Oladipo, Zeller, Watford named All-Big Ten, Ferrell All-Freshman, Sheehey Sixth Man of the Year

Indiana junior guard Victor Oladipo and sophomore center Cody Zeller were both named to the All-Big Ten first team by both the media and the coaches  and Oladipo was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Senior forward Christian Watford was named third-team All-Big Ten, freshman Yogi Ferrell was named to the All-Freshman tam and junior swingman Will Sheehey was named Sixth Man of the Year in the conference.

Michigan’s Trey Burke was named Big Ten Player of the Year however,  and Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan was named Coach of the Year. Michigan State guard Gary Harris was named Freshman of the Year.

Here is a full list of the all-league teams.


  1. I don’t know how Bo Ryan got COY… I totally felt like Crean should have been COY! Oladipo should def. been POY.. but DPOY is great too.

  2. Bo Ryan is COY! What the heck? Are you kidding me? Based on what? I could see it going to Izzo or Crean, but not Ryan. The Bit Ten COY honor was just diminished substantially.

    Trey Burke is a great talent. But he’s also a bit of a ball hog. Maybe his coach wants him to play that way, but he cost his team a couple of wins this year when he tried to be the hero, or when he choked in the last minute of the game.

    Oh well, I’ll take the outright Big Ten Championship over any individual awards any day. And my guess is that Crean and his players would happily do the same.

  3. Trey “Ball Hog” Burke and Ryan? Give me a break. Burke is good, but his tea lost twice to IU and, when he had the chance to win it under 10 seconds for the championship, he choked. Champions make plays to win, not to choke. As for Ryan, just what did his team win?

  4. Great strategy Bo Ryan….lose @ home vs. purdue, score 39 pts. in your 2nd to last game and barely beat Penn State. That’ll show them that your team sucks & when the dust settles and you are 4th in the Big 10 and people think you overachieved.

  5. Who cares? The accolade that matters is banner number 6 with the numbers “2013” hanging from the South End.

    Then Jim Nantz can get all gooey about us when the dust clears.

    Just like Jake Taylor said in Major League, “There’s only one thing left for us to do. Win the whole effin’ thing.”

  6. Thanks, Doubledown. There can certainly be arguments made for each of our guys that didn’t win, but the bottom line is this:

    -Burke was as deserving of his crown as anyone else, and he didn’t have to split POY votes with his teammates. Cody and Vic were equally deserving, but they didn’t have to carry as much of a load all the time. That probably gave Burke the edge.

    – Wisconsin doesn’t have near the firepower that we do, or several other teams in this conference. Yet they consistently overachieved. Crean is every bit as deserving for the way he built the program, but you can’t enter the season #1 and expect a coaching trophy when winning it all is what you were expected to do all along. Not saying it’s fair, but it’s how it is.

    Regardless, congrats to everyone. But more so, congrats to our champion Hoosiers.

  7. Jordy. I’m not sure what to say. The Glue Award for keeping all the pieces together. The short white kid will be missed next year.

  8. Pujab has it right. Bo Ryan doesn’t get the talent that IU does and Bo makes them play HIS style of ball. I don’t care much for it myself, but you have to respect that he makes the opposition play Bo ball…at Wisky’s pace, team defense, crash the boards and win every loose ball. That’s how they beat IU. Again, I don’t like it but it is what it is. At the beginning of the season I didn’t think Wisconsin could ever score points. Watching their offense is like sitting in a room with someone scratching the chalkboard. Very irritating and unpleasant…but it works for them.

  9. It does seem fair. Crean did a remarkable job leading the Hoosiers to the Big Ten title. Had he won the award he certainly would have deserved it. Ryan did a great job at Wisconsin, as well.

    I’ve heard some people say that Crean simply lead IU to their expected finish but, that being said, didn’t Wisconsin finish about where they were picked as well?

    It’s such a subjective award that, unless a team was picked to finish first and ended up last, you could justify giving it to anyone. Maybe not Beilein because many picked Michigan to win the Big Ten and he managed to come up short in so many of the big games.

    Personally, I think that should have given the edge to CTC. They usually managed to come up big when it counted the most.

  10. Personally, I think that should have given the edge to CTC. They usually managed to come up big when it counted the most.

    Yea. Clown Tom Crean is yet to win a game against Coach Bo Ryan.

  11. Rico, serious question… Do you have some sort of special software that alerts you every time Chet makes a comment?

  12. Couple things… If you follow the link, you’ll see that Jordy was named honorable mention all-B1G.

    I thought it strange that Stauskas didn’t make all-freshman. More ppg than Robinson and shot 46% from 3, good for 3rd in the league (after 2 great Hoosiers!)

  13. I wish Crean got COY and Oladipo got POY, but I feel their choice made sense as well.

    Burke is the best player in the conference this year, so that one makes sense.

    Bo Ryan was an interesting pick, but I think it has some backing. No one expected Wisconsin to be a contender this year. They “got weaker” when many of the Big Ten teams got stronger… yet they still were right there in the mix. That is usually a job well done by a coach. Coach Crean started season #1 and technically fell back from those projections. Great coach, great team, but Ryan did a lot with a lot less talent.

  14. Right, Rico. Wisconsin finished fourth, Indiana first.

    It didn’t matter.

    As always, you confirmed my point. Thanks again.

  15. So logic dictates that Tubby Smith actually should have won COY since he beat Bo Ryan, Tom Crean, and Tom Izzo all at least once this year.

  16. ^ Hoosier Smitty, whose logic? Crean NEVER beat Bo Ryan. Never.

    Right, Rico. Wisconsin finished fourth, Indiana first. It didn’t matter. As always, you confirmed my point. Thanks again.

    So did you my friend. Every time. Indiana started the season ranked first. It finished it ranked third, behind Gonzaga (gasp!) and Duke. Can you say: regressed?

    Geoff, serious answer: every time Chet posts it hurst the harmony in the Universe and I instantly know it. I mean, doesn’t everybody?

  17. Rico, while I rarely agree with you, for some reason I enjoy your sense of humor. Clever dude…

  18. Sorry, but in spite of the arguments posted on this site, I still don’t believe Bo Ryan is deserving of Big Ten COY. He did more with less? Well, he’s the one responsible for the less. He should recruit better if he needs better talent. No excuses. Great school, great facilities, great fan support, it should not be hard for him to get his share of great talent. And Wisconsin is the only major school in the state of Wisconsin, so little competition for the best in-state talent. So why can’t he recruit more good players? My guess is his plodding, slow-paced style of play is not attractive to the best, most dynamic HS players. And lets not forget that this bully tried to prevent one of his former players from transferring to just about any D1 school in the country last year. Big Ten COY my butt! As HoosierSmitty said, Tubby was more deserving. As I said previously, the Big Ten COY award has been diminished.

    As for Coach Crean, I think it’s far more difficult to live up to very high expectations throughout the year than it is to exceed modest expectations. Crean and his team carried the burden of being ranked #1 for most of the season. They got everyone’s best effort ever game because of that ranking. And for the most part, they lived up to those expectations.

  19. Crean never beating Bo Ryan at this point in his career doesn’t matter. COY is not a lifetime achievement award. The Hoosiers won the outright B1G championship in the toughest conference in the nation. Yes, that’s what they were predicted to do, but it’s still a pretty darn good achievement.

    Now, I will say that Indiana’s two home losses would have factored in to my decision making process, and likely did for voters – but it’s not like other teams didn’t lose at home either.

  20. That argument would have led the Pinto to be car of the year.

    Doing more with less. We are talking first team of Pinto, AMC, Corvair, Maverick and Yugo…? If the Yugo has a back seat it’s a Wego???

