Indiana, New Mexico headline 2010 Las Vegas Classic

  • 06/23/2010 10:14 am in

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 11: Head coach Tom Crean of the Indiana Hoosiers watches during the game against the Northwestern Wildcats in the first round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 11, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)Here’s the press release for the 2010 Las Vegas Classic, which Indiana will participate in next December:

The 10th Annual Las Vegas Classic is pleased to announce their lineup for the 2010 tournament. The field includes Indiana University, University of Colorado, University of New Mexico, University of Northern Iowa, Longwood University, South Carolina State University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and The Citadel.

Indiana University (10-21) makes its first trip to Las Vegas with all five starters returning, led by junior guard Verdell Jones III (14.9 ppg) and Foxsports.com Big Ten freshman of the year forward Christian Watford (12 ppg). The Hoosiers will also welcome back sensational scoring guard, sophomore Maurice Creek (16.4 ppg), who suffered a season ending injury after playing only 12 games his freshman season.

New Mexico is coming off a 30-5 season when it advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999 and set numerous school records, including most wins. Head Coach Steve Alford was named Mountain West Conference Coach of the year for the 2nd straight season and he finished 3rd in the balloting for AP National coach of the year. The Lobos return one of the nation’s best points guards in senior Dairese Gary (12.8 ppg).

The University of Northern Iowa returns two starters and seven of its top 10 scorers from last year’s Sweet 16 appearance. The Panthers won a school-record 30 games in winning back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference regular and tournament titles. The Panthers will be led by Senior point guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe (10.6 ppg).

The University of Colorado returns all 5 starters which finished 15-16 and had their best season in 5 years. The Buffaloes are led by Big 12 Freshman of the year Alec Burks, who scored a school freshman record 512 points (17.1 ppg). All-Big 12 performer senior guard Cory Higgins has led the team in scoring the last two years and he ranks ninth all-time on the CU scoring list (1,391 points).

Each team will play four games-the first two at campus sites and the final two rounds at the beautiful Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on December 22nd & 23rd.

Tickets for the final rounds in Las Vegas can be purchased at the Indiana athletic ticket office or starting Saturday June 26th by calling the Box Office at the Orleans Arena (702) 284-7777, or on the web at www.orleansarena.com.

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  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Outside of New Mexico, I don't really see any team that we shouldn't beat. I know N.Iowa will be tough and UColo is trending upward, but we should beat all of those teams outside Mr. Alford's (and I'm looking forward to watching Negedu), and the way UNMex went down in the tourney, maybe we should expect to be competitive in that game.

  • Hardwood83

    Is Negendu cleared to play right away? I hope for his sake he is, I hadn't heard that, though.
    I agree- this is a tourney this IU team can (better?) win a few games in. I assume we'll get a 'lesser' team for the opener.

  • BaseballBuc

    This is a really interesting tournament, which I think we can win. It will be a fun match between us and Alford's team. Also, playing McClain's former team Colorado, he can really help us prepare and scout for that game. Northern Iowa is always tough and probably the dark horse.

  • IUMIKE1

    This should be a good indicator of how much improvement was gained this offseason and give us something to measure improvement against the rest of the season. Does anyone know if it is lose and go home or is it a minimum amount of games ?

  • runelord

    I thought I read on Rivals where all teams play 4 games (2 at Assembly Hall and then 2 in Vegas).

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    3-1 … I'll take it.

  • Outoftheloop

    We should be competitive in EVERY game! The training wheels are off. IU needs to win 20 games in 2010-11.

  • Outoftheloop

    I think that you play 2 small schools at home, then you play one of the big schools in Vegas, then the winners play for 1st and 2nd and the losers play for 3rd and 4th in Vegas. The event is a “classic” not a true tournament.

  • Chris

    Disclaimer: I am a lobo fan.

    We can't wait to play IU in this tournament. I think it will be great for Alford to show IU what they were missing by not hiring him when they had the chance. GO LOBOS!!

