Hoosiers fall 78-59 at No. 4 Ohio State

So many times this season, the difference between victory and defeat for Indiana has been so small.

There have been numerous overtime defeats or razor-thin margins, moments where IU was just barely on the wrong side of the ledger. Those results have left reason to question where this team truly stands in the grand scheme, on both ends of the spectrum, whether wins over Iowa provided hope, or one defeat and one close-call versus Northwestern created skepticism.

After a 78-59 loss Saturday at No. 4 Ohio State, though, there was no doubt about where IU stood.

The Buckeyes were just better. Much better.

IU coach Archie Miller seemed the most willing to say it.

“Ohio State is terrific,” Miller said. “There wasn’t anything we could do today to really stem them from being able to physically overwhelm us.”

OSU’s physicality is what stood out the most to Miller going into the game, and it definitely left an impression coming out of Value City Arena. In second-chance points, OSU held a 20-9 advantage, thanks to a 36-28 edge on the boards. OSU also held a 21-11 edge in points off turnovers.

There were moments where it seemed the Hoosiers (11-9, 6-7 Big Ten) might be able to stick with the Buckeyes, but they were short-lived. OSU’s 16-point edge closed to five points late in the first half, but OSU did enough — and the Hoosiers coughed the ball up just enough — to create a 38-28 gap going into the locker room.

IU came out of the break and closed once again, cutting it to 45-40 with 14 minutes left in the game. But then the Buckeyes just leveled the Hoosiers with a 22-5 run.

The Buckeyes (17-4, 11-4) were just better.

“They imposed, really physically, just a different way for us to feel in the game,” Miller said. “They gotta make us better from this. We have to learn from it and move on, because Minnesota is the biggest game on the schedule, and our approach to that cannot be any different than where we’ve been.

“Today was not our day, and Ohio State had everything to do with it.”

Miller, who praised the Buckeyes, did not seem overly intent on talking down his own team. It’s just another down in an up-and-down season. IU saw a two-game winning streak snap, but the Hoosiers haven’t been able to win three games in a row this season. OSU, on the other hand, just extended its own winning streak to six.

While IU just has to rebound, again, there were obvious flaws in IU’s effort, which have struck the Hoosiers far too many times in losses. For one, IU turned the ball over 15 times. Four apiece came from Armaan Franklin and Khristian Lander, while Al Durham committed three errors.

Along with Rob Phinisee, IU’s top four guards shot a combined 5-of-19 from the floor.

“If you look at Al and Armaan, their lines, and them having seven turnovers in the game, we need those guys to play better,” Miller said. “But they also played terrific the other day (at Northwestern). It happens.”

IU just couldn’t get much outside of Trayce Jackson-Davis, who shot 10-of-14 from the field on his way to 23 points and nine rebounds. Then again, Jackson-Davis wasn’t all that consistent Saturday, either.

Jackson-Davis, who scored nine first-half points, didn’t really come to life until a 9-0 run late in the first half that reduced OSU’s lead to 31-26. The sophomore forward scored three of his four first-half field goals in the final five minutes of the period.

“I think with me it’s just mentally, really. I’m in my head a lot,” Jackson-Davis said. “Got taken out for a second, and then just cleared my head, and when I went back in I felt like I was ready to go. … These last few games I’ve really been starting slow. Getting that out of the way, and taking my time at the rim, and finishing those shots, I thought I did better on that as the game progressed.”

After making a run, IU just couldn’t close out the first half. OSU star E.J. Liddell, who scored 14 of his 19 points in the first half, finished in transition off IU’s eighth turnover of the frame, which sent the Buckeyes into halftime up 10.

That wasn’t the only time where IU’s good moments were followed by bad ones. For example, Lander was able to find Jackson-Davis on a beautiful pick-and-roll in the second half, trimming OSU’s lead to 45-40. But at the end of a 9-0 response from OSU, Lander was snared by a Buckeye trap, and C.J. Walker deposited OSU’s second straight transition layup to make it 54-40.

In the first half, IU was able to get something of an offensive spark from Jerome Hunter, who hit a couple of 3s on his way to nine first-half points. But then the native Ohioan was relegated to the bench by foul trouble. Hunter finished with 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting.