    And Now Presenting The ….Car of the Year…..

    The Pinto….doing more with less.

    Chevy old thing of ‘see the USA in your Chevrolet’ Not anymore it’s ‘doing more with less’ the Wisconsin Pinto’s.

    Sounds like one of Harvard’s thoughts…Jimmy cna’t read or play boy so we make sure he gets an award so he does not feel left out.

  21. Ron that’s pretty funny…

    Po – I think a lot of what you’re saying is correct. Ryan’s style isn’t that attractive. I also wonder what the true potential to recruit to Madison is. It’s truly cold up there. It has a good, but not great basketball tradition. They don’t have a great in-state base of talent, and the few really good D1prospects they have stand out so much that every B1G school recruits the crap out of them. I’m not sure that Ryan doesn’t do about as good as he can, given those circumstances. (That being said he whiffed on Fischer)

    Now the other piece I think that is relavent to the Ryan overachiever argument is that Gasser went down at the beginning of the year and they had to figure out how to succeed with a back-up pg that didn’t really factor largely into their plans in the pre-season.

    In my mind your second paragraph says it all though. IU got everyone’s best shot all season. Crean kept this team together. They never slumped. They answered the bell at the end of the season despite playing 3 top 10 teams in 5 games to win the title outright. He should have been COY.

  22. I wonder, just a little part of me wonders, when did the voting occur? Sunday night or Monday morning… Right?

    The Crean incident was fresh in the mind of coaches and media. Did that rub those groups the wrong way and influence their votes?

  23. Geoff, I’m assuming you’re referring to an ESPN show. No, I can’t sit through those guys. Just hearing Skip Bayless speak makes everyone dumber. I know it’s just a schtick but so was Andrew Dice Clay. Skip just has better posture.

  24. Haha. Regressed? Indiana is going to be the overall #1 seed in the tournament. The polls, like these awards, don’t matter.

    This team went coast to coast in the regular season. Tom Crean, oladipo and Zeller have the opportunity to show meaningless “voters” who deserves what in the next few weeks.

    You have to be blind, dense, and unable to breathe without conscious thought if you think Indiana regressed.

  25. My argument for Crean…after first thinking the award to Ryan was fine and then thinking about a few issues:

    The COY Award, I assume is a comprehensive award that includes game coaching, offense, defense, recruiting, player’s school performance…in other words everything that goes into coaching. It covers beyond November-March, it covers the team’s role in the university and the community. Or, at least, that’s what they’d like you to think in the B1C.

    Consider that Ryan has done an outstanding job at Wisconsin and that his teams have always ended up at the top; consider that the nearly the same is true of Coach Izzo. Both would win any award for Coach of the Five-Years (COP-Coach of the Pentannual and be the two most legitimate COD-Coach of the Decade candidates).

    But, Tom Crean came into the B1C and took over a program on a serious probation, with serious student-player problems and paid a huge price for it in terms of his coaching record. He accepted the challenge without uttering a sound. Strengthened the program within in the best tradition of the B1C; got rid of the non-performing ‘student’-athletes who found the classroom a revolting experience, accepted that character challenged players would walk away, set standards that dignified the Conference, recruited a number of individuals who were equal parts athletes, students and decent people. While many did not see them as capable of putting together as Conference Champion, Crean taught and improved these recruits, monitored their academic progress and, to a degree, influenced their lives as individuals and taught them a style of play that fit their individual talents and became a distinctive team style and, importantly, an ethos.

    Crean surprised everyone in 2011-2012 simply because no one foresaw the tremendous ‘Team’ that he had built with few in the league aware of it, mainly because of their youth. He turned heads, did not win the B1C championships but seriously competed for it, and then made the Hoosiers the object of everyone’s respect by taking them deep into the National tournament, eventually going down after seriously challenging the eventual National Champion in the NCAA Semifinal Round.

    The pres and other coaches noticed and for 2012-2013 made them clearly the #1 team in the country in terms of anticipated success. The team, generally the same team as in 2011-2012 and generally with many of the same players that had undergone the years of basketball famine, did not disappoint. Indeed, it became the Conference Champion, withstood every possible challenge and rose to the expectations of the architect, Coach Tom Crean.

    And for that, journalists reward the character, knowledge, patience, sacrifice and achievements of the Foundation Crean and his staff laid out by selecting a very accomplished, very sound, very ethical, very (deservingly) respected, very demanding and disciplined and successful Coach Ryan of Wisconsin, the fourth place winner in the B1C, as the conference’s Coach of the Year.

    Someone at the B1C office needs to hold a seminar on Reading Skills and Analytical Thinking for Coaches. In fact, coaches themselves probably need a Seminar on how to avoid Conflict of Imterests in the recognition of their professional standards.

    At some point in my life I remember this cadre of professional basketball writers and coaches it will be as an ensemble of great comedians.

    A note: I was and have openly admitted to having been and being a huge Bob Knight fan. I loved his style of basketball, the thinking and creation that went into it, the focus on teaching, his integrity towards the issue of academics and student-athletes. I may even like his style of basketball more than Coach Crean’s style (sort of the basis of my respect for Bo Ryan). But, at some point I had to look and admit to myself that what CTC was doing was pretty damned good. And, perhaps the point was that there are more than one way to approach a problem. Ignoring or rejecting Tom Crean proven body of work on the basis of ‘likes or dislikes’, whether personal or stylistic, is a profound rejection and truly and insult to the game of basketball and the ideals of sports).

    In most cases one sort of expects that from journalists. Few are well prepared to cover their interests with much depth. Professional schools teach issue of grammar, style and ordering of facts, the mechanics of editing, but rarely delve into the guts of the professional questions they themselves raise such as basketball or politics or economics.

    But, coaches? They are professionally trained to not only look at the content of their own ideas but to examine the body of work of others in their profession on a regular basis. I can understand the failure of the limited journalist, but can only surmise that the failure of the professional coach in this respect is then a character issue.

  26. The weather in Madison has very little, if anything, to do with recruiting basketball players to play for Wisconsin. The weather certainly does not stop the Wisconsin football program from recruiting a lot of good talent. It did not stop Crean from recruiting talent and having good teams at Marquette.

    The state of Wisconsin has one big school, and only one Big Ten School, and that school is located in Madison. Relative to IU, that’s a significant advantage. IU must go against Purdue, ND, and Butler to sign the state’s best basketball talent every year. Wisconsin’s population is about the same as Indiana’s population. Madison is close to Chicago, so they’re a reasonable drive away from that enormous talent pool. Ryan has no excuse for not being able to recruit top talent. But his coaching style and the style of his teams’ play is probably a turn-off to a lot of the best players.

    And as for an injury that sidelined one of Ryan’s key players for the season, hasn’t Crean lost key players to injuries? How about his top scorer from three years ago that suffered serious leg injuries three years in a row? Does anyone doubt that if Mo Creek had been healthy the last two years, IU’s record would have been better than it was? Think about what a fully healthy Mo Creek could have contributed to IU last year, or the year before. How about the injury to IU’s Senior power forward and its muscle in the paint going down with a knee injury during this year’s Midnight Madness. Does anyone doubt that if DE had been fully healthy, and played regularly in the pre-conference schedule, he could have done more to help IU battle in the paint? In fact, I’d say that with a fully healthy DE, IU would have beat Butler and won two more Big Ten games this year. (The key word in that sentence were “fully healthy.”)

    The key-player-injury defense is BS. It’s an excuse. Having only one quality point guard, or only one player that can handle the ball, is Ryan’s fault. Players get injured. That’s why recruiting for depth is HUGE.

    Ryan is the Big Ten Coach of the Year like I’m the sexiest man alive. What a joke!