  • jayrig5

    That's ridiculous. Competitive in every game would be way, way better than last season. Expecting 20 wins? Maybe if we load up on cupcakes, including this tourney, but the Big Ten is very, very good this year. I'd take around .500 in the Big Ten, as a best-possible case scenario. After this year, we lose no one (save Rivers, and maybe the Memphis kid, which would be a great addition since we aren't using the scholarship anyway.) Think about that. The team this year is young enough to lose, really, no one (although Rivers could still impress, but he's not exactly the heart of the team.) Another year of, basically, underclassmen basketball. When we get some seniors, mixed with recruits that Crean has actually had a chance with, plus last year's class…then you can say things like IU needs to win 20 games. I know it takes time, and it's easy to lose patience, but there's no reason to jack up your expectations. You're getting the chance to see a high-level men's basketball team recover from a position hardly matched in history.

    The long ride will only make the eventual highs that much better. Again, I'm not saying we shouldn't improve next year, we definitely should. But if we see improvements along the lines I suggested, wouldn't that be enough to demonstrate we're heading in the right direction?

    Just be smart about things. That's all.

  • redbirdTD

    PRETTY SAD LINEUP FOR A TOURNAMENT.

  • Outoftheloop

    We are in the 2010-11 season, not 2008-09 or 2009-10, advance your calendar. The schedule is set, your point on “cupcakes” is impossible. Of course IU should be “way,way better than last season.” Last year we had 2 good returning sophomores: Jones and Pritchard plus a 3 pt shooter-Roth. Jones was good, Pritchard had a terrible year and Roth was injured for the full year. So much for our experienced players. The whole season was up to good, but not NBA quality, freshmen, and an unknown transfer. Rivers was no answer at PG; Bawa a non-factor; Creek was great but injured after 12 games; Watford was very good but not physical enough at the 4 as a freshman; Hulls and Elston showed why they will be good but also why freshman rarely lead your team to victory; Capo showed some promise but no consistency. IU lost no one since Bawa did not play. Now we are experienced. We return 100% of our scoring, rebounding, leadership, etc. There are two promising freshmen, plus a 7' JUCO with U-20 National Team talent (France), plus a good looking 6'8 walk-on with upside, plus the possibility of a 10.5 ppg, 4.0 rebound/game, starter from a good Memphis team. That makes a deep 15 man roster (yes Danny Moore has 2 years Big 10 game experience). If Butler and their coach had these identical players, with the identical experience in their system, do you seriously think that they would not expect to win 20? The Big 10 is good but not great. MSU and Purdue are great. WI is always tough. IL should be very good. OSU needs freshmen to step up, but their freshmen are very good. So 5 out of 10 teams are tough. MN is in disarray, MI lacks both talent and a system that will work in the Big 10, Northwestern does not have the talent and depth of IU, Iowa and PSU are weak. So 5 out of 10 are not that good.

    What you call “smart” I call refusing to accept a challenge. You are correct that next year, 2011-12, IU will have an even stronger team on paper. So the challenge then will be to win 25, not just 20. The following year IU should be even stronger on paper. The challenge then will be to win 28-30. You have almost no chance at the Final Four if you can not win 30 games, check the facts. After that season, each year, IU will lose good players and add good players. So the challenge will be to continue your success, not dramatically to improve. Nothing that I have said in these posts is “ridiculous” as you should know if you are in fact “smart”. I may be correct, I may be incorrect in my opinions. Just as you may be. But if IU does not set high goals and accept the challenge to achieve them, then we will never reach the level of success for Indiana basketball that I envision. Excuse time is over, production time is now!

  • BornRed

    Players aren't suddenly “experienced” after 1 year. Sure they should progress, but expecting 20 wins is quite ambitious. Creek has 0 Big Ten experience. Experience didn't help Pritchard. Things don't just click after 1 year, some of those guys are going to regress at times, and it is going to take them time. The team is sorely inexperienced relative to most of their competition. The Big Ten IS strong. You're looking at at least 2 strong national title contenders and 5-6 ranked teams. 2 years of “experience” does not make Daniel Moore a good player. Winning 20 would require:

    -No significant injuries
    -Pritchard to actually progress – substantially
    -Significant progression from Capo and Elston
    -Roth GAINS athleticism after his foot injury
    -An unknown JUCO to make a big impact
    -VJ3 learns how to handle the ball in pressure situations late in games
    -Daniel Moore to not leave the bench (2 years still doesn't make him a good player)
    -Rivers to learn to play within himself and hit free throws.
    -The freshmen to be better than expected
    -AND the team would have to get some lucky breaks in big games.

