Indiana Class of 2012 falls to No. 5 in rankings

Indiana’s Class of 2012, which was ranked No. 2 in the team rankings after the fall signing period, has now fallen to No. 5 thanks mostly to recent recruiting coups by Kentucky and UCLA but also to the rankings slide of La Lumiere forward Hanner Perea.

Kentucky added No. 2 prospect Nerlens Noel to its class and is now, yet again, the top ranked class in the country. UCLA added No. 1 recruit Shabazz Muhammad and No. 27 Tony Parker to a class that already included No. 3 Kyle Anderson. Arizona, which was No. 1 after the fall signing period, holds at No. 3. North Carolina State jumped Indiana thanks to a rating jump for swingman T.J. Warren and Perea’s fall from No. 16 to No. 43 on the individual list.


  1. Too bad. Hanner Perea kind of sucked this year. He needs to work on everything except dunking.

  2. Truth being HP is a far better player this year than last when he was #16. The * rankings are a BB novel.

  3. HC,
    I’m interested in this. When did you see him and what were your impressions? To be totally honest, I expected him to have made bigger strides by now than what I’ve seen. Athleticism is still off the charts, but I think he was passed up on rankings lists because he didn’t show improvement in the fundamentals and other guys made some leaps. I don’t think I’m the only one who figured he’d have better post moves and a better handle by now. Now, I only got to see him once during high school season, so I could’ve missed something, but even his coach suggested that he’s more of a weakside, play off the other postman guy, and I think with what he showed in the summer, a number of people thought he could be more than that. What did you see?

  4. My impression is he was probably too highly ranked at #16 2 years ago. In other words his performance like many HS ballers did not match the ranking. His improvement has been most notable in D and rebounding. He runs the court like he is 6’3″. He has a decent short range jumper with damn good form. I am with you and whoever else in agreeing his post offense will be developed at the college level. He is not a 1 and done or even 2 and done. My 2nd impression is he requires the better coaching he’ll receive in Bloomington. Nobody but nobody will ever win a tip-off against him.

  5. HC,
    Agreed on all points. More than any other player, seeing Perea over the past two plus years has given me an idea of how truly impossible it is to create an accurate ranking system for these kids, and as much as they get chastised to a degree, I respect the recruiting analysts for trying. Those dudes live on the road and when it really comes down to it, they just can’t get to every game. For their sake, I wish they’d attach the words “for entertainment value only” next to all of their ranking systems, because of course it isn’t going to be 100 percent accurate. That’s not humanly possible.
    I wasn’t surprised Perea was ranked as high as he was at the time because he was preternaturally gifted. I have yet to see anyone else at the high school level with that kind of length or athleticism, and for that reason, you had to consider him an elite recruit at the time. But I guess you also had to presume that the learning curve was different simply because the game was new to him and he was learning the language just as he learned the game. I thought he was a potential one or two and done when he committed, but I think you’re right that he has the potential to get a lot better at Indiana. I just think if you watched him in the summer of 2010 (which I know you did) you would have thought he’d be less of a project than he is by the winter of 2012.

  6. The only ranking that matters is Tom Crean’s ranking. If he’s getting the players he wants to get, then they will be, in essence, the #1 ranked recruiting class in the country.

    If the kid does not fit the coach’s system, then he not worth anything. Look at Arizona’s top ranked point guard from last year’s class. Highly ranked, but suspended three or four times during his freshman year and he is no longer a part of the team. He was actually a detriment to Arizona last year so his “ranking” coming out of HS was totally worthless.

  7. I can’t help but wonder if Matt Carlino’s proximity to IU led to some subtle hints that he might actually be happier elsewhere. Perhaps CTC got to know him better and the chemistry just wasn’t right.

  8. Dustin,

    If I may let me add a 3rd impression. Because(as you stated)the game is newer to him than to U.S. kids he has had to learn a tremendous amount in a shorter time span. I suppose with our optics we thought a year ago he would develop at our expectations of a homegrown kid. In other words who learned more the player whose travel from point A to point B was 5 inches or the player whose travel from A to B was 9 inches. HP has improved and may make the biggest improvement leap in the 1st season on campus of the whole “Movement”.

    Will we get to see you at Run -N- Slam May 4-6?

  9. Hoosier Clarion’s comments are among the best I’ve read in a long, long time. Two thing are clear to me about HP. First, he has really been playing basketball- real basketball- for maybe three years, In other words, he is am 11-12-year-old. HC is right, he’s compressed 8 years of ‘hoops’ into three yeas, yet he is still compared to several who have been at it for 10+ years.

