Knight makes 1st public appearance on IU’s campus since firing

Editor’s note: This story appears in Sunday’s print edition of the Bloomington Herald-Times.

The man in the golf cart vowed it would never happen.

He said so plenty of times — and in no uncertain terms — during the past two decades. A visit to Indiana University? No, he had no use for the place or the people running it. Bridges were burned, sharp words were exchanged and attempts to reconcile always and inevitably hit dead ends. It didn’t seem Bob Knight would ever step foot on IU’s campus again.

Until Saturday, when he did.

The legendary former Indiana men’s basketball coach arrived at Bart Kaufman Field shortly before 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon, accompanied by his longtime friend and former Herald-Times sports editor Bob Hammel. He climbed into a golf cart and allowed an IU athletics department staffer to drive him up the concourse to the stadium’s press box, where he and Hammel watched the first game of Indiana’s baseball doubleheader against Penn State.

As he stepped out of the cart, Knight paused as a reporter from IndianaSportsBeat.com, Jim Coyle, hurried over to greet him.

“I’m sure a lot of people are happy to have you back here on campus,” Coyle said.

“It’s nice to be here,” Knight responded.

Nearly 19 years after his controversial ouster, Knight did what he said he’d never do. It is believed that Knight has made several surreptitious visits to campus since his firing on Sept. 10, 2000, but Saturday marked his first public appearance at IU since his farewell address to students in Dunn Meadow days after his termination.

IU officials were aware that Knight would be attending the baseball doubleheader, though it’s unclear if the visit will lead to a more formal campus reunion in the future. Knight has turned down such overtures from Indiana’s administration in the past. On Saturday, an IU men’s basketball spokesman told The Herald-Times, simply: “We’re happy to host him today.”

Indiana athletic director Fred Glass was also only willing to live in the moment.

“My understanding is that Coach Knight was in town for other reasons,” Glass told The Herald-Times in a text message. “He expressed interest in coming to a baseball game and obviously we were happy to facilitate that. I haven’t talked to him and don’t expect to.”

Knight’s return to campus comes two days after he and Hammel hosted a public question and answer event at Center Grove High School on Thursday night, one of the many such appearances he’s made on Hoosier soil in recent years. Last February, Knight gave a talk at Bloomington South. In 2017, he returned for a similar engagement at Bloomington North.

Knight has not been shy about his regard for Bloomington proper.

But his feelings toward Indiana University? That’s more complicated.

His relationship with the school where he won three national championships has been bitter, to say the least. During a 2017 appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, Knight was asked if he’d ever return to IU.

His response made clear that he still harbored deep-rooted ill will toward the university.

“I think that I’ve always really enjoyed the fans,” Knight told Patrick. “I always will. On my dying day, I’ll think about how great the fans at Indiana were. As far as the hierarchy at Indiana University at that time, I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for those people. With that in mind, I have no interest in ever going back to that university.”

When Patrick countered, asking if those involved with his dismissal were already gone, Knight shot back.

“I hope they’re all dead,” Knight said.

“I know some of them are,” Patrick said.

“I hope the rest of them go,” Knight said.

Even if nothing comes from Saturday’s visit, it was a significant moment in the Knight/IU timeline. It was a day few ever thought would happen, Knight included.

Perhaps time can heal even the deepest wounds.

As IU’s game against Penn State progressed, word of Knight’s return spread throughout the ballpark. At one point, IU super fan “Big Al” approached the press box and asked if he could reunite with his old friend.

“Is Coach Knight in there?” Big Al asked a security guard. “I’d like to say hello to him.”

The guard turned him away.

On the field, Indiana baseball coach Jeff Mercer was focused on the game, but aware of the day’s special visitor. The Bargersville native was told about Knight’s plans earlier in the week and asked to keep a vow of silence.

But for a native Hoosier, that was a promise Mercer couldn’t keep.

“They told me I couldn’t tell anybody … and I did, I told one person. I told my dad,” Mercer said. “Because I grew up a half-hour up the road, right? And in my grandparents’ house, there were two things on the wall. There was crucifix and an autographed picture of Bobby Knight. I grew up watching the teams, when I was young, but mostly I grew up listening to both my grandparents, my grandfathers and my dad, tell me stories about Indiana basketball. And the lore, and the history, and the intensity and the legacy that Coach Knight left here.

