IU's Success and Winning Attitude Spans Across More Than One Sport
July 4th, 2018
Men's basketball. Women's basketball. Football. Baseball. Soccer. Swimming. I've been an Indiana University fan for 42 years and I'm having a hard time remembering a time when this many Hoosier sports teams were trending in the same upward direction at the same time. We (IU) have the best female swimmer in the world. The soccer team is perennially one of the best in the country. And then there is...
A football team that has shown constant on field improvement for the past couple of years, even if it hasn't translated into wins yet. And they just brought in arguably the best recruiting class in school history. Tom Allen and the rest of the coaching staff are inching ever so close to building a team that fans should be willing to fill Memorial Stadium to watch play on Saturday's. I'm personally excited about the direction the football program is headed, and I can't wait to see this year’s addition this Fall. Hopefully I'll see you there too.
Coach Teri Moren has the women's basketball team doing the same thing that Coach Allen has the football team doing, and that is constantly improving. They are starting to believe in the system and adopting her hard-nosed mentality. They also believe in her, and they believe in each other. Coach Moren and her staff are also starting to recruit at a high level, on a consistent basis. The women's team is on the rise and couldn't be in better hands. If you've never taken the time to catch a women's game, you should. The ladies play hard, and they play an exciting style that is fun to watch, and I can't think of a better place to do that than Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Join me this Winter to watch an ever improving women's team take the next step in building a consistent winner.
A.D. Fred Glass just hired former Wright State coach, Jeff Mercer. Truth be told, although you never like having to replace a coach, if Indiana was going to have to do so, it probably couldn't have come at a better time. Jeff Mercer is (was) one of the hottest young coaches in college baseball and he wouldn't have been available for long. He's an Indiana native that comes from a baseball family, and he's happy to be home. He was a very good player in his own right. And although he's only been a head coach for two seasons, compiling a 77-36 record in those two seasons and leading the Raiders to their first ever national ranking, proves that he knows a thing or two about the game. He knows how to recruit, and more importantly, recruits know him. The Raiders ranked in the top ten nationally in runs per game, and stolen bases, and in defensive efficiency. Coach Mercer has everything it takes to not only get the Hoosiers back to Omaha, but to make it a realistic expectation on a consistent basis. If you like well-played baseball, played in a beautiful ballpark, then I hope you make a trip to Bart Kaufman Field next year and join me for a game.
Men's basketball. What can be said about Coach Miller and his staff that hasn't already been said? Not much. The on-court improvement from November 10th, 2017 until the end of the season, especially on the defensive end of the floor, was remarkable. Even being hindered by a lack of shooters and some costly injuries, the Hoosiers showed a toughness that hasn't been seen in Bloomington in quite some time, and they continued to improve throughout the year. Basically starting from scratch, the players slowly bought into the system and the results were somewhat eye opening. Coach Miller was atop my list of coaching candidates when it was announced a change would be made, and last year solidified my belief that the right guy was hired. He and the staff didn't waste much time on the recruiting trail in addressing the obvious needs to help build on that improvement either. They signed four very good players in the Fall, and then they just decided to round out the six-man class with a 5th year grad transfer, and the best player to come out of an Indiana high school since Damon Bailey, in the Spring. There is a method to the way Coach Miller recruits, which is a welcome change from the recent past. The players he's after now comment about his matter of fact approach. He doesn't sugar coat anything. He's already building relationships with young recruits and their families all over the state, and nationally. It’s going to be an exciting year for Indiana basketball. The Hall will be crazy, just like it's supposed to be. And with Coach Miller leading the way it will quickly become a place that teams dread having to come and play, just like it used to be. I'll see you there. I'll be the 50yr. old guy with the smile on his face from watching our Hoosiers continue their rise back to national prominence, because I remember it well, and it is awesome!
A lot of reasons, and a lot opportunities to catch a Hoosiers sports team in action will be coming up before we know it. It's an exciting time to be a Hoosier fan, so don't miss an opportunity to see the growth of any of these programs as they climb the ladder of success. The journey there is sometimes as good as the destination. GO HOOSIERS!!