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How Long Before Indiana Comes Crawling Back to Kentucky?



Indiana needed a buzzer-beater win over Kentucky in December of 2011 to become relevant again. That regular season win over the Cats was and still remains the signature moment of the Tom Crean era, after losing in the Sweet 16 this March for the second straight season. Now that Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo have left for the NBA, Yogi Ferrell will be the Hoosiers’ most experienced starter. Of the seven players who played in each of IU’s 36 games last season, only two will be back next season: Ferrell and Will Sheehey (h/t Andy Proffet). Indiana brings in a solid recruiting class, but only has one incoming player that figures to make a serious impact as a freshman. Other than 8th-rated (according to Rivals) Noah Vonleh, the Hoosiers’ other incoming recruits are ranked No. 47, 56, 94, 125 and NR. Long story short: Indiana isn’t going to be very good next season.

If Indiana isn’t going to be very good next season, there’s a chance they may not be good again for a while. When Tom Crean rebuilds, it doesn’t happen over night. Despite this bio only giving information for two of his seasons at Indiana, he has actually been there five years. It took Crean a fourth year to get the Hoosiers back in the NCAA tournament and a fifth year to win their regular season conference championship. Heading into last season, in which the Hoosiers were a preseason No. 1 team, Crean probably did not think he absolutely needed to have Kentucky on his program’s schedule at the time. They didn’t need to have UK on their schedule last year to grab anyone’s attention, and it probably wouldn’t do them any good having the Cats on their schedule next year either (it wouldn’t be very pretty). Eventually, however, if Indiana wants to stay relevant, a date with Kentucky every year would only help them stay on track or get back on track.

It may be a long road back for the Hoosiers to get back to where they were the past two seasons, but it was the Kentucky game that brought them over the hump two years ago. If Indiana takes a step back, and possibly into the NIT in 2013, will Tom Crean realize the importance of having Kentucky on their schedule? Indiana thought they had power last summer while negotiating to continue the rivalry with the defending National Champions at the time, and refused to continue the series in Indianapolis. Will the Hoosiers be humbled in 2013, and eventually agree to play the Cats any time, any place, every year? How many down seasons will it take for Indiana to come crawling back to Kentucky and agree to play in the traditional neutral-court setting the schools have played in for many years?

Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

35 Comments for How Long Before Indiana Comes Crawling Back to Kentucky?

  1. Usernametaken
    9:33 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    We don’t need Indiana. End of story.

  2. Tom "there are bodies in my backyard and children locked in my basement" Crean
    9:39 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Who cares about Indiana? They’re irrelevant.

  3. Duuuuuuude
    9:42 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Hey, don’t forget Peter Jurkin!

  4. Man Hands
    9:43 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    As the owl says… 1… 2…. 3.

    3 years.

  5. PatMan
    9:53 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Agree with #2, who cares about IU, and especially Crean, don’t need them. On second thought, embarrassing would actually be very pleasing and enjoyable !!!

  6. I Say
    9:55 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Indiana will not be that bad

  7. Tennesse Wildcat
    9:58 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    I hope we don’t ever play them again as long as Crean is coach. Its more fun to talk about IU being second class than giving them a chance to elevate closer to our level by playing them.

  8. Curt D
    9:58 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    How many creepy tweets will it take Tom Crean for Cal to notice him?

  9. Carolyn
    10:04 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Tom Crean acts like he has a few loose screws!

  10. Jp
    10:08 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    #5 – And UK was pre-seasoon #3 last year. How did that end up? Pre-season polls are useless.

    IU will, more than likely, be horrible again this year. Back to business as usual, it seems.

  11. Stan
    10:11 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    I didn’t think it was possible, but the sight of Tom Crean fills me with more bile than that of Rick Pitino.

  12. UKDMD
    10:13 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Lets face it. This year was the year for IU to win if they’re ever going to. It’s gonna be a long time before they get another team together that’s as good. Crean just can’t recruit well enough.

    I’d like to see us play them, but on our terms. Neutral site or nothing. They need to remember, it’s not UK that has issues staying relevant.

  13. Axe Cop
    10:24 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Ol’ Clappy’s hair looks like Gary Oldman in Dracula.

  14. mudcreekmark
    10:30 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    I had great respect for Crean as a coach when he beat us with the Marquette team that had Wade on it. Then I thought he out coached Cal twice during our championship run. However, this year has really shed some light on what kind of person he really is. First there was Zeller grabbing someones hand and hitting himself in the nuts trying to draw a foul. Then we catch Crean coaching how to fake getting elbowed in the head. If I was guessing, he probably taught Zeller the nut shot trick too. I have lost all respect I had for him. What kind of an adult teaches his kids to win at any cost? Even if you have to cheat.

  15. mudcreekmark
    10:34 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    9) I agree, there is something wrong with this guy. I think the stress has gotten to him and pushed him off the deep end.

  16. cinemark
    10:41 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    #13 – you nailed it. couldn’t quite get my teeth into it until you said said that.

  17. mryoung
    10:52 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    I wanna play them so bad just to try to prove a point to these ignorant hoosier fans…indiana will sink again and once again all their (true faithful fans) will jump on butler or whatever indiana teams bandwagon whos having a decent year…I live in indy and ive learned that no one is loyal to their so called makes me sick..ive been bleedin blue since I was born and will be after im gone …

  18. Boogie
    10:53 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    I think they’ll finish middle of the pack in the Big 10. I hate Tom Crean and Indiana too much to write 3 paragraphs about them though.

