The Morning After: Kentucky

  • 12/09/2007 12:23 pm in

crawford-crawford.jpgBig win, huh? After hearing early in the day that Armon Bassett would miss the game alongside Eric Gordon, I was worried. Of course, I am neurotic about wins and losses; I always think IU will lose even if it should win, and I always think games are going to be closer and more challenging than they actually should be. Still, losing Eric and Armon was supposed to mean losing 40-50 points in production. But IU compensated, played well, and feasted on a Kentucky team that is just not very good at all right now. I’ll take it.

— First, that Kentucky team. How awful. I’ve been watching Kentucky basketball for, oh, 10 years — longer than I’ve been intently watching IU, thanks to a brother that used be obsessed with Kentucky — and this is by far the worst team I can remember them putting on the floor. I’m sure there have been worse teams. But this one is so thoroughly mediocre, and slow, and uncoordinated, that they never really looked like a challenge to a team missing its top two guards. That makes it tough to figure out how much of the credit for the blowout goes to the Hoosiers, and how much goes to the Cats.

— Earlier in the year, I talked about how no one on this team was a “true” point guard, and while that didn’t bother me, it did bear watching throughout the season. For all his strengths, I don’t see Kelvin Sampson as the most position-liberated coach out there; would he force Armon to be a distributing guard even though it’s clear he’s at his best as a shooter? What would he do with Jordan Crawford?

After Saturday, I think it’s clear that Crawford has the potential to be an every-play point guard on this team. He still has those freshman faults — too much lateral movement against the full court press, too many traps in the corner of the half-court, etc. But he also has a fully realized skill set. He’s great at attacking the basket, can shoot from the perimeter well, is athletic and big enough to guard opposing studs … he can do it all. It looks like he and Armon will complement each other really well in the next couple of years, each one doing some of the things the other can’t. That gives the Hoosiers plenty of guard depth to look forward to.

(More after the jump including my thoughts on Eric Gordon’s absence, Jamarcus Ellis and Sampson’s control of the program.)

— I’m sure I read a comment or two yesterday saying, essentially, that because IU played so well Saturday they don’t need Eric Gordon. Stop that. That’s silly.

I will say this: Without Gordon, IU is a considerably slower team. Again, some of that might be Kentucky — Billy Clyde seemed really anxious to slow the game down whenever possible — but the rest of that is probably the lack of Gordon’s sheer athleticism in the open floor. Crawford was really the one guard left that can operate like that in the open floor, and he is far less athletic and slower than Gordon is. Without Gordon, the Hoosiers were forced to turn to their half-court game in a larger percentage of their possessions. It’s good to see the Hoosiers adapt appropriately to Gordon’s absence and work on half-court team basketball in the meantime. IU is definitely not better without Gordon. A little Gordon-free experience, however, can’t hurt.

— I also continue to be impressed by Jamarcus Ellis. He is the definition of solid. His one glaring flaw up to this point in the season was his desire to squeeze passes into places where passes can’t do, specifically deep into a crowded zone from the top of the key. Saturday, Ellis cut down on those turnovers (he had two, with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and five assists) and maintained his, oh, what’s the word? Ah yes: solid production. Solid.

— I heard a bunch of comments yesterday — including some from our own Big A — criticizing Sampson for the three suspensions he’s had to make thus far this year. That, plus his own apparent lack of attention in PhoneGate, give many of you the impression that Sampson doesn’t have the proper amount of control over this program, that people should start looking more closely at Sampson for the behavior of his players in addition to his own. I disagree.

I think Sampson’s indiscretions in calling recruits are far, far more serious than any brief suspension he can hand out to a player. Those suspensions are the product of choices by players away from the team. I don’t know what the suspensions are for exactly, but the rumors I’ve heard include some mix of academic issues and, in Armon Bassett’s case at least — again: this is a rumor — a quick puff of the wacky tobaccy. Whether that’s true or not, how is Sampson supposed to police that? Do your parents, or guidance figures, police everything you do when you’re away from them? What did you get away with when you were 20 years old?

These are 18-22 year olds who are responsible for themselves in many ways. It’s their job to be academically responsible; it’s their job not to break team rules; it’s their job to be discreet if they go out and party. Many college kids do these things, and if they get caught, they pay the price. But I’m not sure how that’s Kelvin Sampson’s fault. So long as he is willing to make the punishments stick — so long as he is willing to hurt his own chances of winning by suspending these players — then I find it impossible to criticize Sampson for mistakes over which he has almost no control.