    Secondly, because he’s been at it for relatively little time think of where he is. Now look at his ceiling. Now his physical attributes make some sense.

    The key will be in the level of instruction and coaching he will have. Oladipo’s development gives us an idea. We have to believe in two things. 1. TC’s eye for future talent and 2. TC’s and staff’s teaching ability. We have to provide the patience and the time.

    Finally, where I do believe DD’s right is that the player rankings at this time may be fun for some but meaningless and that team rankings even less so since how the parts come together can not withstand guessing. I’m happy he will be at IU and even happier he’ll play for us not against us. After two years (IMHO) few will compare.

  10. I had the privilege of following Tolbert, Woodson and Cheney for their entire IU careers. None of them were anything that had fans anticipating greatness coming out of high school. Good? Sure. Greatness, I really think many of us saw them as good pieces but not All Americans. None of the were raves in the high schools stars rankings. All three are synonymous with “It’s Indiana!”

    DD, I really think we overstress the rankings. We should give them the “for entertainment only” treatment as well. I’m not sure that it’s worth HT budget money to follow them around. On top of it, I think the hype creates an environment that we end up regretting in the long run.

  11. Just like Cody Zeller polished his post game against his much older brothers, HP will develop greatly practicing against Cody.

  12. Chet,

    During the season when IU was rolling, I seen mention of Carlino in a different article and wondered if him and his dad wishes now they would have pulled their head out of the arse, let Matt play out his senior year (would have a Indiana 4A Championship Ring) and let him go to IU?

    Personally, after watching him for a year at South, I am glad he isn’t a Hoosier.

  13. Tsao,
    Are you saying we shouldn’t follow rankings or we shouldn’t follow recruiting? It doesn’t cost us H-T budget money to look at the rankings. I just put them up for the purposes of discussion. It took me like a minute to do that post. I don’t think they should be looked at as an end-all, be-all, but I don’t think anyone actually thinks that.
    As far as the budget money it takes to cover recruiting the investment is very much worth it just so I have a good idea what Indiana is dealing with when the players get to campus. It helped a lot to have familiarity with the games of Zeller, Etherington and Abell and considering how much I’m asked about them on live chats, etc., it means a lot that I’ve seen Ferrell, Hollowell, Patterson and Perea all play a lot. What’s great about this gig is that I rarely have to drive past Indianapolis to see these guys, so the H-T budget money required isn’t all that much. The rise of recruiting coverage means that it’s foolish not to cover it, and it’s even more foolish if you can do so much coverage without driving more than an hour.
    And yes, HC, I’ll see you in Fort Wayne next week.

  14. I’m very glad you watch the recruits and tell us your thoughts on them.

    In fact, I wish there was more of it.

  15. I enjoy them, too. It’s up to the reader to decide their veracity. Murray State was ranked above us most of the year but I don’t think anyone with a lick of sense thought they could actually beat us.

  16. Tsao,

    Tolbert was a McDonalds All American and was very highly thought of out of HS.

    Calbert was lower ranked, than some of the other recruits (which included burger boys), but he was still a top 60 recruit.

    Not sure about Woodsen.

  17. Obviously, the coverage dynamic is a lot different than it was then, and more than anything else, that’s a function of the free market. Scores of reporters/talent evaluators make their living on recruiting websites now because the birth of the internet created an entirely untapped market and it was seized upon. If the internet operated at this level in 1989, you would have known much, much more about Calbert Cheaney as a high schooler than you do about Jeremy Hollowell.

  18. I like so many of the comments Ive read here regarding the ranking of players. Tolbert was VERY highly regarded coming out of h.s. (there were no rankings in ’77). Woodsen was as well but Knight pushed him so hard Mike just got better each year. Cheaney had a broken arm or leg his junior year in HS. His recruiting class was VERY highly regarded. A friend of mine from Evansville told me that Cal was indeed the sleeper in that class. Understatement of ever! Regarding Perea, I think about Hakeem Olajuwon of Univ of Houston & the Houston Rockets. The guy was a great NBAer with fantastic post moves; but while at the U of H is was an exteremely raw talent. Yet, his teammates always said when asked how good he was, they replied he’s better today than he was yesterday. Maybe Perea is in the same type mold?

  19. I think we should at least be signing top 80 talent! Especially for the 2013 class. What do you guys think?

  20. we would have a higher ranking if jurkin was ranked. it’s absurd he isn’t. do the people doing the ranking realize he is 7′?. if you only watched him on youtube, you would have to rank him if you knew anything at all about the game. if his body can take the pounding, he’s going to be awesome. he’s gotten so much bigger.

