Image courtesy of IUSportCom Video
IUSC writers Sean Nash, Will Chukerman, Drew LaMontagna, Olivia Humphreys and Jimmy Cavanaugh cover four of the biggest questions in the world of IU sports. This week, they try and figure out what went wrong with the football team against Navy, and recap both the men’s and the women’s Hoosier Hysteria.
Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in … how in the world did IU lose that football game?
Sean: I found myself in a weird position sitting in front of my television on Saturday. On one hand, I was elated to see that Notre Dame was able to pull off another close victory. On the other, I was baffled to see Indiana blow a ten-point lead in the fourth quarter against Navy. Once again IU played well enough to win (good thing nobody has said that in the past few weeks…). Not a single Navy back gained 100 yards on the ground and the Hoosiers gave up just 257 yards on the ground, which is great when you consider that many other pessimistic Hoosier observers figured the defense would give up 400+ yards on Saturday. Ironically, the touchdown on the final Navy drive was a pass. Cam Coffman has been a decent quarterback, but it may be time to go to the freshman, Nate Sudfeld for the rest of the season. I’m still not sure what sadder: that IU was the homecoming opponent for Navy, or that arguably the most mediocre Navy squad in a decade is celebrating said homecoming win.
Will: I really can’t explain it. I said in this space last week that you should call me a jinx if they lost, and of course they did. I was optimistic heading into the game and the Hoosiers found another way to lose their fourth game of the season by four or fewer points. I’m not a fan of Cam Coffman at quarterback and this past Saturday furthered that belief. The first pick wasn’t his fault, but on the final drive there was no reason to throw it where he did. Indiana had a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter and couldn’t close it out, that’s inexcusable. I’ve been asking it for it now for a couple weeks, but is next week the one where we finally see Nate Sudfeld start?
Drew: Coach Wilson and Co. had a golden opportunity on Saturday to prove to the Hoosier faithful that Indiana football was for real, as the game was being televised on the jumbotron inside Assembly Hall to the fans waiting for Hoosier Hysteria to start. To everyone’s disappointment (and expectation), IU found a way to somehow, someway lose that game. What’s worse, everyone in Assembly Hall watching that game seemed to know it was going to happen. As much as it hurts me to say, students have come to expect things like this. It’s a shame because this is as good as I think Indiana has been in my three and a half years here. But they still cannot play a full 60 minutes. One can only hope this changes sooner rather than later.
Olivia: There are three things Indiana needs to work on: defense, defense and defense. Some may blame Cam Coffman, saying he choked at a crucial time in the game, but he should never have been in a position where the game fell onto his shoulders after having a tremendous day offensively going 25-38 with 244 passing yards. And while the Hoosier offense did a nice job scoring every quarter, they only managed to outscore Navy in the first quarter, which reflects a defensive flaw that has been apparent throughout the entire season.
Jimmy: It really was fitting that every person in The Hall for Hoosier Hysteria was watching as Navy drove down the field to give them a 31-30 lead and then watched Coffman throw an interception to effectively end the game. I was actually in Annapolis for this one, and I couldn’t help but chuckle as I watched events unfold – it was just so IU football. I know Kevin Wilson and his staff has been working tirelessly to bring this program around the corner, but this game makes it obvious that the Hoosiers just aren’t there yet.
Hoosier Hysteria certainly seemed to live up to the hype. How would you rate the experience on Saturday night?
Sean: For the second year in a row, I did not attend Hoosier Hysteria (rain your boos down on me). Instead of waiting for six hours to watch a glorified practice, I was at home, sitting in front of my massive television watching football. All credit to the 17,500 students and fans that waited to watch the event though – thanks to their efforts, Hoosier Nation was able to blow away recruits with how passionate the residents of Bloomington are when it comes to basketball. So an A+ has to be the grade for Saturday night, due to the fact that the top recruits that visited campus this weekend have Indiana flying up their interest lists.
Will: Aside from the fact that I got there at around 5:40 and got turned away, it was awesome. It wasn’t the same as being in Assembly Hall, but from watching it on TV, I still enjoyed it a great deal. Sage Steele (and Victor Oladipo) did a great job mc’ing and the capacity crowd was as loud as it would be for a regular season game. It was also fun watching the team interact over the course of the night. From the looks of it, egos have been thrown out the door, making it look as though there won’t be any problems when Tom Crean looks to divvy up minutes.
Drew: Absolutely phenomenal. Covering it, while also experiencing it for the first time, it definitely exceeded my expectations. I loved how Oladipo took the reigns on emceeing the long-shot competition, poking fun at just about everyone. I also thoroughly enjoyed Hulls and Barnett explaining their book of “Derekisms,” – things that Elston says that aren’t the smartest things to ever come out of his mouth. It’s always good to see the team chemistry at its finest. On a more serious note, I got the chills when they showed the video montage of current and former players of IU and it’s long tradition and history. It was incredible. I don’t know how else to describe it. Overall, it got me extremely pumped for the season to start and to see how far this ‘Movement’ can go.
Olivia: On a scale of 1-10, I give it a 20. Since I am only a freshman, this was my first experience being a part of a prestigious IU basketball event and I must say that it exceeded all expectations. That may just be because I did not expect the men’s team to come out and perform the ‘Wobble’ and ‘Gangnam Style’ dances, which I found to be awesome. But the aspect I enjoyed most was seeing the laid back personalities of the players compared to the intense game-faced ones fans see during games.
