Is it OK to boo Lance Stemler?

  • 11/15/2007 10:48 am in

boo_stems1.jpgI’ve yet to catch an IU game this year — that all changes Friday when DirecTV comes over, hopefully — but by all accounts Lance Stemler had a rough go of it Monday. He was out of position; he looked lost; he didn’t do much of anything right. So, in turn, the boo birds started chirping their sweet song at Assembly Hall. This then raises the question: is it OK to boo him? And futhermore, is it OK to boo any Hoosier basketball player?

I think there’s a few avenues to explore here. We don’t necessarily boo Lance because of how he played Monday. (Well, OK, maybe we do.) But really, we boo him based off what we know he can be — off of past performances. We saw him hit threes with consistency last year, grab key rebounds and display the girt and intangibles important to any team for success. But after his concussion — and add to that the fact he was playing injured for most of the season, unannounced, mind you — that all got lost somewhere in the fray. (Although, he did have a solid NCAA tournament run.) So when we see him out there as a starter and a captain, we expect more.

It’s the same thing with Sean Kline. He came in to IU as a highly-touted in-state recruit. But he never quite panned out and was unmercifully booed almost every step of the way his last year or two inside Assembly Hall. Did he deserve it? Maybe, maybe not. But we gave it to him, because we thought somewhere deep inside of him, there was a better player in there and we so desperately wanted it to come out. In the case of a guy like Ben Allen, there was a smattering of boos here and there last year. (I think, at least.) He never got the assault Kline got — or Stemler is perhaps currently getting — because there was always this hope with him that he was going to get better. His career line graph exists as an opposite to Kline’s and Stemler’s, it was trending upwards. Hey look: he’s trying to be a post player now! If he can just harness that size a bit, this could work out. We kept waiting … it never happened. But see, there was never this expectation with Allen, because he came here as a huge 3-point shooter. He didn’t come to IU as a post project. Think about it: would we ever boo Adam Ahlfeld? Of course not. We don’t expect brilliance from him. We expect him to cheer a lot and chuck up threes at the end of blowouts. We love that about him.

So, in the end, are we justified in our booing of Stemler? I’d lean more towards yes than no. But it’s not because we hate him or want to see him fail. It’s because we know he can succeed. We want him to succeed.

Note: In case you don’t dig into the comments, I was just trying to explain why people boo here and why — as paying fans — they have the right to do so. Probably shouldn’t have used “we” so egregiously. That’s what is probably throwing people off here. I’d certainly never advocate kicking a guy — especially an IU player — while he’s down. That being said: I can see both sides of the argument.

Filed to:

  • mark

    I doubt KS would name Lance a captain if he thought he was just awful in every facet of the game.

    Admittedly, he has struggled so far this year.

  • mark

    I doubt KS would name Lance a captain if he thought he was just awful in every facet of the game.

    Admittedly, he has struggled so far this year.

  • A little more on Stemler, I had a chance to talk to him down at the recruit game at New Albany and he’s a great kid. My guess is that he’s disappointed in how he’s played so far, but realizes that he can help this team by playing defense and going after loose balls. Chattanooga was a bad matchup for him because their bigs were fairly quick. I think he’ll play better and will help this team.

  • A little more on Stemler, I had a chance to talk to him down at the recruit game at New Albany and he’s a great kid. My guess is that he’s disappointed in how he’s played so far, but realizes that he can help this team by playing defense and going after loose balls. Chattanooga was a bad matchup for him because their bigs were fairly quick. I think he’ll play better and will help this team.

  • Craig

    “Chattanooga was a bad matchup for him because their bigs were faily quick:? My lord.

    Shaun Pruitt, Jamelle Cornley, Brian Randle, Kosa Koufos, Patrick Patterson, Randal Falker, Matt Shaw, Mark Coury, Alade Aminu, Jeremu Smith, Mike Williams, Perry Stevenson.

    What do these guys have in common?

    ALL better than the garbage Chattanooga through at IU and ALL will be playing against our beloved Lance Stemler this year.

    I don’t mean to put words in your mouth, but if the point is that Chattanooga was a bad matchup and that is why Stemler played bad, then I guess Stemler will be bad all season.

  • Craig

    “Chattanooga was a bad matchup for him because their bigs were faily quick:? My lord.

    Shaun Pruitt, Jamelle Cornley, Brian Randle, Kosa Koufos, Patrick Patterson, Randal Falker, Matt Shaw, Mark Coury, Alade Aminu, Jeremu Smith, Mike Williams, Perry Stevenson.

