Louisville Cardinals Archive
In June at the IU Tailgate Tour stop at Huber Farms in Starlight, Ind., Tom Crean mentioned the possibility of a future meeting with Louisville in the Jimmy V Classic in New York.
And in August, we learned that the Hoosiers had signed on to play in the 2014 version of the event.
At the time, Louisville’s senior associate athletic director, Kenny Klein, said a report by The Indianapolis Star that the Cardinals would participate in the event was “premature.”
Earlier today in a press conference, Louisville coach Rick Pitino confirmed that his team will indeed play Indiana in the 2014 Jimmy V Classic, which is set to take place on Dec. 9 at Madison Square Garden.
It will be the third straight season for the Hoosiers to play a game in the New York area.
In 2012-2013, the Hoosiers beat Georgia and Georgetown in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center. This season, IU beat Washington and lost to Connecticut at Madison Square Garden. And next winter, Indiana and Louisville will meet for the first time since 2003.
Indiana will also play a neutral court game next season against Butler on Dec. 20 in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Ever since Indiana’s talks about continuing a series with Kentucky broke down, athletics director Fred Glass and Tom Crean have been working to find another marquee non-conference opponent.
Glass and Crean may have finally found one, though not for this upcoming season.
As first reported by The Indianapolis Star, Indiana will play in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in December of 2014. Indiana will receive $200,000 for playing in the event from an agreement with ESPN. The Star gained access to the contract via a public records request from the school’s legal department.
The Star’s report said Indiana’s Jimmy V Classic opponent would be Louisville, which Inside the Hall reported as a possibility back in June.
But Louisville has not yet signed an agreement to play in the event, associate athletic director Kenny Klein told WDRB’s Rick Bozich Wednesday night.
“We have had discussions about playing in that event but do not have an agreement,” Klein told Bozich. “That’s premature.”
Louisville has been discussed as a potential home-and-home candidate for Indiana ever since Kentucky was dropped from the schedule, but no such agreement has been reached to this point.
An Indiana-Louisville matchup could still happen in 2014 at Madison Square Garden, but it’s too soon to say it’s a done deal.
“To say that we have a deal to play that game is premature,” Klein told Bozich.
(Update: Rick Pitino to C.L. Brown of The Louisville Courier-Journal on playing IU at MSG: ”Excited to be playing back in a special arena where we won back-to-back Big East championships.”)
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.”
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?
2011 Lawrence North big man Michael Chandler is back on the board.
Chandler, the No. 13 player in his class according to Scout.com, committed to Louisville in January of 2009 but has decided to re-open the process. Evan Daniels broke the story and offered up this insight from Chandler:
“I mean I feel as though I’m still committed to Louisville. But I’m open for other schools to recruit me. Sort of like the Austin Rivers situation.”
It’ll be interesting to see if Indiana can get into the discussion for Chandler. At 6-11, 210, he would obviously go a long way in helping the Hoosiers improve their frontcourt situation.
University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino held a press conference earlier this afternoon on campus at the Yum! Center, the school’s basketball practice facility. Pitino, as you know, is in a bit of a PR mess.
Normally, a Pitino press conference wouldn’t be considered news to IU hoops fans, but this particular spectacle can only be described as bizarre. Let’s go to the footage:
So, what was accomplished here? The Pitino-Karen Sypher story had started to find its way to the back page after Pitino’s public apology two weeks ago. Now a defiant Pitino has come out with his teeth gnashing towards perhaps his biggest ally since the story broke in April: the media. Probably not an advisable move, no?
Le Weekend is Inside the Hall’s look at what’s ahead this weekend in college hoops. It’s also a perfect opportunity to post pictures of hot chicks, like Jessica Biel.
- Not a lot going on in Hoosierland this weekend, but there is a game going on down in Lexington, Kentucky that could be interesting for those of you not obsessed with the NFL playoffs. Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals will travel to Rupp Arena to take on Billy Gillispie and the Kentucky Wildcats. Neither team is off to a good start, Louisville is 9-4 and Kentucky is 6-6. Louisville is coming off of a head scratching loss to Cincinnati at home and Kentucky has already dropped games at Rupp to Gardner Webb and San Diego. I’ve got no clue who will come out on top in this one (is it possible for both teams to lose?), but a loss from Kentucky pretty much seals their fate as a NIT-at-best team and a loss for Louisville will look terrible to the selection committee come March.
- The Big Ten schedule kicks into full gear with the following games:
- Saturday: Iowa @ Wisconsin; Michigan @ Purdue; Minnesota @ Michigan State
- Sunday: Northwestern @ Ohio State; Penn State @ Illinois
Nothing really great, but it’ll be interesting to see how Tubby Smith and the Gophers fare in the Breslin Center. My prediction: not very good.
- One final note: Indiana receiver James Hardy has moved on to the NFL and we’d like to wish him the best of luck. He’s got the necessary skill set to have a long and successful career at the next level and we can only hope he ends up on the Bears. Sorry Colts fans.
See you Monday.