  27. Geoff, funny about that. I did hear about the first minute or so. I heard him speak of ‘flexibility’. I just didn’t make the transfer to ‘rigid’.

    Like I said, I only heard a minute or so of it so I didn’t really take away anything other than the Heat are flexible.

  28. I haven’t read all the posts..(particularly the final longer ones), but my feeling is the Crean undoubtedly deserved the reward.

    We won the Big Ten Title. Nuff said. Much more difficult to live up to expectations(as Podunker stated)than to look like success came by way of something unexpected.

    We went quite far by way of unexpected last season..Did Crean get the season-ending award last year?

    Timing of the voting: Geoff makes an interesting point about the “incident.” Jeremy doesn’t seem to have a definitive answer to the exact time ALL the votes were cast. Could have been very close and it is possible that the altercation between Crean and Meyer could have tipped the scale away from Crean. But, honestly? I don’t think so.

    I think the voting was over before the ball was tipped at Michigan. The entire Establishment world never expected the game to finish with the Hoosiers as victors. They(“the media panel” and the coaches that can’t stand Crean anyway)doubted the Hoosiers once again…What a sorry ass group of people.

    They prematurely cast their votes and they did the entirely wrong thing. I’m obviously not Crean’s biggest fan. But not giving him his due accolade for taking a team to it’s first outright championship in 20 when the target was on their back all season long? Sure we stumbled a couple times, but look what we did to Purdue on the road..MSU on the road..OSU on the road..and then culminating the shocking road wins by shocking all and winning the title outright, on the road, against an extremely talented Michigan team(a potential Final Four team)…That doesn’t deserve COY? Those people should be ashamed. And if they did use the “incident” to deny something deserved..? Shameful. And shameful that Oladipo didn’t get POY. No other player has captivated the national audience like VO.

  29. Po – weather definitely comes into play when recruiting nationally. So does tradition. So does hipness. Wisconsin has bad weather, no hipness, and only a decent basketball tradition. Football is a different beast for Wiscy. I won’t try to convince you that what I say is true, but I know they play a part. Marquette gets good players, but not great recruits. That was true when Crean was there and it’s true now. Crean has shown to be extremely proficient in 2 areas – identifying undervalued talent and player development. It’s true now and it was true at Marquette.

    IU is THE top dawg in Indiana. It has the tradition. It has the support. There are about 10 times more high D1 prospects in Indy alone than all of Wiscy every year. In reality, IU isn’t competing with ND, Butler, or Purdue. They are competing with traditinal national powerhouses. The recruiting atmospheres for UW and IU aren’t comparable other than they are B1G schools.

    THE GREATEST factor may very well be that Ryan’s system isn’t attractive to high level players… I’m not disagreeing with you there. But do not dismiss the other things I mentioned.

    Now as far as recruiting for depth argument… Lets just say that Zeller went down in December for the year and IU still finished where they were predicted… Wouldn’t you be using that defense of Crean? Not that Gasser and Zeller are on the same level, but that’s the argument you are introducing into the conversation. You can make the case that Ryan did recruit depth since an important cog was lost and they replaced it with little to no drop off…

    Finally, if you don’t believe that weather, tradition, and hipness play a role in recruiting high level talent please name a cold-weather, northern school that has turned their program around in the past few years that lacks those traits.

  30. Chet – yeah, he went into a 5 minute diatribe about rigidity losing. (Tsao stop reading now) and how Bobby would not have been able to succeed in today’s basketball world. He gave plenty of props to Knight, but said he couldn’t change with the times, etc, etc, etc…

  31. Madison (Wisconsin) had no ‘hipness’? Even the ‘all bad-weather’ reveals nothing but ignorance. IU is not competing vs. Notre Dame, Butler and Purdue? You do a good thing sticking with the NBA… that, I’m afraid, is exactly your intellectual level.

    It would help you greatly to read a book once in a while that has not been summarized and reviewed on ‘Around the Horn’.

  32. Geoff, if weather was a major factor, Syracuse would never be a power in college basketball. Neither would Michigan, Michigan State, or most of the schools in the northeast. On the other hand, if weather was a significant recruiting advantage, the schools in Orange County California, San Diego and Los Angles would all compete for the NCAA Championship every year.

    There is merit to your argument regarding “hipness” and “basketball tradition,” but I fail to see how anyone would consider IUB a more “hip” environment than Madison. I mean, for years, the knock against IUB was that it was not hip at all and Madison earned a reputation for the most liberal campus in America. Perhaps you were referring to the perceived hipness of the respective basketball programs? Is Tom Crean considered hip?

    How can you say ND, Purdue and Butler do not compete with IU for basketball talent. Cody Zeller’s older brother went to ND. Did IU not try to recruit him? And Purdue’s tradition in basketball is nothing to scoff at. They’re down this year, but Painter is an effective coach and a good recruiter. But beyond the obvious in-state competition, IUB is surrounded by major college basketball programs such as Louisville, KY, MSU, MI, and OSU, Xavier, and Cincinnati, all of which have raided Indiana for some of the state’s best High School talent for decades. I agree that Wisconsin does not produce the same level of talent, but relative to Bloomington, they are, so to speak, geographically isolated.

    Honestly, I think IU’s tradition, Tom Crean, and the passion of The Hoosier Nation are the key differentiating factors that allow IU to secure better talent. Now, if we can just start beating Wisconsin on the court, we can make sure this is the last time Ryan is honored as Big Ten COY.

  33. I have to agree that Madison is one of THE most ‘hip’ college towns in the country and has been since the ’60s.

  34. Tsao – are you serious… You’re 71 and you’re doing to try to lecture me on what’s cool and what isn’t? Look at the over all landscape of college basketball. Look at the top 50 recruits. This is not a racially motivated statement – this is a fact. There are more good African-American players than causation players. Look at the ratio on IU’s roster. Look at what’s coming in next year. Look at UM’s roster. Look at MSU’s roster. Look at OSU’s roster.

    Now look at UW’s… The ratio flip-flops.

    The further south you go the more African-Americans you find… These are simple demographics. If you want to lure great players north or away from the coasts you better have something special. IU has a tremendous tradition. MSU has a tremendous tradition. OSU and UM are cool and have that it factor… UW? Nothing. They play hard. They drink a lot of beer. Mike Brusewitz is the opposite of cool. Jared Berggren is the opposite of cool.

    Now if you’d like to mis-quote me and pretend I said “all bad weather” so you can then call me ignorant, I’m not sure you’ll gain much traction with anyone. I never said that. I’m sure Madison is beautiful in the summer. Probably has a very nice, yet short spring and autumn… However, when students are in session, it ain’t the most comfortable climate. The average annual temperature is 45* F, and averages from November-March go like this – 35*, 21*, 16*, 20*, 32*… Where do I sign up? I mean if I have options, and these top recruits have no shortage of options, what is drawing me to Madison?

    I’m not looking at this from the perspective of a 71 year old. I’m putting myself in the shoes of the kids I coached and the played against.

    I’m sorry you can’t see it.

    I read my books on a my iPad. Currently I’m reading 3 – The New Dad’s Survival Guide (almost done), Basketball on Paper (analytics book by Dean Oliver), and The Traveler’s Gift.

  35. One undeniable fact: Oladipo is one of the top “causation” players that I’ve ever witnessed wear the cream and crimson. When he has the ball, he causes good things to happen. We need many more causation players.

    Causation it’s Indiana?

  36. Honestly, you guys are being ridiculous. I’m sorry to be blunt, but I’m actually editing down my remarks. If you take one part of my argument and apply it as the only factor then of course it falls apart. But if you actually read what I’m writing in aggregate then, guess what, it makes sense.

