by Kent Sterling
There are alums who are a little grumpy over the three years Tom Crean has run the Indiana basketball program. Some of them comment here, and they believe three years is long enough.
The students – the early adapters who have no intense ties to glory days of the past, and weren’t born when the fifth championship banner was hung in 1987 – are 100% behind Crean and the direction of the program. Here’s a video of the kids to whom I spoke and some of the hysteria in Assembly Hall last night:
I tried to find dissenters. I asked questions that would lead students to give me a less optimistic take on IU’s progress during their time in Bloomington. None stepped forward, and many took offense.
Twenty-eight wins in three years is not the stuff of IU legend, but the students remain firmly confident. I assumed that the crowd would be 50/50. Students tend to think adults are addle-pated boobs, and I thought some would feel that toward Crean. Not quite.
Whether they are a prescient group of young adults who see something that a healthy portion of the adults do not, I don’t know, but their enthusiasm is one of the best things IU has going for it as they battle to end their five-game losing streak this weekend.
The adults might be a little jaded by the apathy that surrounded Bob Knight’s last three years, the ignorance of the entire Mike Davis era, and the corruption of Kelvin Sampson’s reign. That’s nearly 15 years of un-indiana-esque play and direction, and while the students are still happily chanting and singing after three years, the adults want something to change, and they want it now.
Whether you believe IU is headed toward glory or more mediocrity, you need to trust your own eyes, but at the same time allow yourself to be at least partially informed by these students if for no other reason, it’s simply more fun.