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Ingredients for winning

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Every coach in the Big Ten talks about how hard it is to win and how many things that need to go your way to win consistently. I've been thinking about the ingredients to winning and how many of those that we have vs. how many we don't have. Here's my list:

  1. Experience --> we do not have this, in particular now with injuries and suspensions
  2. Health --> we clearly do not have this, even our healthiest players are dealing with nagging injuries that may be more significant than we know (Romeo's wrist)
  3. Effort --> we only have this in spurts and even our hardest playing personnel do so in an emotionless way that doesn't prove contagious
  4. Talent --> going into the year I thought we had this, but I think the only thing you could say for certain is that our roster is athletic...but not skilled...maybe not as talented as I thought?
  5. Coaching (x's and o's) --> the base offense that Archie uses is pretty easily mitigated by people packing the lane...inside out basketball via the post feed the dribble drive and basket cuts are easily countered when you don't have to respect any shooters (this is why Romeo and Justin cutting off of Morgan's post touches has been a non-factor recently) ...I've been encouraged here and there to see the wrinkles the staff puts in to try to maintain post touches and movement...but discouraged to see lack of execution within those actions (lack of reads and decision making, lack of sound screening and crisp ball movement and body movement)...the question is will that get better as the roster ages? (Crean's teams were pitiful screening...they never made reads as entire sets were designed to get to the final action of one particular player having the ball in one particular spot...the rest was just going through the motions)
  6. Player development --> I actually think that for the most part player development in the skill department has been apparent, problem has been a slower progression in the decision making department...
  7. Fan support Administrative Support and Home court --> We should have this, but it's not as fundamentally true of IU these days given the wringer that IU fans have been through since about 94...   I understand the sense that we need to have high expectations for the program, but I think that the only actual positive impact fans can have is through support of the program, the sense of pride and high expectations (IMO) won't translate to players who we don't know personally through criticism, only through unwavering support

The teams we have played in the five game losing streak have all had several of the above categories going for them over and against IU...

  1. all of them have been older
  2. all of them have been healthier (though not all perfectly healthy)
  3. Talent was in our favor only twice at best (Northwestern the surest bet) But Northwestern is more talented than you think...their roster is not like it was twenty years ago...Many of their players were ranked in a similar range to most of our roster aside from our top four or so (Including Falzon who was a top 100 player two years ago and had a great Freshmen year before injuries set in
  4. All of those coaches have been in place for several years now which bolsters execution
  5. Those teams played harder for longer during the game --> this is my biggest disappointment with this IU group

You look at Teams like OSU and watch them lose the same way we have been and you realize it is because they have the same problem we do (they are insanely young) but actually more talented and healthier than we are...It gives you a sense of the fact that in the Big Ten there is no faking program growth and it often takes more time than you would like...

I think that our only option is to be steadfast for two or three more years before we can know much for certain about Archie Miller given the imbalance of the roster, the health issues, and the lack true skill in the three classes still on campus from Crean's recruitment...

I am very excited about the kind of player Armaan Franklin is, who TJD can be, and who we might add to that class, add to that Jerome Hunter getting healthy, Race Thompson getting healthy and maybe a grad transfer...I hope that real momentum can be achieved soon, perhaps as soon as the back half of our schedule

I appreciate Archie Miller's countenance, he breathes basketball and treats people around him the right way, and I have (I think) good reasons to believe that given the proper support he will get Indiana to where it hasn't been in 25 years...to where we are consistently good

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