A story from today’s paper . . .
You see it in many of those who have passion for playing the game.
They get near a court and they come alive. Their bodies were built with receptors that draw energy from basketball, be it the pickup game at the corner park or the NBA game inside the biggest arena in the state.
It flares in Armon Bassett on the Friday before Christmas. Heâ€™s walking in the shadow of Conseco Fieldhouse, a building he played in several times as a member of the Indiana Hoosiers.
But on this night Bassett wonâ€™t even enter Conseco. He had planned to watch the Los Angeles Clippers and Indiana Pacers play later that night.
As he crosses Pennsylvania avenue, though, he looks back over his shoulder.
â€œI wanted to go,â€ he says. â€œI wanted to see him play. But not after that.â€
I direct your attention to this post on our QuickHits high school blog, authored by Hugh Kellenberger, to not only keep you updated on South sophomore Erik Fromm, who many think will pick up more major offers over the summer, but also to highlight the fact that Oregon State called the Fromm family on Christmas Eve.
Yes, I’m picturing it now. Bennie Seltzer hunched down low in a pew during the Christmas church service, dialing away.
SELTER: Hey, yeah. It’s Bennie. Come to IU!
RECRUIT: Is that “Oh Holy Night” in the background?
SELTZER: Yeah, you want to sing along? Or you can wait for the next one. Let me see . . . oh, right. “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.” That one is hard, all that up and down and the Latin and all that. But we can conquer it together. That’s our motto at IU. Hard work and togetherness builds championship teams!
It happens at the start of each year. We all decide to try to do something that we could have just as easily started doing, say, Dec. 27 or 29 or whatever. Maybe we’re tricked by the supposed blank slate; maybe we really believe the new year won’t carry the problems of the old one.
But for Indiana athletics, this new year is unlike probably any in it’s history. I can’t imagine there’s ever been an athletic director switch like the one from Rick Greenspan and Fred Glass, both in terms of timing and what it means to the department.
I hope we’ve done a good job highlighting some of the good that Rick Greenspan has done (hiring Terry Hoeppner and Tom Crean, starting the building projects, etc.). And of course we covered the bejeesus out of his big mistake: having some sort of role in the hiring of Kelvin Sampson (even if it was just to agree) and then failing to sufficiently monitor his activities.
You can and probably have or will debate things in the above passage: Greenspan hired Hoeppner but then hired Lynch, the building projects were so overdue that any AD would have had to make them a priority, the financial recovery Greenspan is often credited with started under Terry Clapacs, Greenspan had Sampson foisted on him by then President Adam Herbert and some trustees, etc. Those parts of his legacy have yet to be sorted out.
What is undeniable is that Greenspan brought a new mood to Indiana athletics. He put many of his own people in top positions and led through his senior staff. His approach was direct and brash, and many were left in its wake. He was always aggressive in fighting for what he thought was right for his department.
No one seems sure how Fred Glass will lead. He’s never worked inside an athletic department, though his resume is otherwise full of things that make you pretty sure he’ll succeed.Â And his approach certainly seems like it will be different than Greenspan’s. He’s signed on to be a vice president of the university (meaning he doesn’t have a contract) and pledged to be more open and transparent.
What are your resolutions for Fred Glass and the department he inherits? What do you hope to see this year?
Let’s try to be creative.
Don’t say you’d like to see Bill Lynch fired.
We’ve heard you. Fred Glass has heard you. It’s not happening now. You don’t need to keep repeating yourself. If Lynch has a terrible year and gets canned, we’ll give you all the credit you deserve for being so prophetic.
Don’t say you’d like to see a year with no major NCAA violations.
That goes without saying.
Put some thought into this one.
One of the real challenges for the Indiana men’s basketball team, which sits at 5-7 coming off two home losses heading into the beginning of Big Ten play at Iowa Saturday, is to both persevere as a close-knit team and also, frankly, hate each other while practicing. Because only then will the intensity of conference play be replicated.
Today, it seemed like it was.
“Today was crazy,” Freshman guard Nick Williams said. “A lot of blood and a lot of physicality. We were talking back and forth. We were jawing at each other. Hard fouls. Today was one of the best days we’ve had this year with practice and being tough with each other.”
There’s smoke billowing from the Wildermuth Intramural center right now, and firefighters have cut a hole in the roof to try to get water to the fire.
Butler 72, UAB 68 (Final)
Vaden misses a pair of 3s with UAB trailing by one point and Butler is able to pull away at the end.
Vaden does finish with 23 points on 5-of-11 shooting from 3.
Butler 48, UAB 45 (12:52)
Shelvin Mack, a freshman from Lexington, has hit all five 3-pointers he’s taken and has 17 points this half as Butler has taken advantage of UAB’s shooting struggles.
Vaden did tie the score momentarily at 45 with an impressive 3; he came off a screen and shot without setting his feet. That’s what sets him apart.
By the way, it looks like Illinois and Purdue are playing a spirited one just up the road in West Lafayette.
We ran this story on departing athletic director Rick Greenspan in the paper today. It’s long, but I think worth a read. I’ll paste it after the jump for all the non-subscribers who are hastening our demise.