    What do these guys have in common?

    ALL better than the garbage Chattanooga through at IU and ALL will be playing against our beloved Lance Stemler this year.

    I don’t mean to put words in your mouth, but if the point is that Chattanooga was a bad matchup and that is why Stemler played bad, then I guess Stemler will be bad all season.

  • J.O. said “Can the people booing do better? Were they better players than Lance when they were playing Division I basketball?” With that kind of logic no player on any bigtime level would get booed.

    Look, I’m not a booing fan, especially college kids, and especially IU college kids. I never shy away from expressing myself, however; either positively or negatively. I like Lance Stemler. He seems like a fine young man, and he does have some skills. But he shouldn’t be starting on this team. The five that Coach Verizon sent out to start the second half should start the game as well. Stemler is a good guy to sub in for a wing player or one of the forwards, but he doesn’t warrant a lot of playing time. At least not on most nights.

  • J.O. said “Can the people booing do better? Were they better players than Lance when they were playing Division I basketball?” With that kind of logic no player on any bigtime level would get booed.

    Look, I’m not a booing fan, especially college kids, and especially IU college kids. I never shy away from expressing myself, however; either positively or negatively. I like Lance Stemler. He seems like a fine young man, and he does have some skills. But he shouldn’t be starting on this team. The five that Coach Verizon sent out to start the second half should start the game as well. Stemler is a good guy to sub in for a wing player or one of the forwards, but he doesn’t warrant a lot of playing time. At least not on most nights.

  • Newt

    Go root for Kentucky. There’s no f***ing place as IU fan if you boo you own players. Period.

  • Newt

    Go root for Kentucky. There’s no f***ing place as IU fan if you boo you own players. Period.

  • Newt

    Go root for Kentucky. There’s no f***ing place as IU fan if you boo you own players. Period.

  • Ben Bic

    Booing is low class or NO class.

  • Ben Bic

    Booing is low class or NO class.

  • Ben Bic

    Booing is low class or NO class.

  • Ben Bic

    Booing is low class or NO class.

  • ray

    i didn’t have time to read all these responses just yet, so i hope i’m not simply repeating what has already been said. i wanted to mention that kline too suffered an injury and was forever affected by it. it is terrible and tasteless to think that booing your own players is okay. they are on our side remember. it’s not as if they go out trying to make iu lose. these players are in bloomington because they wanted to wear iu colors. i can see booing someone who is throwing the game over some illegal gambling, but come on! these guys are out here trying to fight for a position…of which stemlar is losing right now. i think the worst of it is geared to sampson. sampson sees something in stemlar that fans do not, and the fans want him benched in order to play someone with a bigger impact. i can understand this, but let’s not boo our own players…how pathetic!

  • ray

    i didn’t have time to read all these responses just yet, so i hope i’m not simply repeating what has already been said. i wanted to mention that kline too suffered an injury and was forever affected by it. it is terrible and tasteless to think that booing your own players is okay. they are on our side remember. it’s not as if they go out trying to make iu lose. these players are in bloomington because they wanted to wear iu colors. i can see booing someone who is throwing the game over some illegal gambling, but come on! these guys are out here trying to fight for a position…of which stemlar is losing right now. i think the worst of it is geared to sampson. sampson sees something in stemlar that fans do not, and the fans want him benched in order to play someone with a bigger impact. i can understand this, but let’s not boo our own players…how pathetic!

  • ray

    EVERYONE LOOK AT JOEL’S POINT!!!!! AND THEN, GO OUT AND TELL ALL OF YOUR BOOING BUDDIES TO LOOK AT JOEL’S POINT!!!! Stemler-boos have more of a harmful impact on IU and its basketball program than any of Stemler’s mistakes.

    Now, on that note…someone tell Sampson to start someone else and bring Stemler off the bench.

    By the way, I’m still to this day terribly disgusted by the IU UN-faithful that booed Kline. He did not deserve it, the poor guy suffered severe injuries and still gave everything he had…which unfortunately for him wasn’t enough for him to live up to the hype placed on him. To give you an idea of his loyalty to IU, I’ve seen him with my own two eyes at the last two Hoosier Hysterias in the crowd…and sadly…he was booed when he wore the cream and crimson.

  • ray

    EVERYONE LOOK AT JOEL’S POINT!!!!! AND THEN, GO OUT AND TELL ALL OF YOUR BOOING BUDDIES TO LOOK AT JOEL’S POINT!!!! Stemler-boos have more of a harmful impact on IU and its basketball program than any of Stemler’s mistakes.

