Hoosier Morning

41 comments by   |   Monday, September 9, 2013 - 9:19 am EDT

1. HOOSIERS HQ
The Indiana men’s soccer team suffered an overtime defeat for the third straight game, losing to West Virginia 5-4 Sunday night, Andy wrote.

The IU defense and its coaching staff will be under the microscope more than ever, just one thing we learned from the football game against Navy, Dustin writes.

IU women’s soccer routed Eastern Kentucky to remain unbeaten, we reported.

2. IT’S INDIANA
Same old IU defense, same silly decision-making from Kevin Wilson against Navy, Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star writes.

Navy rode a wave of emotion in the wake of the death of coach Ken Niumatalolo’s mother to beat Indiana, Bill Wagner of the Capital-Gazette wrote.

Starter or not, Nate Sudfeld is Indiana’s No. 1 quarterback, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.

Goodluck Okonoboh will be the latest 2014 basketball recruiting target to visit Bloomington when he comes to town this weekend, Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall writes.

3. BIG TEN COUNTRY
Illinois’ out of the conference cellar in football, and Purdue is in, while things are the same as ever at Michigan State and Indiana, blog Brian Bennett and Adam Rittenberg at ESPN.com.

The Illini basketball team is in the hunt for former Louisville commit Quentin Snider, as is Steve Alford and UCLA, Marcus Jackson of the Champaign News-Gazette reports.

4. ONE FOR THE ROAD
A fitting tribute to the broadside the Hoosiers took on Saturday, the U.S. Navy Band performing, “Anchors Aweigh,” a song originally written for the Army-Navy football game in 1906.

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41 comments:
#1
Podunker
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 11:17 AM EDT

Kravitz wrote what needed to be written and I could not agree more. IU’s defense has regressed. They were terrible and got totally dominated by an undersized opponent. They lack toughness, technique and discipline. The upperclassmen are not any better at the fundamentals than they were when they were underclassmen. Experience does not seem to be valuable to these players. I just don’t see the fight in them.

I am not reassured or encouraged by Wilson’s post-game comments. He seems tone-deaf. He should be breathing fire. He should be very angry. He should be sending a message to his defense. He’s not, and that’s a problem for me.

I am mystified by Wilson’s explanation about going for it on 4th and 1 on his own 34 yard line? That was really stupid and his explanation was even dumber. I am still confused by Wilson’s determination to continue the quarterback shuffle. He’s either playing mind games or he’s not as smart as everyone says he is. Sudfeld in the best quarterback on IU’s team. It’s obvious. It’s not even close. Wilson should name him the starter and stop the nonsense about playing other QBs. IU’s offense is going to need to be very potent if IU’s is going to have any chance of winning more games in 2013 than they did in 2012. IU is not going to be effective running the ball. They’re going to need to throw the ball a lot. Sudfeld is the best passer on the team. Sudfeld has unique passing talent that should be maximized and exploited.

Kravitz hit it on the head and I hope Wilson read his comments.

 
#2
Podunker
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 11:25 AM EDT

Pete DiPrimio also has it right. Sudfeld should be IU’s quarterback for the next three years. The numbers don’t lie and it should be obvious to anyone who has watched him play. I hope Wilson does not outsmart himself on this issue.

 
#3
Hoosier Clarion
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 12:15 PM EDT

Whew! Some more Krapitz, the bathroom decorator.

 
#4
Harvard for Hillbillies
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 2:53 PM EDT

How long has Wilson been at this? How many years with what would be considered a nearly full roster of his own recruits?

Gotta give this team a chance and gotta give Wilson some breathing room to build this product up from decades of being the bastard child of IU sports.

This offense is fun as hell. We have 50% of a very dynamic team. How many years did we have nothing on both sides the ball?

As mentioned on the last ScoopTalk, the absence a very good defensive lineman in Adam Replogle is being felt. It’s not always just the physical presence of a big/physical/quick lineman, but also the leadership and knowledge/reads. Give the new blood more than two games to get shored up. The Hoosier defense gave up six more points than Navy.

Kravitz? Didn’t read his piece. Don’t really care what he has to say. The product on the field is far more enjoyable. We have three very good QB’s making for a strong offense with some insurance. A lot of squads don’t have that luxury. I tend to think some journalists/sportswriters don’t like Wilson because he’s much like Knight. He knows his craft and he won’t take their crap. He’s not insecure in his ability and he really isn’t concerned with those that concentrate on the negative. Negative sells papers but it won’t change the vision a confident coach.

We’ll kick butt this weekend and the sky will be lifted for at least another weekend.

Note: How many years did we hear Tom Crean exclaim that rebuilding IU basketball would be a “process?” Please let Wilson have the same chance to turn a perennial clunker into finely tuned and reliable machine..The roster is far more vast…More pieces to the puzzle..This isn’t a sport where one superstar can make the difference between going to a bowl game(Sweet 16) or sitting at home.

Remember how the sky was falling when we lost on Gunner? Sudfeld has more gunners than a battleship in his one cannon.

And if defense is the easier side of the equation in rebuilding, why in the hell do so many thoroughly experienced basketball teams(with far fewer components/players) have such a horrendous time in playing any? To say it merely boils down to effort is a very shallow assessment. As with all sports, there’s a learning curve on defense..There are size and speed issues that effect one-on-one battles. Wilson can coach it to perfection in terms of defensive strategy, but we can’t expect the current size and speed still short of his long term goals to always win those battles.

