Kyle Taber is … your Indiana Hoosiers!

  • 07/28/2008 12:57 pm in

taber.jpgDon’t let this post distract you from the real issue at hand, which is the voting we’re doing just down the page. That’s the democratic process at work. This is just a sarcastic post about Kyle Taber. Anyway, Jeff Goodman from Fox Sports talked with the senior about last year’s team, and this year’s team, and the fact that this year’s team is pretty much Taber and bunch of new guys. Sentences like this are enough to make an IU fan more than a little squeamish:

Now Indiana has actually become Kyle Taber’s team.Let’s put this into perspective. This is a 6-foot-7 forward who averaged 1.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in a little more than 11 minutes per game a year ago.

If Crean has to rely on Taber, then the Hoosiers are in major trouble.

I’m not saying Taber has to go out and become a combination of Gordon and White, but he’s the face of the program and the likely leader of a team with seven new faces.”He’s grown up being appreciative of what Indiana basketball is all about,” Crean said, “He realizes that it’s a real honor to be here and he’s got a chance to provide leadership and have a senior year to be remembered for in this state for a long, long time.”

There’s not a whole lot else in the story — Taber refused to confirm or deny the drug-use rumors that surrounded the team last year — but the general gist is terrifying. Kyle Taber is an OK player, and a seemingly nice dude, but he is not a Division 1 centerpiece. I hate to be pessimistic, but items like this are like a slap of reality: IU is going to be really bad next year. Sigh.

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  • msdiu81

    This story doesn't mean much. Taber will just play his role and the others will too. Crean will mold this team and we will compete every game. Taber will be the resident Hoosier Historian and will lead off the court and by example. The rest will pick up the basketball end of it. Go IU!!

  • My favorite part of this article is how I read it a month ago.

  • student

    We sure will compete, but we're also going to struggle with teams like Coppin State or Longwood… The Big Ten season is going to be miserable.

  • MikeinNC

    Depends on what you mean by “bad”…..if bad=strictly wins and losses, then we likely will be bad next year…., but if good or bad is defined by a team of high character players who work hard, play as a team, and try to perfect their coach's system to create an ongoing identity for the IU program that makes us proud….then I am not buying the argument that we will be bad next year.

  • B_MD

    I think this entire post is best summarized by the accompanying photo of Taber. It's not even an action photo of him scoring, it a photo of someone shooting on him and you can't even see his face:)

  • Ryan_T

    amen.

  • Ryan_T

    … and I think that that was the point of accompanying that photo. Did you read the article?

  • B_MD

    I didn't read the article, just the post. My point, which is probably what they meant by using that photo, was just to be humorous that our signature player this year is a role player and the best photo we can find of him is one where his face is blocked and he's on defense.

  • hoosier07

    We are all being pessimistic here BigA… Given the current situation we're in, it's hard to be optimistic. However, that being said, I will be the first to admit that I give Taber all the credit in the world for getting himself to the place he is today. 3 coaches, a four year guy who hustled everyday, a scholarship rewarded to a walk-on… i mean the list can continue, but i agree, it is Taber's team and he deserves the captain's role …

  • One problem…PostmanE wrote this.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Ok I'm going to rant on this one…

    Look guys, it doesn't look good just by looking at the numbers…We don't have ridiculous recruits coming in to the program, nor do we have anything even resembling a returning base of players from which to build from. Our schedule is pretty demanding, and there's no clue what kind of chemistry we'll have time to develop. We don't even know who will be our go-to player.

    So yeah, it looks bad. But I REFUSE to believe that it's going to be bad. I'm going to put the blinders on until I see this team in action. I've seen a lot of talented IU teams with GREATNESS in them play horrible on the court and underachieve. In fact, they weren't talented teams, they were talented individuals who didn't know how to play together. I think this team is going to so much different and enjoyable to watch.

    So here's to hoping this team OVER-achieves and surprises us all by not only being competitive, but scaring the hell out of opposing teams. I hate to refer to Purdue in a positive way, but Purdue has a long history of doing pretty well with shit for talent. Think post Glen Robinson era when they still won Big Ten titles. Without five star talent they were able to win. They played hard, worked together, and were well coached. I think this IU team can be like those Purdue teams.

    Let's focus on the positives.

    1.) Tom Crean is a hero. We know he can coach, and we should consider ourselves lucky as IU fans to have him on the bench now. Remember, this is the guy who found Dwayne Wade when virtually no one one was recruiting him. I think we'll be very surprised with what type of team is on the court.

    2.) The guys who are coming to play for Indiana, want to be at Indiana, and are going to work their asses off. They saw what Crean just did in cleaning house, and they wouldn't be recruited if Crean thought there was an issue.

    3.) We've managed to get some very athletic kids on this roster who should be fun to watch.

    4.) It's Indiana…and the Hoosiers freaking play in Assembly Hall. As fans we take some serious pride in cheering our guts out, especially when the team we're watching is giving us 100% (you can't give more than that…).

    Will we win the Big Ten? Ok let's not get ahead of ourselves, but we're not going to bottom feed. I just don't see that happening.

