Time to dance like EVERYONE’S watching… because they are. (Big 10 tourney recap/Wyoming Primer)

Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.

Oscar Wilde, 19th century Irish poet and probable Hoosier fan.

I think that’s exactly what this Big Ten Tournament run the Hoosiers went on was. Unexpected. It was unexpected for these guys to go on a tear like they did. It was unexpected for Trayce to play like we all knew he was capable of. And, it was unexpected for the Hoosiers to plant their stake in the NCAA tournament. If you say you saw this coming… you did not watch the last 10 games of out season… These boys need applauded for showing up. If this can snowball into a tournament run, I’m sure quite a few of us will be eating crow for our thoughts on how the regular season had ended.

Indiana really did let that Iowa game slip away. But nonetheless I’m very happy with what we just saw this week. Mike Woodson had flipped something in these guys that made them start believing in themselves and eachother.

Trayce is an Indiana legend now. I don’t care what you think! What an absolute monster out there! Iowa looked small. And funny thing is Trayce doesn’t play big, he’s just uber athletic. His game just made him look like a giant amongst men. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t enough. But a credit to TJD this postseason. Just need to keep this thing rolling.

I can’t begin to explain how proud I am of these boys. They deserve all the credit in the world. The Indiana team that showed up to this Big Ten Tournament is an entirely different group of men than the boys we saw close out the Big Ten regular season.

You can say what you will about how the Iowa game ended. All I know is the show these boys put on locked up our placement in the tournament. So…. we are dancing this year!

We dancin’

Now onto Wyoming…

The Hoosiers found themselves in the first four games with our spots being taken by some bid stealers, Virginia Tech stealing an ACC bid being the best example. We are matching up against Wyoming for the 12 seed play in game. Tuesday, March 13 at 9:10 PM. I fully expect to come out and beat the Cowboys. I’m looking for Xavier to step up in this one, this game will largely be played in the post between Trayce Jackson-Davis and Wyoming’s Graham Ike, and we will need Xavier to step up and produce when the frontcourt battle may seem blow for blow. Although if Trayce can keep his momentum rolling from the Big Ten tournament, I don’t believe Wyoming will have an answer. Indiana’s roster is objectively more talented than Wyoming’s. Indiana is opening as -3.5 favorites.

Both teams top scoring players, are undersized 5s. Now while Indiana’s got maybe the best undersized 5 in the NCAA, Wyoming’s Graham Ike is no joke. He is nearly averaging a double double, with 19.6 ppg and 9.6 rebounds. These battle will be continuous. So while these guys may, for lack of a better phrase, “cancel each other out. It will be crucial to see who can step up among the supporting casts on either squad. I’m looking for Trey to absolutely make a statement in this tournament. Hoping to see him get some good shots up, lord knows we could use it.

While I fully expect to head into Dayton and handle our business tomorrow night, I’m going to say win or lose, this season is a success folks. In 1 season Mike Woodson has gotten us back to the Big Dance! What an awesome first year it’s been for the true Hoosier. We outperformed during the initial parts of the season, but are again starting to find our pace. I really think that Indiana has a chance to make a run this March. While the Big Ten hasn’t really had the greatest showings in recent years, mostly due to them beatin’ the heck out of each other and limping into the tournament, I really think that Indiana could go on a run. Why not!?! If we are making any shots, we can absolutely beat anyone in this tournament. Purdue is an awful matchup for us with their large frontcourt, but we beat them once and nearly beat them again, so I’m confident we can step up to the occasion again.

Get ready folks!!! It’s going down tomorrow night! March basketball is here and man… if it doesn’t feel amazing… Here’s to pumping our boys today and tomorrow before the game. Here’s to Indiana finally being back in the tournament. Here’s to first year coach Mike Woodson, keep trending up Mike. Lastly, here’s to Trayce Jackson-Davis, he’s going to have to work to show up and dominate this game… Which bodes well, because TJD is just now hitting his stride. Get excited yall!!!!

LUX ET VERITAS!

And we are dancing! Let’s keep this momentum rolling! (BIG TEN TOURNAMENT EP. 3 OF 5)

We are dancing!!! My God we did it!

