Blackmon prepared to declare for draft; Hartman will return to IU next season

James Blackmon Jr. is testing his NBA Draft stock, but Collin Hartman isn’t going anywhere.

Blackmon has sent in his paperwork and plans to declare for this year’s draft, a source close to the program told The Herald-Times on Thursday. Meanwhile, Hartman announced that he will return to Bloomington next season for his final year of eligibility. Hartman took a redshirt after missing all of his senior season this past year due to a left knee injury suffered during a non-contact drill in September.

Although Blackmon plans to go through the pre-draft workout circuit, he is not expected to hire an agent. That would allow Blackmon, IU’s leading scorer, to maintain his amateur status and return for his senior season if he chooses.

Hartman’s decision means the Hoosiers will have one of their most valuable pieces in place for coach Archie Miller’s first season as Indiana’s coach. Hartman emerged as a glue player during his sophomore and junior seasons and started 24 games during IU’s run to the Big Ten championship in 2016.

That season, Hartman averaged 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds and made at least one 3-pointer in 19 games. He had 10 games where he recorded three or more assists and moved around the floor to make the necessary hustle plays on both ends of the court.

“It’s been a long ride, it’s been a long journey,” Hartman said in a video posted to social media. “A lot of rehab. It’s been fun. I really thought long and hard about whether I was going to come back or not. I’ve been talking to a lot of my close friends and family and people I trust and I’ve decided I’m coming back.”

And that’s a huge bonus for Miller, who is using his first few days on the job to build relationships and connect with the players he inherited from former coach Tom Crean.

“We are thrilled that Collin has decided to come back and play next season,” Miller said in a statement. “Having an individual who has won a Big Ten championship and had success in the NCAA Tournament gives our program a big lift. He brings leadership and intangibles that can do nothing but help us achieve our goals.”

Injuries have dogged Hartman throughout his time at IU. He tore the ACL in his right knee mere days after his freshman season ended in 2014, but rehabbed quickly enough to play 32 games and surface as a contributor during the 2014-15 season.

He fractured his wrist in IU’s Big Ten Tournament loss to Michigan in 2016, but played through the pain during IU’s march to the Sweet 16 that season.

Throughout it all, Hartman has leaned on the guidance of his mother, Melissa Compton, a former high star who’s also dealt with knee injuries in her past.

“I’m so happy that Collin has made his decision to return to IU basketball to finish the last chapter of his basketball journey,” Compton said in a statement.

Hartman earned his bachelor’s degree last May and will continue to pursue his graduate degree while helping the Hoosiers begin a new era this fall.

“This is something that I had been leaning toward since before the season had ended and I needed to make sure that I could fully dedicate myself both mentally and physically to the process,” said Hartman, who famously got engaged to his girlfriend during this past season’s Senior Night ceremony. “It is important that I am able to come back and perform at the level I was at before the injury occurred.”

Blackmon earned a third team All-Big Ten honors from the league’s media and an honorable mention nod from the league’s coaches after pacing IU with 17 points per game as a junior during the 2016-17 season.

This will be the second time Blackmon has declared for the NBA Draft. Although he missed all of conference season with a knee injury suffered midway through his sophomore year, Blackmon declared for the draft after the 2015-16 season to participate in interviews with NBA executives.

Blackmon’s decision to declare for the draft is not expected to be officially announced by IU’s program until others who are also weighing whether to enter the draft have done so.

Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby, who missed the final two months of the season with a knee injury, are also expected to consider entering the draft.

Whether he can continue to develop as a more reliable defender remains a question.

102 comments

  1. But those 13 chairs are all open until the first day of classes in August, regardless of the number of possibilities for filling them now or until that cut-off time! So there will. E much time for this to sort out!

    1. Evidently you haven’t watched any N.B.A games have you. Yogi Ferrell is fired up and making all kinds of defensive plays as is most all N.B.A. players. You’re nuts to think otherwise. No way is Blackmon any way near N.B.A. level talent —just like Troy Williams was not. I don’t think #3 has had enough playing minutes and or name recognition. Tom Crean didn’t mature Thomas Bryant one ounce worth. He is no better player that he was when he joined this team—thanks to Tom Crean! These kids are like any other “family” Kids & love their parents regardless of how worthless the parents are. Crean was a nice guy but he was no div1 coach as far as winning and teaching how the game should be played. Nice guys don’t necessarily get banners hung! Clappy came and thank God he is gone! One guy ledteams to a total of 3 national title banners and he was the sport’s world’s BIGGEST ASSHOLE–always was and always will be and EVERYBODY knew it, but they loved them banners more than they hated him! He was and is and always will be the KING OF JERKDOM

  2. Usually guys like J.B. leave a program when they meet their diminished importance. If A.M. has the expectations I think he has, J.B. will be parked on the bench and will just be a barrier to himself and to team success.