    Don't sell these kids short when we haven't seen them on the court together yet.

  • hoosier07

    haha you are correct! My apologies, E.

  • ALH_00

    I like your optimism and enthusiasm, and I can't wait to see this team develop too. But your last sentence holds the key to why the Hoosiers will not collect a good record of wins and losses next year. They have not played together…at all…in a game…especially a big 10 game. Not a single team we play next season will be in a similar situation (I'm guessing) and there are many who are licking their chops to pound the Hoosiers. IU's inexperience (in college and with each other) is a HUGE disadvantage, even against teams against whom we will match up well athletically. So the early games will be hard because they will be developing roles and chemistry. The later games will be hard because they will be up against better teams. Bottom line, if we even win ten (4 in Big 10 play), I think the season could be called a success. Strictly in terms of wins-losses, sounds like bottom-feeding to me.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Generally, I'd tend to agree with that statement. I definitely recognize the challenge it presents when you have guys who haven't played together, but the kicker is that NONE of them have played together, really. Which completely different than what we usually see.

    Last year we're talking about how it's going to be hard for Ellis and Thomas and Gordon to mold together with DJ and Armon and Lance….and clearly they never did. We rarely looked very polished on the court and still went, what 14-4 in the conference? We won last year with talent and NO legitimate coaching whatsoever. KS was a disappointment there.

    Usually you see a few guys from last year's team trying to work in the new guys. Since this is a clean slate for all…coach and players, I think you're going to see quick chemistry development. Plus in an era where these guys are on campus and playing against each other all summer, and have competed in AAU all these years, it's going to help.

    1.) Playing AAU ball makes these kids immediately tougher than we probably expect.

    2.) Hanging out all summer and the excitement surrounding the new coaching staff will help.

    3.) Tom Crean cares about a TEAM atmosphere and isn't going to tell a guy “keep shooting because you're our star player.” He's bringing in guys that fit into his system of play and they're going to produce results.

    I really think the big x factor is what the NCAA hands down on us and how that will mentally affect this squad.

    I'm way ahead of things here, but I still see us with what 14 or 15 non conference games counting Maui? We'll knock out some cupcakes…and maybe struggle…but we'll grow. The touch non conference schedule…Wake Forest, Kentucky, Maui, etc is going to get us ready for the Big Ten season.

    I see 9-6 there if we play that many games or 8-5 if not, and 9-9 Conference. Maybe sneak out a win the Big Ten Tourney…1-1 there. …. 19-16 or 18-15 is my early prediction…NIT.

    I think everyone is just getting a little out of hand with everything. It's not like we're getting bottom barrel talent here. Size wise, we're hurting, but these are some damn good players in my opinion.

  • B_MD

    I also appreciate your optimism and enthusiasm. I can't wait to watch this team play and mold together, and I can't wait to watch TC as he installs his system.

    Now here it comes, but, we have to be a little realistic. Much like ALH_00 said, this team has zero players that have ever stepped foot on a Big 10 court together. And the key part is that IU only has two players that have ever stepped foot on a D1 basketball court before.

    I understand your correlation to the Purdue teams of the past, and I don't have rosters or stats in front of me, but I would guess those were mostly veteran teams with mainly seniors and juniors that had played countless games together leading the way. We're going to have 5 freshemn, 2 JC tranfers and walk-ons. That's totally different.

  • flahoosier

    You need to be realistic…you can refuse to think IU will be bad but you must be delusional to think they will be anything but. When have you heard of a team with 7 new players being good? Maybe the fab 5 (whom I hated), and we don't have anyone with that talent coming in this year. While Crean should be commended for the job he has done just getting a team together its not like those 7 are going to set the world on fire. It sucks but IU is going to be bad this year, hopefully the foundation can be laid to be better the year after that. I don't see us having much chance on the road in the Big 10, and at home we will struggle against quality opponents. IU is going to be bad, and teams are going to come out to kick our asses especially Northwestern and PSU whom we have pounded on for some many years. Crean will do a good job at IU but you can't make chicken salad from chicken shit and like it our not this is not a good team.

  • hoosier07

    love your predictions … couldn't agree with you more …

  • Postman E, why is it a bad thing to have a couple rebuilding years??? You were always defending last years team when anyone with their eyes open could tell they were nothing but a bunch of unappreciative punks. Now you give the “sigh” b/c the team might not be great. Who cares!?!?!?! If they play hard and represent the university well, people will be much much happier than they were with Goddie Mob. Even if they happen to suck.

    On a slow news day, instead of regurgitating an old story, why not write about the Trustees, and how they have made so many bad decisions that have set our beloved University back many years. Or write about Myles Brand and how there should be a conflict of Interest with him handing down sanctions against a university he used as a stepping stone to become president of the NCAA.

    All said, you are doing a great job with the site. An you obviously have enormous pull among all IU fans and haters. Just looking at the number of votes you get on your polls.

    Until next time.

  • ALH_00

    We'll have to agree to disagree. And next fall, if you're predictions come true, please feel free to remind me that you were right and I was wrong…I will be so giddy over the performance, I'll welcome your rebuke. I'll even buy you a drink or send you a t-shirt or something.

