20 Things IU Basketball’s Success has Brought Back to Bloomington
By: Frank Therber
It’s Tom Crean’s motto that Indiana has won “20 games 20 different ways.” The first 20-win season in four troubling years has made for exciting times in Bloomington. With that, here are 20 things that the Hoosiers’ return to relevance has brought or could bring in the near future.
- Recruiting: Crean has made an unprecedented start in his recruiting efforts, especially with the NCAA sanctions handed down after the 2008 season taken into consideration.
- Cody Zeller: The guy has been nothing short of a program changer in his first (of multiple, hopefully) year dawning the candystriped pants.
- The NCAA Tournament: For the first time in four years, the Hoosiers have a legitimate chance to make a run after the Big Ten Tournament, instead of packing their bags and heading home until October.
- Glory Days: It’s cliché and gets annoying, but, yes, the Hoosiers have had flashbacks to the banner years at times over the season.
- Christian Watford: He’s been streaky, but the buzzer-beater against Kentucky and an improved jump shot show the junior could be a primetime player for Indiana next year.
- The Kentucky Rivalry: John Calipari and Crean seem to have a nice foundation for the revitalization of the not-so-friendly annual Indiana/Kentucky duel.
- Hoosier Athletics: Let’s be honest; until the turnaround on the hardwood, a realist would have been challenged to name something positive about Indiana athletics.
- Bloomington: Think the city of Bloomington isn’t seeing a bit of an economic impact with sellout after sellout in Assembly Hall?
- Students: Current Indiana enrollees are being deservedly rewarded for sticking with the program
- Dick Vitale: Wasn’t it nice to see Dickie V make a stop in Bloomington on his trip to relevant venues across the college hoops landscape?
- College Basketball: As it is with Duke, North Carolina, UCLA and Kentucky, college basketball is better when Indiana is in the mix.
- The Big Ten: The conference has to be happy from financial and exposure angles that it’s most prized hoops name is contending once again.
- In-House War: Should Purdue’s highly touted 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes pan out, the Indiana/Purdue rivalry will be back to the level it was in the days when it was the only thing that mattered in the state this time of year.
- Amends: There has been an 11-year divide among former Indiana players and program officials dating back to the Bob Knight firing. The stability and success that Crean has brought should bring both sides to their senses.
- The Big Ten Network: Do Northwestern, Penn State, or Nebraska fans follow their basketball during good seasons as well as Indiana fans do during their worst?
- Tom Crean: A 20+ win season and potential high seed in the NCAA Tournament means some stability for he and his family; something highly overlooked in the sports world today.
- Tijan Jobe: Just, well… because.
- Kelvin Sampson: Just kidding.
- Attention: With Indiana returning to relevance, the program will continue to get increased exposure on national levels after almost nonexistence for three years.
- Bob Knight: Put last on this list for a reason, but as long as students and disillusioned fans continue to memorialize the General, there is a decent chance for an amicable reunion.
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