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.
Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo HELPED combine for 56 wins in two years and now they combine to make $7,184,000 this coming year. WOW!
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) July 9, 2013
We will never know how far we could have gone with them next year.New team=new challenges. We do know they left a legacy at Indiana. Thank U
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) July 9, 2013
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]
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