James Blackmon Jr. opens recruitment, de-commits from IU

By October of 2010, Indiana already had two commitments for the 2014 class from players who either hadn’t played in their first high school game. Trey Lyles and James Blackmon Jr. both had enough success as middle school players that suggested they could be among the top players in the nation in their class, and both decided then that regardless of what happened in their next four years of high school, they would play for Indiana.

But now, three months before they were expected to sign with Indiana, neither is committed to the Hoosiers. Lyles, of course, de-committed a year ago, and James Blackmon Sr. confirmed Thursday that his son has opened his recruitment and will look at other schools.

“James committed when he was probably 14 years old,” said James Sr., a former Kentucky player who coached his son at Fort Wayne Bishop Luers and will coach him at Marion in his senior season. “Over the last couple of years when we talked, he always told me he liked Indiana, but I don’t know if he was 100 percent sure. He was probably 98 percent sure, but 98 percent wasn’t good enough. I want him to be 100 percent sure before he makes that commitment so that he’s ready for college. The only way to do that is to compare Indiana to other schools.”

The Hoosiers have had very little to do with Lyles since he de-committed close to a year ago. The Arsenal Tech forward and No. 5 player in the country according to Rivals.com narrowed his list this summer to include Kentucky, Louisville, Butler and Florida, but Indiana has long since been out of the picture.

Early indications, however, are that that will not be the case with Blackmon. Blackmon Sr. said IU coach Tom Crean was understanding when the Blackmons expressed their wishes, and that Crean gave every indication that he would continue recruiting Blackmon.

“We left on a positive note,” Blackmon Sr. said. “Coach Crean and I talked. He kind of understood. They’ve been really supportive, and I think they’re going to stay in contact.”

Blackmon Jr. has seen his recruiting stock skyrocket over the past year after suffering a major knee injury in his sophomore season and missing the entire spring and summer travel season between his sophomore and junior season. He recovered and scored 33.3 points per game for Bishop Luers as a junior and also starred for Spiece Indy Heat on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit this summer. He played on that team with Lyles, Louisville commitment Jaquan Lyle, and Indiana target Trevon Bluiett among others. Blackmon Sr. said that being around those players and others that he saw on the circuit had some influence on his son’s decision.

“The kid has played a lot of basketball this summer,” Blackmon Sr. said. “He has a lot of friends who are going through the process and they share stuff with each other. Kids start thinking certain ways, and you want them to be 100 percent all in.”

Blackmon Sr. was asked if he regretted allowing his son to commit as early as he did.

“I don’t know how answering that is going to help me either way,” Blackmon Sr. said. “James got hurt his sophomore year, I thought that helped him as far as not having to worry about playing AAU basketball and not rushing to get back. He took the whole summer to get in the weight room, and then he led the state in scoring last year. I could second-guess, but I don’t want to do that. I just want to move this process along. I don’t think Indiana did anything wrong. I still feel positive about Indiana and I still feel positive about Coach Crean.”

Blackmon Sr. said his son hasn’t had any contact from other schools yet and that there’s no timeline for him in terms of visits or when he wants to make a new commitment.

“We’re just going to sit back and let this sink in here, what we’re dealing with now,” he said. “… Now that it’s open, I’m pretty sure we’ll get some contact and decide from there.”

In the meantime, the Hoosiers are just three months from signing day and now don’t have a single verbal commitment from the 2014 class after having at least one in their pockets for almost four years. They have several offers out, including several to shooting guards, including Robert Johnson of Benedictine High School in Richmond, Va., who is scheduled to visit IU Aug 23-25.

Blackmon Jr. took to Twitter to say that he still isn’t ruling IU out.

“I never said I wouldn’t end up at IU,” he posted on his account. “I still love Indiana.”



  1. Man. It’s funny…….we love getting commits super early from kids, but history suggests they wont last and will only hurt more later. I cant imagine this is related to Crean recruiting Snider and RJ. JB knows there is a massive hole at the 2 at IU and it’s not like there are a bunch of 1s and 2s loaded up in front of him. Will be interesting to see both sides statements on this. That should tell us a lot about what happened.

  2. Not sure why you take a verbal from an 8thy grader. They rarely stick to them. We now have zero recruits for 2014 and certainly have not locked down the borders. Four good recruits from Indiana and we have zero of them.

  3. I am betting Coach Crean and staff have know something was amiss before today and the announcement of Robert Johnson’s visit date made JB show them his cards.

  4. Okay at least Lyle ditched us and gave us a year’s notice. I hope CTC shows Blackmon the door and he does not let it hit him in the rear. No way I would continue to recruit him like his dad said IU should do.

    We stuck with through his injury and now looks like that he is getting attention he wants to bolt. Why are we surprised his Daddy went to UK for Christ Sakes. Any Hoosier born guy who would go to UK is bad in my book. do you hear me Walter McCarthy (goes to UK but now wants to coach Indiana Pacers).

    Good luck JBJR. Hope you like UK or whatever place you go. We don’t need people who don’t want us.

  5. Bad news!! We have already lost out on other shooting guards because we had Blackmon. Kids are fickle and his good summer must have changed things? I hope we get QS, JR or Exum. Maybe James was worried they would eat into hit PT or maybe this is why Coach was going so hard after these other guys. Getting better is playing against better players in practice. If you can;t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. ESPN just ran an article about all the kids changing schools and transferring always looking for something they think is better. This is a bad trend in College basketball. Committing to a school and staying their to get a degree is a thing of the past so it seems. His Dad went to KY so lets hope that is not his new school.

  6. Part of me wonders if they utilized Indiana as a platform to highlight themselves and of course guarantee a scholarship. When they’re clearly able to go where they want in the future, they then re-open and do their actual decision making.

  7. Like I said….Building the Jersey pipeline was a risky gamble.

    Fans begin to send signals of their discontentment when we can’t lock down the Indiana blood. CharlaTom ValvoCrean had the “floodgates” of his Cody suppository and his partial Patterson-less/Hakeem-less “Movement,” but now things are beginning to appear a bit bound up and constipated.

  8. Butler now in the Big East….? Michigan State and Michigan have hit some home runs with Northwest Indiana kids….? Alford with his many ties to the middle sector of the state, Knight, Adams(AAU/A-Hope), and Indiana high school basketball lore is building his own “pipeline” back to the Hoosier state…? Jim Crews at St. Louis….?

    Very important year coming up…One could even say a critical year. Does Crean have the coaching acumen to build local confidence beyond the “everything hinges” temporary energy infused by Cody? And seven years in, it’s getting a bit late in the game for continued crucifixions and chasing old Sampson demons.

  9. And this is why it was critical for Cody and Vic to stay one more season. A banner or a Final Four trip would have changed everything. Just putting the faith in a coach may have changed more than we’ll ever know. Faith goes beyond scripture. It plays out in the everyday in choices of personal dreams and loyalties those that helped build those dreams. It’s a travesty they never allowed Crean his best shot at leaving the shadows of Knight.

  10. I just think this kid doesn’t have any integrity jumping ship at this late date? I would think he would feel a little guilty doing the Indiana coaches this way at the last minute? It shows a total lack of character, and a very low commitment level. I was taught when you made a decision, to be a man of my word, and follow through with my commitments. Not today, at least in this instance? Guess something better is coming? Very disappointing!

  11. Last summer it was we have too many players and this summer we don’t have enough. You guys will always find something to complain about.

    My hope is he doesn’t sign with IU. I love his game and he reminds me of Ray Allen but we only want players that are all in. He should go to Michigan since they started this whole mess.

  12. I am now wondering IF JBjr didnt vount the number of players that will be leaving kentucky after this year and look at the one and done record of NBA drafts.I think JBjr wants to be a BIG fish in a small pond and that wasnt going to happen at IU

  13. Got to be kidding right? I almost dropped my iPad when I saw the headline on TeamStream app. I don’t want him. I understand he committed early, but once you divorce IU, goodbye. I am probably just old fashioned. Once you commit, you stay true.

    I am not worried about filling the class. I am sure CTC has many cards to play. With that said, I would like for us to no longer commit kids so far out. There young. They don’t know what they want.

  14. Not shocked when you see how much attention these kids get as they string programs along to the very end. Why wouldn’t this kid want the same thing? He’s a talented player and sees his friends being treated like royalty, so he opens it back up to get the same.

    Funny thing is, IU has shown love to this kid for years and some other program can now waltz in and turn his head lastt minute, get the commit. Think of the time, effort, and energy IU invested in him and now he has doubt? It’s not doubt. It’s a desire to have his ego stroked like the rest of them. Can’t really blame him.

  15. Everyone wants to b3 coveted. Why miss out on all those free campus visits and to be fawned over and made to feel special. It’s all part of the experience, and no one wants to miss out on there share.

    Not a big deal, but it seems really absurd to offer a scholarship to a freshman in HS. Perhaps even more absurd for a freshman to commit to such an offer.

  16. Thoughts on young Blackmon

    No doubt Harvard has been flying the “Hoosier Kids First” a long time and making the symbiotic relationship between Indiana’s greatness and its native love for ’roundball’ his standard…almost to the point of irritation.

    One point, however, needs to be recognized and repeated.

    He’s right- repeat that- he’s right. There’s little reason to go outside Indiana borders (or at least, Hoosierland and its surroundings) except, once in a while, perhaps one chosen superstar who can add to the gene pool of all-Indiana teams.

