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Inspirational Reads

No Excuses

February 1, 2008

I went on a rant against how awful Minnesota is/was when my beloved Hoosiers went up there and tried their best to crap the bed and lose. If it wasn't for Spencer Tollackson's piss-poor [1] showing at the free throw line, Indiana most likely would have lost that game. I ranted and raved about the unfairness of the refs and making Gordon sit and everything else.

Not today, my friends. Nope, the editors of "A Crown of Thistles"[2] demand some form of objectivity, and by that I mean if you suck, I need to call you on it.

Indiana, you suck.

At times, you can be brilliant. DJ White is a workhorse underneath the basket. Sure, Wisconsin's big men (and by big, I mean glacier big) were flopping whenever you'd make a move toward the basket, but you need to be sure to keep your head in the game. You're the only star on the team right now because Gordon hurt his wrist. Ohio State fans, I know your misery with the whole Greg Oden saga: you have a superstar from Indianapolis on your roster who is probably going to be there for only one year and he's playing with a hurt wrist. Not much fun. I feel you.

Still, someone needs to step up. DJ White can't do it alone, and DeAndre Thomas (all 290 pounds of him) is going to get called because he's big and, no matter what, the slightest brush with him is going to look like a foul. At the same time, someone, anyone! needs to figure out how to box out. Wisconsin's big players (and by big, I mean corn-fed and strong enough to bench-press tractors) owned the glass on both the offensive and defensive end.

And now for some personalized constructive criticisms:

Lance Stemler: stop heaving the ball at the basket and then running in trying to poke or slap the ball away. In fact, your sole mission should be to get the ball to Eric Gordon or Jamarcus Ellis or Jordan Crawford to shoot. It doesn't matter who you throw the ball to, as long as the shooter's name isn't "Lance Stemler".

Coach Samson: Lock Eric Gordon in a cage and poke him with sticks while playing Yanni. The only aspect of his game you can improve is his mental toughness. Sometimes he gets that hang dog look when the three isn't falling or the refs are calling it tight or his left hand is about to fall off his arm.

Luke Harangody: You're a stud. You're glacier big and corn-fed and can benchpress twenty tractors. Damn you (but bless you) for going to Notre Dame.

Steve Lavin: I like you. Just stop with the phrase "one and done". Be creative. "Another empty possession." "That's just as good as a turn over." "Lack of presence on the offensive glass." "What a fucking piss poor shot. Pull your head out of your ass!" "Indiana's playing on the offensive end like a sorority chick at a bar: one shot, and it's all over." Any of these will suffice.

Erin Andrews: Stacy Dales was giving Brad Nessler all sorts of grief during the UNC beatdown of Couldn't Cut it at ND U [3]. Maybe start giving Musberger a hard time, especially when he talks about wanting to take you to the Playboy Mansion. It could get him out of the booth sooner and then you can move in.

NC State: No one can piss away a 9-point lead and lose by 20 like you guys. Better keep hanging your hat on that bass fishing national championship from a few years ago.

I shut the game off at halftime last night because I was so disgusted. I turned it on again when there was two minutes to go, saw Indiana down by ten, and then went to bed. There used to be a time when Wisconsin was the bottom of the league. Indiana won 32 straight against the Badgers. I wish we could go back to those days, mostly because that's back when Indiana was consistently pretty good. I'm not saying Wisconsin is a bad team, but they're also not a great team. I think Indiana's steady diet of cupcakes during the early season is beginning to surface. Sure, beating Kentucky by a lot was nice, but that was at home. The win at Southern Illinois was also nice, but the Salukis need to really step up in the Missouri-Valley in order for that game to look impressive. And winning by a few over Georgia Tech is another glaring issue, although there's a chance that Georgia Tech will overcome the defections to the NBA from last year and end up third [4] in the ACC. Still, your rpi is somewhere around .500, and for a team ranked as highly as you are with a good inside-outside game like you have, you should be ashamed.

Ugh. Anyway. The sooner I can wash the bad taste of this out of my mouth, the better. Plus, I need to go home and reteach my daughter how to dribble. If nothing else, I at least want her to look better than Lance Stemler out there on the court.

[1] And by "piss-poor" I mean "0-for-7"
[2] me
[3] aka Boston College
[4] which isn't saying much, as it's pretty much "everyone after Duke and Carolina".


Chemgeek said...

I did not see the game as I was buried with Gen Chem correcting. Wisconsin always annoys me. They are "good" in a "we can play in the Big Ten but not against anyone else as will be evident by our 2nd round departure in the NCAA tourney" way.

All I know is that the Gophers proved something when they beat up on a very good* Michigan team.

For the purposes of this post "good" = "bad".