Butler's Brad Stevens' success haunts IU

April 6, 2010
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Two years ago I wondered aloud if Indiana University should have at least taken a look at Butler’s Brad Stevens before offering its basketball coaching job to Tom Crean.

I was almost laughed off the air by the radio talk show host I was chatting with, not to mention peers in my own newsroom. Heck, even my wife—an avid sports fan—thought the idea was ludicrous.

In the end, I had to agree. Hiring a 31-year-old with one year’s head coaching experience did seem a bit ridiculous.

It doesn’t look so ridiculous any more. And I’m guessing more than a few fans languishing in Hoosierland these days are wondering the same thing. Would IU be better off with home-grown Brad Stevens than the imported Crean?

I’m a long way from saying Crean has failed. He simply hasn’t been given enough time to resurrect the program from the ashes. But if he keeps missing on the likes of Gordon Hayward, the questions will grow louder. Crean, who came to IU with a spiffy resume and polished presentation, might want to forget about the national blue chip recruits he keeps whiffing on and focus on the talent making its way through Indiana high schools.

Coaching legend Bob Knight’s own admission on ESPN this morning that there is no doubt that the two best teams and best coached teams—Butler and Duke—met for the championship last night, probably doesn’t help Crean’s case right now.

But there's a larger issue at hand. And that issue speaks to the very way in which the IU athletics department has been run for the last 20 plus or minus years.

The long-term stability of Knight at IU covered up a lot of warts for a very long time within the school’s inept athletic department. As crazy as The General was at times, he worked for peanuts and never made crazy salary demands, brought in legions of supporters and lots of alumni donations.

The money and publicity Knight brought in helped fund the school’s successful swimming, soccer and other non-revenue generating sports teams.

You wouldn’t confuse me as a Knight apologist by a long shot, but his firing by then president Myles Brand certainly brought on a number of problems. And IU sports administrators shot themselves in the foot so many times—with the mismanagement of the Mike Davis situation, the indecision on Steve Alford, the hiring of Kelvin Sampson—they finally had to lay down on the ground and cry uncle.

While Butler officials have identified not one, not two, not three, but four coaches who could succeed in their system, IU has fumbled around aimlessly with not only its basketball, but its football program as well.

IU Athletics Director Fred Glass deserves a pass for now. He’s still cleaning up the mess left by past IU sports administrators. But he's got to be on a short leash, and his choke chain must be getting snugger with every Bulldog success.

Glass must prove he can identify, hire and retain talent in key positions. Actually nurturing and elevating talent within IU's own system would also be a brilliant idea that IU has never seemed to grasp. Butler athletic directors making half of Glass' salary at IU have managed to master that concept.

We can only hope that the good folks running IU’s athletic department have by now realized that it’s people, not facilities that make a program successful. Rattling around in the basketball offices and locker rooms at Hinkle Fieldhouse shows you that.

I can’t remember the last time IU struck gold with a bright, young coach. The late Terry Hoeppner—IU’s former football coach—was a fine man. I repeat, a fine, fine man. The same goes for Bill Lynch. But both were a long way from being in the early stages of career ascension when hired by IU.

I won’t even mention Cam Cameron and Gerry DiNardo. That would simply be a low blow.

And don’t tell me a football program can’t succeed at IU. If Butler can be within a whisker of beating Duke University for the national basketball championship, IU can play in the Rose Bowl—at least once every 15 years.

I’ve seen the way this state has rallied around a successful Indianapolis Colts football team. I have to believe it would be the same case if IU flourished on the gridiron.

Glass and his staff are fighting a war on two fronts. And at the present, they’re losing both of them—and fans, revenue and donations along the way.

Now I will be the first to admit, I don’t know beans about basketball Xs and Os. But someone within the IU athletics department should. If someone as ignorant as I was pondering if Stevens could succeed at IU, surely the thought at least crossed the mind of someone in Bloomington.

And I’m guessing Stevens would have started for a lot less pay than Crean. IU had the perfect opportunity to start a guy low and make him prove himself before coughing up big bucks.