    There is a reason why the land, the cities and the towns between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River comes up more often than any other when college coaches, especially Big Ten coaches,turn in their expense reports and request their gasoline vouchers. Nowhere on this earth is the game of basketball so much a part of the culture and intuitively a part of every kid as Indiana.

    There is something wrong when kids like James Blackmon Jr. turn their back on their state and look for a hoop that is not hanging on a barn or a garage. There is something wrong when kids forged in the steel mill ovens of ‘the Region’ who grew up idolizing Steve Downing, George McGinnis, Steve Alford, Kent Benson…(oh God, it makes me sick just to think of it)go to places like Michigan and Michigan State and Ohio State to come back, fired up, just to play against the school they dreamed of as little kids.

    Nowhere are kids better prepared and their genes develop an understanding of the game than Indiana.

    Somehow, the possibility of James Blackmon Jr. leaving to play elsewhere means more, much more than the usual recruitment. I still remember the sick feeling I had in my stomach when I read…what? 30 years ago or so, that James Blackmon Sr. was going to Kentucky. He was one of our kids, right there in Marion, Indiana. Never could understand it…as I could never understand how an Indiana kid named Louie Dampier, who could hit a bee on top of the backboard from 45 feet out could start the exodus to a state that had neither a history of home grown basketball idols nor of its people caring enough about them to create good academic institutions.

    I hope James Blackmon Sr. somehow reads this. Just like I saw you in a Hoosier uniform in my mind whenever we played against you, I never could bring myself to wish you bad and somehow still managed to have a little pride in the fact that your seed was in Indiana earth. You were one of us, and that was why it meant so much your blood was staying home.

    Somehow, James Sr.- you don’t mind if I call you James? …I’ve known you a long time-, let junior know the seed grows to its destiny only in its native ground. Stay home Jim Blackmon Jr…, and bring your dad finally ‘home’ with you.

  17. This doesn’t pass the smell test. If Blackmon, Jr. commits to UK then scumbag Calipari needs to be investigated by the NCAA, enough said.

  18. I have to raise a question about the wisdom of focusing our recruitment for Hoosier basketball player is the middle East Coast cities? In doing so, are we somehow making a statement that will not go down well with our homegrown high school basketball…mostly acknowledged as one of the best, if not the best in the world.

    There’s a reason the name “Indiana” is thought of wherever basketball is spoke. Didn’t Tom Crean himself say the reason he wanted to leave a solid tradition like Marquette’s was simply because “it’s Indiana!”.

    I know he didn’t say “it’s Maryland!”…or “it’s Virginia!”

    What is it we can’t find in Indiana that we can find in the East Coast…or California? Why are we losing top b all players from the Region to Michigan and Michigan State? Or Ohio State? Or Kentucky? Do they not know they are from Indiana? Or, do they not know “It’s Indiana!”

    With all respect, I’d like to hear from Mr. Crean why his focus is outside the state; or if there is a reason in-state kids are not buying into basketball at home. Or something! I’m glad we have Etherington, and Davis and the Cathedral kid, and Perea, (the Hoosier kid made in Colombia). And, certainly I’d love an Oladipo or an Isaiah who become us…perhaps, that’s all we need, to have it explained to us…

    And, I question becoming so fixated on four stars ****, or five stars***** that we overlook the kid on the court down the street who, with solid coaching, puts the banners on the IU wall.

  19. Tsao-

    Those are all great questions…I wish I could say it’s just about talent. And I totally agree that we shouldn’t turn our back on those few exceptional players outside our borders that want to play for THE program in a state that bleeds hoops from maple more than Vermont can make the syrup.

    I think of Indiana as the church of basketball…There’s really nowhere more sacred than the generations fused together by way of a love for basketball in Indiana.

    But it did not grow from symbols and worshiping of iconic figures inside the church outward. The deep faith in our one class high school basketball system became the solid roots of faith that the game was unique beyond any “General’s” speech or wisdom from a pulpit. The faith was quiet and grew not from the pious blood that believed Indiana kids were superior…The belief that brought those banner to Indiana basketball came from humble origins; a coming together of all from every corner our state undetermined by size of community or wealth of neighborhood. The team was the heaven, the spirit, and the faith. Indiana basketball was never about preaching. It was about the collective power of effort, god-given skills, and a humility could make for something of real faith beyond an individual’s sole greatness. We’ve forgotten how selfless those banners in the process of salivation rather than the freedom of the game in the most precious salvation its roots.

  20. I’m not surprised young commits change their mind. What concerns me is how much these kids today feel they need to be pampered and courted to before they make a commitment.

  21. Regardless of motive, this decision by Blackmon puts IU behind the recruiting 8 Ball for the 2014 class. When top recruits are seen leaving a program, in this case Lyles & now Blackmon, it often snowballs. IU has not had a strong response from any of a bevy of players they have been recruiting for this class. This de-comitt will only make those who have the Hoosiers on their list more wary. We have already missed on the cream (pardon the pun) of the Indiana recruits and this won’t help those from beyond the borders take IU seriously. Those who bought into the “having 2 NBA lottery picks will make recruiting easier” are now wondering what happened. I would argue that losing Cody & Oladipo early had the opposite effect. Now the 4 & 5 star recruits are having doubts if Indiana is really the place to go if you want to win NCAA championships. If this year’s team isn’t very successful, that momentum in the wrong direction will only get worse for IU recruiting.

  22. The whole thing started at the Michigan game there. JBJ, sitting with most of his AAU teammates Irvin Indiana Mr. basketball Michigan commit, the Indiana kid from Park Tudor, former teammate of Yogi a Michigan /Butler lean, Dan Dakich’s kid a Michigan walk on The Hatch kid from Fort Wayne a Michigan commit. In addition Former coach at Indiana Jeff Meyer, who hates CTC’S guts and got in a heated nationally broadcast word fest with CTC no love there. CTC dropped the ball got real comfortable with being in the spotlight and the competition moved in and took the heart out the state one more time. It will not be long before Michigan will start 5 kids from Indiana and beat us. Coach Matta from Ohio State has been doing it to us for years. Michigan has been following Indiana recruiters around for years and they are relentless,look how many Indiana kids they have now ! There has always been the worry about Kentucky with Blackmon it would not surprise me if that happens. CTC is one of the worst X and O coaches since Mike Davis, especially in crunch time! Recruiting was supposed to be his strong suit but when you can’t put a wall around your own state and keep your good kids home you have a problem. Good players will make the worst coach look good. Coach Cal has been getting away with it for years even though every school he has coached has been put on probation. CTC needs to wake up and stick with the basics that brought Indiana back. RMK NEVER LET A GOOD INDIANA PLAYER GET AWAY! CTC deserves credit for bringing Indiana back without question but the biggest job is staying elite.Recruiting is very dirty and these kids are lied to and used on a daily basis. AND THEY ARE JUST KIDS! Quit recruiting and offering eight graders who have no clue what’s going on. Quit trying to be like the big boys on the national level and offer all the big names ,the chances of getting them are very remote. The Indiana kids have to be a number one and offer when they are a junior. It’s very tough to find replacements for two kids like Lyles and Blackmon! Purdue has more 2014 recruits than IU! And we get to watch Gary Harris tear up the big ten again this season along with the other Indiana kid who starts for MSU.I think it could be Michigan that’s in the middle of this! I don’t want to see him there! National recruits are great but your core has to be Indiana kids they get it!
    Thanks CODY! I know we can’t get them all but we have to get a couple every year. I knew something was up when we were offering every uncommitted guard in the country! They have known for awhile he was not going to sign, his AAU teammates have been working on him harder than our staff.

  23. I smell an orchestration of recruitment by DAD. Get Jr to committ early and that keeps the colleges off his kids back for 2-3 yrs. move from a small school to Marion for exposure;then decommitt and open the recruiting flood gates.High School version of Cam Newton ==” my son’s up for sale to the hughest bidder”

  24. Let’s not jump off any bridges just yet, folks. When I first read this, my immediate thought was that the kid’s just getting cold feet. He’d been in a committed relationship with IU since middle school. It’s natural for some that the closer you get to that signing date at the alter, the more your nerves make you begin to second guess your commitment. Most people eventually come to their senses and remember why they fell in love and got engaged In the first place. Others– especially the young couple who had never experienced anything else– realize there’s a whole world out there that they need to see before they tie the knot. (And sometimes, breaking it off early saves a nasty divorce down the road.) We’ve all seen it, and to me it’s best that he doesn’t arrive in Bloomington with any “what ifs” doing cartwheels in his head. The last thing we need is a malcontent on our roster.

  25. I am still trying out glasses to find the pair that helps me see how this is much, if any fault of Crean and staff. That opinion co-mingles with the same air as mouth farts. Coach Crean offered Jr. and he gave his verbal, he offered Lyles and he gave his verbal. Lyles pulled his commitment. He was not bounced by Crean. Jr. pulls his commitment. He was not bounced by Coach Crean(and it sounds as though IU will continue recruiting Jr). Lyles and Jr. are very good friends. Go figure. Punjab is right, let’s not look for tall structures just yet. Goodluck, Robinson, Black and Bluett are still available and all talk complimentary of their recruitment by IU. Same for Exum, Hill and soon to be IU visitor RJ. If Jr. really believes he wants to be a Hoosier he best hurry.

  26. Wow, some near-hysteria expressed in some of the above posts. Leaping to conclusions and the chicken-little syndrome on display. Calm down folks, the sky is NOT falling.

