"Hurr durr I bet Indiana hangs a banner for beating the reigning Canadian champs."
"YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS WE WILL. YOU'RE THE CHAMPS UNTIL YOU GET BEAT. AND THE CHAMPS JUST GOT BEAT."
"Cut those nets down, Crean!"
"I'M TAKING THE WHOLE BACKBOARD. DEAL WITH ME."
You know what the most important thing about a preseason international trip? WINNING BASKETBALL GAMES.
Bucky couldn't hang? Cuse needed overtime? HOOSIERS NEVER TRAILED. NOT EVEN ONCE.
The above post is as dumb as anyone making season-long prognostications after last night's loss. Yes, the Hoosiers beat a good team today, but that and their student ID will get them a free ride on Bloomington Transit. The kids showed the signs of some mental fortitude by holding off the late run Carleton gave them in the 4th quarter; the kind of mindset that was absent from the roster last season, as we watched them crumble late in tight games time after time after time.
What we CAN enjoy, in my opinion, is that this team spent the offseason working on taking their wealth of talent and athleticism and crafting themselves into Big Ten basketball players. We won't know the extent of their progress until the Big Ten season rolls around, but the early returns are incredibly encouraging. It sucks that Hanner Mosquera-Perea can't be a part of these games, given how pivotal he appears to be for the coming season as our only true post player with any Big Ten experience. Hopefully, he can get his visa issues sorted out and get some game experience, but even if not, we can hope he's been in Cook Hall with the others all summer and working to make the same strides.
Oh hell, go ahead and enjoy this win in much the same way I did at the beginning of this post. Y'all grown adults, do what you want. Tweet about how we should fire Tom Crean if you want, I don't care. Indiana played good basketball tonight and the Pirates are in a wildcard spot, I'm in a good mood. BUT: the win today means as little as the loss yesterday. Both games were opportunities for the team to get better, and that's what it's all about.
Kick's Observations of Other People's Observations:
- I think the Nick Zeisloft pickup is going to be a nice one for this roster. Here's a kid with a ton of collegiate experience, albeit in the Missouri Valley Conference, who can make shots. I don't think he should be a starter, necessarily, but if he can bomb some threes off the bench and give quality minutes to solidify our depth, what a huge upgrade that will be over last year's bench which, frankly, was awful.
- Stanford Robinson was shaken up in the first half, which would have been the worst thing that could have ever happened in a preseason game. Health is paramount to all else on these trips and he, thankfully, returned in the second half after walking off gingerly.
- Big fan of what Devin Davis has been doing. He was perfect from the field today and was active on the glass. I don't know if he has the size to bang it down low night in and night out with the Big Ten's front courts, but he is building on his promising stretch to end last season.