“And to have him come back to a baseball game, honestly, it brought tears to my eyes. The raw emotion is overwhelming. The standard that he set here, it’s beyond me. You’ve got to understand. Everybody wants to play in the big leagues. I wanted to coach at Indiana. That’s all I ever wanted, so to have Coach Knight come back today – to be the coach at Indiana and have Coach Knight come back for the first time – is more than anything in my wildest dreams I could’ve imagined.”

Back in the press box, Knight munched on ballpark fare and kept a close watch over the Hoosiers’ game, seemingly at home once again.

70 comments

  1. Really? Why is this a story?

    Let me know when he agrees to come back and burry the hatchet with IU’s Top Officials, none of whom were involved in his firing 19 years ago. Otherwise, if he ever comes back again, the press and The Hoosier Nation should ignore him completely.

    1. Why wouldn’t it be. The AD and his department were happy with his attendance. I’ll bet he saw the game for free.

  2. More than ironic…..He’s in an EZGO golf cart.

    Let’s not forget the times when Bob just wanted to mind his own business…but it was the stalkers who had trouble with EZ let Go.
    Fire the guy and then allow a dimwit to use him for self-promotion/validation over a decade later?
    That’s all Fred and his sidekick ever wanted to do. ….and that was more disgraceful than the firing.

  3. Podunker says:
    November 20, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Crean does not diminish himself by being respectful to one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history. He took the high road. When Crean wins his first Championship, we can all move on, and Bob Knight can either join in the celebration or fade further from the memories of the Hoosier nation. His choice.

    a. Being restrained is not being respectful….Dan Shulman is reluctantly having to break ESPN’s ‘zero tolerance’ grabbing rules to restrain a grown frat rat.
    b. That “first Championship” thing found its expiration date before Bobby.

  4. Always debatable. Thanks, clarence and miles. I am sure another angel got his wings for your destruction of IU men’s basketball the last two decades.
    It was IU administration who failed in leadership (miles). miles made big bucks and failed to create a solution to control an unruly troubled coach on track for a 1000 wins at IU. Rather, miles came to IU and made a name for himself by creating a failed policy towards Knight (supported by board) that has no consistency to it. miles could take the self righteous high road and fire Knight on his way to NCAA prez. A great leader that miles was not, could have come up with a better solution. What was he making the big bucks for anyway? I don’t blame Knight one bit for staying away.

    1. That is one narrative.

      Unfortunately, RMK went to great lengths to make sure everyone understood it was his decision to take every opportunity to spit into the face of all things IU.

      Sure, his feewings got hurt. Then he spent two decades saying angry things about the school that gave a youngster a huge opportunity that one else ever expressed interest in doing.

      Coaches and other big headed individuals do things like that. Normal folk embrace that opportunity and appreciate it. There aren’t many places where he could have had that level of success. He wasn’t even the best to coach Texas Tech. He won exactly ONE more title than Branch.

      He chose to be excluded from IU. No, he demanded it. The Hoosier family begged him to return. Too late now.

      He’s a footnote and that is all on him.

      1. He was more married to Indiana than most are to their spouses…
        He wasn’t fired from Indiana. He was first given ultimatums and then divorced …He was publicly labeled as unfit to be a father to future Hoosiers. I actually think it’s amazing he ever got near the old neighborhood…or the driveway…or where the new Hoosier daddy resides forever looking like Father Knows Best compared to the one given the restraining order.

        After nearly 30 years of basketball marriage (good times and bad) we publicly hung this man out the window like his banners were the sheets from a bedwetter. And now you ask him to be your hero because you’ve done 15 years of laundering his name? Marvelous.

      2. Don’t think I can agree with your narrative on this one Chet, so here is another one.

        Yes, RMK could be the southbound end of the fabled northbound PU perspective, but I’m not sure we will ever know the whole story. Remembering the mood amongst the hierarchy of that time tells me there was a lot more to the story than may ever be known. The ultimate termination of Bob Knight at the hands of Brand was not an isolated incident. Rather it was the culmination of efforts within and without the administration for several years prior. There are several suspicions which come to mind, but again unfortunately, we will likely never know the real truth of the matter.

      3. I’ll stand in support/defense of Knight to the end of time. Just like Coach Mercer, RMK’s successes and failings were always in full view in my home. Was never hard to figure out if you messed with him that it could turn out negative. What’s hard to understand?