The phone stuff? Fine. But for anyone else’s behavior, don’t blame Sampson.

— As always, your comments and additions are welcomed in the thread.

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  • nealE

    I agree with you on Sampson. I was just saying to a friend how I think it is odd people praise Knight for being a disciplinarian, complain how Davis never took control, and they now accuse Sampson of having no control over the team. The fact is, Sampson is doing just was Knight did. He hasn’t kicked anyone off the team yet, but there have been no repeat offenders. I’ve also heard Basset missed curfew as a possibility. Look: if Sampson had no control or was losing control, would he have suspended a key guard like Crawford vs the first true road game against a tough SIU team? And would he have benched the teams starting PG, when it was already down the starting SG, vs arch rival UK? I think not. But that’s just my opinion.

  • nealE

    I agree with you on Sampson. I was just saying to a friend how I think it is odd people praise Knight for being a disciplinarian, complain how Davis never took control, and they now accuse Sampson of having no control over the team. The fact is, Sampson is doing just was Knight did. He hasn’t kicked anyone off the team yet, but there have been no repeat offenders. I’ve also heard Basset missed curfew as a possibility. Look: if Sampson had no control or was losing control, would he have suspended a key guard like Crawford vs the first true road game against a tough SIU team? And would he have benched the teams starting PG, when it was already down the starting SG, vs arch rival UK? I think not. But that’s just my opinion.

  • MKH

    I completely agree re: the suspension stuff, and on Jordan Crawford. Crawford could make us a dangerous team in years to come if he can find that balance between distributing the ball and creating his own shot; right now I think he does a little bit too much of the latter.

  • MKH

    I completely agree re: the suspension stuff, and on Jordan Crawford. Crawford could make us a dangerous team in years to come if he can find that balance between distributing the ball and creating his own shot; right now I think he does a little bit too much of the latter.

  • David

    I too agree with the others above and you re: Sampson. It’s one of those things where he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. It sort of reminds me of how some people aren’t happy unless they have something to complain about. Oh well.

    In addition to the above observations, it was nice to see big Dre out there making baskets, setting some huge screens (I especially liked the screen he set for Jordan where Crawford was able to split the Kentucky guys and head towards the basket) and just being active in general. Seeing Dre and Mike White out there with their enthusiasm and energy was pure excitement – now if only Dre could make a few more free throws.

  • David

    I too agree with the others above and you re: Sampson. It’s one of those things where he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. It sort of reminds me of how some people aren’t happy unless they have something to complain about. Oh well.

    In addition to the above observations, it was nice to see big Dre out there making baskets, setting some huge screens (I especially liked the screen he set for Jordan where Crawford was able to split the Kentucky guys and head towards the basket) and just being active in general. Seeing Dre and Mike White out there with their enthusiasm and energy was pure excitement – now if only Dre could make a few more free throws.

  • David

    I too agree with the others above and you re: Sampson. It’s one of those things where he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. It sort of reminds me of how some people aren’t happy unless they have something to complain about. Oh well.

    In addition to the above observations, it was nice to see big Dre out there making baskets, setting some huge screens (I especially liked the screen he set for Jordan where Crawford was able to split the Kentucky guys and head towards the basket) and just being active in general. Seeing Dre and Mike White out there with their enthusiasm and energy was pure excitement – now if only Dre could make a few more free throws.

  • ray

    i agree with everything mentioned, including “a little bit too much of the latter”.

    as far as gordon’s absence, i hope there isn’t much more of it. but at the same time, i ridiculed iu fans yesterday who felt that there was absolutely no way they could win without him…that to me is absolutely ridiculous when you have guys like jamarcus ellis and dj white on your team.

    iu fans are often referred to as “the iu faithful”, and i sometimes question the faith that many of the fans have in this iu TEAM.

  • ray

    i agree with everything mentioned, including “a little bit too much of the latter”.

    as far as gordon’s absence, i hope there isn’t much more of it. but at the same time, i ridiculed iu fans yesterday who felt that there was absolutely no way they could win without him…that to me is absolutely ridiculous when you have guys like jamarcus ellis and dj white on your team.

    iu fans are often referred to as “the iu faithful”, and i sometimes question the faith that many of the fans have in this iu TEAM.