    One thing that has not been explored so far. IU demands, yes DEMANDS that their basketball players be STUDENT – ATHLETES. IU’s emphasis, beginning with IU’s President and going down through Mr. Glass and all IU coaches, may be a turn-off to certain young, highly talented athletes who see themselves playing in the NBA before the age of 21. In other words, if you’re a young man who believes your skills qualify you to be in the NBA, and you want to get there as soon as possible, why put yourself through the rigors of college academics, going to classes, studying, being accountable to perform with real curricula (as compared to basket-weaving classes) that IU insists upon? If you think your talent will take you to the NBA at the age of 19 or 20, why go through all that “student stuff” when their are programs that will give you a “wink and a nod” from coaches and administrators that have designed an NBA minor-league program that places no emphasis on academic performance. If you don’t have the smarts, or the mental discipline, or perhaps even the desire to get an education, why would you choose to accept a scholarship to a university that places great emphasis of the balance between academic success and athletic success? The answer is, you would not go to such a school.

    I do not intend this to be, in any way, derogatory to or critical of James Blackmon Jr. or his family (so don’t start saying that I’m attacking him). I have no idea what their philosophy and/or level of interest in education are. But one must consider that given its emphasis on academics, IU basketball may never be the first choice for a lot of young men whose athletic talent and intense focus, and/or their lack of academic aptitude makes them tunnel-visioned on getting to the NBA as fast as possible.

    The question I pose to the subscribers of The Hoosier Scoop is this: Do we want IU basketball to become a Kentucky-like program where academics is a distant after-thought. Or do we want IU athletics to stand for something more than just a pit-stop on a young man’s race into professional sports? Are we willing to sell our collective soul to hang more banners? The answer for me is “absolutely not.”

  27. That’s really wrong….The first moment a kid has a change of heart and may not want to play for Indiana, he is painted as a young man without character and an academic failure desiring basket weaving classes over media arts.

    Tom Crean recruited Devan Dumes..He’s now up for attempted murder. IU does not have the magic filter that defines perfection in human beings….Nor does Tom Crean.

    The young man may be as decent as they come and just simply got turned off by something(or turned more onto something that looked like a greater opportunity). What benefit is there in painting him as looking for the ‘easy’ school? More villain chasing. More labeling.

    How far we’ve fallen when we can’t take pride in our program without continually slandering anyone that made too quick a decision or, heaven forbid, had a change of heart.

    Our coach made choices by heavily recruiting outside the borders once he had the couple years of the “prize” recruit and the “Movement” to appease the natives in the short term. Now we’ll watch to see if the gamble paid off.

  28. When IU’s ‘verbal commitments’ open up their recruiting and IU has no one committed less than 3 months before the Early Signing Period, I don’t think this is a Good Thing or Omen. They could still get all of their 1st choices but this doesn’t look good.

  29. Lots of good comments the past few days. Seems to me he was on the edge of getting married and then decided to test the field. Also maybe after the past summer he thinks he may go NBA in a year or so. So who knows? Maybe he wants to go to Louisville with Lyles, maybe go where Trey Lyle goes, maybe check out Michigan where his friends are going? Regardless if I was CTC I would quit going to his games, etc. If he wants IU he knows where it is. If he had not committed for 3 years and had waited like Cody did then no problem. But to stiff us like this and let us possibly lose others who knew we had a great shooter is bad.

    If I was CTC I would fill up my two slots and if that shuts out JBJR then too bad. Looks like Dad has a lot to do with this. He went to UK and never had much of a career. No he is trying to micro manage Jr.

    I say bye Jr. and onto Robert Johnson and the others. We need someone who wants to be at IU not someone using us.

  30. Harvard, to which post were you referring to when you wrote, “That’s really wrong….”?

  31. You are covering ass(primarily Crean’s holier-than-thou flawless butt cheeks)by insinuating this kid de-committed because he’s not interested in an education.

    The fact that you qualify it with the all too typical speech from the clouds by saying “I don’t know that this is necessarily the case with Blackmon” makes it no less degrading and unfair.

    The sky is not falling gives you comfort in the implication this young man walks on soil not worthy a Hoosier. I’d rather the sky be falling than live on that ugly planet of righteousness where slippery tongues plant dirty seeds of suggestion and condemnation and then cover their judgments with qualifiers that such miiiiiiiight not be the case with this devil of betrayal…It sounds like Salem in 1692…meets an insecure Bruce Weber at a postgame press conference after an EJ bankshot.

  32. Wow… This is not what I expected to come back to. This is very upsetting. I really wanted this kid to be at IU. Oh well.

    As far as you knuckleheads who think this spells doom for IU’s recruiting or that it has something to do with Crean recruiting players from outside the borders, well, you’re knuckleheads. You embarrass yourselves with ridiculous theories and nonsensical conclusions:

    Having 2 NBA lottery picks was actually bad for recruiting… BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

    Top 50 recruits care more about what school gives them the best chance to win a title more than what coach/style will improve their chances for the NBA… BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

    Because Crean recruits players who don’t reside in Indiana, somehow in-state recruits are turned off…. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

    Crean is more “focused” on the mid-Atlantic than Hoosierland… Prove it. There is absolutely no proof to back up that claim. All the proof points to him recruiting and offering the best players in Indiana, and then going out and recruiting the best players that he thinks fit his style and university.

    Do any of you knuckleheads think that if Crean only recruited in-state players that he would get his choice? That Lyles, Lyle, Bluiett, The Blackmons, Gordon, Edwards, and Coleman would all sign? What happens when Indiana can’t provide enough quality big men? It’s amazing how myopic some of you are… It’s disheartening how many Hoosier fans lack perspective. For a fanbase that comes from the Heartland I’m shocked at how little common sense is applied when these situations arise…

    Instead everyone acts butt-hurt and flies off the handle. It’s embarrassing. I’m glad so few other teams’ fans come in here and read your crap. You make us look like a bunch of fools.

  33. Podunker, I think it was pretty clear that Harvard said “…that’s really wrong…” in reference to some posts here (not yours) that throw the feces at Blackmon Jr. for changing his mind or taking back his commitment. If Jr was a kid of good character before, he’s still a kid of good character; if he was a serious student-athlete then, he remains that until proved otherwise as in the case of the Kiel kid from Columbus (later events determined who he was, not the change of mind about the ‘committed’ status. Unloading on JBJr now can only hurt. We- us fans- should act as if we truly believe IU is especially good for Oladipo type kids who want to reproduce his experience).

    Nor, do I believe the father was a Rasputin type who schemed…. We don’t need that (the stupid, immature blabbering that seems to go automatically south with some, not in Hoosier Country. JBSr. did what every father should do, advice and guide his son and, more important, support and protect him in the tough decisions and moments, and keep him out of harm’s way.

  34. Oh, that’s classic. Your TCDS is really becoming a serious problem, Harvard. You are one “special” human being. You make Don Quioxte look reasonable!

    Did you not read this part of my previous post? “I do not intend this to be, in any way, derogatory to or critical of James Blackmon Jr. or his family (so don’t start saying that I’m attacking him). I have no idea what their philosophy and/or level of interest in education are.”

    I went out of my way to make sure that everyone knew that I was NOT “insinuating” anything about James or the Blackman family, and still you attribute the worst possible motives to my comment. I’ll bet your eyes just skimmed right over that or your brain just refused to comprehend it. If it does not support your corrosive narrative that Tom Crean is bad and that all young basketball players are good and innocent victims of his evil manipulation and the establishment, then you are deaf dumb and blind to any other opinion. You are so far over the falls on anything that has to do with IU basketball or Tom Crean, you have become totally irrational and irrelevant.

  35. Geoff, #34 was outstanding. Bravo!

    Tsao, post #33 indicates that Harvard was referring to my post #28. You give him way too much credit. The man has jumped the shark.

    And anyone who does not think IU’s (and other quality universities’) commitment to academic performance, and IU’s insistence that young male and female athletes abide by certain academic standards, is not a factor taken into account by potential recruits, both on the positive and negative side of the equation, is terribly naive or has simply been permeated by political correctness. Of course it’s a factor, it’s a major factor. But I never said people who use that as criteria are bad, dumb, stupid or even wrong. Heck, if I had a son that had the size and skills of LeBron James coming out of High School, I’d being advising him, “Go directly to the NBA, and don’t even think about risking an injury playing college ball.” In fact, I’m the one that has argued on this site that the one and done rule is wrong and maybe even unconstitutional. If you’re an adult, you should be free to pursue making a living in whatever legal career you choose, without any impediment. The one and done rule is wrong on so many levels.

    If academic standards and expectations were not factors in kids deciding which athletic scholarship to accept, than Kentucky basketball would never have a chance to win an NCAA Championship and no young man would have ever gone right from High School to the NBA. Let’s keep it real, folks.

  36. Geoff-

    Wow…Talk about a counter-overreaction when claiming initial overreaction?

    And three “BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!” climaxes in one post…? It appears you’ve caught the L*ffy virus. God bless you. Take two shots of petulance and call Dr. Analman Podunker in the morning.

  37. Hope it is clear that when I wrote #35, I had not seen Harvard’s #33. Why Harvard? It was an honest question by Podunker. I had to look at two posts to figure out the answer to the question he raised. I also think Podunker’s point (in #28) about IU student-athletes is excellent and appropriate. The problem is not with us wanting ‘real’ student athletes; it is with those who want IU to train ‘minor-leaguers’ while covering their costs while they play basketball.