    You act like things haven’t changed in the last 60 years. Guess what, they’ve changed drastically. When traditions were being built decades ago at the tradition-rich schools recruiting was a much more regional venture. Sure there were occasional players that would go across the country. But starting in the 70’s and then growing with the efficiency of travel in the 80’s, and finally booming with the Internet and nationwide cable packages in the 90’s recruiting became not only national, but global. By the time this shift happened, places like Syracuse and Michigan had already built their tradition.

    Listen, I’m sure Madison is super cool to people in rural Wisconsin. I’m sure it’s great if you’re a white college kid who likes to party. I’m sure it’s great if you enjoy cold-weather football.

    You guys can try to say I’m wrong or ignorant, but give me one good reason why a great basketball recruit would choose Wisconsin. The only one I can think of is, “because I’m from Wisconsin.”

    Every other school you listed, Podunker, has a checkmark next to one of the boxes I mentioned…

    Cultural relevance

    Po – I never said that weather was the only factor. I never said it was the pre-eminent factor. But it is a factor when you have options. I also never said that just because a school has great weather means it will attract great players.

    Stick to what I actually say gentlemen.

    Sorry to be condescending, but when you misquote me and/or twist my arguments to try to fit your pre-conceived and/or antiquated notions that ends up being my defense mechanism. It’s either mild condescension or outright rudeness, so I choose the former.

  37. I just Googled ‘America’s hippest college towns’ and Madison was listed 8th and 12th in the first two hits.

  38. The thing that bothers me about Burke and the reason that I’d give it to Victor is this:

    Burke is so good relative to his teammates and most other mere mortals. And I think he knows that and is a bit full of himself in that regard.

    Because of that, I see Burke losing patience with those mere mortals, his teammates, and trying to do too much himself – and then screwing up.

    Victor, by contrast, perhaps because there are other very talented and (some) older players around him, or perhaps because Victor has had to make himself into what he is, or perhaps as a result of natural humility, plays more within himself at most times.

    Playing defense is inherently unselfish in today’s world. It doesn’t get the “ink” that scoring does.

    But it may be more important to the team and to winning.

    The other factor in Victor’s favor is his efficiency. He does what he does on far fewer shots.

    Also, Burke should have a stellar pro career, but Victor’s trajectory and work ethic could lead him to a superstellar career if he continues to improve at the rate he has improved.

  39. Hear it first from this 72-year old who over a lifetime has met all kinds and versions of idiots but somehow managed to find something redeeming about each of them. I need to re-evaluate my irrational belief that there is something redeeming in everyone.

    You are at the front of the line; the complete i**ot compounded by an arrogance that can only come from having been cuddled and over-protected out of parental guilt for way too long. I don’t believe you read books in your Ipad, I think you read a summary of their Cliff Notes on Twitter (140 characters). I’ll suggest you begin with a search for the version called “The Child’s Guide to Surviving and Overcoming Parental Ignorance” , a travelogue to the Great Lakes and Midwest States and a copy of Sports for Dummies. But, di’t forget, make sure it comes with easy access cheat notes.

    I also warned you not to fall in love with me, I cannot and do not want to satisfy your need for love, acceptance and understanding. Let go Geoff, stop clinging on in hope I’ll respond, that strange love-obsession you have for me can only break your heart.

  40. I’m predicting Victor is going to be a star in the pros. It might take a few years but, then, it usually does.

  41. Chet, on Victor…I completely agree. For weeks I’ve been thinking (and too chicken sh__ to post) that we may have witnessed the ’emergence from the egg’ of the next MJ. In all seriousness, while I saw lots of potential for him last year, I had absolutely no idea of what a huge universe of up-side he had.

    And, it’s not just the talent; it is the way he is emotionally constructed, his laser beam focus of purpose, his clarity as to what is important…I’ve never seen an athlete who grew as much as Victor has over one year and still left the impression that it is just a scratch of the surface.

    I had a chance some 10 years ago or so to ‘hear of’, become aware of and see Lionel Messi when he was a 13-year old at Newells Old Boys, before his father took him to the Barcelona academy in Spain. That was about the same time as Diego Maradona was considered the World’s Top player. That, is the sort of potential and the oncoming reality of and for Victor Oladipo. We will hear the chan “Deepo!…Deepo!…” many, many times in the next 10-15 years.

    The best part; we’ll be the ones who will always remember him as we see him now. One of God’s gifts to all of us and especially to Hoosiers.

    The most interesting part, is that I fear this may be it in terms of ‘Dipo in his IU shirt;…but strangely, I don’t even mind it because I had the chance to see it happen and live it…even if for a short time.

  42. Thanks Geoff. You actually know a thing or 2 about basketball.

    Chet, your not hip. Do us all a favor, and don’t move to Madison. They couldn’t handle your “Mr Ed” horse lips. Do us a favor, and stay where your wanted. Maybe that means retiring from The Scoop?

  43. I wouldn’t care to recruit BB players to Madison. That is why Ryan is such a good fit with his system. Elite players have better choices. While at Army Knight was advised not to consider Wisconsin’s nibble precisely because the weather was a detriment to recruiting. This was shortly before IU came calling. FB is a whole different story.

  44. I can say that IU doesn’t compete for recruits with ND, PU, and Butler because its true. Do they get the occasional top flight Indiana kid? Sure. Do they get big time players on the national landscape? Not really. IU gets its choice and those schools get the scraps. Do we occasionally go head to head for a big time in-state guy… Sure. Butler was a finalist for Zeller, but where did he end up? When was the last time Butler got a guy IU wanted? Just because Purdue offers a scholarship to an IU target doesn’t mean we are competing with them. Now that IU is back to prominence has PU won a big time player we offered? Not to my knowledge. They were in the running for Harris, but he went to MSU. ND is a totally different beast. A private Jesuit school with different entrance standards. It’s pretty rare I ever see a player who has both IU and ND on their list.

    In 2011 we got Zeller.

    In 2012 we got who we wanted outside of Harris, but we didn’t lose a single player to those 3.

    In 2013 we have a top 5 class, and the 1 big time Indiana senior wasn’t offered by IU, so you can’t say ND won a competition for Jackson. Plus he’s from South Bend basically. We flirted with Beachem, but didn’t offer.

    In 2014 we have offered scholarships to 6 Indiana or border state kids. Of those 6, only 1 has received offers from ND, PU, and/or Butler (Bluiett)

    In 2015 all 4 schools have offers out to Jalen Coleman. We’ll see where he ends up.

    In the last 3 years (2010-12):

    PU has inked 9 kids – 0 got an offer from IU.
    ND has signed 8 kids – 0 got an offer from IU
    Butler has signed 10 kids – 0 got an offer from IU

  45. Chet – Wisconsin has been a party school for a long time. It’s because there’s nothing else to do. Big time basketball recruits who have aspirations of the next level aren’t looking for schools based on how hard they party.

    I just googled the UW roster… There’s one kid from south of the Mason-Dixon Line… Ryan Evans who was an unranked recruit.

    They got a commit from CA this year… He’s a 2-star recruit.

    They’ve offered to 8 kids so far for 2014. All from Ohio, Illinois, or WI. 4 of them are top 50 type national recruits. Lets see if they get a single one. Maybe Looney, since he’s from WI.

  46. Thank you Clarion!

    Every single shred of evidence, and every shred of common sense says I’m not full of S on this. I think people just disagree with me sometimes for sport to see how much time I’ll take to back up my points. There are certain arguments where they simply can’t have any conviction in their beliefs, so it must be a ruse.

    Tsao/Po – please provide a single piece of evidence that disputes what I’m saying.

