Slow start dooms IU in 74-63 loss at Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Archie Miller’s right hand rested on the scorer’s table. His left hand was fixed to his hip.

It was a portrait of frustration from the Indiana coach, who watched with a degree of helplessness as Michigan’s Charles Matthews intercepted Al Durham’s pass atop the key and turned it into an easy dunk early in the first half.

The sequence was one of many that left Miller shaking his head and tossing his arms during the opening moments Sunday, another occasion where Miller’s IU team took the court flat-footed and struggled to find traction.

Often through the first 14 games of the season, the Hoosiers found ways to overcome such early-game stumbles. But not Sunday.

Not against No. 2 Michigan.

On an afternoon when short-handed Indiana otherwise challenged the Wolverines, the No. 21 Hoosiers’ couldn’t make up for the slow start that doomed them to a 74-63 loss at Crisler Center.

“We’re not tough enough starting games,” Miller said. “We’re not ready to be tough at the start of games. We take a punch, maybe a few too many, then we get up off the ground and get going. We need to be more ready at the start of the game with our aggressiveness and our ability to take on what the other team is gonna try to establish. Michigan established themselves very quickly in this game. They had us knocked on our heels.”

And in foul trouble, to boot.

IU (12-3, 3-1) never led and trailed by as many as 19 points midway through the opening period, navigating early whistles against Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford all the while.

Morgan and Langford were each called for their second foul prior to the first media timeout, briefly leaving the Hoosiers with a patchwork lineup combination consisting of Clifton Moore, Zach McRoberts, Justin Smith, Al Durham and Devonte Green.

The fouls tested Indiana’s depth in a game it played without five players — point guard Rob Phinisee, forwards Jake Forrester, Race Thompson and Jerome Hunter and center De’Ron Davis, who tweaked his ankle against Illinois on Thursday and was unable to go against Michigan.

“You just got to be sharp,” Miller said. “You’ve got to be ready to go. Romeo’s first foul was a reaction out of a turnover. You’re going to be able to pick up two. But both guys picked up two in the first four minutes. That’s very uncharacteristic. You have to look at it and say those guys have to be a little better at the start of the game. That’s about it. That’s all you can say.”

Saying so appears much easier than doing as much at this point, however.

Even when Indiana is winning, the Hoosiers are often forcing themselves to come from behind. In each of IU’s past eight wins, it has overcome at least a two-possession deficit.

Where is such a fix found? That’s one of the central questions Miller has wrestled with during the first half of the season, a flaw he and the Hoosiers are still striving to solve.

“I don’t think we have been as consistent as we need to be to get where we want to go,” Morgan said, “and I think that just falls on players like me and Zach (McRoberts). I think we’ve had spurts of it, but I think just digging ourselves in those holes, it’s hard for any team to really fight back from.”

It’s been a challenge for IU even against lesser competition, of which Michigan (15-0, 4-0) is certainly not. Miller, however, can move his finger up and down the early-season schedule and pinpoint unforced errors and unnecessary lapses that have forced his team to recalibrate on the fly.

“I can go back as many games as we’ve played, whether it’s been at home against Central Arkansas or Jacksonville, or back to UC Davis,” Miller said. “… On the road, you’re not going to be able to do that in this league. That’s sort of the message to the team moving forward. I think they all understand right now that we have to be much more dialed in those first four minutes, first five minutes.”

Michigan started 6-for-7 from the field, and later outscored Indiana 19-4 over a five-minute span leading toward the under-12 timeout. At that point, the Wolverines had connected on 13 of their first 16 field goals on the day.

Michigan owned a 44-29 lead by halftime, at which time Charles Matthews (16 points) and Jordan Poole (12 points) nearly had as many points as Indiana’s entire team. As much as Miller lamented his team’s lack of defensive toughness, IU struggled as much on the offensive end, too.

It was a slow go for Morgan and Langford, who combined to shoot merely 6-for-18 during the first half. The duo accounted for 67 percent of IU’s offensive production by the end of the day, with Morgan finishing with 25 points and Langford adding 17 points.

But missed baskets and general inefficiencies in the early segments from them and others proved too much to mitigate.

“We kind of got used to it, because we’ve been coming back and winning close games at the beginning of the season,” Langford said. “And now, that’s not going to work for us down the road.”