Hoosier football is more than a process..It was processed cheese for too many years. We threw it between a couple pieces of bread and grilled a new coach every four years. Is that the road we want to continue down? This coach has a good head on his shoulders. He is a Pit Bull of piss and vinegar. If he had the 1/10 the roster building blocks and heritage of an OSU, or ND,..or Michigan, he’d likely be on the front page of every sporting magazine and Kravitz would be wondering why IU football can’t find a “breakout” coach like Kevin Wilson.

 
#5
Ron
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 3:04 PM EDT

Kravitz does make you think. Things like why does the Star continue to pay this guy. He takes some obvious things to start his meandering than adds his thoughts. At that point, I know if he said to turn left – the smart thing would be turn right.

Texas response to their defensive questions – fire the defense coach. Maybe an answer if anybody qualified is available.

 
#6
Hoosier Clarion
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 3:33 PM EDT

Wished I had written post #4 but I don’t possess the tools.

 
#7 Monday, September 9, 2013 - 4:18 PM EDT

Here’s the thing Hogwash… Your post would be very good in a vacuum… But unfortunately it just comes across as hypocritical because of your history with Crean.

“How many years did we have to listen to Crean talk about rebuilding…” Um about 3. Which was only 2 years ago. Quit pretending he’s been at IU for a decade.

Wilson is in year 3 now. If he doesn’t win 8 games or go to a bowl game next year are you going to start bashing him? What is your patience level – 4 years? 10 Christian tweets?

It’s hilarious to see you write the content you shared in post #4, even if it is correct and of solid perspective.

 
#8
iufan23
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 5:27 PM EDT

Most of the responsible posters here have at one time or another acknowledged that building IU’s FB program is a huge undertaking. In view of that, I still think we are on the right track and we are making progress. Saturday was a setback, no doubt, but no one said this was going to be an uninterrupted trajectory.

Our historical nemesis is defense…has been for as long as I can remember and I’m old. I agree with those who are not particularly inspired by the comments of either Coach Wilson and Coach Mallory who in my judgment are “sanitizing” the issues by claiming the failures are the result of schemes and cut blocks. As stated previously, from my admittedly uneducated vantage point, the problem is lack of fundamentals. First and foremost, we lack a killer instinct on defense. Second, we need to focus on proper tackling technique and third, we have to figure out offenses such that we are not out of position as much. If we can overcome these admittedly difficult obstacles with some level of reliability, we can certainly stop the bleeding on run defense and more than likely cause some turnovers.

 
#9
Harvard for Hillbillies
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 6:29 PM EDT

I don’t see Wilson chasing around Bill Lynch. His rebuilding task is far more daunting in terms of scope and history. Twenty-two positions not including special teams.

Without even considering the depth and luxury of a solid bench to add to Wilson’s first team wholly assembled by his vision, the time frame cannot compare to what a basketball coach in the state of Indiana has in a stone’s throw(in terms of talent and tradition..and fan enthusiasm).

Did anyone really expect the entire state of Oklahoma to follow Wilson to one of the most unrecognized football programs in the Big 10?…possibly one of the lowest of lows in the entire nation. The NCAA could drop an atomic bomb on Hoosier Basketball and building it back would be easy-bake oven in comparison to the task at Memorial.

We have a football coach that doesn’t care about 30 years of living in Bobby and B-ball shadows…He’s either the most aloof coach in history or he believes where nobody else sees hope. I’ll choose the latter. And let’s face facts, even the negative everyday obsession that came with the Sampson fallout of class-skippers and 3-way phone calls, and potheads, took press and attention away from IU football. Even when hell’s fire comes to Bloomington, most chose to obsess over the fire rather than think football.

That’s Wilson’s daunting task…How do I get dinosaurs that still (Dustin’s Edit) love Bobby showing up for a Hoosier forgiveness party think football? Lose one game and were giving up on gridiron and falling back into the comforts our basketball cradle…Because it’s easy. Because we’re creatures of habit. Because we’re afraid football could one day not too in the distant future cast a shadow on all that glorious cheap talk that hasn’t seen a banner in Assembly Hall since 1987?

For the first time in many years, I’m thinkin’ football could actually flip itself over at IU. It’s kinda fun watching a turtle fight its way back onto its feet after 30 years of us giggling at it upside down on its shell. And that’s what irritates the hell out of most. It simply screws with their sick obsession to watch something suffer(e.g Kravitz).

 
#10
Podunker
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 6:50 PM EDT

“We’re making progress.” On what is that comment based on? The only progress that counts is the number of wins you have at the end of the year. That influences everything else, recruiting, attendance, fan donations, perception, everything. If IU does not win at least five football games this year, no one will be able to credibly say that IU’s football program is making progress.

People have expectations. Everything is relative to those expectations. I believe most IU fans, before the season began, expected IU to win at least five games this season. If they don’t, Wilson’s going to notice a significant and disconcerting shift in the attitude of The Hoosier Nation.

IU took a huge step backward on Saturday. That means a win this Saturday is essential.

 
#11
TsaoTsuG
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 7:57 PM EDT

Another great post HfH!, right on target. Clarion’s right, a lot of us wish we had written it. You not only write well, you also mine down to the core issues quickly and accurately.

Your absolutely right that the youth and inexperience of our players play an important role. They do so not only under normal circumstances, (a ‘more traditional’ offense but, even more a ‘unique’ offense (triple option) using techniques and set-ups not commonly seen by our defenders. Eight to ten defenders who started or played large minutes against Navy did not dress last year (were in high school or were red-shirted freshmen last year). Six or seven saw very, very little time last year. That gives some context to the ‘experience’ issue vs. the complexity of playing against the triple option. Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that last year we did not play Navy until our fifth game, also an issue of ‘experience’ that is not irrelevant. These are not excuses nor do they clear away how very poorly our defense played You can’t explain away the other team NEVER punted). Still, ‘experience’ plays a role; especially when they are 18-19 y.o’s paying against 22-23 y.o. players of rare maturity, as I suspect Navy’s midshipmen are. And, we were not beaten by 30-40 point, we lost by five. It is, somehow, relevant.