  5. And the parallel parking exists of many who thought BK antics and behavior were wrong and disgusting also thought they were greatly entertaining.
    A double edged sword like big time wrestling.

  6. Talking about college presidents, administrators and athletic directors etc. who make a lot of money plus perks and benefits …Often when making decisions like hiring coaches or investigations they hire outside firms as do others in leadership positions TO PROTECT THEMSELVES. This should be outlawed. Do it yourselves. My question is what the hell is your job and your getting paid for? You take full responsibility and the buck stops there. Then, you can enjoy or suffer consequences. I know why they do it. Then, quit paying so much money to them.

  7. If you watch the video clips of Knight (offered at other forums) at this Hoosier baseball game, it’s pretty obvious he’s declining. I find it very sad…He made mistakes as all do.
    His mind, his memories, and his body are erasing themselves….while, as always, many attempt to erase the man from IU…(along with his accomplishments as a basketball coach whose genius and teachings are still in full view today…e.g. His influence on Chris Beard).
    I think it was in very poor taste to bring him to campus. I prefer to remember him spitting in the face of those who live in spectacle and promotion at the expense of someone else.

  8. Maybe, he is just getting a little comfort from his geographical past, spending time with an old friend/s and breathing the air of what was a famed life.

  9. I’m with Chet on this subject. There’s never been a bigger fan of Bob Knight than I was. Warts and all, I supported him. Met him a few times and was always super-impressed. But since his firing, he’s been a huge jerk, acting like a petulant child. Not saying that IU Administrators did not make their share of mistakes. But they’re all gone now, and have been for years. Knight behaves as if his grudge is transferrable, which is absurd and classless. He’s had numerous chances to bury the hatchet, but refused. It’s long since time the Hoosier Nation moved on.

    1. I interacted with him through the athletic department probably a couple times a week. He was always pleasant and impressed the hell out of me that he would remember our prior conversations. Just the fact that he devoted a single brain cell to a walk on wrestler left me in awe.

      I have no axe to grind. I had regular interactions with him and, on a personal level, he couldn’t have been nicer to me as a student athlete.

      But that doesn’t mean I ignored all his subsequent behavior. On a personal level, I always liked him. As a Hoosier, he has been almost cartoonishly petulant.

      I am by no means adamant about any of this. He is an old man who never seemed healthy on his best days. I don’t wish him any harm.

      At the same time, we reap what we sow. What he has sown is completely on him. If you spend 20 years badmouthing a place don’t expect collective amnesia. This is the guy who showed up at Purdue and made demeaning jokes about Indiana after dissing numerous teams and players.

      I certainly have no say in how he is remembered. His actions of the past couple decades will play a large role. I don’t have any problems with anyone’s position. I believe in that sort of thing being a sum of all parts. Winning lots of games for the home team is good. Other stuff…not so much.

      1. If the Purdue thing bothered you with Knight, then Dakich should be making any Hoosier fan simply infuriated.

        Knight saw that Purdue was playing a more mentally tough version of the game than the Hoosiers under bozo. Let’s hope his lack of resignation/aloofness/acceptance to poor basketball in Bloomington so he could be in attendance for a hero parade to simply be honored is some of the reasons for having Archie in place now.
        Additionally, I think he wanted to acknowledge a man, Gene Keady, so many years the archival who was declining in health(as Knight is now a few years since) and will pass quietly into the Wikipedia graveyard without experiencing the accolades and fortunes of being at one Final Four.
        The best of the best know how to shake a hand when all is said and done…no matter the bitter wars.

  10. I think Bobby harbored a lot of bitterness because of the opportunity lost for his son, Pat, to coach at Indiana. Joey Meyer took over for Ray Meyer at DePaul ….Bryce took over for his father, Homer, at Valpo. I’m sure there are many more examples. Wasn’t Archie’s dad in coaching? There are many family coaching trees and what father doesn’t want his son to carry on the business? Did Pat deserve the job more than anyone else simply by being a son? But that doesn’t matter when you’re a father, does it?
    Can some of you be a bit honest with yourselves?
    I’m no psychologist, but severing Knight from the program he invested so much of his life in such cold and abrupt fashion would be a tough enough bitter scar in its own right to ever erase from the stabbed heart ….But I believe we obsess too much on Knight taking it as personal against him. I tend to believe most of the bitterness and tough pill to swallow was how it ruined a hope that Bobby had for his son. We didn’t just throw Bobby out forever. We threw his son out as well. Many of you are fathers to sons…..How long would that bitter pill stick in your throat?

