Four years of change

  • 06/26/2011 10:12 am in

It’s a Friday night in October, damn near midnight, and we’ve finally arrived in Bloomington.

We’re staying way west of campus, because when you plan trips like this with old college friends at the last minute, options are limited.

A cab picks us up. We’re headed to Kilroy’s. Our driver tells us his family used to gather round the television for Saturday Indiana basketball games without fail during the Bob Knight era. But since The General’s been gone, he refuses to watch. Once a pillar of love, Indiana hoops has turned his heart hard.

I tell him to give Tom Crean and the new guys a chance. Tell him Crean values a lot of the same things Knight did: Academics, graduation rates, young men of character.

As we exit the cab, I don’t think I’ve changed his mind.

###

Kilroy’s is different. Unrecognizable, even. The booths along its south wall have vanished for a stairway to a second floor. The famed birth canal — inconvenient as it was — is gone. There’s a patio out back now.

This is not what I remember. This is not how it was.

And maybe, just maybe, I can empathize with our cab driver.

###

We’re walking across 17th from the tailgate fields — which are more tame these days — to Memorial Stadium. With its recent addition, the stands now wrap behind the north end zone. The sun shines off its glass.

It’s nice.

I see the newly-constructed Cook Hall in the parking lot to the east. Kids in my dorm at Briscoe used to park their cars there. Now, brand-new courts and whirlpools and weights and 24-hour access entry points reside, and the state’s finest high-school basketball talent comes for open gyms to get their first taste of the program.

It’s a strong first impression.

The five banners inside Assembly Hall, once the defining trait of the program, don’t matter as much to these kids born years after Keith Smart hit that baseline bucket.

###


Inside the Hall turns four years old today. Or maybe its our four-year anniversary.

Things have changed since the summer of 2007. Our design got a makeover, and will again soon, if I ever get around to it. Joe joined to provide recruiting news. Eamonn has left. As has Zach. Someone new will be helping us in the fall.

Alex has gone from anonymous blogger to professional journalist. He now has sources in and around the program. He’s credentialed for games. He has a relationship with both the media relations and coaching staff. He knows what’s happening with this team on an intimate level.

He’s relentlessly pounded the recruiting pavement on the weekends this summer, leaving behind his wife and baby boy — new additions to his life since ITH’s inception — to provide content for the site.

I admire his dedication and hustle.

Me? I grew a beard.

Change continues to come in the Tom Crean era: Cody Zeller is on campus. The class of 2012 brings with it an excitement not seen in Bloomington in too long.

We thank you for being here. We thank you for reading. We invite you, as life’s impermanence continues to come for all, to continue to join us on this journey.

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  • Anonymous

    Nice story, but I strongly disagree that those banners mean less to students now. If anything, they mean more. There have been so few positives lately, that we must look at those banners to realize that those glory days have been achieved before, and hopefully will be again.

  • Anonymous

    Nice story, but I strongly disagree that those banners mean less to students now. If anything, they mean more. There have been so few positives lately, that we must look at those banners to realize that those glory days have been achieved before, and hopefully will be again.

  • Anonymous

    Nice story, but I strongly disagree that those banners mean less to students now. If anything, they mean more. There have been so few positives lately, that we must look at those banners to realize that those glory days have been achieved before, and hopefully will be again.

  • Anonymous

    You guys are doing an awesome job! keep up the good work.

  • Anonymous

    You guys are doing an awesome job! keep up the good work.

  • Anonymous

    You guys are doing an awesome job! keep up the good work.

  • HoosierNshaker

    I’m sorry but weak story…

    1)  The banners do NOT mean less to the students today, that’s just ignorant.  Every student may not remember the RMK days but what those banners represent means just as much today as it did yesterday.  Students know the tradition and yearn for a return to glory, more now than ever.  Every IU kid at the least knows what Bob Knight stood for and wants that back in Bloomington.

    2)  I don’t care about your cabbie…honestly we don’t need the fair weather fans.  My family watches almost every Hoosiers game together and not just Saturdays.  My father has passed down stories from the 75′ 76′ teams all the way through the 80’s and 90’s, and I know those days are coming back soon.  Let the doubters and unfaithful ignore the rebuilding process, I hope they never come back.

    3)  I’m glad KOK has a makeover and no “birth canal”.  I can finally find a bar and order a drink without getting my junk grinded on by wasted douche bag frat boys.

    4)  Tailgate fields more tame today?  Clearly you haven’t been to every football game in the past 4 years.  Let me fill you in: You’ve missed 2 Oak N Bucket victories over PUrdue, full blown riots against Ball State “chirp that”, and endless fields of walking ankle deep in beer cans and binge drinking.  If anything the fields continue to get more exciting, the Kevin Wilson era has arrived and students are pretty excited for his involvement and tenacity.

    My rant is over…the only thing I agree with is the Cook Hall portion.  Props to Alex he does a great job with ITH and his dedication is the real reason so many people read this site everyday.  I can not thank him enough for what he does to keep #hoosiernation excited about the future of IUBB.  Four years running and hopefully many more to come, banner #6 is just around the corner.