Now Stevens has proved he can cull Indiana (and beyond) for the best talent, even if that talent isn't perceived by others. He’s certainly proved he can coach. IU donors would have thrown money at the university in his name.

But alas, Butler found him. They found him when he was 23. They nourished and supported him and watched him blossom under the right circumstances. Some thought the school was taking the cheap way out when they hired the man with no head coaching experience. It turns out they were just being smart.

Smarts, that’s a commodity that’s been in short supply down in Bloomington for a while.

Now IU faithful are left with the latest in a long line of "What ifs." 

And if its basketball team is still floundering in a year or two, IU will have to pay big if they want to reap what Butler has sown.
 

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  • iu's #1 problem is a fan base that demands to win immediately. It is the same with ND. They do not give a coach time to develop a system. There is little or no honeymoon period. After one losing season, the iu faithful would be calling for Stevens head. So iu and ND shoot for "proven" winners. And you end up with folks like Sampson or Weiss.

    Purdue seems to have the system down. Bring in someone who has good skills as a coach and give him the time and resources to win. Matt Painter does not go for the top flashy players, he goes for good solid players and knows how to recruit them. Same with Tiller. iu fans ripped on Tiller, ripped on Painter, and are now ripping on Hope. But Purdue nation knows to give him time. One season does not a career make.

    If iu faithful would learn patience, they would be rewarded. that said, they are so deep in a hole right now, I am not sure if anyone can pull them out of it.
    • Needle and Thread?
      "And if its basketball team is still floundering in a year or two, IU will have to pay big if they want to reap what Butler has sewn."

      I believe you mean "sown". As in sowing seed . . . . which is something you can reap. Spellcheck said it OK I'm sure but your editor should have known better.
    • IU
      With the smug elitists running the show and bowing in every opportunity to the progressives that are ruining the country, why should they expect anything better? Overpaying coaches, overzealous expectations, whining about losses? Gee, we never heard about any of this before Knight was set up to be fired. Perhaps the once proud, famed halls of IU are just getting what they deserve.....Nothing to write home about and deservedly so.
      • 20/20
        Hindsight is always 20/20. While I agree that the IU athletic department has made some bad decisions over the last 10 years, I don't think it is fair to say that Fred Glass and Tom Crean should be evaluated based on those decisions. While Brad Stevens has proven to be a great coach, he did not take over a program that had one returning player and several walk ons like Tom Crean did. Butler was a Sweet Sixteen team when Stevens arrived and he has done a great job of building on that. But to suggest that he would have had similar success in the situation that IU was in is a pretty big stretch. I think we all hope IU can get back on the winning track again.
      • Give Glass a Break
        Sure the timing didn't work with Coach Stevens ... but this basketball state is big enough for Stevens and Crean and Painter. We just need to recruit our homegrown talent. And I agree that Knight covered-over a weak athletic dept that did a terrible job in the past (though Brand was right to get rid of him). And the verdict won't be in on Coach Crean for a few years (though count me an optimist on his chances)... But give Fred Glass a break! He's done more things right in 18 months than his predecessors did in 18 years! It will take a Herculean effort to clean out the Augean stables that IU's sports program was when Glass arrived in 08, and he's well on his way.
      • Why just IU?
        Does it haunt Purdue? Or Notre Dame? For all the hoopla of Matt Painter, what has he done since he has been there? Sweet 16? What about ND? Has Brey done anything? If I recall, IU handled the transition from their coach leaving (Knight) just like Butler did - hiring an assistant (Davis). And what did that assistant do in 2002? Made it to the championship game and lost, sound familiar? Nothing is promised, Stevens could be leaving for Oregon as we speak, Hayward could be NBA bound and where does that leave the program? Sure IU is on hard times now, but their only misstep was hiring Sampson, a bonehead move to be sure. But to say hiring Stevens over Crean would have been the right thing to do is pretty easy right now, let's see in a year or two. While it may be great for Purdue to make a Sweet 16, it may be nice for ND to make the tournament, and Butler is a feel good story for that once in a lifetime final four, IU is the institution that brings championships to the state.
        • IU PATIENCE ???
          As to IndyMan criticizing Hoosier fans for not being patient - please define patience for me; our last Rose Bowl was 1968 and the last basketball national title was 1987 - please tell me how patient are we supposed to be?