    Now, on that note…someone tell Sampson to start someone else and bring Stemler off the bench.

    By the way, I’m still to this day terribly disgusted by the IU UN-faithful that booed Kline. He did not deserve it, the poor guy suffered severe injuries and still gave everything he had…which unfortunately for him wasn’t enough for him to live up to the hype placed on him. To give you an idea of his loyalty to IU, I’ve seen him with my own two eyes at the last two Hoosier Hysterias in the crowd…and sadly…he was booed when he wore the cream and crimson.

  • Craig

    Ray,

    So you’re saying that a verbal noise that a person NOT DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THE GAME is more harmful than a certain playing missing open 3’s continually, losing his man on defense, turning the ball over, etc?

    I’m sure this isn’t what you are implying, so please clarify your point. Thanks.

  • Craig

    Ray,

    So you’re saying that a verbal noise that a person NOT DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THE GAME is more harmful than a certain playing missing open 3’s continually, losing his man on defense, turning the ball over, etc?

    I’m sure this isn’t what you are implying, so please clarify your point. Thanks.

  • Luke

    I have not been happy with Stemler’s play at all this year so far. Even at HH and the open practice he seemed slow and out of position most of the time. That being said I don’t think anyone should ever boo a college athlete on there team. He is a senior who came to Indiana to try to win a national championship and should not be booed by the hoosier faithful.

  • Luke

    I have not been happy with Stemler’s play at all this year so far. Even at HH and the open practice he seemed slow and out of position most of the time. That being said I don’t think anyone should ever boo a college athlete on there team. He is a senior who came to Indiana to try to win a national championship and should not be booed by the hoosier faithful.

  • jaime gongora

    I know that if I gave my heart to my school and I’m booed I’d be preety bumbed out. You have to remember Lance is just a 21 year old kid. Imagine getting booed at a game and you have to go to class the next day wondering if people hate your guts because your not playing to par ( and believe me there are people who are like that. Even among the Hoosier faithfull). You give me a kid who plays hard ( and he is ), you never will hear me boo that individual, and if I was at the stadium ( because its the shy new yorker in me) I would have cursed out everyone who tried. If people do want take out frustration on someone do it to Kelvin Sampson. Our coach is an adult and he’s used to it ( it’s part of the job). I agree that Stemler did not play well, but leave to Coach Sampson to make the decision to bench him or not.

    I never really liked Coach Knight socially but I remember the final time he played against Purdue. I had great seats behind the bench, and I remember the student section making fun of the Purdue center Brian Cardinal by say F…….k Cardinal. After a couple times, Coach Knight got up ran towards the student section, and told them ( in a coach knight type of way) ” Hey Shut the F..K up, and leave the kid alone. He’s just a F…king kid”. The student section shut up, and a lesson was learned.
    Anywho thats my opinion, and Ill leave it at that.

  • brosallman

    I want to party with Mike H.

  • brosallman

    I want to party with Mike H.

  • jaime gongora

    I know that if I gave my heart to my school and I’m booed I’d be preety bumbed out. You have to remember Lance is just a 21 year old kid. Imagine getting booed at a game and you have to go to class the next day wondering if people hate your guts because your not playing to par ( and believe me there are people who are like that. Even among the Hoosier faithfull). You give me a kid who plays hard ( and he is ), you never will hear me boo that individual, and if I was at the stadium ( because its the shy new yorker in me) I would have cursed out everyone who tried. If people do want take out frustration on someone do it to Kelvin Sampson. Our coach is an adult and he’s used to it ( it’s part of the job). I agree that Stemler did not play well, but leave to Coach Sampson to make the decision to bench him or not.

    I never really liked Coach Knight socially but I remember the final time he played against Purdue. I had great seats behind the bench, and I remember the student section making fun of the Purdue center Brian Cardinal by say F…….k Cardinal. After a couple times, Coach Knight got up ran towards the student section, and told them ( in a coach knight type of way) ” Hey Shut the F..K up, and leave the kid alone. He’s just a F…king kid”. The student section shut up, and a lesson was learned.
    Anywho thats my opinion, and Ill leave it at that.

  • brosallman

    I want to party with Mike H.

  • Hoosier Hound

    Jaime,

    Did that really happen? Because Brian Cardinal has to be one of the most hated Purdue players ever. He would go into Assembly Hall and egg the crowd on, he thrived off the road atmosphere. Plus, he played like eight years at Purdue. It was fun to watch him progress from thinning hair to true baldness during his college career.

