Around the Hall: IU’s disconnect, blue blood status and more

  • 02/24/2017 9:26 am in

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff.

Indiana’s disconnect is difficult to explain, Mike Miller of The Herald-Times writes:

In a season where the Big Ten is, for the most part, a muddled mess of mediocrity, Indiana’s only course for salvaging something meaningful would be a run through the conference tournament, which begins in two weeks. Even for an IU program that hasn’t won two games in the Big Ten Tournament since 2003, it’s not out of the question given the landscape of the league.

Getting to that point, however, will require a fix that Indiana has so far appeared incapable of administering.

With three regular-season games remaining — and losses in seven of the past eight games — there is a palpable disconnection within IU’s program.

Terry Hutchens of CHNI writes that the noise around Tom Crean is getting louder:

A season that once looked as if it would certainly end in the NCAA Tournament now has IU fans wondering if the Hoosiers can qualify for the NIT.

As I drove across I-74 from Iowa City Wednesday afternoon, I got a sampling of the noise as I tuned into four different sports talk shows in the Indianapolis area over a six-hour stretch. Dan Dakich, like he did on the ESPN telecast Tuesday night, said he believed it was more of a problem of players not buying in than it was the fault of Crean. The tone on the other shows was more of wondering aloud if Crean can survive the current debacle in Bloomington.

If you just went with the sentiment on social media, he probably would not.

Zach Osterman of The Indianapolis Star dives into this question: Long a blue-blood, what is IU basketball now?

As long as Indiana alumni spend to support a blue-blood program, and the school enjoys the facilities advantages of a blue-blood program, allocates the recruiting budget of a blue-blood program and draws the fan support of a blue-blood program, Glass will continue to expect it to perform like a blue-blood program.

Which brings us back to fans’ current frustrations.

The decay in results under Bob Knight’s final six years, followed by the briefly bright but largely underwhelming tenure of Mike Davis, followed by the Kelvin Sampson debacle, pushed Indiana out of the Big Ten’s top spot. Given the root-and-branch rebuild Crean had to undertake in his first three years, his achievements in the past five-plus years cannot be dismissed.

They just don’t tell the entire story.

Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated previews this spring’s coaching carousel and Indiana is among the jobs Thamel believes could open:

Indiana: There’s an industry-wide expectation this job will open this this year. Will Indiana fire Crean? Or will he find a safe landing elsewhere? That’s the drama. (It costs him nothing to leave, contractually.) But the bottom line is it would be an upset if there’s not a new coach on the sideline in Bloomington next year.

Justin Albers takes a look at Tom Crean’s tumultuous time in Bloomington:

In essence, it’s been a tumultuous run of either exceeding expectations when they’re relatively low and falling short of expectations when they’re impossibly high with no real middle ground to be had. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise, then, that fans and the media alike have formed opinions that fall on opposite sides with nothing in the middle.

Who’s right? Honestly, there’s truth in both sides.

Filed to:

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    I agree with your first part, but not the second. So, in a decade, you’d expect that IU should have a shot at the FF in 8 of those seasons. I understand that you are saying we should “have a shot” in those years, but I don’t know that Duke, Kansas or UK have those types of expectations.

    I think it is reasonable to expect to make the dance 9/10 years, have a #4 or better seed in 4-5 of those season (which would equal a “shot” at the FF). But I think it might be unreasonable to expect a FF berth in more than 2 seasons per decade.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Really? Maybe I am misremembering, but IIRC everyone from fans to media to analysts all were glowing over the fact that IU even made the dance that first year. Crean was on the short list for national COY that year.

    The difference between turning around IU in four years and turning around a program like Illinois’ new coach (assuming Groce is canned) is that we had only 2 scholarship players, and neither of them were even rotational players the year prior. No one would expect Illinois to only win 6 games next year. The rebuild was much deeper for us.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    You guys have very short… memories… just google it.. plenty written about Yogi’s lack of defense

  • It seems everyone’s a basketball genius. Has anyone ever watched a movie entitled, “Hoosiers”? Seems the town has come back to life, pre-Jimmy. We forget how good this team was with AG and everyone healthy. Chemistry depends on key elements, so it is no surprise they are having some trying times. I agree these kids don’t yet know what it means to play at IU, since they haven’t earned the reputation of the continuum they are supposed to be within. Crean’s comments and analysis are spot on whenever I hear him interviewed. Game situations are places where kids either come through, or they don’t. We expect perfection, without question, but Crean doesn’t deserve a ticket out of town. He’s a great recruiter. If the current guys stay on another year, then the program will turn the corner. I know, I know, this corner involves a national championship. It is possible if the kids man up and stay together. It would improve their NBA status as well to stay just another season and win it all. I have no doubt it would happen with everyone returning. Basics are necessary, such as taking them to school on inbounds plays, rotational offense and a more complex screening system to get their key shooters open looks, but those are simple fixes. What they need is a break so that they realize how potentially great they are, to play defense as if their lives depended on it, and this combination would invigorate their confidence to a level where they simply won’t let anyone beat them. It’s all attitude and confidence. They need to own it and man up.

  • AndyCapp

    His Soph and Junior years Yogi was almost ALWAYS guarding the other team’s best playmakers, even when they were SUBSTANTIALLY taller. Even his Sr. year when OG’s defense was the one being touted for the turnaround, it was still Yogi who took on every team’s best playmaker. We would NEVER put JBJ on the other team’s best playmaker or we would be losing even worse than we are.

    You are the one who compared Yogi’s defense to JBJ. And I’m sure Google is MUCH less friendly to JBJ’s defense than to Yogi’s. This is not revisionist history, the smell tests says Yogi’s D was NEVER as bad as JBJ’s.

  • hgdownunder

    So Crean Year 3 was an average team now? Not a still-dumpster-fire-team that no one could conceivably bear responsibility for. An average team. That lost the last 8 regular season games.
    (Actually, I should mention, we beat two ranked teams that season.)