          IU athletics department has been a disaster for decades because the trustees/president mismanaged just about everything they touched including Knights dismissal and most hiring decisions made thereafter. IU needed a proven coach after KS's firing - Stevens simply was not a proven coach with the track record required at the time. Stevens now has the track record necessary to move on to a school like IU and he probably will as Butler simply cannot match the dollars other schools can pay him. Weiss was not a proven winner at the collegiate level and if you check ND's hiring record since Ara retired only Holtz was a good pick - I blame ND for hiring the wrong people (none of the coaches they hired/fired have had success after leaving ND - my point being they hired the wrong person - it had nothing to do with not giving them enough time.)
        • Stevens Culling Local Talent?
          While I am far from an IU fan, I have to take exception with the belabored point you attempt to make that Stevens culls his Butler talent locally. All 5 of the starters in last night's game were east coast kids, not Indiana kids. So I would hope that what you meant to imply was that the coaching talent (i.e., Stevens) was home-grown rather than the talent he coaches at Butler.
          • Thoughts from a hoosier spartan
            I have my BA from IU and MBA from MSU. I was lucky enough to be on-campus when MSU won in 2000. Crean was a big reason for the success of MSU. MSU had not been able to attract the best talent in MI for awhile. The class from Flint was the coup for them. He was the main recruiter and under Izzo created the pipeline that is still in-place to this day. The MSU staff starts looking at kids in Junior High and builds relationships with the coaches.

            Lemming considers Crean one of the top assessors of talent in college basketball. He has a good resume to go after blue chip recruits. The problem as I see it is that he is still trying to find his way in a state where up to 7-8 schools consistently fight for the talent. IU, PU, Butler, UNC, ND, Duke, MSU, and OSU take kids from the state almost every year.

            He needs to understand that he must focus on Indiana Kids. There is a reason that MSU, Duke and UNC recruit the state pretty regularly. Our kids can shoot and understand the fundamentals. He has to build the relationships with the coaches and the communities. He needs to look past the top 100 in the country and find those kids who live Hoosiers every day. They work their tail off.

            Butler did not have the "blue chip" talent of most of the top teams in the tourney. It has players that fit the system and are willing to work to improve. Defense took away the offensive talent of several teams.

            Crean should be given time to get his kids in. His first class was a late class. His second class was a good one. This year's class is not a great one, but may fit the pieces. If he has the pieces in place, then he can fill in with a blue chip recruits. Teams with senior leadership usually do well.
          • can't compare IU to any school
            Crean came into the job with nothing to work with. Except for disasters that decimated teams, I can't think of a worse talent situation. And he had recruiting limitations thanks to Sampson. This will not be fixed next year either. This is one of the most unique challenges in the history of storied programs. Crean needs 2-3 more years and we'll have to suffer through it. The more we fuel the fire of "maybe he's the not the right guy", the more the better recruits will be concerned about coaching stability and look elsewhere.
          • couple of points to make
            First to MS: 10 of 15 players on the Butler roster played for and graduated from Indiana high schools, most notably, Gordon Hayward (Brownsburg) and Matt Howard (Connersville).
            Secondly, to AC and a few others: This isn't just about IU basketball/Tom Crean vs. Brad Stevens. It's about IU's inability as a whole to ID talent, hire it and nurture it. Another important point is that going after the big-name guy isn't always the best way. Matt Painter hadn't made much of a name for himself when Purdue hired him. But Purdue officials recognized someone that would work in their program. IU needs to do the same in basketball, football and other sports for that matter. As a side note, there's no reason I can see why IU shouldn't be more competitive in women's basketball, other than they can't find the right coach to succeed in their system. Just another symptom of the epidemic down in Bloomington.
          • MS, Really? Butler's starting 5 were all east coast? What game were you watching?

