One of the questions Tom Crean is frequently asked when he travels to the southern part of the state is this: “When is Indiana going to start playing a series with Louisville?”
Such was the case again last night, when Crean traveled to Jeffersonville to speak at a Rotary Club event. And here’s how Crean answered the question, according to Rick Bozich of The Louisville-Courier Journal:
“That’s a possibility. There’s no question we want to do it at some point in time. I don’t know if it’s going to happen quickly. Our schedule’s gotta balance out a little bit right now. Next year we play Notre Dame in Indianapolis, we play at Evansville, we have Butler at home at the end of a tournament. We have Kentucky at home, we’ll have a Big Ten-ACC Challenge game, either home or on the road. I’m not sure with a young team like that, especially with the young freshmen that we’ll have, I’m not sure that we’ll want to play too many tough games. But I’d love to get something going with Louisville at some point. I always said to Rick (Pitino) and his staff, as we got down the line and got more competitive, we’d want to revisit that and we’re getting closer to that.”
As much as fans would like to see this series sooner rather than later, Crean’s logic for not pursuing it immediately makes sense. The addition of Notre Dame and Butler will improve the competitiveness of next year’s schedule and the Big Ten-ACC Challenge meeting is only going to get tougher for IU as the program returns to prominence.
With that said, we’d like to open this up for a broader discussion and pose this question: Is there an opponent (Louisville included, if that’s your preference) you’d like to see the Hoosiers start playing regularly?