The slow start was all the more frustrating for Indiana given what it otherwise managed to accomplish against one of the nation’s top teams.

After Michigan shot 58 percent from the field during the first 20 minutes, IU held the Wolverines to only 40 percent from the field in the second half. The Hoosiers also managed to outscore Michigan, 34-30, in the final period.

IU made Morgan the focus coming out of halftime, and the senior forward responded by powering his way toward the basket. IU won the first four-minute segment of the second half, 10-6, with Morgan providing seven of those points.

The Hoosiers later used an 11-2 run midway through the second half to get as close as seven points with 10:54 to play, but couldn’t make up the ground they lost early in regulation.

“We have to start like that from the beginning,” Morgan said. “We can’t let it get to 17, 15, whatever it was. We can’t let it get to that point.”

59 comments

  1. Great Game. Hugely enjoyable entertainment. I am proud to be an IU Fan watching us play against one of the best teams of this year. I am confident in the Direction of this team and look forward to Maryland at Maryland.

  2. The only surprise about the outcome of this game was how close the score was! I thought the margin would be greater. You could see this coming for weeks. You get off to a slow start burdened by stupid turnovers, against a team like Michigan, and you’re not going to recover like you do against Illinois, PSU or NW. I hope this turns out to be a good lesson for Archie’s young team, and credit to them for outscoring MI in the second half. A weak team would have packed it in at half.

    Smart to sit DeRon out for this game. He wasn’t going to affect the outcome, so no sense it risking further damage to the ankle. Hope he’s healthy for Maryland.

    Archie sure has been bitten by the injury bug this season. Hope DeRon’s ankle is the last of them.

    1. Po, I concur completely. The 2nd half could have been just as sideways as the 1st. Meatchicken played just as good of D as I’d seen them play earlier in the year. But only scored 74 which is surprising. Says positive things about IU D in the 2nd half establishing again their heart and competitiveness. Only 7 TO’s total without Phinisee.

  3. agree with all…”GREAT GAME” by Archie Miller and the Indiana Hoosier basketball team. Love how competitive this team was in the second half. ……GO HOOSIER!!!

  4. Maryland used to be in the ACC and still does not have a clue on how to play in the Big Ten. Great Athletes, but absolutely no clue how to play Basketball.
    We are going to mop up the court in front of their befuddled fans!!!!!

  5. I think it is worth noting that Michigan hit a lot of low percentage shots today. It was impressive to watch but it is hard to make a living off that.

    At the same time, the Hoosiers missed a ton of high percentage shots. Can’t do that and get away with it.

  6. As has been well documented, these slow starts will bury a team especially on the road vs. #2. In IU’s illustrious history I can’t recall ever beating a top 5 team in their building, so the comments about being so far from Elite are not grounded in much fact. Perhaps the moderators can look into that.

    Simpson >> Green. Green can’t guard his shadow, a true Crean disciple. Not that having Phinisee would’ve mattered but it all starts up top. Penetration creates help which leads to fouls. Which leads to a loss. I give it up to Archie for bringing those 2 back with 2 fouls with 10 min. to go in the 1H. Major fortitude & realism in our leader. I’m growing more and more fond of Archie each week.

    We’ll see where we stand when they come to our place in a couple of weeks. We will be more than lucky to win 1/2 our road games in this conference. We’ll be lucky to win all of our home games. We are who we are. We’ll get better, but so will everyone else.

    1. If we win half our road games (let’s say 4-5) and all our home games I believe that puts us at 24-7 headed into the tourneys.

      That gives us a shot at a 30 win season.

      Doesn’t sound bad to me.

    2. I’m befuddled Green didn’t guard Simpson’s right hand. Maybe the better Q is did not the staff in film study see that should have been a possible positive option to slow him down. Maybe the 2nd biggest criticism of staff prep I’ve seen. 1st being what has happened to Fitzner’s game. I’ll bet in the McCracken floor rematch Simpson’ll have to work harder going right. Those running hooks off the glass each gave them a spark.

      1. I think those uncontested drives to the basket would indicate missed assignments, for sure.

        Fitzner is MIA.

        Considering Michigan hit quite a few poorly chosen shots, the Hoosiers couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean in the first half, we are still down several players including our very solid starting point guard, and we were playing the #2 team in the country on their home floor, it was a pretty solid effort by the guys on the floor once they settled down.

