Shockers end IU’s season in NIT quarterfinals

The final ovation of the season was reserved for the final Hoosier to walk off the court.

It was Juwan Morgan, playing in the last game of his college career.

There was still a sizable portion of the announced crowd of 10,312 remaining in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall as Morgan made his way through the handshake line after Indiana’s 73-63 loss to Wichita State in the NIT quarterfinals. As he made the slow walk from the scorer’s table to IU’s locker room tunnel, the team’s orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Steve Ahlfeld, sidled next to Morgan and gently patted his back.

The season — and his career — was finally over.

With that, Morgan raised his right hand, waved to those who refused to leave and soaked in the embrace. Then he lowered his hand, dropped his head and took his final few steps in an IU uniform.

After four years, there was nothing left to play for.

“It felt kind of bittersweet,” Morgan said. “I feel like I failed my job a little bit, but at the same time, I feel like there was never any question if I was leaving it out there — leaving it all out there — day in, day out. So at the end of the day, the results weren’t what we wanted, but I couldn’t be happier walking off knowing I did what I had to do.”

Tuesday’s season-ending loss brought with it a sense of finality, yes. Juwan Morgan’s admirable career of hustle and grit is over, and in the days and weeks to come, we’ll learn if Romeo Langford’s stay in Bloomington is over, too. A lot could change with the construction and identity of this team as the spring meets the summer.

A 10-point loss to Wichita State served as one final reminder of what Indiana is, where it stands and where it needs to go.

The Hoosiers played to their averages. They didn’t shoot well along the perimeter (33 percent from 3-point range) or at the line (54 percent). Given multiple opportunities to tie or take a lead in the second half, they couldn’t get the meaningful shot or the big stop the game required.

Wichita State, meanwhile, drained 11 3-pointers and went 72 percent at the free throw line.

In a season where so many little moments made the difference, Indiana on Tuesday was left to reconcile one final time with some of its biggest shortcomings and how to address them from here.

“Shooting from the 3-point line is the No. 1 reason in many ways that our team could not get over the hump so many times,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “You’ve got to be able to make shots in the Big Ten, because they turned it into a halfcourt league, and you have to be able to stretch games out and break them open when you have your opportunities from 3, and this team this year couldn’t make shots.”

At least, the Hoosiers couldn’t make shots consistently. Every so often, they’d make enough to make you wonder.

After an ugly first half, at which point IU trailed 36-29 at the intermission, Indiana got within one point on two occasions, the second of which saw Devonte Green hit a deep 3 on the wing and draw a foul with 8:26 to play. But Green couldn’t hit his free throw, and Wichita State’s Dexter Dennis drilled a 3 of his own on the other end.

The Shockers pushed their lead to seven points two minutes later on another 3 by Dennis, who went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc and finished with 17 points. His top teammate, Markis McDuffie, added 21 points.

Indiana was unable to play its way back from there.

“They capitalized,” Miller said. “Every single time we were right there, we could not get over the hump, whether it was a foul at the end of the shot clock, a rebound on the weak side that leads to an end one — they just made some really tough, hard plays in a game like that when we didn’t.

“That’s the ability of a group like they have. You know, they are tough guys. They play hard. They have been playing really, really well here in the last two months and I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be surprised if they don’t win the NIT. I think that’s the type of team that they have right now.”

Indiana, on the other hand? This was a team that the local basketball historians will reflect upon with wonder. It was a season full of what-could-have-beens, primarily centered on the rampant injuries that prevented the Hoosiers from realizing their full potential.

Morgan scored 21 points on Tuesday, closing his run at Indiana with 1,374 career points — good for 24th all-time. And how much better could he — and his team — have been if he weren’t forced to play out of position at the five nearly all year?

Langford didn’t play on Tuesday, missing his third straight game with a back injury. He’ll soon have to weigh whether he wants to continue working on his game at Indiana, or gamble on the developmental process at the NBA level.

Will there be more to write about Langford’s Indiana story? Maybe. Maybe not.

Will the junior who filled in for Langford down the stretch, Devonte Green, be able to carry his strong late-season run into a new year? Green finished with 12 points against Wichita State, marking the seventh consecutive game he’s scored in double figures — the longest such streak of his career.

There are so many questions left with these Hoosiers. Some of the answers will be revealed in the weeks and months to come. Some will be lost to time.

After Tuesday’s game, the Hoosiers were not despondent in the locker room. Long ago, they came to terms with who they were.

At the end of a weird, winding season, there was at least some solace found. Indiana had ample opportunities to leave this season worse than they found it, but even after losing 12 of 13 games during a particularly awful stretch in the heart of Big Ten season, they didn’t quit on themselves or each other.

It’s not much, but in a year with no other tangible reward, it’s something.

“We went through a lot of adversity this season with injuries,” point guard Rob Phinisee said. “We could’ve gave up, but we didn’t.”