It’s a thing of beauty, isn’t it?

LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES INDIANA IS ON A TEAR IN MARCH PEOPLE!!!!! We are a new squad. A squad gaining momentum at the single most important time to… March!

So following that win I immediately ran to pack a bag, my wife understands, and I was out the door. I’ve got to be there tomorrow! So I’m writing this actually from a rest stop of I69 at the Fort Wayne exit. So for any spelling mistakes or grammar errors, I do apologize!

What a win.

People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed”. Now while I often times think speakers like Tony Robbins are full of it, I have to say he nailed it with that one. This team is rolling and they look so much more invested across the board for it.

Cockburn is an absolute monster… One that needed stopped. And while I’m not sure many can stop him. I feel like our boys did just enough to slow him down enough to limit his game.

Trayce Jackson-Davis is showing what he can do in this big ten tournament. He sees a shot to build an NBA resume in March and looks to be taking full advantage of it. Making some clutch shots today, challenged by Cockburn to take the open shot! CLUTCH FREE THROWSSSS!!!! CLUTCH GENE positive!

Basketball is a game of runs, and it may just be because this is the team I follow religiously but our games seem to have more momentum shifts and runs than anyone else. This team is going to give me a heart attack by the end of this season. But I will gladly take those heart attacks because their showing the skill to not give up when adversity is hitting its hardest.

Don’t look now but we are gaining momentum and the boys are remembering again that they can compete and beat ANYONE IN THIS GAME!!!

I can’t be alone in just how proud of these guys I am. They have taken me to the woodshed emotionally, but that’s just because of the investment I put on them. I can’t imagine what these guys who actually put it all out there are feeling, what they are thinking. It’s wild. I hope to God this game cemented courage in these men, courage to persevere and take chances! They can beat anyone and we know it.

The NCAA better be on watch, because I think these guys are starting to know it too!

Sorry for keeping my thoughts so short on this one… have to hit the road!!

On to… who gives a heck! They’re going down!!!

LUX ET VERITAS!

THERE IS NO RIDE LIKE COLLEGE BASKETBALL! (Hoosiers Big Ten Tournament Pt. 2 of 5)

This is why we do this to ourselves. That feeling we have right now. This is why we are glued to our seats each and every single game. Because the lows of college basketball, make highs like this so much sweeter. I could not believe what I was witnessing… I just saw Indiana make a 28 to 4 run to close out what appears to be a tournament bid solidifier. Writing that after watching the course of this season is almost unbelievable. I say “almost” because there were hints of THIS squad sprinkled earlier in the season.

Early 19th Century writer William Hazlitt once said, “If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory”. And I believe that quote rings true throughout the Hoosier’s response to Michigan’s first half ravaging. The guys came out of halftime with the faith that they were not out of it. I’ll be the first among us to admit I was resigned to defeat by halftime. Who could blame me? I am just so glad our Hoosiers did not fall into that mindset at all. We saw a team with faith in each other, come out and fought their way back into the NCAA tournament in that second half! The craziest thing is you can see their faith and confidence just snowball out of control. It was truly special to witness. The Indiana team in that second half, was no team I’ve watched this year. They played with confidence. The shots weren’t taken in fear, as so many appear to have been in our prior 8 games or so.

Tjd had a gre….. sorry.

TJD!!!!!!! was a man possessed in that 2nd half. That is what he is capable of when playing at his most confident, and trusting that his guys will open the floor just enough for him to mess up the paint! 19 second half points while holding Hunter Dickinson to 2 points in the second half. Trayce has this in him. I just hope to God he realized it this game and can carry this confidence into Illinois.

That was fun basketball to watch, and the guys looked like they were legitimately enjoying their time on the court for the first time in who knows how long. Shooting is contagious, confidence is contagious, and playing with an edge is contagious. I honestly am picking my brain for a different word, but the only word I can really use to describe the x factor of that second half is “swagger”. Our Hoosiers looked to be carrying themselves like a new group of men out there. The boys got on a run, built their confidence and started believing in themselves. The swagger was a product of that and I am here for it.