    I believe to this day that Knight was fired because those in power never wanted Patrick Knight to be handed the reins of Indiana Basketball. Interesting how Chris Beard speaks so highly of Patrick and how they have become very close friends….Interesting and ironic as Texas Tech prepares to play on the biggest Monday of college basketball…and those who came after Knight’s firing as saviors to expunge the “wreckers” have out-welcomed the stagnancy of their own stay at Indiana.

    The whole thing is about as Shakespearean as it gets…

  11. You can love the man or you can hate the man. The General is The Man. When you go into Assembly Hall and you see those 5 banners. Remember 3 of those banners are because of The Man! If it wasn’t because of Bob Knight, Indiana University, wouldn’t be where they were. I say were, because we no longer are considered a powerhouse program. Everyone, EVERYONE, makes mistakes! Let’s just be happy Coach Knight has come back. I hope he comes back to Assembly Hall. If he does, I’ll fly to Bloomington from Gulf Shores!

    1. The first day when RMK took the job only Kentucky and UCLA had more national titles to their credit.

      He continued a strong tradition. He did not invent it.

      1. Chet,
        You seem to forget something. In the intervening years between the ’53 championship and the arrival of RMK, IUBB wallowed in mediocrity. A great number of those declining years were under Branch McCracken and the slid continued under Lou Watson. Yes, there were some good, even great players who came through in those years, but the program was not at prior levels. Yes, the program had a strong tradition, but RMK revived it after a 20 year slumber.

  12. You know how you’ve won against the detractors and those who go on quests to minimize/trivialize you? When they say “Who cares”…or “next”…or implore their Hoosier Nation to “move on,” they keep throwing dirt at you.
    It seems the last people that can get to “next” or “moving on” have quite the difficulty at the endeavor.

    If you truly didn’t care, then why the explanations, rebuttals and the details you believe are important to minimize the man? You see, after all, you do care. I’m glad you care…and I believe you’ll need the largest tissue box if he ever is paraded in a freak show of sorts while absent all his zest for life.

  13. Knight should have been known as ‘The Big Handsome.’
    I wonder if many are more jealous of his pretty solid good looks(especially in his younger days) than his level of coaching genius? Forget the banners and all the coaching accolades and break it down to just the visual…We still take the crown.

    I mean…you have Keady…and you have Knight.
    You have comb-over bowling ball vs. ‘come over’ anytime square jaw.
    You have the cool plaid jacket….vs. JC Penney wrinkle-free drab.
    You have witty….vs. zero personality.
    You have pure entertainment at a press conference vs. responses to questions more bottled than the Dasani.

    Even before the three banners, they were jealous of our(meaning Bobby) looks, our square jaw, our lovely hair, our wit, our spontaneity, our unapologetic brashness…and our pair of coaching balls they did not possess. Who needs banners? Knight had it all before one banner. I love Indiana…but I’m never such a homer to believe he didn’t have his mojo before arrival in Bloomington.
    There are some who admire it…and there are some forever envious to not find anything comparable they can summon or drink out of a bottle.

  14. Whether Knight actually got the idea from the Globetrotters is unclear.

    “The pants just happened,” Hammel said. “This was before the rest of us got to know Bob Knight well enough to think how wildly out of character it was for a man so conservative and stodgy in his basketball styling.”

    Knight opting for something different couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. In 1971, college basketball was entering a new era where, for the first time, it was a viable television property. (The highly-rated “Game of the Century” between UCLA and Houston had taken place three seasons before.) For TV audiences, those candy striped warm-ups were a calling card.

    “Indiana University has been on … more than any other Big Ten institution as far as being on CBS or ESPN on a nationwide basis,” IU assistant director of event management Kit Klingelhoffer told the Tom Crean Show in 2011. “When people saw Indiana play, they recognized those candy-striped uniforms.”(courtesy: YahooSports)

  15. Welcome Home Bob! You are always welcome to come, to visit, to live in B-town, whatever! The good times always outnumbered the bad!