  • ray

    i agree with everything mentioned, including “a little bit too much of the latter”.

    as far as gordon’s absence, i hope there isn’t much more of it. but at the same time, i ridiculed iu fans yesterday who felt that there was absolutely no way they could win without him…that to me is absolutely ridiculous when you have guys like jamarcus ellis and dj white on your team.

    iu fans are often referred to as “the iu faithful”, and i sometimes question the faith that many of the fans have in this iu TEAM.

  • ray

    DAVID…agreed. i think the most exciting thing about dre was that he managed to play a fair amount of minutes without picking up four or five fouls. that is the key to dre lifting this team off the bench. he’s had spurts of greatness coupled with spurts of purely over physical, and needless fouls. in his defense though, a few of the fouls i’ve seen called on him were simply because he’s so much bigger than his opposition…the majority though were a result of poor positioning and silly reaches and grabs.

  • ray

    DAVID…agreed. i think the most exciting thing about dre was that he managed to play a fair amount of minutes without picking up four or five fouls. that is the key to dre lifting this team off the bench. he’s had spurts of greatness coupled with spurts of purely over physical, and needless fouls. in his defense though, a few of the fouls i’ve seen called on him were simply because he’s so much bigger than his opposition…the majority though were a result of poor positioning and silly reaches and grabs.

  • ray

    DAVID…agreed. i think the most exciting thing about dre was that he managed to play a fair amount of minutes without picking up four or five fouls. that is the key to dre lifting this team off the bench. he’s had spurts of greatness coupled with spurts of purely over physical, and needless fouls. in his defense though, a few of the fouls i’ve seen called on him were simply because he’s so much bigger than his opposition…the majority though were a result of poor positioning and silly reaches and grabs.

  • Hoosier Hound

    I can’t believe I’m going to be critical after the Hoosiers destroyed Kentucky by 19. Damn I hate them. But I totally disagree with you about Crawford. Of the five guards on this team, only Ratliff would seem to be a worse point guard. I have numerous complaints about Crawford’s play, but most of all he just doesn’t see the floor and misses passing opportunities to open teammates. His whole focus when he has the ball is on the defender immediately in front of him. He had only two assists against UK after playing the point the entire game. Nevertheless, he is a freshman, he is a good outside shooter and has amazing ability to finish when he penetrates into the lane, but he is behind where Bassett was last year.

    Overall the basketball played yesterday was pretty crappy, but IU still ended up with a 19 point win so that’s good. But still too many turnovers, I hate turnovers. They really need to work on cutting down on turnovers before Big Ten play starts.

  • Hoosier Hound

    I can’t believe I’m going to be critical after the Hoosiers destroyed Kentucky by 19. Damn I hate them. But I totally disagree with you about Crawford. Of the five guards on this team, only Ratliff would seem to be a worse point guard. I have numerous complaints about Crawford’s play, but most of all he just doesn’t see the floor and misses passing opportunities to open teammates. His whole focus when he has the ball is on the defender immediately in front of him. He had only two assists against UK after playing the point the entire game. Nevertheless, he is a freshman, he is a good outside shooter and has amazing ability to finish when he penetrates into the lane, but he is behind where Bassett was last year.

    Overall the basketball played yesterday was pretty crappy, but IU still ended up with a 19 point win so that’s good. But still too many turnovers, I hate turnovers. They really need to work on cutting down on turnovers before Big Ten play starts.

  • Hoosier Hound

    I can’t believe I’m going to be critical after the Hoosiers destroyed Kentucky by 19. Damn I hate them. But I totally disagree with you about Crawford. Of the five guards on this team, only Ratliff would seem to be a worse point guard. I have numerous complaints about Crawford’s play, but most of all he just doesn’t see the floor and misses passing opportunities to open teammates. His whole focus when he has the ball is on the defender immediately in front of him. He had only two assists against UK after playing the point the entire game. Nevertheless, he is a freshman, he is a good outside shooter and has amazing ability to finish when he penetrates into the lane, but he is behind where Bassett was last year.

