What qualifies as a successful season?

  • 10/22/2008 7:00 am in

If there is anything we know about the Hoosiers this season, it is that we know nothing. As much as we may have seen Tom Pritchard in his ESPN game last year as a senior in high school, or as much as we saw Kyle Taber rebound and play oh so hard defense as a Hoosier last season, we know nothing.

Watching the Hoosier Hysteria video, I felt like a bartender. All the regulars patrons had left my stools belly up at the bar, replaced by a bunch of riffraffs and vagabonds. (In this scenario, I own an Irish pub and wear a bowler hat and have the best fish and chips in the city.)

However, I think we can all agree on one thing: we aren’t going to be good at all this year. This is OK; we are in the stages of rebuilding and Tom Crean has done a pretty fantastic job with the 2009 class. Expectation are low, and I think we’re all still excited for the season, as bad as it may end up being.

So, on this brisk October morning, I pose this to you: what qualifies as a successful season for these Hoosiers, one that surpasses these low expectations? My thoughts: .500. That is a success. A huge success. Anywhere in the ballpark of 10-13 wins is what I’d call hitting expectations. But besides wins and losses, where can we turn?

A few other thoughts: Beating Illinois at home, going a whole year without any drama or suspensions and stealing a game somewhere and ruining a contender in the Big Ten’s quest for a title. Also, hitting a shot with 1.5 second remaining in the Big Ten tournament to beat Indiana. (OH WAIT NEVERMIND.)

So, what do y’all think?

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  • BFowler

    I have been looking at this season as a success if they get better by the end of the year and show they can play as a team to make the fans proud to say, “That's OUR team.” We all know they are going to lose A LOT this year, but to me, after the year we had, (excluding DJ, EJ, etc.) a clean year, without any more NCAA sactions, would be successful, as long as they compete, play hard, and try to represent the university and the fans who support them as quality human beings. (Although, I am hoping for 15 wins).

    As a side note, I went back and looked at some sites about 13-15 months ago to see what the posts were regarding Sampson and it seems to me that a lot of the same things were being said about Sampson then as are being said about Crean now. Sampson did his golf tournament to which many people were raving about how he was trying to bring together Hoosier Nation. Sampson had the stellar recruiting class with EJ, Crawford, Ellis, etc. We were all raving about how he could pull in those recruits under saction, isn't it amazing? Oh, and he brought back the awards banquet, boy the players must love him. I just thought it was interesting the parallel.

    I think two things, Hoosier fans are about the most optimistic fans I have ever seen. They believe things are on the up and up because they love their team and tradition so much. In addition, Coach Crean brings a different aire to the arena, his energy and enthusiasm are contageous, I hope he doesn't burn out, because I am myopic and I want this to work out. Finally, I hope, (I am cautiously optimistic) that we are not going to be eating these words (about the job Crean is doing) in 13-15 months.

  • hoosier07

    What I am REALLY hoping for this season: 1) 14-16 wins 2) beating Illinois on both the road and at home 3) beating wisconsin on a buzzer beater (revenge for last years home loss) 4) a GPA above 3.0 5) a TC push for a better student section in '09 6) NO MORE SUSPENSIONS, NCAA CHARGES, TRANSFERS, etc… oh wait, KS is gone! those won't happen anymore!! 🙂

  • That play against Minnesota still gives me nightmares.

  • JerryCT

    I agree with you completely. I think it is destructive to measure this team and season based on # wins or who we beat. DOing this will make the season long and no fun.

    I will base my feeling of success on 1) playing together as a team,2) playing hard and competing 40 minutes every game, 3 )showing ability to improve and 4) entertaining us with some personality like:

    – Pritchard does a behind the back pass to Jones for a layup
    – Jobe breaks somebody's nose ( on the other team )
    – Roth hits 5 shots from near half court like a new Jimmy Rayl
    – Williams avgs 13 pts , 11 of which are from the foul line

  • Hoosier76

    I was on the other end of the court when Hoff from Minnesota put that up…that whole last sequence was disgusting. But, seeing sustained improvement from the tip of the first exhibition game to the last game of the season is what I will be looking for. Executing the plays and learning more and more of CTC's entire play book would also be extremely positive for next year.

  • southsidehitmen

    I think it'll be important for some of the guys on this team to prove they're big time players. The 09 class looks good, but they'll be just as raw as this years class.