  47. I don’t follow player rankings and national recruiting, but how many ‘stars’ was Oladipo when he was recruited? Was he a top 50(144)? Was Sheehey a top 50(141)?

    They weren’t top recruits, but still came to IU because we were hip? Or did they come because no other top program was very interested? And weren’t they both just 3-star ranked?

  48. Yes Harvard, both were 3 stars, and off the radar. I think they cared less if we was hip. More then anything, I think they just appreciated a opportunity. Needless to say, they made the most of it. This also needs to be remembered for Hartman and Davis, and even Ethrington.

  49. Watford is playing like the 3rd team All-IU 2013 team. He’s been a no show the last 2 weeks. Just like last year.

    Yes, he did save the ball & the possession Sun. But did anyone notice his positioning for the rebound before that?!?! No, you didn’t? That’s because he wasn’t in any position to block out anybody except Oladipo.

    Oh wait…he did foul the guy preventing a layup on the inbound play late & avoid the flagrant foul. That was a ‘good’ play. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, he was also the dude who let his guy go free for that play too.

    Say what you want, but he’s a mess lately & looks like he started his Spring Break on Feb. 20th.

  50. Tsao – you’re a pretty funny dude. Kind of amazing how thin-skinned you are. Also funny how you think I care about your approval.

    I’m going to give you some very honest feedback. I respect you. I think you are thin-skinned and a bit out of touch, but you’re certainly smart and experienced. There are a few things that clearly have passed you by. (At my age there are modern ideas/preferences that I don’t get either) I sometimes enjoy debating you, but I’ll debate any sincere person who responds… And I believe you’re sincere. However, if you think that I care about your approval you’re incorrect.

    There are a few people’s opinions on here that I absolutely respect. It’s because they are generally thoughtful. They aren’t completely rigid. They have perspective. (Interlude: its weird, because you have much worldly perspective, but once the conversation turns to things IU, you completely lose it, and become entrenched with homerism… Interlude over)

    The list is short. Chet is at the top. Punjab is right there. Mass Hoosier. Dustin’s opinion of me matters. I’m sure more will develop over time.

    Outside of that there are plenty of people and personalities that I like and respect, but I wouldn’t care if they thought I was ignorant.

    I don’t think there’s a single person on here I dislike. I’m sorry you take things so personal.

  51. Ben is exactly right. They came to IU because it was the best opportunity they got. Had UF recruited Sheehey I’m sure he’d have gone there… Or FSU, or any big time school that wasn’t sucking. Had Duke or NC or Georgetown offered Dipo I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be a Hoosier right now.

    And that’s how it works for IU nowadays… If we like a kid a whole lot it’s not ND, PU, or Butler we worry about (unless that’s their hometown or a parent went to school there)… It’s MSU, and OSU, and Duke, and Michigan, and Kentucky we worry about.

    That’s where we are now and who we recruit against.

  52. Harvard – on Dipo… I like your “causation” player thing. I liked it more before I realized you were simply picking up on my typo… But still good.

    I’d say this though, he is actually better, and causes more good things to happen when the ball is not in his hands. And THAT’S what makes him so special.

    Hopefully a good point of agreement to end the night on.

  53. Geoff-

    Thanks for keeping me off your list. Do me a favor. If you’re going to keep me off your cute short list, then don’t bother addressing me in a followup post…That ain’t hip.

    You’re an arrogant little fella and there’s something about you amiss. Tsao’s replacement hip is likely more hip. I truly think someone burned you at IU and it’s at the heart your constant need to underhandedly demean and do your constant digs. I tried to believe your bonds to the Indiana Hoosiers was sincere, but there was always a voice telling me there was something in your tone forever strange, detached, and queer. The threads where you would pretend every call and every play in a game was cutting you to pieces…It reeked of disingenuous showmanship. It put you at the head of my list of someone short on belief and someone so full of himself that he can’t recognize how he appears through the eyes of another. Constant projection, but devoid of introspection.

    You’re a first rate hole. Who in the hell makes inferences that a school isn’t hip based on his own shallow parameters? Who in the hell makes a list of a list of blogger he thinks worthy his debate? Certainly not in the spirit anyone I would consider a Hoosier brother. I’ll tell you who makes a list. A man that is very stuck on himself. A man that will make you his friend and then spit in your face if it means he walks away with anything that will get him to a perceived further place.

    You may one day catch Tsao’s age, but sadly you’ll never gain the compassion and maturity if you could live his years threefold.

  54. Harvard – I will address you because once again you put words in my mouth. The list wasn’t a worthy of debate list. It was an I’ll start to question myself if they think I’m ignorant and way off base list. You are worthy of debate and I respect you. Whether you feel the same way about me is your choice and always will be.

    Also, I’m not saying Madison isn’t hip based on my parameters. I’m sure I would love Madison. I’m a white guy who likes to drink beer and doesn’t mind cold weather. I’m saying Madison isn’t culturally relative to high profile basketball recruits. All you have to do is look at their roster over history.

    There has to be something drawing a high-profile kid to a program. Wisconsin only gets high profile kids from Wisconsin…. Maybe they get real lucky and grab a big name from a border state every few years.

    It isn’t just style of play. Howland has a crappy style of play… He just picked up Shabazz and Slo-mo and was getting high-profile recruits all along.

    What do you think is important to high profile athletes Harvard? Besides Podunker I’m the only one putting out any theories. It’s easy to just say someone’s theories don’t hold water… It’s lot more difficult to provide reasons and evidence as to why they don’t. It’s even tougher to provide theories of your own and back them up. As far as I can tell that’s all that’s going on right now.

  55. Geoff, I don’t really much care about the topic so this will probably be my last comment but the ‘hipness’ of Madison in the articles had nothing to do with it being a party school. I’v been there a few times and the campus is pretty spectacular, situated right on a huge, beautiful lake. The student union is right on the water with scores of sailboats and kayaks along the shore and more in the water. They have concerts on the union steps right on the lake. As college towns go it has lots of…everything.

    It gets cold in Boulder (used to live there), too, but I’ve never heard anyone claim there’s nothing to do there. Madison is also the state capital, BTW, in case that kind of thing interests a student.

    No doubt it gets cold in Wisconsin but if you think there’s nothing to do but party I’d have to assume you’ve never been there.

    It also gets cold in Maine but I’ll bet you don’t feel there’s nothing to do there.

  56. As an aside, have you ever been to Lexington, KY? My Dad was from nearby Frankfort. If there is a more unhip rectum of the universe than Lexington I hope I never have to experience it. Hardee’s is considered fine dining in that hole. The local theaters are still bargaining to get a showing of Star Wars.

    That might be Calapari’s secret. Those players are afraid to leave the gym.

  57. Harvey – I also enjoy your diagnoses. I guess I’m just lucky to have the friends I have, and that they see me differently than you and Tsao. And even though I consider my friends high quality people I’m sure you’d think otherwise. Or maybe you’d just meet us all and we’d shatter those pre-conceived notions of yours.

    Regardless, I debate sports with my friends all the time. The only 2 differences between doing it on here and with my friends is:

    1) you can’t see my expressions, read my body language, or hear my inflections.

    2) my friends don’t think that they’re going to change my mind by simply telling me I’m wrong. My opinion can be swayed, and often is, if I hear a good argument for something else. It’s pretty damn rare that I’m 100% steadfast on some point or belief I have. I weigh the evidence before me on everything and come to a conclusion. If new evidence is introduced I may come to a different conclusion.

    Within my circle simply calling someone ignorant and arrogant isn’t a trump card, its more an admission that you don’t have anything to say or a point to make. It’s more like sloughing.