Said Morgan: “The program’s in good hands with all the guys coming back, the whole coaching staff — I believe in those guys.”

84 comments

  1. Thankfully this season is over. IU needed a bigger “side of a barn”. Thank you Mr. Morgan for four years effort.

  2. Oh. If number one NIT seed IU didn’t have to meet one of the hottest teams in the country so early in NIT tournament.

    If RL would have played then IU would have showed them.

  3. Good luck to Morgan. I enjoyed watching him play. Two things stood out regarding the game. First, Dakich is a blabbering idiot and second, the better team won. Regardless of comments of Dakich, IU is not settled in the backcourt. If you go with Green, Durham and Phinisee, IU will not be any better. Perhaps Franklin is a player but Archie still has to be looking at guard options.

  4. Hoosier ,…I think Durham is a Combo Guard Forward; and can switch with Hunter in and out of lineup next year. Big men always help but Race seems to Know HOW to use his body when rebounding but Smith is a “broken compass” on defense which includes rebounding. Smith strikes me as a player that gravitates to the” back seat” of situations and allows ANYONE to move to front seat and when no one does Smith’s position on the floor is a cavity waiting to be filled. But it wasn’t just WS big men it was their shooting.. something Indiana hasn’t REALLY had all year I would hope Archie takes a HARD look at what Moore and Smith and Dmezi can bring to the table next year. I think Archie wants BBall players but appears Crean left him with “athletes”…. and those athletes never seemed to WANT to play defense…… a BIG THANK YOU to JM for all the enjoyable moments. One passing note: JM set the bar when it came to PLAYING the Game ….some on this team NEVER junderstood the message Juwan was sending…and it showed

  5. I would do what Crean did and gut this roster like a fish.

    Send the holdovers in a bus down to Georgia….Make them into NBA guys, Dr. Frankendipostein.

    Smith..? Adios. Green..? Adios. Durham..? Adios. DeRon..? Thanks but no thanks..Give Steve McClain a call up there at Chicago State..or wherever the hell.
    And whoever that scrub was on the Hoosier bench laughing at the end of the game while McRoberts looked as if he had lost his only love…? Cut that jerk-ass off the team tonight.

    Romeo? Juliet is waiting in a hotel room in Denver. Don’t drink the poison.

  6. Damezi..? Grab Doc, Grumpy, Sneezy..and the rest of the ratings star dwarfs from Snowy White South Bend and play for Valpo U.

  7. I can remember when playing in Assembly Hall was almost a guaranteed win. What a mess this season turned out to be. And while I’m looking forward to next season, I’m not optimistic that it will turn out to be much better. We’re losing at least as much as we’re bringing in. Will Archie finally produce a 20-win season?

    Next year, no more excuses about players being Crean’s recruits. Archie will have had two years with those guys. He either gets them playing the way he wants them to play, or he should encourage them to transfer. The honeymoon is over and from this point forward, it’s all on Archie.

    1. Yes, there are more excuses because they are CREAN RECRUITS! Gut it like a fish like Crean when he came in with his stakes and Salem trials.

      Clean the house of evil dysfunctional basketball ghouls…hovering around the goals. Call in a priest. Exorcise the 3-pt line and the aloof basketball demon possessing the entire roster….I’m tired of green spit-up and Green spitting it up.

      Until every holdover is gone, it will remain dysfunctional. Like the Men’s Warehouse guy…I guarantee it.

  8. PO then its time to push Moore out the door..he is a “Priller” player…and Smith would rather watch from the bench than play hard I wouldn’t cry if Archie encouraged him to move on also.

  9. Po. “I can remember when playing at Assembly Hall was almost a gauranteed win.” Those were the days. It was an enchanted Assembly Hall.

  10. Build all the suite seats for the privileged in the little Glass birdhouse above the peasants…and suddenly your team is playing just as entitled. I’m not surprised….

  11. This game summed up the entire season;
    Injuries
    Can’t shoot FTs
    Can’t shoot 3s
    Non-valued possessions

    This was the season in 40 minutes.

    There’s a lot of trash on what is going to be leftover on this team. We’re going to be left with a C that can only play 20 min. a game, no forwards that can score, and mid-major guard play, at best. I’m bullish on Phinisee but who is he going to pass it to who can score besides Green? Once again, there will be no leadership to pull the team together.

    I simply wouldn’t know where to start to be able to piece together a team that could win 10 Big Ten games with this bunch.

  12. AWinAZ- You nailed it. People are delusional if they believe Archie should be able to fix some of these unrefined/aloof players he did not bring to the program. When I see a benchwarmer on our team laughing in the final minute while McRoberts is nearly in tears….it tells me there is serious dysfunction on the team.

