Indiana Basketball: Why Season Was One of Most Frustrating in Program’s History (Part 1)

By Eric Smith

This is Part I of my two part series of why this season was such a disappointment for the Indiana Hoosiers. Coming into the 2012-2013 college basketball season, the Hoosiers looked to be the class of the field. They were coming off of a 29-7 season with losing to eventual national champions the Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet 16.

If there was a phrase to describe last year it would be “We’re Back.”

The loss in the Sweet 16 was certainly disappointing, but everyone knew what was in store for next season.

The Hoosiers returned literally everyone but three reserve guys and added a top three recruiting class with four dynamic players coming to Bloomington. They deemed this group “The Movement.”

This was supposed to be “The Movement” where Indiana won their first national title in 26 years. No team in the nation returned so much talent and added the type of recruiting class Indiana had. There was talk about how head coach Tom Crean would manage the minutes of so many stars with literally all 13 scholarship players having the capability to lead this team.

Everyone associated with college basketball tabbed this team as the next team who could run the tables and be the first squad since the 1976 IU bunch to go undefeated and win the national championship. IU sold shirts before the season started celebrating their title that was supposed to come in April. They were No. 1 in all of the preseason polls. ESPN even showed up to televise the opening day of practice.

The hype was bigger than any of the other seasons combined.

Were we wrong with giving IU all that attention or did they just flat underperfom?

Most of the blame falls on Coach Crean. He didn’t develop any of his players during the course of the year as they flat out choked and looked lost in their losses.

Literally only one of the four highly touted freshmen averaged over 10 minutes per game. Fact is none of them developed into D1 basketball players. In fact they were so bad Jeremy Hollowell, Peter Jurkin and Hanner Perea averaged a combined total of 16 minutes per game.

Hollowell was brought in to be a big time scorer. He has a huge height advantage as he’s a legit 6-8 shooting guard. He has a nice shot and skills to beat his man off the dribble. He scored a grand total of 93 points for the entire season. He only hit 31 shots. That’s it. What on earth happened in the span of high school to college?

Next is Perea. There were talks of him being the most athletic kid on this team even more than Victor Oladipo. Many NBA scouts said he was an NBA prospect and could go pro after his senior year of high school.

Were the scouts scouting the best basketball players for the highest level of basketball in the world duped and wrong? Absolutely not!

This is yet again a Crean issue. He didn’t develop Perea to a high level division one basketball star. This kid had tons of raw talent with the biggest upside out of anyone. He flat out misused him and didn’t bring out his skills rather than leaving him flawed.

Last year, being an NBA ready player to this season, he only averaged 5.8 minutes per game and 0.9 points per game. A dynamic high scorer and physical leaper had a grand total of 17 points and 29 rebounds for the entire season. Inexcusable.

It’s not just those three freshmen either. Their classmate Yogi Ferrell made dumb mistake after dumb mistake. It was glaring Crean didn’t show his young point guard film. How many times does it take for him to attempt a post pass from the top of the key and get it stolen from before he figures it out?

He did that all year. A simple talking to and showing him on film would get that corrected easily. The bad thing is he developed these bad habits at IU. He wasn’t like that in high school. He was a very athletic kid with a huge basketball IQ and great shot.

Why after 36 college games did he suddenly forget how to shoot and made mistakes he’s never made in his life? Why not correct this at the onset and develop him into the best point guard in the nation?

Same can be said on the rest of the team as well. After all the hype of how hard they worked they progressively got worse as the year went on.



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