Geronimo with the +22 while giving Race the rest he needs is the stuff March legends are made of.

We needed this one against Michigan folks. With a shot to play for the NCAA tournament still a very real possibility, Indiana had to do everything in its power to will out a win after the crushing blow that was that 2 point Purdue loss. And after a crushing first half, mental toughness and self confidence prevailed. I’m proud of our team for this one.

But alas… we’ve got a big one ahead of us! Illinois is the 1 seed for a reason, they are a powerful team this year. But the team I just saw come out at the half was a collection of world beaters. After watching what may be the most emotionally exhausting season of Indiana Basketball I can remember, I am confident that this can carry over into the next. Meaning Indiana will be getting hot at the most important time to. March. While the evidence to the contrary is apparent through our season I will say there is a difference. Indiana didn’t just steal a game back in the second half. They came out and dictated it. Dictated the game in a manner that has yet to be seen this season. I am so glad this game is the very next day. Doesn’t give the guys time to get in their own heads and thus get in their own way. Don’t think, just trust. Trust your game, trust your brothers’ games, and trust that the Hoosiers can be absolutely dominant.

On to Illinois!!!!

LUX ET VERITAS!!!!

-pt 1 of 4: https://flyoverwire.com/2022/03/09/your-indiana-hoosiers-vs-michigan-wolverines-primer-big-ten-tournament-pt-1-of-4/

Your Indiana Hoosiers vs. Michigan Wolverines Primer (Big Ten Tournament Pt. 1 of 5)

So our boys are heading into to the game tomorrow in the #9 seed facing off with the #8 seed Michigan. Now at the beginning of the season I fully expected for us to find ourselves playing on Thursday for Mike Woodson’s debut Big Ten tournament. Who I did not expect to see playing Thursday at the beginning of the season was the Michigan Wolverines. I mean guys… I know we’ve taken some tough heartbreak this season… but Michigan’s season must be another rollercoaster of let downs. Being preseason #6, they thought the Big Ten was there’s to lose, and if everyone’s honest with themselves, so did the rest of the Big Ten. But here we both find ourselves playing in the same game to potentially square off against the #1 seed Illinois.

Both of these team’s are currently sitting just on the fringe of most bracketology reports. ESPN has Indiana as the first team out, while Michigan is one of the last four bye teams so one of the last 8 in reality. Which means both teams will be giving it their absolute all Thursday.

Indiana needs guys willing to shoot. We ended that last Purdue game down 2 points. For the final 10 minutes of that bout, our boys were passing up wide open shots like the entire team had no interest in scoring. Nobody wanted the pressure of potentially missing that shot so nobody took it. They flipped the ol “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” quote, and made it “you miss 0% of the shots you NEVER take”.

So Xavier Johnson (1st Indiana All-time heart team if you ask me) put it upon himself to win the game. Taking poor shots, sure, but shots that needed to be taken with the mentality of his teammates at the time. And that’s not to say they weren’t putting forth an effort it was just everyone else was playing so timid, that Xavier had no choice but to be a little reckless if we had any shot in that one.

He’s going to do everything he can to take care of us.

After pondering what it will take to beat Michigan, I really saw two glaring issues that need to be addressed.

First, our boys need to bring their hands this game. The Hoosiers seemed to be playing volleyball with their rebounds last weekend. Like past the point of errors, into full blown yips territory with it. We were tipping every rebound in every possible direction it seemed. That cannot happen Thursday or we are dead in the water. The only thing that kills momentum more than a dagger three pointer, is a second chance dagger three pointer. We definitely had a few of those last game. While Purdue was dribbling off their own feet to keep us in that game, we just can not count on Michigan to be so courteous. Grab the ball, record the board, and let’s get on with it. Can’t be ping ponging it around the basket with Michigan.

Second, the Hoosiers ABSOLUTELY MUST be willing to fail. Theordore Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Our boys played timid in West Lafayette. If they can step up their own confidence and trust their game to take more chances we could eliminate the need for absolutely bananas shots from Xavier Johnson (again no disrespect on him. The man did what had to be done. Left it all out there for better or worse). What have you got to lose boys? Indiana is a rabid, very well versed fan base. I can’t speak for everyone. But I’m not expecting world beaters to all of a sudden show up. All I really want is to see the team play with more confidence… and in turn, really just more fun. What’s fun about timid play. Isn’t fun to watch, can’t imagine it’s too fun too play.