  16. Don’t want to be in a position to defend Coach Knight’s actions towards Indiana University since his firing. Much of it seems indefensible. But what do we know? I would suspect there are some underlying issues we know nothing about. Given Indiana University’s Athletic Department’s performance in all areas since his departure, does anyone want to defend them? They seem a bit inept. If wants to come back, great! Lets welcome him. If he doesn’t, great! Let’s wish him well.

  17. Breaker Breaker 1-9….Anyone out there? Breaker 1-9. good buddy Machete …Got your ears on, Machete? This is Mod Squad requesting Machete’s 20. Do you read me good buddy? Busy with a seat cover? Over.
    10-4 …This is Machete. Seat cover put down the hammer and turned me to mirro dust. Just got off my crotch rocket…while finishing a one-hour 10-100… and hell no I don’t read you, Mod Squad. Over. I mean I read you, but don’t read you. Don’t listen to you..Don’t read you. Don’t post you. There will be no roadside assistance… Read me? Over.

    Mod Squad here, Over. I read you…..Try not to read Mike ‘The Mic’ …Over.

    We should have a ‘Trucker Talk Day’ on Scoop….

  18. Great national championship game tonight. Congrats to Virginia. Those two teams were just landing haymakers at end. Great coaching. Lots of heart on that court.

    And I’ll say it. Kyle Guy should have been bringing home the banner to Bloomington. How do you miss on that kid?

    1. And how did so many miss on Mooney(had only 2 offers out of high school and only three as a grad transfer)? Northwestern, Creighton …and Texas Tech were the only offers to the grad transfer.
      Lord, did he hit some big shots in both Final Four games. Virginia had a great plan to defend him…throwing quick double teams at him throughout the game. I really like Chris Beard…Damn, you just never know if you’ll get that close again. His team seemed so uniquely assembled …and reminded me a lot of our old Hoosier banner teams. Just a ton of grit mixed into a couple really great players.

    2. Agree with all sentiments DD,
      One other thing of note, we now know a Pack Line defense can win a national championship.

        1. …epic recruiting failure by Crean and staff to miss this MD’s Inpls. performer after being in the state for years…also solid, consistent 4-5th year players do bring home the bacon…

  19. Too scripted…and the referee review going against Texas Tech(the ball deflected away from a driving Moretti) seemed part of the script. No way that was “indisputable”…..It seems Virginia was getting every favorable call in every crucial ending game situation throughout the tournament.
    I’m losing faith in the honesty of it all….though that’s really nothing new dating clear back to Walton vs. Downing.

    It seems the more everyone is giving all glory to God for outcomes, the outcomes are being more manipulated than God would be comfortable. “Did his finger touch the ball?…Did it not touch the ball? I think it’s touching the ball from that camera angle. Bring me back to that last view…Yes, you can definitely see his pinky of his fingernail touching the ball ….Upon even more close-up, I think you can see the guilty look on his second knuckle wrinkle of the pinky while its giving the ball a feathery touch . Did you notice how the wrinkle is ever-so-slightly retracting back as if admitting the guilt? Have to overturn this one ….Ball to Virginia.”

  20. Really good game. March Madness is a tournament and often would have a different winner if replayed or had to win 3 and 4 game series at different rounds. However one loss and out is best, unique and is most entertaining. There are usually a small handful of best teams with tournament or no tournament. Series and replays would be to much and boring. Virginia is a legitimate winner. I would have liked to have seen TT big at full strength (he was limited though played a lot).
    IU didn’t miss on Kyle Guy and I am sure TC tried recruiting him while traveling in his all over country escapades. However, high level smart players didn’t want to come to IU because they could see to much instability in IU program.

    1. …didn’t miss? in a pigs rectum!…Indiana offered Guy…so many recruiting failures of Hoosier HS ballers by a HC who was supposedly a good recruiter…Guy was there for the taking by a HC of genuine, authentic character…

  21. It was obvious, high level smart in the know players didn’t want to come to IU. Guy (and some others) understood if he came to IU there was no chance of things like last night for him.

  22. I know everyone gets upset when any top 20 recruit doesn’t come to IU, especially if from Indiana. Realistically, what are the odds of winning championships with one or two and done recruits? Hasn’t worked out very well over the long haul for the schools going that route. Lot of buzz around the program, but not much in the way of trophies in exchange for that much hoopla.