  3. One thing that the IU program culture under T.C. and his leadership has done for several years now is to focus on NBA WHILE FORGETTING TO PLAY THE COLLEGE GAME. It was demonstrated by an attitude of erratic, senseless, selfish play. You can say players like K.Y. do the same thing. The difference is coaches like Callipari instill in their players to play THE COLLEGE GAME (TEAM) when they are in college.

  4. The reality is that JBJ would probably benefit more than most playing for AM. I still don’t see him as having NBA skills primarily because, believe it or not, they DO play defense in the NBA.

    Coach Miller could teach JBJ how to play defense…if his heart was in it. It is sorely missing from his repertoire and it is the lack of defensive skills that could keep him out of the League. NBA benches are full of guys who can shoot the lights out. So is the D League. So are rec leagues.

    All that being said, the assumption has been all along that he’d go pro after this season and, as IU South noted, there are only so many chairs.

  5. Guys, let’s not allow our disappointment and frustration with Crean or a disappointing 2016/17 season to bleed over into continuous snide and disparaging comments about IU’s players. It seemed to me that it used to be that the coaches were fair game for any and all criticism, but that the players were somewhat shielded, or at least got the benefit of the doubt. Blackmon is not a great defender, but he improved his effort and performance on defense last year. He is clearly a gifted offensive player. From my vantage point, while far from a perfect player (but who is?), Blackmon’s positives outweigh his negatives. He is also a mature and experienced member of this team, and to the best of my knowledge, has never gotten into any trouble on campus. I can’t believe any IU fan would rather see him leave the team compared to staying one more year! I can’t believe Archie would prefer that either. Having said that, if Blackmon decides to depart IU to become a professional, I understand, support him and will always appreciate his contributions to IU basketball. He has earned our resect and appreciation, and not one ounce of disdain.

    1. Again, oddly enough, I agree with just about everything Podunker stated in his 1:34 entry.

    2. Not disparaging JBJ at all. I just said I don’t believe he has NBA caliber defensive skills.

      Few people do.

      Does anyone think he DOES have those skills?

  6. As for 13, the three young men in Crean’s 2017 recruiting class have already resolved that concern by requesting that they be released from their signed LOI. If Miller finds himself with too many players for next season, all he has to do is grant one of those recruits their request instead of trying to re-recruit them. But my guess is that such a move will not be necessary because one or two of IU’s current players will inevitably choose to transfer.

    1. This should be interesting. CAM has apparently ‘reached out’ to the recruits but, with JBJ (and maybe OG?) on the fence, what exactly does he tell them?

      If everyone was clear on their intentions that would be one thing. With this NBA pre-draft stuff CAM is on the hook for his scholarship until he decides. In the mean time, does he try to re-recruit these guys?

      I really don’t like the NBA rule. Declare or don’t. Let the schools move on.

    2. A very good PG has requested out of his LOI at Georgetown would be a better choice to add to this class.

  7. I did not listen to T.C. on Dakich radio interview. However, hearing a little today and reading Indy Star it sounds like T.C. and Dakich just kissed each others butt. As T.C. tries to come across as good guy (which he is probably a good guy) by stating he does not hold any grudges and wishes IU the best etc…..why wouldn’t he (T.C. and others in similar great situations that 99% of the world’s population is not) WHY WOULDN’T HE WISH IU ALL THE BEST AND NOT HOLD GRUDGES BECAUSE OF ALL THE MONEY RECEIVED BY T.C. DURING HIS TENURE. Also I said this before after Cody Zeller and that group of recruits…not long after that TC. set up his own situation by not being able to recruit his number one recruits and having to settle for his second, third, and fourth choices that other top tier elite programs did not want.

  8. I also agree with Chet’s take…I think Archie would embrace a talent like JBJ. He could help him see the game in a far different manner. Knowing all the idiosyncrasies of the guy you’re up against…Knowing his limitations and how they match with your own strengths and weaknesses. How to prioritize your defensive decisions….Communication….Mindset. James Blackmon’s game in all respects could likely mature a great deal under Archie.
    That’s my biggest hope for all future teams under Archie…I’m hoping for a far more mature and evolved brand of basketball. That’s doesn’t mean a slow game or some sort of Milan purist crap. It doesn’t mean short-shorts and old-timer basketball…or acting like a tyrant to mistakes. It does mean chemistry, synergy, embracing roles and strengths, simplified rotations, stronger communication, priority management, improved awareness, help defense, camaraderie, valuing your teammate’s defensive effort equally to a highlight reel bucket….fun without cockiness and amateur style gloating, less whining gestures to objectionable calls…etc, etc, etc. It can be fun and still be a highly evolved, sophisticated form of basketball.