            Gordon Hayward, Brownsburg
            Shelvin Mack, Louisville
            Matt Howard. Connersville
            Willie Veasely, Freeport Il

            Can't remember the other starter. Sounds real east coast to me. Do they even have any east coast players? I think they are either midwest or southern.

          • East Coast Kids?
            Since when are Connersville and Brownsburg not in Indiana? Since when are Kentucky and Illinois on the East Coast? 10 of Butler's 15 players are from Indiana. MS - you're an idiot. As an IU fan, I'm glad you're not one.
          • JB,

            Not that type of patience, but the patience to give a coach a chance. Patience to make smart decisions, and not knee jerk reactions.

            iu gives Davis a fat contract because he goes to the championship game with someone else's talent and we see what happened.

            iu feels the need to get a big name coach who will win quickly. We all see what Sampson got them.

            iu is the type of school that a lot of coaches will not go to because they do not want the pressure of having to win quickly. Sometimes it takes time to get a program rolling.
          • MS
            Gordon Hayward is from Brownsburg and Matt Howard is from Connersville. That's Indiana, not east cost.

            I don't know what game you were watching last night, MS.
          • Mike Davis
            I will say this about former IU basketball coach Mike Davis. I don't think it was entirely his fault he didn't succeed at IU. He had his flaws (don't we all), but IU did not put him in a situation where he could succeed. School officials mishandling of Knight, the Alford situation (constant flirtation and indecision) and their constant fence sitting with Mike Davis meant he never had a chance. I think in time, and maybe at UAB, Davis will prove he's a good coach in the right situation. I'm actually more confident that Mike Davis will one day succeed in his endeavors than the IU athletics department will at theirs.
          • Your Wife
            Anthony, I would hazard a guess that your wife thinks all your ideas are ludicrous. Nonetheless, I think your points about IU and your blogs about Butler this week are all well-taken. IU has been without vision since the end of the '80's. Bobby Knight was a legend, but he was at IU for so long that they forgot how to build a program. They did it with Bill Mallory in the '80's with the football program. I doubt any IU football program went to that many bowl games in such a short period. The '80's had a winning football team, a winning basketball team, a winning soccer team, a winning swim team. These things bring in alumni money and loyalty. These things attract students from across the country. These things are important and IU seems to have lost sight of that fact or has simply lost touch with what it takes to get it done. Yes, we all want instant gratification, but most of us are willing to delay that when we're watching what appears to be progress. We haven't seen progress in a long time. When the hometown talent is choosing Butler over IU, someone needs to wake up and recognize that you can't give a high school kid a burning desire to go to a school that's been a public sports disaster since that high school kid got out of diapers.
          • Not really
            Gordon Hayward is from Brownsburg, INDIANA, Matt Howard is from Connersville, INDIANA, Zach Hahn is from New Castle, INDIANA. That sounds pretty home grown to me.
          • Hoosiers and Titles
            Give it a break...it's been 23+ years since your last. Plus Purdue gave you the 1940 tourney, by refusing to go and letting IU into the tourney. You're third fiddle in the state....and deserve it. Very tired program.

            My sons and thier friends talk about UNC and Kentucky. Unheard of 15 years ago..IU has missed on a whole generation of Kids.

