Friday, March 21, 2008

Not with a bang

Dan Dakich's ridiculous tenure as head coach of Indiana is mercifully over. After his team continued it's abject failure to adjust on defense (Dannyboy claimed he was going to 'tweak' the Hoosiers D when took over. He tweaked it up about 10 more ppg. Moron). Other than DJ White and Basset who played like gladiators till the end, this is a team that had clearly given up on its coach. They gave up better than 60% shooting in the second half, mostly from sheer confusion.

I don't know what was wrong with Eric Gordon. If he wasn't healthy (missing those free throws was inexplicable), then he shouldn't have played at all. He absolutely killed this team with his inability to shoot. He obviously isn't the same player he was early in the year. He couldn't hit anything.

All in all it was a fittingly embarrassing end to this train wreck of a season.

Demond Sanders: It's been a memorable couple of weeks as a fan of the Indiana Hoosiers. This season was an unmitigated disaster mainly because it started with such potential. There's nothing quite like starting a season 24-4 and finishing it 25-8. DJ White deserved much better than this. Part of what makes the college game great is that is is played by 20 year old kids who (mostly) play for free because they love it. But when things go wrong you are left with players who have the maturity of a 20 year old.

The larger problem as you suggest was the coach. If the Hoosiers could play a lick of defense they would have won the last three games going away. Also, it is a pet peeve of mine when coaches don't play guys regularly the entire season (DeAndre Thomas) and then lean on them for one game in the tournament. To answer your poll question I put a small hole in the drywall after kicking the space heater.

4 comments:

Chad said...

Okaaaaaay Eric Gordon, you think you're ready for the NBA? 4 points in the tourney game, ice cold shooting for the past several games, no passion? Well, actually, the NBA sucks so badly he'd fit right in.

Joshua said...

DeShawn,

This is Joshua, Paul and Amy's neighbor. Tell me what you think of this theory:

The success of IU, Purdue, Butler is greatly impacted by the number of core kids from the state. When I say core, I mean key contributors.

In 1994, under pressure to win, coach Knight moved away from his recruiting philosophy of having a core of Indiana kids and went after and landed three McDonalds All-Americans, with little or no Indiana ties, Neil Reed, Charlie Miller, and Andre Patterson. I was a freshmen with those guys and spent four years with them as an IU manager. The move didn't work. IU has never really returned to Coach Knight's successful recruiting philosophy, (I'd like to see the 2002 roster, but wasn't the core Indiana/Midwest?) and has continued to look elsewhere for talent, going after the big names and not landing them and settling for decent talent from other states. Davis did it, Sampson was doing it. During these coaching changes, we've also seen three differenty styles or systems of basketball.

In the meantime, Purdue went through an orchestrated coaching change that passed the system and recruiting philosophy from Keady to Painter. There were some rough years for Purdue, but now they seem to have the ship righted and have a core of Indiana kids.

While IU was ignoring Indiana talent, Butler was reaping the benefits. The establishment of a system and the available Indiana players that fit the system well has seen them through some great years of basketball and three head coaches.

I tried to do some archiving and look at the rosters from all 3 of these schools for the last 20 years but I couldnt' dig anything up on the internet beyond the last few. I would love to look at that information and see what story it tells. I believe there is a formula for success there, and that Indiana has moved away from it.

Indiana doesn't need a big name magician of a basketball coach. I'm not sure if one would want to come here anyway. It just needs someone who has a developed system of success (Butler, Wisconsin, even the Colts operate by this philosophy) and knows how to assemble a core of Indiana/Midwest kids that fit the system. Even when IU was winning this year, it wasn't as enjoyable to watch as Butler and Purdue were (and currently are, since they are both still playing.)

Let me know if you are able to dig up any of this information and what story it tells.

Josh Brown said...

Big Ten POY + Big Ten Freshman of Year + two 1st team All-Big Ten players + Two All-Americans = a first round loss. Even the last sorry team Davis put on the floor won a tourney game. I have never seen a projected lottery pick less ready for the NBA then Gordon. The sad part is, despite how he has played, everything I have read about the draft is predicting he is still a lottery pick! Guess the new formula for a new NBA lottery pick is lightning speed, no ball handling ability, no passing ability, shaking free throw shooting, and bad shot selection.

Deshawn Zombie said...

Sounds like the NBA to me.

Gordon was never the same player after his wrist injury. I think he's an 18 year old kid who's coach failed him. He'll probably be fine at the next level if he gets healthy.