staff.

    It is a pretty well known fact, a great deal of damage was done to the relationship between the IU basketball program and instate recruiting by prior regimes. Why this exists might be debated by some, but the relationship has not been good in several years. I suspect, given enough time, this situation will change. I do not think it was any accident that Coach Miller went out and got Ed Schilling as one of his assistants, as well as others.

    Time will tell as to how soon and how successful the inside out recruiting process will work. Unfortunately for the present, Coach Miller and staff will have to deal with the instate recruiting sins of their predecessors.

  10. I’m pleased with the win and happy for Archie and his players. Any conference road win is a significant accomplishment, but especially for this group of players. But I watched the game a second time last night with a more analytical perspective (I removed the emotion associated with watching it live). Good lord do these players make a lot of stupid mistakes. Stepping on the end line when inbounding the ball, terrible passes that lead to easy baskets by the opposing team. And I am amazed at how many shots these players miss at the rim. If IU would have simply reduced the stupid mistakes by half last night, they’d have won this game by 16 points. If they had missed only half as many layups and shots at the rim as they ended up missing, they’d have won by 30. I’ve never seen anything like it. Dakich actually addressed the cause of the problem when he said IU’s players “fall” toward the basket instead of “jumping up” toward the basket. And I think he’s on to something. Regardless, if you watch the game a second time, you’ll see reasons for optimism. This team’s two biggest problems, stupid mistakes and terrible shooting at the rim should be able to be fixed, sooner rather than later. If they improve in those two, yesterday’s conference road win won’t be the last one we enjoy this season.

  11. Wow…Holtmann with a huge win today. He’s not wasting any time getting OSU rolling.

    On a positive note…Archie sort of got gifted a Crean BIG schedule this year.

  12. Crispin is an idiot. Archie isn’t a teacher of the game? Holtmann is doing more with a worse roster? WHAT? Holtmann has the two best players from the state of Ohio, his leading scorer from last year and two other 4 star recruits on his roster. Last year OSU was the product of a coach who was debilitated and on his last legs physically and energetically. I would have killed for OSU’s roster this year vs ours. Archie is starting a walk-on and has a kid on his bench who I could beat one-on-one.

    Archie taking the long view. He’s unwinding habits of his upperclassmen who played under a “system” that was the polar opposite of what he is bringing in. We still see some boneheaded stuff from these guys, but not NEARLY at the rate we saw for the last 9 years. At least in the last 5, we had some talent to cover up the deficiencies of low basketball IQ. It isn’t just a system change, he has values that are different. AM is trying to teach guys to value protecting the ball vs flying out of the gym. You don’t just “teach” guys this. You recruit guys who care about this stuff, or they don’t play for you. When you get a bunch of people who weren’t recruited to care about those things, it isn’t something that just happens over night.

    Regardless, Holtmann is a fantastic coach. I respect him a lot and if Indiana hired him, I wouldn’t have blinked. But we got the right guy. I cannot wait for both him and Archie to battle each other for a couple decades. This could be one heck of a rivalry between two guys who really have some of the best minds in the game today. Right now, the B1G is just an awful, mediocre mid-major conference right now. I have faith that Archie will be the guy to hang banners on the other side of The Hall for a change. But it’ll be nice to have another awesome program to sharpen his sword against. I look forward to many many epic battles between these guys in the future.

  13. Good post, by one who shouldn’t be ignored responding to one who should be ignored. Thanks for not ignoring. Will the others cave to temptation? Probably.
    Andrew Dakich in a lineup(even as a reserve) sure makes it sound like a roster very thin. You can listen to the show if you so choose(probably on a podcast).
    I don’t know this Crispin guy…Just giving a synopsis of his interview…I still think Crispin had some interesting stuff regarding the recruiting battles….and how he thinks our “small lineup” is currently mirroring his type of rosters at Dayton. My translation was that Crispin believes he has to break free of worked at Dayton(how he projects the program to recruits and fans alike). It was a discussion that centered more on perceptions to recruits and personality to take a program back to elite status.

    Last coach: Heavy on sell/marketing. Low on Acumen.
    Current coach: Heavy on acumen. Sell/personality/likeability? Jury still out. Crispin didn’t seem real confident.

    Me? I’m great with Archie…And even happier to have Bozo back on ESPN.

    1. Dilly dilly! What does Crispin know? He talks for a living. Hmmmm…so did Clappy the Clown. And now he’s on TV vs. the sideline, thank the Lord Jesus!

      DD, you are on target. Archie does value the game itself & the purity of it. He worked his own butt off to make it at NC State, and every day since then. He will recruit those that embody the work ethic & IQ of real basketball players.

      I’ll take a basketball IQ who works hard vs. athlete any day and play you 30+ games & see who wins the most.

      And if you don’t think Archie’s the guy, think of him replacing Painter & see who you’d be more scared of long term. We got a hungry, promising and great head coach. I’m certain of it.

    2. Just listened to the podcast. I just think he’s wrong. He doesn’t think anyone thinks Holtmann is one of the better up-and-coming talents in coaching? Is he kidding? He got the Ohio State job! He’s only making about $250k less than Archie. The Ohio State job is a tremendous job. He’s got a lot of respect.

      I didn’t say Ohio State is some kind of national contender without flaws. But the comment was in relation to the comparison of OSU vs Indiana, not relative to the rest of college basketball. This Indiana team is barely a notch above the talent level in Crean’s first 2 years.

      Crispin does have it right in that AM is choosing between coaching for the future, or winning today. I think many of us here have clearly identified AM is looking long and building the culture and values he wants into the program for the future. There’s no possibility for this team to win now. This same roster missed the tournament who lost 3 guys to the NBA (OG got injured, but they weren’t winning or playing well when he was healthy).

