Tonight it begins.
The process of moving forward.
Indiana finally plays a basketball game with Tom Crean at the helm.
In some ways I can’t believe we’re ready to tip-off another basketball season. In many, many other ways this day could not come soon enough.
It is no longer the 2007-2008 season. Kelvin Sampson is long gone, so are almost all of his players. We have the youngest team in the history of college basketball (Packer Method). We have, as Kyle Taber is still recovering, no real game experience. We are starting roughly 12 freshmen and a JuCo player.
Tom Crean has kept practices closed to the public, Norman Dale style, so we have very little idea what to expect from this team.
We’ve been told they can shoot. We’ve been told their small. We know they’re young.
Tom Crean wants to run. He wants them to play defense. He’s scared as hell they won’t be able to rebound.
He’s done a fantastic job of lowering expectations. He keeps reminding us that the measure of this team’s success cannot be counted in the Win-Loss columns. It can only be counted in improvement. Do they learn? Do they show that they understand the system? Do they put forth the effort needed to be competitive? Do they work on and off the court to earn the right to wear that uniform?
Maybe I’m the perpetual optimist (see: the fact that I still watch IU football year after year when with the exception of last year Lucy pulls it away right before I’m ready to kick the ball every time) but I have a tough time believing that this team will be as bad as Mike Davis’s 14-15 squad. That team may have had more talent, and experience, but this team has a MUCH better coach. They’re young and small, but they will play with desire and heart, and they will not give the ball to Bracey and watch.
I think that trying to accurately predict how a team will finish when you’ve never seen any of them play at this level before is an exercise in futility. It’s punditry at it’s best.
So, here I sit, anxiously awaiting the ability to form my own opinion, based on more than my hopes. Based on more than my belief that Karma will take care of us for doing what was right and blowing up our entire program.
I don’t know that I can hazard a prediction about our record this year, but what I can say, with almost total certainty, is that this year will be better than the last.