I remember reading blogs and articles last year where fans were throwing Head Coach Tom Crean under the bus, stating he was the wrong choice for the program and that he needed to go. Now those same fans are singing a different tune after the huge upset victory over then No. 1 Kentucky last weekend.
Patience seems to be one of the most difficult characteristics to posses in today's society. Our society is based on what you are doing for us now and it has always been that way in sports. That's what Crean had to deal with when he took a job where he knew exactly what he was getting into—a storied program that was left in shambles thanks to former Head Coach Kelvin Sampson. His response was simple when asked why he took the job.
He didn't need another explanation on why he took job. There was no doubt in his mind that he would once again bring this program back to relevance and restore the rich tradition.
Well—for those of you that have been patient like I—our patience is paying off. After enduring some hard to watch seasons the past three years, this one seems to be headed in the right direction. One may even go as far to say the Hoosiers will be dancing come March.
I don't want to jump the gun by saying they are "back" because there is still plenty of the season yet to be played. In fact, I personally believe this team still has a lot to learn and more room for improvements before we are officially "back." Some of you may argue that fact, but one win doesn't change a team over night or even a week. The Big 10 schedule is daunting, which starts off with a visit to Michigan State then back home four days later for a New Years Eve battle against Ohio State.
The rebuilding period is far from over, but things are definitely headed in the right direction. Crean and his staff has this team playing with that never quit attitude no matter who they play. The players are not only believing in themselves, but in one another.
Perhaps the biggest win of this young season was the one on the road against NC State. No, they weren't No. 1 Kentucky, but it was a true road win in a hostile environment against a veteran team. Blowing a big lead and having to battle back in the last few minutes to win that game proved to me that this team has improved a lot from last season.
Last year they would have crumbled with the immaturity and lack of depth. This year is different with the depth, but more importantly the maturity level. Though improvements have been seen, we must continue to stay patient. This wasn't a one-, three- or even a four-year project. We will still win some big games this season, but also lose ones that we shouldn't.
However, all things are pointing to the revival of the proud program that is the Indiana Hoosiers. So let's stay united and patient as the Hoosier Nation. Our patience is paying off and things will only continue to get better from here on out.