  19. mryoung
    10:57 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Iu isnt even a top5 program to me anymore…top5 programs dont rush the court after a last second shot to win …they dont make sweet16 rings…they dont build shrines after beating a school on a last second shot…they dont cut nets down after they lose on senior night…they’re cute..they really UK all damn day go cats!!!

  20. BlueTruth
    10:58 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    I have no problem for a IU vs UK series again. It would be great for UK to keeping handing them their @$$

  21. BigBlue
    11:01 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    I say if they crawl back who cares! Don’t schedule them!
    They need us more than we need them.

  22. W.W.B.B.N.D?
    11:21 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    This will probably be the “glory years” of crean at IU, 2 sweet 16s. IU fans save those phone books and popcorn boxes.

  23. billb
    11:35 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    who knows? who cares? The actions last year of the idiotic IU fans and some of the boners Clappy has pulled this year. I don’t want to be involved with them. Cutting down the nest after a home loss. SERIOUSLY?

  24. F IU
    1:22 am April 29, 2013 Permalink

    I say forget those losers, they have sucked for years they have one better season than us(which wasnt really even that good)and want to get on their high horses and act as if we need them more than they need us, IU basketball is irrelevant and I hope we keep them off the schedule until Crean is gone, that guy is weird as can be and the walls are beginning to collapse around him, I actually used to like him somewhat , guess living in the state of Indiana can drive a person insane

  25. Buckets
    1:23 am April 29, 2013 Permalink

    Good lord Crean is creeeeeeepy. I didn’t want the series to end but I can’t stand Crean and the way their fans have acted ever since the Watford shot I say to hell with them, we don’t need them, obviously. I have a good friend who’s an IU fan and they’re flat-out delusional. Time for some more humble pie because as sweet as that Sweet 16 loss was this year, I’d like to see them be terrible again for the next decade or so.

  26. jackiemoon
    5:04 am April 29, 2013 Permalink

    the matchup is good for basketball. bring the series back.

  27. mike
    5:15 am April 29, 2013 Permalink

    I bet that cop is a good softball player.

  28. Josh
    10:01 am April 29, 2013 Permalink

    Haha love the Tom Crean pic…if I had to caption it “YAY they have ice cream” But Seriously IU had a good 2 yrs now the will sink back down into non existence again…glad that’s over.

  29. IU=LULZ
    10:46 am April 29, 2013 Permalink

    Bring back the football rivalry.

  30. jaws2
    1:48 pm April 29, 2013 Permalink

    We don’t need iu on our schedule, never needed them on the schedule. knight ruined the series when he slapped Joe on the back of the head, and was the worst sore loser after we beat them in the Regional Finals in Dayton. Screw iu, they don’t deserve a game with UK.

  31. kywcat
    2:00 pm April 29, 2013 Permalink

    Look at IU basketball. When in the past almost 40 years have they either not had a cheater or a lunatic at the helm? IU is win at any cost! They have a laundry list of violations from player abuse, recruiting to boosters supplying livelyhood for players then all of Crean’s antics this year. IU basketball is, and as far as I have always seen, at the bottom when it comes to class, morals and ethics. I grew up in Indiana and graduated from UK and bleed blue so I like seeing the game, but honestly I don’t like to compete against such a team, you never know what will come out of the other end attached to the win or loss. At least Knight was smart enough to realize the impact of a neutral game on fan participation and recruiting. Who cares, IU has proven after this season, their best in decades, they aren’t a top program anymore. I’d rather play Butler, Ohio State or likewise.

  32. kywcat
    2:02 pm April 29, 2013 Permalink

    I do wish the football game still existed. Neutral site? Lucas and Paul Brown? Ha, JK.

  33. V
    2:12 pm April 29, 2013 Permalink

    I think we need to bring the series back so that there is no conflict on who gets the advantage in home court, we need to have these two teams meet at the center of the bridge on the Ohio River and have them play a game. Fans of both teams can watch from the banks of the Ohio River. Problem solved and now where is my cookie?

  34. kywcat
    2:18 pm April 29, 2013 Permalink

    Aircraft carrier on the Ohio?

  35. Real Deal
    12:55 pm May 1, 2013 Permalink

    So I googled when IU will play uk again and I came across this lovely little site in which it seems that most are living within a delusional cloud. Firstly – 31. I can’t believe you would accuse IU of a laundry list of violations. UK has had the death penalty and celebrates a coach that was a racists and a bigot. Talk about morals and ethics. The only reason Tubby got fired is because he was black and the fan base and alumni of kentucky is more concerned with color of skin. IU will make the tourney next year as well, which is more than I can say for UK this past year. Yeah yeah the recruiting class is great, maybe the best of all time, but last years class was #1 also and laid down and took it. Let’s face it, Cal is scared to play IU at home because he was embarrassed and he is a dictator. He doesn’t care about what is good for the fans or sport of college basketball. He wants what he wants and that is it. You all as a fan base are a bunch of blind sheep that will follow Cal into the inevitable NCAA violations that he has had at his past schools. To think that someone has changed is merely lack of perspective and vision.