    The NCAA or the B1C should require that every dollar spent on every player drafted before their senior year who makes a roster should be returned to the school (with an interim-performance fee added) for the costs of hosting that player

    Until this is so, counter-productive is our trying to compete for athletes that have no interest in a strong four-year education but make themselves available to prepare until the right offer comes along. We should stay the hell out of that business. It’s not who we are. Yes, occasionally we will get the Isiaiah Tomas, Cody Zeller or Victor Oladipo, but all three showed they not only belonged on the court, they belonged in the classroom as well. Had they stayed, no one would have been surprised. We are surprised when a Kentucky player actually reaches his sophomore year legitimately. We all remember the academic adventures of the Fab 5. As we remember the disaster we, ourselves, created with the Sampson class and our self-delusion that they were student-athletes. Podunker’s view on his points is head-on correct, for the god of Indiana University, its students and for the good of the athletes who do come to IU without understanding they are not on campus as quassi-professional basketball players.

    Devan Dumes is a product of the duplicity of the current system.

    Nevertheless Harvard, argue your point all you want, there’s merit to it. But, there is equal merit to Podunker’s point-of-view about the integrity of preserving our scholar-athlete concept as is, and he shouldn’t be attacked for it. There’s a million reasons to be proud of Indiana over and beyond our great basketball tradition. Many of us feel the same way. (Wasn’t that exactly the reason why we like having kids like Roth in candy stripes).

  38. That academic stuff is a bunch of BS..Why do you think we put 40% of the bench on scholarship that never see the floor(or average 2 minutes per game over their entire 4 year career)? If the starting five average a low C, then you simply bring in a few brainy bench warmers from Carmel to raise the overall API numbers.

    Devan Dumes is up for attempted murder. Tom Crean is the only coach at IU to have ever recruited a murder suspect.

    But hey…Let’s go all Salem and lynch a kid from Broad Ripple for his C-. He simply doesn’t belong..

    You know exactly what you were doing with all your seed planting. Qualifiers don’t make it kosher. It’s sick and wrong. And if it turns out that it is about “academics,” it’s still sick and wrong.

    Simply because you believe Harvard has no valid grounds for his viewpoints regarding Crean should open the door for unfair innuendo regarding this young man? I am the enemy of your contempt…not James Blackmon.

  39. And simply because you contact(go through recruiting motions)with a kid from Indiana first, doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t show a different, or more enthusiastic and sincere, effort in the next guy from outside the borders that you had more of your heart in recruiting in the first place.

    Crean is a clever man. He’ll appease the natives with card tricks before showing his real hand. I tend to think some kids are beginning to see behind the cape. They want a coach they can trust to have their backs even when the fans may think the sky is falling again.

  40. Geoff…you’ve got to stop sniffing so much around your kid’s diapers. It’s normal for him to do what two months olds do, but not for you to take deep breaths. It’s making you completely hyper and overreactive.

    Take a rest, get some sleep (ask your wife to help with the baby) and calm down. The arguments, as such, are fine. Particularly, read Harvard’s points on the impact of moving away from the single-class tournament…there are some very valid reason to suggest that losing the all against all nature of the IHSAA’s single class tournament may have damaged the culture that gave us Milan vs. Muncie Central as a hosting environment for Hoosier players that encouraged player quality development(i.e. Larry Bird).

  41. This isn’t just about Blackmon…We also had changes of heart from Remy and Mo. A lack of trust can build when kids already wearing a uniform for Utopia U. seem suddenly not so sold on the speeches and the locker rooms we presumably pray…Maybe Mr. Blackmon and other recruits from nearby simply see how little they’re missed; these young men once so important we now piss their big back-breaking shots at Purdue or NCAA tournament heroics against a VCU as if it were never a mattering day….There’s always something better and more divine this Hoosier day as the blood our victories quietly drift, drift away. Why at Utopia U. do they not want to stay? Why Remy…and Mo…and Patterson…and Roth…and Blackmon drift in the wanting of more from our hearts? And Vic and Cody? Why does a banner seem so distant to all their talent we would die to cheer another year? Drift..Drift…Drift….These are not bad lads that drift from our mighty ship for they are decent to the core and believed their captain was as proven the sea.

  42. You really are nuts Harvard, unhealthy nuts. Academics is not a bunch of ‘stuff’. That’s what universities are about, and requiring students (who happen to be athletes) meet the standards is a idea that suggest equity.

    Don’t give me your sanctimonious Broad Ripple crap either. BR was our ‘rich’ kid further north neighbors/cousins we city kids enjoyed beating (when we could). What would you know about city kids, raised in the pastoral northwest Indiana while weaving your fantasies of what a city like Chicago is like.

    Or would it be that your own experience with ‘academics’ and ‘academic standards’ color your take on a legitimate educational institution that actually measures performance as a standard.

    (Wow…that’s some impact Geoff’s return has on you! Does he really turn your world over like this? No wonder, you are on his pre-season schedule, …a version of East Montauk Point State U.- Fire Island campus).

  43. Tsao-


    Openly put a Remy and Mo in the discard pile for two hearts from a Gordon family…? Should we really be surprised when young men lose confidence in our hand? It’s dog eat dog. Recruiting is like a Michael Vick party in the Virgina woods. If you don’t love the dogs with kindness loyalty, don’t expect one bigger and meaner is not going to bite you back in the ass one day.

  44. Tsao-

    Call me a cynic, but it’s not about academics anymore. There are no Steve Green starters staying to become dentists…It’s about an NBA payday. It’s all a charades. The only kids on the bench that will ever need their “academics” are the kids that are expendable and garner the least attention. I’m supposed to wet myself over the few that somehow balance the demands of growing schedules with books to speed read their way through a couple years something resembling a degree when the true pot of gold in their eyes is the obscene money waiting on draft night?

    Hate to burst your bubble, Tsao. You can bring them to the alter as pure and white all you like, but it’s the whore of money and NBA fame that’s the new bride this game. Primary focus on banners and books has been dust in the wind for many years…Banners are a result of the hoarding of top talent far more than the desires and humble efforts of those that stay loyal to school and team to eventually play for the meaningless cloth.

  45. Tsao, you get on my nerves sometimes with your whimsical, idealistic conservatism, but man, I gotta give it to you…. some times you bring down the hammer better than anyone (post #44). Nice one!

  46. Harvard, I won’t call you a cynic. I won’t even call you irrational. That does not even come close to describing your condition. You surpassed cynicism a long time ago and sped right past irrational. At least when it comes to the subject of Tom Crean, you are deranged.

    Life is short. You should try to let it go before it consumes you. On second thought, maybe it already has.

  47. Actually I’m pretty calm Tsao. Just embarrassed by the responses in here. When i type in “bwa” BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA auto-populates… I was just to lazy to not go with it.

    Harvard is, per usual, jumping to all kinds of ridiculous conclusions… And bringing in valid points about single-class tournaments has nothing to do with this topic, so it doesn’t validate any of the other stupidity he spouts.

    Mo and Remy have nothing to do with Gordon. It’s all an Alice in Wonderland concoction in Harvard’s head. Kids transfer out of every school and away from every coach. Duke has transfers… UK has transfers…. MSU has transfers… Harvard’s beloved Majerus had transfers… Shut up already with your ridiculous conspiracies and unfounded accusations. And don’t even think of using the phrase “witch hunt” unless you are having a moment of self-reflection.

    Post #41 is one of the most unfounded, unproven, factless, string of words to grace this place.

    But there were a lot of ridiculous posts that didn’t being to Harvard as well.

  48. Geoff, as usual, right on target. You might need to type slower for those who can’t seem to follow. They have issues.

    Harvard, so CTC made a mistake in recruiting because, at a later point in life, a player was charged with a crime? Didn’t we suffer the embarrassment of seeing one of Bobby K’s former players arrested and hauled away from the press table by the police not too long ago? Was John McKay to blame for OJ? How about Bible Bill McCartney and Ray Carruth, who murdered his pregnant wife? I can keep going forever.

    There’s no connection, Dude.

  49. The class will be fine. It will fill up. I’m not worried about getting desperate, and offering amything that walks. I’m not a fan of offering middle school kids. Just wrong, and creepy to be honest. Hopefully it’s a lesson learned.

    Harvard, Dumes was just a bad apple. It happens. Sometimes you can pick the best apples at the grocery, but who is to say the apple you picked wasn’t bruised earlier by the produce man? The man has issues. People are good about masking life issues.

  50. Mariner-

    Temptation resisted is the measure of true character. I saw nothing of resistance in your cheap remark nor in the cheap innuendo and carefully crafted insinuations aimed at James Blackmon. Does it surprise me? No. Playing for banners is a much more difficult quest in Bloomington these days…Judgment and slander have always been the easier game to find followers rather than leaders.

    I would argue those that cling to a belief Indiana is as flawless and pure as Tsao with his own reflected image of perfection are far more consumed with holding Crean and candy-stripes beyond anything securely held in the confidences and freedoms of true love.

    So..so..afraid your Indiana is not loved. Does the hostility and persecution of those that can love Indiana with honesty her imperfections well up because it helps hide the fear in a heart you cannot love her the same? That’s all I see in the painting of innuendo that Indiana is somehow “better” than a young man that changed his mind.

    Witch hunts and slander and continually boasting that we live by higher standards than our neighbors does not speak to my conscience a true love of anything. And if we as fans continue to follow the tongues that judge and prejudge, we will attract and become something far uglier within than the unattainable image at the door.

