No Need to Judge… Yet.

Posted: January 30, 2011 by tconaway in Uncategorized

Frustration. Inconsistency. Unpredictability. These are not words you want to be associated with. However, these are the words that have been largely associated with the Tom Crean era of Indiana basketball. Now, I’m not saying these words will always go along with IU basketball, because I do believe this road leads to greener pastures. For now though, Hoosier fans will have to deal with this.

We’ve seen that this team can play well against quality opponents. They battled a tough Wisconsin team for 40 minutes at the always difficult Kohl Center. They were leading Kentucky at Rupp Arena with ten minutes left in the game. They even beat a veteran squad in Illinois. Even though they have lost a lot of these games when they have played well, there have been performances that make you scratch your head. They are 0-2 against the state of Iowa with embarrassing losses to Northern Iowa and Iowa. Yes, the same Northern Iowa team that lost by 25 to Indiana State. They lost to perennial ACC bottom-feeder Boston College who lost to Yale and Harvard. At home. This IU squad just doesn’t bring their best games with them every game. They are the definition of inconsistent. To me, that lies squarely on Tom Crean’s shoulders.

I am not ready to call for Crean’s head yet, seeing as this is really only his second real season. The man has shown he can recruit with the best of them in landing highly ranked recruits including; Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea and Ron Patterson. Crean has a work ethic unlike any I have ever seen, but it is yet to be seen if he can truly coach Big Ten talent.

Indiana does have some great talent on this team right now. Christian Watford is a future household name. Verdell Jones III can score in bunches. Maurice Creek was one of the top freshmen in the country before he had his knee troubles. Jordan Hulls is becoming one of the most feared combo guards in the nation with his ability to shoot the three point shot and make amazing passes.

With that said, IU is still one of the nation’s youngest teams with only one senior in Jeremiah Rivers. This is why I think the people already doubting Crean as a coach are off their rockers. Do I believe this team’s inconsistency is primarily Crean’s fault? Yes, I do, but given all of this team’s flaws which are out of Crean’s control, he needs more time. Crean’s first real recruiting class will be juniors next season and IU will be one of the more experienced teams in the Big Ten. If they are still showing their inconsistency, perhaps Crean really isn’t the right guy for IU. Until then, I suggest that you all just sit back and enjoy the ride. Nobody said rebuilding this team from the ground up would be easy. Don’t quit on this team, and don’t quit on Crean. They aren’t quitting on you.

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