Since I know you were all glued to the non-stop action that happens only on the Big Ten Network, you obviously know by now that the Indiana Hoosiers are no longer winless in the Big Ten this year. Yes, after the Hoosiers’ dramatic 68-60 win over Iowa last night the 1999-2000 Northwestern Wildcats can officially pop those champagne corks, since they are still the last team to post the donut during a men’s basketball season in the Big Ten. But IU’s first Big Ten victory of the Tom Crean Era brings about one question: How freaking bad is Iowa basketball right now?
No disrespect to the Hawkeyes, but I was on hand to watch my Hoosiers almost lose to Chaminade at the Maui Invitational. Chaminade! They ended up pulling that win out by the skin of their teeth, 81-79. Entering Wednesday night the Hoosiers also boasted wins over traditional juggernauts Northwestern State, IUPUI, Cornell and TCU. What’s worse is that they lost to the likes of Northeastern and Lipscomb. IU hadn’t won a basketball game since December 10th and had a record of 5-15 (0-8 in the Big Ten) before facing the Hawkeyes at Assembly Hall.
Seriously, Iowa, what gives?
Oh sure, Crean’s crew has shown pluck all season, they’ve even blown two 20-point leads in Big Ten play and lost several close games. But the fact that they were able to actually pull one out means the entire roster at Iowa needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror.
Indiana has just eight scholarship players on the roster. And one of them, Tijan Jobe, I wouldn’t trust to tie his own shoes, let alone play Division I basketball. Now I’m not saying Iowa is a powerhouse that should have dispatched the Hoosiers with ease. And yes, they’re struggling (12-11 record, 2-8 Big Ten), but come on. My high school team could give IU’s current roster a good run.
That’s not to take anything away from what was a huge win for Indiana’s program. I mean proving you can win Big Ten games without cheating is a pretty big step these days around my alma mater – Baby steps people, baby steps.
But back to the point: Iowa basketball is on the ropes right now. I mean really Iowa, Indiana just endured a major NCAA investigation, fired its coaching staff and jettisoned virtually the entire roster. What’s your excuse?