Originally Posted by Assembly Hall
Well I would say last year's Reds team was a disappointment. But comparing major league baseball to men's college basketball is like comparing apples to oranges.
With that being said, basketball is about who is on the team and what other teams have lost. People prognosticate each and every year about these facts and set their expectations accordingly. And as fans of whatever program, we do the same.
I think we're pretty much thinking along the same lines. I expect the team to be really good next year and be a front runner for the B1G Ten crown. I think they'll be a favorite to make it to the Final Four when the tournament begins.
I guess, it's not so much about holding back on those expectations so much as putting too much weight on them for any one year. In terms of fans expectations, a good number of people wanted to run Crean out of town after the 2011 season, and many of those people are outraged that he wasn't coach of the year because they had such low expectations going in.
That's where the long view comes in. If they're upset in the sweet 16 of the tournament next year, it will be a disappointment but it wouldn't prove that Crean is incapable of being the guy to guide them to the Final Four any more than a National Championship wouldn't make him the greatest coach on the planet. It's all about the long term and that's not something you can judge over one year or two years disappointments or exceeded expectations.
Earlier in the season I made the point about Brad Stevens. I think he's an excellent coach. I think Butler is extraordinarily lucky to have found him and I hope he's the coach there forever because he's a fantastic coach. But I would have said that he was a fantastic coach even if Butler had lost to Murray State in 2010 or had they lost to Old Dominion or Pittsburgh last year.
In order to advance to the Final Four, you of course need to be a good team and play well. But you also need to catch a few breaks along the way. Kentucky was probably more talented then any other team in the tournament this year, but if they don't hit 95% of their free throws against IU, they might have been sent packing.(That's not to say the win was a fluke UK fans, simply pointing out that it took a well above average performance to beat IU.) And let's not fool ourselves, despite the excellent recruiting class, IU's talent level compared to the rest of the nation will not be as overwhelming as Kentucky's is this year.