When you add so much ‘wisdom’ to our thought and write like this,… simply, don’t ever die Harvard. Another bow, (it’s hard on the lumbago HfH).

 
#12
TsaoTsuG
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 9:25 PM EDT

Podunker, IU lost a game last Saturday. It did so because of how poorly our porous defense played. Perhaps, preparation was a cause. Other than that, nothing else happened. I am not ready to beg for mercy nor do I believe most other (reasonable and knowing) IU fans are ready to throw in the towel and consider this another 3-4 year exercise in impotence.

I’ve never understood your low tolerance for any kind of reversal. You say you understand the circumstances, you say you back the challenge and understand its magnitude. You say you are committed to building, piece by piece, a solid powerful program. But, as soon as it suffers a reversal or a set back, you bail and so so letting out more steam than Diesel 10, the big engine in the Thomas the Train series.

And, if there’s still a chance we ‘may’ succeed, you devote your entire energy in speculating that ‘success is failure anyway if you’re a Hoosier because it only means someone else is going to come in and steal our coach and our program’. Podunker, this is not speculation or fantasy…these are your words over the last 4-5 weeks verbatum.

Wilson is doing fine. Our team players, though very young, show more promise than they have at any time since the unfortunate firing of Coach Mallory. The staff is as good and professional as we’ve seen since the Pont years. Football in (the state of) Indiana is finally growing and being accepted by fans. You can’t step on a seed and expect it to grow and bloom as a result. You lack faith my friend.

Not much hope at all in being a Hoosier fan and following your version of events. You deem yourself a ‘realist’ but you ignore the faith reality requires. The stands will fill up when we stop being manic-depressives who find a familiar comfort in our own failure. It will come as a ‘process’ (just as you mock) when we back our Hoosiers with our hearts, not the eternal doomsday prophecies. It requires believing.

 
#13 Monday, September 9, 2013 - 10:53 PM EDT

Wow… Eagles are fun to watch

 
#14
(Not) Husky Tom
Monday, September 9, 2013 - 11:09 PM EDT

We don’t care about the Eagles Geoff Feldman. This is a Hoosier board.

 
#15 Monday, September 9, 2013 - 11:12 PM EDT

They are still fun to watch…

 
#16 Monday, September 9, 2013 - 11:16 PM EDT

Your husky bum must still smart from the spankings that Oregon gave you…

Yep I just looked and Kelly was 4-0 against Washington with an average margin of victory about 4 TDs.

 
#17
Podunker
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 11:17 PM EDT

Tsao, you wrote, “But, as soon as it suffers a reversal or a set back, you bail and so so letting out more steam than Diesel 10, the big engine in the Thomas the Train series.”

“As soon as …..?” Are you kidding me? I’ve been a staunch and devoted IU football fan since 1965. I’ve never “bailed” on the Hoosiers. That gives me the right to express my disdain for what was clearly an inferior performance. I only wish more Hoosier fans cared enough about IU football to be as outspoken in their contempt for a bad performance as I am. If they were, IU would have a better football program. As I see it, the problem is that there are not enough Hoosier fans that care enough about IU football to get upset about the crap I watched Saturday night. Many of them won’t attend another IU football game until the team starts to win again, but I’ll be there in Memorial Stadium Saturday at noon, cheering and yelling until I lose my voice. And win or lose, I’ll keep going back. Tsao, you don’t know anyone less likely to bail on Hoosier football or anything or anyone else I care about.

Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left behind by those who hustle. I’m tired of waiting for IU football to be competitive. I don’t expect perfection, but its reasonable to expect progress. Saturday, IU’s defense digressed, big time. If you’re not pissed and frustrated about IU’s defensive performance Saturday night, something is wrong with you or you’re not a passionate IU fan.

I’ve spent my entire adult life in a hyper-competitive, performance based occupation. It requires passion, hard work, competitiveness, and a realization that you’re only as good as your last best effort. Produce results and be rewarded, fail and get fired. And nobody cares how good you did last year or last month. It’s what have you done for me lately. And you know what, that’s the way it should be. It’s been a bottom line world for me, as I believe it has been for most people through the history of this great country. And it should damn well be a bottom line world for Wilson and Mallory and any BCS-conference football coach. No one expects perfection, but everyone expects progress. That’s America, my friend.

And its impossible not to compare IU’s “progress” in Wilson’s third year with other football programs that have been down and out in the recent past. How about Washington State? For years they’ve been the weak sister in the PAC 12, couldn’t find their butt with both hands. Saturday night, in just the second game of their new head coaches’ second year, they went into LA and beat the mighty USC Trojans. That’s an indication of a major turn-around in a very short period of time. As a result, USC’s coach is in big trouble, and Leach is a hero in Eastern Washington. And that’s the way it should be.

This is not rocket science or brain-surgery. It should not take 5 years for a football program at a great university like IU to produce a competitive, winning football team. It takes hard work, passion, vision, money, competence, leadership and a little luck.

I’m not bailing out on anything, Tsao, I’m just pissed, embarrassed and tired of waiting to see signs of significant improvement. And I’m disappointed that the conclusion you drew from my recent comments was as wrong as they could possibly be. You missed it by a mile!

But here’s my question for you, Tsao. If IU loses to Bowling Green on Saturday, and effectively ends their 2013 season, will you still feel the same way you do today or will your comments begin to resemble mine over the last few days?

