This IU basketball season has been a success, but the future remains uncertain.
No, Indiana did not win a national championship in 2023.
And if that’s your only yardstick for measuring IU basketball success, you’ve just failed for the 36th time in a row.
Of course, that is a ridiculous standard.
However, expectations for this edition of the programme were high. And those lofty goals were reasonable. On paper, Indiana was a talented and deep team with a level of roster continuity that few other teams could match.
According to some, Indiana did not live up to the hype of the preseason.
They were widely expected to win the Big Ten, but instead finished tied for second. They advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals but fell short once more.
They were unable to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
But don’t label this season a failure. It was a season of progress for second-year head coach Mike Woodson, who built on the success of his first season.
Early on, the Hoosiers exceeded expectations. There was a road victory at Xavier, which is now in the Sweet 16.There was a convincing victory over a North Carolina team that had talent but lacked cohesion. IU started 7-0 and was ranked in the top ten.
Then there was trouble.
Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino both missed time due to back injuries early in the season. Then, at Kansas, starting guard Xavier Johnson broke his foot, effectively ending his season.
Multiple players mentioned him in the post-Miami locker room when asked to reflect on the season.