Wow, great job yesterday at the press conference. I think we are all certainly excited for where the program will head under your guidance. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the IU family to let you know everything you need to get along in Hoosierland:
1. Don’t cheat. I know some people are cynical and suggest that fans will back anyone who wins, and that may be true in places like the New England, but it doesn’t fly in Hoosierland. We all want to win, but we want to follow the rules even more. Kelvin Sampson won. Ask around though and see how popular he is around these parts right now. Please, above all else: don’t cheat.
2. Win the Big Ten. Not the crappy tournament that no one cares about. Win the Big Ten regular season title. That’s what we care about around here. Winning Big Ten titles ensures that we can rub it in the face of Boiler, Buckeye and any other random fan we may know. Turn the Big Ten into our personal sandbox, and we’ll love you for it.
3. Recruit players from Indiana, especially jump shooters. I’ll be honest. Most Hoosier fans love the 2 guard over all other positions. Between Jimmy Chitwood, Steve Alford, and Reggie Miller, the smooth stroke from the three point line is what we are looking for. Get a couple of bonafide Hoosier sharp shooters, and we’ll be good with that.
4. Don’t ever say “Pro-style Offense” even if you run one. We won’t take kindly. Also, make sure your team shoots at least 70% from the free throw line. We HATE it when a team can’t shoot free throws. Say things like box out and screen a lot. We love it when coaches talk about screens and box outs.
5. Beat Purdue. Crush Notre Dame. Don’t dream of losing to any of the following teams under any circumstances ever: Butler, ISU, Ball State. Don’t even play IUPUI, IPFW, Valpo, or any other in-state collection of initials. Most Hoosier fans root for those teams the way someone might have a favorite minor league club. We like them, but we don’t want to see the Yankees play them.
6. Plant us in the Sweet 16 regularly. Winning the tourney is a crap shoot. Don’t get me wrong, you’d better a hang a banner at some point, but to keep the heat off, just get us to the second week every year, and we’ll be pacified…for a while.
7. Be judicious in how you play the Knight card. If you do it too much, you’ll aggravate one faction. If you don’t pay him any homage, you’ll never get the support of high school coaches and some ex-players that is necessary to have harmony. Good luck with that.
8. You have two seasons before we seriously expect results, but we had better start seeing improvement by the end of year two.
Do this, and you can retire as a minor deity in Indiana. Fail, and…hey, who am I kidding? You aren’t going fail. You married Jim Harbaugh’s sister. You’re the man!
Best of luck,
Member, Hoosier Nation since 1976.