        There are plenty of things that must be remedied but there is absolutely no quit in this bunch. That will win a lot of games.

      1. You’re welcome. it was far from extensive…and it was pretty easy from my end. I have a Hoosier magazine giving season by season records (showing opponents who were ranked as well).
        Knight beat many top-10 teams on the road. Top-5 is a bit more difficult cut-off….but I didn’t check all the seasons.

        I don’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday…But when something is presented as probably never happening simply because it evades a particular person’s memory, there should be some challenge to show all records prove otherwise. Some have agendas. We used to beat the crap out of some very good teams while on the road….And we did have two undefeated regular seasons under Knight. That’s not been done for a while…if my memory serves correct.

  7. Elite…? Where was everyone the last decade? How many teams are elite without an “elite” coach? For all the blabbering about getting the next Knute Rockne @ Memorial, we’ve fumbled away a decade of potential headway to get back to elite basketball via empty marketing, pollyannaism, reunions and turning Assembly Hall into a stenciled museum (wealthy execs sky boxes/lounge included).

    “Everything Hinges,” “The Big Handsome,” “Ola-Sheehey,” “The Movement” and “Hoosier Rising” video productions while stalling at every NCAA tournament. with a clueless leader who would finish his 30 million dollar IU career with telling assistants to hold up cue cards. We acted the opposite of “elite” in the last decade. We acted like one big ED commercial; old washed up days and an old Fred/Hoosiers sporting banner reunions like macho swag still left for some highly attractive young lady still shallow enough to care. Just come in and say “It’s Indiana”…and it works better than a little blue pill.

    It’s all about money, folks. It’s all about uniforms and shoe deals. And it’s about coddling lone center-of-attention phenoms we must beg and kneel to don the candy stripes. You buy elite by allowing an elite class to have a separate section to mingle in Assembly Hall while looking down at the common folk. Nobody cares about truly doing what it take to be elite beyond the mirror making all things bigger than reality. It’s not just a sad phenomenon at Indiana….Unfortunately, it’s everywhere. Those who “have” must rub into the faces those who “have not.” There is nothing elite about any of it.

    1. I am not sure what the wringing of hands is about.

      The Hoosiers have lost three games.

      They have lost to the #1 ranked team in the country…on their floor. They lost to the #2 ranked team in the country…on their floor. They lost to a 10-3 Arkansas team currently in first place in the SEC…by a missed tip in…on their floor.

      WTF guys? Unrealistic expectations much?

      1. Chet- If it wasn’t Duke, Michigan and Arkansas, it could have been three dozen other teams that would have had their way with us.
        This is not the fault of Archie. It’s the price of 30 million dollar cue cards. It’s going to be a long road back…if it ever gets back.
        Until then, Rock is right. Just let the boys have some fun. Hope they have fun being taught the game of basketball. I’d rather have 8th-graders catapulted into candy stripes excited and eager to have fun learning hoops …than the immature basketball mindset that infected McCracken the last decade like a stinky diaper taking over a baby’s room.

        Have fun, boys. Banners aren’t everything.

    2. Maybe elite status takes IU into territory they deemed too dangerous? The fake classes, the Louisville recruit parties, cash payments and gifts to top-tier recruites and I would guess much more than we have heard about. Lesson learned with the phone call fiasco? Coach Miller has IU headed in the right direction and if the stars align, who knows.

      1. The phone call fiasco was jaywalking compared to war crimes going on in the rest of college basketball…Let’s keep it real. Cutting off Kelvin’s head had more to do with things Indiana should not be too proud of in its history; things I never believed would infect Bloomington.

  8. Phinisee with another two games of experience under his belt would have certainly helped against Michigan. Phinisee just coming off concussion protocol, shaking rust off his game and getting nursed back into minutes? Correct, under that scenario, it would not have made much difference.

    With each game Phinisee was getting more confident and proving just how instrumental he is to filling in the right pieces of this team. He steadies our team with a maturity and grit which flows into the other four on the floor.

    His injury put a huge hurdle into our season….The abundance of caution will likely make that hurdle difficult to scale quickly. Heaven forbid he takes another hard hit, hard foul, or collision to the hardwood while diving for a ball. I don’t have a lot of confidence things will be back to normal in our lineup soon.