OSU was just better. More physical, as Miller stated. By the eight-minute mark of the second half, OSU had a 65-44 advantage. IU just had to tip their cap to the Buckeyes postgame — and just try to move on.

“They were getting to their spots on the floor, their guards were crashing big time, and post players were getting underneath position on us,” Jackson-Davis said. “I know me and my teammates, all we have to do is work harder and push forward to the next game.”

(above photo courtesy of IU Athletics)

65 comments

  1. A.M. is a much better analyst than a major college coach.

    And IU had a chance to bring Butler coach who could have brought experience including under Brad Stevens and Butler way (focus, discipline, Physical toughness, talent/recruiting shooters and big guys. Vs a coach who has recruited some Indiana players…but has become a coach of going thru the motions of doing his job until he proceeds on from Indiana as reflected by his recruited players and Plus lack of recruited players. A.M. seems pretty content with that.

  2. They hired Matta, we, ‘cue cards’,…they robbed Butler again with Holtman and we got AM. There is a generational and $ buildup advantage re football, but IU’s basketball situation is inexcuseable. Right now, IU looks like a team that might finish in the top half of the Atlantic 10 or MVC? Dolson, I know you inherited this,..but please….fix it. It’s like a migrane headache with no relief. Every time this team takes the court those 5 national championships become as relevent as Red Grange at Illinois.

  3. Expectations? Crean was fired for winning B1G Championships and not getting past the 2nd weekend of the NCAAs.

    People are spent with the mediocrity we are seeing on the court. Even those who aren’t collectively screaming for firing the head coach. No one likes this.

    OSU hired the right coach. Looking more and more like Indiana didn’t. Holtmann was sitting 50 miles aways and Fred never called him.

    Funny, if Matta had quit earlier, AM would have taken the OSU job.

  4. This program is a mess. I watch and I don’t think OSU is much more talented than IU. But they play with a purpose and confidence. Indiana plays terrified. Year 4. Our upperclassmen are just inconsistent at best. OSU was the aggressor from the opening tip and Indiana just wilted.

    Indiana starts dead in every game. Is it because they just don’t know how to play at the beginning of the game? NO. It’s the lineup. Our starting line-up is an absolute zero. You stick that line-up in at any time in the game, and it is garbage time. Why on earth is AM so stuck on sticking with these guys? I’m done with watching the same thing over and over.

    Indiana Mediocrities are what they are. A perpetually sitting on the bubble program. This team is gross to watch.

  5. Fred Glass:

    “The expectations for Indiana University basketball are to perennially contend for and win multiple Big Ten championships, regularly go deep into the NCAA tournament, and win our next national championship — and more after that. We will identify and recruit a coach who will help us meet these expectations.”

  6. A.M. does a good job being post game analyst. A.M. success will be keep his head on semi straight, take the money/financial wealth, say thank you and go. That’s AWFULLY good.
    I don’t blame him one penny’s worth.
    (A.M. assistants aren’t good either)

  7. OH Look There!!! All the Naysayers of CAM. the very problem that IU has had for 3 years is reason Ohio State won—–Shooting. TJD cant be dependent upon carrying this team when they cant shoot. Coaches ( ANY coaches) wont do you any good IF the players dont focus and practice. I like Rob P BUT he is never going to be the guard that IU needs OR hoped he would become. Athletic Wings are good but they need to rebound. 4th year Junior Musa Jallow wasnt even recruited by Mr Cue Card. I U needs another BIG man (at the least).The Young kids play like young kids and the upper class players have stunted growth..their talent hasnt produced the results WE the fans thought they would

  8. Very good coach and very good team vs mediocre coach and mediocre team= blowout.
    Is anyone really surprised?

  9. A.M. will have many opportunities after IU gig… if and whatever he so chooses. Actually, it’s a little easier on him to slide out when that time comes probably anytime before 2025 because of in gym fan limitations that along with performance creates a lot of apathy.