  51. Then why the continual witch hunt and slander, by you, of Tom Crean?

    …it absolutely speaks to you Harvard. Those things are your daily bread.

  52. Harvard, if temptation resisted is the measure of true character, then your character must look like this, because you gave in to temptation so long ago that as Adam bit the apple, he thought to himself “Please God save me from being a Harvard.”

    I care absolutely zilch about James Blackmon, by the way. (Who is he, anyway? A character from the Brady Bunch?) Current Hoosiers are all that float my boat; recruiting stories are simply soap operas for men.

  53. So, since there is zero official about ‘offering’ to an 8th grader anyway, what exactly does it consist of? Little Walter (aka Dr. W) rings up 40 in an under 14 league game and Coach Steve says, “Great game, Wally. We’d love to see you in the yellow and blue someday.”

    So, little Walter tweets, “UCLA just made me an offer.”

    Is that pretty close?

  54. Watching the Liitle League World Series. The pitcher for Grosse Point, MI is 12 years old, stands 6″2, and sports a size 15 shoe. Word on the street is that Tom Crean just offered him a scholarship for 2019.

  55. I heard Calapari bought him 200 pairs of those size 15’s. But then Oregon found out and Phil Knight made sure none of the shoes matched.

  56. Harvard takes a hit from Steve in Ottawa’s pent-up temptations

    Don’t care about Hoosier recruits but you’ll spend four months constructing a fantasy NFL football team? Yeah, right. You sure cared about Terrence Jones before he got in a Kentucky uniform.

    Kids of natural instincts(not always the highest on the academic scales)are seeing the absence of loyalty and many are getting a bad feeling in the gut. Two great young men like Remy and Mo leaving early speaks far louder in whispers than anything Crean can tweet out to the Universe.

    He’s putting it on the Pipeline…Let’s pray it works out.

  57. Harvard, your #53…(not trying to be a smart ass), I have absolutely no idea of what your are trying to say anyplace within that post. Am honestly asking you to rewrite it in English so the thought can be followed,… please?

  58. Tsao-

    When we show zero resistance to the temptation to not give kids the benefit of the doubt(or plant insinuative comments that there’s even a possibility it could be an academic issue without knowing any of the facts) simply because our often overzealous and overinflated egos are hurt, I don’t think it speaks of an endearing love for the Indiana Hoosiers. It speaks of desiring such flawlessness in our image that it can push young men away more than invite. A pride becomes so artificially thick that some may fear it will exceed any sense of loyalty or feeling of home. The image supersedes the appreciation for those that make it possible(past, present, and future).

    We immediately choose to blame(or insinuate)the recruit not choosing Indiana as inwardly flawed rather than give to any thought or full examination what Indiana could be possibly projecting outward.

    Hope that helps. Or, maybe this Oscar Wilde quote would help:

    “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”
    ― Oscar Wilde

  59. Harv, I’ll reiterate what many others have pointed out already– Po was NOT singling anybody out or insinuating anything about Blackmon specifically. And I think he’s absolutely right– some kids will not take a hard look at IU simply because they know they’ll have to put in as much work in the classroom as the gym. If you really don’t believe there are recruits out there who are only interested in biding their time until they’re draft eligible and will attend just enough classes to keep them eligible on the court, you’re fooling yourself. Believing in the inherent goodness of a recruit is one thing, but unwillingness and/or inability to acknowledge that there are players out there who would prove us wrong and betray that belief is either foolish or naive. Or both.

  60. HfH-Good quote, though your clarification was sufficient. If the kid’s grades and/or academic drive are being used to rationalize his change of heart- or better yet, his wanting the opportunity to explore all his options, then it’s shame on the adults (coaches, fans, etc) that put him in that situation (even the IU ones). Recruiting gets more rancid every day and its tactics may belong in the same category as human trafficking. Personally, I’d like to see IU push legislation through the NCAA that make commitments to NCAA member schools by high school kids illegal before the age they can legally sign enforceable legal contracts. And, I would make contacts by coaches before they finish their sophomore year of high school (measured by their credits towards graduation), a level 1 violation

    That entire issue needs complete reform. Can you imagine the pressure on these kids when they are having to answer their telephones, e-contacts and personal visits? It’s hard for me to understand how universities and colleges who constantly pay homage to their cultural ‘role’ and ‘social responsibility’ can accept being a part of the corrupting cesspool that is recruiting.

    On your other point, we disagree. I believe these student-athletes have to answer to the same standards as all other students and if they do not meet them they should get no consideration beyond what any other student gets. You maybe right that the driving force may be that major college sports has become an industry in and of itself. Its mind-boggling that the NCAA can get away with it and continue to advocate ‘scholarships’ are fair remuneration.

    But, that makes it even more imperative that we deal with legitimate ‘students’. I actually see a huge contradiction between your advocating in issues involving fairness and equality and your posture that ‘these poor ‘victimized, exploited’ athletes like Patterson, the one and dones, and others who fail to take advantage of their opportunities deserve any further ‘break’. Truthfully, their ‘equity’ should be no greater than any one else’s. How do you explain it to the other Broad Ripple kids who applied to Indiana but had the misfortune of being 5′ 6″ tall and clumsy and still had better grades than Patterson but had no remedy for not meeting IU’s admission standards?

    If, indeed, you defend the ‘specialness’ of the basketball prospect , then I would have to believe you place emphasis on the “Mr Beau Jangles” entertainment value and, truthfully, I don’t think it reflects who you say (and I believe) you are.

    While on the subject, has anyone done a survey or kept count of the number of men’s basketball scholarships we (IU) have offered to members of the incoming 2014, 2015 and 2016? Seems to me that the totals may be greater than the Census for the Middle Atlantic states (exaggerating, but you get my point…does the number equal the number of scholarships available?) You seem more motivated on that issue (translate: I don’t feel like doing the counting) than I am, so you may.

    (See the Cubs tourniquet the Cardinals tonight? We just finished sweeping them 3-4 weeks ago and could easily do it again tomorrow. If it happens, look for Andy Graham to start looking for the rusty top to an old, thrown-away soup can to shave with).

  61. Harvard – what does this say about Majerus?

    Of the 80 recruits Majerus signed with the Utes, only 33 survived to play as seniors. Nearly 59% of them transferred or otherwise left early, most unable or unwilling to meet Majerus’s exacting standards or endure his mercurial, sometimes crude, even cruel behavior. And some who stayed considered bolting too. By Christmas of his freshman year, 1996, Mottola had scribbled himself this note: This is beyond what I can handle. For the next three years his stomach lurched each time he saw Majerus step onto the court

    That was from a 2008 SI article.

    Who else besides Majerus do you consider in your pantheon? No longer Brad Stevens… But lets say he didn’t jump ship… What does it say that Chris Harrison-Docks transferred away from Stevens and Butler? When Stevens dismisses Chrishawn Hopkins because he doesn’t live up to the university’s standards, forcing the kid to transfer, is he railroading a kid, is it a witch hunt, or is it ok because you like(d) Brad Stevens? What does it say about Izzo when Sherman, Kearney, or Lucius transfer, or when Taylor King, Elliot Williams, or Billy McCaffrey transfer away from Coach K? (Whether you like them or not they are perhaps the two most universally respected coaches in college basketball).

    Honest to god Harvard, you just say some of the stupidest sh!t.

  62. Harvard – the fact that you have the balls to write this sentence:

    “or plant insinuative comments that there’s even a possibility it could be an… … issue without knowing any of the facts”

    …about another blogger shows beyond a shadow of a doubt your total lack of self-awareness, perspective, and intelligence.

    This goes beyond the pot calling the kettle black… It’s more like Hitler calling Biff, from Back To The Future, a cruel bully and horrible person.

  63. Just read an interesting article (also from the Louisville Courier-Journal) about Quentin Snider, a local Louisville product, 2014 point guard, and top 30 recruit who just decommitted from his beloved Cardinals. (IU is reportedly pursuing him but haven’t offered yet.) He also committed to L’Ville before their run of Final Fous and this year’s NC, and re-opened his recruitment– at least in part due to a crowded backcourt with UL’s resurgence as an elite program.

    Now UL fans are turning negative on him, questioning his commitment, saying that he’s afraid of competition, et cetera. Sound familiar? The most interesting part of the article, however, was this:

    “According to a Sports Illustrated study of the top 100 prospects in each class from 2007 to 2011, 47.8 percent of those who committed three or more years before their freshman season later decommitted.”

    For those non-math majors, that’s roughly 1 in 2. So thanks to those of you who’ve kept a cool head and were able to look at the Blackmon situation reasonably. These are young, young teenagers when they commit so early, and to treat them as any different when they gain some maturity and later realize they may have made a young, young teenager decision is unfair. Snider and Blackmon are not villains or traitors. They are young men who took a step back and said “hey, maybe I made a rash decision when I was younger and it’s time to re-evaluate.”

    I just wonder how IU fans would look at them should they both end up in candy stripes…

  64. Punjab meet perspective… Perspective, Punjab… Just kidding. You always bring it. Excellent point.

    I will be a fan of both if they are Hoosiers. I’ll probably be a fan of Blackmon regardless. I love his game.

  65. Excellent points, Tsau. Recruiting is a dirty business, and imagine what it’s like for the recruits– at least the ones who dont relish the attention and self-validation– who want to get the process over with early, but then realize they may have made a mistake in doing so. Having to re-open the floodgates (or perhaps more appropriately, the sewer gates) of recruiting has to be nauseating to some.