 
#18
TsaoTsuG
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 2:17 AM EDT

Podunker, your question at the end makes my point for me- “…If IU loses to Bowling Green on Saturday, and effectively ends their 2013 season, will you still feel the same way you do today or will your comments… resemble mine…”

“…and effectively ends their 2013 season…”????? You’re easy Podunker. Where do you carry the white flag?

That’s exactly the point Podunker, and how I used the word ‘bail’. If we lose to Bowling Green it ends absolutely nothing, it would give greater understanding to the daunting task and absolutely bare shelves found by Coach Wilson when he arrived. You would do well to re-read Harvard’s comment (#9), it will give you a dose of the reality that was the program we handed CKW. Some folks here were sending in comments like “Win Now!”, “I Just Want to Win”. That…is a definition of loser!

You also write,” People have expectations. Everything is relative to those expectations”. What’s that got to do with football. Expectation for what?… from 18 and 19 year old freshmen, hell they’re barely getting over puberty and have expectations of (you know)…do you have any idea how much difference 2 years difference makes in football. No Podunker…. You reveal a great truth when you write ” I’m just pissed, embarrassed and tired of waiting…”. That’s exactly the ‘bailing’ (without wanting to be offensive towards you) I’m talking about.

I know you want to win, it’s obviously frustrating you. Bob Knight once went into a soliloquy with his basketball team (the Wittman, Kitchel, Thomas’ (Isaiah and Jim…) and said, ‘grab the next******* ten/twenty guys walking by and ask them, ‘do you wanna win’ and they’ll all scream ‘hell yeah’” “But that’s not the issue, never is…are you ******* willing to LEARN to do EACH of the LITTLE things you have to do over and over and over RIGHT until they become the habit and put you in a position to win!!!! *******************(he added a few words here). One thing I learned from him is the difference between “all” and “each”.

Damn straight Podunker…firing Lynch had nothing to do with winning. Neither, in a sense, did hiring Wilson, nor would it have anything to do with hiring Saban from Alabama or Leach from Washington State (I’m a big fan of his ideas for football).

Here’s the question for you (and EACH of us who someday expect the Hoosiers to be winners) Podunker. Can we do each of the LITTLE things that we need to do to learn to win? It’s slow and detailed…it begins with doing it right and maybe, even then, we’ll still lose…until we don’t… and then we go two games doing it right. If you want to do it ‘fast’; like in ‘win now’, that would disappoint me because then you’d be showing that you know a hell of a lot less about football than I thought and give you credit for. And, at that point, I would then expect you to ‘bail’.

By the way, you say you’ve been an IU fan since 1965…that’s great, almost as long as I have been.

And… I’m not bailing…but I’ll guarantee you, I’ll win.

 
#19
Harvard for Hillbillies
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 4:52 AM EDT

There’s plenty of couples that have been in passionless marriages for 30 years(or since 1965)..Being a fan for a longer duration has nothing to do with love, excitement, and positive energy from the stands.

We need more fans in the stands that are just falling in love and aren’t burdened by negative outlooks basked on old rear view mirrors.

I tend to believe the students of IU are behind Wilson. They are young and full of vision. They see the prospects of new days and new accomplishments. They don’t live in the mode of stuffy condescension. They don’t burden their thoughts with the heaviness those frustrated with more than just football.

I say let the program be young. Let the young fans of Wilson have their hope and belief. There is nothing to be gained by jumping off a cliff two games into the season. Jump if you will. Just don’t expect those young at heart to care.

 
#20
Hoosier Clarion
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 9:16 AM EDT

I reject the belief, “The only progress that counts is the number of wins you have at the end of the year”. Defining progress for a program starting the 3rd year of a 5 year rebuild is measured in many facets but most particularly not in W’s until year 4 and 5. Then the forward looking recruiting has matured into Jr. and Sr. FB players.

 
#21
Podunker
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 2:48 PM EDT

Tsao, this is not a philosophy class, so spare me the theoretical rhetoric. And yes while it is possible that IU could still have a winning season if it loses to Bowling Green on Saturday, it is highly unlikely. I don’t think you’re that naive and if you’ve been an IU football fan since before 1965, you know, in reality, the series of events that are most likely to happen if IU gets beat by Bowling Green on Saturday. In relative terms, fan support will evaporate.

Your comment, “firing Lynch had nothing to do with winning” is pure nonsense. You’re smarter than that, Tsao. It had everything to do with winning. Or should I say it had everything to do with the consequences of not winning. Bill Lynch was a good and decent man and almost everyone liked and respected him as a person. If it’s not about winning, Lynch would still be IU’s football coach. That’s just a ridiculous statement. If you’re Fred Glass and you’re investing millions of dollars to upgrade IU football, it’s all about winning and increasing the revenue necessary to justify that large investment. And if Wilson does not win, and the revenue begins to decline, heads are going to roll. Don’t be naive. This is a business and winning is essential.

And to answer your question, IU is NOT doing all the little things on defense that are necessary to win (i.e., be successful). They’re not tackling, shedding blocks, filling gaps, covering the receivers, rushing the passer, or stopping the run. They’re not doing anything well on defense. That’s the problem. If you say it’s because they’re playing freshman and red-shirt freshman, well whose responsible for that? Mallory had two recruiting classes before this year. The players in his first recruiting class are in their third year. How long does it take to learn how to do all those little things? How long does it take to learn how to tackle another football player? In most other programs that have been turned around, it’s not taking more than three years. Are you saying that Mallory’s first recruiting class was full of worthless defenders? Again, if that’s so, whose responsible for that?