    Mr. Marchie Miller- If you think Hoosier fans’ patience is unjustifiably wearing thin, you ain’t seen nothin’ of just how thin it can get if Purdue gets to a Final Four…

    Flat against OSU at the Big Ten tournament…Flat for much of tonight in a game one shy of getting you to an NIT finals? Laughing on the Hoosier bench at the conclusion of the loss? Something is amiss …and it’s not just Romeo from the lineup.

  13. And it was a disservice to the seniors to play in this tournament. The Indiana Hoosiers should refuse any tournament not the NCAA tournament.

    It was a positive vibe and memorable goodbye for Morgan, McRoberts..and the rest of the seniors in the final regular season game on senior night.

    The NIT is pointless….and overkill. It’s exactly what we said is now wrong with Indiana high school basketball since it was destroyed by the idea that everyone should get some secondary easier chance to a blue ribbon. We came up short at the Big Ten tournament. We should have sucked it up and shut the door to the season.

  14. I know Im harping but I hope someone at the “Basketball Table ” gets the message. AWin I agree with your observation and so did Archie in his post-game comments “better shooting” was the LAST comment and thought on his mind. Archie can never have the program he envisions or Hoosiernation expects with chaff sitting on the bench. Justin Smith showed up 1 time this season when ( because of injuries) he needed to show up every night. Clifton Moore might as well been sitting in the Library instead end of bench.. Those 2 ( I’ll call them Priller and Son) will be Juniors next year IF kept on team which means I U Fans will be “honored” with ineffectiveness and dead weight on the program. I expect Durham to continue to improve as he did from last to this year.The Sad thing is IF you don’t weed out the chaff this year it will be another 3-4 years before Archie gets his program he wants and I U Deserves….Thanks Coach Crean for leaving IU with some Millstones.

  15. Am I remembering IU’s “Athletics Bill of Rights” or whatever it was called right? Once the student receives a scholarship it cannot be pulled if the student athlete does not break University rules, or very similar verbiage. So CAM can tell the kid he will not receive any game time and the kid decides to stay anyway, his athletic schlorship stays active, Jeremy / Mike. ??????

    1. Ron,
      That has been my concern as well as ncaa rules. I know our favorite Jester would love to gut it like a fish, but may not be able to do so due within the rules. Archie may be able to “encourage” them to look for greener pastures elsewhere, but shoving them out the door as in the past, may not pass the test.

      I have taken a little bit of time to ponder the end of a very disappointing season. Juwan and Zack will be much missed, wished Evan could have been more productive. I don’t believe this team ever fully recovered from the terrible amount of injuries suffered in one season. You don’t want to blame an injury or two, but this was not an injury or two. You can’t have the casualty level suffered by IUBB and expect anything different. That would be quite onerous expectations at the minimum.

      I don’t think we will be able to accurately measure this team or the coaching staff until we see what Race, Jerome, and Rob can do being hopefully healthy all next year. Romeo was incredibly important to Archie’s first recruiting class, but Race, Jerome, and Rob were the heart and soul of it. If there was to be a quick fix for the ills affecting the program, these guys had to do it. What do you do when the first step of your solution is negated in such a way?

      It is not like Archie inherited a tremendous amount of complimentary talent for HIS system on the roster. For this year, he had to work with one strong piece, one broken piece, and 3 works in progress, even with Romeo, not the stuff needed for a competitive team. You had to have Race, Jerome, and Rob fill in those gaps, and all three had their first seasons and development cut severely short. Archie is a system coach, just another well known HOF former coach. The only difference is, Archie did not inherit nearly the functional pieces for his system as did RMK.

      1. Crean shoved/nudged/used divine intervention to get guys out of Bloomington he didn’t want on the team long after the student ‘Bill of Rights’…..And before the ‘Bill of Rights,’ his pushing off of Creek, Roth, and Remy were disgraceful…I’ll take any of those three guys over the aloof-heads we have now.
        Things that would normally not be a “violation” of team rules were being used by Crean to get kids off the team. Stan Robinson, Perea, Devin Davis..? Come on, you guys. Wesson is still on OSU…Green is still on IU. It’s all kept under wraps when guys violate rules, but how much different can it really be from what Perea, Robinson or Devin Davis? They all landed at ohter programs so how bad could it have been?

        Additionally, the NCAA is relaxing transfer rules(pretty sure I heard it’s coming to basketball as well) so just about any college athlete in need of a transfer(by choice …or gently nudged) does not have to sit out a year.

        And if we can’t convince some to transfer because of Glass’s ‘Bill of Rights,’ then do what Bobby did …and make their lives miserable in practice. Sit them in games. Ride the pine(which probably should have been done much more this season).

        Lastly, Morgan’s comments on senior night while two years into a new coach continue to make me wonder just how much Archie can get a kid he did not recruit to have the same sense of ‘family’ or ‘team’ under such drastic coaching changes(from head down through all assistants). Once you have a coaching change, the so-called “Bill of Rights” should be thrown out the door. How in the hell is that fair to a new coach if under any eye test you can tell a kid is not invested in the program in the same manner anymore?