  • jgongora86

    It’s amazing how much you guys have grown in a short period time.  Keep up the great work.  

  • Thanks for four years of great work guys.  I look forward to seeing this site continue to grow and provide some of the best IU content available. 

  • Dizo

    Good story.  As a fellow alum who hasn’t been back to b-town in a few years, I appreciate the landscape commentary.  I agree the banners mean less to the average IU student these days as they have minimal emotional involvement from those past seasons.  The advanced fan (which i assume anyone who posts a comment here would be considered) will disagree because they are outside the norm.  Keep up the great work!

  • Dizo

    Good story.  As a fellow alum who hasn’t been back to b-town in a few years, I appreciate the landscape commentary.  I agree the banners mean less to the average IU student these days as they have minimal emotional involvement from those past seasons.  The advanced fan (which i assume anyone who posts a comment here would be considered) will disagree because they are outside the norm.  Keep up the great work!

  • I love you guys.  Thanks for all the hard work and dedication over the years.

  • I love you guys.  Thanks for all the hard work and dedication over the years.

  • I love you guys.  Thanks for all the hard work and dedication over the years.

  • I love you guys.  Thanks for all the hard work and dedication over the years.

  • I love you guys.  Thanks for all the hard work and dedication over the years.

  • Cmooney

    thanks for all the work you guys do i live in north carolina so you can imagine there is never any talk of indiana basketball, this site is a daily visit for me.

  • Cmooney

    thanks for all the work you guys do i live in north carolina so you can imagine there is never any talk of indiana basketball, this site is a daily visit for me.

  • Been here since darn near the beginning. Through the coaching search madnesss, the scandal. The 6 win season. The Cody Zeller recruitment. I’ve seen so much growth in the site and it has really been refreshing to see it take off in such a way. You guys as the writers, and also all the commenters have been great to me and the site. I’m sure I speak for others when I say this is my Internet Family and I’m glad to be a part of such a great fanbase! Go Hoosiers!

  • Been here since darn near the beginning. Through the coaching search madnesss, the scandal. The 6 win season. The Cody Zeller recruitment. I’ve seen so much growth in the site and it has really been refreshing to see it take off in such a way. You guys as the writers, and also all the commenters have been great to me and the site. I’m sure I speak for others when I say this is my Internet Family and I’m glad to be a part of such a great fanbase! Go Hoosiers!

  • Luke72

    Thank you and all the others for providing the best IU Basketball site! The tone of both the writters and those who do post responses seems to have a more positive spin on what is written! Looking forward to sharing all the good things to come! Keep up the great job!! Thanks again!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Here’s to another great four years . . . I just raised my Shiner Bock!

  • MarkIU10

    I absolutely agree with btownborn about the banners not meaning anything to current students.  Look at how Assembly Hall exploded last year during the Illinois game.  The students rush the court when they beat teams we should honestly never lose to at home.  It just proves how hungry they are for the bball team to give them what they have been waiting for.  
    They may not be familiar with many of the names of the past, but they know what IU basketball is and should always be….a national contender every year.

  • HoosierNshaker2

    Back from being blocked today…learned not to criticize a cofounder article.  Can’t stop a passionate Hoosier fan from the great ITH!  Maybe my tone took away from my appreciation of all that this site adds to iubb and hoosiernation.  Thank you to Alex and Ryan for your dedication to this team the past 4 years.  Hopefully HoosierNshaker will live to post another day.

  • The tone of your earliest post was unnecessary given the fact that this post was to discuss our 4-year mark.

  • The tone of your earliest post was unnecessary given the fact that this post was to discuss our 4-year mark.

  • Baxter

    This site has been a refuge – to cheer, to vent, and then cheer some more.  The right mix of insight and knuckleheads.  May we enjoy more of both this upcoming year.

    Happy Biversary ITH

  • Baxter

    This site has been a refuge – to cheer, to vent, and then cheer some more.  The right mix of insight and knuckleheads.  May we enjoy more of both this upcoming year.

    Happy Biversary ITH

  • HoosierNshaker2

    I completely agree my tone was unnecessary to discuss the 4 year mark.  Congrats and I hope many more are to come.

  • HoosierNshaker2

    I completely agree my tone was unnecessary to discuss the 4 year mark.  Congrats and I hope many more are to come.

  • oldred1976

    Gentlemen, (Ladies)
          The only thing I can think of that will come close to representing the Heart of the IU nation as ITH has the last four years, will be the meteoric climb of our team back to national prominence. In the future we will continue to be grateful to Alex and the others who have played critical roles in the birthing and growth of what ITH has become.I would like to mark this anniversary with a hearty “thanks” and a well earned “great job”.  

  • oldred1976

    Gentlemen, (Ladies)
          The only thing I can think of that will come close to representing the Heart of the IU nation as ITH has the last four years, will be the meteoric climb of our team back to national prominence. In the future we will continue to be grateful to Alex and the others who have played critical roles in the birthing and growth of what ITH has become.I would like to mark this anniversary with a hearty “thanks” and a well earned “great job”.  