  66. There are also 1001 other reasons Blackmon may have reopened his recruiting completely outside the academic realm of his decision process.

    Cody Zeller was a marquee recruit. Maybe some of these very early commits expected more of the same to follow on his heels.

    There’s also the obvious Kentucky connection…Sometimes a young man may be torn to follow in his father’s footsteps and play for the same school dad talks old memories at the dinner table. Shawn May wanted a different experience than Scott May..Did NC offer a stronger academic experience than IU? Did they offer a coach more to his liking? Maybe Blackmon Jr. has struggled with many of the same issues..Maybe he also struggles with feelings of what would make his father most proud. We can belittle the kid and call Kentucky’s program a “bait and tackle shop” run by a coach we believe to be another one of those “cancers” on the college game, but I’m not able to hate on the kid if he’s changed his mind and now wants to play for his dad’s alma mater.

    And I realize how most know I’m not fond of the trend from our new basketball leader that usually involves never letting go of scandalous history or talking from a higher heaven than everyone else lives. If it works for all of you(including discussions of IU academic standards propped up to be unparalleled to any other school in the conference/Midwest), that’s just fine. But it should not be totally disregarded that the ‘wallpaper’ begins to close in on some of these young men and zaps the entire idea of a fun experience their college years(though exceedingly short some with NBA potential may result).

    In the ideal, academics should be a primary driving force going into the decision process. But let’s not kid ourselves that many kids may also want to play for Tom Crean for reasons outside of academics just as much as a kid that wants to play for John Calipari, keep a dad’s school’s name at the family dinner table, or choose something of equal quality to IU that brings an exciting and new experience at a faraway and foreign environment.

    Does it always have to be…

    1. He’s not worthy of our rigorous expectations

    2. He’s lazy and blew his opportunity

    3. He’s a disloyal traitor

    4. If he’s not in love with the Indiana being projected under Tom Crean, it must be because there is some skeletons(the implication usually meaning academics) in his closets we are unaware.

    5. He simply wants a program where he can jump to the NBA in one or two years(which I find completely ironic because most voices on here claim we cannot have any real shot at banners without some players that will face heavy interest from NBA scouts immediately).

    Is Indiana really so different? Is Tom Crean such a marquee coach that if all else is relatively equal, it’s a no-brainer for a recruit juggling many strong programs in our backyard?

    At the end of the day, I want kids that take school seriously and want to play for banners. I would also love to see a few kids that put the guys on the bench before the whores calling with the suitcases of money from the NBA. I would also like us to project an Indiana more secure and dignified over labeling and villain-chasing. I get thoroughly sick of the excessive propaganda that is constantly tied into the posturing of our school as pure and untouchable. I’m not anti-faith…I’m anti-highfalutin nonsense that preaches to world we are better than the next school playing be the rules simply because we repeat it enough or prop symbols in front of our door that no one can take argument or opposition.

  67. oops..

    I’m anti-highfalutin nonsense that preaches to [the] world we are better than the next school playing [by] the [same] rules simply because we repeat it enough or prop symbols in front of our door that no one can take argument, [dissent], or opposition.

    And if you think I’m not worthy of being a Hoosier fan by expressing such feelings, then so be it. Arrogance and unbridled conceit for Indiana have never gone hand-in-hand in fantasy land of what I want and believe a Hoosier. I want a team that doesn’t flaunt the fact they know they’re tougher, meaner, more skilled, more spiritual, more gutsy, more humble, and more proud of their colors. I desire our superiority on the basketball court to not be expressed on twitter pages, blogs, spit on a microphone, pulpits, confessionals, or podiums. I simply desire it to be expressed in the dignified shellackings of the opponent with a quiet handshake after the train they never got the number that just hit them…

    That’s when I’ll be at peace and wholly proud of Indiana again. That’s where I’ll find our Hoosier redemption and I’ll forever dream it’s the road of truth that will lead back to banner ceremonies.

  68. I’m also anti-highfalutin nonsense…

    When a kid transfers/de-commits/fails out does it always have to be:

    1) Crean is annoying them with his schtick

    2) they were pushed out by Crean because it was the lessor of # evils

    3) Crean re-tweets Joyce Meyer too much

    4) the faculty is simply a corrupt puppet for Crean’s wishes

    5) they must have felt neglected because Crean also recruits kids from the East Coast

    Here’s the difference between our lists… Your list describes a fairly common (albeit embarrassing) reaction to being spurned – talk crap about the spurner – while what I list suggests a mental illness based on a fixation of an individual and a propensity towards paranoia. (Insert comment about why I’m fixated on Harvard and his ridiculous comments. Answer = busted, no defense).

  69. So let me get this straight, just for the record…

    When you discuss topics that aren’t glowing in favor of IU/Crean/team it’s because your anti-highfalutin.

    But when I take a non-positive stance on a player/tactic/outcome I am an arrogant Establishment non-Hoosier…

    Good to know.

    Do you ever say anything that isn’t in total and complete contradiction to how you act?

  70. The thoughts are nonsense, but the writing is so, oh, too sexy for my shirt. It’s o.k to be fixated. Whatever gets your banners up.

    And don’t for a minute believe I’m no less arrogant. My nonsense is of no lesser value than a lazy city boy that’s taken one too many elevator rides to the top floor his mighty stature or a down-to-earth statistician wannabe college baller that fantasizes over what could have been himself in NBA shorts as he’s dragged weekly in the minivan to Babies ‘R’ Us with lobster meat stuck between his molars.

  71. Easy there, Geoff. I thought Harv’s #72 and 73 were fair, well-written pieces. You can tell when he’s firing from the hip for effect, and when he dials it down and speaks more from the heart. Lumping all of his posts into one contradictory series of rants and mentally-ill excrement is unfair at best, and abusive at worst. At the very least, it doesn’t rightfully capture the essence of Harv.

    By the way, I must warn you: I’m susceptible to flattery…

  72. Geoff-

    Life is a contradiction. VJ SUCKS!! Then again, he wasn’t from Indiana.

  73. Punjab, you’re right. I actually thought “what the hell is going on? Harvard sounds like a normal person”, but when he used the catch-phrase ‘anti-highfalutin’ I just couldn’t control myself…

    My bad.

  74. It’s also why every 100th post is “he may be Harvard, but he’s my Harvard” and then I invite him to lunch…

  75. “Mr Beau Jangles”????? Is that a New Orleans bistro?

    I assume you’re referring to Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, aka “Mr. Bojangles”. On a side note, Jerry Jeff Walker claims he was referring to a different “Mr. Bojangles” in his song, a simple street performer.

  76. This one hurt! It was a perfect fit and James commitment seemed to be firm. Only idiots will believe that recruiting outside of the state “hurt” James recruitment. The two things that separate IU from other top programs are 1)the opportunity to become legends in Hoosier Basketball lore (Cody Zeller-Yes, Deshaun Thomas-No), and the focus on the degree and preparing yourself for the off-court business of your life (Victor Oladipo, Steve Downing-Yes, Shaun May, Luke Rucker-NO). To become great at IU you must have untapped athletic potential to develop and a thirst for hard work in the classroom. James apparently has neither. No one improves at KY, they just get showcased effectively!

  77. ^There’s the slander I was looking for spinning off the innuendo web.

    Obviously, it was just to incite….but slander nonetheless.

  78. Punjab’s #69 undoes the entire mountain range of Harvard’s stale and tiresome buffoonery. The premise behind the Punjab comment is a good one: Every time TCDS sufferers like Harvard try to point out what they feel to be singular ineptness of a coach or a particular situation to have befallen IU sports, there are at least a dozen, if not more, comparable examples around the country including amongst the national champions.

    This is where TCDS sufferers bring out their cure-all substitute for an argument: “Oh, but that’s different. Our situation is totally unique. No university in the world has ever had this happen to them! We must have the worst coach on the planet!”

  79. @ TsaoTsuG (and any of the other “close the border” types)

    First off, folks from the Region are not IU fans at the same percentage as the rest of the state. We are an autonomous colony more alligned with Chicago. Players from the Region as a rule, haven’t gone to IU since the 60’s. I can think of 2 players that have gone to Bloomington since then… Delray Brooks and Matt Nover. Did IU get Trgovich, Bridgeman, Fleming, Branch, Magley, Palombizio, neither Harden, McCallister, Skiles, Kemp, Robinson, Drew, Moore & Hummell. That’s a 30 second list of all-star/Mr. Basketball/All Americans from Chicago to South Bend that Indiana didn’t get. Purdue basketball is more popular here and ND gives IU a run when they are good, though many like me, can watch both the Irish and the Hoosiers.

    Secondly, I agree that its hard to watch very talented Indiana players leave Indiana to play college basketball. BUT What Indiana player led the 76 & 81 teams to the Championship…. May and Thomas? In ’87, though it was Alford’s team… the other 4 starters were from Illinois, California, California and Louisiana.
    Well at least we have NBA Hall of Famer Walt Bellamy even though he didn’t win a…. oh, he’s from Noth Carolina, sorry.
    Bottom line: IU has been most sucessful with other states players.

    Understand that Indiana High School Basketball is not a part of IU basketball. They have no connection except in the romantic minds of older Indiana residents. As I said ealier, IU’s past success was accomplished without the best from Indiana. Fact: The 75 & 76 Hoosiers went 60 something and ONE even though one of the TOP FIVE players EVER to play the game and Indiana native, Larry Bird left Bloomington! Its OK to have pride in our high school heritage… yes, we are still the best basketball state in the country (Indiana has 4 in the top 40 this year)… especially when you consider the state’s population.