    The key for a stable program capable of winning it all is 3rd and 4th year players with some additional talent mixed. Certainly not a complete roster change over every year. Loved having Romeo in the house for a year and he has shown himself to be a credit to the IU tradition, but to win bigtime you have to have the Rob, Jerome, Race, and even Demezi’s of the world at the core of your team. Guys who will likely be with you 3 or 4 years.

  23. Think, DD, and Clarion. Crean MAY have offered but when I reviewed Guy as a recruit IU didn’t even make a mention. Guy, Bluett , and a young man whose name was Leaf were all missed by Crean. Leaf had his grandmother living in Indianapolis, his father was a BIG IU fan and Crean couldn’t get him on campus for a visit ( he was a 6’9″ 4-5 star forward). I said it then and I think its truer now. the “grapevine” of AAU Circuit locker rooms and Twitter accounts can help or hinder fecruiting and in Crean’s case it HURT IU’s chances to recruit.

    1. Trey Lyles, Caleb Swanigan, Ryan Cline, Gary Harris, Zak Irvin, Mitch McGary, Glen Robinson, Spike Albrecht, Kris Wilkes, T J. Leaf, Bryant McIntosh, Kyle Guy, Trevon Bluiett…Nic Moore (great player out of Warsaw who attended SMU. Didn’t get to play in the tournament his senior season at MSU because Larry Brown was given a 1-year suspension due to academic issues with a player who had already transferred), Carter Skaggs*, Demetrius Jackson….Aaron Henry…… JUST TO NAME A FEW!

      Just take a look at all the Indiana Mr. Basketball runner-ups….that could have filled spots given to projects or the wing span phenoms of the East with little b-ball IQ.

      We didn’t just miss on “many” from Indiana…We missed on most. It’s beyond disgraceful just how much solid talent from Indiana was never considered or recruited with any real investment or fervor to wear the candy stripes. Kyle Guy is merely one of dozens.

      * http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/mar/20/guard-carter-skaggs-announces-plans-to-guard-trans/

      Go get Skaggs(Logansport, IN)! Scoop Geoff (of Maine) saw the moxie of Larry Bird in this kid.

        1. That’s completely subjective…Prove they “went hard” after the names I provided. What is known is that Crean was frequently in scholarship crunch situations, Additionally, it became more difficult to push many of his projects off(many of which were coming through A-Hope). It’s also quite documented that Crean was not building strong relationships with high school coaches/programs throughout the state. I don’t believe the recruiting relationships/contacts within our borders had ever hit a lower point. Offering is not necessarily going hard …There was a huge drop in confidence from the talent in our state with Indiana University basketball
          You don’t miss on that many top names(A bit more time and research would provide another dozen names) without (a) serious flaws in relationships or (b) a philosophy to make Indiana a secondary recruiting priority.
          We were missing on very strong local talent continually. And if we were going hard after nearly all those names as you say, not landing any only proves just how little confidence recruits had in Crean or in the direction of the program.

      1. Would you throw the Plumlee brothers on this list as misses? They are hard to figure out. Warsaw kids that basically didn’t step foot in Warsaw High, but right to academy and then Duke. I am on the fence about them about being true Hoosiers.

        1. The Plumlee brothers went to Christ School in Asheville. Christ School regularly won the little religious school state championship. The thing is, they couldn’t beat most of the local public schools. They are no Oak Hill Academy. They would have a couple major college recruits and a collection of rich, clumsy, white kids.

          Never understood the Plumlee thing.

    2. IU did indeed offer Guy, and actually offered early. There’s more to it, but by the time Guy blew up nationally, Indiana was on the outside looking in.

      1. 0:38 mark.

        In my humble opinion, all offers are not created equal. Some offers don’t mean a lot if a recruit sees too many weaknesses already present on a roster due to previous poor recruiting decisions…They are basically ’empty offers’ without the complementary quality pieces in place . Galileo likely knew it would be declined. Too little …too late…Too complicated with too many projects rounding out a roster.

  24. Sadly, in my humble opinion, none of your aforementioned(Rob, Jerome, Race, Demezi) are stacking up to the first two off the bench for Texas Tech. Additionally, I just saw so much more intensity/moxie/swagger from role players and bench offerings(both teams) than I see in many of our starters.