      2. Rob is healthy now. You saw what he did last night against a team not that spectacular. How impressed were you? Who really, really impresses you on this team(outside of Morgan)? Whose shooting ability really impresses you? Whose all-out effort? Whose consistency impresses you? Whose remarkable leadership skills impress you? Whose communication and demands for teammates accountability on the floor impresses you? Whose savviness and b-ball IQ impresses you? Whose unwavering focus and crisp play under pressure impresses you?
        How many of the above questions can you assign one or two names from the roster to even meet a minimal standard of “impressive?”

        You can do all of the above “impressive” things without being a lottery pick.

      3. If we were all to be honest, we thought Romeo was going to come in here like Larry Bird or MJ and have no problem making up for deficiencies in some areas of our roster. We thought he could take over a game when we needed a bucket. We thought he’d bring a new level of focus and confidence as everyone tried to emulate his leadership and clutch traits … and elevate their games the way many superstars can influence the process. Why can’t we be honest here? He’s a fine kid ….He may be a superstar individual talent. He played unselfishly. But did you see “it factor?” Did you see guys drawn to his charisma and personality factors on the floor that function in the world of competitive edge and immeasurable positive influence/intangibles?

        Everyone wants/believes it’s the next Isiah…or Bird…or Johnson…or MJ. The true game-changers are once in a lifetime. 5-star or McDonald’s All-
        American…? Sure, bring more! Bring me t’s favorite 5-star and high 4-star bowl of Wheaties in our next recruiting “breakfast of champions” not yet champions…But if you’re expecting instant “it factor” and leadership in these overblown times of hype and narcissistic exaggerations at every turn around every corner…? Good luck with that. I’ve seen about two (maybe three) true superstars wear a Hoosier uniform in 45 years….Downing, Isiah and …maybe Bailey. These were guys who came with the “it factor” to make everyone around them better. Guys who only knew one gear to give 110%.

    2. That’s not how it works. The Athletic Bill of Rights says that any player who commits to Indiana University to play sports on scholarship is guaranteed to get their degree. That does NOT guarantee an athletic scholarship. Kids are not guaranteed roster spots on teams.

  16. Archie is too honorable a coach to rip away a scholarship plus he also knows that would be very detrimental to the recruiting and program. instead he will use the bench to send a message. having said that how can you interpret Moore’s lack of motivation. with all the injuries he had ample opportunities to get playing time IF HE applied himself, and when Race got healthy Moore became nothing more than a “talking point” It could very easily be next year that the “space eaters” will be on the bench and not in the lane

    1. TJ,
      I think you are correct about Archie being honorable. However, if Race and Jerome come back healthy for next year, I think you will see a lot of TC’s recruits riding the bench. Especially, if Romeo decides to come back or what Archie brings in to fill his slot. I only see Al and maybe DD getting significant time on the floor. In order for Justin and Devonte to see playing time they will have to up their game in a major way. I think you will see the Archie recruited guys, and especially the bigs, being very hungry for playing time.

  17. This is not being negative towards AM because I would say this about most coaches. Just fact. AM not only does not belong in the same gym as BK…AM doesn’t belong in the same league as BK. No comparison explained.

    1. t,
      You seem to forget RMK’s rather humble beginnings at Army. Last year there he posted a losing record. Not saying AM is another RMK, those don’t come along everyday; but everyone has to start somewhere and RMK had much, much better talent to work with his first two years at IU than AM inherited.

      1. If we’re now Army, I’m joining the Navy.

        AM is about as close to being RMK …as a.m. to p.m. Injuries or no injuries, RMK would have sat entire starting lineups for a lot of what was given a pass this season. McCracken would have seen little practice time ….because there’s a point Bobby knew concrete steps to the balcony could teach a stronger lesson than maple. He would have rolled up Glass’s ‘Bill of Rights’ and drafted his own ‘Bill of Flights…of Stairs’ for an entire roster of players he would rename Bill.
        “Hey, Bill Henderson, go run those three flights! Hey, Bill Bailey…go run some with him!…Hey, Bill Buckner..Can you play baseball? No? Then go run those steps….for my ‘Bill of Flights…of Stairs…You too Bill Wittman….and Bill Hillman.”

        1. H4H,
          Think for once, could RMK do now what he did then? The answer is obviously no. Don’t think that Archie wouldn’t like to dispense some of the RMK methodology, but it is a different era like it or not.