    Overall the basketball played yesterday was pretty crappy, but IU still ended up with a 19 point win so that’s good. But still too many turnovers, I hate turnovers. They really need to work on cutting down on turnovers before Big Ten play starts.

  • As far as my comments yesterday go, I’m going to stand behind them. First off, I think Coach Sampson is doing a great job and he should continue to be the coach at Indiana. He gets the most out of his players and the team plays hard for him.

    I am a bit frustrated that it seems like it’s been one thing after another so far this season. I agree that you cannot place all of the blame on Sampson for off the court problems that aren’t related to academics.

    He does, however, need to have some accountability for how the players act off the court. After all, he is the leader of the program. I commend him for suspending players if they break team rules, but I hope he is making it known to each of them that this behavior is not acceptable and the next infraction will be dealt with a lot differently. All of the IU players are representatives of the university and are privileged to have their education paid for at one of the greatest institutions anywhere.

    Let’s hope from this point on we can all concentrate on what happens on the court and not player suspensions and phone calls.

  • As far as my comments yesterday go, I’m going to stand behind them. First off, I think Coach Sampson is doing a great job and he should continue to be the coach at Indiana. He gets the most out of his players and the team plays hard for him.

    I am a bit frustrated that it seems like it’s been one thing after another so far this season. I agree that you cannot place all of the blame on Sampson for off the court problems that aren’t related to academics.

    He does, however, need to have some accountability for how the players act off the court. After all, he is the leader of the program. I commend him for suspending players if they break team rules, but I hope he is making it known to each of them that this behavior is not acceptable and the next infraction will be dealt with a lot differently. All of the IU players are representatives of the university and are privileged to have their education paid for at one of the greatest institutions anywhere.

    Let’s hope from this point on we can all concentrate on what happens on the court and not player suspensions and phone calls.

  • As far as my comments yesterday go, I’m going to stand behind them. First off, I think Coach Sampson is doing a great job and he should continue to be the coach at Indiana. He gets the most out of his players and the team plays hard for him.

    I am a bit frustrated that it seems like it’s been one thing after another so far this season. I agree that you cannot place all of the blame on Sampson for off the court problems that aren’t related to academics.

    He does, however, need to have some accountability for how the players act off the court. After all, he is the leader of the program. I commend him for suspending players if they break team rules, but I hope he is making it known to each of them that this behavior is not acceptable and the next infraction will be dealt with a lot differently. All of the IU players are representatives of the university and are privileged to have their education paid for at one of the greatest institutions anywhere.

    Let’s hope from this point on we can all concentrate on what happens on the court and not player suspensions and phone calls.

  • As far as my comments yesterday go, I’m going to stand behind them. First off, I think Coach Sampson is doing a great job and he should continue to be the coach at Indiana. He gets the most out of his players and the team plays hard for him.

    I am a bit frustrated that it seems like it’s been one thing after another so far this season. I agree that you cannot place all of the blame on Sampson for off the court problems that aren’t related to academics.

    He does, however, need to have some accountability for how the players act off the court. After all, he is the leader of the program. I commend him for suspending players if they break team rules, but I hope he is making it known to each of them that this behavior is not acceptable and the next infraction will be dealt with a lot differently. All of the IU players are representatives of the university and are privileged to have their education paid for at one of the greatest institutions anywhere.

    Let’s hope from this point on we can all concentrate on what happens on the court and not player suspensions and phone calls.

  • MKH

    “I hope he is making it known to each of them that this behavior is not acceptable and the next infraction will be dealt with a lot differently.”

    Isn’t that what a suspension does? You don’t follow the rules – you don’t play. I don’t think you need to threaten any more than that to remind players what they’re losing if they make poor decisions.

  • MKH

    “I hope he is making it known to each of them that this behavior is not acceptable and the next infraction will be dealt with a lot differently.”

    Isn’t that what a suspension does? You don’t follow the rules – you don’t play. I don’t think you need to threaten any more than that to remind players what they’re losing if they make poor decisions.

  • b-side

    Hoosier Hound, I’m with you on the constructive criticism of Crawford’s ability to play point guard.

    On at least 2-3 occasions, I recall Jordan hitting a big 3. The ensuing offensive possession, he immediately wanted a heat-check shot where he made no effort to run the offense, kept his down and tried to take his man one-on-one. These are freshman mistakes and of course EJ is guilty of them as well. I appreciate Crawford’s fearlessness, but a point guard has to be in control and not have the mindset that, “I’m gonna show the world what I can do” when making decisions.

