Glass: Program has returned to 1980′s form

Fred Glass knew what Indiana basketball was supposed to look like. Glass graduated from IU in 1980, and he was at Assembly Hall for numerous games during the Bob Knight era.

When Glass took over as Indiana’s Athletics Director in 2009, the basketball program he saw wasn’t what he remembered. It was left in shambles by Kelvin Sampson and would take time to rebuild.

But while some questioned whether or not Indiana would ever return to what it had previously been, Glass remained confident. In an interview with Inside the Hall earlier this week, Glass said he knew the program would look like it does now.

“I absolutely did, man, because that’s what I lived,” Glass said. “We didn’t have the general admission thing so we didn’t have the lineup, but every game was an opportunity, and people went no matter who the opponent was and just went crazy. The place was loud as hell.

“I had seen what it looked like, I had lived what it looked like. That’s why I just felt like we had to hold things together a little bit as Tom [Crean] rebuilt it. So I’ve seen this before. It’s like it was when things were really rocking in the 80s. The current student body is taking it to a new level. But I really thought it could get back to this. That’s what we’ve been pushing for the whole time, and we’ll stay pushing for it.”

After the Hoosiers’ decisive win over North Carolina last month, Roy Williams said he had just been dominated by two players he’d never heard of before they got to IU, referring to Jordan Hulls and Victor Oladipo. But you could also throw Will Sheehey’s name in there as he, too, was sorely underrecruited. Now, though, there isn’t any team in the country that wouldn’t take those three players.

“It starts with Tom Crean,” Glass said. “If Tom didn’t have the eye for talent and the eye for what could be, Roy Williams still wouldn’t have heard of those three guys. I read quotes recently where Kelvin Sampson was quoted as saying that Jordan Hulls might be a nice NAIA player, but Tom came and immediately honed in on him and said, ‘we’ve got to get you to make everything happen. We’ve got to build it all around you.’

“And then when Victor and Sheehey came in, that class was met with kind of a ‘ho-hum’ inside and outside Hoosier Nation. But Tom saw in those guys what could be. It really goes back to Tom and his willingness not to follow the pack, do his own scouting, make his own judgments, not make the safe choice, get guys that others might not know about, and then develop the hell out of them.”

Series with Louisville?

With Kentucky now off Indiana’s long-term schedule, the Hoosiers are looking for another high-quality non-conference opponent for the future. Louisville has been mentioned as a possible team to fill that spot because of the quality of its program and its proximity to Bloomington.

While Glass said there have been no specific discussions with any schools at this time, he said he would be open to the possibility of a series with Louisville.

“Yeah I absolutely would,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for Tom Jurich, the AD down there, Louisville certainly meets the criteria of being a high-quality opponent and somebody our fans want to see. I haven’t talked talked to Tom directly about that, but I would certainly think Louisville would be that kind of team.”

As for Kentucky, well, don’t expect any new developments on that front anytime soon.

“I never wanna say never, and I think we have to be open, and I really want Indiana to play Kentucky on an ongoing basis, but there’s nothing specific going on with that,” Glass said.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Damn… we didn’t know it at the time, especially since we were concerned about the slide occurring under Mike Davis, but: The Sampson hire was a real eff-up. A big one. At least under Davis the program was merely sliding, not selling out its soul.

    Again, Crean has really, really nailed it. What a great job he’s done so far.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I scoff at anything Kelvin Sampson has said or ever will say.

    Thank you Mr. Glass and Coach Crean. You do not understand how in debt I feel to you for staying traditional, delivering the program to its natural position, and amplifying Indiana Basketball as a whole. The Indiana program has walked through the fire and is now stronger than ever.

    Mr Glass, you have no idea how much it means to me to have the Hoosiers where they are now and their direction in the future, but then again you probably do as it resides in yourself. Do what you can to honor and get Coach Knight back to Assembly Hall and make it over the top. Things would explode (in a good way).