    Yours arrogantly, Geoff

  58. O.K., now I get it.

    I’m merely off the ‘question your intelligence’ list and the ‘drifting too far off first’ list.

    Still sounds like a list. Still sounds ‘smart’ as hell.

    Life sucks. I can’t question Geoff’s brains. I can’t diagnose when he’s being a jerk. Maybe I’m making too big a leap here, but it sounds like….?

    Yup, I’m vegetable matter. Always knew it. Why didn’t I get this list earlier in life? I could have done so much with it.

    Keep protecting your world. It makes you look more the fool with your lists of worthy intelligence.

    Don’t get me wrong, Harvard..You can debate me. I’ll respect you though my superior brain and intellect sorta tunes out. Hee-hee.


  59. Chet – there’s nothing for high-profile basketball players to do here. You should see the faces of the NBDL players when they walk around Portland – it’s either shock or boredom… Yet we are one of the most vacationed states in the US… Again, theres a difference. Look at the culture that surrounds basketball. At least with the highest-profile players. Do see them shushing down the slopes on their off days? Deer hunting in the off-season? Again… I’m not making this point from my perspective Chet. Even though I say it, that seems to be a stumbling block for people. I think Portland Maine is incredibly cool. I play a lot of basketball, and know pretty much every guy in southern Maine who does. I know most all the guys who come here to play college ball, and guess what? If they’d had other options they’d have taken them. None of them stay very long after they’re done. I know because I’m constantly revamping my rosters.

    As far as Lexington goes, I’ve never been. I’m sure it’s an armpit… BUT it has tradition and cultural relevance within the basketball community.

  60. You question my introspective abilities Harvard, and that’s fine. I’ll let the people who know me judge my compassion.

    Now read this next part and get to the end before jumping off the handle.

    I wonder if you can be introspective for a minute? Do you think you’re a steady person. Even-keeled? I can’t say for sure Banners, but its not how you come across to me on here. I think you have a lot fun and interesting qualities. You don’t need to have a checkmark next to every single personality trait box for me to enjoy and respect you. If there were a list of traits with your name at the top I’d check off lots of positives, a few negatives, and wouldn’t put a check next to a few more. I’d leave “even-keeled” and “logical” without a check. Doesn’t mean you aren’t a great person. Doesn’t mean that at the bottom of the hypothetical sheet I wouldn’t conclude that you’re deserving of respect (not that you care). What it does mean is that if I’m looking to gauge my own logic I’m going to look to someone who has that box checked off on their list.

    Likewise, if I were gauging my ability to be entertaining, create funny pictures, or write with prosey style I would look at your opinion as very valuable, while I’d probably not search for Punjab’s.

    If I wanted financial feedback I’d go to my step-father and not my brother. Doesn’t mean I don’t love my brother. Doesn’t mean he isn’t one of the greatest people on earth in my opinion.

    Maybe you think that makes me arrogant. I think it makes me practical and normal. Contrary to Tsao’s beliefs I can’t go around seeking everyone’s approval for every part of my personality.

  61. Chet – more specifically to your point… Do you think if we created a poll and gave it to the top 50 basketball recruits that they would answer “very important to me” or “determining factor” for the following:

    Sail boating
    Pristine lake views
    Mountain views
    Great hiking
    Historical buildings and landmarks

    I’m gonna go way out on a limb here and say that you and I would answer “very important to me” on several of those… But the vast majority of the top 50 would only check off concerts. Guess where else they can go to concerts? Every other high profile program that’s recruiting them.

    Sorry if I’m coming across as arrogant to you Chet. I appreciate that you are trying to bring something to the table that addresses what I’m saying.

  62. Maybe so. But, other than that intangible ‘cultural relevance’ (so, do they sit around on Thursday nights playing the accompanying ‘Cultural Relevance’ board game?) there seems to be lots of places that otherwise would seem to suck that have big time basketball.

    Lawrence, KS, Syracuse, Lexington, South Bend, South Orange, NJ, Lansing, MI, Ann Arbor (I like it, though. It’s like an ugly version of Madison), Columbus, Mansfield, CT, Chapel Hill (i.e. Raleigh/Durham, which includes Duke and NC State), Louisville (my sister lives there, yechh), Waco, TX (seriously), Cincinnati.

    Basketball players seem to like those places.

    Now that I start putting those cities down Madison keeps looking better and better.

    You know where there’s a cool place with lots going on? Boulder, CO, Portland, ME, Portland, OR, Blacksburg, VA, Seattle, WA, Santa Fe, NM, San Francisco, Bozeman, MT, Logan, UT, Boise, ID, Moab, UT, New Orleans, LA, Atlanta, Dallas.

    Not much for basketball, though.

    I certainly don’t claim to know why these kids go where they do. I’d guess coaching mostly. I’ve been to all those places, though. It is most definitely not about extra curricular activities (I agree, it should be).

  63. You’re probably right. Just goes to show that those kids should have had someone with a good head on their shoulders to keep them out of dumps like Lexington.

    Anyway, why do you guys do this? The Hoosiers just overcame the odds, winning on the home court of the team with the most to lose, who also happened to be the #1 team in the country not too long ago, bringing home their first outright Big Ten title in 20 years and, instead of analyzing the upcoming tournaments or lavishing praise on our Hoosiers you all get into this silly pi$$ing contest.

    What does any of this $hit matter?

    Geoff, you know more about basketball recruiting than I do. Without a doubt. I’ve been to more places than you have. So what?

    Harvard, I’m not even sure what you’re arguing about other than it’s imperative that one of you has to be wrong.

    Tsao, come on, buddy. You’re just doing this to tweak Geoff and we both know it.

    How about those Hoosiers?

  64. Geoff,

    I respect your basketball posts, but now your trying to ram down how to be “hip” down our throats? Geoff, your no more “hip” then that nacho cheese “dip” beside you. Huey Lewis once said he was “To Hip To Be Square” , but I suspect your “To Square To Be Hip”. Stick to your day job Geoff, and let Chet make a joke of hi self trying to be “hip”.

  65. Yes!

    Ok, I know you don’t care to debate too much Chet, but its refreshing to see someone address what it is I’m saying and then making counterpoints.

    Most of the schools you mentioned have long-standing basketball tradition. Big time tradition. There are a couple I would take exception with.

    ND – they are a fringe top program that rarely gets top 50 recruits. Demetrius Jackson is big time, but he is a local product. Since 2007 they don’t have a single other top 50 recruit. ND may get a few bonus points for being a super high-profile football school, but it doesn’t seem to matter in the end in the eyes of top basketball recruits.

    Seton Hall – they struggle to make the tournament and don’t get top recruits.

    Now there’s one on your list that different and one that’s a head-scratcher.

    Cincinnati – it’s a city and it isn’t too far north. The the greater Cinci area has over 2.2M people. It has an NFL team and a MLB team. Professional athletes are recruits’ role models, and they’re right in town. Those things matter to high-profile recruits a lot more than pristine lake views and hiking trails. I’d also say that Cinci is a fringe big time program that struggles to get top 50 recruits.

    Baylor – now this one is a bit of a head-scratcher. However, evidence tells me a few things. 1) they are in a warm weather climate. I don’t think Slimy Drew would get those same players in a northern state; 2) they have a huge in-state talent pool and that’s mainly where Drew gets his top 50 players; 3) Texas colleges have a diverse base of gorgeous, tan women – northern states cannot compete in that area; 4) Drew is slimy and Baylor is a flash in the pan.

