Before they return to the floor tonight against No. 22 SMU, Indiana's three suspended players spoke to ESPN on Wednesday. Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson received four-game suspensions for multiple failed drug tests and Emmitt Holt was suspended four games for his involvement in a car accident that left Devin Davis in serious condition.
"People were upset and angry, just looking at us like, 'Why?'" Robinson told ESPN. "Basketball is a big thing here, a huge thing. It's not like they were disowning us, but more like asking why. I don't think there's anything specific you can do [to curry favor] or are supposed to do. Each and every decision you make, you just have to make sure it's the best one. Make sure your coaches, your teammates and your family can count on you, be an accountable person."
Williams acknowledged the players' actions were tough on Indiana coach Tom Crean, who has had a lot to deal with over the last 12 months.
"He went through a lot more than we had to go through," Williams told ESPN. "The fact that he kept us through all of this, we're just grateful.
"When we were in the locker room, the three of us were the only ones not getting dressed. Everyone else is getting ready to go out and play the sport they love, and that's when it really hit me."
Holt's comments hit home even more. The freshman forward had a 0.025 BAC when he struck Davis with his car in the early morning hours of Nov. 1. While the police ruled that the accident was not Holt's fault, he admitted to ESPN that he's had a hard time dealing with the aftermath.
"It was just an awful night, to be honest, that probably changed my life forever," Holt said in an exclusive interview with ESPN.com. "It did actually change my life forever. When I went to visit him in the hospital for the first time it was like ... it was ... crazy.
"Then when we talked the first time, I don't want to go into great detail, but he was trying to comfort me, telling me it wasn't my fault. But deep down, I'll always feel like it was my fault. It was one of those moments where you realize you have to be a better person."
Holt has yet to play his first collegiate game, so Thursday night figures to be an emotional one for him.