And lastly Tsao, you continue to use the word “bail.” I’m not bailing, have never bailed on IU and never will bail on IU. You have no evidence to suggest that I ever have or ever would “bail.” You’ve never known anyone, anywhere who is less likely to bail on IU, so stop with the condescending accusation, it makes you sound arrogant. You’re confusing my passionate constructive criticism of Mallory’s defense and some of Wilson’s less-than-brilliant decisions, and my intolerance of terrible performances, with giving up on IU football. You have it totally wrong. Loyalty to a friend is having the guts to tell them the truth when you believe they’re making a mistake or doing something wrong. And I find your references to Bob Knight ironic relative to this debate. Do you think Bob Knight would tolerate this level of performance for a team he coached? Not a chance, so your references to Bob Knight supports the point I’m making. In a recent interview on the Golf Channel, Bob Knight answered a question posed to him by saying, “because I wanted to win, I always want to win. That’s what mattered.”

HC, at least you went on record saying “until year 4 and 5.” I’m just not as patient as you are. I expected to see the improvement continue this year. That’s not to say I expected IU to have a winning season this year, but I expected to see improvement, as in five wins and especially better performance on defense. I hope I still do, but if IU loses on Saturday, it’s not likely to happen and I’m confident in predicting that many IU fans will lose interest in the team and stop going to the games. That would be a major setback in a lot of ways (revenue, recruiting, player moral, reputation, etc.) That’s why it matters and that’s why I’m concerned.

 
#22
TsaoTsuG
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 4:07 PM EDT

I believe this is very pertinent and worth some thought since, in the end, we all want the same thing. A competitive, respected football program that puts itself in a position to win with consistency and that solidifies itself as a program as it goes through the’process’ of winning.

Bob Knight’s contribution to Indiana and Indiana fans is his ‘teaching’ all, players, coaches and fans to be winners. He set very high standards, not just for coaches who followed him, but for Hoosier fans. Even now, as we see two teams that have reached the higher levels of college basketball, we fans are not satisfied with merely ‘winning games’, but with an optic for playing good, solid, fundamental, intelligent basketball. Which is exactly, the expectations that RML produced as part of the “It’s Indiana” culture. It’s not surprising that Coach Crean has satisfied many with the record for the last two years. But, he finds that the criteria Hoosier fans apply and expect of Indiana basketball, leave questions unanswered. It is the standard set by RMK and still alive in Assembly Hall. Win….but win like winners.

In 1981, Indiana basketball went through a particularly poor period towards the end of December and the first couple of weeks in January. Isaiah Thomas was not playing to his potential. Ted Kitchel was shooting poorly, Wittman was inconsistent. In a particularly poor game, Indiana lost to Iowa. During the game, Knight benched I. Thomas, Wittman for a time and then Kitchel. Nothing worked. “We suck,” Knight said in disgust.

From Knight’s point of view, lack of focus, lack of ‘understanding the floor’, lack of thinking and reading the game; the worst type of transgression a Hoosier player could make. On the floor, he saw no leadership and told his assistants the team could not accomplish anything without it.

That’s the famous day in which Knight showed up in fisherman’s gear (rubber boots and rubber overalls), a fishing line, a wide, waterproof hat and lined up his players and marched them around Assembly Hall showing them how to ‘read the water, the rocks, the direction of the sun light, the breeze, the vegetation to find fish. “Are we ever gonna catch another fish!!, he yelled over and over as he taught the ‘fishermen’ the correct technique for throwing the line under a rock, having it lay so the sunlight interfered with the fish’s ability to spot the hook, how to hide themselves from being noticed by the fish. “Somebody show me where the fish are!!”…”Are we ever gonna catch another fish!”, he yelled over and over. The show went on for almost an hour…

Then he stopped, looked at his team and yelled, “Are we ever gonna win another game”! Are we ever gonna win another game **********!!!!!” “Show me where the fish are, show me where we find them:. The rest of the practice, the players had to tell each other where ‘the fish were’ in terms of basketball, explain their focus and thinking…’Why did you skip (shuffle-skip) the last step to take the charge, Ted?” …”So the ref sees my shoes staying and sliding on the floor, Coach!” “Show everybody and explain that, *******!!”

It was long and tedious. I never saw another IU player run the last step to ‘take the charge’…to a man, they skipped it.

A one point Knight talked that if the ‘teaching’ lesson is big enough, he’d rather sacrifice a win and be able to teach something that will help the players understand winning and how to put themselves in a position to doing it.

“Are we ever gonna win another game??!!!!”, was his mantra. That team won the national championship going away. In December it was a very average team, in March, the National Championship.

Harvard and Clarion have it absolutely right for CKW’s team. It’s a process, an evolution into a ‘way of being, individually and as a team, in which doing things (each and all) right are the foundation of becoming and being a winner, thus the contradiction that no win (even two or three) is more important that the expectation that the players become ‘good, solid, intelligent’ football players who know the difference between winning a game and being winners.

The lesson is an old one. Without getting into the Tom Crean religiosity, a phrase in the Bible, it seems to me, is a key to coaching and the attitude that can make any player, any human being triumph. “Seek and you shall find!” The emphasis is not and can not be in the ‘finding’, to be a winner the emphasis has to be in the conscious act of ‘seeking’, individually and collectively. Expectations are merely the anticipation of rewards, a mistake and dangerous concept in becoming a winner. The great player only seeks to push himself to ‘seek more’, and then, …seek more. That’s when he becomes a champion. And, that’s how you build a great football team…a great battalion, …and a great community.

(p.s. No apologies for length. Some will read it, some will not); some will read it and understand it, some will read it and understand it, some will not. But, it needs (I believe) to be said.)

 
#23
Harvard for Hillbillies
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 4:08 PM EDT

I see Tsao’s comment that ‘firing Lynch wasn’t about winning’ as more interpretative than literal…Even if some short term results were positive, Lynch was not the right man for the long term haul.

