Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Good day for Indiana fans

What? Indiana gets *killed* by St. Joseph's (most likely a NIT -or even a CBI- team) after getting really walloped by Notre Dame, and it's a good day for Indiana? Indiana's future and reputation might be able to live through the 1990's Knight-Mike Davis-Kelvin Sampson 10 year debacle and recover. IU's future is now (relatively) clear for improvements minus the baggage of the recent past.

The NCAA sanctions came down, and they came down on Sampson & Senderoff, and just gave IU three years of probation with no additional scholarship limits or postseason bans. This gives Crean a (nearly) free hand in recruiting after he's already landed a solid group this fall. Just a good blue-chipper or two in the next couple of years and the Hoosiers could be back in the National Elite in three years. I still think that the NIT is a good goal for next season.*

Also, IU Men's Soccer beat SLU 2-0 last night! IU needed to generate multiple goals and did. If they can do the same to Michigan on Saturday, then the Hoosiers will be playing (probably St. John's) for another Final Four berth. Michigan & the Hoosiers swapped 1-0 victories this season.
The teams are ranked similarly, while Michigan has a better goals/goals allowed average, the Hoosiers have record a better shots, corner kicks, and saves differential and possess a slightly better RPI. After a season of seeing the Hoosiers dominate on shots but coming up short on goals, it was strange to see IU upend Michigan in the conference tourney by being winning despite being outshot. However, this may have been due to IU getting a goal 8 minutes into a game played in lousy conditions, and just sitting on the lead. In any case, this Hoosier fan hopes that the IU soccer team's hard work and talent pays off now.

*Addendum: I don't think next year's class of recruits will be like Purdue's- Robbie Hummel was criminally underrated in the rankings- behind classmates Moore, Johnson & Martin and concurrent generally with IU's Brandon McGee. it's possible but unlikely we have that sort of diamond in the rough. Moore & Johnson were fine recruits but a couple of things made PU's season last year besides the freshmen and it was 1) the improvement of Kramer & considerable improvement of Keaton Grant and 2) the late snag of top-rated juco center Nemanja Calasan, the banger and back-the-basket guy the Boilers' needed. Pritchard and maybe Dumes, Story, and/or Jones will be solid pieces next season, but I think we either need Jones & Pritchard to take a quantum leaps forward or one of our recruits needs to fall into that "criminally-under-rated" category to make a leap to Big ten title contention in that first year. Just not likely.

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