          Imagine if you would for a moment had Archie inherited talent the caliber of Steve D, Wright, Ritter, and White. How do you think Archie’s first two years would have looked with that kind of talent on the bench? Remember RMK’s first recruiting class couldn’t play varsity ball until the sophomore year under the old rules. So Knight’s first two years were with Lou Watson talent. Was still up to RMK to get what he inherited to play his style ball, but some very talented ingredients were already there. Certainly not what Archie has been forced to deal with his first two years.

          1. A coach can’t run guys asses off? I’m not talking about kicking, pulling hair, berating …or putting a choke hold. I’m talking about no smirking and aloofness on the bench. I’m talking about accountability. I’m talking about investment in what you do.

            You should listen for once…or, maybe more importantly, observe some teams which possess such things as investment and being accountable to your teammates.

            Also keep in mind (Chet can correct per usual if I’m wrong), but I’m pretty sure you had to win the conference to get a bid to the NCAA tournament. It was a narrower field and one less win would get you to a title, but 8th place finishes in the BigTen were a insult rather than a bubble watch. There’s a lot of things Knight inherited, indeed. And he easily has two more banners if McGinnis stays with Downing just one more season…and May doesn’t get his wrist broken at Purdue.

            He didn’t inherit near as much as you pretend. Outside of Downing and McGinnis(who never even played in the NCAA tournament) …I believe because we narrowly missed winning the conference in his first year of eligibility(correct me if I’m wrong, Chet…Do the homework or use your stupendous Obi-Wan Kenobi Jedi recall).
            Other than Downing and McGinnis, the juniors and seniors were all rather pedestrian guys(Joe Namath types) who could shoot …or do some other specialty…But these weren’t NBA sniffers. Buckner was a big get …but I don’t believe he was “inherited.” Pretty sure he was recruited…along with May…and so on.

            You just take a look at that photo I posted below…There is not a coach still playing in the tournament who has guys on his bench with such little investment….at any point in a season. Do they all use chains and whips…and medieval torture devices?

  18. I honestly think some know pine is coming and might transfer….Or will Archie send signals of giving playing time because of senior entitlement…and because some of these guys “stuck it out” under difficult circumstances?
    Whether it’s gutted by choice …or by the clock on the wall finally seeing every Crean recruit get his senior night, it’s going to be a long road because what was left for Archie was ISU level talent(and that’s probably an insult to ISU right now).
    And Romeo…for all his vast array of skills/potential which make any NBA team lick their chops to apply to their game/product, he was not a game-changer …or a kid you knew you could go to when you had to have a bucket. You can tell when a guy wants the ball in those situations…There is a point when unselfishness gets thrown to the wind …and the elite scorer/clutch performer desires the ball. There is a mile of space between Romeo wanting the ball…..and being James Harden.

  19. No one’s talking about “ripping” a player’s scholarship away. The way it works for varsity scholarship athletes now that the Student Bill of Rights is in place is that the Coach tells the the player, “you have a spot on the roster, but you’re not going to play. If you want to transfer, we will help you in every way we can. If you want to stay, we appreciate your hard work in helping your teammates improve in practice.” Given the level of talent being offered a basketball scholarship at IU, how many young men on the receiving end of that announcement will choose to stay on the team? If they want to play, they’ll transfer. If they choose to stay, they should not have been offered a scholarship in the first place.

  20. As for the scholarships the players signed on to play basketball at I U , if the playing time isn’t in the future at I U, I would expect their wanting to play basketball would be the number one reason to transfer and not be sitting on the bench for a scholarship at I U . If Archie has only three scholarship available for next year I don’t see any major changes in the results from this year, too many areas to be addressed for only three additions to the roster,

  21. So as you define the program, if a kid accepts he will not play but elects to stay anyway, he continues to receive the athletic scholarship ?

  22. Who is in the pipeline that will be better being recruited to replace what is there?
    Besides signees what else is going on 2020, 2021?

  23. But when those Crean holdovers stood before Archie and looked him in the eye, his heart likely melted. Crean was not an ordinary coach….I think there was far more than meets the eye as to why most of his recruits wanted to play for him. Again, let’s be honest here….Those kids were heartbroken when Tom Crean left. Archie was left in beyond difficult circumstances. These kids didn’t just have a coach taken away…

    I blow steam….but I know it’s not possible nor in Archie’s heart to send these kids packing. If they’ve matured and want to go on their own, that’s great. Otherwise, he’s doing the best any adopted “father figure” can do.
    At the end of the day, these coaches become like second fathers….Now some of these guys are own their third. Talk is cheap….including my own. What would you do?