  9. I remember the angst Blackmon created when he reopened his recruitment by backing out of his verbal IU commitment 4-5 years ago.
    He has done IU good in most categories.

    Maybe when a kid decides to take the NBA eval, his athletic scholarship position is opened to new recruit? If the coach really wants the kid, he would have the option not to fill it. I can see how this process can really hamstring the coach if/when 2 – 3 – 4 players take the eval option.

    1. Absolutely. If a kid ‘declares’ for the NBA the school should have the option to send his scholarship elsewhere. I would imagine that, as a general rule, the school would welcome back a player with NBA potential with open arms. But they shouldn’t be forced to ‘hold’ the scholarship while the player decides what they want to do.

      I wonder what would happen if IU sent out a press release wishing him the best of luck in his professional career, thanked him for his time at IU, and said they would all miss him terribly.

  10. Maybe, there could be some player transfers from the middle and the end of the bench, not just at the top end of the bench. Remember the press conference 7-9 player rotation, so there going to be less playing time and less need to carry players on scholarship to ride the bench.We had a walk on that had more playing time than some scholarship players. As the cattle rancher says, “we got to cull the herd”.

  11. Remember when Yogi, at conclusion of his junior year, was planning to announce his NBA decision at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse? I’m pretty sure Yogi would have went through the ‘pre-Draft workout circuit’ if it would have been available at the time.
    As mentioned earlier by someone on this blog, Troy sorta did the process in reverse and ended up being taken to Texas Roadhouse…He’s still cracking open peanuts and waiting for his budget cut of Angus strip.

    Hartman’s plan to return is great news for Archie.

  12. And let’s be honest…There’s some politics in the process as well. Mark Cuban? Rumored to be the guy who put up the $$$ for the Kelvin buyout? Mark Cuban and the Mavericks sign Yogi. A lot of teams had a look at Yogi….and Cuban with his 10th place, .419, 21 games back in the Western Conference, Dallas Mavericks came through and pulled the big trigger with a commitment for Yogi. Nobody is watching. Nobody cares…and you got money to burn.

    1. After reading that article about the godforsaken hellhole Troy ended up playing for in the D League I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he signed a contract with some team in a beautiful coastal city on the Mediterranean Sea.

  13. I hope the NBA combine, or whatever they call it in the NBA, works out for James…and anyone else who chooses to go that route, and they get drafted. Honestly, I just don’t think OG has done enough on the court, along with his injury, to garner much interest. Maybe.

    One of the reasons I hope it does is that CAM is reaching out to players who were recruited to come to Indiana. I hope they do. But…I would hate to see our new coach be put in a position of having to clear a roster spot because of (pick one) ‘oversigning’ or recruits dabbling in the NBA draft with uncertain intentions.

    I know this probably happens to a large percentage of incoming coaches and they are paid well to solve problems that are not exactly life and death.

    I’d still like to see the guy coach a few games before he’s blamed for kicking some unlucky kid off the team through no fault of his own.

  14. I not so sure I am happy about the Hartman news. I like the kid but I don’t want Miller handicapped with roster spots. Waters decomitted from Georgetown and he is the 34th ranked player and at one time an IU possibility. He is a true point guard. Jordan Tucker? What other talented transfers are options? Curtis Jones, Gelon and Priller need to go. OG will go pro as he has elite athleticism which NBA covets. I would like to see Blackmon go pro now if the NBA will have him. His pro value will not be enhanced with another year. Although Bryant is not ready and will get dominated, he is projected as a 2nd round pick. Miller should be able to bring in a couple of players he may have his eye on, but there needs to be some spots available.

  15. I think it is safe to say that Archie Miller wants Hartman on his team next year. And that’s probably because he understands that Hartman’s value goes well beyond athletic talent. His experience, maturity and versatility (three-point shooting, rebounding, and doing all the little things) are exceptionally valuable to the team. In fact, I dare say that if Hartman had not been lost for the season, IU would have made it to the tournament last season (as a low seed, but in the tourney nonetheless). It’s human nature to assume that some gifted outsider is better than the guys we know and are going to be an upgrade. I call it the “Sports Center Affect.” But unless they are that super-rare talent, experience and maturity are usually more valuable to the team. Count me amongst the fans that were glad to read that Hartman is coming back. I just hope he stays healthy through the entire season.

    It’s going to take time for Archie to get the talent he needs to achieve the goals as articulated by Fred Glass. I believe he can do it, but I don’t think next season’s roster, no matter who stays or who leaves, is going to make it to the final four.

    1. You’re probably right, but it will be very interesting to see how well they buy into the system and see the character of the team as a whole.