Jimmy: There wasn’t a single person I talked to who wasn’t completely blown away by the reception the Hoosiers got the kick off their 2012-2013 season in Assembly Hall. I missed the festivities this year, but it sounds as though the people who were in attendance enjoyed themselves immensely. Indiana’s players could have done anything on Saturday night and the crazed basketball fans would have gone crazy. I’d rate it as highly as I could rate that kind of event – I’m sure the recruits who were there would do the same.
Obviously this team has a ton of talent, was there a player who caught your eye more than the others?
Sean: Again, I did not attend Hoosier Hysteria, and I sure as hell was not going to waste money to watch it on one of the two websites offering it. From what I saw on my twitter feed, the award has to go to Raphael Smith. Who knew he could dunk? Who knew he could dunk blindfolded? Let’s be honest, Smith probably will not see the floor much this season except for mop-up time. It also sounds like freshman Jeremy Hollowell was impressive in the scrimmage.
Will: Jonny Marlin. Not really, but he did show that he has a nice stroke and will be a welcomed addition to practices this season – a more important role then most people may think. Yogi Ferrell was the guy who caught my eye on Saturday night. Aside from the massive ovation he received from the crowd, during the scrimmage Ferrell showed why so many people are excited to see him play this year. He showed that quickness and vision that everyone thought he had, making it look like more and more that he’s going to be starting at point guard from day one.
Drew: Jeremy Hollowell stood out to me. With Yogi Ferrell and Hanner Mosquera-Perea claiming most of the spotlight for this freshman class, I don’t think many people really acknowledge just how good Hollowell already is and how good he can be. He can shoot, he’s athletic and he is a very well-rounded basketball player. I am very interested to see what his role will be this season and how Tom Crean will use him. With that said, I thought Yogi was also very impressive. To have a point guard who can penetrate and get to the rim will be a change of pace that this offense didn’t possess last year with Verdell Jones III.
Olivia: It may be cliché, but I have to go with Cody. His performance in the Long Range Contest surprised and excited everyone as the threat of strong perimeter shooting from Zeller could add a whole other dimension to the team offensively. Also, in the scrimmage, I thought he looked stronger and more crisp than last season which is a direct result of a year’s worth of training and practice.
Jimmy: Cody Zeller was mind-numbingly good. Remember how he was far and away the best player on last year’s team? He looks just like that, only with about 15 extra pounds of muscle and added comfort in his offensive game away from the basket. I liked what I saw from some of the other players in the scrimmage – Yogi is really quick, both Vic and Will look stronger and Maurice Creek looked better than we’ve seen since he was injured his freshman year – but Zeller is the key on this year’s team and he looked every bit the part.
This weekend didn’t just kick off the 2012-2013 men’s season, the women’s squad began their season as well. What were your impressions of Curt Miller, the new women’s basketball coach?
Sean: I had the opportunity to hear Coach Curt Miller speak in one of my classes last week. Miller has been a winner in his career so far – he boasted that the Central Michigan women’s basketball drew larger crowds than the male Chippewas. That is an impossible task here at Indiana, but Coach Miller has come highly recommended (he did refer to Dan Dakich as a legend, which almost made me burst out laughing). If he is able to make the Lady Hoosiers competitive on the hardwood, there is no doubt in my mind that the fan base will embrace them. Look at how Indy embraced the Fever on Sunday night. Plus, who wouldn’t love to have the best team in both men’s and women’s basketball?
Will: He’s a positive guy to say the least. He knows the transformation won’t take place immediately but would love to see some support from the fans. His track record is also something to be very impressed with; eight straight league titles while at Bowling Green speaks for itself. He was saying all the right things Saturday night, and I really do believe that this women’s team is heading in the right direction with him at the helm. But remember, my predictions are pretty shaky.
Drew: I was actually talking to another member of the media about this during Hoosier Hysteria right after coach Miller was introduced and spoke to the crowd at Assembly Hall. We both agreed that he sort of has a little bit of Tom Crean in him. His resume speaks for itself, Indiana – as he mentioned – has been his dream job for some time, and I believe he has that ‘it’ factor in him to turn this program around. Like Crean when he first got here, the women’s team is in a stage of rebuilding. However, I strongly believe he has the tools and ability to turn this program around. I think he was a great hire.
Olivia: I think Coach Miller will do great things for the women’s program. He has a strong coaching background from Bowling Green and an even stronger desire to transform the IU women’s team into a championship squad. Plus, he already possesses the proper mindset saying he’s always referred to himself as a “Hoosier” despite his Pennsylvanian upbringing. It shouldn’t be too hard, as passionate as he is about Indiana Basketball he can take the women’s program and usher in a new era of women’s basketball.
Jimmy: All signs are pointing to Miller’s hiring being a smart one. Miller has built programs and won everywhere he’s gone; he loves the idea of being at Indiana, calling it his ‘Dream Job; and even earned the endorsement of Dan Dakich, who was the men’s basketball coach at Bowling Green while Miller was there (no offense to Mr. Dakich, but Miller may have been a little overzealous). He won 258 games and won eight straight conference titles in his time at Bowling Green, he should fit Assembly Hall just fine.