I'm Dreaming Of A Don Fischer Christmas

Some Hoosiers just go harder than others.

CGR With A Deep-Throated Metaphor For UK's Season

Youtube's #1 Kentucky fan provides a fitting metaphor for UK's season.
This seriously happened on the internet yesterday.

On the plus side, Reed won't get more herpes from that fruit. 

When Tom met Bob

photo via Chris Howell | Herald-Times

A Letter From Bob Knight To Landon Turner

Bobby Knight instructs Landon Turner during a Dec. 22, 1979 game versus North Carolina.
(photo courtesy of IU Archives Photograph Collection.)

On the evening of his induction to the IU Hall of Fame, former IU basketball great, Landon Turner, was delivered the following letter from his former coach, Bob Knight, by former Herald-Times sports editor & longtime Knight friend, Bob Hammel:

For over two years as a member of our basketball team, you were a monumental pain in the ass. You were a kid with enormous talent — oh, and you had some great moments that helped us win some games and championships, the NIT final game was one of those. But times like that only made more frustrating all of those much more frequent times when you didn’t come close to playing to your abilities in a consistent way.
I had just about given up on you as a player who could be counted on to play his best in every game. Then, on Feb. 12, 1981, in our 23rd game of your junior year, we were playing Northwestern at home. Steve Downing and I were going to tell your great parents after the game that we no longer thought you could help our team. Then, with nine minutes to go in that Northwestern game with us about 30 points ahead, I finally put you in the game — and you immediately missed a block-out and gave up a basket. Of course I took you out of the game, but for some reason I don’t understand I put you right back in. For the next 8 and a half minutes you did it — you played to the full extent of your abilities, and it was a joy to watch.
After the game, Steve and I met with your Dad and Mother. Our original plan had been to draft a letter that would make you eligible for the NBA Draft. After the way you had played, before we brought up the letter I asked you a question: “Landon, what keeps you from playing that way all the time?” You said, “I don’t know, Coach, but I would like the chance to try.”
From our next practice through the final game in the NCAA tournament, you were the best player in the country. Our team could not and would not have won the national championship without the way you played. You did a complete turn-around, not only as a player but also as a student. I have never seen anyone make that complete a change in his approach to life.
Then came your summertime accident on the way to King’s Island. Only through great will and determination did you even survive. Your life was changed forever, and you would never experience what you were going to be as a basketball player — the best in the country.
But what you did become, Landon, is the most amazing human being — the greatest example of dealing with and overcoming adversity — that I have ever known. There is no player of all the great, great kids that I have coached that I respect more than you.
My favorite moment as a coach was seeing you become the player I thought you could be. My worst moment as a coach was learning that you would not have a senior season.
And you also gave me my most unforgettable and meaningful moment on a basketball court. It was at one of our Senior Days. You had come down to be part of it — I always appreciated that — and you were in your wheelchair on the court behind me when on the spur of the moment I asked all the former IU players in the stands that day to stand. Then I thought of you, looked back, and needled you as always: “Landon, aren’t you going to stand up?”
You gave me that great big smile and said, “Coach, I am standing, in my heart.”
That, I’ll never forget.
Congratulations for this wonderful recognition and honor, Landon. You deserve to be up on that wall, as a continuing reminder of a great young basketball player whose future changed in a minute and — after a lot of tears and family time, I’m sure — just said, “Well, that’s the way it’s going to be. I’ll make the best of it.”
And you have.

Indiana All Stars & IU

This weekend marks the 73rd assemblage of the Indiana All Star basketball team and its 71st annual series against Kentucky, albeit a lopsided one (Indiana owns an 86-42 advantage). And with Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, and Ron Patterson set to begin their college careers in Bloomington the following Wednesday, they will become the 98th, 99th, and 100th members of the Indiana All Stars to play for Indiana University.

The significance of this connection to Indiana's basketball legacy cannot be overstated.

In a state which is world-renowned for its passion for basketball, the relationship between the All Stars and IU represents the confluence of Indiana's storied high school basketball talent and the vaunted college basketball program which also bears the state's name across its chest.

Here's a few tidbits which illustrate how IU and the All Stars have become inexorably intertwined with basketball greatness over the past three quarters of a century:

-Since the All Star team's inception in 1939, 884 high school players have been selected to play for the Indiana All Stars. With this year's class of commits, IU has now amassed 100 Indiana All Stars on its rosters, or 11.31% of all All Stars.

-63 of the 74 All Star rosters (85%) have produced at least one IU player.

-This marks the 63rd season IU's roster will feature at least Indiana Mr. Basketball winner. For more on IU's history with Indiana Mr. Basketball winners, click here.

-2012-13 will be the 66th consecutive season in which at least 1 Indiana All Star is represented on the IU roster.