  16. I smiled when I read the headline about “Miller spending first week building relationships” with his new players. While that is an essential process, I’m also certain it is a two-way street, and that Miller is assessing each player’s attitude, or his “want-to”. I don’t know Crean or Miller, but from what I have observed, there seems to be a significant difference in their personalities. That’s going to require a significant adjustment on the players’ part. So my guess is that Miller is conveying his desire to keep each player on the team but giving them every opportunity to bolt if they don’t want to adapt to the new coach, his style, etc. I think by announcing that he is returning next season, Hartman has already provided value to the team. He’s already set a good example for his younger teammates and has announced that he’s buying in.

    OG just had major knee surgery in March! Why would he even consider registering for the draft while rehabbing his knee? I know he’s highly rated by the so called “draft experts,” but that sounds crazy to me. I think he returns, has a great year and becomes a high first round draft pick in the 2018 draft. Bryant, because he was close to Crean, is healthy, and was flirting with the idea of leaving last year may be more likely to leave, but he shouldn’t. I don’t see him getting drafted in the first round if he leaves now. It’s a tough call, because none of us really know his personal circumstances, but I’ve always held the belief that unless you’re assured to be a first round pick, or already have your degree, leaving early in “hopes” of getting drafted is just too risky.

  17. Have any of the assistant coaches under CTC resigned yet or any rumors of such? I’d assume each one will get a fair shake u der CAM?

  18. Po, I pretty much agree with everything in you last couple posts.

    I’m guessing Collin is just the kinda guy Archie wold love to coach.

    I’m betting CAM can get a good read on everyone. Most people will tell you everything you want to know about them in 10 minutes if you’ll take the time to listen. I’ll bet he has pretty amazing management skills. Great coaches usually do.

    I agree the OG just doesn’t have a body of work prior to his injury to justify a draft pick. Just don’t see it being in anyone’s best interest. TB isn’t ready but I kinda think he’s gonna go.

  19. If T.B. would stay at IU another year it would probably be the best move he has ever made in a long time. I think he is impressionable and coachable and needs a disciplinarian to toughen himself up to play inside. Plus I think he will get the ball inside and be positioned to be successful. I think it will tell the truth on just how good a player he can be.

  20. San Antonio plays defense. Golden State plays defense. Dallas? Below average. Pacers? Below average along with half of the NBA.

  21. It seems like a good time to reiterate my own opinion;
    Good riddance to those who don’t want to play and defend the front of the jersey, the 5 banners waving in the rafters, the state & logo painted at mid-court and the university. I wish every one of these kids the very best and if that means farewell then so be it.

    I’ll take 13 Collin Hartman’s to 13 James Blackmon’s. Blackmon has done 0 to convince me that he cares about anything other than his own shooting stats these last 3 years. He hasn’t shown me any toughness other than when coming off of a horrendous game(s) from the 3 pt. line. Hartman on the other hand has shown grit and toughness, if not just by working to recover from his many injuries. He gets injured because he goes all-out.

    EVERY player on the existing roster WILL BE better off with 1 year under Coach Miller. Does anyone dispute that given what we’ve seen & heard these past 7 days vs. what we’ve seen and heard these last 9 years?!?! Anybody?!?!? Ok, forget the past 7 days part. Anybody?!?!?

    The decision each of them needs to make is “will I be better for leaving to some other college vs. at IU under Coach Miller?” We’ll all know soon how many of them only care about their own basketball careers.

    As for the NBA, who cares? They should rename it the NDA. No Defense Allowed & then change the name back in the playoffs. The fact that “upside” is valued more than real results is pathetic. And for those keeping score at home, Blackmon was 3rd team all Big Ten. Yippee. That means he’s no better than the 11th best player in the conference. I don’t see his “upside” at all, he’s 1 dimensional at best. Same goes for Bryant. OG is an entirely different story, but my guess is he would be drafted higher than the other two because he does have true upside. But his history of results is muted through no fault of his own.

  22. “Blackmon is not a great defender” is the snakes belly of understatements as he is no ‘defender’ at all. His mind and heart start and end at the 3 point line. He scores 18 and gives up 22. Yet he will no doubt benefit from staying an additional year at IU and be coached by Miller. He’ll learn about heart, energy, effort, leadership, team work, tighten up his ball handling skills and practice D and D and D and D. OG and Bryant will benefit also but probably not as much. No doubt someone(1) will be dismissed from their scholarship and someone(2) will voluntarily transfer. But I do think the 3 boys at the top of the food will each stay another year and I seriously hope they will. If so it will make Miller’s 1st season very successful. His 1st season of results can and I predict will mirror Coach Allen’s 1st season heading up IU’s D in FB.