    Still very early in the season and if these are the only things to complain about (besides the undisclosed suspensions), then I’m content.

  • b-side

    Hoosier Hound, I’m with you on the constructive criticism of Crawford’s ability to play point guard.

    On at least 2-3 occasions, I recall Jordan hitting a big 3. The ensuing offensive possession, he immediately wanted a heat-check shot where he made no effort to run the offense, kept his down and tried to take his man one-on-one. These are freshman mistakes and of course EJ is guilty of them as well. I appreciate Crawford’s fearlessness, but a point guard has to be in control and not have the mindset that, “I’m gonna show the world what I can do” when making decisions.

    Still very early in the season and if these are the only things to complain about (besides the undisclosed suspensions), then I’m content.

  • b-side

    Hoosier Hound, I’m with you on the constructive criticism of Crawford’s ability to play point guard.

    On at least 2-3 occasions, I recall Jordan hitting a big 3. The ensuing offensive possession, he immediately wanted a heat-check shot where he made no effort to run the offense, kept his down and tried to take his man one-on-one. These are freshman mistakes and of course EJ is guilty of them as well. I appreciate Crawford’s fearlessness, but a point guard has to be in control and not have the mindset that, “I’m gonna show the world what I can do” when making decisions.

    Still very early in the season and if these are the only things to complain about (besides the undisclosed suspensions), then I’m content.

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    I have been an IU fan for 30 years living in the basketball hell hole that is North Louisville (Jeffersonville,IN)and had to bear the brunt of all the redneck UK fans for what seems like centuries, most of which are from Indiana sadly enough. And I agree, that is the worst UK team I have seen since 89-90, the year after getting the basketball equivalent of the SMU death penalty (a great time to be an IU fan in the Ville). That team was bad, they lost by 60 to Kansas, but that team had an excuse. They were starting walk ons and other scrubs (some of which currently hold high positions in the Kentucky State government i.e. Richie Farmer) but this team I think confirms what many fans around here had been thinking for the last couple years, that Tubby was fed up with the redneck, intolerable UK fans and did his best to leave the cupboard as bare as he could before bolting to the great upper Gopher land. But since all we get around here are as far as what they call “news”, the Couriers Rick Bozich and Pat Forde, they made it sound like UK would be a final four contender next year. Bottom line is that they are terrible. I mean Porter and the Coury look like players circa the 89-90 team. I mean how did these guys wind up at UK? The bottom line is Billy G still does not have a binding contract with UK so he might be getting pushed out this season, even though he fits right in in Lexy with the other drunk rednecks. Its a great day to be a IU fan in this area, if your not from here than you cannot fully understand the joy that comes from beating that team by 19. Now the UK fans will go back to talking about UK football, go FSU!!

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    I have been an IU fan for 30 years living in the basketball hell hole that is North Louisville (Jeffersonville,IN)and had to bear the brunt of all the redneck UK fans for what seems like centuries, most of which are from Indiana sadly enough. And I agree, that is the worst UK team I have seen since 89-90, the year after getting the basketball equivalent of the SMU death penalty (a great time to be an IU fan in the Ville). That team was bad, they lost by 60 to Kansas, but that team had an excuse. They were starting walk ons and other scrubs (some of which currently hold high positions in the Kentucky State government i.e. Richie Farmer) but this team I think confirms what many fans around here had been thinking for the last couple years, that Tubby was fed up with the redneck, intolerable UK fans and did his best to leave the cupboard as bare as he could before bolting to the great upper Gopher land. But since all we get around here are as far as what they call “news”, the Couriers Rick Bozich and Pat Forde, they made it sound like UK would be a final four contender next year. Bottom line is that they are terrible. I mean Porter and the Coury look like players circa the 89-90 team. I mean how did these guys wind up at UK? The bottom line is Billy G still does not have a binding contract with UK so he might be getting pushed out this season, even though he fits right in in Lexy with the other drunk rednecks. Its a great day to be a IU fan in this area, if your not from here than you cannot fully understand the joy that comes from beating that team by 19. Now the UK fans will go back to talking about UK football, go FSU!!