  10. I guess its Fred Glass didn’t want to piss off the Indy Crowd that supports Butler Basketball by pooching their coach and takes a pass on the Butler Coach, and goes and hires Coach Miller, now I U Men’s Basketball is screwed by taking the high road with the Butler people. Don’t see any quick turn around with the poor guard play. I have reached the Clark Gable level with I U Men’s Basketball, personally , I just don’t give a damn.

  11. Archie Miller was not a bad hire, given his track record at Dayton. He just hasn’t panned out so far, plain and simple. There’s no relief in sight with his current (or lack thereof) recruits. IU might as well cut its losses and move on. 4 years in and stuck with a NCAA bubble team isn’t cutting it. Oh the eternal joys of being an IU basketball fan.

  12. It’s the BigTen…OSU is not that potent of a team. Deep and balanced…but nothing to make me think they’ll live up to their ranking when all is said and done. They’ll hit some conference bumps before March Madness. Iowa was on top of the world barely three weeks ago. Things change quickly in this conference.

    Meanwhile, Justin Smith approaching 20 points for Arkansas vs. #10 Missouri….(going to the wire in OT). No Smith and No Brunk this year…Not so hard to realize their absence adds to putting us in a funk. How much more aggressive could we play on the inside with their addition…? How much pressure could it ease off our backcourt?

    Archie doesn’t make excuses…but most of you are astute enough to identify the unforeseen issues beyond the 40 minutes witnessed.

  13. OSU has a legitimate shot at a title this year. They remind me of Texas Tech 2 yrs ago. They have the pieces including depth & togetherness. 4th in the country in offensive efficiency & 60th in defense. These don’t stack up to Gonzaga & Baylor, but given 40 min., anything can happen.

    IU on the other hand is 54th in O (somehow???) & 24th in D.

    Plus, we’ve looked really bad in our last 2 wins for extended stretches digging big holes. Do that against an elite team & you’re DONE. That is what happened today. We had 2 spells where the wheels fell off & OSU went on 19 Pt & 12 Pt runs.

    I’m totally on board with the tweak of the starting lineup. That was a great point DD! Kudos! You’re 100% right. Running the exact same bunch out there that drilled the 10 Pt halftime hole is insanity.

    My starting 5 would be;
    TJD, Race, Franklin, Geronimo & Durham. (Bring Rob off the bench after Lander.) Even going with a complete 5 out change I would applaud at this point.

    Now, we do have what I think is a favorable set of games coming, 2 at home (as if that matters this yr).

    1. Yes, OSU has a legitimate shot at a title this year…..along with two dozen other teams. Banners and legitimate shots are most often mutually exclusive. OSU is currently on a roll….They may have peaked too early. Injuries, Covid, remaining schedule, bracket opponents, roster disruptions due to conduct issues (everyone has them) can quickly throw a wrench into any season.

      Brunk’s injury and Smith’s transfer sort of threw a wrench into ours….(along with Franklin and Galloway not being near 100% over the last month).

      Lose by two …or lose by twenty, I’m still in a much better place as a fan of Hoosier Basketball today than before Archie’s arrival. Probably in a small camp. I’m in firm belief the program is no longer the subject of smirks when we’re looking the other way….We are trying to build college basketball teams again instead of mainly functioning as a mini camp/arm of the NBA relying on experiments/prodigies/”upsiders” who suck all the limelight and are rarely much use to a college team until the moment they jump ship for the draft.
      I hope we never go back to that popular movement so heavily glamorized and accelerating away from amateur sports.

      Hoosier fans (at least those over the age of 45) were given a brief gift of this stuff looking easy during the Final Four and banner heyday …It wasn’t easy then and it’s triply difficult today. You don’t see too many other BigTen teams who can still match that feat so long ago.
      But I still find our latest rather “old school” version of fighting for college basketball relevancy something far more redeeming than most of what’s out there (saturated infatuations with the “next level,” FBI recruiting scandals, ghost classes, etc, etc).

      Go Hoosiers!!