            Enjoy you're mediocrity
          • What championships?
            We also have to realize that to many of the talented Indiana high school players who are 17 or 18, they don't know much about the glory days of IU. Other than one shot at the national title in 02, for the most part our real glory days happened before they were 5 years old.
          • please look again
            The starting 5 for Butler were not all east coast kids. Howard, and Hayward Indiana boys, Mack is a Kentucky lad, Nored is from Alabama, and Veasly came out of IL, there were 10 players from Indiana on the Butler Roster...
          • Patience please...
            I agree with a lot that has been said. I don't understand the comments about Crean not recruiting Indiana kids. Does anyone follow IU recruiting? Crean's always attending high school games all over the state & trying to build relationships with the Indiana high school coaches. The problem/issue is that neither Davis nor Sampson bothered to recruit the state, so Crean essentially had to start fresh with the local coaches. A lot of these kids have been recruited since their freshman year of high school by the Matt Painters, Brad Stevens, Thad Mottas of the world. Crean is (to me) working hard to "catch up" and build these relationships. Further, at this point, it is kinda of a hard sell to get these top recruits to be part of the rebuilding process in Bloomington when they can go to more established programs in state. In the meantime, it would be great if IU fans/supporters had a little patience..
          • More PU misinformation...
            More misinformation from an uninformed PU fan. Ken T check your facts before you post.

            IU was selected by a committee to go the 1940 tournament because they believed IU was the better team that year (only 1 team from each region was chosen). IU swept Purdue in that year.

            Butler's own Tony Hinkle was on the committee that chose IU instead of Purdue.

            Here are the facts....read it and weep....
            http://www.heraldtimesonline.com/hoosiershq/historia/1940/
            • IU drinks thier own koolaid
              As a Boiler through and through, I always looked forward to the PU/IU contests as typically they were competitive. Somewhere along the line though, IU embraced a position that they must be all things to everyone. Perhaps its the ultra-liberal atmosphere in Bloomington but it seems MANY hiring decisions were made based upon the face rather than the talent, especially in basketball. So while IU has been languishing because of one bad hiring decision after another, Purdue, Butler and somewhat ND have kept moving forward in building strong programs with the non-blue chip kids. In particular Purdue and Butler have done a terrific job in finding the kids that just know how to play solid basketball. I think the IU "nation" needs to bury the glory days of Knight as they will never be back in that way and look for, if it's what they really want, a new basketball tradition that results in respect rather than stiffled snickers.
            • 70 years ago -- Really?
              You are worried about the facts of a tournament played in 1940 - 70 years ago? Really? Wow, talk about resting on your laurels. Try giving us something to think about from the modern era and return to 2010 in your Hot Tub Time Machine.
            • Missing on talent
              Tom Crean did not miss on the likes of Gordon Hayward. That would have been Kelvin Sampson, Rob Senderhoff, Ray McCallum and Jeff Meyer. If you are going to write about something at least know the history of it. Singling out Coach Crean for effect makes this more like a long Peegs rant than a well thought out piece by someone who actually covers the program.
            • A different perspective
              While agreeing with many aspects of your commentary, might I suggest that Brad Stevens and Butlers recent success be viewed a little differently. Initially, I believe this attention is a good thing for IU and all schools residing in the state. How many times did the sports community refer to the heritage, purity and importance of basketball in the state, not just at one insitution. The word Hoosiers, regarless of context (movie, resident or IU) still lets a myriad of talented HS basketball players gain some lost insight regarding the history of our treasured sport. I suggest, then, the reflective glow will benefit all schools in their recruiting process. Butler has been good for a very long time and to embrace this newfound noteriety as an anomoly is a disservice to one of the nations winningest programs. But....with 5 banners in the rafters, there still exists a singular distinction for one of the states programs. This still matters.
            • ?????
              How do you blame Crean for not recruiting Hayward?

