Indiana Basketball: Part II Why Season One of Most Disappointing in Program's History

By Eric Smith

Yesterday was part one of why the 2012-2013 season for the Indiana Hoosiers was among the most disappointing in the programs history. I wanted to take a look today at more evidence to why so.

I touched yesterday about Coach Tom Crean‘s lack of developing his players. The last point about that is the development of Cody Zeller. He was the preseason player of the year, for crying out loud. How does he regress so much he’s not even in discussion for the year-end award?

The answer is he’s the same exact player as he was when he stepped on the Bloomington campus day one. He hasn’t matured one bit. He’s still the soft kid avoiding contact and playing small instead of his big 7-foot frame.

How many times does he get blocked? Why not play big instead of getting low? I notice that every game from my couch.

All of these reasons are why Zeller and Victor Oladipo ought to go pro and get as far away from Crean and this staff. He’s not developing them. Imagine where this team would have been if he did? All of the losses this season were due to no adjustments being made. Indiana should still be undefeated today with that talent.

Then there’s last Thursday’s loss to Syracuse. IU had three guys ranked in the top 100 nationally for 3-point percentage and ranked third themselves. Syracuse played one defense and one defense only. IU had four days to prepare for one defense that allows open threes to the third-ranked 3-point shooting team in America.

You can’t tell me these guys saw a 2-3 zone for the first time in their basketball careers. They looked like a deer in the headlights. The truth is IU had no gameplan for them. They didn’t practice against a zone at all.

Now, IU fans are left with a bitter disappointment and shame. These kids who were thought to have brought the program back didn’t and didn’t win a national championships severely underachieved. The title and sixth banner was theirs. All they had to do was show some effort and improve daily.

The reality is that it may be another 26 years before Indiana wins another title. This system and method is flawed and isn’t going to work. They will win plenty of games and contend for Big Ten regular season titles but never win another NCAA Championship.

The talent can only get you so far. When you get to the second weekend and beyond in the tournament, games are decided majority of the time by the coaches and how they plan and adjust.

It’s going to be hard to field a team as talented and deep as this one. It started as 13 guys fighting for valuable minutes to searching for five to even stay on the court — a disappointing season by historic measures.

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