    Look, a lot of those things will happen but many will not and certainly not every night. This is still an inexperienced team. There is a lack of high-level senior leadership and there will be nights that they don't show up to play, particularly on the road. They will throw some games away. They will struggle on the road against teams they can beat. Not every night, but enough to make a difference.

    20 wins is fine for a goal, but it is not a reasonable expectation. Yes, they should be better. .500 and an NIT appearance is a much more reasonable expectations.

  • BornRed

    Yeah, his career at Iowa had us salivating.

  • jayrig5

    I liked that post, because it represents how impossible IU fans can be. When was the last time IU won 30 games? You want Indiana basketball to not only be restored to how it was before ALL THE PLAYERS LEFT AND HAD TO BE REPLACED WHILE THE COACHES WERE UNDER SANCTIONS but to be back, within 4 years, to a place it hasn't been in at least 15 years, when we were building off the legacy of somewhat recent championships (I'm 23, I was born two weeks before the last title) and a very high reputation.

    Of course Butler could win, in the Horizon League, with our players. But they couldn't have gone to the national title game with them. Or finish, this upcoming season, in the top 6 in the Big Ten. That's just silly.

    Your whole argument talked about how last season was impossible considering the talent we had, and how young they were, and now this season we're supposed to win 20 games? No one knows how Creek will heal, or when. No one knows how much Roth can contribute, or Rivers, or if Jones will stop turning the ball over. No one knows anything about Guy Marc-Michel, and I refuse to accept your theory that a player with U-20 National Team experience is going to be an automatic difference maker, since the last one we had was Cem Dinc.

    I never said IU shouldn't produce this year. But since the 31-win season of 92/93, Indiana has won 25 games once. One time. And that was the national title game season, when the team had an NBA lottery pick and a lot of upperclassmen. Until Kelvin Sampson came in and cheated to win, we had 3 straight seasons of under 20 wins. Kelvin barely turned that around, and thanks to how he did it, we were blown back to a level way under where we'd been before, which, as I've shown, wasn't anywhere close to a national title contender.

    Tom Crean isn't just trying to turn around a program destroyed by a scandal, he's also turning around a program that had fallen a long way in terms of reputation and quality, and then was destroyed by a scandal. The first year was a scramble (recruiting and fielding an entire team based on everyone's leftovers.) The second season (which was just, you know, LAST SEASON) was basically a redo of the first season, with Crean able to recruit a top-ten class under sanctions. And now, we're expected to win 20 games, and then 25, and then 30. How is that accepting a fair challenge? It's just a sheer lack of understanding to think that's reasonable. If IU makes the NIT next season it would be a miracle of coaching, in all aspects (recruiting, development, game planning, game coaching.)

    If anyone else disagrees with me, feel free to jump in. Or if you agree, too, that'd be nice.

  • Andrew

    Perfectly stated, BornRed. Since we have sophomores now we're supposed to double our win total? Maybe if this was the Big Ten, circa 2004, we could take such a significant leap. But this will be the 2011 season, where at least 19 of our games will come against Big Ten teams…a conference that returns an inordinate amount of key players. Other than U-M losing their two top dogs, the other ten teams can all make a case that they will be better (even O$U, who yes loses Mr. Everything, but returns the other 4 starters plus one of the best recruiting classes in the nation). This is the wrong time to try to rebuild in this conference, but the good news is, as we'll be getting older (2012, 13, etc), the rest of the conference will be (finally) losing their key guys—PU's big 3; Lucas and Co.; McCamey/Tisdale/Davis; all the O$U guys who play 40 minutes a game; Coble/Thompson; even PSU has Battle…etc, etc, etc. Yes, these teams will add more good players, but at least we'll finally have battle-tested upperclassmen waiting for them.