-This year marks the 24th time IU has received multiple All Stars in the same class and the 8th time 3 or more All Stars will head to Bloomington together.

-This year's class of IU commits is tied for the 4th largest class of All Stars  in IU history (3).

-Indiana All Stars will account for 53.85% of IU's scholarship athletes, which also ties it for the 4th most All Star-laden roster in IU history.

-1994 & 1995 are the only consecutive All Star classes which did not send a player to IU.

-Tom Crean ranks 4th all-time in collecting Indiana All Stars by IU coach, with 8 All Stars to his credit. However, he is 2nd in the average number of All Stars/IU roster year, with an average of 3.8 All Stars per year coaching IU (including '12-'13).

Largest All Star Class To Play At IU
1969: (5) McGinnis, Ritter, Memering, Downing, White
1981: (4) Dakich, Flowers, Morgan, Rowray
1989: (4) P. Graham, Cheaney, G. Graham, Leary
1972: (3) Abernathy, Kamstra, Wilkerson
1977: (3) Tolbert, Risley, Baker
1978: (3) Turner, Kitchel, Wittman
1979: (3) Bouchie, Franz, Cameron
2012: (3) Ferrell, Hollowell, Patterson

Most Indiana All Stars On An IU Roster
1981-82: (9) Kitchel, Wittman, Bouchie, Flowers, Dakich, Morgan, Cameron, Franz, Rowray
1979-80: (8) Tolbert, Woodson, Turner, Bouchie, Risley, Kitchel, Wittman, Franz
1980-81: (8) Tolbert, Wittman, Turner, Kitchel, Risley, Bouchie, Franz, LaFave
1982-83: (7) Wittman, Kitchel, Bouchie, Morgan, Robinson, Dakich, Foster
1989-90: (7) Cheaney, G. Graham, P. Graham, Nover, Jones, Leary, Oliphant
1992-93: (7) Cheaney, G. Graham, P. Graham, Nover, Bailey, Evans, Leary
2012-12: (7) Hulls, Elston, Zeller, Etherington, Ferrell, Hollowell, Patterson
1970-71: (6) McGinnis, Downing, Ritter, Ford, White, Memering
1971-72: (6) Downing, Ritter, White, Shepherd, Memering, Ford
1972-73: (6) Downing, Ritter, Green, Kamstra, Abernathy
1974-75: (6) Green, Benson, Wilkerson, Abernathy, Radford, Kamstra
1978-79: (6) Woodson, Tolbert, Wittman, Risley, Turner, Kitchel
1984-85: (6) Alford, Robinson, Brooks, Morgan, Smith
1990-91: (6) Cheaney, Bailey, G. Graham, P. Graham, Nover, Jones
1993-94: (6) Bailey, Evans, P. Graham, Leary, Hart, Wilkerson

Most Indiana All Stars by IU Coach
Coach                      Seasons  All Stars   Avg. All Stars/Roster Yr.
Bob Knight                  29           42            4.8 All Stars/roster
Branch McCracken     24           29            2.9 All Stars/roster
Lou Watson                  6           11            3.5 All Stars/roster
Tom Crean                   5             8            3.8 All Stars/roster
Mike Davis                    6             6            2.5 All Stars/roster
Harry Good                   3             3            .66 All Stars/roster
Kelvin Sampson           2             1              3 All Stars/roster