Lynch winning, squeaking our way into lower tier bowl games that permitted false measures of true foundational blocks a program built to compete beyond satisfaction with the ‘C’ average, may have been a greater travesty than never getting a shot at a coach like Wilson.

Wilson, through building the essential cultural and self-respect needed in a program to one day be taken seriously, is fighting against years of acceptance with the ‘C’ average or the ‘D+’ that has long kept Hoosier football fans relatively satisfied.

Some poor grades experienced on the scoreboard now are because we are relearning the fundamentals and roots of winning rather than the short fixes to just simply find complacency in the rare unexpected win and rare bowl appearance.

Wilson must get young men to buy into the voyage/vision that IU football is not a flat world. There will be cowards that seek the comforts of familiar seas and the simpler “winnings” found in treasures a nearby port.

But to find a New World truly glorious takes vision and supplies for a longer and far more challenging journey. Stubborn were those great adventurers that thought the world round and believed shores of beauty beyond our imaginations were destinations yet to be found. Lynch had sailed too many regular courses a worn out old salt.

And maybe that’s where Tsao is venturing…Maybe winning is defined differently for Wilson than for Lynch. Under Wislon the losses are coming while crossing the flat ocean our desperate clinging to the safe average while chained to expectations found only in the instantaneous..

Under Lycnh, the wins were always going to be built on an Indiana ship thick in hull but thin on true renaissance and maps never drawn. To turn IU football around takes a coach that won’t cling to old maps..Nor one easily swayed off course by doubters and losses at sea where the ocean swallows hope from the weak with its long and dark endless cold bewilderment.

Freedom is what Wilson is attempting to bring to Bloomington. Freedom from the imprisonment our thoughts that a few wins is the measure a journey outside the prison of what we’ve grown to believe as success and belief. We, as fans, must be tropical warm waters and beaches a Caribbean shore that only an imagination calls to lure a brave coach/captain that refuses to accept IU football be forever destined to be flat.

 
#24
TsaoTsuG
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 4:41 PM EDT

Perfect! You are absolutely right Harvard, exactly as you state it. Our (those IU’s fans who are demoralized and depressed) albatross has been not knowing the difference between ‘winning’ and ‘winning’.

I believe, more than ever, that Wilson gives us a chance to become ‘winner’ in the authentic definition of the word. Based on what? His focus on changing our character and culture.

 
#25
TsaoTsuG
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 5:15 PM EDT

To avoid confusing anyone, where I wrote: “It was long and tedious. I never saw another IU player run the last step to ‘take the charge’…to a man, they skipped it.”- I meant ‘they skipped it using the hop/ski technique RMK taught them to draw the charge and make sure the refs saw both feet on the ground simultaneously.

 
#26
Hoosier Clarion
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 9:21 PM EDT

Po,

You may think your not as patient as me but I doubt it. Even so there are some things your patience will have to wait on. Except for 3-4 blips this thing has been a sows ear for as long as I can remember(more than a dozen lustrums). This rebuild will even be much more than VT and nothing like Wisconsin or KSU.

 
#27
Podunker
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 9:23 PM EDT

Tsao, well written. But a response to some of your comments.

1. Knight would in deed allow his team to “sacrifice a win” back in 1981 and other years thereafter. And he could do that because he had already established a winning program, won a national championship, exceeded IU fans expectations, signed a lot of the players he recruited, had 34 games a season in which he could “teach” his players how to win, and knew that Hoosier fans were rabid basketball fans and would fill Assembly Hall for every game. Wilson is operating under a completely different set of circumstances. I don’t think Knight was willing to sacrifice any games during his first two or three years in Bloomington, but once you hang a banner, you have a lot of latitude.

2. “It’s a process, an evolution into a ‘way of being, individually and as a team, in which doing things (each and all) right are the foundation of becoming and being a winner.” That’s very generous of you to attribute that wonderful philosophy to Wilson. I don’t remember ever hearing him express that philosophy himself. And from what I see of IU’s defense, Mallory did not get the memo. As a result Wilson does not have that kind of time left. I see no evidence that that philosophy and process is having any affect on IU’s defense. If you’re telling me that Wilson will need another two years to imbue this philosophy into his young defenders, I’m telling you he’ll run out of time and will be fired after two more years of performance like the one we witnessed last Saturday.

3. “to be a winner the emphasis has to be in the conscious act of ‘seeking’, individually and collectively.” Yes, well that sounds really deep, but I’d settle for some IU defenders, both “individually and collectively” doing a better job of seeking running backs and receivers right now. They can pursue their higher level of consciousness after they learn how to tackle and shed blocks.

4. What about Wilson’s recent comments, and I’ll paraphrase here, that he “wants IU fans to have very high expectations of the football team and demand a high level of performance”? Well, I took him at his word.

Everything you wrote was well and good, but you’re forgetting one critical element; TIME. In the real world, especially in a highly competitive “arena,” a leader does not have unlimited time. The clock is ticking and Wilson does not have unlimited time before he will be expected to deliver the desired results (i.e., a winning season). I assure you, no matter how elegant his philosophy and process is, Wilson won’t make it past the fifth year of his contract if his teams continue to lose like they did last Saturday.

 
#28
Hoosier Clarion
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 9:27 PM EDT

Last Sat. loss was not a bad loss, albeit was in the eyes of fans who did not recognize what a thoroughbred offense the Navy triple option is.

 
#29
Podunker
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 9:30 PM EDT

HC, you may be right, but I wonder why (that’s a rhetorical question). Why does it take IU so much longer to turn around its football program as compared to KSU, WI, VT and apparently WSU? What the bleep is it about IU that makes it so much more difficult? I think I know the answer and I’ll give you a hint. It has something to do with the expectations of IU’s fan base, commonly referred to as The Hoosier Nation.