  • Outoftheloop

    I completely disagree with your analysis. You have no points that I have not considered and dealt with. Experience we have. Why would anyone regress? They might have a bad game here or there, but regression is always lack of talent, lack of effort, lack of coaching or a personal situation out of anyone's control. I gave you my analysis of the Big 10 and you countered with nothing. I am not starting Daniel Moore, as any intelligent reader would have understood, but Danny, as a 15th player, a walk-on, can play in the Big 10 for energy spurts of a few minutes and help. Do you remember Eric Shur? Elston was good when he got to play. I think that he will be very good this year. Each of the freshmen now sophomores should be much improved. The same for the now juniors. I like our new freshmen, the 7' Juco, the 6'8 walk-on, and hope we get the 6'5 wing from Memphis. We will all see how they play. Neither your opinion nor mine, based on no first hand knowledge, is important. Your other points are not worth re-hashing. If we do not win 20 the season is not a success. If we win 15 it is not a failure.

  • Andrew

    Agree 100% jayrig. The worst part about plucking numbers out of the air (this year we HAVE to win 20, then 25, then…etc), is that it can't account for injuries. Obviously last season was a perfect example. I think most IU fans banked on more than 10 wins, or at least hoped we'd be more competitive. But what if you told them before the season that the best player would get hurt and would not play one second of a conference game? Especially with a situation as fluid and tenuous as IU's the last couple years, setting any numerical goals prior to or even during the season is just a recipe for disappointment.

  • Outoftheloop

    I do not know if you just can not read or if you can not count, or both. As anyone reading my post would tell you, I am dealing in 5 full seasons, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 (20 wins), 2011-12 (25 wins), 2012-13 (28-30 wins). Coach Crean's announced expectation is to get to the NCAA every year, and the Final Four multiple times, and to win a Championship! By the 5th season every player is his hand-picked selection. If you have not paid attention they play more games now than in 1976. Think about this: last year if your team won only 19 games (not 20) you were #11 in the ACC out of 12 below Miami, FL; you were #10 in the Big East out of 16 below South FL; you were #6 out of 10 in the Horizon League below Wright St, UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee and Detroit; and you were #8 in the Big 10 out of 11 below Northwestern. So your expectation is to have a basketball program that is not as good as South FL or Detroit and to fight for 7th-8th-9th in the Big 10! That is embarrassing!

  • Outoftheloop

    Last year's Final Four: Duke 35-5, Butler 33-5, MSU 28-9, WVA 31-7. So if you can't win 30 don't expect to play there!

  • Outoftheloop

    Give me some real analysis of the Big 10 not your weak:”Other than U-M losing their two top dogs, the other ten teams can all make a case that they will be better.” WE are one of those 10 teams so you agree with me, that IU will be much improved! But have you paid any attention to Iowa, they will be as bad as IU was in 2008-09. Have you paid any attention to the turmoil at MN, they will be as bad as IU was in 2009-10. You are seriously saying that PSU is good, I didn't think so? At least you admit that MI is bad. IU has more talent than NU, more depth and we should have better coaching. So we should be the stronger team. But it will be close. That is why we must win 20 this season, NU was 20-14 last season.

  • BornRed

    Experience – A team with a single senior (who should not start), 4 scholarship juniors (including Roth with only 1, and GMM with zero major college experience), and a bunch of sophomores and freshman is experienced? Experience we do not have – 3 true upperclassmen which includes Tom Pritchard.

    Regression – Did Tom Pritchard not regress last year? It happens. Sometimes players, even good ones have a worse year than the previous one. If you don't like the word regress, how about an off year or a down year? Michael Jordan had years in which his production went down from the previous year.

    I remember Errek Suhr, and I remember him being a better player than Moore. I don't see him getting off the bench at all, even in energy spurts for a major 20 win team.

    My Big Ten analysis – Michigan State and Purdue are Top 5 teams going into the season. Ohio State, returning starters, loads of experience, and a top freshman class is a Top 10. Illinois is good. Minnesota and Northwestern are two 20 win teams that return a lot of their talent. The Big Ten is up with a ton of experienced players back and 2-3 elite teams. What other conference can say that?