    I actually don’t think a returning Romeo would have made much difference because what is remaining in place is simply not displaying the ‘it factor’ or the intensity to get anywhere near final weekends of March Madness.

    Recruiting Indiana/Recruiting the top performers from our state: Much…very, very much changed after the Syracuse game. “Instability” is not what I believe was at the root cause of missing on so many recruits post “Everything hinges” and “The Movement” oversell. Sweet 16 game against Syracuse was a national stage exposing some really glaring problems in coaching acumen/adjustments/composure.
    There became a glaring contrast growing more evident in each big stage appearance: Crean’s ability to support/develop NBA “upside” prodigies…was worlds apart from his in-game strategies and his ability to orchestrate an entire roster built of all who felt part of a singular mission.

    Instability of the program could explain much of our downtime, but chances at turnarounds were squandered because of glaring coaching shortcomings in X’s and O’s combined with the far too heavy investment in individual projects/experiments/A-Hope recruits stealing roster spots over solid and proven performers( with an edge in their game(many of which could have been recruited from within our borders).
    Solid Indiana ballers or any young man who truly wants to play for banners would have no problem recognizing the overabundance of projects(many of which were inside players) clogging up our rosters. Galileo was building his resume for finding latent NBA stars over building championship teams. The “It’s Indiana” BS was a sell job with no real mission in winning.

  25. When I talk about high star/level recruits I am not talking about one and done or RL’s. There is that recruit who is a 3 and usually a 4 year player that has the ability to play major big league college basketball that isn’t quite the early exit pro player. Currently, RP fits that bill. Not sure on Jerome or Race. Demezi does not and is a Mo Valley or Mac level player.

    1. t,
      I think it is way too early to make a determination on Demezi. How many players out there have struggled in their Freshman and Sophomore years, but figured it out as Juniors and Seniors? Isn’t the profile of recent championship winning teams building with 3 and 4 year players? Obviously those players were not ready to win big in their Freshman years. Can anyone forget that Virginia one year ago was the first number one seed to lose to a 16 seed? Could it be the Virginia players needed another year of seasoning to get to a championship level.

      Everything I have seen in reports on Jerome before the illness was he is nearly as good as Romeo, but can shoot. Can’t get to the rim like Romeo, but can play the perimeter very well. For both Race and Jerome, we don’t have nearly enough time with them on the floor to accurately assess their capabilities. Even though Race made it back, we also know that Rob wasn’t himself for several games (if at all), after coming back and Rob wasn’t out as long.

    2. Waaaaaay to early to call Demezi a bust or MAC level player. Solid chance you’re eating you words on that one but that’s nothing new.

  26. t- Glad you cleared that up….I believe it was the most salient destabilizing factor turning off…and turning away (not accepting offers..e.g. Kyle Guy) much of the Indiana talent(and, frankly, any top baller with high b-ball IQ).

    Mini NBA individual training/development/”upside” camp ≠ UK(less project oriented and higher b-ball IQ phenoms) ≠ Texas Tech ≠ Building full rosters with deep tournament winning missions at forefront of recruiting strategies.

  27. Demezi not good ability level = unless you want to be Penn State, NW or mid big ten pack ceiling. Not to early to tell.
    Race and Jerome not sure but maybe one of the two or both may or may not work out.

  28. DA is the kind of player needed by Miller to support the resurrection in Bloomington. He was slotted as #2-3 in state player depending on who you were listening to. A true 4* offered by both Meatchicken and PUke. Broke the county and city career scoring record that stood for 44 years. In his last year of HS he shot 40% from the arc and 40+% in AAU. Ya he needs to grow to the collegiate game but he is of a caliber shooter to find his way in Miller’s plans. I’ll stand with him and Miller.

  29. Man, the certitude of already throwing an 18 year old under the bus already.

    I’m a bit obsessed with KenPom. This guy puts together some beautiful analysis. I have no idea whether DA will be amazing or bad, but what I do know, is that it is waaaaay too early to tell. For a 3 pt shooter, the biggest leap that players reach in terms of their statistical improvements comes between their freshman and sophomore years.

    https://theathletic.com/837683/2019/02/26/kenpom-when-and-how-freshmen-get-better-and-when-you-have-to-wait-until-next-year/

    Anyway, part of the reason that DA didn’t see much playing time was that while he was finding his shot at B1G levels, he was even further behind as a defensive player. He’s had a full year on campus, practicing and putting in the work. We’ll see how he looks next year. The packline D isn’t something that comes naturally to these AAU kids coming out of HS.

