This is the face of a man who has been suddenly smacked with reality. The reality is that the Indiana Hoosiers are going to endure a long season. Coach Crean's face will regularly look like the above picture, and IU's opponents will regularly be dancing on the sidelines as the Irish players are in the picture below. (The players celebrating on the bench happen to be Notre Dame's starters, who were pulled early to jump, yell, and cheer for their backups; backups who will probably not see as much floor time again this season.)
The first two sentences of Terry Hutchens' column in this morning's Star perfectly sum up last night's game:
Low on experience, lacking size and athleticism, and facing the nation's No. 8 team, Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean knew his team had to do the little things well Monday if it had any chance against Notre Dame. As it turned out, IU wasn't real good at anything, big or small.That says it all.
This season will be full of tail whuppin's like last night. Kelvin Sampson's two year reign of ineptitude and cheating has not only marred a once pristine program, but it has debilitated the current staff. Thankfully, Tom Crean agreed to pick up a broom and dust pan and work at cleaning up the mess that is IU basketball. I think he will put the program back where it hasn't been since the early '90s. Until then this young, small, and overmatched team will learn to play tough and together.
Of course, that still doesn't make games like last night any easier to watch!