    You're entitled to your opinion and I certainly respect that. I also hope you're right, but I personally don't see one year of progression plus a JUCO doubling the win total. Yes, we're more experienced than last year, but in the grand scheme of things, the Hoosiers are still inexperienced. Look up and down the schedule, the Hoosiers will be the less experienced team on the court nearly every night.

  • BornRed

    1. He never said our long-term goal is 20 win seasons. He simply said we don't have to win 20 this year.

    2. You're comparing a bunch of schools with different schedules from lesser conferences. You really think Detriot and the UW satellite campuses would have the same record and be 8th in the Big Ten? You've made much more valuable arguments than that.

  • FWHoosier

    Obviously, the ultimate goal is to win every single game played. The question really is what range of actual wins is realistic to expect out of this team and not suffer severe disappointment at the end of the year. If some fans want to set thier expectations at 20+ wins and an NCAA invite, then more power to them, but I would warn them to be prepared for disappointment.

    However, I don't think it would be a miracle to reach the NIT this coming year. Indeed, I think some sort of post-season play would be a reasonable objective (and possibly a necessity to keep recruits interested). With the strength of IU's fan base, as few as 16 wins could get them in the NIT (see NC last year). Without seeing a schedule, I am guessing that 9-3 or 8-4 is a possibilty for the non-conference schedule this coming year and 7-8 wins in the Big Ten would equate to a 7th place finish in the league. That would mean the Hoosiers jump ahead of Northwestern and Michigan relative to this past year's standings. That seems reasonable and would be enough wins for the NIT or CBI.

    Also, I don't think 20 wins is outside the realm of reality if everything clicks and the team gets on a role. Don't underestimate the power of momentum. Two tough losses turned the mo in the wrong direction for us last year and a litany of losses followed. A couple of back-to-back big wins could get things rolling in the right direction this year. Of course, the wheels could fall off again late in the season, especially if a leader doesn't step up.

    So, in the end, I guess the range of realistic expectations in my mind is 14-20 wins. Under 14 wins (barring injuries) and I start to consider the season a failure depending on the level of competitiveness. 14-15 wins okay but not great. 16-17 wins and I think the goal of post seaon play is achieved. 18+ wins and a possible NCAA berth would be on the high end of any realistic expectation, but is not outside the realm of possibility.

  • BornRed

    Honestly, that is a bit disrespectful to Northwestern. Thompson and Shurna are very talented players. Northwestern has good size and far more experience than the Hoosiers. Their players should improve just like ours should. Where does the difference come from? They aren't losing much from last year, so what is it that makes IU as good as them all of a sudden? Northwestern took much better care of the ball, shot better, and were far more efficient on offense than the Hoosiers. There's a reason they won 10 more games.

    Now I do expect the gap to close, but Northwestern was a very good team last year and the gap was bigger than you're giving it credit for.

  • Outoftheloop

    Neither of us has anything new to add at this point.

  • BornRed

    I'm with you here. I do think 20 is a possibility, but it is at the upper end of that realm of possibility. As I stated earlier, things have to click and a lot of things have to go our way for that to happen.

  • Outoftheloop

    Yes those schools would win 50% of their games, if they played home and away, with Iowa, PSU and MI this season. They probably would have a tough time with MN.

  • Outoftheloop

    What you call disrespectful to NU, I call respectful to the players now at IU. If you review what I said, I did not say that NU does not have some talented players now. I said that Indiana is now more talented and deeper in talent. I do not think that NU “was a very good team last year”. By my definition “very good teams” are invited to the NCAA or go deep into the NIT. NU did neither. It was a good season for NU, but only because their history has few 20 win seasons and no NCAA appearances. They were OK good, but not special. Northern Iowa was better.

  • jayrig5

    Yes, that's fine. You're expecting IU, after 5 seasons under Tom Crean, given the circumstances he walked in to, to get to a level it hasn't been at in 17 years, and you're considering anything else a failure?

    And Northwestern has 3 players (Shurna, Thompson, and Kevin Koble, if he can ever get healthy) who are all conference candidates.