  • oldred1976

    Gentlemen, (Ladies)
          The only thing I can think of that will come close to representing the Heart of the IU nation as ITH has the last four years, will be the meteoric climb of our team back to national prominence. In the future we will continue to be grateful to Alex and the others who have played critical roles in the birthing and growth of what ITH has become.I would like to mark this anniversary with a hearty “thanks” and a well earned “great job”.  

  • oldred1976

    Gentlemen, (Ladies)
          The only thing I can think of that will come close to representing the Heart of the IU nation as ITH has the last four years, will be the meteoric climb of our team back to national prominence. In the future we will continue to be grateful to Alex and the others who have played critical roles in the birthing and growth of what ITH has become.I would like to mark this anniversary with a hearty “thanks” and a well earned “great job”.  

  • unclekerfuffle

    Damn impressive narrative.  The memories brought tears to my eyes and pride to my heart.

    Past, present, and future–I am proud to be a Hoosier.

    ITH helps me remember how special IU basketball is.

    Keep up the good work, guys.

  • Brosallman

    Alex, Thanks for putting Ryan back to work.

  • Scott W.

    No…Thank you for being here

  • Scott W.

    No…Thank you for being here

  • Anonymous

    That was really well thought and written. Love it.

    You know what you’ve got here? I came from Texas, a huge UT football fan. I’ve been following UT football for years now on Burnt Orange Nation. BON is a Sports Blog Nation blog, with a huge staff of writers and contributors, with that whole network connection, and covers football, basketball, and baseball. The football team interest is monster, even in the off-season, and the baseball team just went to the CWS. And you know what? ITH has more readers. A one-sport blog. In the off-season. Beats the Texas behemoth all thru the last 3 months. 

    It’s Indiana.

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations to Alex and Ryan.  And thank you for providing the information we people of Hoosier Nation crave.  Hope for many more years of reading ITH.  Keep up the great work.

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations to Alex and Ryan.  And thank you for providing the information we people of Hoosier Nation crave.  Hope for many more years of reading ITH.  Keep up the great work.

  • the taxi cab jockey was a Bob Knight fan, not a IU fan.  I really despise people like that.  They were just watching Knight and cheering his stupid antics on, not cheering on the team and the university.  We don’t need tools like that in our fan base anyway.  BTW, great job on this site, really like some of the improvements.

  • JerryCT

    Put this in the FWIW category looking back over the past 4 years and trying to sense the future..

    I spent some time with sportscaster Verne Lundquist this past 2 weeks in Norway of all places. He told me he is very impressed with CTC and IU will indeed be back sooner rather than later from this stage forward.

    The same question on ND football did not get the same response.

    It was easy to agree ……………. I hope my paying for the drinks did not bias him.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Ryan was trying to say that the banners don’t matter any more.  The point is that all of them happened before any of the kids on campus, or more importantly, any of our recruits, were born. 

    Two of the banners hanging in the Hall happened during my lifetime.  The ’87 title is the only one I am old enough to remember, though.  Even though I was only 8 yrs old, I remember exactly where I was sitting (standing) when Smart drained that bucket to win the game.

    THAT championship means the most to me, because I identify with it.  I was invested with the team at that age already. 

    The ’87 banner isn’t worth more than the others, but to me, it matters a little more, because, in some small way I was there.

    That is the point.  The students, players and future recruits don’t have a banner to point at and remember like the rest of us do.  To some recruits, Florida has a better winning tradition than IU.  We need to hang another one and change that mindset.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Ryan was trying to say that the banners don’t matter any more.  The point is that all of them happened before any of the kids on campus, or more importantly, any of our recruits, were born. 

    Two of the banners hanging in the Hall happened during my lifetime.  The ’87 title is the only one I am old enough to remember, though.  Even though I was only 8 yrs old, I remember exactly where I was sitting (standing) when Smart drained that bucket to win the game.

    THAT championship means the most to me, because I identify with it.  I was invested with the team at that age already. 

    The ’87 banner isn’t worth more than the others, but to me, it matters a little more, because, in some small way I was there.

    That is the point.  The students, players and future recruits don’t have a banner to point at and remember like the rest of us do.  To some recruits, Florida has a better winning tradition than IU.  We need to hang another one and change that mindset.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Ryan was trying to say that the banners don’t matter any more.  The point is that all of them happened before any of the kids on campus, or more importantly, any of our recruits, were born. 

    Two of the banners hanging in the Hall happened during my lifetime.  The ’87 title is the only one I am old enough to remember, though.  Even though I was only 8 yrs old, I remember exactly where I was sitting (standing) when Smart drained that bucket to win the game.

    THAT championship means the most to me, because I identify with it.  I was invested with the team at that age already. 

    The ’87 banner isn’t worth more than the others, but to me, it matters a little more, because, in some small way I was there.

    That is the point.  The students, players and future recruits don’t have a banner to point at and remember like the rest of us do.  To some recruits, Florida has a better winning tradition than IU.  We need to hang another one and change that mindset.