List of Indiana All Stars to play at IU

Year Player High School
2012 Yogi Ferrell Park Tudor
2012 Jeremy Hollowell Lawrence Central
2012 Ron Patterson Broad Ripple
2011 Cody Zeller* Washington
2011 Austin Etherington Hamilton Heights
2009 Jordan Hulls* Bloomington South
2009 Derek Elston Tipton
2008 Daniel Moore Carmel
2007 Eric Gordon* North Central
2005 Armon Bassett Terre Haute South
2004 AJ Ratliff* North Central
2004 James Hardy Fort Wayne Elmhurst
2003 Errek Suhr Bloomington North
2001 Sean Kline Huntington North
2000 Jared Jeffries* Bloomington North
1998 Tom Coverdale* Noblesville
1997 Luke Recker* Dekalb
1996 Michael Lewis Jasper
1993 Sherron Wilkerson Jeffersonville
1992 Steve Hart Terre Haute South
1991 Brian Evans  Terre Haute South
1990 Damon Bailey* Bedford North Lawrence
1989 Pat Graham* Floyd Central
1989 Todd Leary Lawrence North
1989 Calbert Cheaney Evansville Harrison
1989 Greg Graham Warren Central
1988 Matt Nover Chesterton
1987 Jay Edwards* Marion
1987 Lyndon Jones* Marion
1985 Jeff Oliphant Lyons & Marco
1984 Delray Brooks* Michigan City Rogers
1984 Kreigh Smith Tipton
1983 Steve Alford* New Castle
1982 Stew Robinson Anderson Madison Heights
1982 Tracy Foster Fort Wayne Homestead
1981 Dan Dakich Andrean
1981 Winston Morgan Anderson Madison Heights
1981 John Flowers Fort Wayne South
1981 Rick Rowray Muncie Central
1980 Mike LaFave Scecina
1979 Steve Bouchie* Washington
1979 Chuck Franz Clarksville
1979 Cam Cameron Terre Haute South
1978 Landon Turner Arsenal Tech
1978 Ted Kitchel Lewis Cass
1978 Randy Wittman Ben Davis
1977 Ray Tolbert* Anderson Madison Heights
1977 Steve Risley Lawrence Central
1977 Tommy Baker Jeffersonville
1976 Mike Woodson Broad Ripple
1975 Rick Valavicus Hammond
1974 Wayne Radford Indianapolis Arlington
1973 Kent Benson* New Castle
1972 Tom Abernathy South Bend St. Joseph
1972 Garry Kamstra Rossville
1972 Bob Wilkerson Anderson Madison Heights
1971 Steve Green Silver Creek
1970 Dave Shepard* Carmel
1969 George McGinnis* Indianapolis Washington
1969 John Ritter Goshen
1969 Jerry Memering Vincennes
1969 Steve Downing Indianapolis Washington
1969 Cornelius White Hammond Tech
1968 Rick Ford Cloverdale
1967 Ben Niles Warsaw
1966 Ken Johnson Anderson   
1966 Mike Niles Warsaw
1965 Earl Schneider Evansville Rex Mundi
1963 Bill Russell Columbus
1962 Gary Grieger Evansville Bossee
1961 Dick VanArsdale* Manual
1961 Tom VanArsdale* Manual
1959 Jimmy Rayl* Kokomo
1959 Ray Pavy New Castle
1958 Charlie Hall Terre Haute Gerstmeyer
1958 Jerry Bass Morristown
1957 Ronnie Horn Mississinewa
1957 Leroy Johnson Mishawaka
1956 Frank Radovich Hammond  
1956 Bob Wilkinson LaPorte
1955 Gene Flowers Muncie Central
1954 Ray Ball  Elkhart
1954 Pete Obremsky Jeffersonville
1953 Hallie Bryant Crispus Attucks
1953 Charlie Hodson Muncie Central
1952 Jim Barley  Marion
1951 Don Schlundt South Bend Washington-Clay
1951 Paul Poff New Albany
1950 Dick Farley  Winslow
1949 Bobby Dobson Bloomington
1949 Jim Schooley Auburn
1948 Bob Masters* Lafayette Jeff
1947 Bill Garrett* Shelbyville
1947 Phill Buck Rossville
1946 Jerry Stuteville Attica
1945 Tom Schwartz* Kokomo
1944 Murray Mendenhall# Fort Wayne Central
1943 Bob Mehl# Arsenal Tech
1941 Bob Rowland Martinsville
1940         Ed Schienbein*           Southport

* Denotes Indiana Mr. Basketball winner
# All Stars were not selected in '43 & '44 due to WWII; rosters were selected 50 years later

Preach on, brother Sheehey

Upon returning home from their loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16, the IU men's basketball team addressed the fans who had gathered at Cook Hall (full video here). When Will Sheehey was given the microphone, it took him about two seconds to go from 0 to badass:

(via IU Athletics)

"We're not happy with the Sweet 16 and you fans shouldn't be either. You should expect more from us than that, and that's why you guys are the great fans that you are."

Now THAT'S how you go hard on the mic.

Just drop it next time, Will.

Chronic's Bracket Challenge

Four years too long. Yet still a year earlier than expected. It's pure madness, Hoosiers. 

Thus, it's the perfect time to uncork Chronic's Bracket Challenge. 

The rules are simple: 
1) Register & submit your entries here: http://es.pn/wG0x3X
2) Winner receives an autographed bottle of the Nectar of the Gods at the completion of the tournament*.
*Winner must verify legal drinking age to receive the goodness (otherwise minors receive cash equivalent) and live within the continental US. 

Good luck. 

Making Sense Of The Indiana-Illinois Rivalry

Saw this little piece today about the IU-Illinois rivalry, and it got me thinking about IU's emergent rivalry with Illinois. Sure, most Hoosiers have long since given two shits about our neighbors to the west, but how exactly has this rivalry morphed into what it has become today? Let's examine just a few of the differentiating factors between IU & UI: 

IU plays in Assembly Hall, the National Basketball Cathedral.

UI plays in the State Farm Center, formerly Assembly Hall, the motherfucking spaceship.

Fail vs. Amazing

Where Amazing Happens

Where Failure Happens