 
#30
Hoosier Clarion
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 10:07 PM EDT

Can you cypher B-I-G. This not the Big 8 or the Big East when Snyder and Beamer did it. Or even close to the old Big 10 when Barry did it. Yet the bulk of the IU fan base who have never had the up close experience does not know what it takes. So they puff up their chests with 02 and bitch. Why? Because it portends knowledge and/or manliness but mostly out of convenient ignorance.

 
#31
Harvard for Hillbillies
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 10:48 PM EDT

I really enjoyed post #30.

Some simply believe they POssess the only barometer to measure progress.

The defense needs to be better. We get it. But if your failing in seeing a different level of engagement from the players on the field and sideline with the current coach, then I’m not very confident you have any eye for the metamorphosis in its early stages.

To encourage expectations unrealistic at this point in Wilson’s tenure is grossly ignorant and borderline sabotage. Nothing will happen overnight at Memorial Stadium. But somehow Indiana got a man with the tools and legitimacy that will bring talent. The only thing that will stop that determined climb and the essential confidence from those prospects that want to be part of something as truly unique as making IU football a consistent force and contender are those that want their baby blanket and the ease of a temper tantrum to call for more heads to roll.

You build fire and witch hunts for this coach and his assistants at this early juncture and you will have succeeded in placing forever a permanent memorial upon a gridiron graveyard.

Listening to the doomsday talk of fans abandoning the program is such a pointless scare tactic. Do you actually think you can scare fans that have witnessed the horrors pretending to be football in the Big 10 coming from 17th Street? So sad that some just can’t get on board and enjoy a man that was so willing to put forever on the shelf our old doomsday ways because he’s so ignorant to believe where we cannot.

 
#32
Harvard for Hillbillies
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 11:01 PM EDT

correction:

Some simply believe they POssess the only barometer to measure POgress.

“I’ll take The Rapists for $200, Alex.”
“That’s ‘Therapists’, Mr. Connery.”

 
#33
mack truck
Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 12:34 AM EDT

I have been extremely busy and unable to post but enjoy the dialogue and believe everyone is a passionate Hoosier fan. The season is young and the Hoosiers will make their fans, students and alumni proud this season.

I have attended two scrimmages, one regular practice and both games this fall. Being an ex-coach, I enjoyed breaking down both games on Hudl, focusing on the positive but also the reality of some of the breakdowns, personnel and schemes.

Offensively, IU has an extremely diverse group of weapons that will win some games regardless of the defensive performance. So diverse, IU will have many different heroes during the year. Don’t forget the O-line lost two starters just before the season. Continuity within that group is key to a well balanced attack. The offense is awesome to watch and I always wonder what’s going to happen next.

Defense…as an ex-OLB and Defensive Coor. my concern is with the front 7. Finishing last in the BIG, 114th in nation against the run in 2012 should have meant significant changes in scheme and personnel. Even with such poor play overall last year, IU had two good tackles (Repogle, Black). This poses a problem for the second level. As the case of last year, the Backers still cannot shed any blocks and are on the ground a lot.

If you can’t review the video…when watching IU’s defense, don’t watch the ball, keep your eyes on the backers as they are consistently sealed, cut or pushed away from the play. #42 and #4 have improved their strength from last year, but still are not fundamentally sound to be good BIG LB’s. #2 is not ready, he not only gets blown-up, he gets easily pushed out of the gap and spends a lot of time on the ground…but gets up fast.
DE’s show energy and are a solid group, especially #56, #96, #25. My concern is their substitution chaos that is happening the whole game…it has to wear them out in 4th QTR. Think about the late losses in 2012, how much did the chaotic substitution effect their late game production?

Hopefully the d-coaches will feel some heat after the high expectations for the team and make changes…unlike last year when schemes/personnel were never adjusted (WIS).

Go Hoosiers and get a decisive W over BG!!

 
#34
Hoosier Clarion
Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 6:58 AM EDT

mack truck,

Can you expand on the chaotic substitution issue you mention?

 
#35
mack truck
Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 8:52 AM EDT

HC, the DE’s are paired and rotate depending on situation and call. Each game, there are times the call comes in late and so the DE’s are scrambling on/off field. At times they are starting to run off, turn around and run back to LOS. Sometimes all four are in between the huddle and sideline only to have the original two turn around and run to the LOS.
This is tiring and confusing for the players which adds to late game fatigue. DE’s are not built like receivers or RB’s that can run in/out of huddle every other play.
This is major college football and the weekly preparation by the d-coaches should not have this happening on Saturday.
Sorry, as an old defensive guy, no matter which of my favorite teams I’m watching, I spend more time focusing on that side of the ball.

 
#36
PB
Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 11:49 AM EDT

mack, what do you think is causing this substitution problem and what is the best correction? Are the coaches just too indecisive spending too much time trying to determine the best play call and therefore are late getting the personnel package out there? Or should they just commit to a personnel package first and then make the best play call from there even if it turns out not to be the best package for the situation?

 
#37
Harvard for Hillbillies
Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 1:34 PM EDT

So we have four defensive ends that are all getting a fair amount of PT in every game(or was this just against Navy)?

Would this be a normal scenario for any BIG team or is Wilson attempting to develop more players at shared positions because he doesn’t yet have the full 4 and 5-star talent at each DE position that would prove to be more the thoroughbred in playing most of the game?

