“The Honorable Judge Mike Woodson” (Thoughts on the Xavier Johnson charges and how this could be handled).

So I’m sure everyone has read the news being spread around regarding Xavier Johnson’s arrest… and boy it does not sound great. If you haven’t heard the details here’s a solid, to the point explanation. I don’t feel like really retreading the details here. While Xavier was included in those previous “curfew violations” that resulted in self imposed suspensions for those players involved, this one is far more serious. Whatever those previous curfew violations entailed of, I can’t imagine that they were potentially so dangerous.

Driving 90 down Walnut Ave. for anyone unfamiliar with Bloomington, IN is an absolutely bananas move. This should result in some games missed for the Hoosier guard, that much of our success may hinge on next year. While I know we have some serious guards coming into the program next year, we will still need Xavier’s game to develop so he can contribute at a high level if our team wants to build on this year. Such an absolutely terrible look for Xavier Johnson. I am just so happy for this young man that he hadn’t been drinking prior to his flight from police.

It’s inexcusable but I am going to cut him some slack. While extremely dangerous and stupid, in such a pedestrian and bicyclist community like that area of Bloomington is, this behavior is truly reprehensible. But we need to remember that while these guys are top of their level athletes, they are still relative children. They are still learning how to conduct themselves and operate within the “real world”. They are superstar celebrities in this world. Especially in Bloomington. I’m self conscious as it is. I couldn’t imagine being ogled everywhere they go around Bloomington, as they are.

It’s moments like this that can either be the worst or the best moment in a young man’s life. For Xavier Johnson, the challenge isn’t defending your actions. The challenge is addressing the issue and finding out how you conduct yourself from this moment on. This needs to be a learning opportunity for a boy to realize what it takes to be a man and not a menace. Ruining a young man’s life is no way for this story to end. Xavier needs the opportunity to rebound from this. And hopefully even look to commit harder to his game so as to avoid the more destructive distractions that may present themselves from time to time.

For this reason I really hope that no heavier toned facts come out. Because at this current stage I believe this is repairable. No one was hurt. While people possibly could have been, thank the Lord above that no one was injured during the course of these events!

All that being said think about the Good Book itself, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone” John 8:7. Especially some of us kids in Bloomington for our college years. I’ll be the first to say while I never endangered others so drastically I still am not without fault. Kids learn from their mistakes, you just hope none of their mistakes are irredeemable. For this reason I hope Mike Woodson seeks to use this as an opportunity to show mercy and investment in these boys rather than just wield a strict hammer of discipline to make an example out of him on the exact opposite end of the spectrum. I think Mike Woodson’s handling of this situation and Xavier Johnson’s next season could speak volumes to recruits one way or another. Show these guys that we don’t give up on the boys who choose to throw on the Cream and Crimson and show them that we are invested in making these sometimes naive boys, great men.

On a separare note, sadly for Xavier Johnson the big ten is home to some of the most passionate and educated fans and home court advantages there are. And unfortunately this will be brought up each time he goes to the line this year. Every stadium he goes into chanting some b.s. about this crime, it’s not going to be fun for him. I hope that he can persevere and find a sense of peace, maybe this will aid his game on the court, slow down his own mind and maybe he will slow down his game a bit. I believe that Xavier Johnson could be an Indiana great if he were able to slow down and let the game come to him. Maybe a long reflection is exactly what the doctor ordered.

I would have to hope that we will make him sit 4 or 6 of the first games of the season. Following that, let him get back at it. We need the development of Xavier Johnson to continue to contend. Let’s not give up on this one!

LUX ET VERITAS!

Illinois came to Assembly Hall (Indiana Hoosiers Post game blog 2/5/22)

It’s gotta be painful to post these post game tweets. But it must be done. You post a dub you post a L.

The energy at Indiana was absolutely off the charts coming into this game today. You could tell excitement resonated throughout Assembly Hall. When Assembly Hall is getting rowdy, I’d argue (yes largely as an Indiana University Alumnus) they have the greatest home court advantage in the nation. The Cameron Crazies can shut the hell up if they think they can hold a candle to Indiana.

“Oh yeah Burke but what about Duke’s acoustics in that arena?”

Shut the hell up you DWEEB!!!

Acoustics don’t mean shit when sandwiched between two tsunamis of screaming lunatics that make up the east and west sides of Assembly Hall!

All this being said, while the energy was apparent, Trayce Jackson-Davis severely limited his early minutes by committing his second foul within the first 5 minutes of the game starting. This meant Michael Durr had to eat some major minutes against Kofi Cockburn, a National Player of the Year candidate. “This might be the MICHAEL DURR game” was called and I was all for it.

The first half was an absolute bout with each team throwing a return punch on each possession. Damn it though, if Race had splashed down with that last second 3 to end the first half that’d a sent Assembly Hall into a frenzy. Championship teams make that shot.

That being said. The second half illinois was just able to come out swinging and we just went out to the forest and laid down, Needless to say the second half went very differently from the first. Lost a couple units on the outcome of this one. Apparently hooking isn’t all in all illegal for Illinois I guess. In all reality, we let them dominate the pace and let them get the ball to Kofi.

Not the scene today…

Illinois looked good today. Look like the team I thought they were going to be all along.

Just some of my random thoughts through this… and please know when it comes to my favorite teams I’m hopelessly and painfully optimistic. I’ll be the first to admit this.

Xavier Johnson, has quickly become one of my favorite Indiana players in recent memory. I can’t really remember someone who transferred into our program and had such an immediate impact on the programs success and honestly my confidence in it.

Mike Woodson has created a perfect storm for me to buy into this program’s future and what he can do in Bloomington.

So apparent throughout this season is Mike Woodson’s undeniable ability to have guys buy in. Whatever he’s selling his guys their all buying, and the program is so much better for it.

Onto Northwestern! IU is consistently on the cusp of the top 25. I’d like to see us make the jump into it prior to the dance.

-Burke

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