    Lastly, its a wonder Blackmon Jr ever considered Indiana with a Dad who was IU’s second choice in ’83 so he left for Kentucky and he played at Fort Wayne Luers who produced Indiana basketball’s all time defector, DeSeaun Thomas… ok, maybe #2 after Eric Montross. Don’t expect Marion to change his mind, except for IU’s Edwards and Jones in ’87, Mr. Basketball Dave Colscott chose North Carolina, All Star Joe Price chose Notre Dame and All American Zach Randolph went to Mcihigan State.

    IU fans need to take on the same attitudes as Kansas, UK and Duke. Just win with whoever wants to wear the candystripes…and I’m sure, Ohio native and Ohio State grad Robert Knight would agree.

  80. I can think of 2 players that have gone to Bloomington since then… Delray Brooks and Matt Nover

    How could he forget the man that told those Sampson thugs to practice or go packing? How could he forget the humble quiet voice that is a close friend to the Zeller family..? How could we forget the Hoosier that could stop the best offensive player to have ever stepped on the maple?

    There is no monetary value that could ever be put on what Dan Dakich(a Hoosier from where?) has done(and continues to do through ESPN and radio..and the multitude of connections his influence)for IU Basketball.

    You should be forced to be locked in his radio booth as he pummels you harder than what he gave to MJ.


    Don’t ever claim again that IU has a closet community that written off recruiting the northwest/northern sectors of our great basketball state. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Makes tremendous sense as we watch McGary and Albrecht play in a championship game…

    Just listen to that blow. The bag of wind even forgot the best “sub” in the history of IU basketball..Not Sheehey…The one with a Final Four to his name..Duh…What’s his handle? “Super-Scrub?”

    Richie (Rich) Valavicius…? Hammond? Another kid that played in a Final Four…Damn. Those NW Indiana kids(no matter the school) just somehow find a way to get into Championships and Final Fours.

    How one earth could you forget Dan Dakich? Where is this program today without Dan Dakich. The man likely did more than Crean in bringing in Cody. He is our national voice on ESPN…There is not a man more proud of the Indiana Hoosiers.

  81. Don’t ever claim again that IU [does not have] a closet community that [has] written off recruiting the northwest/northern sectors …

  82. And about percentages….? There are a lot of hicks and mill rats that cheer for Purdue from what you’ve labeled as “The Regiion”…But when has quantity ever hand anything to do with quality?

    There are many niches of passionate and highly sophisticated IU tastes from Northtwest Indiana that would spit in your face based on your rancorous insinuations and claims.

    Take your blow back to your Purdue board.

  83. Dakich and Seth Greenberg were filling in for somebody on ESPN and Dakich was noting that his coaching credentials and Greenberg’s were about the same.

    If there’s one thing consistent about Dakich it is the fact that anything he’s actually done in life has a multiplier attached to it when he recalls it.

  84. RT1, you make some great points, but I have to take issue with one thing: no list of all-time defectors is complete without Sean May. A Bloomington native and McD’s All-American who’s dad is IU royalty, brother was already playing for IU, as was his good friend and high school teammate Jared Jeffries. If anybody should’ve been destined for the candy stripes, he was the one. Then that fateful call from some UNC alum named Michael…

  85. Chet, yeah…I was referring to that Mr Bojangles (and mispelling it)-(Robinson), thus my reference to ‘the entertainment value’

    “I knew a man Bojangles and he’d dance for you / In worn out shoes / With silver hair, a ragged shirt, and baggy pants / The old soft shoe / He jumped so high, … ”

    Didn’t know Walker’s interpretation was of a different Bojangles. Either way, beautiful (and sad) lyrics.

  86. Bottom line: IU has been most sucessful with other states players.

    That’s also a line of crap..Most successful? No you don’t. Knight likely doesn’t successfully recruit some of those other top players in neighboring states without Steve Downing(Indianapolis Washington H.S.) putting the Hoosiers on his back in ’73 and catapulting Knight into the national spotlight against mighty Wooden and Walton.

    May was a great player coming in on the heels of Bobby’s first Final Four run, but I do believe a force in the middle was also instrumental to the success of the ’73 through ’76 teams…A guy named Kent Benson maybe? Wasn’t he from New Castle, Indiana? Steve Green and Tom Abernathy? Indiana? John Ritter? Landon Turner? Ray Tolbert?…Calbert Cheaney?

    Out of all the Knight teams, ’87 was more the exception in terms of being the thinnest on Indiana kids(of course, Alford was the team captain and Big 10 Player of the Year).

  87. I spent a lot of time in South Bend during college. I don’t know if they are even aware there is another university in Indiana other than Notre Dame. The only two schools they ever mention up there is Notre Dame and whoever is playing Notre Dame.

  88. I spent 30 years of my life 55 miles west of South Bend. It was nothing but IU t-shirts sported during the summer amongst my family and friends…But you do have to keep in mind that IU was considered a place to escape the confines of a rather conservative small town style of life…

    We(meaning most of my friends and family)considered Indiana University the place to get the most varied life experiences. Out of the Indiana schools, it was the greatest distance from home while still being affordable and brought to the soul a sense of freedom to truly be putting some space(albeit still only a 3½ hour drive)between the nest egg.

    I don’t think IU has the same liberal image it had three or four decades ago(and that just doesn’t mean freewheeling party school, sex, and drugs). I think Indiana U. draws a far more conservative sect of the Indiana population than back in the days of our childhood, Chet. When you’re young, you’re often wanting to break away…For us(my household), IU made us hopeful and gave us a sense of staying young in our hearts. The other institutions of the state always felt restrictive and extensions of the high school experience.

    I didn’t have tons of friends…My circles were small. We weren’t from “The Region”..We were from Northwest Indiana and considered our territorial designation as an extension of being proud to have ‘Indiana’ in such description. Why would I want to refer to myself as being from anywhere ambiguous to being a Hoosier? We thought Merrillville was a soulless urban sprawl of strip malls. Maybe IT was a region…A region of no identity….A region of suburban vagabonds looking for lower cost of living. No roots in the land. I digress. But, yes, Dakich has “Region” written all over is obnoxious, classless, gypsy butt.

    We(meaning those tucked in this strange pocket of sophisticated elitists tucked between Burns Harbor to Michigan City and all the beautiful shoreline communities) thought South Bend and Lafayette were lost two decades behind the current day. In the late seventies they were just falling in love with Elton John….IU students were listening to Deep Purple, Zepelin, Bad Company, and The Eagles. We wanted the IU experience over “Cement City,” “Testicle Tech,” or the “Mini Vatican” with that obnoxious dome contingent where inhabitants believe painting yourself in god and gold makes you superior.

    I hope IU never loses being ahead the rest the state schools in the cultural race…For years we were heading into turn three while they were barely leaving the starting blocks…But conservatism and pious behvior have found Bloomington(much of it probably explained by the never-ending historic trend of populations moving northward).. Maybe it somewhat explains why Chesterton kids that can play a marvelous game of hoops and some of the few remaining in Indy not swallowed by culture in reverse that’s been coming up from the streams of Tennessee the last quarter century find Michigan more attractive than even those “other” schools in Indiana we once considered to be about as exciting and liberating as a life in “The Region.”

    So, if I’m to be totally honest…Yeah, Dan Dakich is probably the “The Region” coming home to Bloomington(mouth, boring, gypsy, pious, culture(less), a-hole).

    Any other questions, Chet?

  89. You know more about the area than I do. I had a girlfriend from there for a few years and traveled there a lot. That’s the total of my South Bend experience

    I feel the same about Dakich. He’s pinned his whole life on a basketball game he scored four points in and 15 minutes as IU’s coach. I’d hate to rely on such a shaky resume’ and even fewer actual skills. But he got into the talking heads loop, which seems to be like NFL head coaches, once you’re there, you’re there forever. Maybe we’ll luck out and he’ll be assigned to the Mountain Northwestern Valley State Conference gig.

    In my day Purdue was where all the conservative, stick-in-their-butt though their dookey doesn’t stink frat boys went (if they didn’t go full tilt a$$wipe and end up in Greencastle). Sure, there were some at Bloomington but they were the aberration (and fenced off onto North Jordan and parts of Third Street) while in Waste Laff-a-lot they were the norm. Young people in Bloomington had jobs and wanted to learn about, and improve, the world. The ones at Purdue just hoped it never changed and Daddy’s checks kept coming. Of course, I’d have never fit in at Purdue for any number of reasons not that it’s the type of place I’d ever want to fit in.

    Although my wife is originally from Tennessee, it is the cultural stagnation that will keep her from ever doing more than pass through on her way to Colorado or some other place that has found its way to the 21st Century.

  90. I didn’t much care for South Bend. I was 40 miles from Fort Wayne and 40 miles from South Bend. I’ll take Ft. Wayne anyday. Though I did always go to South Bend to see some South Bend Silverhawk games. (Minor League Baseball). I never did make to the College Football Hall Of Fame.

  91. Lots to speculate about. When I think about my own maturity-level in 8th grade or what I knew about the real world at that point in my life, I wouldn’t rest on those laurels as a senior in H.S. either. Creans strong suit is his commitment and loyalty to developing players, and his energy and enthusiasm for his program. His weakness is in some of his decisions in-game and preparing for certain opponents. His 0-11 or is it 12 now record against Wisconsin and his 0-5 record against Boeheim are a glaring weakness that become problematic in one and done winner-take-all tournaments where polished defenses give their teams a distinct advantage.

