Sad Week for IU Fans

IMG_0472[1]IU started out as a preseason #1 and won the regular season Big Ten title, even spending time at #1 during the season. They were a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but got knocked after making it to the Sweet Sixteen. It was an exciting season to be sure and confirmed Indiana’s return to relevance in college basketball.

This week is sad for many IU fans. Victor Oladipo had a monster season and put himself in the running for player of the year. It was obvious he could play at the next level. A few days ago, he made the announcement. He is going to the NBA.

Today, Cody Zeller made the same announcement. I, along with a host of Hoosier fans I’m sure, had hoped he would stick around for another year. I could say it was because I wanted him to get better. Selfishly, I wanted to see him in the Crimson and Cream for at least one more season to help IU continue to get better.

Here’s a copy of his announcement that was posted on Inside the Hall:

Cody Zeller confirms that he will make himself eligible for the 2013 NBA Draft: “Two years ago, I made one of the best decisions of my life to attend and play basketball at Indiana University. My experience here at IU has been unforgettable and has surpassed my expectations, making me even more confident that I made the best college decision. Attending and playing basketball for IU not only fulfilled my collegiate dreams, but it also has provided me with the opportunity to fulfill my lifelong goal of playing in the NBA. While I will continue to pursue my degree in the future, I believe it is in my best interest to pursue my professional basketball career in the NBA next season.”

Sweet Hoosier Hysteria Video

Tom Crean tweeted the link to this video yesterday. I watched it and loved it. It is titled “Then and Now” and features past and current IU players. The creator of the video took photos and videos from the archives and made it appear that past players were alongside current players. You see Jordan Hulls and Damon Bailey side-by-side. One shot has last year’s team on the bench as Knight gets ready to toss the chair. Lot of fun to watch. Go IU!

IU blows 11-point lead to Nebraska??

It was great when IU knocked off #1 Kentucky.  Then, to beat then #2 OSU, that was pretty sweet.  Since then, things have taken a little bit of a downturn.  The Big Ten Conference is one of the toughest in this country this year and there are no easy wins.  But a loss to Minnesota – at home no less – and then blowing an 11 point lead.  Yikes!  I wasn’t able to watch the game last night and after seeing the results, I wasn’t too sad to have missed it.  IU is still a good team and am I confident they will get things turned around.  Hopefully this “bump in the road” will prepare them for an end of season run and on into March.

Here’s what IndyStar had to say about last night’s game:

When Indiana lost to Minnesota last week, the Hoosiers simply didn’t shoot well. When IU fell to Ohio State on Sunday, it was a dismal first half that did in the Hoosiers.

This one was more of the gift-wrapped variety.

Trying to snap a two-game losing streak, No. 11 Indiana squandered an 11-point lead in the final 7 minutes Wednesday and dropped a 70-69 decision to struggling Nebraska at the Robert Devaney Sports Center.

All of a sudden, an Indiana (15-4, 3-4 Big Ten) team that once boasted victories over the then-Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the nation on its NCAA resume is now staring at a pair of nasty losses. Nebraska and Minnesota were a combined 1-9 in Big Ten play, and each was in last place going into its game with the Hoosiers.

“We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and make sure these losses don’t start piling up,” said sophomore guard Victor Oladipo. “We felt like we got our edge back tonight. Now we have to build on that.”

Two free throws by Brian Jorge Diaz with 11 seconds to play gave the Cornhuskers their first lead since the 14-minute mark of the first half at 70-69.

Jordan Hulls hurried the ball into the frontcourt, turned the corner and had a drive to the basket. When the defense shifted over, Hulls was forced to put up an off-balance shot in the lane that he missed. The rebound went to the floor and rolled toward the IU bench; Hulls picked it up and hoisted a desperation shot at the buzzer that missed the mark.

The last possession was tough for Hulls.

The one before it, however, was even worse.

Hulls, who came in shooting 89 percent from the free throw line for the season and 88 percent for his career, had a one-and-one free throw opportunity with 23.8 seconds to play and his team clinging to a 69-68 lead. Hulls had hit his first four free throws.

This one bounced hard off the right side of the rim and was rebounded by Nebraska.

“He’s a human being and nobody is more disappointed that he is,” said IU coach Tom Crean. “But we wouldn’t trade having him at the line again. You all know that he has been phenomenal at the line. He just missed a free throw.

“I hope he gets that same opportunity here again in the near future.”

When Hulls hit a 3-pointer from the right wing with 6:37 to play, Indiana led 63-52 and appeared on its way to its second true road victory in Big Ten play.

But a combination of Indiana getting careless with the ball and Nebraska getting too many second-chance opportunities proved to be IU’s undoing. The Huskers had a 10-2 edge in second-chance points and scored 16 points off of IU’s 15 turnovers. Ten of those miscues came in the second half.

“We’ve got to take care of the ball better,” Crean said.

“I think we’re going to go back and look at the film and we’re going to look at the turnovers in the second half and just see how excruciatingly painful those were for us. They turned into easy baskets for Nebraska.”

Cody Zeller led IU with 18 points but didn’t score a field goal in the final 14 minutes. Hulls was the only other Indiana player in double figures with 12.

The Hoosiers shot 51 percent from the field and hit eight 3-point baskets. They limited Nebraska (10-8, 2-5) to 37 percent shooting.

But the Cornhuskers simply hit the big shots when they needed them down the stretch. Bo Spencer led Nebraska with 23 points.

IU Knocks Off #1 Kentucky

Indiana’s first big test of the season came today as Kentucky, ranked #1, came into Assembly Hall in Bloomington.  I was able to watch the first half at home, but had to get ESPN updates on my phone during 2nd half as Syd had a basketball game tonight (beat Washington Court House…more on that later).

Indiana hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win the game.  Here is the oh so sweet video of the shot and the bedlam that took place after the game.

Indiana Basketball Schedule is Here!

While I am excited about the start of the NFL season this week, I am also looking forward to college basketball.  While I.U. is still working to return to the level of success they have had in the past, I am anticipating the start of their season.  And today, their scheduled was posted!  It won’t be long until we hear the squeak of shoes on the court and the sound of the ball going through the net.  College basketball season is not far away.