Big Ten and Indiana Basketball -- College B-ball Doesn't Get Any Better
by Andy Johnson
Now my opinion maybe a bit biased, but if you look at history, the Indiana University Men’s Basketball team is one of the greatest basketball programs in the country. Now I know lately, they haven’t done too much and are currently rebuilding the program, but all I have to say is they have five national championships! There aren’t many programs that can say that, and I don’t care if the last championship was 1987.
No matter the current state of their program right now, IU is still considered a basketball powerhouse school. They rarely have “one and done” players and the players they have that go on to the NBA, usually have productive careers, nothing spectacular, but good enough to be in the league for a couple of years.
We had a great team a couple years ago, but then that habitual cheater Kelvin Sampson got in trouble again. After that point, the season went downhill, and once Eric Gordon was in the NBA, he released a statement about the team saying they had a bad drug problem with the players. He said Sampson knew about it, but looked the other way because he was focused on winning. That doesn’t surprise me too much as I went to IU and have partied with many basketball players, but hey it’s college.
Even though this was possibly the worst season for IU this past year, I am optimistic about the future of the program. I believe new Indiana University Basketball Coach Tom Crean is the right person to get IU back with
integrity and an honest program. I like his young players he has right now and his recruiting class is pretty solid paired with transfers he has from junior college and players that followed him from Marquette. Also Crean has a good history of recruiting players from Indiana, so maybe their in-state talent won’t be going to other schools.
Another thing I get sick of hearing about is how the Big Ten sucks and is boring to watch. The Big Ten is a defensive-minded conference, as every coach puts a lot of emphasis on it. As for the Big Ten not any good, explain to me how 7 out of 11 teams made it to the big dance this year (even though I felt Penn State got robbed not making the tourney).
Tubby Smith is doing wonders at Minnesota. Painter has a great core of young players that will be a force to reckon with (pains me to say that because I hate Purdue). Bo Ryan, Bruce Weber, and Thad Matta are always getting great players to play their system. Tom Izzo and his Spartans are always good every year. You can always bank on them making it to the Sweet Sixteen year in and year out, and let’s not forget they played in this year’s national championship game.
In conclusion, the Big Ten is a great basketball conference and the Hoosiers will be back on top in 2-3 years. I just don’t know if I can wait that long, but as long as they show progress, I can live with that.