              He was already committed to Butler. I'll be expecting an article apologizing about this mix up in your article. Oh wait, corrections don't sell papers do they?
            • Ken T lies
              Thanks for pointing out my lie from 70 years ago. Good Grief. Way to nail me on that one. Good thing I didn't miss on the 23+ years without a championship or missing out on a generation of fans.
            • At least get your facts right
              Crean has recruited the state of Indiana heavily, so why use that as primary points of your article. Did Crean whiff on Creek and Watford? It's a good thing he has those two guys.
            • Wow Ken T...keep blabbering
              So we've gone 23+ years without a banner and how many years have your boilers gone...oh yeah, thats right, you have 0, big fat nada, nothing...keep talking and getting your licks in now cuz we'll be back soon enough and everybody will see why Indiana Hoosier Basketball put the state of Indiana on the map...good luck winning a title at PUke...maybe in swimming!!!
              • Disagree
                I disagree with several of the comments about recruiting. Although I enjoy watching Hayward play, to say Crean whiffed is completely false. Crean was at Marquette when Hayward was a senior. Hayward did not develop until late in his high school career so he wasn't highly recruited. Also, he already committed to Butler. This was very poorly written. Also, how can we judge Crean on in state recruiting. He landed 2 of the 4 top 150 recruits in the state last year. The real test will be the 2011 and 2012 class. Everyone needs to quit jumping the gun.
              • This is how I judge
                This is how I judge Tom Crean's recruiting; his record. And it's not been very good at IU. I'm willing to give this guy time. But I'm telling you, he's employing the same recruiting tactics that got Mike Davis run out of town. It's time for Crean to face it, the next Dwayne Wade isn't coming walking through the Assembly Hall doors.
              • east coast kids???
                Hayward and Howard are both hoosiers, as well as 6th man Zac Hahn.
              • blabbering
                Why do you keep thinking I am a Boiler fan.

                I could care less about Purdue. I am just pointing out a once proud program is now a disgrace and an afterthought. Once a program that was clean is now hypocritical and no different than a UNLV.

                A program that had three coaches (Mccracken, Watson, Knight) over 62 years now has had five (Trelor, Davis, Sampson, Dakich, Crean) over the last 9 years.

                A basketball program that once made Channel Four the highest rated local TV station in the country and now you don't even know they are playing or what network.

                If Purdue does when a swimming title, can we please stop hearing about IU soccer and their SWIMMING Titles??

                Face it, IU basketball hasn't been relevant for a over a decade when Knight started falling off. I guess it's the curse of the general. Now I am done, have a great day.
              • Read more carefully
                All you guys dogging on this post because Crean wasn't at IU to recruit Hayward should read more carefully. The blog posting actually says "But if he keeps missing on the likes of Gordon Hayward,.." This means other players like Hayward not specifically Hayward. The definition of "the likes of" is "a similar kind"
              • WIN
                IU and Notre Dame just hold themselves to a hire standard when it comes to Athletics. It's the same way at every top program. (Duke, UNC, Kansas,)Having a mentatilty to let someone rebuild is a losing mentatilty. IU and Notre Dame built programs there is no room to ever rebuild. You may have a down year here or there, but 2 losing seasons at any of the top programs is unacceptable.
              • Butler
                i wanted someone else, stevens now has proved himself. but i believe a jamie dixon, or jay wright would have been a better choice at the time. how can u say a polished crean, 1 final four with a all star scoring ya 30 to 40 a game. you can't coach that. in my eyes hes done nothing. get billy donavon, kids love his style play. indiana hired billy gillespies brother.
              • 2 yrs.
                crean has had 2 full seasons, we are no better than his 1st yr. ok, let me think, recruit a indiana unknown big or i will get jobe? enough said. can't rebuild like that, sorry way overpaid, and not the right guy for this job. but who am i?
              • Never be the same...
                Don't see the current staff taking this program far. Best guess is they will be gone in 2 years. Leadership starts at the top....AD needs to clean house.
              • Ken T delusional
                Ken T