    “Elite” in the purely talent use of the term means having a very solid backup player at most spots on the roster if your team suffers an injury to one starter.
    We’re not there. I still think Indiana is an elite school. We have an elite heritage in basketball (Bloomington and throughout our state). We still fill up Assembly Hall for nearly every contest which, I suppose, most schools would define as an elite fan base. We have a new coach who certainly appears to be someone with the potential to be of an elite teaching level.

    Will we ever see anything resembling our heyday under Knight’s best years? Very doubtful. The times have just changed too much. Too much ground has been lost. Too many values weaving through the mindsets/earning potential of phenoms has changed. College basketball is now a machine. That money/connection machine favors those who have fed it in a manner that doesn’t necessarily consider elite character, elite grades, elite humble values that put team ahead of self and elite ethical standards in acquiring all talent.

    Sporadic success and deep NCAA runs may still happen for Indiana, but we have long ago exited the machine that has consumed the narcissistic and unscrupulous tendencies most “elite” programs and governing institutions of the sport adopted in selling their souls to win consistently. Do we really want to be part of that machine? Not this Hoosier. We’ve always been unique in our approach to “elite.” I prefer the direction we’re heading with Archie. I prefer one for all and all for one. I value integrity in teaching the game. I value integrity in recruiting which doesn’t treat the candy stripes like a candy store for a spoiled teenager merely wanting a stage to audition for the NBA.

  9. Green has not been the reason why IU has been a slow starter all season long. He contributed to it against Michigan, but the problem goes beyond Green’s performance. Yes, you could see it coming for weeks, because the facts are that IU started off slow, and gotten behind against the weakest teams in the Big Ten. You do that against the best team in conference, which is undefeated, and you’re not going to recover, especially on the road.

    You just know Archie is frustrated with Green’s bad habits, because he is obviously not learning from his mistakes, and it’s just maddening to watch him continue to make the same mistakes, game after game. As a former point guard, you know Archie is trying to address Green’s foibles, to no avail. Phinisee can’t come back soon enough, and honestly, I’m not sure Green will have much of a future at IU after next year’s freshman arrive on campus.

    Unless we reduce the impact of some of these bad habits (slow starts, stupid turnovers, missing good shots, free throw shooting), we’re not going to win all of our home games this season. Michigan would have beaten us Sunday if the game had been played in Bloomington. I don’t see this IU team winning 25 games this season. I believe it will be more like 23, which will still be a major improvement and get us into the tourney.

    1. They seem to try and recreate the start of the Marquette game when everything clicked and all the shots fell. That’s not who they are.

      Then, once they are way down, they feed Juwan and Romeo to get back in the game.

      I think you come out of the gate with a big dose of those two and, when they are forced to double team them, everyone else will find their open shots.

      But, Archie probably knows more about this than I do.

  10. Caught the game on replay late last night.

    I think the slow starts aren’t about the offense (which is the obvious problem). It’s also that the Hoosier seem to start slow in defense. The start of the Marquette game was driven by turnovers and transition. Michigan was shooting over 60% towards the 5 min mark of the 1st half. This team is at its best when it is locked in on defense.

  11. 7 turnovers on the road vs the #2 team in the country? That’s incredible, especially for a young team. I can’t wait to get another shot at Michigan later this year, with a healthy RP.

    1. Agreed.

      Michigan is obviously really good but, considering the issues I mentioned above, dropping an 11 point decision on their floor while having only 7 turnovers while playing without your starting point guard leaves me optimistic about the rematch.

    2. DD, Both posts I couldn’t agree more. Better early game D for sure keeps the scoring gap smaller while adding to either peripheral and/or reciprocating baskets.

  12. Hanging around any beautiful college campus doing what one may do anywhere from a few thousand to several million is a pretty good gig if you can get it. In reality narrow that down to the top of the food chain (pyramid)
    It just seems like a whimsical job/ career to me.
    Of course it applies to everyone everywhere all the time that makes bigger than reality false fake phony unreality that is addicted reality.