  24. When Archie Miller took IU job the hope for a malnourished fan base and program and moving on from TC gave hope and some excitement to move from ordinary to elite program. However, what was that really based on? He did have some success at Dayton, former player, and coaching is in family. For Archie Miller nothing that you would actually base expectations reality on. It is more of give Archie a chance and see how it plays out. Because of IU basketball malnutrition in recent years to many put the cart before the horse. The recruiting of RL was another example of putting cart before the horse. Currently, Archie Miller and his staff look pretty ordinary in the coaching ranks at IU. However, in the future it could be another example of coach Archie gets another nice buyout after an excellent salary for 3 years and several opportunities as assistant or mid major ranks, or NBA assistant. ANOTHER ISSUE IS HOW IS ARCHIE GOING TO BE ABLE TO RECRUIT IN IU MENS BASKETBALL ATMOSPHERE??? GOOD LUCK.

  25. Archie as coach did win a couple championships at Dayton. Sweet 16 until I watched them lose to Wichita State. Instrumental in recruiting a top 10 class for Arizona. (maybe according to his brother but he was probably instrumental).

  26. Is Archie Miller to nice? Is he ornery enough? Archie is likable!! Does Archie have a killer burning desire? In post game with Fischer Archie seems to be pretty even tempered (polite, compliments opponents and IU team never saying anything rolling anyone under the bus). Though Archie wants to win; talking about perspective he either holds a lot inside or basketball is only a game and there are more important things in the world than basketball to him. Currently and for what is a couple decades, IU basketball is like that cruise ship that was recently caught in a storm at sea where about 985 passengers had to be rescued. Miles at Nebraska seems like a nice guy and things worked out for him well with a buyout after excellent yearly salaries and opportunities to follow. Will Archie right this ship? No reason to believe now but another year will pass shortly and it will be seen how the condition of the IU ship and its passengers are doing.

  27. Ron, the scenario you described, where kids don’t get to play but stay on the team to maintain their scholarship, occurs more frequently at schools known to offer elite academics. It hurts me to say it, but that scenario is probably more likely to occur at Stanford than it is at IU. Priller was probably the exception. He wasn’t going to play, but enjoyed being part of the team and stayed on so he could keep his scholarship and get his degree.

    1. Love that fact Tim “Shaggy” Priller got to stay on the Scooby Doo Hoosier bench and keep his scholly/degree aspirations, but it was an insult to the quality of basketball we should expect from Indiana to have him on the bench. So we kept Priller but pushed off Etherington(the kid primarily responsible for convincing Zeller to wear candy stripes)? Seriously?

  28. Can you feel the passion? Do you feel the investment?

    I wouldn’t know any better if you just told me they won a bet. You want to still talk about injuries? I call those faces of great passion and heartbreak very injurious to the Indiana name.

  29. HAIL TO OLD IU

    Come and join in song together,
    Shout with might and main;
    Our beloved Alma Mater,
    Sound her praise again.
    Gloriana Frangipana, E’er to her be true.
    She’s the pride of Indiana,
    Hail to Old IU!

  30. Changed my mind on Damezi…Keep Damezi. Kid is looking up at the scoreboard still hoping for a miracle with 26 seconds left. No matter. He’s not aloof. He’s not smirking. He’s not smiling. He’s not talking about Fortnite…

    If you’re not invested, what in the hell are you doing here?

  31. IF you look at Archie at end of his Wichita State post game comments ,,you can see “irritated” frustrations with the shooting because HE KNOWS he cant get the Inside -Out game when there is no Outside. Couldn’t open up defenses for Romeo to drive. Talking about Priller there was also Jeremiah April and Fischer. Why did Fischer Leave the team mid season and transfer to Marquette. as I remember many on here complained Crean couldn’t coach X’s and O’s . I remember games being lost because he couldn’t draw up an out of bounds play. on a hopeful note I see where Joey Brunk from Butler is graduating early and has 2 years on a graduate transfer..He could help Alot

  32. I suspect Archie is recruiting Grad transfers right now. Hope he’s recruiting guys who have proven, at the college level, that they can hit 3-pointers at a rate above 35%. And if they have a career FT percentage above 75%, sign them right now!

    1. Nothing like watching the NCAA tournament to make you remember what it was like to have knock down shooters.

  33. Alford to Nebraska? Wouldn’t surprise me. What in the hell does Nebraska have to lose….? And they’ll love nothing more than to get fired up for Indiana with a Knight disciple running their show. Those Cornhuskers will learn to shoot the ball….from Lincoln to New Castle.

    1. I could see that.

      To be honest, I think New Mexico should hire him back. Those were the glory days for the Lobos.

  34. I want a tried & true program again, where we’re good every year. Where we are always in the hunt for a Big Ten title. Where Assembly Hall is a win 9 out of 10 games. In my own simple mind, the recipe is the same.

    1. Find kids that can play.
    2. Find kids that care about the name on the front of the jersey.
    3. Find kids that are tough.
    4. Find kids that have shown improvement year on year in high school, but can continue to improve.
    5. Find kids that stay, and develop, until they get their degree.
    6. Then add the occasional 4-star recruit once the base is built in 1. – 5.
    7. Lastly, find kids that don’t take their foot off the gas.

