Yesterday, I wrote a rebuttal to Rick Chandler’s post on Deadspin about how he thinks IU will never be able to recruit again, how Tom Crean wasn’t the answer and a few other things that didn’t sit too favorably with a lot of you. Rick received a lot of hate mail from Indiana fans since he decided to post that, and he explained himself this afternoon. You can read it right here.
Basically, he spent most of the piece gushing about his love for Bob Knight, and how he’s interviewed and talked to Knight and how Knight just loved his questions, and since Indiana Basketball As We Know It went out the door with Knight, we apparently can never be successful again. Oh, and he’s actually been to Bloomington, too. A sample:
On your next point, how Crean has this great freshman class coming in, I’ll give you that. Should have mentioned it. And Indiana will improve next season. But that doesn’t change the main theme; that Indiana basketball as you have known it is gone, probably forever. In terms of wins and losses, we’ve reached the end of an era. Oh, Bloomington will still be a great basketball town, but what I mean by basketball backwater is that the Hoosiers will always take a back seat to Duke and North Carolina and UCLA and even Wake Forest and UConn. Email me the next time Indiana reaches the Elite Eight. I’ll be waiting.
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No, that magical, John Feinsteinian year of 1987 is gone forever, and not Tom Crean nor the return of Steve Alford or Norman Dale himself is bringing it back. Knight lifted the program by the weight of his genius. Yeah, he had blue chippers, but the bulk of his rosters were always populated by JC transfers (Keith Smart, Dean Garrett) and local kids (Bailey, Joe Hillman, Alford) which he took and beat the likes of Syracuse and Shaquille O’Neal’s LSU in the Big Dance. Sure, you’ll continue to pack Assembly Hall, but do you think that success is coming back?
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So if I’m wrong about Crean and Indiana, I’ll be the first to say so, and the Hoosier Reds will be on me. But be aware that you’re in my wheelhouse on this one. I’ve been watching the situation for more than 20 years. And I’ve been taking notes.
Well, there you have it. We’ll never be successful again because Bob Knight isn’t around. Though, make sure to keep Mr. Chandler’s email address handy in case we miracuously make the Elite Eight ever again. He is, after all, taking notes on all this.