Indiana is a basketball proud state. There’s a lot of tradition around between high school basketball and IU’s multiple national championships.
Purdue has been impressive at times in the past and now has the most impressive college basketball program in the state. Butler is very good. Even Notre Dame has its fair share of tradition and has an All-American on its roster.
In the past even the Pacers were singled out for basketball excellence. There are still a lot of people that love Reggie Miller (even though his sister was a better baller).
But the sad truth is Peyton Manning owns Indiana now. The Pacers are awful.
After an embarrassing 114-80 loss to the Heat in Miami on Sunday the Pacers are 9-20. They sit dead last in a pretty pathetic Central Division.
The part that’s kind of sad is coach Jim O’Brien has so little to work with. There is All-Star Danny Granger, who is a fine player but is also hurt and hasn’t played since Dec. 5. Former Notre Dame star Troy Murphy is OK and the team’s highest paid player. Mike Dunleavy is around. T.J. Ford is hurt all the time.
From there the roster is young, bad or a combination of both. Brandon Rush is a nice young player. Tyler Hansbrough brings, um, effort.
Then there’s a bunch of guys like Roy Hibbert, Josh McRoberts (hey, he’s from Indiana!), Travis Diener (uhhh), Luther Head and Dahntay Jones. Sweet. Jesus.
Like, who in their right mind thinks that team can compete in the NBA consistently? Perhaps this is what happens when you want to get rid of Stephen Jackson, Jamaal Tinsley and all the other guys that got in trouble at Indy strip clubs.
The problem is those guys were actually good.
No wonder once the Colts lose in the playoffs all people in Indianapolis want to talk about is next football season. Winter must be a dark, dark there.