‘Twas the night before Christmas …

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Assembly Hall

Not a creature was stirring, not even Tom Crean

The stockings were hung by the baskets with care,

In hopes that St. Bob Knight soon would be there;

The freshmen were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of the NCAA Tournament danced in their heads;

And Korman in his ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out at Memorial Stadium arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the balcony to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the banners and threw up the sash;

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight top recruits,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Knight.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Josh! Now, Cody! Now, D’Vauntes and Marshall!

On, Austin! On, Matt! On, Jeremy and Ron!

To the top of the Hall! To the top of the Stadium!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of gifts, and St. Knight too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each big foot.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the stairs St. Knight came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with logos and ads;

A bundle of basketballs he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a whistle he held tight in his teeth,

And the shrill it created circled the Hall like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old coach,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the balcony he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”


ScoopTalk: Missed free throws and X-Mas tidings

Loyola 72, Indiana 67 (the aftermath)

Tom Crean rids himself of his tie

Indiana missed eight free throws in the second half and a furious rally fell short, as the Greyhounds (6-5) came into Assembly Hall and won 72-67.

The Hoosiers (5-6) had a chance to take a four-point lead, but Jeremiah Rivers missed two free throws with 2:03 left in the game. Rivers then fouled Brett Harvey on a 3-pointer and Harvey’s second four-point play of the day (the other came courtesy of Rivers, too) put Loyola ahead 69-67.

The teams then traded unsuccessful possessions before Rivers ended up driving, drawing a foul and heading to the line again. He missed both.

Harvey, who held the ball for at least 10 seconds, was finally fouled and went to the line. He led the nation in free throw shooting last year. He hit both shots in this game.

Here’s the final stat packet, if you are interested.

We’re now waiting for Tom Crean to arrive to discuss the game.

Here’s Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos’ post-game press conference. His message? Tom Crean’s a good man and a good coach who is well on his way to rebuilding the Hoosiers.

Tom Crean, meanwhile, thinks his team will take valuable lessons from the loss.

Maurice Creek, Indiana’s leading scorer, thought at times he was selfish. At other times, he was too passive.

Brett Harvey talks about his four-point play and the meaning of the win for Loyola

Christian Watford discusses Indiana’s ugly start

Jeremiah Rivers discusses his tough times at the free throw line.

Loyola at Indiana: Discuss it here

Toledo at IU women

Career highs for Hope Elam (24 points) and Sasha Chaplin (22) highlight a big win for Indiana as the Hoosiers get ready to embark on the long Big Ten season. Jori Davis adds 18 as Toledo makes the final score more respectable in the final minute. HOOSIERS 73, ROCKETS 63

Crean: Hoosiers might use bigger lineup

If Indiana continues to struggle to rebound against bigger teams, Tom Crean said, the Hoosiers might just use a bigger lineup.

IU has had three guards on the floor in most occasions this season, typically starting Jeremiah Rivers at the point and Maurice Creek and Verdell Jones at the wings. He might not necessarily change that starting five, but he threw out the possibility of using three forwards — Christian Watford, Derek Elston and Tom Pritchard — elsewhere in games. That would mean Watford playing small forward, the position Crean hopes he will eventually move to, but that he hasn’t played yet. (more…)

Wait until you see this guy…

In mid-major basketball on the East Coast, Jimmy Patsos is sort of a legend.

Part of that is because he’s proven himself to be a pretty good coach, having taken a Loyola (Md.) team that was 1-27 the season before he arrived and led them to a winning season in his second year and back-to-back 18-win seasons in his third and fourth seasons. But most of it is because he’s… well… let’s just say different.

But I’ve developed the impression over the last few days that no one around here knows who this guy is. Well, let me just tell you you’re in for some entertainment.


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