    Lot of pressure on kids these days, with all the attention and high stakes in college sports. Kids consider their potential NBA futures, I presume they consider the system and the adaptability of the coach. Crean isn’t perfect, there are red flags associated with him too I’ll say that…Hard to fault anyone really here it is what it is, recruiting is an exhausting never-ending battle and the kid is just 18 years old.

  92. @ Harvard…

    Why argue Harvard? You can’t disprove a thing I said, You can wax poetic with a myopic view of the Region’s love for IU but you are being dishonest. It is not the same as the rest of the state. Its not close. If it was, you would be a Colts & Pacers fan. IU shares the Region with Purdue and Notre Dame on a fan basis. What i don’t understand is how growing up in Dune Acres or Beverly Shores made you believe otherwise(?)

    Your age does tell a story though as IU was on top of the world in 75-76 when you graduated high school and it sounds as if you’re a grad. If you don’t mind me asking… did you graduate from Chesterton or Rogers? (I’m assuming you didn’t go to Marquette)

    Yes, I forgot Dakich which is funny being I was born in Gary. I forgot Abernethy and Laskowski too for that matter. But i also left off Winston Garland, Keith Gailes & Charles Macon.

    I think my view of the Region is as good as you could ask for. I was born in Gary and lived in City and Valpo. I was around all the recruiting from Palombizio to Nover both of which played on my summer league team.

    I’ll stick with my story. At least we probably agree that XRT is the greatest radio station of all time.


  93. @ Punjab…

    I have Sean May in my Top 5. He makes it because of who his Father is but he didn’t cost the Hoosiers a title. Wasn’t he still in high school for the ’02 run?

    Having DeShaun Thomas on last years team makes the Hoosiers that much better but to be honest, they probably lose to Syracuse even with him.

    Eric Montross… They win the title, maybe 2. No question.

    The other players are Conley and Oden.


  94. At least we probably agree that XRT is the greatest radio station of all time.

    No disagreement. Indy radio is inexcusably horrible. Nothing but pop…Nothing but the same top-five on the pop charts over and over….and over…and over. Would you like to hear some more Maroon 5? Folk? How ’bout some Mumford and Sons over..and over…and over?

    Nothing wrong with your viewpoints…I’m merely telling you that most my childhood/high school friends and family members went to IU. I did have some cousins that lived closer to Portage that were more into Cement City sports.

    You’re argument about being a Colts/Pacers fans is rather flawed…They’re completely different animals than college sports. We obviously got all the Chicago TV stations and the love for Bears/Bulls/Cubs/Blackhawks grew out of the constant diet and the numerous trips to the best city in the country. Is there not a more beautiful city than Chicago?

    I picked up IU basketball games off a South Bend signal. My first days of becoming passionate about Hoosiers basketball started by way of older siblings attending IU.

    At the end of the day, I went to Bloomington for all the wrong reasons….Upon graduating from high school, I actually wanted to attend the University of Cincinnati. I won’t bore with that story.

    You take care(Make sure to watch the clip in its entirety…It’s a gas!).

    Shawn Kemp? Elkhart? Glen Robinson? Zack Novak? Mitch McGary? Spike Albrecht? …Tony Branch!? MC Elston! East Chicago Washington!? Bryce Drew!!! Virgil Sweet! Do you know why all this kids from Valpo have impeccable releases on their jump shots? Branden Dawson? Gregg Popovich! And does anyone hit harder in football than the Hobart Brickies? Jim Gaffigan! Hot Pockets…Alex Karras! Rest in Peace… Michael Jackson..(.Rest in Peace).. and The Jackson Five! They are not nobodies from a “region.” They are art in sports, entertainment, and in all walks of life….They are from Indiana…They are from Northwest Indiana!!!

  95. Ahhhh. Common ground is such a happy place. I have some small world responses for you.

    Virgil Sweet and Skip Collins are the Godfathers of the sweet stroke. Funny how Rob Harden missed the memo though. Roger Harden and Mike Jones had the prettiest jumpers, Bryce Drew’s wasn’t too shabby either. I still shoot my free throws like Skip taught… and they were my biggest rival.

    Funny you mention Hobart Football, I just read some stories on Coach Howell, Coach Hicks and the demise of Brickie football, I dated Coach Hicks daughter for a while in college and she dated one of the Karras boys in high school which leads into Alex Karras, he and my Dad were born on the same day, played football and basketball together at Emerson and were best of friends. He used to drag my Dad up to the Harbor to fight the Croations in the early 50’s. It took Karras’ retirement for my Dad to eventually switch from a Lions fan to a Bears fan…. being that their original favorite team, the Cardinals, left for St Louis in ’59.

    Jim Gaffigan is my age and went to school not far from my house at LaLumiere. He was friends with a number of my Long Beach friends. Think he was from Chesterton/Porter/Bev Shores orginally(?) Somewhere in Porter Co. but not Valpo.

    My 8th grade english teacher was Tony Branch’s Aunt and on the way back from our class’ spring break in Florida (which she chaperoned), we stopped at Louisville’s hotel in Indy the day before the national championship game. Tony came down to the buses to say hi to the students and he brought down his roommate, Darrell Griffith.

    Lastly, I’m glad you didn’t go to UC, we would have lost all common ground. I crossed the border to play at Miami and we didn’t get along with UC or XU to well. But we had Ron Harper so it wasn’t too bad. 😉

    You didn’t say where you went to school…. By design?

  96. CUBS???

    You were a high brow, Harvard. Now here is a sterotype that works….Cub fans in the Region are from the following areas: Munster, nicer neighborhoods of Highland, Valpo, Chesterton, and any beach community not named Miller as The Patron Saint of the Region, Ron Kittle went to Wirt… though he lived on 14th ave in Aetna next door to my Grandmother.

    Can’t argue with that one.

    You’re ok Harvard.

  97. ….can’t do Mumford and Sons. And they have pulled a Fonzie and jumped the shark with that video. My Dad’s family moved to Gary from Western Kentucky and if he wasn’t listening to Outlaw country, he was listening to Bluegrass. If there is anything more disingenuous than modern day Brits playing pseudo-bluegrass alternative, I don’t know what it is. I know my Dad and Bill Monroe are shaking their heads everytime some disc jockey spins that hot mess.

    That being said…. it is better than anything else commercial that’s come down the pike in a long, long while.

  98. Personally, I grew up on the Ohio River. The geography is far superior in southern Indiana. That cannot be disputed.

    Well, I suppose that’s it. I guess that about sums up my emotional attachment. I’d rather live in Asheville but climate change is slowly turning the summers from cool, dry, and bug free to hot, muggy, and mosquito ridden.

    I’m thinking about moving to Durango, Colorado. It’s climate is what we had in Asheville 30 years ago.

  99. Chet-

    It’s whatever floats your boat….It’s also beautiful to actually see a sunset all orange aglow melting into rows of tall whimsical tassels the tops of corn breathing with the breezes…And the show never stops when in blows the snows off a warm Lake Michigan winters’ cold blast from the arctic providing stunning landscapes and views your eyes an ever-changing series of your daily personal Currier and Ives…

    In the northlands we truly get all the seasons…Hot summers to enjoy a splash in the swimming pool…Gorgeous fall days. Your life moves in metaphor to the full palette of nature…And the days not so monotonous a gaze out the window as to provide so much more than one canvas.

    And the dunes of Lake Michigan’s shoreline are, thankfully, still vastly unappreciated their velvety sands and timeless beauty shifting to their own song against a magnificent freshwater blue sea.

  100. For as ridiculous as this website can get sometimes with the same stupid arguments over and over again…I love reading about everyone’s experiences growing up in Indiana. Growing up in the frigid cold of west central Minnesota, watching crappy sports teams with little history, in a state that produces little pro talent (outside of hockey), it is fun to read about (while making me a little envious of) the Hoosier experience.
    Not that anyone cares, but since some are on the topic, if I had to pick anywhere in Indiana to grow up, from my own experiences visiting the state, I would pick somewhere along the Ohio River. New Albany, Indiana was a beautiful little town when I visited there earlier this year. My ex-girlfriend grew up there, right across the river from Louisville (a nice city, IMO), but she was a Hoosier fan. Close enough to Bloomington to drive up there for games, yet far enough south to avoid most of the awful winters that, as H4H points out, affect northern Indiana.

  101. psych, I grew up next door, in Jeffersonville. Jeff and New Albany had storied high school sports rivalries that dated back to the 1800’s. Somehow Jeffersonville made it to 1972 before their first win in a football rivalry they have since dominated.

    I was on that team. For a generation we were kind of sports royalty in the town. I doubt anyone under 30 even knows about it now.

    It was a nice place to grow up. Driving across the river to Louisville was about as welcome as a root canal.

  102. Dear Chet,

    We, the Chamber of Commerce of Durango Colorado, regret to inform you that we do not want you to live in, or near our community. In an effort to assist you with your potential move we have located several cities willing to welcome you with open arms. We feel that you will be happy in Ashland, Henderson or Paducah, Kentucky. Sorry those are the only communities that we could find willing to take you. Oh sorry, Detroit said to give them a call, they might take a chance. Good luck with global warming, forgetting your girfriend from South Bend, and that great rivalry between Jeffersonville and New Albany. Perhaps Detroit would be best for you Chet.

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