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    I have been an IU fan for 30 years living in the basketball hell hole that is North Louisville (Jeffersonville,IN)and had to bear the brunt of all the redneck UK fans for what seems like centuries, most of which are from Indiana sadly enough. And I agree, that is the worst UK team I have seen since 89-90, the year after getting the basketball equivalent of the SMU death penalty (a great time to be an IU fan in the Ville). That team was bad, they lost by 60 to Kansas, but that team had an excuse. They were starting walk ons and other scrubs (some of which currently hold high positions in the Kentucky State government i.e. Richie Farmer) but this team I think confirms what many fans around here had been thinking for the last couple years, that Tubby was fed up with the redneck, intolerable UK fans and did his best to leave the cupboard as bare as he could before bolting to the great upper Gopher land. But since all we get around here are as far as what they call “news”, the Couriers Rick Bozich and Pat Forde, they made it sound like UK would be a final four contender next year. Bottom line is that they are terrible. I mean Porter and the Coury look like players circa the 89-90 team. I mean how did these guys wind up at UK? The bottom line is Billy G still does not have a binding contract with UK so he might be getting pushed out this season, even though he fits right in in Lexy with the other drunk rednecks. Its a great day to be a IU fan in this area, if your not from here than you cannot fully understand the joy that comes from beating that team by 19. Now the UK fans will go back to talking about UK football, go FSU!!

  • West Coast Hoosier

    I really don’t understand the criticism on THIS issue of Coach Sampson.

    I have no problem with criticizing him for the phone situation. He shouldn’t have had the problem at Oklahoma. He CERTAINLY should have been more careful once he was at IU and on probation. I could go on in some detail about that, but I think it has all been said. It is very disappointing. But he is paying for that big time in dollars and cents and, perhaps most important, in damage to his reputation – and he deserves that. Hopefully, he has learned his lessons and it will never happen again. Ethics and morals ARE important and that is a lesson he needs to exemplify in order to teach it to the young men in his charge.

    But kids screw up and, when they do, Coach Sampson obviously takes it seriously. And to that, I say, “Right on, Coach!” How can we criticize him for enforcing morals and ethics (unless you perhaps want to label him a hypocrite — but that would suggest that he should allow them to violate morals and ethics since he does and I think that argument gets you absolutely nowhere.).

    I also suspect that, in the long run, that kind of discipline is great for these kids. Remember, they’re all highly recruited, highly touted. They read their names in the paper every day. They know that they are the focus of attention. Many of them will make good sums of money from their basketball talents and some of them stand to become very wealthy and have many of the best things that life has to offer because of their skill at throwing a round ball into a slightly larger elevated hoop.

    Somebody has to say “no” to these kids if they screw up in one way or another.

    And they need to learn humility, which can’t be easy when everyone is telling you that you’re the greatest.

    The discipline will help them listen now and it will make them better players and, most important, better people. Being a good basketball player is great, but being a good person is critical – and, in the long run, probably makes them better basketball players too.

    I have no problem with criticizing Coach Sampson for his mistakes, but if I do that, I certainly have to praise him for the good things he does – and hope that the balance tips further and further toward the good stuff. It’s only fair.

    West Coast Hoosier

  • West Coast Hoosier

    I really don’t understand the criticism on THIS issue of Coach Sampson.

    I have no problem with criticizing him for the phone situation. He shouldn’t have had the problem at Oklahoma. He CERTAINLY should have been more careful once he was at IU and on probation. I could go on in some detail about that, but I think it has all been said. It is very disappointing. But he is paying for that big time in dollars and cents and, perhaps most important, in damage to his reputation – and he deserves that. Hopefully, he has learned his lessons and it will never happen again. Ethics and morals ARE important and that is a lesson he needs to exemplify in order to teach it to the young men in his charge.

    But kids screw up and, when they do, Coach Sampson obviously takes it seriously. And to that, I say, “Right on, Coach!” How can we criticize him for enforcing morals and ethics (unless you perhaps want to label him a hypocrite — but that would suggest that he should allow them to violate morals and ethics since he does and I think that argument gets you absolutely nowhere.).