    And I know they play more games now than in 1976, which is why I said they hadn't won 25 since 2002, when they won 5 games in the tournament to get to that number. And before that, you had to go back to 1993. So you're basically asking IU to get to the level they got in 1993 (one of the great IU teams) 5 years after Kelvin Sampson, and 7 years after the Mike Davis era, plus the decline under Knight at the end of his career.

  • jayrig5

    I'd be very pleased with 20. My NIT as a miracle statement may have been a bit strong, obviously if IU is .500 or greater, the NIT will take them.

    And, obviously, winning every game is a goal, whereas you have to temper expectations. The great teams would be a lot less satisfied with just 18 wins and an NIT berth than this year's IU team would be. (Just random numbers there.)

    And the Big Ten is obviously up, I've been saying for awhile that if they were trying to come back in 2004, it'd be a lot easier. Seriously, this really shows just how bad those Mike Davis teams that missed the tourney were. Imagine if we were playing at that level in this Big Ten. I doubt we'd be much better off than we are now. That's what's important to remember, it's not like we were a perennial 25-30 win team even before the cheating/extraordinarily severe sanctions/complete and total changeover of the roster/loss of recruits.

    Just have realistic expectations.

  • Outoftheloop

    Your distortions are neither cute nor appreciated. What calendar do you use to misrepresent 2002 as “17 years” ago? The number of wins is only a pedantic point. The focal point is getting to the Final Four. The number of wins gets you to the position where you have a realistic chance at the Final Four as I CLEARLY pointed out! As you point out IU did this (reach the Final Four) in 1993 and in 2002. Knight reached the Final Four in both 1973 and 1976, early in his days at IU; Davis did this in 2002, again early in his days at IU. Crean needs to do this in 5 years. That is exactly my argument!

  • jayrig5

    Hahaha, seriously. You want IU to win 30 games after 5 years. Therefore, you have to go back 17 years to get to the last 30-win season. College basketball was different in 1976, and if Bob Knight had come in with the IU program as down in both reality and perception (which with recruiting turns into reality) he wouldn't have gotten to to the Final Four in 1973.

    Think of it this way. Imagine if Bob Knight had turned it over to Mike Davis under different circumstances after the 99/2000 season, and all the players left or were booted with the exception of Tom Geyer, and IU was placed under sanctions.

    Under your theory, by 2005, IU should have won 30 games and contended for a title.

    How is that reasonable? Look how easy it was for IU to fall apart following a Final Four appearance.

    And as for your 20 wins theory, the 2002 title game team only won 20 games in the regular season. With an NBA lottery talent, and all the players Davis inherited from Knight, and the 1993 season only 9 years prior, the 1987 title only 15 years prior. They won 20 games. And that's the standard you want IU to live up to next season, even given the current roster and circumstances.

    There's a reason no one agrees with you. Feel free to expect what you want, but it's completely unreasonable.

  • Outoftheloop

    You can not read. What I said is that we need to win 28-30 games in the entire season, including the Big 10 Tourney and the NCAA tourney, to get to the Final Four. I am not going back at all, I am going forward. Look at the records of the Final Four in 2010- I posted them-all you have to do is to read the post: 35,33,28,31. Point proven! So my numbers of 28-30 are spot on! You said: “Under your theory, by 2005, IU should have won 30 games and contended for a title.” Check the stats, we did contend for a title and came in runner up in 2002. I do have a 20 win theory, if you can not win 20 games in your season, then you are not a good team. I also have a 20 win expectation, IU needs to win 20 or more games in every season. We have 7 players ranked in the top 150 when they were seniors, plus one U-20 National Team member (France, a teammate was drafted last night) so we have talent. In 2011-12 we will have even more talent. Do some work, check out the rankings of the NU players. We have 90%+ of our points, rebounding, assists, steals, etc returning and we have four new quality players. I do not want you to agree with me. I want you to say something based on what I actually posted that is factually in error. I know you have a different opinion. If you do not think that we could have won 10 games last year if we played hard and sound on both ends of the court with this year's talent, then I just disagree: 1) Boston U (4pt-N), 2) George Mason (3 pt-N), 3) Loyola (5 pt-H), 4) IL (6 pt-H), 5) MI (24 pt-A), 6) Iowa (15 pt-H). 7) IL (2 pt-A), 8) Purdue (3 pt-H), 9) Iowa (16 pt-A), and NU (15 pt-Indy). This year we can win each of “these types of games”, i.e. against Iowa, PSU, MI, MN both H and A, and we win all of our home games except for MSU and WI. We beat Boston College in the ACC challenge, win all of our games in the Las Vegas Classic, and lose only to KY and other good teams in the non-conference. Further we play in the quarter-finals of the Big 10 Tourney. Of course I can be wrong. But it is time to win some games and to reject the excuses and those posting the excuses!

