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Michigan v Indiana

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After two NCAA Tournament appearances, and graduating four starters, it was a down season for Mike Woodson and the Indiana Hoosiers. It led to fans booing the team off the floor on occasions and fans wanting Woodson fired.

On senior night, during Anthony Leal‘s speech, he told the fans in attendance, and watching on social media, they needed to “chill” when it comes to critiquing the team, coaching staff, or program.

Rumors, questions, and discussions followed Leal’s comment. Are the fans too toxic? Could that be the reason why they missed out recruits or players in the transfer portal? Former Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean joined Query & Company Wednesday afternoon and was asked that question.

“I don’t know if I believe it. I think the fans, from my experience, any booing or any negativity that I delt with, wasn’t anything close to some of the stuff I was dealing with back there with the administration. I wanted every one of our players, no matter how great it was or how rough it was, to understand the privilege it was to play there and it’s special because of those people. There is a passion for that place that very few have.” Crean stated.

No fan wants to see their favorite team struggle, but IU basketball fans are dying for success. It’s been years since the program was relevant and in the same sentence as Duke, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Die hard fans believe Indiana is in that category, but right now the program is not.

There’s nothing saying the Indiana can’t get back to relevancy with one of the top NIL budgets in the state and unlimited resources for players, but the one thing that Crean hit on during his interview the most, was not forgetting the history of the program.

“Indiana’s built on the grass roots of Indiana. Administratively or coaching wise, the moment that you forget it was built on the communities, counties, rural areas, you name it, that’s how Indiana basketball was built. You better never forget how Indiana basketball got built. Those people there, they love it. Some of them hate it, but they weren’t born to be Indiana fans anyways. The ones that love it, they love it. Can they take it over the top? Sure. There is NOTHING like it when that place (Assembly Hall) is rolling and those fans are bringing that intimidation factor to the opponent. To get to those days, you got to go through some of the hard days and the last thing you ever want to do is disrespect the people that make it what it is.”

2002 was the last time that Indiana University made it to the final four. Most college seniors were just born or infants when IU lost to Maryland in the National Championship game.

March 25th, 2016, was the last time Indiana made it to the Sweet Sixteen. It was the second to last season for Crean as the coach of the Indiana Hoosiers.

To listen to Jake Query and James Boyd’s conversation with Tom Crean, download the podcast containing the conversation below! You can always listen to the Query & Company from 12pm-3pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan. You can also watch and interact with the show by going to the 107.5 The Fan YouTube Channel.

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