  14. AWin you make some good points. The ONLY guard IU has that shows ANY kind of result from Hard work is Franklin. Rob and AL can say they worked hard in the”off season” but the results are proof enough. As my mom used to say “the proof is in the pudding”; they can say what they want but the results show otherwise. the physicality of OSU’s defense, ( hip steering after bodying up to IU’s players) the freshmen dont have the bodies to challenge “in the traffic. Rob plays “tired” —tired of basketball–tired of demands put on him from a scholarship , tired of demands put on him from playing at a D-1 school. the front line needs physical help—PERIOD. If anything to hold Archie accountable for is the “type” of player he is recruiting. The Long and Lean players with 7 ft wingspans aren’t holding up to the everyday POUNDING that Big 10 basketball hands out. Those “type” get tired of being hip bumped into the 3rd row every night and results will be the same. The toughness that Archie refeers to isnt just the mental its also the physical BUT ARCHIE recruiting kids that are 6 ft 6 and weighing 160 pounds arent going to get you the toughness !! If you want mental toughness your recruits HAVE TO feel they can stand up to the bumps and bruises of the Big10 or you have lost the game before it starts.

    1. Rob and Al are not twins! Al is shooting 40% on 3’s, averaging over 10 points/game and playing just under 30 minutes/game. What do you want? Sort of like Smith: 10 + points/game, 5+ rebounds/game and 25+ minutes. Brunk was about 6 points/game.

  15. Yes Rob who I have thought would do very good at IU is a big disappointment except for his D. Catch 22. Scoring, offensive hustle, leadership and passing he is a detriment to all. Give Lander and Leal more minutes to accentuate results.

  16. Whether A.M. and staff does it or someone else and another staff…an immediate culture for the better is needed in the IU men’s basketball program to be the BEST to accomplish IU men’s basketball expectations that makes up the sum of all its parts.

  17. Indiana out of a lot of bracket projections this week.

    4 games left. I think we need to go 3 – 1. Losing to Minnesota, who hasn’t won a single game on the road, would be a bad loss. Same with MSU the following week. Then have to win at least one vs Rutgers or Michigan.

    Who knows what’s going to happen with the conference tournaments. If the top teams opt out, could be a bunch of meaningless games for bottom feeders.

    1. DD- I believe we have 5 games left (Minnesota, MSU, @ Rutgers, Michigan, @ Purdue). 3-2 gets us to .500 (9-9) in conference play and likely an NCAA bid. A more comfortable position would be to get to 10-8 via winning 4 of the last 5.
      Downside is nothing in the conference is a gimme. Probably every game will be tight…Even lowly Nebraska has given Wisconsin and Illinois hard fights.

      Off subject a bit…..but does anyone know whatever happened regarding the status of Parker Stewart? I’ve witnessed so many programs have transfers immediately available. Did Parker want to sit out…or is something holding it up? After losing Smith and Brunk…, along with having some intermittent setbacks the result of injuries (Franklin and Galloway), it would have been nice to get some backcourt scoring punch via Stewart.

      1. Thanks for the correction. For some reason, the ESPN schedule was only showing the next 4 games. Missed Purdue. I thought that was odd that we were only on the schedule once.

        3-2 probably gets us in.

        Parker Stewart is with the team and has travelled I think. Jon can probably confirm. Dunno why he isn’t playing. Just might not be in game shape yet. I dunno.

  18. AWinAz,
    There is no answer to the current guard options that is good. If you start Durham and Franklin as your guards, you have no ball handler. Durham is and has been a turnover waiting to happen. Franklin, for all his improvement as a shooter and driver to the basket is a weak dribbler. So unless Leal can act as point guard that leaves Phinisee and Lander. I would give Lander a shot even though he is a defensive liability. The bottom line is as of now, the guard they need is still waiting to be recruited.

    1. Like it or not, Durham is the best PG option we have. 2:1 assist/TO ratio. Lander is 1 yr away, as in Feb. 2022, at best.

      1. Years back…I always was hoping we’d land the point guard out of Warsaw. Played under Larry Brown at SMU. SMU had a very strong team when he was a senior. It was a shame he didn’t get to play in the tournament (almost seemed vindictive by the NCAA wanting to settle a score with Larry Brown)….The kid was one hell of leader/floor general. SMU was very highly ranked…I think they were banned from the NCAA tournament late in the season over some violations which now seem, comparatively, minor stuff. Nic Moore.
        Indiana really does produce some very solid talent often overlooked and lost in the shuffle of hype.
        Then there’s the kid who went to MSU…Gary Harris.

