L. Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated on IU’s revival

  • 01/11/2012 10:07 am in

Sports Illustrated: “We’re back, baby”

The coach would have been within his rights to curse the basketball gods. He might even have been within his rights to bail for another job. But he stayed true to his word (and contract), hardly a given in today’s college sports climate, and soldiered on. He worked the state like a candidate running for office, winning back supporters and inviting former players to attend practices and games and address the team. Crean’s squads, stocked as they were with likable kids who went to class, avoided the criminal-justice system and competed with unstinting effort, were winning fans if not games.

And then the Fates changed their tune. The Hoosiers won their first eight games of the 2011–12 season. On Dec. 10 junior forward Christian Watford drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer as Indiana beat top-ranked Kentucky. Keith Smart didn’t induce this much fanfare. Delirious fans—including what now purports to be the largest student section in the country—covered the court, and a video of fans’ reaction at Nick’s, the popular on-campus bar, was a YouTube sensation. This was catharsis.

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  • JohnFromBeyond

    I liked the article, except the way he spelled “SheilaDepot”.

    As fans, we really suffered over the previous three years. I can only imagine how much stress Crean was under. I’m so glad that Crean and these players can get sme payback and good feelings for all that they’ve been through. This is proof that if you do the right thing and stick with it, eventually it will pay off.

  • oneseeded

    Really?  SheilaDepot?  I’ve never seen it spelled like that.  Am I missing something here?  I’ve always thought it was Sheelidipo?  Otherwise, I loved the article.   

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, he really butchered that one, haha.  There were a couple other minor things that I noticed, but I don’t want to razz the guy too much.  It was a very good article that reflected well on the boys.  I wish they could have mentioned something about all of them, but a great article nonetheless.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Gave me cold chills as I read it.  We knew it would happen but now that the comeback is here, I have to pinch myself every once in a while and remember that, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

    Proud to be a Hoosier

    Thanks CTC

  • unclekerfuffle

    Gave me cold chills as I read it.  We knew it would happen but now that the comeback is here, I have to pinch myself every once in a while and remember that, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

    Proud to be a Hoosier

    Thanks CTC

  • Anonymous

    If we’re “back” now (and I agree that we are), I’m really looking forward to seeing how “back” we are in 12 months.

  • Anonymous

    Only one mention of Watford?  

    How much crap do you think Sheehey is taking for the Gyllenhall comment?

  • I agree. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone spell it like that, but if I had to guess, I’d say he spelled it like that for pronounciation purposes. Because if you’re not a Hoosier or close follower of the team most people pronounce Victor’s last name like Ola-DIP-o.

  • js_nashville

    Dear Tom Crean,

    Thank you.

    For much of years one, two and three of your employment as Indiana University basketball
    coach, I witnessed a few media individuals and several participants of various forums express their discontent for how things were going. It seemed as though those persons weren’t considering the sacrifices you were making in your commitment to rebuilding this program. You had obviously worked very hard in having elevated yourself to the point that you would be offered the coaching job at a tradition-rich program such as IU. From the time that you signed on with Indiana and despite being faced with tremendous challenges (player departures, recruiting restrictions, etc.) you’ve worked diligently to bring us back to an upright position, tirelessly and with great success on the recruiting trail, and (with the benefit of finally having enough talented players and a little experience on our side) your abilities as a basketball coach are shining brightly.

    Again, thank you.

    A grateful fan.

  • js_nashville

    Dear Tom Crean,

    Thank you.

    For much of years one, two and three of your employment as Indiana University basketball
    coach, I witnessed a few media individuals and several participants of various forums express their discontent for how things were going. It seemed as though those persons weren’t considering the sacrifices you were making in your commitment to rebuilding this program. You had obviously worked very hard in having elevated yourself to the point that you would be offered the coaching job at a tradition-rich program such as IU. From the time that you signed on with Indiana and despite being faced with tremendous challenges (player departures, recruiting restrictions, etc.) you’ve worked diligently to bring us back to an upright position, tirelessly and with great success on the recruiting trail, and (with the benefit of finally having enough talented players and a little experience on our side) your abilities as a basketball coach are shining brightly.

    Again, thank you.

    A grateful fan.

  • It’s WINdiana!

    “Greater still, this better-than-the-sum-of-its-parts collection of overachievers combines traditional Indiana basketball sensibilities with contemporary hoops—Hickory High meets the AAU summer circuit.”

    This says two things – the fantastic job CTC has done coaching this year (and probably previous years we’re just seeing the results this year) and the unbelievably fantastic job he has done recruiting – not just getting talented guys but likable, talented guys. 

  • HoosierDadE

    “Negotiating the stairs of his apartment”…

    I love Mo and feel terrible for his injuries but that line made me laugh.

  • Plane1972

    I think he was trying to give it a phonetic spelling because of Vic’s unfamiliar Nigerian moniker. I wouldn’t get too worked up about it.

  • Plane1972

    I’m guessing the attention he received from the lovely coeds in Bloomington makes the ribbing by teammates easier to take.

  • Josephjohnson46

    The Hoosiers will finish 27-4
    13-0 Non -Conference
    14-4 Conference

    J. P. Johnson

  • KevOMG

    Little wishful I think. We’re doing really well, but haven’t truely proven our road stability yet. Almost lost to Penn State, and got beat down by MSU.

  • Anonymous

    Every time my 12-year old daughter mentions him she adds, “he’s very handsome.”

  • Anonymous

    If….no, let’s say WHEN he comes back, I will think of him as the phoenix.  Reduced to ashes, only to rise to what he was before.

    The Phoenix.  Kind of has a good ring to it, too.

  • Bobby

    I don’t think a fluke 20- 0 run can classify that game as a “beat down”.  We were winning for a good portion of that game and hit a cold spell.

  • HoosierDadE

    Solid nickname Marcus…for the 2012-2013 season when Mo aka the Phoenix returns I hope Alex and ITH gives you full credit!

  • Anonymous

    Phoenixes aren’t good at negotiating stairs either. It fits.

  • InTheMtns

    Not picking sides here, but gotta say defense has to prevent 20-0 runs, fluke or not and cold spell or not. When your shots aren’t falling then you’ve got to double down on D. We didn’t. Road games have a way of getting away from you before you know it. But we’re learning.
    Go IU!!!

  • Anonymous

    Was disappointed he didn’t mention Ron or Jeremy in the 2012 class.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    It takes a complete game to win on the road in the Big Ten. You are right we are learning!! Go Hoosiers!

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    It takes a complete game to win on the road in the Big Ten. You are right we are learning!! Go Hoosiers!

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I love it. Here is the best thing. None of the national pundits will be expecting him. Mo is going to cause a a stir and he is the ultimate wildcard.