      AM isn’t just this “blue collar” coach. He coached massive levels of talent at Ohio State and Arizona as an assistant. He also played a big role in recruiting those guys too. As a first time head coach, he took a mid-major gig at Dayton and worked with the types of guys he could get there. Way less talent. Yet managed to take them as far as his brother did at Arizona was far more talent. However, listen to the players on those “elite” teams gush about the kind of coach that Archie was. He’s just fine coaching elite level talent. He’ll get that chance as a head coach at Indiana. He’s already recruited elite talent for next year. If he gets RL, this might end up being the silliest discussion ever. But there’s some distance between the cup and the lip on that one. But, I’m really excited about Phinisee and Damezi Anderson at the top of the list. Phinisee is really going to be something. Love his game.

      AM has a lot to prove. But I don’t see how anyone else could do better with what he has right now.

      I was too harsh on my early comment. I don’t think Crispin is “an idiot.” I just disagree with him. Seems like a decent guy who loves the game.

  14. Man, that dude on the Milwaukee Bucks is good. Hakuna Matata…? Now that’s more my idea of a 5-star.

  15. BTW, I want someone to donate to Kent Sterling’s speech fund. Every time he enunciates a word with the letter “L” I just cringe.

    Meh. I’d rather listen to him for 8 hours straight, every day vs Dakich though.

    1. I’d rather listen to him for 8 hours straight, every day vs Dakich though.

      Completely agree, DD. I had to turn Dakich off. Dakich’s goal is to sabotage Indiana Basketball.

  16. Man, what a display VO put on in the Pacers 126/86 beat down of the woeful Chicago Bulls. Twenty three points (9/11 and 2/3 3pt), six rebounds, and nine assists in just 24 minutes.

    The VO for Paul George trade may turn out to be the best the Pacers have ever made. There is a relevant NBA team for Hoosiers to support again.

      1. Anything that’s “best” for the Pacers is at a bar so low that it’s nearly an oxymoron.

        Long before there were 50 channels to watch sports and the huge cable companies, most markets(and, I would guess, most fans’ allegiances) were formulated/identified by the reach of a television signal via the airwaves. Growing up in NW Indiana(only a 45 minute drive to downtown Chicago), most considered the Chicago market as their professional teams. No different for my h.s. buddies. All we ever talked about or digested was Chicago sports. Parents bought the Chicago Tribune, etc, etc. WGN covered most of the games. Walter Jacobson was the nightly news. Never any better, by the way.
        We saw ourselves more as Chicagoans…Oddly, once you got to South Bend(though Valpo was even quite different), things felt more removed from the cities/suburbs(Gary, Michigan City, Portage, Hobart) that identified with Chicago. My passions for the teams started at a time I was watching the Black Hawks with Phil Eposito….Jack Brickhouse doing Cubs games….and ‘Butterbean’ Love playing forward on the Bulls. A long time ago. I can’t change. No matter where I live, my heart will be with the memories of my childhood heroes.
        My loyalties to IU had nothing to do with an allegiance to the state of Indiana. My early days of getting infected by IU Basketball grew more out of a love for basketball meshing with siblings attending IU …And with subsequent visits to the campus, I began to watch and grew interest in the candy stripes.
        The quite demeanor combined with artistry I saw in Steve Downing hooked me as a Hoosier fan. I hang on to those days….hoping that someone in the uniform can light the fires again.

      2. There just aren’t any relevant professional teams teams for Illinois sports fans to follow anymore.

        Glad I’m a Hoosier.

        1. Black Hawks have been pretty relevant. Cubs won a World Series two years ago(and had back-to-back NLCS)…albeit it was sort of a long time coming. I don’t really follow any professional teams with the same obsessions of my younger days. Is it the obscene money…and the obscene narcissism infecting the games? Mostly. Find me a Dr. J…or a Bird. Show me someone with real swagger who acts like they’ve been there before. All these bozos are either pointing to heaven after a made jump shot or pounding their own chests….or doing push-ups during a postgame interview to prove their PED’s are still working at the end of a game.

          Colts? Relevant. Wow…The hype and dollars wasted on Andrew Luck has been nearly as disappointing as the hype ..and the millions squandered on Tom Crean.

          I’d hardly call the Pacers relevant….They’ll be lucky to make the playoffs. They’ll be eliminated in a flash. Not enough star power.

          Relevant teams: That’s easy. Boston, Cleveland, GS, OKC…maybe Houston.
          I do sort of enjoy watching the Lakers. The Lakers have the most ‘future’ promise.

          1. You take care, Chet. Remember when Tsao and JPat were supposed to get together at Nick’s and down a couple peace treaty beers? I think you said you’d love to be there too.
            Tsao was my Chicagoan brother of another mother….Sure hope he hasn’t passed on. Always said he had a marvelous view of the city from Lake Shore Dr…..It takes some major pocket change to live anywhere near Lake Shore…Man, he had the tales. Wasn’t his son in the military? I’m in one of those reminiscing moods…..Miss the old geezer who was keen and flamboyant with language. Miss the fun and the fury. He knew how call out BS.

  17. Blips on the radar do not make for a dynasty.

    Hoosier fans understand very well that every dynasty has its day. Our own dynasty era sorta speak is far more distant in the rear view mirror than the Bull’s double 3-peat. But what a dynasty time it was for Hoosier basketball. Knight’s teams got to four Final Fours and won three titles in barely more time frame than the decade of sputtering in March under Crean.
    And if minus a horrendous foul call against Downing in ’73… and if blessed with a healthy May in ’75, the Hoosier Dynasty years under Knight likely have five titles.

    Now…? Much like the Pacers, we’re lucky to be a blip on the relevant radar. How unfortunate it was to waste a decade under a charlatan.

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