        Who was our last really stellar point guard? Who do you pick post Isiah Thomas?
        Yogi was solid….but in my humble opinion, we missed out on the top prospects from the state.

      2. Moore nearly had 5 assists per game to 2 turnovers (almost a 3:1 ratio) …He averaged over 16 tpoints his senior season at SMU. His 2-pt and 3-pt percentages were both over 40%. He shot 84% from the stripe ….Solid confident swagger. Overlooked. Went to Illinois State one season….and transferred to SMU. Much like some of Sampson’s kids, put through a witch hunt over nothing and stolen what should have been a memorable postseason/March Madness experience.

  19. TURNOVERS YTD
    Trayce -47
    Franklin -43
    Al -23
    Race -23
    Rob -22
    Galloway -17
    Lander -15
    Total Team – 234 Total Opp – 248

  20. I think Devonte Green could accomplish 15 turnovers in three games…Thing we never realize is how terrible decisions which result in circus shot attempts are usually the same as a turnover…A missed shot you don’t rebound is a turnover. A missed free throw is, most often, a turnover. Poor coaching resulting in an ineffective play out of a timeout often results in a turnover …but the turnover began before anyone got near a basketball.
    Like many stats….it’s rather invisible to what is truly its cause. Lack of quality coaching, an abundance of inexperience/freshmen, quality of defense…all play in.
    And one player’s rushed decision, untimely pass, excessive dribbling, misunderstanding of spacing… or being out of place in a set ends up being the pass or missed pass turning the myriad of mistakes into a singular blemish of a “turnover” stat line for one player.
    One plus I do see is that I rarely see us committing turnovers out of timeouts….I see some excellent side-out-of-bounds plays coming out of timeouts. When the coaching is fresh from the huddle into the minds, the results are usually pretty strong. We often score out of timeouts….or breaks when a set play is designed.
    Inability to defend out of timeouts when on defense (e.g. getting lost or burned by the opposing team’s offensive designs) is never in a stat line as a turnover, but, in actuality, it’s just as bad if not worse. It’s not a ‘Points off Turnovers’ stat….It’s more hidden as ‘Points off Terrible Coaching’ never to show up in the final stats.
    During the Crean era, it was not uncommon for us to have 20 turnovers in a game….But that was only the half of it. No solid sideline out-of-bounds designs…? Often getting lost out of timeouts to defend the opposing coach’s play design? No communication to foul and stop a clock in the waning moments of a game you need to get the ball back…? These were all “coaching turnovers”….often costing more points than a player dribbling off his toe or making an errant/forced pass. Hidden turnovers …..You gotta really dig for them and watch the intricacies of the game. Many happen before there’s ever a live ball.

  21. A cue card….now visible? It’s like the hepatitis virus of “invisible turnovers” finally showing a symptom years after the damage. Not only should you “call out screens,” you should get screened.

  22. Talking about Coaching…what is going on during the full year/s that only a team/program implements including preparation (other than games) during season/s and off season/s.

  23. Let’s see now, IU Men’s BB is currently 11-9 overall and 6-7 in the Big Ten. This is our head coach’s fourth season at !U. Based on the incoming recruits, baring some miraculous transfer, there is no indication that IU’s roster will be significantly improved any time soon. In fact, there is a real possibility that IU’s level of talent could regress next season.

    Four years ago IU fired a coach who had finished the 2016/2017 season 18-16. They fired him even though, in the previous season, he lead IU to a record of 27-9 and won the program’s second Outright Big Ten Championship. Oh, and I almost forgot, IU was on the hook to pay him $1 million a year for four years.

    I hope the people currently in charge of IU and the Athletics Department in particular are smarter than those who were in charge four years ago.

  24. Wow…Make of it what you will, but we lost to #16 Florida State by 2 points (Dec. 9th).

    Tonight. Florida State is demolishing Tony “Mr. Fabulous” Bennett’s #7 Virginia by 25 points…

    One would think this will help our tournament evaluation.

  25. The cognitive dissonance required to keep pining for Tom Crean is something to behold. At least Baghdad Bob had a gun to his head.

