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It’s time for Indiana fans to start fretting about a trip to the NIT

Jan 30, 2014, 11:47 PM EDT

Indiana v Nebraska Getty Images

We’re approaching panic time for Indiana Hoosier fans.

On Thursday night, Tom Crean’s club was outscored 41-23 in the second half by Nebraska, blowing a 13-point halftime lead in a 60-55 loss that dropped them to 13-8 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten.

That’s not a good thing, but what’s far more troubling is the fact Indiana is staring a fall from being a No. 1 seed to an NIT team straight in the face.

Their best win right now is over Wisconsin, which looked like something the Hoosiers could hang their resume before the Badgers became quite beatable. Now that win over Wisconsin is something that Indiana shares in common with Northwestern. Resume defining? Not so much.

Here’s the problem: that’s really the only noteworthy win that the Hoosiers have. They beat Stony Brook. And Washington. And handed Illinois their sixth straight loss … a month after losing to the Illini. Indiana was 63rd in the RPI before losing to Nebraska, and if the season ended today, they probably would not even be in consideration for an at-large bid.

It’s still way too early to write the Hoosiers off, however. They still play Michigan twice, pay a visit to Minnesota and Wisconsin, and get home games against Iowa and Ohio State. That’s before they play in the Big Ten tournament. They’ll have ample opportunities to put together the wins needed to play their way into the Big Dance.

But this is a team chock-full of freshmen and sophomores that doesn’t have enough perimeter shooting or consistent support for Yogi Ferrell.

Out of the six games that I just mentioned, who can Indiana actually beat?

  1. jpopejoy - Jan 31, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Creans worst coaching since coming to IU. Going zone out of the half after holding Nebraska to 19 in the first. Put Robinson in the bench almost the entire 2nd half, opting for walk-ons and perrea instead. Crean should get serious heat for coaching himself to a loss here. Additionally, I don’t care who you lose, if you go from #1 in the nation to NIT there should be outrage. Indiana only lost 1 additional player than expected (Oladipo…who wasn’t expected to be a stud when IU was #1 preseason last year). Gotta recruit better…especially shooters, because he’s not gotten a shooter at IU outside of Hulls

    • gmoney1man - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Agree completely. Crean has historically been a HORRIBLE game coach. He is a wonderful recruiter, connects well with the kids, but is simply awful when the whistle starts. He simply doesn’t understand his own personnel and the dynamics of the game as it progresses. The only player that shows any sign of fight in him is Yogi Ferrel. How many turnovers can you possibly have game after game? This team is mentally weak and reminds me of a boxer that can’t take any sort of punch (ie they fold quickly after being hit). Crean doesn’t understand simple momentum within a game – he continues to substitute way too many players and the team plays like a deer in headlights when the pressure is on.

  2. dexterismyhero - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Young, inexperienced, and not very tough. They need more size and less turnovers.

    Crean is not doing a very good job at all with these guys.

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