  • Evansville Hoosier

    The program is where it should be again, and it’s the way everyone envisions it. A lot of Indiana guys, veterans, shooting ability, and incredible offense. Not to mention Crean makes it a point to bring in players from previous teams. It’s not really a new era, it’s just an extension of the great eras. Coach Crean has done everything right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/survivored Ed Ellis

    Just found out THEO PINSON is taking his official visit to Indiana for the UM ESPN gameday game. GUARANTEED he commits. How could he not. Atmosphere will be unreal.

  • http://twitter.com/DrewLyon21 Drew Lyon

    so much can be said regarding what has happened since the end of the Knight era. One thing I can say for sure though, is that Crean and Glass have done everything possible to build Indiana up to the power it once was when it had 3 National titles in 11 years. We’re seeing the benefits now with the #1 ranking, but that is very small in the scheme of things. The records may not have shown it in Crean’s first 3 years, but his hiring was actually helping Indiana in the long run for sustained success we hadn’t seen since the late 90′s. With that being said, I am truly grateful for Crean, Glass, and every player to don the Indiana crimson and cream jerseys and candystripes since 2008. Hoosier Nation is back!

  • IUMIKE1

    Crean: Built the program back up to where everyone wanted it to be and thought it should be. Done it the way all of us wanted it rebuilt, the IU way, the right way, no risky shortcuts.

    He who’s name is not spoken: In a very short time tore down a program that, over the decades, had been built into a bball powerhouse year in & year out. Did NOT do things the IU way.

    Crean: Took, not only a local kid, but a city of Bloomington kid no less and one that was a Mr. Basketball to boot. Took a kid that epitomizes IU & what it stands for. Molded him into one of the main building blocks to rebuild our program back into a powerhouse once again and developed him into a player that may have a chance to play at the next level.

    He who’s name is not spoken: States that he thinks Jordy would have made a “nice” NAIA player.

    Yea, that all makes perfect sense when you stop & think about these two people and their respective track records, perfect sense indeed.

  • DarkSouth

    I think Sampson looked at the Davis era and said “nice guy who didn’t win enough…winning is what matters” and it didn’t serve him well here.

    I think Crean realized that he wasn’t going to win at first anyway and knew he had a freedom to really think long term about selling the program to fans.

    I that’s probably a reflection of how each as got where they are, looking at their previous coaching stops. Also, I think their hiring both reflect what IU was looking for in a coach at the each of those times.

  • jmoney

    Fred Glass is the man…always very sincere.

  • HoosierPat

    Fred Glass is a really good AD. What makes him so good is that it isn’t just his job, he’s a huge fan too.

  • sheeladipo

    Without Sampson there might not be a Tom Crean

  • Hardwood83

    Exactly- Hoosier fans don’t want much, just winning a lot and the right way. Fortunately the right man has the job to accomplish exactly that. Good players that are good students & citizens, what a concept.

  • Abellham Lincoln

    I shouldnt live in the past, but the Sampson hiring still irks me. Not mad at him, but the administration (school president) that wanted the guy. It was so obvious, he was not a good hire. They didnt get IU basketball, but Glass and Crean “Get it.”

  • Alan H

    I was a student as IU in 87 and this team reminds me a great deal of that squad. Both have 5 double digit scorers and moved the ball great. However, other then Alford, I think this team is more talented and has more depth then the great 87 team. Seriously, match the starters up position by position.

    Alford > Hulls, but this one is a lot closer then it used to be
    Garrett < Zeller. Is there really any question here?
    Calloway Ferrell: Experience (and the shot) favor Smart but Yogi is more talented.
    Thomas < Watford: Watford is a much better shooter, especially at the line.

    Bench 87< Bench 2012 Hillman & Ely were solid for the 87 team, but they had no one with the talents of a Sheehey, Creek, Abell, Perea, and Hollowell who could effectively replace a starter for extended periods.

    Knight = Crean; OK Knight has the edge, but I like Crean better. :)

  • Alan H

    You are correct. Sometimes things have to hit rock bottom to ultimately put things right. I hated the Sampson hire the day it was made. As an alum, I wanted a coach who would do things the right way and thankfully Tom Crean is that guy.