    1. t- I get it…and you are correct. Complacent millionaires. …multimillionaires who, in one or two years, have all the comforts needed for the rest of a lifetime. It sucks the fire out of any belly. And then the phenoms who can basically go through the motions as well knowing they’ll soon be making more bread than 99% of those idiots in the arena who clap at anything. Crean may have run a “weave to nowhere” offense…but many are still running a “weave to nowhere narcissism” in their minds. Can Archie breakthrough such mindsets? Can any coach? Doubtful.
      It’s all become privilege. I don’t even think there’s much point in the “elite” talent even going to college. They are predestined and pre-infected with the privilege soon around the corner. What’s to care about an education? What’s to care about teammates not with the full array your amazing talents to play at the next level? And unless you have enough prima donnas on one roster to balance the “elite” narcissism, the attitude of grandeur from a one or two is almost dysfunctional.

  13. t- Agree. Looks pretty much like a typical Dayton team. We would dominate in the Atlantic 10 heavily populated with Catholic/Private universities. Is it the standard any of us truly miss or desire? Nothing close.

    I rarely recommend listening to the Dakich show on Indy radio 1070 ‘The Fan’…but I just happened to be driving when Don Fischer gave a Monday appearance. Fischer hit every note correctly(paraphrasing):

    Fischer: “The mental side of this team is where the problem exists…I don’t know how you fix it. I love Archie. I like his matter of fact attitude and how approaches everything on the coaching side. The talent is there..but there is something wrong on the mental side of things. Don’t know how you fix it, Dan. They are all fine kids. They just don’t know what the ‘Indiana’ means on the front of that jersey.”

    Could not agree more with Fischer. This is an attitude leftover from the numbskull who occupied the coach’s seat(though he never sat in it) for the last decade. It reminds me a lot of Parkey’s attitude on the Bears after choking. Maybe it’s having so much faith in your faith….that nothing else really matters. God will make everything just dandy. There is no regret. There is no getting pissed off at yourself or your teammates. There is only …this almost prima donna “oh well” attitude where all the fire in the belly is gone. And I agree with Fish…I don’t know how you fix it. Where is the fire? Where is the belief that the name on the jersey(not your own invisible name) is the most important thing as it relates to your job and purpose on McCracken?

  14. Be a lot different team with a kid like Butler’s McDermott (Pendleton Heights) on our roster.
    Archie has done a wonderful job in his early work to get Indiana kids back to Bloomington/IU, but much was lost before his arrival. Just saying “Indiana” should mean having ample guys who can convert at the charity stripe and splash from long range.
    We’d be so much more dangerous with one really lights-out shooter from distance. I thought Fitzner was going to somewhat fill that need. I thought wrong. He’s just too much of a defensive liability.

  15. No one can blame anyone for looking out for their Economic Interest(s), and these players who have a chance to make some money playing basketball certainly have the right to focus on doing just that.

    MY concern for this team is the “fun factor”. Just look at the comraderie on the Michigan bench and compare it to the posing on our bench.

    Do not get me wrong: I like our team and (finally) they ARE a team (after many desolate seasons). The only reason I watch SEASONS is to see how the TEAM evolves (I think Chet pointed out that “everyone is going to get better”).

    The ONLY thing that interests me is whether an IU Men’s Basketball Team is ever going to act like Brothers….why not have FUN while you are preparing for WORK? It starts with everyone on the team one the same page, and you cannot be on the same page with someone who is obviously not even close to your talent…..Man, if I were on that team on the bench I’d be going absolutely crazy rooting for my teammates. I don’t see it (and I DO see it on Michigan, they look like they are F R I E N D S). I think Maryland is more messed up in this regard than we are, and how can they not be with a witless “crowd” attempting to watch the game AND figure our what’s happening at the same time? We’ll beat them easily. The only question in my mind is how our bench is going to react while we’re dominating.

    1. Would love to agree with you Rock, but as far as “team,” I ain’t seeing it. Phinisee brings something to the floor that gets it closer…but from my vantage point it looks like individuals sort of with heads in the clouds.

      A quality coach at Indiana is doing his best(which is a far cry above what we had the last 10 years), but I don’t think he’s had enough time in most these young men’s lives to truly impart the same ways he approached the game when he was a college basketball player.
      I guess I’m just not realistic…I want the jersey to mean something again. I’m not sure if it ever will….

      1. Again, we lost to the #1 team in the country…on the road, the #2 team in the country…on the road, and the #1 team in the SEC…on the road by 1 point on a missed tip in.

        Yeah, we’re in a crisis.

        1. It’s not a crisis in my life….It’s the game that’s in a crisis of values. Last time I checked, having values isn’t a key ingredient separating winners and losers….in business, politics or sports.