    I make no predictions. I just think it is way too early to tell right now. Based on what he did in high school, I’d have to think he’ll grow into a solid contributor. We’ll see.

    1. DD,
      That’s my point too. I think it is way too early to be judging Demezi’s capabilities based on his freshman year. End of the Sophomore year will have a much better idea of his improvements. As for Jake and Clifton, I think they figured out the front court is going to be very crowded next year.

      I’m seeing a big disconnect in expectations. We say we want 3 and 4 year players in order to have a more stable program and maybe compete for a championship again. Rob, Jerome, Race, Demezi, and Armaan coming in, are those kind of players who may stay at least 3 years. When we get those kind of players, then the complaint is they are not good enough. Well, when you start getting top 50 recruits, you start running the risk of losing them in the 1st or 2nd year. One of those kind of guys may have a decent Freshman year, but a break out Sophomore year, and you lose him the nba.

      It is a crap shoot on all of them, because you never know how an 18 year old kid is going to transition to the college game.

  30. High school tournament after his high school high level stats against Carmel DA ineffective as he was first year at IU.

    1. t,
      Demezi was #118 on Rivals and #125 on 247. That’s right in the range for 3-4 year players. Think about how many other schools just in the B1G are competing for players in the top 150. You get more than a couple, you doing very well. When you bring in a player projecting out 3-4 years, you don’t expect that much out of them the 1st year. If they do well like Rob and have a break out 2nd year, may lose them by the 3rd year.

  31. If JM could have played with a really really good 6’10”+ center…would have liked to have seen that.

  32. Be satisfied going into overtime against Penn State, losing to NW, trying to beat Purdue one time every two years, rally to beat Iowa, split with Minnesota, playing for split against others in big ten and being bubbly team tears end of season for tournament.

  33. ^^^In other words, IU Football. I’m sort of leaning with t on this one. The talent level needs to increase…..along with the moxie/swagger. Give me someone steady and clutch like a Matt Mooney. …or with the drive and stones of a Jared Harper.

    In Damezi’s defense, he wasn’t smirking and smiling on the Hoosier bench with 26 seconds left against Wichita State. He was looking up at the scoreboard and thinking the Hoosiers could still pull off a miracle win….or ….?….maybe he was daydreaming of a candy striped Damezi Caprese salad he was going to have with a thick grilled Omaha steak?

    [Jared] Harper was the 90th-ranked player in the 2016 recruiting class according to the 247 Composite. He was also the 21st-ranked point guard. Despite that, Auburn and Ole Miss were his only major conference offers (courtesy: thebiglead).

  34. All in all, another fortunate year of stagnancy for Hoosier Basketball….

    None of the established and still relevant true blue bloods (UK, Duke, UNC) furthered their banner count distance from IU. ….nor did any of those in our conference who continue to flirt with blue blood consideration to our north(Michigan & MSU) add to their rather small banner totals . Additionally, Butler, ND, and, more recently, Purdue, have all come very close to their first banners but continue to not get over the hump.

    None of it excuses this, but at least the banners weren’t in the cards for any of the above mentioned teams.

  35. H4h, Things I noticed about Moody was in tune player to coach and coach to player and overall strength with ball. Moody is very strong on his shot, ball handling, drives, rebounds, overall strong and confident role player that positively impacts game for TT. Interesting articles; Chicago Tribune on recruiting: “Matt Mooney Alledges Bullying A Air Force Academy, plans to transfer.”
    “Is Missouri An Option for South Dakota State grad transfer Matt Mooney.”
    “Nebraska loses sweepstakes on high scoring grad transfer-Husker Corner.”
    There are several articles about Matt Mooney and he was definitely known regarding his ability even with Indiana.

  36. I doubt if our coaches had ever heard of him…I think we’re getting lazy.

    Do you think Skaggs is worth a close look? I believe the grad transfer from WSU (Logansport, IN) is still available. His numbers dropped this past season (he was another player who had concussion setbacks), but all evidence suggests this kid can shoot the lights out of a gym. We need shooters…in a desperate sort of way.

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