  23. …adding to my post above I put as much responsible blame on Crean as I do on Jr. Blackmon for his floor game at both ends of the court…it should never gotten past the non-conference season of his freshman year…and Bryant’s immaturity should have disappeared during his Freshman year…

  24. Hartman coming back is a big deal ! A great start for the work ahead. Clarion you are on it a lot of what you say is true. OG is a 15 pick on the guess work for first round . But with the late surgery I don’t see him at full strength which could hurt him in the draft. The selfish hope is he will stay another year and be a easy upper first round pick next year. Bryant’s skills as well as maturity are not ready for the NBA . He needs to give Archie a chance to teach him how to play the position . He needs touches and Miller teaching him. Blackmon is not a NBA prospect ,shooters like him are a dime a dozen . He knows he must produce on the defensive side of the ball because A.M. will not play him if he doesn’t . He will not be allowed to be a liability any longer. I do hope the 3 freshman hang in they all have a upside and with the right coaching will get better. Davis was the first to buy in as well as Morgan . I think RJ will as well and Hartman is a huge surprise. Has anyone heard anything about the two recruits wanting to released ? As far as I know Smith has not ask to be released and Jordon Tucker looks to be out . The possibility of the kid committed at Dayton would be nice .He is the Mr. Basketball from Minnesota. It is just exciting to have hope again and see how Archie will build the program, GO HOOSIERS !

  25. Heard Crean is going to join the ESPN team of ‘analysts’ for the Final Four …..This is probably more his four-te.

  26. Just guessing, but I don’t think anyone of consequence will transfer. Going into the draft will be the major factor. That decision is made regardless of who the coach is.

  27. O.K., I’ll amend my comment. Blackmon is not a “good” defender. But he improved both effort and performance on defense this past season. And regardless of whether he can improve further or not, I assure you Miller would love to have him back on the team next year.

    I remember Bob Knight continuously harping (publically) about Alford not being a good defender for the years he was at IU. Alford was not a “great” defender either, but his offense more than compensated for his defensive liabilities. Blackmon is very valuable, and will make Miller’s team better if he returns for his last season.

    1. Podunker, speaking of Knight’s harping — do you remember this game? (search for Knight: It’s My Fault/ Coach takes rap for Alford). East Regional Final in 1984. It was right after Dakich’s great game. Do you remember it?

    1. B.K….? He was sort of the flame-broiled King.
      Crean….? The era of the square patty. He was the Wendy’s pigtails of Hoosier Basketball. He wrecked a frozen beef…with Fred.
      Miller…? Hello Golden Arch-es.
      Dakich…? Ran the team like a Five Guys….after kicking off Sampson small fries?

  28. Dakich (is so bitter) on the other hand trying to create topics of discussion for his radio show wants IU trustee/s to explain why T.C. was fired. It is obvious. Watch them play no matter if they won or lost… IU and T.C. could win only one way no matter if they were one of the better IU teams or not resulted in frustration.

  29. I took note of a couple paragraphs in an ‘Alords’ story at the top of the Chicago Tribune sports page noted by h empty…See highlighted section.

    I don’t know if any Hoosier coach can bring back the grass roots basketball passion that the IHSAA ripped from every corner of this state….after burning to the ground our storied singular high school tournament. I lost my interest decades ago. I used to love to look for the Cinderellas, the surprisingly strong showing my some tiny town school, or even marvel more at the strength of a Goliath blowing out teams as they marched through the tests of pesky teams with big hearts…Every March filled with Saturday mornings with the anticipation of simply check the scores at various sectional and regional sites.

    It’s an immeasurable loss of sorts. Though the odds rarely work to the underdog’s favor, there was a real passion ripped out of our small towns and tucked away cities across this state. Those decisions do not come without deeper repercussions as interest also fades in the passion that a fan brings to the identifiable connections and memories as they follow their ‘stars’ to the college level.
    Sorry, I just could never get into all the hoopla surrounding Zeller knowing that he never was challenged in the manner of a Scott Skiles …an Alford…a Steve Downing….a Damon Bailey. Take your small town school through one tournament and win it all. Then, I’ll more thoroughly buy into your 5-star ranking and prima donna status.

  30. h empty, I remember being shocked and very disappointed, but since my wife and I were vacationing in Cancun when that game was played, we were unable to watch it. So no, since I did not get to watch it, I don’t remember the game.

    1. Do you remember all the crazy talent in that regional?

      Jordan, Perkins, Daugherty, Kenny Smith, Patrick Ewing, Sam Bowie, Melvin Turpin, Alford, Reggie Williams, Chris Mullin, Bill Wennington, and I’m sure many I don’t remember.

      That was in ONE regional.