    Guys like Williams, Jones III and Pritchard need to establish that they are legitimate D1 players this year. Wins and losses aside, if a few guys on this years team can do that, the pressure won't be as great for the freshman next year, and it would set up a nice base for the next four years.

  • I don't think you'll get your wish of no drama. Look at the Manuri/Cheek/oversigning issue. Crean is going to take heat for that. Every week there will be Open Record and FOIA requests filed for any and all secondary violations the basketball team is committing. They will make a mistake, they're being watched like hawks, and when they do, a significant and vocal minority of fans is going to pull out their torches and pitchforks. It could be that Crean ran 30 minutes over his practice time for a week, but it won't matter.

    I ask that this team not get embarrassed too often. Just be competitive, especially at home. If we're getting waxed by 20 against anyone but Michigan State at home, that's going to be a tough pill to swallow.

  • JerryCT

    Good point . I would also look to what the sports media begins to say about IU in late season. Will they say we done enough this year to be realistically optimistic about next year or will they say it will be several years before we recover.

    Unfortunately media hype one way or the other begins to become a self fulfilling prophesy.

  • Kelin Blab

    Successful season-

    1. No violations
    2. Improved Academic performance
    3. Competitive…..no 30 point blow outs
    4. Strong Stance at home
    5. Beat PU
    6. Beat Illinois
    7. Establish team and player identities

  • Sallad

    After the high expectations and devastating let down of last season, this October feels very different to me. Here's a few things that I would look for to consider this season a success:

    1. Good academic performance
    2. No suspensions
    3. Beat Illinois at home (Okay, we can be successful without this, but I really, really want it to happen)
    4. Obvious improvement over the season. Comparing our Maui performances against the thick of the Big Ten season will be interesting.
    5. A .500 record would be a knock-down, drag-out success in my opinion, and Coach Crean would be a candidate for Big Ten Coach of the Year.

    Okay, looking back at those, it's pitiful that even had to include the first two. Those should be givens. Unfortunately, last season's made me a pessimist.

  • jgongora86

    I'm not going to care about wins or losses this season. I just want to see hustle and a better flow on the offensive side of the court as the season develops. If we can't score because of our lack of athletic ability, I can live with that. However as the season progreses I want our defense to contest every shot and do better job of closing out space.
    As far as Illinois is concerend I would like to beat them at home, but all I have to is IU National Championships 5. Illinois- a big goose egg.

  • tberry

    IU will be successful it we see a disciplined, hard working, smart team that continues to show improvement and hopefully spurts of greatness. Go Hoosiers!!! Go Coach Crean!!!

  • B_MD

    I'm going to judge the season by competitiveness and progress. I expect IU to lose early in the season and probably by larger margins since they're so young and inexperienced.

    The question will be when IU gets deep into the Big Ten season and the losses are mounting, are they still playing hard? Are they able to go on the road and put a scare into some people when nothing is expected of them? Those will be the signs of progress and heart.

  • RGH

    I want to be that team that is considered very dangerous to play. We will be aggressive and competitive. If you take us lightly, we'll beat you. A team where we will pull some upsets. A team that during the Big 10 Tournament, the other team that draws us is not feeling good about it.

    That will be a successful season.

  • dabig

    I'll settle for #1.

  • Kelin Blab

    J…just to prep you bro, I have heard crean say quite a few times now…they will shoot a lot of 3's this year and they will have to rebound and push the ball. So don't be surprised if you get …dare I say…a mike davis feel intially…

  • TheFightingHoosiers

    It's easy to write off this season when you're looking purely at the numbers, but lets think about this. These players are heading into a season where no one knows their names or what they can do. I mean, what are the chances that an Indiana team will have no expectations going into a season again in our lifetimes?

    These players have nothing to lose (except most of the games) and everything to gain. That doesn't mean I expect to see them win 20, but it could make for an interesting season with a team that works hard and plays for the right reasons (something you don't ever see anymore unless you put in your remastered Hoosiers dvd…).

    I guess a successful season to me would be growth and identity as a team, good grades, and an upset of a NCAA-bound team (Purdue??).

  • jgongora86

    you are correct sir. This year to be quite honest, I have no idea what to expect. I'll just be happy to see coach capable of coaching a team. Thats it.

  • asking for #5 is like asking IU football to beat Penn State this year.

    i hope IU is able to stay within 20 of Purdue at Mackey.

  • chimoose

    I'd hang out in that bar.

  • I'd hang out in that bar.