The Washington Times-Herald


April 11, 2013

IU still working towards sixth banner

WASHINGTON — Monday night in Atlanta, Louisville won the school’s first National Championship since the year I was born - 1986. This accomplishment is significant to Indiana basketball fans, because the last two times the Cardinals cut down the nets (1980, 1986), the Hoosiers did it the following year. The stat, of course means nothing, other than both schools had strong programs in the 1980s.

It’s hard to win a national championship in today’s landscape of “one and done” and AAU era of basketball. Louisville has only been a No. 1 seed three times since that 1986 championship. The 26 years Cardinals fans waited is an eternity, but for the Hoosiers it feels like a century since Keith Smart hit that famous baseline jumper to beat Syracuse in the 1987 final.

At the time Bob Knight and Indiana had just won its third championship in 11 years, and the sky seemed to be the limit. We all know what happened. Damon Bailey couldn’t bring a championship to Bloomington in the early 90s. Knight was fired in 2000 after breaking the University’s zero tolerance policy. New coach Mike Davis and Bloomington North product Jared Jeffries led the Hoosiers to a surprise trip to the 2002 championship game, before losing to champion Maryland.

The 10 years that followed for IU was complete darkness. Davis missed the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and 2005, and Oklahoma’s Kelvin Sampson was hired.

This is a move that would cripple the Hoosiers until the signing of Washington product Cody Zeller. Tom Crean led the Hoosiers out of darkness and back to the national stage this season, but for the second straight year Indiana lost in the Sweet 16, despite having a preaseason No. 1 ranking.

The fans are already growing impatient with Crean. Each day that goes by is a day further away from when Indiana was on top of the college basketball world. Will they be there again? No one can say for sure. All the stars were aligned this season for Indiana, and they couldn¹t get back to the Final Four.

With junior Victor Oladipo and Zeller declaring for the NBA, along with the graduations of starters Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford and reserve Derek Elston, IU will have only one starter back next season. With a highly inexperienced lineup, the drought since the Hoosiers last cut down the nets should reach 27 years.

It won't make IU fans happy, but in 2013, Bloomington, Ind. isn’t a more attractive destination to elite basketball talent than Durham, N.C., Chapel Hill, N.C., Lexington, K.Y., Lawrence, Kan. or even Louisville.

IU has fallen into a similar pit as Notre Dame did for so long since its last championship in 1988. The Hoosiers haven’t been on top in so long, most recruits don’t view IU as a historic program. Since Indiana last won a championship, Duke have won four, North Carolina and Kentucky have three, Florida have won two. The Big Ten has only won two championships (Michigan 1989, Michigan State 2000) as a whole in that time.

Even kids from Indiana are choosing to go out of state. The success of Gary Harris (Big Ten Freshman of the Year), along with Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III helping Michigan reach the National Championship Game didn't go unnoticed across the state. When you’re not on top, getting elite players year after year is easy, but once you have been down for nearly three decades like IU has, it becomes a near impossible uphill climb.

Rick Pitino and Louisville completed the uphill climb, but the loss of Zeller, Oladipo, Watford and Hulls will only make Crean’s journey to the sixth banner even tougher.

Text Only
  • Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.Sometimes it could be as simple as a C-note handshake or a little cash slipped into a player’s socks outside his locker with a note telling him to

    July 25, 2014

  • Letter: Sex is clearly defined Sex is clearly definedEditor:I say “Amen” to Pastor Showers’ letter to the editor. Sex in its pureness is only between one man and woman in the bonds of marriage, till death do they part. No others on the side.Man lying with man, woman lying with wom

    July 18, 2014

  • Hobby Lobby court ruling a right one for religious freedom The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that marked an important development in the ongoing national debate on religious freedom.In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the contraception coverage mandate, imposed by the Obama Administration under

    July 17, 2014

  • Good work DCH for helping vets Good work DCH for helping vetsEditor:On behalf of the veteran organizations of Daviess County, we wish to take this opportunity to recognize Daviess Community Hospital’s CEO David Bixler for the representation of our community hospital and the servic

    July 17, 2014

  • I am proud to fight against the 'War on Coal I recently signed on as an original cosponsor to a bipartisan bill led by one of my Democrat colleagues from West Virginia that would stop the newly released Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on existing coal-generated power plants.He

    July 16, 2014

  • EPA regulations are very bad for District 63 The coal industry has played an integral role in our nation’s history, and District 63 is very close to the heart of it all. Information on the Institute of Energy Research’s website reveals that from a global standpoint, the United States has the la

    July 16, 2014

  • Update from Veale Creek Players Update from Veale Creek PlayersEditor:Veale Creek Players just finished the second week of the children’s summer camp with a pizza cast party. All parents and friends of our future actors/actresses were invited and enjoyed being part of the Veale Cre

    July 16, 2014

  • James bears the weight of Cleveland's championship dreams LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician.In returning to his home

    July 16, 2014

  • Say yes to the dress (at least at some point) Next month, the beloved boyfriend and I will celebrate two years of togetherness. For me, this is a huge milestone and for him, well, I guess this illustrates how patient and tolerant of my quirks he is (or maybe that’s the other way around. Remember

    July 12, 2014

  • Moving towards a better tomorrow This past week a federal judge ruled Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but in Daviess County there were no wedding bells ringing for same-sex couples. Despite receiving an email from the Indiana Attorney General’s office advising coun

    July 5, 2014