The indefinite suspension is over. Turns out, it really wasn’t all that indefinite after all. After sitting out two games for throwing elbows in a couple of different games, most notably against Michigan State, Devan Dumes will return for Thursday’s home game against Wisconsin.
Indiana coach Tom Crean talked about the decision this afternoon and our friend Chris Korman captured the words from IU’s leader:
“We think we’ve covered the ground that needed to be covered,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said after practice today.
The notion of an “indefinite” suspension seemed a bit ridiculous from the get-go. Sure, Dumes deserved to sit out a few games, but he wasn’t exactly throwing haymakers out there. As Crean talked about following the Illinois game, he wanted to make sure that he, the Big Ten (or Jim Delaney) and Fred Glass all felt comfortable with the punishment and apparently two games was the magic number.
In the latest issue of ESPN the Mag — on newsstands now! — there’s a small bit on page 71 about five players affected by Kelvin Sampson’s Indiana hiring and subsequent resignation: Devin Ebanks, Terrell Holloway, Scottie Reynolds, Damion James and Tyshawn Taylor.
Today online, a few companion pieces ran along with it. Including two from me. The first is a column about what it meant for me to be a fan during Sampson’s reign of calling, and what Tom Crean has taught me. A sample:
I’d always heard about the Indiana Tradition or doing things the Indiana Way, but I’d usually roll my eyes at such pronouncements, thinking of them as nothing more but tired, clichéd statements from Bob Knight disciples. I’m a bit of a cynical guy.
Times had changed, I thought. It’s OK to bend the rules in recruiting, as long as you win, as long as you don’t get caught. It’s OK you don’t fit the Indiana mold, doing things the right way with dignity and class, as long as you win. It’s OK to bring in players of questionable character, as long as you win.
This is what the Kelvin Sampson era was at Indiana: win at all costs. And I was hooked, cast under his spell, because that’s all I wanted for my team, too. I wanted to win.
Second is four others affected by Sampson, but like the original piece in the actual print version, is behind ESPN’s Insider wall. Boo.
Lastly, Scott Powers wrote a tremendous story about all the guys who left last year, catching us up with their situations. He got a lot of quotes from Brandon McGee. That guy is behind the Insider wall too.
The moral of this post is that ESPN is putting a lot more of their stuff behind Insider’s wall this year. You’ve been warned, sports consumer.
Oh, and if you want another take on the whole Deadspin topic, Midwest Sports Fan has an indepth look at it today.
It’s been a good start to the week here at ITH: Ryan’s rebuttal of the totally off-base Deadspin piece, Bawa Muniru chatter, Dominique Keller’s apparent hatred for IU and continuation of the EJ media tour. With another off day for our Hoosiers before Thursday’s home tilt with the Badgers, it’s time to open it up and get your take on a few topics.
+ Will IU win another regular season game? (For those of you without a pocket schedule handy, here are the remaining games: vs Wisconsin, at Purdue, vs Northwestern, at Penn State, vs Michigan State and at Wisconsin.)
+ A preseason poll, in which 1,021 of you voted, showed that 73% believed that IU would win 11 or more games this season. Looking back on that poll, were you A) wearing your cream and crimson sunglasses which clouded your vision and led you to believe IU would be better than this? or B) realistic with your expectations, but IU has underachieved.
+ And finally, when will Devan Dumes play again? Will it be tomorrow against Wisconsin? Or is he due another game on the pine?
Yesterday, I wrote a rebuttal to Rick Chandler’s post on Deadspin about how he thinks IU will never be able to recruit again, how Tom Crean wasn’t the answer and a few other things that didn’t sit too favorably with a lot of you. Rick received a lot of hate mail from Indiana fans since he decided to post that, and he explained himself this afternoon. You can read it right here.
Basically, he spent most of the piece gushing about his love for Bob Knight, and how he’s interviewed and talked to Knight and how Knight just loved his questions, and since Indiana Basketball As We Know It went out the door with Knight, we apparently can never be successful again. Oh, and he’s actually been to Bloomington, too. A sample:
On your next point, how Crean has this great freshman class coming in, I’ll give you that. Should have mentioned it. And Indiana will improve next season. But that doesn’t change the main theme; that Indiana basketball as you have known it is gone, probably forever. In terms of wins and losses, we’ve reached the end of an era. Oh, Bloomington will still be a great basketball town, but what I mean by basketball backwater is that the Hoosiers will always take a back seat to Duke and North Carolina and UCLA and even Wake Forest and UConn. Email me the next time Indiana reaches the Elite Eight. I’ll be waiting.
[ ... ]
No, that magical, John Feinsteinian year of 1987 is gone forever, and not Tom Crean nor the return of Steve Alford or Norman Dale himself is bringing it back. Knight lifted the program by the weight of his genius. Yeah, he had blue chippers, but the bulk of his rosters were always populated by JC transfers (Keith Smart, Dean Garrett) and local kids (Bailey, Joe Hillman, Alford) which he took and beat the likes of Syracuse and Shaquille O’Neal’s LSU in the Big Dance. Sure, you’ll continue to pack Assembly Hall, but do you think that success is coming back?
[ ... ]
So if I’m wrong about Crean and Indiana, I’ll be the first to say so, and the Hoosier Reds will be on me. But be aware that you’re in my wheelhouse on this one. I’ve been watching the situation for more than 20 years. And I’ve been taking notes.
Well, there you have it. We’ll never be successful again because Bob Knight isn’t around. Though, make sure to keep Mr. Chandler’s email address handy in case we miracuously make the Elite Eight ever again. He is, after all, taking notes on all this.
I’ve always thought that the NBA — its media, its day-to-day traveling, its camaraderie — exposes personality far better than the NCAA’s sheltered world. That may be more true in some cases than others, but as a rule, I think it fits. And I think it explains how we know more about Eric Gordon now than we did when he was living in Bloomington and playing his basketball under our obsessive gazes.
For example, I knew Gordon was a quiet, reserved dude, but who knew he had never seen “Lord of the Rings?” Come on, man. It’s “Lord of the Rings!” You get the point.
Anyway, the L.A. Times has another in the current string of Gordon media profiles, and this one reveals, well, I don’t know, that his dad used to have an afro and short-shorts, and that’s the only thing that separates him and his son? That his teammates call him “the quietest Clipper?” I don’t know. The whole thing is just sort of weird and funny, and you should be sure to give it a read.
Eric Gordon: You, sir, are a mysterious fig.
Believe it or not, we actually get some emails here at ITH from time to time. Normally, they fall into two categories: 1) Here is a link to an article I would post if I was an editor. I think you should post it. NOW! 2) Can you please break down said player and give me some more information like his stats and whether or not he’ll play right away when he gets to Bloomington. Also, a link to his Facebook page would be good, too.
This afternoon, I’m going to address número dos. The subject: Bawa Muniru. Here is a sampling of the questions you’ve submitted, either via email or by your comments followed by my responses.
What is the deal with Bawa? I have not seen any video or stats.
The deal with Bawa is that he’s a 7-footer with tremendous upside, but at this point, he’s extremely limited offensively. He’s not Tijan Jobe limited, but he’s got some work to do and with the help of Roshown McLeod, I’d expect him to improve immensely in that aspect of his game. As far as video goes, this clip, which basically shows him throwing down a couple of thunderous dunks is all I’ve been able to scrounge up. The reason his stats haven’t been reported is that very few, if any, newspapers cover Mt. Zion Academy’s basketball team and the school’s Web site doesn’t report stats.