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Blog Entry

Indiana proving Hoosier Hysteria for real

Posted on: January 1, 2012 10:14 am
 

By Jeff Goodman

First it was Kentucky. Now Ohio State. 

It's about time we start taking Indiana seriously. 

When I made a stop in Bloomington back in October, I knew this was a team that was set to improve upon the last struggles of the past few years. Will Sheehey had made a serious jump from his freshman season and Tom Crean added the most significant recruit in his tenure - talented freshman big man Cody Zeller. 

But I didn't see this coming. 

No one did. 

Hoosier Hysteria is officially back. I was still cautious, even after the win over Kentucky three weeks ago, not quite ready to declare the Hoosiers a lock to make the NCAA tournament. Could a program that had won just eight league games over Crean's first three seasons in Bloomington turn it around so quickly in Big Ten play?

There was the opener at the Breslin Center in East Lansing against Michigan State. Although the Hoosiers lost, they did it in impressive fashion. They took an early punch from the Spartans before delivering one of their own. Yes, they wound up leaving 0-1 in conference play, but this group showed it was mentally resilient. 

There are those who still want to see if this group can sustain this throughout Big Ten play, especially on the road, but as long as Crean & Co. win six more games in the league, Indiana is a lock to make the NCAA tourney. 

It sure looks as though I was wrong in my prediction this team would be headed to an NIT berth. 

Fans aren't the only ones that can relax that this program is headed in the right direction, either. Crean can finally relax. His future as IU's coach is secure. They'll be no more Brad Stevens-to-Bloomington thoughts around these parts. 

I questioned the backcourt of Jordan Hulls and Verdell Jones. I questioned whether Christian Watford was consistent enough. I questioned the depth after the Hoosiers lost Mo Creek. Well, Indiana is 13-1 with wins over two of the elite teams in America. 

Sure, there will be excuses from some. The two wins were in front of raucous crowds in Bloomington. Terrence Jones didn't show up in the UK game and Ohio State was plagued by foul trouble on Saturday. Well, Indiana was without Sheehey against the Buckeyes. 

The bottom line here is that Indiana has earned a spot in the top half of the Top 25 - and it's only going to get better in Bloomington. 

Comments

Since: Jul 24, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2012 1:23 pm
 

Indiana proving Hoosier Hysteria for real

If Cody Zeller could get a case of sophmore smarts early, say in the next 10-15 games, they have a shot to win it all. Or at least as good as a shot as anyone else.



Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:05 am
 

Indiana proving Hoosier Hysteria for real

The great thing here for IU fans is that this is all happening a year early. I thought they would be much improved from last year but I didn't expect this level of success till next year when all those top recruits come in. Bringing Zeller in was a big plus for sure, but its not like the other guys on the team are complete bums. I have been impressed overall with the team's level of play.
I'm a Big Ten fan and the resurgence of IU is something I have been waiting for and expecting would come. I am so glad you all stuck with Crean and gave him the benefit of the doubt with the tough years. I was so afraid he would be sent away before he had a chance to get things going. Thank goodness you didn't jump the gun and boot another great coach out of Bloomington.
I think your wins over Kentucky and Ohio State are huge for the program but I still wanna see them do it away from the friendly confines of Assembly Hall against the top teams. Much respect to what you've done so far and here's to hoping you can build on your already good resume for the tournament.
 



Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 8:18 am
 

Indiana proving Hoosier Hysteria for real

I didn't think Crean would have them this far already. Nice start



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: January 1, 2012 9:07 pm
 

Indiana proving Hoosier Hysteria for real

NO one mentioned that Mo Creek is out for the season  - he had potential to be IU's top player. At any rate IU is a clean program with good smart kids and they will thrive.



Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2012 8:51 pm
 

Indiana proving Hoosier Hysteria for real

I understand where you are coming from, but really, that is what top 5 teams do (win some games against top talent away).   Don't hold IU to a standard of a top 5 team.  If IU loses @Wisky, OSU, Mich, PU,  and Minne and win all at home, that's 12-6 and 25-6 for the season.  That was top 10 last season and most prior seasons. 



Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2012 6:00 pm
 

Indiana proving Hoosier Hysteria for real

2 great wins for sure. Both home games. Lets see them win some games against top talent away from the friendly confines of Assembly Hall. 


Annoyed
Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: January 1, 2012 4:06 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2012 12:18 pm
 

Indiana proving Hoosier Hysteria for real

Completely agree.....I'm honestly still stunned that the Hoosiers were able to pull that off without Sheehey. Our bench just is not good if he's not playing. And with Zeller hardly playing in the 2nd half, it just adds more of a shock value to the win.



Since: Feb 13, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2012 10:33 am
 

Indiana proving Hoosier Hysteria for real

Thank you for being the only media member to add that Sheehey was not playing.  IU fans understand it makes a huge difference.  Next year we will only be better with the kids coming in.  Thanks for the kind words.


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