    2. Podunker, I read Harvard’s reply and the Chet’s. Their accounts seemed so genuine I was overcome with nostalgia. Your answer, that you were in Cancun, was (frankly) a big disappointment. What I rememeber is that Knight went and gave a speech to the Auditorium that year and asked us if we meet Alford on campus we should ask him if he kinows how to spell ‘defense’. I don’t ever remember Knight publicly ripping into Alford, the way you seem to remember, except for that one time (and even then his criticism was oblique). He kept saying Alford was not his best defender which meant exactly that: an outstanding shooter who should not have been a liability on defense. He never said Alford’s defense was suspect or berated Alford. Alford was sometimes out of position but Knight’s help defense most often rescued Alford than not. Alford did not seem to ever draw a charge but that’s a mostly personal observartion. So can you please show us where and when Knight ever ripped into Alford publicly for his lack of defense. I showed you a place where he defended a sub-par offensive performance by Alford. Please do the same for me and support your statement that “Bob Knight continuously harp[ed] (publically) about Alford not being a good defender for the years he was at IU.” Thank you.

  31. Back in the one class system the prestige of winning a regional was more than winning a current day class state championship in many cases. In some cases winning a sectional carried more prestige than winning a current day state championship. They say oh but the kids don’t know or don’t tell that to the kids. That is correct today’s kids don’t know the prestigious one class system. They just need to make sure they and their parents, schools, and communities feel better about themselves (the wonderful world of color, disneyland, lala land) whether they in reality do or not. Heck, even after all these years of multiple class basketball my high school (along with others) still has not won a state championship. They need to feel good to. MORE CLASSES NEEDED. Maybe, a 12 to 15 class system.

  32. For us seasoned veterans there was nothing like single class Hoosier HS BB. But ask any student in JH, HS or for that matter under 35 and listen to what they think. I don’t like it but the decision to reverse it is theirs. To bad for us, I guess.

  33. When multi class basketball was first initiated vs single class basketball it was done by what is now the older leadership (principals & athletic directors). You could add some coaches and parents in there to. They were trying to appease communities to promote school systems to look good/better including participating and rewarding that participation. Basically, the initiative is to have more championship communities that achieves school and community collaboration as to promote a sense of school system success. This makes for happiness and satisfaction even if it is watered down though many would argue this. As years have passed the first participants are now in there thirties and forties and for coaches maybe a little older. Thus the demise of single class as an institution of the past

  34. One thing the T.C. coached teams ,the last 3 years of his contract, and the Women’s UConn BB team have in common after UCONN’s loss Last night…………………….17 turnovers. CTC seemed to never “get it” you cant win giving your opponents MULTIPLE chances. and on subject of single class. I can Remember Kokomo v Indpls Manual …..Ronnie Hughes/Ritchie Scott vs Van Arsdale Twins in overtime. Or Connersville vs Gary West.

  35. I was at that game. After losing to Jeffersonville twice during the regular season, Mr. Basketball Phil Cox and Connersville nipped Jeff at the buzzer. Gary West defeated Farnklin, featuring Jon and Don McGlocklin, twin nephews of the Milwaukee Bucks guard, in the other semi.

    Years later Jon and I became friends in Navy Flight Training.

    Gary West didn’t have the players to keep with a well coached Connersville squad in the final. They were noticeably caught off guard by that and Connersville was pretty much in control throughout the game.

  36. A few weeks ago I was dismissive about Gonzaga being ranked number one.

    I was quite mistaken.

    They are as good as anyone.

  37. TJ in Texas, the afternoon game between Tell City (a Small school) with Tommy Kron and Indy Manual was a excellent game also.

  38. South Dakota St…Northwestern…West Virginia….Xavier…South Carolina….Look at all those ‘blue bloods.’

    If those were four non-conference games before a BIG opener with Northwestern, we’d expect any IU team to go no worse than 4-1. We would have expected Crean to have gone 5-0 against those teams. Why don’t the Hoosiers ever get such a favorable bracket? We get Syracuse…or UNC…or UK no later than a Sweet 16.

    Gonzaga had, by far, the easiest road to Arizona…Few would have such a region gifted(get it?).
    I’ll be shocked if Gonzaga doesn’t get blown out in the final. Not a believer. Without the surprising performance of Collins, SC would have won another ugly game.

  39. Wichita State knocked Gonzaga out of tournament a few years ago. The tournament since as put them with KY too get to sweet 16

  40. IU played 2 games in 1981 on home court in tournament. One being Alabama Birmingham. That was the reason I picked them to win the tournament.

  41. Had the Jayhawks played outside of Kansas up until their loss to Oregon?

    Zags also never had to look at a possible Duke match-up(@ Final Four) or Arizona (a possible regional final match-up) because of relatively big upsets. Not only a favorable bracket(West) for Gonzaga, but some bracket-busting games giving them unlikely lower seeded opponents.

