After a lackluster season for the IU Big Red, the Assembly Hall faithfuls are once again screaming for the scalp of Head Coach Tom Crean. It’s not that the Hoosier’s men’s basketball team is terrible or even just awful, it is that the team is mediocre and in Bloomington that just will not do. Particularly galling to fans was an embarrassing loss to cross-state rival Purdue and the fact that the Boilers have gone on to clinch the 2017 Big Ten Men’s Basketball title. You’ll remember that the Hoosiers were the 2016 Big Ten champs, but at Assembly Hall, it’s always what have you done for us lately? Crean lost some key players to graduation and the NBA but his biggest crime for the Big Red fans is that he ain’t the reincarnation of the “General.” Since September 10, 2000, a date that will live in infamy according to IU fans, Hoosier rooters have been hoping that a new Knight would appear out of a cornfield someplace and make the basketball team immortal again. If Purdue or Butler moves deep into the NCAA tourney during March Madness, there will be even more resentment for the coach. But Tom Crean isn’t going anywhere. He is too good a coach to be thrown away.
Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports has announced that Brit driver Jay Howard will pilot the team’s number #77 Dallara Honda. Howard, who is 36 years old, raced in the 2011 Indy 500 for Schmidt-Peterson, starting 20th and finishing 30th. Howard was the 2006 Indy Lights champion and has 15 Indy Car starts with a best finish of 13th at the 2008 Road Runner Turbo Indy 300. Howard’s entry will be supported by Tony Stewart.
1st 2017 IndyCar Race
The first IndyCar race of the 2017 season is coming up this Sunday on the streets of St. Petersburgh, FL. The usual suspects will be gathered to start the season off with a bang, so to speak. Some driver changes have occurred, most notably Josef Newgarden with Team Penske and Carlos Munoz driving for Foyt. J. R. Hildebrand took Newgarden’s seat at Carpenter Racing, and Takuma Sato got Munoz’s old ride with Andretti Autosports. Ed Jones, driving for Dale Coyne will be the only rookie competing during the season, although some newcomers may show up at the Indy 500 to fill the field. Anyway, all of us open wheeled racing fans are delighted that the engines are roaring again!
Our Indianapolis Colts officially have the 15th pick in the upcoming NFL draft and free agency signings start on Thursday, March 9th. The Horseshoe has more than $60 million to spend but don’t look for them to go hog wild in trying to secure some big name free agent. The team needs help all over the defense, but the good news is that defensive players, particularly pass rushers and defensive backs, have impressed scouts with their talent and there should be some impact players available when the team picks on the first day of the draft. All eyes will be on new General Manager Chris Ballard as he attempts to build a team around Andrew Luck. A runningback should as be in the picture as Frank Gore will be 35 years old when the season begins and there is a raft of good runners available in this year’s college class.
Veteran safety Mike Adams was released by the Colts. The free agent pickup in 2015 has given the team two good years in the deep secondary. Unfortunately, his age (35) has become a liability. He will most likely be picked up by some team before the regular season begins. He is probably the first of a number of veterans that will be shown the door.