    For a system to take hold, player DNA must be taught, created and nurtured repetitively.

    And I DO know this; this team had plenty of good, open or point blank shots all season. Getting shots wasn’t the issue. Hitting them was. So for those who think Archie’s offense sucks, go look at the FG and FT %. If we’d shot 70% from the line every game, we’d have won 5 more games. God knows what would’ve happened if we’d hit 33% of our 3s.

    We scored on a dunk on an out of bounds play last night. That 1 more than Crean’s 7 or 8 seasons.

  35. Agree with a lot of Z. However, good luck with competing at major league competition level with just an occasional 4 star recruit. That = Northwestern.

  36. Wofford would have beat KY if the player who went 0 for 12 or 13 from 3 point land hit just 25% of his 3 point shots = Wofford loss. More IU if this or that talk. Not real.

  37. AWin to find the player that fits into #’s 1, 3, 7 and possibly 4. Drive thru the small towns of Southern Indiana ..places like Rising Sun or Liberty . Places where kids will hang a netless hoop on side of a barn and shoot baskets at end of November or January or early March. not someone looking to make the AAU circuit or have their smart phones in one hand while shooting free throws with other. Another qualifier ….give me the kid that will drive into Connersville or Richmond to play basketball on outdoor courts on spring weekends or summer nights.. small town Indiana have produced some of the best players and one last Small School memory …Buster Briley at Tell City .

    1. That kid is 5’5″ and has a limp. Because if he was 6’4″ he would be playing with his teammates.

      Come on guys, Larry Bird wasn’t a secret in the 70’s. We played Springs Valley. Everybody knew he was great and he just got better. Every kid on my high school team played some level of college ball. Some, at the big boy level. These were just kids from southern Indiana, too

      You might find a bunch of nice young men shoot at hoops on barns but you aren’t likely to find enough talent to beat Abeline Christian ‘University’.

      1. There were plenty of games this year when I wondered why many in our starting rotation didn’t go to Abeline Christian.

        I think AWinAZ..and TJ in Texas are hitting on one underlying theme not very present in IU Basketball in recent memory. It’s called having some heart, passion and guts to go along with your jewelry case of NBA skills.

        Sure, there are NBA names behind those banners in Assembly, but the main ingredient is love for the game. Sometimes those who hit the biggest shots …or get the biggest rebound…or make the smartest play when a game teeters in balance are not playing at the next level.

        Too often in sports guys believe five stars on the Hoosier retro short-shorts waistband the result of someone else’s work or passion means it’s now their own domain because some idiot put it there.

  38. Lol. Yes, there is a place for one on the team. However, this defeatist thinking is like let’s withdraw from big ten and play for a lower level conference than Mac or Mo Valley.

  39. We could withdraw from the BigTen and join a different conference….like the Missouri Valley. But we’d get 5th place in the standings, get spanked by Bradley at the opening round of the conference tournament…and some on here would still blame injuries and the terrible one-and-done rule.

    Butler got to two title games without a singular one-and-done. You may argue Hayward could have gone after one season, but he wanted to give it another go. I think most of us would take getting to a Final Four and playing in two championship games. Ultimately, you’d love the banner…but with the drought we’ve experienced over the last 18 years, I’m good with a couple back-to-back Final Four appearances.

    Hayward was an unranked three-star prospect on the recruiting website Rivals.com. He accepted a scholarship offer from Butler University, coached by Brad Stevens, despite late interest from Purdue and Michigan(courtesy: Wikipedia).

  40. In Butler’s back-to-back title game years, not one player from either roster was ever named to a Consensus All-American first or second team.

    The Lou Henson Award (Top mid-major player) was hauled in by Matt Howard…along with many, many, many, many, many….rebounds.

    Matt Howard = Baller. What is he doing now? NBA? Europe? Nope and nope.

    Mitch McGary = Baller. What is he doing now? NBA? Europe? Nope and nope. Maybe doing some bowling with Bryce Drew.

    Guess what they’ve both accomplished never achieved by any Hoosier for the last 18 years? Yup. Final Fours and title games…Putting their teams on their backs and not shrinking like violets on the game’s biggest stages.

  41. If IU is not recruiting 4 and 5-star players every season, it will never compete for Big Ten Championships let alone make it to Final Fours. We seem to forget that Bob Knight’s Championship and final four teams were loaded with excellent talent. He was the master of polishing that talent and getting them to play together. Knight’s best teams included guys who were, back in those days, 5-star recruits. Isiah Thomas, Ray Tolbert, Scott May, Quinn Buckner, Landon Turner, Steve Alford, etc., etc. The difference in those days is that he had more than one year to polish that excellent talent. These days, much of the polish is applied before they leave High School, with all the AAU games they play from Junior High. Today’s college coaches don’t have as much time to polish their most talented players, so now success for most of the elite teams relies more heavily on recruiting, year after year. It’s a revolving door. Their are exceptions (Villanova, this year’s Tennessee team, etc.), but chances are this year’s Duke team is going to prove once again, that the good old days of college basketball are gone.

