IU-Illinois Postgame: So … When Can We No Longer Say “We Won The Big Ten Last Year?”

Things looked okay there for a while early in the second half. Then Indiana started beating itself. And soon thereafter Illinois finished them off.

And with that, one of the more frustrating Big Ten seasons I can remember is over.

We broke it all down on the postgame show, analyzing the game itself for a little while before moving into big picture discussion.

There just wasn’t much to say about the game itself. Turnovers and miscommunications on defense killed this team. What else is new?

Toward the end, Ryan and I have a very important discussion that will shape the offseason discourse of IU hoops: at what point can we no longer say that we won the Big Ten last year?

All that and much, much more on the latest episode of The Assembly Call.

And here’s the video:

A Quick Guide for IU Fans: 12 Ways to Enjoy the Big Ten Tournament (Win, Lose, or Banner)

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The Big Ten Tournament starts today.

This is an event that rarely brings IU fans anything but frustration, disappointment, and a late night at the office due to blowing off work duties to watch an early afternoon game.

So, in honor of the number of teams in the Big Ten, here are 12 quick tips to help you enjoy this weekend … no matter what happens. [Read more...]

Dare to Dream (So let’s say IU beats Iowa in Assembly Hall tonight …)

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So let’s say Indiana defeats Iowa in Assembly Hall tonight …

Not so ridiculous a notion.

The one thing Indiana has done with some consistency this year is beat ranked teams at home. And Iowa is reeling a bit, having lost two in a row — their Big Ten title hopes now up in smoke.

An IU win would give the Hoosiers a third win over a ranked foe (albeit all at home), make them 6-9 in the conference and 16-12 overall. Better, but not bubble better.

Take it a couple of steps further. Say Indiana wins its next two home games.

Unlikely? Probably, because this bunch of Hoosiers has not shown that it can string together consecutive good halves, let alone three straight good games.

For the sake of argument (and hope!), though, just say it’s possible.

[Read more...]

Second Half Struggles Nothing New for IU Under Crean … But it’s Worse This Year (Here’s the Data)

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In the notes section of our latest subscriber-only analysis on the Wisconsin game that we sent out this morning (get it immediately here), I referenced a couple tweets lamenting IU’s second half struggles in recent games.

The most notable among these came from Evan Hoopfer, who pointed out that IU was leading at halftime in eight of its last nine games. Unfortunately, the Hoosiers have emerged victorious from just three of those contests.

With that in mind, I wanted to look at the last few seasons to see what trends might exist.¬†I know I’ve often questioned Coach Crean’s ability to make halftime adjustments, but I had never looked at the data to try to back that up.

[Read more...]

How’s Your Attitude? (A Pep Talk to IU Fans)

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Your effort can be one thing, but your attitude toward it can be another.

~ Thomas Aaron Crean, February 17th, 2014

Sigh.

That’s the first thing I did this morning when I opened up Twitter and saw Chronic Hoosier’s reliably exuberant “It’s gameday, bitches!” tweet.

After what’s happened the last two games, I would not begrudge anyone that initial reaction. Not even myself.

Then my morning reading began. I read this article by Jordan Littman at Inside The Hall, recapping Tom Crean’s comments on his show with Don Fischer last night. And I came across the quote that began this post.

At first, I thought to myself: What the hell is he talking about? What, exactly, constitutes one’s attitude toward one’s effort?

It took me a good while to wrap my head around it.

This did not surprise me. Usually it’s not a good idea to parse the words of coaches on losing streaks, as they are wont to simply serve up drivel wrapped in coachspeak that, when broken up and analyzed in its component pieces, amounts to little more than “Blah, blah, blibbety, blah.”

But as I analyzed my unusual feeling of melancholy for a gameday morning, Crean’s meaning (intended or not) began to crystallize. [Read more...]