  21. Mark Me (and DC Dave) are right about Tolbert, though I don’t think anyone would have set him apart as a ‘can’t miss’ as was the case earlier with Hanner Perea. Woodson and Cheney were certainly really good prospects but neither the stars they became. For all three, the extra ingredient was four years under Bob Knight and his teaching.

    The comparison with Hakeem Olajawon that Mark Me makes is exactly how to frame Hanner at this point. Olajawon improved from week to week at the U. of Houston simply because he wsa immersed in a learning process. Hanner is indeed one of those athletes who come once a decade, but anyone who didn’t know that he was doing what he was doing out of sheer physical talent does not understand the importance of the development process and the key role of a great coach teaching. Better to review the dozens of ‘top 10′ five stars (whatever that means) out there who became rub of the mill ball players. It would be an interesting journalistic project to examine all the top ten players over the last ten years and the ’50+’ (or, if you want to 100+) and compare and contrast their outcomes and the outcomes of the teams they played for in college.

    A great example is in the most ballyhooed high school player to enroll at Indiana before Zeller, Isiah Thomas. The stories and legends that preceded his arrival on campus were unbelievable. But, as his freshman season began his magnitude lessened significantly. Eventually, Knight sat him down and waaaay-down-the bench(most of December and a good part of January of Isiah’s). Knight took Isiah apart in practice and then put him back together as a basketball player- a team basketball player. At the same time, as he did so, he restructured the team around what he saw would be its best game around Isiah’s talent and the team’s considerable other skills.

    Very, very-very important to remember that outside of Zeller, Indiana did not have a single ‘top 100 layer’ (talk about religion!) on a team that proved it was one of the best in the country on the floor. No argument that Zeller made a great contribution, but the contribution of the other 10 players was as important to the team. How much could Creek (the original, which I suspect will be what comes back only better for having learned the game so much) have added to this team?

    It’s unfortunate that basketball (no-have that wrong, that basketball fans) has gone the way of making gods out of individuals. The game of basketball is becoming the victim of the hype that comes from the media, the pundits and the ‘talent wonk/evaluation experts’ who have dug their hands in the game’s pocket. And, way too many collaborate in that expropriation of this once beautiful game.

    I feel comfortable (now) that TC is finding the pieces he needs to put his vision together, whether they are ranked #1, #147, or #174; or none at all. Important to remember thatnone of the ‘talent experts’ work in the main stream of basketball and are self-appointed experts is paid by way of the number of subscribers they attract.

  22. Cookie, don’t agree. I think we should sign whoever our capable coach wants to bring in given his concept of the game and his assessment of what we have and what we need. Whether it is someone in the top 80, someone who is #83, or someone who is not rated at all (was Abell rated last year?), the choice is TC’s.

    Don’t mean to minimize your thought, but putting restrictions on our coach serves little purpose.

    By the way, how about if he finds a foreign player? I hear there’s a South American guard who dominates the game like Ginobili, defends like Nocioni, scores like Scola and Lou Deng, rebounds like Pau Gasol…and none of them made any top “200” list.

  23. I don’t even want to think about the rankings of foreign players or recruiting them. As we’ve recently been reminded, that can get messy because the definition of “amateur” in foreign countries is often different than the NCAA’s definition.

  24. Christian Watford, MO Creek, and even Tom Pritchard were all top 100 players in their classes. Hopefully Cody stays another year to teach Luke Fischer some awesome post moves.

  25. Getting in late here, but wanted to comment on Perea relative to his development.

    I believe Hanner is from Brazil and probably grew up playing soccer. Regardless, he’s pretty new to basketball and is developing skills that a player from Indiana (or another basketball-crazy state)might have started developing at age 1 or 2 when he got his first 3-foot Nerf goal(I had a number of thunderous dunks prior to kindergarten on mine).

    Let’s turn the situation around. Let’s say Jordan Hulls, with a lifetime of basketball knowledge in his favor, had decided to be an exchange student in Brazil, where he found out that he had a tremendous set of natural skills for soccer, which he previously knew almost nothing about. Would he, as a senior, be as polished, as sophisticated, as generally aware of the game as a comparable talent from Brazil, who had grown up with the game, played it since he was a preschooler?

    I’d say no. Jordan Hulls, despite his talent, would not be as far along in his development as a lifetime soccer player who had been coached in the sport since a very young age. But does that mean he doesn’t have the talent, that he won’t develop rapidly when he starts playing against other good players and getting good, intensive instruction from experienced coaches? I’d also say no to that; he’d have just as much developmental potential as the native Brazilian soccer phenom; it just might take a little longer to develop and refine that talent.