                I agree that IU hasn't won a hoops title since 1987 but let's count the years since PU last won a title......oh that's right, they have yet to win one. Getting into the "Sweet Sixteen" once or twice a century does not make a program significant in any stretch of the imagination. You will always be the OTHER program in Indiana. Until then, BOILER UP.
              • East Coast Kids?
                Well, if Brownsburg and Connersville INDIANA are near Rhode Island then maybe you're correct!Dumbkopf.
              • Perfect summation.
                Anthony, you're overview of this declining situation is spot on.
              • IU
                The mess Tom Crean inherited was terrible. I really doubt Brad Stevens would have done any better if he was the coach. Crean brought in a top 10 recruiting class in his first year. Brad Stevens wouldn't have done that. Brad Stevens walked into a good situation at Butler. He got lucky that his best players (Hayward, Mack, Nored) were all underrated. They all have tremendous athleticism and basketball IQ. Once Crean gets players that fit his style of play, IU will be back on top.
              • Stevens VS Crean
                If you are insinuating that Brad Stevens would have been a better hire for IU than Tom Crean a full 2 years ago, then go get some Ben-Gay because that stretch is going to hurt later on. Now I absolutely enjoyed watching Stevens and Butler this year, but seriously, do you think he could have recruited and coached IU out of the mess they were in 2 years ago by now? He was basically handed the keys to a very stable and up-and-coming program in Butler, and has done an excellent job. But I would venture to say Crean, given the same circumstances, might just as well have had similar results. Can you imagine if their roles were switched today? People more than likely would be lamenting the "Stevens hire" at IU (unfairly) for the losses and inability to recruit, and he would still be the same good guy and coach he is today --- just handed a rotten deal that he was trying to work IU out of. Same goes for Crean. He strikes me as enthusiastic, intelligent, and hard working. Lets give the guy a FAIR chance in this most difficult of situations, and lets enjoy Brad Stevens for his success at Butler. But don't act like this role reversal scenerio would have changed the whole IU landscape by now, or that IU missed by not seeing it. Its easy to say today that IU should have looked more seriously at Brad Stevens 2 years ago, but that is a very suface analysis if you really dissect it.
              • Um, nope.
                Not even close to correct. Of Butler's starters, two are from Indiana, one is from Illinois, one is from Kentucky, and one is from Florida. Florida would be the only one who could qualify as "east coast," and that by a whisker. The entire Butler bench, I believe, are Indiana kids.
              • 1+1=2
                since butler went to the final four, iu football can go to the rose bowl? wow. what a great equation. so simple, huh?
              • your handle is fitting
                Odumbo, your handle is fitting. You must be an IU administrator. Or are you like the wizard of oz, doing things behind the curtains that we simpletons would never understand. You're kind of thinking is why IU sports is a complete failure on so many levels.
                • IU haunted by BU success ? if anything, foreshadowed of success to come !
                  Any real "Indiana" fan had to be admiring Butlers success this year, and the great run, and being a few inches from a championship ( a couple inches different on that backboard and BU would have won ).....Butler has been successful for a string of coaches now....Matta, Lickliter, Stevens, and a coach I cant think of right now ( went to Nebraska)....( his dad was at Hanover and he was actually a team coach for us little campers way back when).....Butler has installed a PROGRAM ( type of play, type of players, expectations,etc), which has literally been independent of the coach and has had top 20 success for some time now this decade.....I would go as far as saying Brad Stevens has taken it another level....but it remains to be seen if he could survive out of that system.....Matta is the only one that has, and has flourished................Wht Crean has inherited was unprecedented, literally the least returning expereince of any team incollege ball two years ago...........he made the decision to let go more players who had attiutdes left over from the KS fiasco......give him time to rebuild the program....he will do it the right way...mixing Indiana blue chippers, with Indiana "value" stocks, and Indiana pride players, and a few blue chippers from all over the world who want to play at IU...............give him 8 years and I bet we see a final four or two or three....and give Fred Glass credit for honoring coaches and peoples contracts , he is intalling integrity back to the dept, as well as adding his marketing savvy, and he bleeds IU all over !
                • sarcasm
                  i was being sarcastic.
                  fb and bball are different. just because a horizon league basketball team can knock off syracuse and kstate, it doesn't traslate to a blueprint for success in football. its a lot harder to build a successful football program battling against big 10 powerhouses whose linebackers are bigger than iu's lineman.
                  and fyi... iu sports in not a complete failure. they are 1 of the most distinguished athletic programs in the history of the ncaa. how many bball titles does every other college in the state of indiana have? 0. iu- 5. not to mention iu soccer and swimming. historically 1 of the best ever programs in 3 different sports. yeah, what a failure...??? more sarcasm.
                • Tony the Coach
                  Everyone's thoughts and comments can be summed up by one paragraph from this post,

                  "We can only hope that the good folks running IUâ??s athletic department have by now realized that itâ??s people, not facilities that make a program successful. Rattling around in the basketball offices and locker rooms at Hinkle Fieldhouse shows you that."

