Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

March 29, 2013

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Hoosier heartbreak

Indiana looks ahead after another early NCAA exit

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana left Washington in a dour mood.

Tom Crean knows his team can’t afford to let it linger if it intends to continue chasing another national championship banner.

After falling two wins short of their own expectations, making their first Final Four trip 2002, the Hoosiers headed home after Thursday’s stinging loss to Syracuse trying to keep this loss in perspective.

“These guys have done a fantastic job. There will be a time to celebrate them, but they’ve done things that have not been done in Indiana in a long, long time, and they did it from scratch,” coach Tom Crean said. “When we look at that, we will feel good about that and there are a lot of things to celebrate for them.”

Certainly the three seniors who helped Indiana rebound from a 6-win season the year before their arrival and the teammates who helped put the Hoosiers back on the national college basketball map have plenty of memorable moments -- Christian Watford’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat Kentucky, the school’s first outright Big Ten title in two decades, the most weeks of any team in the No. 1 spot all season.

But disappointed Hoosiers fans are already pondering what the future might hold.

There are plenty of questions heading into the offseason, including whether 7-foot sophomore Cody Zeller and 6-foot-5 defensive stopper Victor Oladipo will leave school early for the NBA. Both are projected to be top 10 picks in June’s draft, and if they do declare, they could improve their draft stock during pre-draft workouts. Crean has promised to provide both players with the best advice he can get from NBA scouts, though neither Zeller or Oladipo was prepared to talk about his future Thursday night.

“I’ve been focused on Indiana Hoosier basketball and I loved playing with these guys, and I’ve enjoyed the ride,” Oladipo said. “I’m never going to forget this team, the players on this team, this coaching staff, anything. That’s all I’ve really been thinking about.”

If they do leave, the Hoosiers have some replacement parts in place such as tough-guy forward Will Sheehey, highly-touted freshman Hanner Mosquera-Perea and backup guard Remy Abell. They also can build around another strong class of incoming freshmen.

If Zeller and Oladipo stay, as most Indiana fans hope, Crean and his staff will face a different kind of quandary — trying to fit a six-man recruiting class into just three open spots. Crean has repeatedly indicated he has a contingency plan in place though he has not elaborated about it publicly.

The Hoosiers and their fans just didn’t think they’d be facing this dilemma until sometime in April, but their worst performance of the season came at exactly the wrong moment and against Syracuse’s zone defense that exposed some of the flaws Indiana must get fixed if they intend to make a deeper tourney run next season.

On Thursday, Indiana finished with more turnovers (19) than baskets (16) and a season-low point total in the 61-50 loss.

Afterward, Crean explained the Hoosiers and point guard Yogi Ferrell, in particular, had never a zone that played quite that way.

“We got tentative because we kept trying to put the ball in from places that it just wasn’t going to come from there, it had to come more from the wing, so he will learn from it,” Crean said when asked about Ferrell.

“He will be a great learner from it.”

Still, the Hoosiers (29-7) have a solid foundation to build around following a season full of accomplishments.

They started the season ranked No. 1 for only the third time in school history and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for only the third time in school history, too.

Indiana won more than 25 games in back-to-back years for the first time since 1991-92 and 1992-93. It reached the regional semifinals in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1993 and 1994.

And, of course, the three seniors -- Watford, Jordan Hulls and Derek Elston -- who came in when the cupboard was bare and turned a reeling program back into a national contender.

None of that will be forgotten.

“It’s been full of up’s and down’s but I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Watford said when asked to describe his career at Indiana. “I love my teammates, and I’m happy to be an Indiana Hoosier.”

Even if the final chapter ended a little earlier than anybody expected.

“Well, we have had a heck of a ride with this group, and it doesn’t feel like that tonight, won’t feel like that for a couple of days, maybe longer,” Crean said.

“But the bottom line is that this program has come from so far and I hope at some point in time, the seniors, the guys on this team will remember that they did things that hadn’t been done first off in 20 years at Indiana but more importantly there are not any programs, whether it be Syracuse, Kentucky, Carolina, Duke, you name it that are the blue-blood programs of the country that have had to endure what these guys have had to endure. They have done it with perseverance, toughness, and improvement and they have done it with great class and they will all be better for it.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Nadal Withdraws Tennis [GOSHEN NEWS] TENNIS: Nadal withdraws from two tournaments Rafael Nadal withdrew Wednesday from U.S. Open tuneups in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting in doubt his status for a title defense at the year's last Grand Slam tournament.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NFL: Colts look for second-year LB to take big step forward ANDERSON — Big Bjoern has certainly made his presence felt during the first week of training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. Bjoern Werner -- the 6-foot-3, 257-pound second-year outside linebacker for the Colts -- is being counted on to big a major force on the Indianapolis defense this season.

    July 30, 2014

  • Bridgestone Invitational Golf-3 [GOSHEN NEWS] GOLF: Woods hopeful for more good memories at the Firestone AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods finds out over the next two weeks if his season is over or just getting started.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NCAA Concussion Lawsuit-9 [THE GOSHEN NEWS] NCAA settles head-injury lawsuit via fund CHICAGO — The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Offense adapting to new arsenal ANDERSON — Dwayne Allen didn’t often recognize the Indianapolis Colts offense he was watching from the sideline last season.The third-year tight end suffered a season-opening hip injury in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders, then watched as left guar

    July 30, 2014

  • Running back Rainey is released ANDERSON — Just days after earning praise for his playmaking ability from head coach Chuck Pagano, running back Chris Rainey was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday morning.The news was broken in a press release around 8:30 a.m. and later conf

    July 30, 2014

  • SPT GN140730 Kulp Former Jimtown coach Brent Kulp named GHS softball coach GOSHEN — When you find your calling in life you follow it, even if it means going back to a previous career. Brent Kulp understands this lesson.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Big Ten Media Days Football [Duplicate] Playoffs could create chances for Big Ten teams CHICAGO — As he watched the BCS championship game last season, Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook could not help but wonder: What if a playoff system were in place? Would the Spartans be playing for the biggest prize? No need to wonder anymore. T

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • USA Basketball-3 [Duplicate] Rose returns as U.S. basketball team opens camp LAS VEGAS — Derrick Rose says he feels old. The 25-year-old point guard's rigorous play on Monday during the U.S. basketball team's first practice dictated otherwise. "I was joking with Kyle Korver, I told him 'I'm getting old, man. I've got to stret

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results