Wednesday, May 23, 2012

IU Gets Another No. 1 Vote; New IU-UK Solution; Picking on Nebraska

So now The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy takes a shot at a preseason basketball poll. Guess what? He has Indiana at No. 1, as well.

This isn’t a shock given just about anybody who’s anybody has picked the Hoosiers for next season. That’s what happens when you return all your starters from a Sweet 16 team, then add one of the nation’s best recruiting classes. That includes Yogi Ferrell, who will provide the kind of point guard play they’ve lacked in recent years.

The key question -– can Ferrel do it next season as a true freshman? Not many can?

DeCourcy also questions IU’s defense. The Hoosiers ranked 64th in defensive efficiency this past season based on the formula devised by really smart guy Ken Pomeroy and showcased on his website,

DeCourcy said most national basketball champs have been in the top 10 in defensive efficiency, and none of the last 10 champs were worse than 19th (take a bow, Syracuse).

In other words, the Hoosiers have to get really good defensively, really fast.

Yes, coach Tom Crean has mentioned that, among other things.

It will get addressed. The defense will get better. Will that be good enough to win a national championship?

We’ll see.


By now you’ve probably seen the statement put out by something called the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics. It says that John Calipari’s Kentucky basketball scheduling strategy is endangering the civilized world and could lead to Howard Stern becoming the next president of the United States.


Our mistake. It didn’t exactly say that.

This group of 59 faculty senate members from Football Bowl Subdivision schools actually said that Calipari’s desire not to play non-conference games on campus facilities could lead to “a full professional model.” That it was, in fact, a “move to further professionalize college sports.”

And you thought Jim Delany making $1.8 million more than we do was bad.

The statement was sparked by the recent announcement that Indiana and Kentucky would not play basketball games against each other anymore. IU wanted to play the games on campus facilities (Assembly Hall, Rupp Arena). Kentucky wanted neutral sites (Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, perhaps Louisville’s Freedom Hall)

Let’s make one thing clear: Kentucky and Calipari DID NOT end the IU-UK series. IU AND Kentucky did it together. Both sides refused to compromise. Both deserve equal blame. This is not an all-or-nothing issue in the manner of, say, should Justin Bieber take over Indiana’s point guard job next season.

JUST A THOUGHT: How much would you pay to see Justin Bieber go one on one with Yogi Ferrell?

Anyway, people who want to agree, who realize and appreciate the value of this series, would make it work. People who don’t, well, it reminds us of something we heard on a walk the other day. Three kids were playing some kind of basketball game. They got into a disagreement. One kid said, “you either play by my rules, or you don’t play at all.”

Does that sound familiar?

Anyway, we have joined the forces of truth, justice and the American way to come up with the PERFECT solution to this Indiana-Kentucky road block.

IU already plays in a neutral site event called the Crossroads Classic. It’s held in Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse. IU is joined by Purdue, Notre Dame and Butler. It’s great for the universities, the fans and basketball in the state of Indiana, and beyond.

Here’s our PERFECT solution: Add Kentucky and Louisville to the mix. Instead of a doubleheader, make it a triple header. Opponents are rotated every year. So once every three years, IU and Kentucky would play. It’s not as good as playing every year, but it’s better than not playing at all. If there’s enough interest, and there probably would be, move it to Lucas Oil Stadium.

Don’t take our word for it that it’s perfect. We hired a medium to contact the spirit of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, to get his thoughts. Here is the absolutely true and accurate transcript of our séance session:

MEDIUM: Are you James Naismith?


MEDIUM: What do you think of Hoosier Hoopla’s solution to resolve the IU-Kentucky dispute?


So there you have it -– except Calipari messed it up by apparently signing a two-year deal with Baylor. This year’s Baylor game is set for Rupp Arena. The 2013 game will be played at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas.

Oh, for the record, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany makes $1.8 million a year according to a story in USA Today. That makes him the second highest paid commissioner after the Pac-12’s Larry Scott, who makes $1.9 million.

Neither come close to our salary. That’s as close to the truth as we dare get.


Nebraska football is in big trouble.


Because the Cornhuskers have to face the Indiana Hoosiers starting in 2015.

IU OWNS Nebraska. The Hoosiers lead the series 9-7-3 and if most of the games were played before Nebraska became a state and had enough people to field a team, and if the last time these teams met Nebraska won 69-17 (in 1978), stop being negative.

IU will play at Nebraska in 2015. The Cornhuskers will come to Memorial Stadium in 2016.

During those two years, Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa will rotate off Indiana’s schedule.

John Calipari, by the way, had nothing to do with this.

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