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Tom Crean, Indiana coaching staff respond to Wall Street Journal article, calling Hoosiers’ underachievers (VIDEO)

Jul 9, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

On Tuesday, a summer news conference for the Indiana University men’s basketball team turned into a rant by associate head coach Tim Buckley against a Wall Street Journal article calling last season’s Indiana Hoosiers “historic underachievers.”

The WSJ article appeared in the July 1 edition of the paper under the headline: ‘The Biggest Underachiever in NCAA History.’ (a portion of the article can be seen here). The article ran days after Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller went No. 2 and No. 4, respectively, in the NBA Draft and pointed out that this Hoosiers’s team underachieved more than any other team, based on similar talent, in NCAA tournament history. The Journal grouped Indiana with other programs that had two top-5 picks in the same season.

Indiana was one of three teams to only make the Sweet Sixteen in those seasons. The other two were Duke’s Jay Williams and Mike Dunleavy in 2002 — though the won a title the previous season. The first was North Carolina’s Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins in 1984, but both were on the ’82 title team.

During Tuesday’s press conference Buckley, fired back, citing the remarkable job Tom Crean has done given the state the program was in when he took over in 2008 (as seen in the video above):

“We’re pretty proud of this group. And we’re disappointed as much as anybody else with not going further in the NCAA tournament. Our fifth-place team (Michigan) in the Big Ten played for the national championship. That’s how good this league was. And for us to do it night in and night out; I don’t think we ever lost two games in a row.

“Someone point out to me what was underachieved from April 1, 2008, until we went through draft night. I’m going to speak to that because I know what everybody up here put into it, I know what everybody’s family put into it, I know what every one of the players and their families put into it.”

Tom Crean used his own Twitter account on Tuesday to praise Oladipo and Zeller for their accomplishments and what they had meant to a program that needed new life.

According this formula concocted by the Wall Street Journal, yes the Hoosiers underachieved in 2012-2013. But let’s put it all in perspective, Indiana was the top team in the nation’s best conference. Let’s go even broader, players like Oladipo and Zeller brought the Indiana program back to relevance. So underachievers might be a tough label to pin on them.

[h/t David Woods of the Indianapolis Star]

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

  1. stinkythumbs - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Crean IS a douche though…no doubt about that.

  2. hotlantalaw - Jul 10, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Crean is not and never has been an x and o coach. Does he still have a tanning bed in his house?

  3. miamifishfan - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Underachieving means not reaching ones potential, so yes!!! They were underachievers!!

    • florida727 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      “Underachieving means not reaching ones potential”

      WRONG. Dictionary.com definition of “underachieve” is: “to perform or achieve less than expected, ESPECIALLY BY OTHERS” (emphasis added).

      Underachievement is based on an outsider’s perspective of what they think should have happened. In other words, some idiot “predicts” that IU should have won it all, or get to the Final Four at least, and their ego gets bruised because their prediction didn’t come through and they look stupid in the process, therefore it must be someone else’s fault (after all, it couldn’t be that they didn’t know what the heck they were talking about, right?), so it had to be that IU failed; that IU “underachieved”. Bullsh*t. IU had a great season. They were relevant for the first time in a long time, and Crean’s accomplishment as a coach should not be challenged. He did a heck of a job. To say otherwise is ignorance.

  4. florida727 - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I’m not an IU fan, but anyone who thinks that team underachieved is either an idiot or just simply knows nothing about competitive sports at the highest levels. The FIFTH place team in the Big Ten plays for the national championship? And Indiana finishes where they did in conference play and gets ripped for it? Absolute stupidity to criticize them.

  5. packhawk04 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Im a michigan guy, and i think it depends on what youre talking about when you say they underachieved. Both michigan and indiana were expected to be top big ten teams and national title contenders when the season started. Based on that, the argument could be made that michigan underacheived during the regular season, and indiana underachieved in the tournament.

    Also, an indiana fan can be as proud as hell of their team, but after just a second straight sweet sixteen appearance, theyd be lying to themselves if they said there was no failure there, or not living up to expectations.

  6. arlingtonsynn - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    As an IU fan, let me bask for a second about the fact that we lost in the sweet 16 and someone says we ‘underachieved’.

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