  • Hoosier Hound

    Jaime,

    Did that really happen? Because Brian Cardinal has to be one of the most hated Purdue players ever. He would go into Assembly Hall and egg the crowd on, he thrived off the road atmosphere. Plus, he played like eight years at Purdue. It was fun to watch him progress from thinning hair to true baldness during his college career.

  • jaime gongora

    Oh don’t get me wrong, he was a jerk, but the story is true.

  • jaime gongora

    Oh don’t get me wrong, he was a jerk, but the story is true.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Inside the Hall
    Great web site. I have been one of your biggest fans since you started and will be there til the end. I love the site for several reasons, accuracy and speed of postings about IU, blogness of the site (interaction via comments), links to other sites, etc. I have not commented on every topic nor will I. I’ll get right to the point. There has been only two times that this site has gotten sidewides with me, once was when vulgarity was used and the other is now. I know you mentioned that postmanR didn’t mean it literally but as a topic. But if you read the rest of the article it does state it several times about how “we” boo certain players. I have to agree with so many that we never boo any player for any action, period. I think all the comments that have been written give you great insight about your readers and how they feel, I don’t need to beat that horse. Plus you have never had more comments about a subject than this one, never. Regardless, keep up the good work and let’s move forward.

    I do have a question? You have a section for advertising but I don’t see many ads. What type of customers are you looking for? Myself, I am an outside sales rep for a company and own two businesses. My biz are a Nursery and a Landscape co. I really don’t think it would behoove me to advertise on this site due to my general location. The reason I ask is that you have to finanically support this site and was wondering how we can support your efforts?
    bc

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Inside the Hall
    Great web site. I have been one of your biggest fans since you started and will be there til the end. I love the site for several reasons, accuracy and speed of postings about IU, blogness of the site (interaction via comments), links to other sites, etc. I have not commented on every topic nor will I. I’ll get right to the point. There has been only two times that this site has gotten sidewides with me, once was when vulgarity was used and the other is now. I know you mentioned that postmanR didn’t mean it literally but as a topic. But if you read the rest of the article it does state it several times about how “we” boo certain players. I have to agree with so many that we never boo any player for any action, period. I think all the comments that have been written give you great insight about your readers and how they feel, I don’t need to beat that horse. Plus you have never had more comments about a subject than this one, never. Regardless, keep up the good work and let’s move forward.

    I do have a question? You have a section for advertising but I don’t see many ads. What type of customers are you looking for? Myself, I am an outside sales rep for a company and own two businesses. My biz are a Nursery and a Landscape co. I really don’t think it would behoove me to advertise on this site due to my general location. The reason I ask is that you have to finanically support this site and was wondering how we can support your efforts?
    bc

  • Tarheels12

    Congrats Hoosiers, you’re as classy as your cheating coach!

  • Tarheels12

    Congrats Hoosiers, you’re as classy as your cheating coach!

  • jaime gongora

    Um I go to UNC for Grad school. The junk you guys pulled on matt doherty and how your alumni disregard current students right to decent student seating is criminal. Don’t talk crap because you guys have your own issues that you still refuse to deal with. Why the heck are you even on this site? You must be bored.

  • jaime gongora

    Um I go to UNC for Grad school. The junk you guys pulled on matt doherty and how your alumni disregard current students right to decent student seating is criminal. Don’t talk crap because you guys have your own issues that you still refuse to deal with. Why the heck are you even on this site? You must be bored.

  • Heelsoverrated

    shouldn’t you be squeaking by an unranked team or something?

  • Heelsoverrated

    shouldn’t you be squeaking by an unranked team or something?

  • Heelsoverrated

    shouldn’t you be squeaking by an unranked team or something?

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Guys, Don’t let the Tarheel @$$ bring out the worse in us. He is only trying to get us to go down to his level of conversation. Bit the tongue and he will go away.
    bc

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Guys, Don’t let the Tarheel @$$ bring out the worse in us. He is only trying to get us to go down to his level of conversation. Bit the tongue and he will go away.
    bc

  • PMK

    Admittedly, this is a minute point, but let’s be honest about one thing: Lance turns 23 in about a month, so let’s put to bed the “he’s only a kid” talk. Lance is a division one basketball player for Indiana University. This is big boy time. No more poo-poo Lance, you’re a 21 year old bean sprout just waiting to grow your first armpit hair.