      1. Exactly, Ron. Fix was in. Any other game…anywhere. Even a soft one-handed shove to the back on a free throw to gain advantage is going to be called.

        Something tells me UK is going to take them all down…I don’t why. Young, yes. Without Washington, yes. But top to bottom they have more talent than anyone. Top to bottom they are playing better and playing better defense. Best point guard(though Winston comes in a close second)…and just so damn long and deep.

        I didn’t even have UK in my Final Four…but now I’m crowning them.

    1. Only one on your list above averaged more than 10 ppg. in the NBA.

      People overrate Knight’s talent. What he had were guys who were winners and who could sink big buckets when it mattered.

      He never even got the services of McGinnis. May was injured in ’75.

      Abernathy…Green…Valavicius…Nover….Laskowski…..Crews….Radford. The glue on those teams were not household names. Maybe they were household names in Indiana, but not certainly not nationally. Just tough-ass kids who knew how to play very intelligent basketball….under the direction of a very intelligent coach.

      We played a lot of very stupid basketball this season. Was it all because of Archie? No. There are certain guys you’ll never transform. It simply is what it is.

  42. If those same players played for many other coaches other than BK they wouldn’t have been household names even some who became known nationally. However, they were willing to become household names either in Indiana or nationally under Knight’s leadership. H4h posted a pic of Knight and his team on a mission walking on the sidewalk during his earlier days at IU that exemplified this. No smirks, smiles or laughter.

    1. Speaking of Knight leadership…Bobby Knight disciple via Texas Tech, Chris Beard, just puttin’ an ass whoopin’ on Beilein and the Wolverines.

      Bracket was busted…Now it just crumbled to toothpicks.

      1. Parallel universes….? Chris Beard as a young Bobby at Indiana making a 1973 storied run to a Final Four…? Matt Mooney as Bobby in his playing days at OSU heading toward a championship?

  43. My goodness…Ryan Cline. Burn me at the stake, but that kid delivered. What an unbelievable shooting performance. Wow.

    I felt sort of sad for Gene Keady…All of those invasive close-up camera shots of a man very late in years moving his tongue about from cheek to cheek. Is it wrong that I was happy for him to be happy for his old team?

    1. Haven’t seen Rock on here since …well, whenever, whatever.

      But you were right, Rock. Haarms really played big on a big stage.

    2. Nope. I would say you are a sports fan and recognize effort. Somebody want to sneak in paperwork for Ryan Cline’ s transfer to IU? Of course he’ll drop to a 15 percent on his 3s.

      1. Virginia vs. Purdue…..Kyle Guy and Ryan Cline. Nope, Indiana doesn’t produce net splashers and sharpshooters…

        Bloodlines meet the long twisting roots of time as planks of maple reach to Virginia.
        Some meet foundations of fieldstone and stay to push up the red walls of our veins into board-and-batten.
        A rim anchors to share the hay and courts a little Indiana town one day in May.
        Dusty floorboards above the bales meet the polished city gym of heroic tales. They talk in rhythm to the bounce and the beat of our heart.
        A cupola flickers in the timeless light to the echoes of a game.
        The grandfather clock ticktocks where the pendulum of basketball never stops.

  44. Chris Beard’s next job will be at Arizona, which will be happy to drop about $5 million per year on him, guaranteed for five years. Texas will try to lure him away, but I don’t think Beard’s the kind of guy who wants to deal with the type of boosters involved at Texas. Beard’s accomplishments at TX Tech are most impressive, and last night’s beat down of MI put an exclamation point on it. Ever been to Lubbock? Nice place, nice people, good school, but about as a remote a location for a Power-five team you can find. Tough to recruit great basketball players to that place, but Beard has made it work.

  45. You know, I thought something kind of interesting . . .

    Everyone is making the assumption there will be a roster vacancy next season. Although I believe it to be unlikely that Romeo stays another year, I’ve seen stranger things happen. There is something which a lot of people out there may be glossing over as just Romeo protecting his self interests regarding his back problems. Romeo’s injury could be more significant than any of us realize, and it just might have an effect on how highly he is drafted due to uncertainty regarding his health.

    No way of knowing, but if this be true, it couldn’t certainly change a lot of equations. You know, just wondering . . .

    1. I don’t know how closely you watched the Wichita State game…I saw Romeo hopping quickly up from the bench like a kangaroo(after a particularly rare highlight moment from the team). Emotions can overshadow injury, but I doubt anyone hops up like that if it’s something serious.
      My guess is that the bright lights of Broadway and ‘The Garden’ would have found the kangaroo ready. Probably just needed a few more days to rest.

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