    1. I’m not pining for Crean. I’m just poking those who celebrated Crean’s firing and who were so confident IU would replace him with a major upgrade. Obviously, IU BB is no better off than it was four years ago and may actually be regressing. The geniuses who were howling for Crean to be fired a year after he won an Outright Big Ten Championship are fairly quiet about Archie’s fate, yet he’s not even close to winning a Big Ten Championship in the foreseeable future. It’s always a mistake to “allow perfect to become the enemy of good.”

      1. Is this what you call “good” over nine seasons?

        Conference Midwest Elite (13 teams) = 30 Collective Elite Eights & 17 Final Fours
        Indiana = 0, Nada, Zilch Elite Eights

        13 teams going to at least one Elite Eight during Crean Era = Butler(2), Dayton(1), Kentucky(7), Loyola(1), Louisville(3), Marquette(1), Michigan(3), Michigan State(4), Notre Dame(2),
        Ohio State(2), Purdue(1), Wisconsin(2) and Xavier(1).

        This is the momentum of greatness in March Madness inherited by Archie Miller…along with nice cue cards.

  26. Also, Tom Crean was only out of basketball for year. His contract was to pay out $4 million over 3 years remaining on his terminated contract, but that buyout disappears when Crean finds a new job. As far as buyouts go, the Indiana Administration got off very well in that deal.

    https://amp.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/indiana/2018/03/15/reports-former-iu-coach-tom-crean-take-georgia-position/430585002/

    But I’m sure Po will continue over and over and over to spout this same nonsense even after this same fact has been pointed out to him hundreds of times.

    1. Read it again, I wrote “IU was on the hook to pay him $1 million a year for four years.” On the hook, meaning at risk.

      It was a stupid, knee-jerk reaction to fire Crean when IU did. And it was stupid to waste even a penny of IU’s Athletic Budget paying Crean any severance at all. All the Crean-hating boosters who pressured Glass to fire Crean damaged IU’s BB program, and now they look like fools. Yet the BB program is no better off than it was when Crean was fired. If IU fires Archie six weeks from now or 58 weeks from now, is it going to be easier to more difficult to hire a BB coach who can return IU to elite status?

      1. Firing Crean was the right action for IU. His recruiting fell off the table. He caused his own demise. Without D. Wade he would be unknown. Damn glad he’s gone.

  27. perhaps the problem that persists with IU’s players not progressing can be found in this article. Players that THINK they are bigger than the game and look at college ball as an obstacle—Duke men’s basketball will be down one less man on its roster for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. Multiple reports surfaced on Monday that freshman Jalen Johnson, widely seen as a first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft after having averaged 11.2 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists this season, had opted out of the remainder of the season. The team later confirmed the news, and that Johnson will enter the NBA Draft.

  28. So MAYBE Its NOT the “coaching” that is the problem…look at the one and done players had and attitude. look at the Ft Wayne Player that was EXPECTED to commit to IU but went to Kentucky instead. The Kid that just signed to PU because “He wants to be a “4” and not a “5” slot player.

    1. Either recruit kids who can shoot or have the ability to teach them how to shoot. So far, Archie has not proven he can do either.

      As to Jalen Johnson and kids like him who look past a year of college basketball, that’s why the NBA’s one and done policy is so bad for college BB and needs to be abolished immediately.

  29. I like Archie Miller. His teams play defense, that which travels to away floors & gives you a chance to win every night. The offense is painful, but that is a result of personnel available. No PG to make plays and make everyone else better. I like the development I see with Race & Armaan & Jerome. If Galloway, Leal, Lander & Geronimo can do the same, the future is bright. I think long term. Archie is as good of a coach as there is anywhere else, in my opinion. The results haven’t been there & we all want a lot more. (Including Archie!)

    6-7 in the Big Ten could just as ‘easily’ been 9-4 or 8-5 doing a few more little things like hitting FTs & nabbing loose balls & valuing possessions. But this team doesn’t have the talent to create enough point differential to overcome ‘the little things’ & its own mistakes.

