It's safe to say most Indiana fans probably didn't expect much from this year's Hoosiers -- it's a young team whose most promising young recruit, Maurice Creek, was lost for the season early in the year -- nor did they expect to win at Wisconsin today. It's also safe to say they didn't expect this: Wisconsin blew out the Hoosiers from the opening tip on Saturday afternoon, handing IU their sixth loss in a row.
IU fans are none too pleased, but it's not about the losses. It's about the effort. Alex Bozich at Inside The Hall wrote that the Hoosiers' loss was "humiliating"; Bozich quoted former IU interim coach and current Big Ten broadcaster Dan Dakich, who said the Hoosiers "didn't show up" and played "without much energy, without much pride." Commenters on Bozich's post are no less forgiving. Same goes for the folks over at Crimson Quarry, all of whom are complaining about IU's effort.
It's not just this loss that has the Hoosier faithful upset. After battling hard in a near loss to Purdue, Tom Crean's team was blown out by a Northwestern squad that turned around and lost big to Iowa; IU followed that with a lifeless blowout to Evan Turner and Ohio State in Bloomington on Wednesday. Again, it's not the effort, either -- it's the way IU has played, the way they've come out flat, the way Crean has taken to benching his starters, all of it. The Hoosiers are in a bad way right now, and IU's fan base -- which has been impatient already, before this latest losing rash -- isn't staying positive anymore, and with good reason. Last year's team was considerably less talented, but they never phoned it in. The 2010 Hoosiers appear to be doing just that.
Then again, considering the relative talent on hand, IU fans could take a few more lessons in patience. Indiana could be even worse. Hard to imagine, but it's true, and we've been over this before. If things are still this ugly next year, the kids with the blown-up cardboard faces and the boosters in the red sweaters will have every right to complain. Until then, IU's proud fans would do well to swallow their outrage. After all, how many times can you beat your head against the same wall?