Football season sucked. We didn't play defense, we didn't go for all the records we could have, we didn't get back all of our trophies, and we didn't go bowling. But we looked forward to basketball season, because we figured it would make us feel better.
We were wrong.
After exploding pretty much any bubble hopes we had by letting Nebraska (NEBRASKA!) complete their season sweep of the Hoosiers on Senior Night at Assembly Hall, this season is almost guaranteed to be a disappointment at best to the entire Indiana fanbase. There was a lot of preseason hope that we would see another NCAA bid, in spite of the fact that 80% of our starting lineup from the prior year was now playing professional basketball somewhere.
We were wrong.
The extremely patient in the fanbase will point out that this is Crean's first team to truly fall short of preseason expectations. The mostly patient will point out that Evan Gordon didn't provide nearly as much as some expected him to, and that Will Sheehey was the only other senior giving much of importance to this team (Jeff Howard well outperformed expectations, but was still a career bench player, and Taylor Wayer provided only IU's best hope at winning the Club Trillion belt). The somewhat patient will point to Jeremy Hollowell defying all expectations and continuing to be much worse than advertised, and how that can't possibly continue for a third year. The not-so-patient will point to the incoming talent, including James Blackmon, Jr., and say if they don't contribute big next year, then the seat for Tom Crean warms up. The entirely impatient are already making noises about firing Crean.
Most are correct; only the last are far off. This was not the year IU expected, nor the year it wanted. It is, however, the year we got. We expected better, and we were let down.
The last possible rallying cry we have for this year (barring a miraculous run to our first Big Ten Tournament championship) is "At least there's baseball season." And if that doesn't go well, this basketball season won't be the last #SeasonOnTheDrink for the Hoosiers for a long time.