    I despised Crean-ball. No defense played. Quick shots. 15+ TOs/game. He had 2 good recruiting classes; Zeller’s & Morgan/Anonoby. He couldn’t take the #1 team past a well documented 2-3 zone in the sweet 16. If it weren’t for DWade, this guy would be a Harbaugh asst. at MI or Balt.

    1. “His teams play defense, that which travels to away floors & gives you a chance to win every night”.
      The Hoosiers are 11 – 29 (.275) on the road under Miller. Not much seems to be traveling well.

      1. .275 = a chance

        Q. What’s the % this year with HIS 1st recruiting class being Jrs.?
        A. .42 @ 3 – 4

        Q. Neutral sites this year?
        A. .75 @ 3 – 1

        1. They seem to want to ignore that fact, AWinAZ. The harsher critics seem to want to ignore the the honoring of scholarships…and working with the inherited recruits he was handed when arriving. They won’t even give the man a chance to build a roster and backcourt of his own making. I like Durham….Seems like a great kid and a hard worker. But he’s still not an Archie Miller recruit. He’s integral to our team…He has some great nights and some not so great. Our alternatives our freshmen. Franklin is a sophomore who has made immense improvement but he had a rather big setback in the heart of our BigTen season with an ankle injury….Joey Brunk season-long injury? Abrupt transfer of Justin Smith …? Are these factors on the coach when he’s doing everything possible to fill in a roster around existing recruits?

          Lastly, we’re likely in the Big Dance last season. All of college basketball had it put to a grinding halt due to the pandemic. No coach (outside of those cheating the system) should be fired during a pandemic! Maybe we fizzle out fast in the tournament last year…but you just never know. Teams can surprise in March Madness. We have yet to see how Archie’s strong defensive teams translate to March Madness and how well his teams can perform on the stages with the greatest pressure.

          And why are many traditional blue blood teams struggling so mightily this year? Can we really get any definitive evaluations of coaching and momentum swings (positive or negative) during a pandemic with zero fans? Again, you fire a coach during those circumstances whether newly hired …or iconic future ‘Hall of Fame’ variety (e.g. Coach K, Self, Izzoi)?

          Bottom Line: Archie’s first two seasons consisted of little opportunity to fill in with his own recruits. Romeo was sort of a bust…Brunk was hit with unforeseen major back issues. Smith transferred …Franklin injury…? Phinisee’s major concussion issues last year? Is that all on Archie?
          Within the last two is the world of college basketball impacted by the ongoing pandemic ….(very little non-conference patsies to pad wins early and maybe give some younger guys minutes and confidence). Blue bloods struggling ….It’s all over the place. What sort of AD fires a coach during a pandemic? What sort of AD fires a coach just one year removed from a getting denied a likely spot in March Madness due to the pandemic.?

          We lost enough respect by keeping a bozo for nine years….How much more respect do we lose by firing a coach denied building his own team around the additional impact of a pandemic?

        2. But our home record sucks, AZ!
          MSU sucks this year. Duke sucks this year…Kansas sucks this year. Kentucky sucks all of the time…even when they don’t suck as much as they suck this year.

          Bottom Line: Multiple rich-in-tradition teams used to having, at minimum, their smorgasbord of victories on home courts, are sucking. Everything is topsy-turvy. Everything is askew. And after seeing so much of college hoops turned upside down …and in over a season’s worth of dealing with a pandemic, including a cancellation of the 2020 March Madness tournament, people are asking for a coach’s head? Is this what Covid does to the brain?

    2. AWinAZ, I respect your opinion about Crean-ball and appreciate your honesty. There were many aspects of Crean’s style of BB that drove me crazy too. But your comment confirms my belief that for many Hoosier BB fans (I call them “purists”), the style of play Crean coached mattered far more than the results Crean’s teams achieved. A secondary criteria was Crean’s personality, which drove some people to derangement. And that’s where I part ways with the Hoosier purists. I really don’t care about the style of BB an IU team plays as long as they win. I really don’t care about the coach’s personality as long as he’s not a cheater or an immoral scum bag. And the point I have been making since IU fired Crean is that he got fired because of the style of play he coached more so than his ability to lead his team to successful seasons. And in that regard, firing Crean was an irrational and stupid decision that was heavily influenced by arrogant boosters. My concern at the time was that IU did not have to put millions of dollars and IU BB’s future at risk just because some powerful and wealthy boosters didn’t like the style of BB that Crean coached. Furthermore, if any of Crean’s three teams that made it to the Sweet 16 had gone on to the Final four or to win an NCAA Championship, those purists would have jumped on Crean’s bandwagon and Crean would still be IU’s BB coach today.