  • jahhoosier

    Heaven works in mysterious ways, a butterfly and his wings, etc…but one of the great aspects of how it all worked out for my personal taste is that I HATED the way Kelvin Sampson’s teams played. Would he have won games? Sure. But basketball is a beautiful game and Sampson is of the school that wins by ugly-ing the game up.

    The last two teams have showed that, when he has talent, Crean’s teams play some pretty ball.

    Now, was that worth the total tarnishing of the program’s reputation and three years of historic futility? An open question, I suppose, but if aesthetics didn’t matter, we’d all dress in identical Mao uniforms and live in un-decorated bunkers.

  • marcusgresham

    How good is Fred Glass? So good he appears to have managed to bring a kick-ass FOOTBALL coach to Indiana!

  • http://twitter.com/HoosiersIn2012 Brian Stewart

    Calipari is a coward! Not sure Louisville is going to want anything to do with Indiana either. No “high-quality” opponent is going to want to get smashed.

  • IUMIKE1

    If I had been there at the same time he could have bet EACH of us $100.

    You probably would have had to keep grabbing my arm and saying in a low voice, “wait…..wait….. let the noose tighten just a little bit more….ok….NOW”

  • WhatsUpKnight

    i hated the ks hire, i hated the baggage he brought with him, i wasn’t a fan of the types of players he recruited, and i agree i wasn’t a fan of his style of play. even when he had success and managed to snag gordon, it never felt right. it just didn’t feel like indiana basketball.

    think of what iu would be like today if he were still around. we’d probably be a top 25 team with a bunch of thugs.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    y’know, when you line em up like that, i’d say this year’s team is definitely better. but then again, hulls, as great as he is, just ain’t in alford’s stratosphere, and that’s a huge equalizer. they used to run teams to death trying to keep up with him running through all those screens. the dude had to be accounted for at all times, and still averaged over 20 pts a game.

    and maybe eventually we’ll be comparing garrett to hp, eh? they actually kinda look the same. broad shoulders, long arms, and hopefully hp can be an equally phenomenal shot blocker. put a pair of kreigh smith shorts and some old school adidas high-tops on hp and they’d be twins! hahaha

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    That’s true. But it’s not a given.

    Plus, I don’t want to go so far as some other people (*not* you, sheeladipo), who says that IU wouldn’t have gotten Crean or any other valuable coach without Sampson. Programs may tend to slide before returning to their form every once in a while, but they shouldn’t have to become everything they once stood against in order to do so. Remember, folks: Sampson was winning, yet he gets zero allowance from fans now because of everything else. We hit rock bottom because of *THAT*, but we shouldn’t have had to fall that far just to get a good coach eventually. It only worked out that way, it certainly wasn’t foreordained or necessary.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Glass made a great hire. Best AD in many years in Bton. Seems like a good dude. Like that he swears (mildly) on the record.

    Still, all I can think of when I hear the name is those docksiders he had on at the game where he announced Crean’s extension. Ill.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    I agree with that sentiment (Davis led to Sampson led to the abyss), but I’ll do you one better:

    If the administration had ad the cojones to fire Knight in the spring of 2000, instead of waiting until 10 days before the start of the season or whatever, we would have been saved from wandering in the wilderness.

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    You can go back to the mid 70s as well. When Bob Knight came in he had only a few players left and was supposed to be in the middle of the pack. McGinness was the star and he left for the pros and 2-3 others transferred. He built and recruited players he believed in and established a foundation for the program that was impressive. CTC is doing the same now.

    benson – cody

    scott may – watford

    buckner – yogi/remy

    wilkerson – victor

    steve green – jordy

    laskowski – will

    abernathy – austin

    and we also have hanner Perea, mo, and jurkin
    These kids (I knew this 75 team) I believe have similar attitudes and abilities to the group there now. They aspire to be great basketball players but more importantly successful in life.

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