It may appear frenzied and confused(and not uncommon amongst a young team still adapting to coaches and teammates all working from the same short term learning curve), but against a team so dedicated to the run(e.g. Navy)aren’t the substitutions to preserve stamina. Do you really think running on and off the field expends more energy than four quarters of getting hit and run over by a bigger/faster chop-blocking tackle/tight end/lead blocker?

And when nothing is working defensively(especially on the outside edge where DE’s are vital), don’t you want to get the best match-up depending on Navy’s personnel and anticipated set? And if Navy doesn’t reveal that set until very late in their own substitution patterns, doesn’t that frustrate timeliness when attempting to put out what you see as your best defensive option in a game that has quickly proven vulnerability to their potent run game?

Unlike our POtent offense, it seems likely we’ll see substitutions on the defensive side. The fact we’re still out-sized(until we can recruit and get commitments from the true horses(the “beef” and monstrous Gulliver-sized lineman on teams like OSU, Mich, Penn State, ND) seems to necessitate substitution. I think PO has mentioned many times the continued attempt to beef up our defensive players by way of adding sheer poundage and muscle mass. Don’t those players have to adjust to that new load on their own bodies? Wouldn’t there be a livelihood that a fast-paced offensive run game would test those ‘new’ bodies and create a bit more fatigue that may catch the athlete off-guard?

Again, this was the second game of the year against a Navy team that could confuse the traditionally top teams of our conference. We’re dealing with size issues and guys adjusting to whatever they could do to add more resistance and size to their bodies(not naturally born size)..Hate to use the term “artificially” inflated size because it can give hint to PED’s, etc.

And isn’t that size differential the main reason a defense may be slower to develop than an offense heavily geared to the pass play as its first strike mentality?

Do you think our offense(at this stage in Wilson’s roster building)ever run over teams, keep the ball on the ground, for four quarters?

I’ll just finish by saying that I highly doubt Bowling Green will confuse and cause last-second substitutions anything approaching the “pull out all the stops” required against the triple option of Navy.

This was too long…my apologizes. I had even more questions for the blog ‘coach,’ but I’ll hold off for now.

 
#38
Harvard for Hillbillies
Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 2:12 PM EDT

That’s where all the military analogies in the world don’t work in football. In modern military battles, you can win defensively with highly funded/equipped/technologically advanced aerial attacks. Though you don’t have the military “beef” and numbers on the ground, you can turn the air into a defense which becomes your best offense.

In football, it’s always ground troops vs. ground troops until you can prove you can stop the run invasion. Until you stop that ground assualt, the best air force in the game simply watches clipped of its wings.

But then you have that oddly-shaped, laced-up, slippery leather thing with pointed ends that can prove so difficult to hold and pay exceedingly close attention. In football, you have that golden egg that can change the course of what looked to be a doomed fate so, so very quickly. Where can we find a Charles Tillman for our defense…? Best way to demoralize any safe, keep-it-on-the-ground, offense is to find a peanut-sized expert with a George Foreman punch lurking at that “second level”; an expert at slaying the dragon as she softly cradles the prized pointy golden egg.

 
#39
Hoosier Clarion
Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 2:51 PM EDT

mack truck,

The key word to me was chaotic and it piked my interest. I get the expansion of you concern. I see the same action take place with many CFB teams who have good depth but not dominating talent. I guess I do not see it as detrimental enough to call it chaotic. The exertion and energy burned after the snap on the LOS is much greater than running in or out from the sideline. The rotation is still resting players when off the field. The rotation # is soon going to 5 as Kenney gets up to speed and becomes a regular on the depth chart. Which subsequently means more rotating, more rest available per each player and greater output on the field. I still like to think DM, WI and JF are still pushing the envelop from the coaching end to gain a match up advantage for every down. This “chaos” if that is indeed what it is will diminish some as the season goes on. Thanks for the comeback.

 
#40
Harvard for Hillbillies
Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 3:07 PM EDT

Clarion’s is a less exhaustive form from a concise football mind aimed with the succinct bullseye precision a highly trained deadly debate marksman…

Opposed to the loose cannon shotgun approach basically stating the same reasons found in my lengthy confusion ..

And when is there not “chaos” in losing?

The chaos of victory is forever unnoticed if we finished as the team with six more lousy points.

 
#41
mack truck
Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 6:53 PM EDT

HC, PO and HfH, thank you for the reply’s and schematic philosophy for coaching defense, cause you are definitively correct about being a “blog” coach since retiring. At least the responses are more fun than hearing my wife tell me to “let it rest, you’re not the coach”.

Offensive question from HfH…yes, I believe IU will build a solid run game with Tevin Coleman. He is going to get bigger, stronger, faster. When you see him practice, he is the real deal and will be a great back in the BIG. Even in successful spread offenses, the run game is your igniter (Oregon).

Believe me, I know the exertion of every play is greater than subbing in/out as this occurred frequently last year, not only against Navy. It is also a mental thing. Your mind gets into rhythm with your body and staying in the game for all/most of a series brings continuity to a player. You learn your opponents strengths/weaknesses after different types of plays and make your own adjustments to counter within your teams’ scheme or play calls. All four DE’s are good players for IU and will make things happen as the year plays out.

Linebackers are another story. Watch their work against blockers instead of watching the ball or review the video on DVR after the game to analyze. BTW, Hudl is an awesome system with end zone shots of every play. All three LB’s (#42,#2,#4) are not fundamentally sound to shed blocks, make correct reads and get pushed to the ground very easy. They get up fast to recover for tackles in the second or third level…but that leaves 2nd down & 2.

Although I never made offensive game plans, coaches copy others. I would devise my offensive game plan to attack those LB’s…similar to IU opponents last year. IU defensive coaches will make those adjustments this year…hopefully. Why hasn’t #49 played more?

 


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