Are you like us? Are you getting emails from friends and family offering links to video nudes, with ABSOLUTELY NO CONSEQUENCES?
Hold that thought.
Anyway, do you find yourself so uptight about what’s going on with Indiana basketball this off-season that you can’t sleep, eat or stop watching replays of Christian Watford’s buzzer-beating, Kentucky-beating three-pointer?
We’re here to help.
We have gone deep undercover to dig out the one person who really knows what’s going on in the program even more than Hoosier Deep Throat. Sure, you might think it’s head coach Tom Crean or athletic director Fred Glass but, even in this more transparent era, some things stay in the shadows.
Not any more. We’re here to bring the spotlight to the program as only Hoosier Hoopla can with the help of our newest contributor -- Hoosier Answer Man. He has all the answers to all the questions you most want answered.
Let’s get started.
Q: What’s up with the scholarship dilemma? IU has 14 players and 13 scholarships. How does Crean resolve this?
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Shouldn’t there be a warm-up question first before you get to the hard stuff?
Q: Fine. What’s the most pressing issue facing IU athletics this summer?
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Planning media meals for football and basketball.
Q: Thanks for nothing. What about the scholarships?
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: To understand how it all works out, you start with Charles Darwin.
Q: Is he on the roster?
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: No. He’s dead, and has been for like the last 150 years. At least, that’s what THEY want us to believe.
Q: Are you related to the nut case who interrupted Webb Simpson’s U.S. Open winning interview?
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Chill out. That guy was a Kentucky fan. Anyway, Darwin was the British scientist who came up with the survival of the fittest idea. It’s ruthless, but it works. It’s how we ended up with, say, Howard Stern on network TV. Crean will have to do the same thing.
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: If nobody ends up academically ineligible or does something stupid to get kicked off the team or decides to transfer, then one player will have to give up the scholarship and walk on.
Q: We’re paying you $100,000 for that? Tell us something we don’t know.
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: The only logical answer is the player who can least help the team this year has to walk the scholarship plank. It will be the guy who figures to get the fewest amount of minutes.
Crean and his staff can work with players this summer. They’ll make a very thorough evaluation. By August, they’ll know. They probably know now, but they’ll let competition decide it. Because this isn’t, say, college wrestling, where guys decide for themselves based on who wins and who loses in practice, the coaches will have to use their best judgment. Figure they’ll choose wisely.
Q: That’s fine, but who is likely to be out of luck?
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Consider Maurice Creek. If the guy had better luck, he might be in the NBA right now. He was the nation’s leading freshman scorer when he shattered his kneecap and missed the second half of the season. Then he hurt his knee again the next season. Then, he missed all of last season after tearing his Achilles tendon.
It’s very, very hard to come back from one major injury, let alone three.
Crean has said publicly that Creek’s rehab is on schedule, but that he has a long ways to go. Specifically, Creek has to work harder to get stronger and fitter so he’s not just back, but back at a high level and physically hold up to games and practices.
IU has a chance to win a national championship. It has enough depth for two teams. The days of getting walk-ons from the baseball team are over. You either produce at a high level, or you sit. And, if you’re sitting, more than likely, you’re gonna pay for the privilege.
If you can’t keep up with everybody else, too bad. You might be the nicest guy on earth, you might be able to restore the economy and keep the Kardashian family off national TV for the next week, but if you can’t help the Hoosiers win, you’re out of luck.
Curtis Painter might be Mr. Wonderful off the football field, but do you want him as the starting quarterback for your NFL Fantasy Football Team?
We didn’t think so.
Q: Is there a point to this?
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: If Creek can’t return at a high level, he has to walk on. It's that simple and, yes, unfair, but that's the way it is. And if he's not ready to go full-go all the time like everybody else, you do what the football team did with oft-injured tailback Darius Willis. You designate him as physically unable to play anymore. He gets too keep his scholarship, but it doesn’t count against the team total. He can finish a quality education for free, and the team gets to move on. It might sound cold and callous, but welcome to the real world.
Q: What if Creek does come back better than before?
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Then it’s really survival of the fittest. Based on those returning from last year, the guy who played the least was Austin Etherington, and it wasn’t even close. He played just 10 minutes in Big Ten action.
The next closest among returning players was Remy Able, at 104 Big Ten minutes. But he proved himself invaluable late in the season and in the postseason. Etherington would have to make a huge improvement jump to surpass him. Maybe he can. Maybe he has. But the odds aren’t in his favor.
Other than that, it comes down to one of the five incoming freshmen. The two best guys in the class are point guard Yogi Ferrell and small forward Jeremy Hollowell. It won’t be one of them.
Forward Hanner Perea’s play slipped in the last year, but he’s extremely athletic with a high upside. Figure that, under Crean’s coaching, that slippage will be reversed. In fact, it probably already has.
Now we’re down to Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin. Patterson has some fundamentals to improve, but he has a high motor, good strength and athleticism, and long arms that should make him a fierce defensive presence. The work he’s getting now with IU coaches should translate into significant impact.
Jurkin is a big unknown. He was hurt a lot in high school, and missed out on a lot of development opportunity. But reports are that he’s healthy and has looked solid in workouts. And IU could really use an inside big man for depth behind Cody Zeller.
Q: That’s great, but you didn’t give an answer. Who’s out of luck if it’s not Creek?
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: It will be Etherington or Jurkin.
Unless, of course, it isn’t.
Q: Anything else?
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Yeah, don’t open the nude video link.
Q: Does that mean you did?
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: You ask too many bleeping questions.
HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: You ask too many bleeping questions.