    One additional point in support of tempered enthusiasm…we have like 10(?) players total. How are we even going to develop in practice with 10 guys? I'm sure the walk-ons will give their best effort, but will they be able to give the look and feel of big 10 competition every day? Are these freshman scholarship players even going to be able to do that?

  • JHoosiers77

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?A

    Star is reporting Coach C is good now for two more years – I really don't have any expectations for this year's team other than playing well as a team and not embarrassing the university. The next time I see a headline with “NCAA” and “IU” together I want it to be because we won a title not because Brand et al are after us.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I'm gonna have to wait to see the full schedule, but it's just too easy right now to jump on the “we suck” bandwagon and I refuse to do it.

    When a team is doing everything it can (and as long as TC and Co. continue to do it) I'm going to have to be the optimist on this one. And trust me, this isn't usually the case with me.

    If the team that he's currently building is supposedly the future nucleus (Pritchard, Williams, Jones, Roth, etc) of our roster that will one day compete for a Big Ten title, then why can't they be good this season?

    Again, there's no comparison to the situation IU is in right now, but again looking at the Big Ten, Tubby Smith worked magic with a Minnesota team that was generally considered pretty darn miserable …what 9-22 last season before Tubby took over? They went 20-14 and were a respectable 8-10 in the conference. Yes, they returned most of their players, but weren't even considered “that good” but Tubby transformed them, so don't tell me they were “better” just because of sheer chemistry. They were better because Tubby walked in and said “I BELIEVE” ….and they did too.

  • pacino

    I like ur optimism, but we need to get real!!!!!!! We can't fantasize about next year. Im as excited as ever for the upcoming season, but we can't be unpatient. IU will be a really good team. It will take some time though. That is why we have Crean! His goal is to rebuild us to a contending national power, and we WILL BE! Just be patient. Our time will come. So watch out.

  • nchoosier

    i hate to think of one year of noth making the tourney, but come on! 18-19 wins? 10-11 wins is realistic. NIT or NCAA no way. now, i think it will be a huge turn around the next year, but this is an exceptional year for iu b-ball. a winning record in the big ten is ridiculous!

  • HoosierSmitty

    Maybe I'm expecting miracles, but I don't think us having a respectable season next year is a miracle. We will see!

  • TomCoverdaleIUHero

    Well all I have to say is that Kyle Taber is representing Central High School very well and im a proud graduate. Also I agree with MikeinNC this team will never quit they will play hard every possesion and compete which is all I care about as a fan next year as long as they can put forth more effort then last years team excluding Taberr, DJ, and Bassett in my opinion, then i will be very very pleased with the season. Play hard still a few wins here and there and watch out big ten for the '09 Hoosiers and beyond.

  • JHoosiers77

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?A

    Star is reporting Coach C is good now for two more years – I really don't have any expectations for this year's team other than playing well as a team and not embarrassing the university. The next time I see a headline with “NCAA” and “IU” together I want it to be because we won a title not because Brand et al are after us.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I'm gonna have to wait to see the full schedule, but it's just too easy right now to jump on the “we suck” bandwagon and I refuse to do it.

    When a team is doing everything it can (and as long as TC and Co. continue to do it) I'm going to have to be the optimist on this one. And trust me, this isn't usually the case with me.

    If the team that he's currently building is supposedly the future nucleus (Pritchard, Williams, Jones, Roth, etc) of our roster that will one day compete for a Big Ten title, then why can't they be good this season?

    Again, there's no comparison to the situation IU is in right now, but again looking at the Big Ten, Tubby Smith worked magic with a Minnesota team that was generally considered pretty darn miserable …what 9-22 last season before Tubby took over? They went 20-14 and were a respectable 8-10 in the conference. Yes, they returned most of their players, but weren't even considered “that good” but Tubby transformed them, so don't tell me they were “better” just because of sheer chemistry. They were better because Tubby walked in and said “I BELIEVE” ….and they did too.

  • pacino

    I like ur optimism, but we need to get real!!!!!!! We can't fantasize about next year. Im as excited as ever for the upcoming season, but we can't be unpatient. IU will be a really good team. It will take some time though. That is why we have Crean! His goal is to rebuild us to a contending national power, and we WILL BE! Just be patient. Our time will come. So watch out.

  • nchoosier

    i hate to think of one year of noth making the tourney, but come on! 18-19 wins? 10-11 wins is realistic. NIT or NCAA no way. now, i think it will be a huge turn around the next year, but this is an exceptional year for iu b-ball. a winning record in the big ten is ridiculous!

  • HoosierSmitty

    Maybe I'm expecting miracles, but I don't think us having a respectable season next year is a miracle. We will see!

  • TomCoverdaleIUHero

    Well all I have to say is that Kyle Taber is representing Central High School very well and im a proud graduate. Also I agree with MikeinNC this team will never quit they will play hard every possesion and compete which is all I care about as a fan next year as long as they can put forth more effort then last years team excluding Taberr, DJ, and Bassett in my opinion, then i will be very very pleased with the season. Play hard still a few wins here and there and watch out big ten for the '09 Hoosiers and beyond.