    It has been said amongst the comments that its not OK to boo Lance because he is some sort unpaid charity case busting his butt for the glory of ole’ IU. Perhaps you should ask a student currently attending IU who has taken out loans to pay for the $100,000+ total of out of state tuition he or she will be required to pay back upon graduation. Ask that person what they think of Lance being looked at as some sort of higher order because he isn’t “paid” and “busts his butt”, and oh wait, he’s just a 23 year-old kid.

    IU is known throughout the country as the most passionate basketball fan base in the land. And yes, this includes booing when you aren’t doing your job. It’s part of the IU culture and believe it or not, basketball players crave that attention. Be great, and there will be no place better. Be bad, and you will hear about it because people care.

    I have an acquaintance who recently finished from Iowa’s basketball program. We talked about a similar situation and he said (a bit paraphrased): “I would have killed to get booed in Iowa City, even by our own fans. At least that meant they cared what was going on and let us know people gave a —- about our team. The worst thing was busting your butt all week in practice then showing up to a dead arena with a fan base who didn’t care whether you won or lost.”

    If Lance can’t take the heat, I know there are plenty of others in the basketball world who would kill for the chance to take his spot in the kitchen – even if it meant getting booed once or twice.

  • PMK

    Admittedly, this is a minute point, but let’s be honest about one thing: Lance turns 23 in about a month, so let’s put to bed the “he’s only a kid” talk. Lance is a division one basketball player for Indiana University. This is big boy time. No more poo-poo Lance, you’re a 21 year old bean sprout just waiting to grow your first armpit hair.

    It has been said amongst the comments that its not OK to boo Lance because he is some sort unpaid charity case busting his butt for the glory of ole’ IU. Perhaps you should ask a student currently attending IU who has taken out loans to pay for the $100,000+ total of out of state tuition he or she will be required to pay back upon graduation. Ask that person what they think of Lance being looked at as some sort of higher order because he isn’t “paid” and “busts his butt”, and oh wait, he’s just a 23 year-old kid.

    IU is known throughout the country as the most passionate basketball fan base in the land. And yes, this includes booing when you aren’t doing your job. It’s part of the IU culture and believe it or not, basketball players crave that attention. Be great, and there will be no place better. Be bad, and you will hear about it because people care.

    I have an acquaintance who recently finished from Iowa’s basketball program. We talked about a similar situation and he said (a bit paraphrased): “I would have killed to get booed in Iowa City, even by our own fans. At least that meant they cared what was going on and let us know people gave a —- about our team. The worst thing was busting your butt all week in practice then showing up to a dead arena with a fan base who didn’t care whether you won or lost.”

    If Lance can’t take the heat, I know there are plenty of others in the basketball world who would kill for the chance to take his spot in the kitchen – even if it meant getting booed once or twice.

  • Tarheels12

    Think Sampson will set up a three-way call with he and his parents to straighten this out?

  • Tarheels12

    Think Sampson will set up a three-way call with he and his parents to straighten this out?

  • Tarheels12

    Think Sampson will set up a three-way call with he and his parents to straighten this out?

  • JUDE

    Booing is appropriate for poor effort especially. The sort of coddling that goes on toward IU hoops in the media and apparently among their fans is very provincial. The world as I have come to know it just does not always work in this unconditionally supportive way. Poor effort and poor results deserve to elicit expressions of disappointment. Teenagers in the work-world find out all the time there are hurtful, negative consequences for poor job performance. When I was a teenager I was fired from KFC for putting chicken in the dishwater. It hurt my feelings to get fired. Basketball is the job of IU basketball players. They receive scholarships. They come to IU hoping to be in the spotlight. This team has a decent chance to win championships. I will be very disappointed if they do not due to poor effort. Here is my comment on the first half of that Chatanooga game: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  • JUDE

    Booing is appropriate for poor effort especially. The sort of coddling that goes on toward IU hoops in the media and apparently among their fans is very provincial. The world as I have come to know it just does not always work in this unconditionally supportive way. Poor effort and poor results deserve to elicit expressions of disappointment. Teenagers in the work-world find out all the time there are hurtful, negative consequences for poor job performance. When I was a teenager I was fired from KFC for putting chicken in the dishwater. It hurt my feelings to get fired. Basketball is the job of IU basketball players. They receive scholarships. They come to IU hoping to be in the spotlight. This team has a decent chance to win championships. I will be very disappointed if they do not due to poor effort. Here is my comment on the first half of that Chatanooga game: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!