All talk of confidence and fun aside, this is a huge game. MASSIVE. Indiana looks to have a 3rd chance to make a last ditch statement to get into the tournament. Beat Michigan we are mmmaaayyybbbeee in the dance, barring just a slew of tournament upsets resulting in automatic bids being dished out to otherwise excluded teams around the country. Beat Michigan and Illinois, we are in. I have to imagine that if it’s between Indiana and a mid major jockeying for an at large bid, a tie in resume would go to Indiana. Because, the selection committee can say there is nothing but the resume considered, but they would definitely like the large and willing to spend Indiana fan base to be attending the NCAA tournament.

So here’s to 3rd times the charm on big, crucial, resume building games after the Rutgers and Purdue losses. Here’s to Mike Woodson giving us games in March to care about again, even in this his transition year. And here’s to gassing our boys up. Confidence will be crucial in this one.

Lastly, Mike may want to keep a lookout for rogue head palmings.

On to dismantling the Big Ten starting with Michigan,

LUX ET VERITAS!!!

I’m at a loss… Indiana Hoosiers vs Rutgers depressing recap/self-reflection

What just happened…. What. Just. Happened. I’m sick to my stomach…

Every time. This team rips my heart out.

3-14 from the 3 pt line for our “shooters”

Those refs tried to do everything but gift wrap us that win. Honestly they may have had the most positive impact on the Hoosiers entire game. Between them and Paul Mulcahy (Rutgers), I don’t know who would have gotten the player of the game had the Hoosiers won.

Every time I begin to believe again, Indiana takes what would already be crushing defeats, and makes an absolute art of it, draining me of my very soul for the course of 40 minutes again and again. No woman, not a single one could break my heart the way this team does.

This was a must win folks. Barring a run in the Big Ten tournament, looks like we will be one of the favorites for the NIT, or “the battle for 69th place”. Which in all reality is exactly right around where I had thought this season would end, just with a new coach, new system, and him trying to go get guys to fit that system I was resigned for mediocrity with glimpses of the potential future. Indiana did not really follow this formula. You see, they overperformed in moments throughout this season that I genuinely had little to no expectations for success. And every time those moments warranted me giving them more credit and with it higher expectations, they’ve failed gloriously. It’s honestly astonishing how often this has happened to me.

I’m still going to be appreciative of this team for keeping me invested as long as they have. Again, with Mike Woodson taking over this year, this season was a wash in my mind even before it started. It was going to take more than a few months to crawl our way out of the Archie Miller era. And I do still believe Mike Woodson is the man for the job in today’s NIL/”get me to the NBA now” recruiting landscape. So really writing this out is therapeutic for me. Let’s me really think on it. Let’s me calm down and see the big picture. So cheers for sticking with me to this point in my post.

I will say there is an aspect of just ranting like this that eats at me in a way that is almost unfair to this squad.

But you know what, this team has hurt me, took me on emotional rollercoaster after emotional roller coaster, got me to hope for the highest of highs while delivering some of the lowest of lows…

but do you want to know the worst part?!!!

THE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, DOWNRIGHT DISGUSTING PART OF ALL OF THIS!?!?!?!

….

….

….

I’m still holding out hope for a victory at Purdue. WHY!?!!?!?!?!?!?!!!! WHY DO I DO THIS TO MY SELF!!!! I have a little part in my head…. NO MY HEART!!!, That is telling me a win at Purdue is a hefty tournament resume builder. Does anyone know of a good method, or a good therapist to help me silence that little voice. Because I think it may break my heart again…

They’ve been doing it to me for my 29 years on God’s green earth. Why stop now? Sunken cost bars me from cutting any losses! So a las, I ride with my boys to the bitter, gut-wrenching end.

On to PURDUE!

LUX ET VERITAS!,

This hopelessly optimistic Indiana fan boy.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