                  IU is run like the Indianapolis govt; just a bunch of good ol boys getting fat, pretending like they are cutting great deals for the program (city) and fans (taxpayers) when all they are doing is spending the money made (which comes from the hard working fans and tax payers) on sweet heart deals. I don't want to knock any certain person, but the simple philosophy of KISS (keep is simple stupid) works. Hire/promote from within, buy low (Matta, Lechleiter, Stevens)/sell high (the two previous coaches chased the $$) I hope Stevens is a lifer.

                  Butler being a private university and truely understanding that it is its students (parents) and supporters/donors who breathe life into the university, is why they have continued to be successful (don't forget the football team having a superb year!) IU is like some banker playing with OPM (other people's money); trust me I went there and was in the call room asking for donations. Until IU figures out where it came from, they will continue to spend, spend, spend and still be lost. Dan Dakich for MAYOR!
                • Google
                  and the fact you write about a something people in Indiana care about is the only reason anyone reads you. I wish this was worth my time.
                • Worse situation?
                  NO TEAM - EVER - had a worse situation to inherit than Scott Drew At Baylor, hands down. Baylor went to the tournament last year and got to the elite 8 this year. That program was literally DEAD. He quickly brought them bakc to life. It can be done.
                • Amen
                  Amen RTDUMC. Scott Drew has indeed shown what can be done. Here's hoping Coach Crean is as good as Fred Glass thinks he is.
                • Correcting Odumbo
                  To statements indicating that IU is the only school in the state to win a national basketball title-

                  Butler won the title in '24
                  Butler won the title in '29

                  Purdue won the title in '32

                  ...you really should learn a little something about Hoosier Hystery (<-yes, I meant to spell it that way. Pronounce it as I spelled it) before you consider yourself an Indiana Hoosier fan. You are an insult to the rest of us.
                • Butler & Purdue "Titles"
                  Yeah, they "won" those titles... but only if you count being nominated, retroactively and not actually playing a tournament to win. They didn't play a tournament to "win" these titles... and weren't even awarded them until after-the-fact. Put all of your facts in, and don't twist them to your point of view. Or, maybe you should check the facts a little more.
                  Now, if you are talking about the NCAA tournament since 1939, then yes, IU is the only school in the state to win it... and do it 5 times!
                • move over purdue and indiana
                  i think the original article is overstating things a bit, especially when considering that IU winning in football is not the same thing as Butler winning in basketball, as at least one commenter pointed out.

                  but, that being said, i do agree that what butler has built comes from a long term commitment to excellence and understanding its own identity and turning that identity into an appealing brand that can attract players and fans.

                  iu has too much tradition not to return to its former glory. it just has to have the correct people in place, both within the coaching staff, and in the administration, in order to realize it. it will happen soon enough (or maybe not soon enough, in the opinion of many fans) whether under crean and glass, or someone in the future.

                  but the fact most people here don't seem to realize is that butler is here to stay, and it's going to be one of the premier programs in the country for a long time. the university has a clear vision, a tradition of success to build upon, and, with their recent tournament run, the national recognition to continue that success into the foreseeable future. this run was not a fluke, but the culmination of 10 years of building momentum.

                  so, yes, IU will be back, and purdue will continue to have good teams under painter, but there is a new king of indiana basketball: the butler bulldogs.

                  dr
                  http://entropy2.com/butler/
                • butler is best in indiana
                  WHAT! are you kidding me none of the 5 are from indiana i believe matt howard is along with gordon hayward and then off the bench they have zac hahn, andrew smith, and those are the main ones so you dont know what you are talking bout

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