Expect Increased Focus on Indiana Hoosiers at Big Ten Media Day: Fan Take

Each year since Tom Crean was hired as the head basketball coach at Indiana University, the reigning guardian of the Hoosiers' storied program has surely approached Big Ten media day with some trepidation. Crean typically steps to the platform with hat in hand and tells us that IU is making progress, but that patience is required as he digs the Cream and Crimson out their current hole. As a long-time Indiana fan, I've been willing to wait, because Crean's recruiting success is plain to see, even if the results on the court have been slow in coming. Tomorrow, when the Big Ten once again christens a brand new hoops season, Crean can afford to show a bit more bravado, and I expect there to be increased focus on the Hoosier than there has been in years during this rendition of media meet-and-greet.

After another disappointing season on the court in 2010-11, the Hoosiers' program has been largely under wraps for the last several months while Crean prepared his young team for 2011-12. The fall semester in Bloomington, though, has reminded college basketball fans everywhere that big changes are coming for IU, starting with the arrival of forward Cody Zeller. Zeller should give the Hoosiers some of the tough, physical play that they've lacked during this rebuild, and he foreshadows the influx of talent that will come with the top-ranked recruiting class in the nation next fall.

Local media types have already bitten hard on this team, and most are predicting much bigger things for Crean's charges, including a catapult over the Purdue Boilermakers. Whether that happens this year, or is even really feasible, you can be sure that the rest of the conference press members will pick up on the enthusiasm during media day, if they haven't already. Like Notre Dame in college football, everyone is interested in taking the pulse of Indiana basketball to see if there is any life in those old bones.

Whether you love the Hoosiers or hate them, you have to admit that NCAA hoops are much more interesting when IU is a contender. That's especially true if you call Indiana home or hold it in your heart.

Adam Hughes was raised, and still lives, in rural Indiana. He has been a fan of the Indiana University Hoosiers basketball program since the early 1980s and even holds a Ph. D. from IU (computational chemistry). He still has nightmares involving Bobby Knight and projectile chairs.

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Updated Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011