      So here we are, four seasons later, and IU BB does not appear to be anywhere close to achieving the level of success Crean’s team achieved just the year before he was fired. IU will not win the Outright Big Ten Championship this year, or next year, and it is highly unlikely, because of Archie’s recruiting failures, that AM will build a team capable of great success in the 22/23 season. Furthermore, every additional year that IU BB teams produce mediocre results and finish in the middle of the Big Ten pack will make it harder for IU to hire a coach capable of leading IU BB back to elite status. So, for the IU BB purists and influential boosters, they’d better derive great satisfaction from Archie’s style of BB, because they’re not going to be celebrating IU’s Big Ten Championships or trips to the Sweet 16 any time soon.

      1. Respect your opinion & perspective as well Podunker.

        Another thing that had a strong relevance to Crean’s firing was his recruiting failures the last 2 yrs in particular. His own coffers were pretty bare. Meanwhile several IN high school studs ended up at MI, MSU, OSU, VA, UK & elsewhere. He lost the pipeline. Btw, I think Crean lost his own team his last yr. He himself said he knew what was coming when Glass decided not to host the NIT opener vs. GA Tech. Any coach worth a damn would’ve rallied his team against the forces within to plow thru that NIT & win it.

        Fwiw, I like Tom Crean as a person & leader of young men. I’ve heard nothing but good things about him from those who know the behind the scenes details.

        But we all know when the importance of the basketball program was diluted by the administration. And we’ll keep infighting & disagreeing until a unifying, successful coach emerges. (Not unlike the USA as a whole.)

  30. A.M. (like many others) I am sure have really really FAT bank accounts. So 11-29 (.275) is greatly financially successful. Name anyone who wouldn’t take that?

  31. I noticed that Crean’s UGA team has same records total and in Conf. BUT some of his games start looking like IU losses 99-69 loss , 115 to 70 loss Defense isnt following him OR I guess HIS defense has

    1. It’s sort of amazing and rather ironic…A premier football school of the SEC is growing tired of watching his basketball “style” after 3 years.
      A once premier basketball school took nine years to see it.

      The football school with all the athletic department comforts and riches college football can provide, is still not willing to grossly fund and look the other way when they see incompetence on the basketball floor. Even in the heavily “conservative” and uber-religious South, it’s still too much “style” against substance for their eyes and ears to tolerate.

      I mean, how much clue and time do you need? A football school can’t even stomach the charades and overblown recruiting skills sold as “style” to mask incompetence?

  32. Often in life, what you end up with, what remains of a truth, is what you brought upon yourself.
    As we spin and squirm …and look for heads on platters and seek another witch hunt in this vicious circular obsession to still play the blame game (as we did in 2008 ), there is what remains of truth.

    Suggested reading….

    https://www.papercitymag.com/culture/money-program-university-houston-basketall-kelvin-sampson-bring-national-exposure/

    1. I’m not sure what you’re point here is. No matter how ridiculous the phone call violations may have seemed, the NCAA considered them to be serious.

      I am happy for Kelvin Sampson, having served his penalty, having success.

      1. The penalty was as ridiculous as the violations…Meanwhile, the FBI investigation went where? All the “elites” did nothing wrong ….Bill Self says he’s done nothing wrong. Sean Miller has done nothing wrong. Kelvin gets five years in the hoops penitentiary for having another voice on the phone.
        The point …? It was used an excuse that a “wrecked program” was inherited. Here’s another point: Kelvin Sampson knows how to coach the game of basketball…Guys that can’t coach and rely on cue cards “wreck” chances in March Madness …and wreck respect for the game as a teaching mechanism and team endeavor.
        Other than that, you’re entitled to your opinion on the legitimacy and evenhanded justice of the NCAA as it pertains to investigations and identifying the real “crooks” in college basketball.

Comments are closed.