    Teams rarely play up to their potential in the championship game….For some odd reason, the game seems to move faster. Emotions tighten jump shots and every possession is psychologically impacted to the point of execution and fundamental extremes. It’s rarely played loose…The atmosphere is odd because of the football stadium arrangement. The crowds, consisting more of big $$$ spenders than the normal huge decibels and noise making fanatics/followers of a team, creates an almost Twilight Zone feel compared to earlier rounds….All of those factors help Gonzaga far more than UNC because, in my humble opinion, it constrains the entire product. The championship games nearly always feels like a game in straightjackets.

    Conclusion: Gonzaga has a much better chance to upset a superior UNC team in this setting than meeting such a team at the Sweet 16 or Elite 8. ….or they’ll get blown out.

  42. t- I agree with your suggestion. The committee has rewarded Gonzaga plenty for West Coast Conference dominance. Who doesn’t like Mark Few? He’s like the guy you’d trust taking care of your dog while you’re on vacation. You know he’ll be kind….take him/her for walks….feed as scheduled, and just be a decent and loving human being. I bet Mark Few loves dogs. I bet Tom Crean has never had a pet. That wasn’t necessary.

  43. Swear on a stack of holy Ritz crackers…..that I did not know the following when I put up my last post above…

    SPOKANE, Wash. — Tipoff is just more than two hours away, but Mark Few’s black Cadillac Escalade still sits in the driveway of his cabin-style home.

    The Gonzaga coach’s midnight-blue blazer hangs in a bedroom closet above his dress shoes, and, in the kitchen, Few’s mother-in-law cooks turkey soup. His wife and four children play games and watch TV in the den.

    Few will join them shortly.

    But right now he’s outside with Stella.

    For nearly three miles through a mountain bike trail in the forest, college basketball’s active leader in winning percentage jogs with his German shepherd. Much like the towering pine trees that stretch beyond his vision, Few’s thoughts have no boundaries(courtesy: Bleacher Report).

    There you go….Dog lover.

  44. After getting off a plane at the airport, Mark Few still makes time for this…I knew it…I knew it…I knew it.

    I’m now a much bigger fan of Few…Forget everything I said hinting of easy brackets…and not being a believer.

    Go Zags!

  45. I think James Blackmon is incapable of playing defense due to his knee injury(ies). And I think his being exposed in Crean’s “system” led to team dis-unity. The COACH must identify players’ strengths and weaknesses and design the TEAM’S strategy with that in mind.

    I also think our team last year lost interest in Crean after he played O.G. while hurt (O.G. sprained his ankle in the win against North Carolina) leading to O.G.’s knee injury.

    The only think I’m hoping for next year is being able to watch a TEAM of players representing Indiana University. Playing as a TEAM. Wins and losses are not as important to me as being able to identify with a group who has become a Team. When that happens (as it did in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Purdue this last season), the fans get to joyously jump on board and everyone becomes part of the experience. I root for players who make their TEAM better.

    When Crean kept saying “we’re getting better” I wanted to believe it but the play on the court belied his words. Crean was posing as a Coach.

    If any of these current players don’t want to fully buy into the TEAM, I hope they leave. I will wish them well in their activities. The horrible past season was not their fault. The person who’s fault it was has correctly been fired. We start fresh from here.

  46. A oft repeated meme regarding the Hoosiers underperforming has been, “Well, it’s on the players because they (pick your phrase) ‘have not bought in/aren’t listening/don’t believe’, etc.”

    Whose responsibility is that, some 19 year old or the guy who is paid millions of dollars to get their point across?

  47. Also reading speculation Dayton assistant Tom Ostrom is soon coming on board. After reading up on him l find out he a recruiter extraordinaire. Relentless work ethic communicating with recruits, their families and coaches. With the unique ability to identify talent at a young age. Is now also considered a fine assistant coach offering positives both in practices and games. Things are looking up.

    1. Nice. Word is, if John Groce doesn’t get the Akron job, he’ll join the staff. Groce brought in the best class in the Big Ten for next year.

  48. The player I think that gains the most by coming back is Thomas Bryant. Archie’s entire offense strategy moves the ball through the post. He’d have a whole year of learning how to get into position, improve his footwork (he’s a 2 on a 10 scale right now), and just turn into an animal.

    1. Agree.. Watching Meeks and the other big guys in the Final Four, did not see any of them put down their head and bull themselves toward the basket. Add a jump hook shot or even just a plain old hook shot and a little finesse and he would be unstoppable.

    2. He might learn that the last thing NBA are impressed by is a 7 foot player standing 23 feet from the basket.

  49. DD, Didn’t catch the Groce chatter but in Fred Glass speak it would be a double check+.
    Feel like a kid again waiting on IU FB and BB 2017 style.