    I also suspect that, in the long run, that kind of discipline is great for these kids. Remember, they’re all highly recruited, highly touted. They read their names in the paper every day. They know that they are the focus of attention. Many of them will make good sums of money from their basketball talents and some of them stand to become very wealthy and have many of the best things that life has to offer because of their skill at throwing a round ball into a slightly larger elevated hoop.

    Somebody has to say “no” to these kids if they screw up in one way or another.

    And they need to learn humility, which can’t be easy when everyone is telling you that you’re the greatest.

    The discipline will help them listen now and it will make them better players and, most important, better people. Being a good basketball player is great, but being a good person is critical – and, in the long run, probably makes them better basketball players too.

    I have no problem with criticizing Coach Sampson for his mistakes, but if I do that, I certainly have to praise him for the good things he does – and hope that the balance tips further and further toward the good stuff. It’s only fair.

    West Coast Hoosier

  • West Coast Hoosier

    I really don’t understand the criticism on THIS issue of Coach Sampson.

    I have no problem with criticizing him for the phone situation. He shouldn’t have had the problem at Oklahoma. He CERTAINLY should have been more careful once he was at IU and on probation. I could go on in some detail about that, but I think it has all been said. It is very disappointing. But he is paying for that big time in dollars and cents and, perhaps most important, in damage to his reputation – and he deserves that. Hopefully, he has learned his lessons and it will never happen again. Ethics and morals ARE important and that is a lesson he needs to exemplify in order to teach it to the young men in his charge.

    But kids screw up and, when they do, Coach Sampson obviously takes it seriously. And to that, I say, “Right on, Coach!” How can we criticize him for enforcing morals and ethics (unless you perhaps want to label him a hypocrite — but that would suggest that he should allow them to violate morals and ethics since he does and I think that argument gets you absolutely nowhere.).

    I also suspect that, in the long run, that kind of discipline is great for these kids. Remember, they’re all highly recruited, highly touted. They read their names in the paper every day. They know that they are the focus of attention. Many of them will make good sums of money from their basketball talents and some of them stand to become very wealthy and have many of the best things that life has to offer because of their skill at throwing a round ball into a slightly larger elevated hoop.

    Somebody has to say “no” to these kids if they screw up in one way or another.

    And they need to learn humility, which can’t be easy when everyone is telling you that you’re the greatest.

    The discipline will help them listen now and it will make them better players and, most important, better people. Being a good basketball player is great, but being a good person is critical – and, in the long run, probably makes them better basketball players too.

    I have no problem with criticizing Coach Sampson for his mistakes, but if I do that, I certainly have to praise him for the good things he does – and hope that the balance tips further and further toward the good stuff. It’s only fair.

    West Coast Hoosier

  • kelin

    If we are critical of guys being suspended then lets compliment him on keeping the other 12 or so guys off of suspension and doing the right things…DJ has never been suspended….

    Nice gurantee Anthony SMith, I am sure the Pats enjoyed the motivation

  • kelin

    If we are critical of guys being suspended then lets compliment him on keeping the other 12 or so guys off of suspension and doing the right things…DJ has never been suspended….

    Nice gurantee Anthony SMith, I am sure the Pats enjoyed the motivation

  • kelin

    If we are critical of guys being suspended then lets compliment him on keeping the other 12 or so guys off of suspension and doing the right things…DJ has never been suspended….

    Nice gurantee Anthony SMith, I am sure the Pats enjoyed the motivation

  • Nice to see the Big Ten’s Crawford take it to the SEC’s Crawford. (As an MSU fan, I’m still a bit resentful in the Detroit media who decried Neitzel’s selection as Mr. Basketball over the elder Crawford and Malik Hairston.)

    Linked to your recap and a few other around the Big Ten on my MSU blog.

    http://www.spartansweblog.com

    Cheers.

  • Nice to see the Big Ten’s Crawford take it to the SEC’s Crawford. (As an MSU fan, I’m still a bit resentful in the Detroit media who decried Neitzel’s selection as Mr. Basketball over the elder Crawford and Malik Hairston.)

    Linked to your recap and a few other around the Big Ten on my MSU blog.

    http://www.spartansweblog.com

    Cheers.

  • T

    A bit belated, but I totally agree with your assesment of Ellis. Final Four and championship teams all need those ‘solid’ guys like Ellis. He can do a little bit of everything for you. He isn’t the star on the team but can play like it if need be. He knows his role and does it well for the Hoosiers.