    Now the other group of cities… That’s a great list of places to go. Only 4 of them have potential to be attractive to top flight talent. Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, and Portland, except that only one of those cities has a big time, major conference, state school – Georgia Tech. They have the most basketball tradition of any school in any of those cities (in the last 50 years). For everything Dallas offers it lacks a big time state school – TCU and SMU are both private religious schools. (Baylor by comparison has undergrad student body that is 2 to 3 times larger than either of those)

    I agree that coaching is a huge factor. The 1A factor. Some coaches will always get players no matter where they go.

    If coach Cal went to a Wisconsin, I have to submit that Top 50 talent would follow, although not in as great numbers as he’s getting now I suspect.

  66. Normal is fine Ron, but if you want to be “hip” like Geoff, you got to eat that “dip!”

  67. Rico – I haven’t shoved what IS hip down anyone’s throat. I’ve posed that the things UW and every other non-tradition-rich northern school offers are NOT culturally relevant to the majority of top 50 basketball recruits.

    I would love it if you provided an opinion or evidence otherwise. What do you think is culturally relevant to the top recruits in the country?

    Here are your demographics for the last 2 years top 50’s:

    2012 – 7 Caucasian, 43 non-Caucasian

    2013 – 4 Caucasian, 46 non-Caucasian

    On the climate-related front…

    2012 – 27 went to massively tradition-rich programs; of the remaining 23 – 12 went to warm climate schools. So now we have 11… 1 didn’t sign at all. 1 was an int’l recruit. Of the next 9 – 5 signed in-state and 3 with a border-state school. So we have 1 recruit who went from a warm climate to a moderate climate, non-massive tradition school – Shaquille Cleare from TX to Maryland.

    2013 – 5 uncommitted; 23 signed with basketball royalty; of the remaining 22 – 14 signed with southern or CA schools. So now we have 8 guys left – 4 of those signed to in-state schools, 2 with border-state schools, and one went from NY to OH. That’s 49 of the top 50. Only 1 top recruit went north to a cold-weather climate that wasn’t a huge tradition school – JaJuan Johnson went from Memphis to Marquette.

    So my points are supported by these trends I’m seeing. If you are a moderate/cold-climate school that isnt a massively tradition-rich basketball program your chances of landing a top 50 recruit that isn’t in your state or a border state are about 2%.

    I am open to anyone else’s interpretation of the data or reality of what’s going on.

  68. Of coarse the recruit wants the best facilities, the overall feel of the campus, and the courses offered to his or her interests. Though why are you making this a racial issue? I am white myself, but who cares if they are Caucasian or non Caucasian? It’s obvious to me that stat you keep ramming down our throats, makes it “hip” to you.

  69. The climate to make a school “hip”. Of coarse it would be a bonus if Miami, Florida offered what I wanted, cause its warmer, and more to do, but if North Dakota State offered exactly what I wanted, the staff was friendly, and I felt at home, I’d be a fool to turn it down. Would telling people I picked North Dakota State over Miami make me look “hip”? Probably but, but I am not out to be hip. I am out for a quality education.

  70. Geoff, my last post on this subject. Sorry that you thought I misquoted you. I don’t think I did, but regardless, I did not intend to.

    To a High School basketball player that considers weather as a part of his criteria for selecting a college to play for, there is not going to be enough of a difference in weather between Madison, WI and Bloomington, IN for it to make a difference. For people from the Midwest, they understand that Madison’s winters are a little longer and that spring is a little shorter, and that the low temperatures in Madison are colder that the coldest day in Bloomington. But for someone like Sheehey, who grew up in Florida, there is not any significant difference in the perception of the weather between Madison and Bloomington. To kids that grew up south of the Mason Dixon line, “the winter weather just sucks up there.” There’s no distinction to those people. Cold is cold and rain is rain, and relative to where they grew up, the weather just sucks.

    Sorry, but between IU and UW, I don’t believe the weather is a significant factor, especially when recruiting players from south of the Mason Dixon line. The coach and the program’s tradition make the difference.

  71. Because to ignore race would be silly. It’s a factor in cultural interests. If you think that basketball doesn’t lean toward a more African-American culture then I don’t know what to say. Here’s what I observe in Maine… Tourism is our thing. The state nickname is ‘Vacationland”. It’s a huge industry here. You know who vacations here? White people. Maine has things that are more culturally relevant to white people. I’m assuming, but I’m not positive that Madison is very similar. Who do you think goes to hang out in Boulder?

    When people have choices they follow their interests. They don’t say, I hate the cold and I never want to go skiing, but lets see how Maine is for the next 4 years… Not if they have choices.

    I am not making a 100% assertive statement here, but just play out this scenario. What type of music do you think that most of the top 50 basketball recruits listen to? Country? Rock and Roll? Rap? Come to your own conclusion and then answer my next question. What music do you think the majority of the top 50 hockey recruits listen to? Maybes its different maybe it’s not. Indiana is 87% white… Are there more country stations or rap stations in Indiana? Why is that? It’s not because the stations are racist, its because they are playing to their audience. Indiana cannot support a bunch of rap stations, but they can sure as hell support a dial full of country.

    What are the demographics of the GOP? Is it proportionally represented with minorities? Ummm, no. Probably because it isn’t in line with many minority issues… It’s not culturally relevant to minorities.

    88% of Wisconsin is white. UW is 75% white and 3% African-American. It’s cold most of the school year. It isn’t basketball royalty. Do you think that a big time college recruit, not from that part of the country is going to be interested in that environment? The answer is yes, about 1% of the time.

    It doesn’t make you a racist to be in touch with reality.

  72. Podunker – I disagree that there isn’t a significant difference in climate. But that wasn’t my point.

    But as far as the facts go, Bloomington is 400 miles south of Madison. The difference in climate is not insignificant. It’s similar to the difference between Bloominton and Memphis. The monthly average temperatures in the winter are 10-20 degrees warmer according to the US Climate Data.

    But none of that was my point. If I were a recruit choosing between IU and UW, then weather probably wouldn’t be a factor. There would be a glaring difference in exposure and tradition. One is basketball royalty and the other isn’t. At one I’ll be the unquestioned BMOC and at the other we’ll play second fiddle to football. IU has boxes checked that UW can’t compete with.

    The climate and cultural relevance factors come into play when I’m a big time recruit and I’m choosing between Memphis and UW, or Baylor and Marquette, or FSU or Illinois.

    Basketball Royalty will generally be the #1 attraction to recruits
    Coach/Style of play will most likely be #2
    After that come factors like climate and cultural relevance…
    The wild card will always be proximity to mom.

    So the process goes something like this…

    Am I being recruited by basketball royalty? (IU, UNC, UK, Duke, Syracuse, KU, UCLA, UL, MSU, or a couple others).

    If yes, then I’m choosing between those schools and I go to the next criteria… Whose style do I fit into best? What coach seems like the right personality for me? Who am I going to be competing with for minutes.

    If there are a couple coaches that I really like and play similar styles, say KU versus UNC, now I have to look at where I I fit in more as a person? Do I want to be out in the Kansas Plains where the winters can really suck or do I want to be in the milder Raliegh climate? Where do I fit in culturally? Who has hotter girls to look at?

    Now if the answer to the first question is no, then I have to look at the batch of schools that I’m being recruited by and go through the list of follow up questions for those.