          But it’s damn silly to speak of brotherhood when 18-year-old’s are being thrown 20 million dollars after one season of college. We need Robin Hood more than that sort of brotherhood….Kentucky is never a team. Who in the hell are we trying to kid? It’s a toddler party at a round ball daycare center for the best golden diapers in the land. They poop gold and Calipari cleans up all the mess.

  16. Fun and brotherhood…? I’m all for it. I have often referred to it as synergy and chemistry. Profit motives and earning potential being at the forefront of an 18-year-old soon to be a multimillionaire? You tell me how long term friendships, brotherhood, etc. have much chance to grow in such an environment?

    What will often develop is jealousy, resentment, feelings of being overshadowed(not being appreciated for a very vital role you bring) and a resigning to ever building anything long term. Fine wines aren’t made like Boone’s Farm…Teams must develop and relationships must get through the highs and lows …and tests of time. Good luck trying to do those things in one or two seasons without large pools of talent every year to even out the bumps of chemistry/synergy lost.

    The sort of money now made in the NBA is killing all but a few part of the machine.

    Romeo ain’t here for the fun. He’s here for personal business. Do you honestly fun and brotherhood in his demeanor? I love the kid’s talent. He’s even keel and plays a pretty unselfish game of basketball considering his talent. But his father was pretty forthright as to why some schools were cut from the list…I think it had something to do with Adidas contracts/sponsorship. Kansas was taken off because of possibly still being under the FBI investigation. He’ll go high in the draft and his business will be done.
    Five banners will remain until the next lone Indiana Jones provides us more blue pill….”He chose me! Oh, thank God, he chose me. It’s Indiana.” Hate to break it to you, but these heroes are gone faster than call girls.

    I want camaraderie, but I think it’s rather naive to believe greed motivation and the one-and-done aren’t seriously affecting team dynamics and the real chance to build a team into a fine complex wine. And when guys mature together through ups and downs, it fosters brotherhood…and probably some fun too.
    We’re Boone’s Farm….and all it gets you is a very sweet Sweet 16.

  17. There is still some intrigue in the game…There are still some outside of the “greed machine” and putting incredible teams/seasons together.
    Villanova…? How long does it work?
    Loyola of Chicago…? How does that happen without a true superstar?
    Can Archie come up with a formula that works at Indiana within the BigTen? Time will tell….He needs a 5-star big. He needs some lights-out shooters. He needs a superstar who is unique minded and thinks outside the trends of the day. He needs that superstar to be obsessed more with brotherhood and Indiana more than the fastest train to riches.

  18. Models to Final Fours:

    Rare model: Teams with high 3/4-stars often evolving into a few 5-stars who are willing to stay four years…..

    Most prevalent model: Teams loaded with talent. Less scrutiny/values in methods used acquiring talent. Teams may have a certain amount of revolving door stardom, but it’s replenished quickly enough to continue dominance against most opponents.

    Rarely does anything between the spectrum above work. Success is much more heavily weighted to the ‘most prevalent model.’ It’s much like America. .1% of college basketball owning 99.9% of the “winning” levels to be considered elite.

    Once in a blue moon, a Butler…a Villanova…a Loyola of Chicago emerges to give hope against the order of things. But Indiana? We live in the world between. A dusting of top talent and none of it stays long enough to build the outlier who has the .1% chance.

  19. Romeo may be here for the NBA BUSINESS; he’s 6’6 can drive to the basket finger roll like George Gervin BUT UNTIL he shows he can shoot from a distance closer than 10 ft…he’s G League material waiting to play. You honestly think NBA teams are going to let him drive he’s been doing ? Without a jump shot Romeo will last as long on an NBA team until Kyle Guy grads from Virginia; and here’s the clue: J J Reddick is STILL on NBA roster because of his shooting ability and Vonleh and Bryant are having difficulty finding a team . Romeo will be told at NBA evals the same as Juwan ..”go back and develop your jump shot”