    As for Crawford, I think he played well under the circumstances. One of the huge stories was the brother vs. brother match, it was his first game in a while and on national t.v. He normally comes off the bench and yesterday played basically the entire game. Given all of that I’d say he played really well. I think he’ll be a huge weapon as a spark off the bench when Bassett and Gordon are playing.

  • T

    A bit belated, but I totally agree with your assesment of Ellis. Final Four and championship teams all need those ‘solid’ guys like Ellis. He can do a little bit of everything for you. He isn’t the star on the team but can play like it if need be. He knows his role and does it well for the Hoosiers.

    As for Crawford, I think he played well under the circumstances. One of the huge stories was the brother vs. brother match, it was his first game in a while and on national t.v. He normally comes off the bench and yesterday played basically the entire game. Given all of that I’d say he played really well. I think he’ll be a huge weapon as a spark off the bench when Bassett and Gordon are playing.

  • Steve O

    Anyone hear anything about the possible NCAA sanctions that might be coming? Apparently NCAA officals met over the weekend, and the news supposedly isn’t good… DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THESE RUMORS?????? I hope I am wrong!!!

  • Steve O

    Anyone hear anything about the possible NCAA sanctions that might be coming? Apparently NCAA officals met over the weekend, and the news supposedly isn’t good… DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THESE RUMORS?????? I hope I am wrong!!!

  • Steve O

    Anyone hear anything about the possible NCAA sanctions that might be coming? Apparently NCAA officals met over the weekend, and the news supposedly isn’t good… DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THESE RUMORS?????? I hope I am wrong!!!

  • nealE

    relax. they started on catspause, UKs rivals site. does that tell you anything? additionally, the NCAA was apparently supposed to begin the investigation into this matter in december. they probably won’t have a ruling for a while. thats just my guess though.

  • nealE

    relax. they started on catspause, UKs rivals site. does that tell you anything? additionally, the NCAA was apparently supposed to begin the investigation into this matter in december. they probably won’t have a ruling for a while. thats just my guess though.

  • nealE

    relax. they started on catspause, UKs rivals site. does that tell you anything? additionally, the NCAA was apparently supposed to begin the investigation into this matter in december. they probably won’t have a ruling for a while. thats just my guess though.

  • Calbert Cheaney

    I heard a RUMOR. I repeat, RUMOR. That Sampson was supposed to be fired today and that IU would be banned from post season play this season. I heard from a friend, who heard from a friend, that supposedly heard from Pat Graham. I believe that it is BS. It is now 5:20 in Bloomington and nothing has been said.

    I am still worried about what the NCAA will do when they complete their investigations. Hopefully, the self-imposed punishments will stand.

  • Calbert Cheaney

    I heard a RUMOR. I repeat, RUMOR. That Sampson was supposed to be fired today and that IU would be banned from post season play this season. I heard from a friend, who heard from a friend, that supposedly heard from Pat Graham. I believe that it is BS. It is now 5:20 in Bloomington and nothing has been said.

    I am still worried about what the NCAA will do when they complete their investigations. Hopefully, the self-imposed punishments will stand.

  • David

    That’s the second time I have heard that f’n rumor today. And the wording has been similar in both cases. Christ, kids.

  • David

    That’s the second time I have heard that f’n rumor today. And the wording has been similar in both cases. Christ, kids.

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    Cats paws is as full of s**t as any website. This is the same website that supposedly had a guy staked out in the Gainesville airport to keep an eye on Billy Donovan, this “detective” saw him get into a plane on a flight that eventually landed in Lexington where another sleuth followed him from there to a local relater and then saw him buying a farm in Lexington because he was already the coach of UK but it had not been released to the media. That is an honest to god true story. All the UK fans here that follow that site like it is the bible, I told you these people are IDIOTS down here.

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    Cats paws is as full of s**t as any website. This is the same website that supposedly had a guy staked out in the Gainesville airport to keep an eye on Billy Donovan, this “detective” saw him get into a plane on a flight that eventually landed in Lexington where another sleuth followed him from there to a local relater and then saw him buying a farm in Lexington because he was already the coach of UK but it had not been released to the media. That is an honest to god true story. All the UK fans here that follow that site like it is the bible, I told you these people are IDIOTS down here.