    But if im a big time recruit and my list of offers looks like this: Marquette, UW, Cal, Butler, FSU, Maryland, Kansas, and Providence… Well there’s no question in my mind that Kansas is going to have to really screw up my recruitment for me not to take that offer. Or my mom lives near Berkley…

  73. I’m dipping into this discussion and I understand about half of it. From what I can tell Geoff’s right, but also overplaying his hand.
    Let me throw out this hypothetical and see how it changes the discussion. Let’s say the Sampson debacle doesn’t happen in 2008 and instead Bo Ryan retires at Wisconsin. Let’s say Wisconsin decides to change course completely and for some reason Crean decides to leave Marquette for Wisconsin (he would not have done that, I understand, but for the sake of discussion, let’s say that he did.) Would Crean have been able to recruit to Madison the same way he did to Milwaukee (which does get its share of players from below the Mason-Dixon line and also northern urban areas). I’m not asking if he could do what he’s done at Indiana. I’m asking if he could make Wisconsin as competitive in the Big Ten as Marquette was in the Big East, or at least maintain Wisconsin’s position in the conference with a less regimented style and better athletes. Let’s keep in mind the following.
    1. Even though it had done it with a boring style of play, Wisconsin had proven it could be a consistent top-half of the Big Ten team and compete for conference titles regularly. It had and still does have a big arena that sells out.
    2. Crean had produced lots of NBA talent at that point, and had the Dwyane Wade trump card that he still uses.
    How much of Wisconsin’s inability to get what is generally perceived to be top talent simply comes from the fact that Bo Ryan isn’t looking for what everyone else perceives to be top talent? If you were to install, not just a Calipari, but any coach with the desire to play fast and a proven track record of producing NBA players, could he not recruit to Wisconsin as well as you could consistently recruit to any other Big Ten program save Michigan State, Ohio State and Indiana?

  74. Exactly why I sent my daughter to an Ivy League school full of nerds and dorks (which she would readily confirm). They DID somehow manage to recruit the MVP of the Indiana all star team (Erick Peck).

  75. Geoff & Harvard – Kyle Neddenriep – Indy Star has an interesting story “Big Ten stocks up on Hoosiers”

  76. Ok, intersting… But where are the examples of that ever happening Dustin? Crean was getting 3/4 star recruits at Marquette and turning them into stars. Due to the environment at UW I’m not sure he’d be able to do much different than what he did at Marquette. I also believe that Milwaukee is a slight advantage.

    Please find me one northern university with demographics similar to Wisconsin that has changed its recruiting trajectory.

    The only cold-weather school that I can think of that went from non-royalty to national powerhouse over the last 20 years is Uconn. I would argue that they have a much deeper base of regional talent than UW and fewer schools to compete with for them. The northeast, including NYC doesn’t have much in the way of great college programs – Uconn, Syracuse… St Johns, Providence, and Seton Hall sorta. Nothing in Maine, NH, or VT, or even Massachusetts. Uconn is in the heart of the New England prep school scene, 30 minutes from Hartford, and about 2 hours from each NYC and Boston.

    So maybe we can come up with one school that bucks the trend. Any others?

    As far as Marquette goes, they have done a good job keeping top 100 recruits at home. However, the 2 top 100 guys they signed since 2007 from down south have both transferred – one to Florida and one to Texas. In both of those instances neither Jamail Jones or Eric Williams was offered a scholarship by a blue blood school. Davante Gardner is from the south, but he wasn’t a big time recruit, and Marquette was his best offer.

  77. Another example of when big time basketball players have choices they don’t go north…

    When was the last time a big time future HOF type free agent chose to sign (not re-sign) with:


    The only northern free agent destination is NYC… And that’s the Capitalism capital of the world. I think Boston and Chicago have potential, but neither has signed any future HOFers lately.

  78. I see that censorship still lives..

    It’s fine to stereotype and make ridiculous statements of nerdy campuses not attracting the hip black athlete to cold climates(somehow extrapolate that narrow BS into why a coach at Madison should get a COY award because he can only primarily recruit the “beer drinking” square grunts that spend their weekends in in the frozen tundra and spend their “hip” time in their dorm cabins lighting matches to their Wisconsin cheese farts. Black guys hate the cold. White grunts can’t be hip. Can it get any more shallow?

    But suggest(as a shallow counter argument to why the hip athlete picks a particular hip school) a recruit, a prima donna that feeds off the addiction and all the fringe benefits that come with being the ‘big man on campus’ amongst the huge numbers of very beautiful Indiana coeds…? Blasphemy!

    And what was wrong with Ron’s story?

    And if we’re talking about athletes being attracted to major sports programs based on some sort of “hip” identity, I would see nothing wrong in just as equal prejudicial leap aimed at Penn State football’s grotesque recent history as a more than equal non-hip deterrent to a high character and sophisticated athlete turned off by the ‘homerville’ of Wisconsin basketball.

  79. Hey Geoff,

    Just got in from work. To reply, I don’t think you are a racist. I understand what your doing, though others may not. It’s just a sensitive thing for many people. I know blacks who like rock music, and many that travel a lot. It’s uncomfortable. Holpe you understand. Sorry Dustin as well..

  80. Either Rico is being imposterized, or for the first time in his existence, he is being honest and earnest and not talking like a complete and total imbecil.

  81. The majority of my friends who happen to be black are in my age group. Almost none of them like hip hop/rap music. Their musical tastes are much closer to my own than Lil Wayne or Snoop.

    Most of the things that they like, or want, are pretty much the same things that I like or want, bearing in mind I like most southern food.

    Our likes and dislikes have more in common with our age and background than our color. Imagine that.

  82. A question Dustin…the quote from your post, “Even though it had done it with a boring style of play…” makes an assumption that has not been established”, so there is a bias judgment that would cancel out any claim you would make at a journalists neutrality (just to make sure we understand each other and absolutely supporting your right to opine freely in a blog). And not sure that the word “regimented” is the proper description.

    Beyond that, I agree that Ryan’s success lies in that he recruits players who are comfortable playing a more deliberate style on offense that relies on increasing pace and pressure on defense, exactly the opposite as a majority of teams today.

    You also have to consider that Ryan wants players who really cultivate ‘possession. Offensively, the style aims to maximize each shot by working the ball into a high percentage position sometimes requiring a great number of shots while reducing the amount of time allowed the opponent to play on offense.

    On the other hand, the defensive intensity is designed to dispute and recover the ball and turn the opponent’s possession (a liability) into his team possession (an asset). Thus, Ryan’s strategy is one of playing for possessions- very important, each possession is a game in and of itself,; and, if done well, effective possessions while reducing the opponent’s.

    All of the other issues, north of the Mason-Dixon, the player’s renown as a recruit, even physical factors are neutralized and the game becomes one of high intelligence. Nothing boring about that and the suggestion that the players are ‘regimented’ seems very exaggerated. ‘Thinking’ becomes the critical skill. Not many teams or players are up to it, and race has little if anything to do with success when the measuring stick is ‘thinking’.

  83. OOPS…BIG OOPS- where I wrote…”requiring a great number of shots”, should have read “…often requiring a great number of passes…[to work the ball into optimum shooting position].

  84. Po, to think the Winters in Madison are not much different than Bloomington is brazenly naive. The length of the ice fishing season in the Madison area is measured in months. Bloomington some years may be a month. Bloomington is having a cold snap when the ground freezes 10″ deep. Madison gets 3′ of frost every year, all Winter.

  85. I don’t question that Chet, but none of the 46 current black top 50 recruits are in your age bracket.

  86. Fair point, Tsao. I should have said, “low possession basketball,” which is statistically undeniable.
    Question, are you going to be anywhere near the United Center this weekend? Let me know.

  87. Geoff, I’m shocked by that, too. How could we have been overlooked? Some of us may have lost a step (or not!) but none of us could be described as raw.

    Hey, if coaches were a little more open minded it would revolutionize the game. How many times do you hear people complaining that basketball has just become dunking contests?

    That would all change!

    Lace up the Chucks!

  88. I like it! I’ll reach out to my contacts… Let me know how many buddies you have with eligibility….

Comments are closed.