  • jayrig5

    Uh huh. I'm well aware IU went to the Final Four in 2002. But if you were to actually read (instead of, you know, wishing, or whatever it is you're doing) you'd have seen that I laid out a hypothetical parallel to the Kelvin Sampson debacle, starting in 2000. And had that happened, the 2002 season wouldn't have happened. Because Jared Jeffries would have gone somewhere else. I'm sure that if Tom Crean had stepped in to a team with Jordan Crawford, Armon Bassett, Terrell Holloway, Devin Ebanks, Eli Holman, and whomever else you want to put on the team, he would have made the tournament. Davis had that luxury with similar, and most likely better caliber players, and he took advantage for one tournament run, after the team had underachieved all season. And then it all fell apart.

    Our last U-20 player was Cem Dinc. He played with Hedo Turkoglu.

    Our four new quality players are two freshman, who aren't anywhere near the John Wall/Eric Gordon level of difference making ability, a JUCO transfer whom no one's seen play, and I guess your fourth player is a preferred walk-on who may, maybe, some day, be as good as Kyle Taber. (Not a knock, but hardly the stuff of Final Four dreams.) And it's all well and good if we return that much of a nucleus, but considering how much the nucleus struggled, you want the same team that went 10-21 to go 21-10? The Big Ten will be, lets be honest, better than last year. PSU, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and probably IU are still down. Everyone else will be very, very good. That's six really good, NCAA-caliber teams. So if you want to argue that IU should beat all the down teams every time, that's ten conference wins. But if you really think that one season is going to turn around all the problems IU had last year in terms of being even close to competitive on the road (I'm still trying to forget the Super Bowl Sunday destruction at Northwestern) as well as fix all the problems they had closing out home games, more power to you. But when you come on and say we should absolutely win our home games against Purdue, Ohio State, Illinois, and Northwestern (yes, Northwestern, assuming Koble is healthy, would be a top-25 team) than I'd say you're dreaming a little. A team with wins over four top-25 teams, (including a top-5 and top-15 in PU and OSU) as well as 8 wins home and away over lesser competition? So you expect to go 12-6 in conference, which would have placed IU 5th last year?

    Basically you're saying IU should be in the NCAA tournament, or at least have a resume conducive to making the tournament, next season. Given the roster situation, and the entire set of circumstances surrounding the current rebuilding of the program.

    Do you sit at home and write out what you're going to say to the sports talk radio shows you call into? Does it all make perfect sense to you? I just don't get how someone could be so unreasonable. (Also, I can't wait to learn how I'm not getting it this time. Before I was distorting, then I didn't understand calendars, and lately I've been illiterate. This whole ordeal is turning into quite the self-discovery process.)

    That's all. I'm really done. I can hope that you'll see it my way, or at least recognize that going from a completely rebuilt team and coming out from under the shadow of severe NCAA penalties and then going to the NCAA tournament in 3 seasons with a team that has one senior would be the greatest feat in the history of sports, and if it does happen, Crean will get a 60-year extension and deservedly so. But saying you expect that, and anything else is just failure and making excuses? Wow. Just wow. That's all.

  • Outoftheloop

    You actually wrote: “that I laid out a hypothetical parallel.” Is that jargon for made-up-far-fetched nonsense? As I have said you have an opinion that I do not share.

  • Hoosiermjw

    Now Alfred will show IU fans why they should have him as head coach