    1. Heh. Me too. Haven’t been this excited about IU sports in a long time. For different reasons re: Football and Basketball.

      I honestly knew very little about AM before he was hired. I knew that people thought well of him. But I only saw his Dayton teams play in the NCAA. That’s it. I try not to overreact to performance in the tournament. I knew of his reputation as a tactician, but what’s his leadership like? How does he manage and build his program? What do people close to the program think of him?

      He gets hired and the info coming about him seems like a dream resume. Everyone close to the Dayton program was super bummed he left. Not just because of the success, but it genuinely seems like they are going to miss not just the coach, but the man Archie Miller.

      I’m so excited. Unbridled optimism. Not that I demand a FF run next year. It’s more about that I’m really excited about the journey. I really want AM to succeed beyond just rooting for my school. I’m rooting for HIM.

  50. Double Down..Groce is a good man…I THINK he recruited Conley and Oden to Ohio State..I know he is from Danville Indiana and knows Indiana HS basketball.

  51. I never knew Groce’s step-brother worked under Kelvin…..

    So we have a Calipari connection….and, possibly, soon a Kelvin connection(Bassett and Travis Steele)?

    Interesting.

  52. Wonder if Steele(Groce’s step-brother working under Sampson as video coordinator) knew the meltdown was coming at IU? Was it “impressive” that Matta/Groce convinced Oden & Conley to head to OSU…or did they know IU was soon to be in turmoil?

    Things I also didn’t know:

    Not coincidentally, Steele was the longtime coach of former Indianapolis prep star Eric Gordon, who had committed earlier to Illinois. Meyer(Jeff) was the college coach of Gordon’s father.

    “I’m glad they’re on my staff,″ Sampson told Sports Illustrated at the time. “They’re great guys, and they’re helping us.″

    Wow…The things you learn when you hire a new head coach.

  53. Harv, turmoil related to Sampson, or the impending firing of Mike Davis? Mike Davis was the coach at the time Conley and Oden were being recruited to OSU. They played against Sampson in his first year (2007), but Davis was the one recruiting them.

  54. You’re right on that aspect….But Groce still took Bassett under his wing at Ohio(after being kicked off IU)….and Groce’s step-brother, Steele, also worked with Kelvin at IU….and at Butler under Matta.
    Makes one wonder if Steele was working more for Matta while undermining IU/Davis.

    Sort of ironic that Archie has hired a Calipari guy(Flint from UMass days)…and is thinking of Groce(who took a Sampson “thug”) and also had a step-brother work for Kelvin). We’ll possibly have a coach who considers the “bait and tackle” guy at UK his primary mentor….and we’ll have a bit of Kelvin “Sanctions” connections.

    Makes me like Archie even more…..

    1. Wow. Even Kevin Bacon is impressed with the number of connections there. Didn’t know any of that. Well, other than Bassett playing at Ohio.

      1. A step-brother of Groce working for Kelvin hardly requires six degrees….but your joke was funny nonetheless.

        And Bruiser Flint has far more history with Calipari than any recruit who ever ended up on a Calipari roster. Flint considers Calipari his holy grail of mentors…(I have that link as well…I have more links than a Bob Evans).
        But, again, your sense of humor is worth noting.

        1. DD- You might enjoy this page (scroll down to “Everybody’s Mentor”)….My recall can’t rival Chet’s….but if I’m correct, I think I remember you showing quite a bit of admiration for Lute Olson.

      2. I would expect it. It’s a tiny field in which there is a ton of interaction. There are maybe 1500 D1 basketball coaches out there. There is about a 25% annual turnover. An engineer or a microbiologist could go all year and never work with another engineer or microbiologist depending on their job. Basketball coaches interact continuously. It’s hard to imagine being successful and not interacting with many, many other coaches and players constantly.

        I think it would be more surprising to find guys who don’t have some sort of connection.

  55. Hey! Troy Williams was called up and dropped 21 for Houston tonight. Rockets were down 3 starters. Hope Troy can find his way permanently out of Hidalgo.

  56. Troy can pull the trigger offensively. He put up some impressive offensive numbers for Memphis.

    All it could take is a single coach that can make him buy into rounding out his game.

    I hope there is some serendipity in Troy’s life.

  57. I’ll make the 100th comment on this fascinating thread of excellent basketball commentary!

    Since North Carolina cannot shoot the basketball, and since UNC would not even be in this game if the “referee” (T.E.D.) had called the two-hand push in the lower back by Kennedy Meeks at the end of the Oregon game…I predict Gonzaga to win the NCAA this year (not my original pick).

  58. There a posting on a website that Tom Crean will get the Temple University job, a four year contract per the website. Little late for an April Fool joke.

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