The Indiana Hoosiers, at 7-8, have already eclipsed their win total from last season, and still have 15 games left to go.
Yet, people have been complaining a lot recently, due to the recent losses to Loyola Maryland, Ohio State, and Illinois.
While those losses have certainly hurt, the wins over Michigan, Pittsburgh, and the play against No. 2 Kentucky have shown that the Hoosiers are a much better team this year than last year.
Also remember that last year, the squad looked mediocre at best early in the season, but towards the end of the season, showed a lot of fight and heart and were just a few short points away from shocking Michigan State.
The Hoosiers this season are inconsistent at best; but that is an upgrade from last year.
A team must go through some stages before they reach the top.
They will start off consistently bad (last season), but then they will improve and look very good in some games, and very bad in others (this season and probably next season as well). Next, they will become consistently good and will win a majority of games (hopefully 2012-2013 or so).
As a fan of the Cream and Crimson, we must remember and keep in perspective that this team is truly a young team. Of the 10 players who have played the most minutes this season, only one is a senior, and one is a junior.
Another thing to remember, and this is something coach Tom Crean harks on a lot, is the leadership.
On teams like Kansas, North Carolina, and UConn, for example, while they are able to recruit great players, every time they lose someone to the NBA or graduation, someone is ready to step right into the starting lineup, or the previous players role.
This is because for the first couple years on the team, those players practiced daily against the older players, and learned how to play and practice at a top level. Without that at Indiana, the current squad doesn't have much to look up to and learn from.
In my opinion, the most important thing to remember is that in all my years, I cannot remember a Division I team with a huge amount of tradition and history that returned only two players, who were both marginal at best during their time at Indiana.
If Tom Crean can turn this program into a winning program in just four years, then he will be deserving of Coach of the Year honors.
The expectations are, of course, going to be high, but to build a team from scratch and get to winning in such a short time would be nothing short of incredible.
The Hoosiers have a ton of promise this season and in the future, but they will continue to look great during some games, and very poor in others.
It's our job as fans to cheer them on, and bring as much energy to the Hall to help them win.