    1. I like Romeo…but the finger roll has got nothin’ on George Gervin…or Dr. J. This I do know.
      I know very little when it comes to predicting NBA success. Health plays a lot into the potential and longevity equations….Sometimes getting on the right team makes a huge difference. Eric Gordon had explosive rim-rocking athleticism, but some injuries have cut his potential into primarily a perimeter shooter. He’s ten years in now …and well in excess of 100 million in career earnings.
      The money is absolutely nuts. Zeller? Again, enough cash to buy just about anything anyone would need for three lifetimes…..And for doing what at Charlotte? 8 pts/game and a role player? Is that luck …or just a horrible draft projection/evaluation? You tell me because I’m not seeing the ability(in many instances)matching up with the crazy money. We (as in the machine) make these heroes. I don’t know how some get on the train and some do not….but they are deemed to a hot list and the rest is history.
      Romeo is on the hot list. Where he’ll be in five years? I have no clue …other than knowing he’ll have zero financial worries if he’s smart with his early mega earnings.

      Steve Miller was right 40 years ago…Rob the castle. Take the $$$ and run.

  20. There is no such thing as ability matching up with $$$. Check out among all, everything, everywhere, everything and that includes the sanctimonious loving (including career) politicians who are elected. How much can one man be worth???? A super powerful slanted and rigged drug….except for those who actually have to live somewhat by an honest days pay for an honest days work that equilibrium has, is, and (no end in sight) will continue to spin out of control has knocked earth off its axis.

  21. take the money $$$, and run; throw a few crumbs back. Sanctimonious and loving, intelligent, caring, successful that makes one man or woman a higher level human species. Not!

  22. The Michigan bench thing, brotherhood, having fun….they were pounding IU. The IU bench guys were in no position to show that emotion. Look at our bench when they are on a run and you’ll see excitement & having fun. Who was it last year with the bench pulling those stupid antiques? Call that fellowship and having fun? I would call it embarrassing and think Miller would insure they never see the floor.

    1. Thanks Ron. Agree 100%. I feel dizzy reading some of comments in this thread. These guys are playing above their collective talent, while factoring in the injury situation. They’re one of the best defensive teams in the best conference in the country. You don’t play tough defense with a weak will. I haven’t seen anything that shows that anyone is lacking effort.

      On Don Fischer’s comments, I think we’re just dealing with young players. What we see is that sometimes they lack cohesion. But that part is improving from game to game. It is just experience. They’re getting better as the season progresses. This team has flaws, but some of the comments would make you feel like we’re watching Rutgers or something.

      1. Yep. Like I said earlier, the Hoosiers have lost to the #1 team in the country…on the road, the #2 team in the country…on the road, and the first place team in the SEC on a last second missed tip in…on the road.

        Why the hand wringing?

        Kentucky’s losses are much worse than the Hoosiers’.

        1. Outside of Marquette….we’ve hardly played anyone of major significance outside our three losses. Thus, it is pretty hard to tell exactly where this team will settle in the BigTen.
          Without Phinisee, my expectations are lowered. We certainly don’t have the Butler win without him…(and Butler is not very good).

          It’s only Archie’s second season. I don’t expect the lost ground from the last decade to be made up in a couple seasons. The local recruiting cupboard was not only empty — it had been dismantled. He is still dealing with guys he inherited that may have never recruited under his designs of how he wants to assemble a team. Morgan has been a blessing to have remained…Some maybe not so much.
          It’s not hand wringing. It’s being realistic …It’s being fair to Archie while understanding certain guys aren’t bring much more over last season(Smith has yet to do anything nearing what looks like his potential. Green is still a turnover mess at times). Injuries to key roster spots(Phinisee) have also hurt.

          It’s not going to be a dominant team with continued lack of improvement and injury setbacks. Hell, I even sold Fitzner far more than what he’s brought to the team. I thought he’d give us more. I was wrong….at least thus far. Look, I said I was wrong. Try it…you may like it.
          Didn’t we have enough polyannasism over the last 10 years? Good Lord…..

  23. Without Romeo, it wouldn’t really be that far from Rutgers.

    I think Don Fischer was alluding to something other than effort. But guys can bring effort and still not necessarily care deeply about ‘team’ or ‘teammates.’ Fischer has been around a long time…Maybe the needed ‘fix’ he’s talking about isn’t going to happen until Archie has a team completely comprised of his recruits? Maybe Don is simply getting old and tired of uneventful season in repeat mode for most of the last three decades?
    I really can’t get inside his head…I only know that he reiterated a feeling that kids don’t seem to value the Indiana name on the jersey anymore. Make of it as you will.

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