Indiana loses third straight – take a deep breath and wait to judge #iubb

Tom Crean isn't smiling tonight, and Indiana fans aren't either after a third straight loss.

Tom Crean isn’t smiling tonight, and Indiana fans aren’t either after a third straight loss.

Indiana was not good tonight in their 75-68 loss to Wisconsin at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

The defense was lacking, and so Wisconsin made a bunch of shots, including 10 of 20 three-point attempts.

Offensive execution was lacking, so the Hoosiers turned the ball over 13 times while Wisconsin gave the ball to the Hoosiers only seven times.

This was Indiana’s third straight loss, and their 0-2 conference record puts the Hoosiers at the very bottom of the Big Ten too early in the season to care about such things.

There is no discernible leadership, and I’m not sure what consequences are being brought to bear by teammates or coaches for lack of execution on either end.

There is a lot not to like about Indiana right now, but that doesn’t mean things cannot change, and that the season cannot have an outcome that reaches or exceeds expectations.

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This is a young group being asked to fill leadership voids left by seniors Yogi Ferrell, Nick Zeisloft, and Max Bielfeldt, and at some point all that talent and all those measurables might happily be mixed with the wisdom to know how to use them.

If that happens, this unpleasant stretch will be forgotten, and Indiana will earn its way into the NCAA Tournament, where perhaps another Sweet 16 trip will be the reward.

Indiana fans have been critical of the Hoosiers penchant for bowing out after the Sweet 16, but who among us wouldn’t see that result as a success given the last three efforts?

I’m not some pie in the sky loon, but I’m not going to declare the season over on January 3rd either.

Sure, the Hoosiers appear to be unable to achieve an acceptable level of consistent concentration and focus, but like every coach in the history of basketball has said, “You can’t teach ’em to be tall and long, or to jump high.”  The lapses of vapidness should be fixable one way of the other for a coach as respected as Tom Crean.

The next 10 weeks will be a great challenge for Crean and his staff as the concept of defense is introduced to the players.  If it takes root, a successful season is still a possibility – depending upon your expectations.

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I’ll wait until St. Patrick’s Day to judge IU and its leadership.  You should too.

No point in hurrying toward hysteria.  Not yet.

Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-7p, and writes about Indiana sports at

3 thoughts on “Indiana loses third straight – take a deep breath and wait to judge #iubb

  1. Jeff Gregory

    If you want to look at this season in a vacuum, I could agree with you. Doesn’t having urine-poor defense, questionable floor personnel decisions, and turnover issues ring a bell? Giving Crean the respect he deserves for lifting the program out of the muck, and even two B1G titles should not be avoided. However, in Hoosier country there is an expectation of being in the title conversation at the end of the year – at least periodically. It is time to make some hard decisions about taking the program to the next step and who can and cannot do it.

  2. joel

    I have to chuckle at the media from last year ,when they were proclaiming at the end of the Big 10 season and into the NCAA’s how Tom Crean figured out or changed his method of coaching to better suit the game and had the Hoosiers playing at a better level. What? To me I found that worrisome that a coach who has been at his job for that long is now just getting it? That’s concerning in my book. People need to start looking at Fred Glass with the hires of Crean and Wilson.

    I don’t have any skin in the game as far as IU. Not a fan. I get a sense of joy when they lose, more so towards the obnoxious fan base.

    1. Kent Sterling Post author

      Glass did not hire Crean. That was Rick Greenspan’s handiwork. Not sure which IU fans are annoying you. The vast majority would agree with nearly everything you have written.


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