BOZICH | Despite Crean's efforts, new Indiana season starts the - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Despite Crean's efforts, new Indiana season starts the way last season ended

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Indiana sophomore Devin Davis was hospitalized after he was struck by a vehicle early Saturday morning. Indiana sophomore Devin Davis was hospitalized after he was struck by a vehicle early Saturday morning.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Indiana University basketball players said this season was going to be different.

More focus. Less foolishness. More togetherness. Fewer distractions. More basketball. Less booze.

At Big Ten basketball media day in Chicago last month, Yogi Ferrell, the Hoosiers' junior point guard, said that IU coach Tom Crean had eliminated off-campus housing for his players this season. After two serious and embarrassing off-campus incidents last season, every player was told he had to live in university dormitories.

Somebody asked Ferrell how that conversation unfolded.

"There is no conversation," Ferrell said. "Do you think we have any say in that? We didn't want to do that. When he came here, I was going to live with Nick (Zeisloft, an IU guard) anyway off campus, but the coaches wanted us to live together. We're OK with it now."

Crean tried.

But the players keep working to make the outlook for the program as well as the outlook for the coach increasingly uncertain and troubled.

At 10:11 Saturday morning, IU announced that sophomore forward Devin Davis was in IU Health Bloomington Hospital in “serious condition,” with injuries that Davis suffered after he was hit by a vehicle operated by freshman teammate Emmitt Holt.

Holt was cited for illegal consumption and operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content above 0.02. Holt's BAC was reported at .025. That's considerably less than the legal limit of 0.08. Holt was not drunk, but he is a minor.

So where do you begin?

You begin with prayers and best wishes for quick and complete recovery by Davis, who was injured immediately after he exited the vehicle. Basketball is secondary to Davis being able to continue his life without issues from this situation.

A press release by the Bloomington Police department said that Holt let Davis out of his car in the Memorial Stadium parking lot. Hold had turned right in his white 2012 Jeep Liberty, heading West on 17th Street, when Davis unexpectedly stepped onto the road and was struck by the vehicle on the passenger side. Davis was found unconscious on the north side of 17th Street. The police report did not say if Davis had regained consciousness later Saturday.

Crean spent the night in the hospital with his player and, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, the coach sent a text message that said, “big 48 hours coming.”

That puts the serious in serious condition. Head injuries can have frightening consequences.

But this situation followed the arrest of Ferrell and Stanford Robinson last April by Indiana State excise police for minor consumption of alcohol and possession of false identification.

It was typical 20-year-old nonsense on the biggest party weekend at IU – Little 500 – but it was news that shook the program after Crean's sixth team completed a 17-15 season and missed all the post-season tournaments. Police blotter stuff washes down with less bile when a team wins. Fair? Not really. But it's reality.

And that followed the arrest of Hanner Mosquera-Perea last Valentine's Day for two charges of involving alcohol while driving a vehicle. That was more than typical college nonsense. That was a real tragedy averted.

Those two incidents undoubtedly led to Crean eliminating off-campus housing for his players this season. But apparently the situation requires greater oversight because now one Indiana basketball player is seriously injured and another is involved. Serious consequences were not averted this time.

Saturday was supposed to be the most fan friendly day on the IU basketball calendar – a public scrimmage in Assembly Hall as part of a tradition Crean started several years ago that the school titled, “the Haunted Hall of Hoops.” Families are encouraged to bring their children dressed in full costumes. The line to get into the building was as long Saturday morning as it had been in previous seasons.

Instead Indiana faced a public relations nightmare trifecta – a key player injured, another player involved and the joy of celebrating a new season washed away from a fan event by another conversation about off-the-court problems.

The public practice and scrimmage were postponed. The players were still scheduled to appear from noon to 1:30 to sign autographs and pass out candy.

But today the parents at Assembly Hall will also have to explain to their children that there will be no basketball because one Indiana player reportedly injured another Indiana player in an incident that involved alcohol.

On a team without any seniors and seven new players, Davis is a guy Indiana needed as much as anybody on the roster. He looked like the primary rebounder for a team that will be undersized by two or three inches at every position across the frontcourt. Holt, a guy who did not commit to Indiana until August, was supposed to be his backup.

IU signed him because of concern about rebounding and interior defense. Now those questions are greater than Crean could have imagined.

But that's basketball stuff. That can wait until Davis recovers.

Tom Crean tried. But now this Indiana season begins the way the last Indiana season ended – with an outlook increasingly uncertain and troubled.

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