This is an article that I had hoped I wouldn’t have to write, but after reading some of the comments on the message boards and social media after last night’s loss against the #22 ranked Pirates of Seton Hall, here I am doing just that.
For a fan base that is often lauded for being knowledgeable, I’m almost amazed at some of the comments about what they see taking place with this team just 3 games into the season.
To put it bluntly, I’m certain that I’ve forgotten more about the actual game of basketball than some of these people will ever know. Passion and knowledge don’t go hand in hand. One doesn’t guarantee the other. When they are combined, it can be a beautiful thing. When they aren’t, even common sense can be brought into question.
If there is anyone who can honestly say that they haven’t seen improvement in the toughness and the effort of this team after just 3 games, then they fall into the unknowledgeable, or the lack of common sense categories, and therefore their passion doesn’t really matter at that point.
There is not a Hoosier fan alive who doesn’t want Indiana to be back in their rightful spot. Which is squarely in the middle of any discussion about the “Blue Blood” programs in college basketball. And not just in regards to our storied past. But c’mon folks, you have to be realistic, it is not going to happen overnight.
Archie Miller is going to win at Indiana. He just is. And I’m not looking through crimson colored glasses when I say that either. No, I’m actually watching the games and slowly but surely seeing the team take on his personality. And if you know anything at all about Archie Miller, then you know that is a good thing…no, a great thing!
Let’s face it, the team he inherited is offensively challenged. And what a knowledgeable fan looks for when they see situations like this is not only improvement and understanding from the current roster, but also what the system will look like being ran by the types of players that the staff are recruiting.
There are reasons that the younger players are grasping the concept of the system quicker than the veterans are. 1) They don’t have leftover bad habits. 2) They aren’t changing from a system they’ve played for a few years to one they’ve never played. 3) They are better athletes. 4) They aren’t adaptipting from one coaches personality to another.
Indiana faced a Top 25 team last night that was not only experienced, but they were also one of the more physical teams they will face all year, and Indiana went toe to toe with them for all but the initial burst in the 2nd half that widened the gap for the Pirates.
And to further make one of my points from above, every time the Hoosiers battled back and cut into the lead, had a little momentum, and needed a good look at the basket to continue to build on that momentum, an ill advised shot, a lazy pass, or a “what the Hell was that” type of turnover occurred, most of which were the handy work of our senior guards.
A passionate fan sees that and just gets mad as Hell. A knowledgeable fan sees that and gets mad as Hell, but understands why it happened. A passionate AND knowledgeable fan sees that and gets mad as Hell, understands why it happened, and gets excited about the future when the roster is full of the new coach’s players and those things are minimized.
It is absolutely ridiculous to me that anyone would question the new coaching staff at this point in their tenure. But like I said earlier, passion without knowledge can make common sense disappear like momentum does after an alley-oop pass that couldn’t be caught by Juwan Morgan standing on De’Ron Davis’ shoulders, when you’ve just cut a 16 point lead to 10 and have the ball.
Better days are ahead, so relax and back away from the ledge. But in the very least, say what you are going to type out loud before you type it and see if it stills sounds like it makes you sound like you know what you’re talking about, or if you just sound like someone who’s never played a game of basketball in your life.