    This I think is the situation with Perea. Give him a year or two of coaching and battling our roster in practice and playing in games and he’ll be outstanding. As such I’m not worried about it all, particularly with the experienced players in front of him his freshman year.

    Go Hoosiers!!!

  26. Eric,
    The point’s good (Perea’s from Colombia, but we’ll let that part go) and obviously the Hulls parallel is good. One difference you have to be aware of, though, is Perea has been here for three or four years (can’t remember when he arrived full-time) and one would presume he’s experienced some intense coaching in prep school in that period. He obviously doesn’t have Jordan Hullsian basketball experience, but he didn’t just get here either and the people around him have been focused on making him ready for the next level. Can’t say they’re at the level of college coaches, so there’s a difference, but it’s not like he’s just playing rec ball either.
    I’m not at all saying that he doesn’t have the potential to be a great player. I honestly think he’s a pro. I’m just less sure of that than I was the first time I saw him.

  27. In terms of impact freshman, Hollowell and Yogi will contribute the most next year. I think it will take Hanner 3-4 years to reach his full potential but Tom Crean is amazing at developing players and he should be a solid 1st round NBA pick after he graduates. We could also be shocked and see Ron and Peter turn into stars by the time their IU careers are over! Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey were ranked lower than Ron and Peter out of high school and look what they have turned into! Hopefully Austin Etherington doesn’t transfer. He is going to be a huge contributor his Junior and Senior years. Holy crap are we going to be deep next year! GO HOOSIERS!

  28. Actually, Hanner may be the player who may benefit the most from a red shirt year. I am not sure how that may affect the scholarship number situation nor is it my intention to go there either. Just saying that if polishing is the issue, an extra year may affect Hanner more than anyone given his relative development and his extremely high ceiling. (See my post #11)

    The other issue that is important is that Hanner’s objective is not to simply become very good but to compete with that top two, three percent if he is thinking NBA. He may also have options in terms of the Spanish and the Italian leagues which are very, very competitive and lucrative, but any additional development time he spends will have that much more impact on him.

    And, Colombia is not a complete new comer when it comes to basketball. While RMK was here quite a few Colombian coaches would come to Indiana from a week to ten months to learn from him. (In fact, when he had his incident in Puerto Rico, the two witnesses who backed RMK’s version of the confrontation with the Puerto Rican policeman were both Colombian coaches who happened to be there watching that practice). (I do not know if either of the two coaches had anything to do with Hanner’s development. I have posted before that Hanner’s last name suggests he may be a relative of Luis A. Perea Mosquera (both last names are also Hanner’s last name) an important player for the Colombian national soccer team who recently signed with the Dallas team of the MSL. He’s 6’2″.

  29. 1) Redshirts don’t affect the scholarship situation. 2) Hanner’s not redshirting. He needs polish, but Crean would rather him get it in game action. Even as raw as he is, he’s too potentially valuable to sit out an entire year, especially one when the Hoosiers have a chance to win the whole thing.

  30. I can’t believe that MR. EXPERT TT didn’t know that red-shirting does not help the scholly situation.

    And it’s pretty dumb to think it would be Hanner anyway as playing actual games would help him the most.

    Kinda surprised Crean says we can wait so long for the situation to work out. Let’s say a kid needs to transfer. wouldn’t he need to do it early so he can find a school that’s the right fit instead of waiting til the last minute?

  31. Some points: 1) Tom Pritchard was ranked over 200 his senior year, not “in the top 100”; 2) Anyone who watched the Indy Sectionals on channel 4 knew that Mike Woodson could be great (didn’t Ron Patterson just this year break his scoring records at Broad Ripple?); 3) I watched Hanner play with his team twice in post-season games against good teams. They ran 0 plays for him, the guards show-boated for their own rankings, he had to guard 7′ players, the coach had no game plan but “roll out the ball” my talent is great, etc. Coach Crean will show that the progression of Victor and Will was “no fluke” as Hanner becomes an NBA target by the end of his sophomore season; 4) Rankings are educated guess-work, but there does seem to be an anti-Indiana bias. The point on Peter is accurate. Only an imbecile could have watched Peter in his post-season All-Star game and not seen a top #60 7′ player, Very similar to James the UNC recruit from FL.

  32. There were players and other coaches that witnessed the incident in PR. Regardless, what does your statement prove? It does not prove Hanners’s lineage. It does not prove that you know RMK. It proves nothing.

  33. Laffy,
    One effect the APR is had is that the transfer process is going at least somewhat slower. For instance, both Bawa Muniru and Bobby Capobianco stayed with the program through the spring semester and into summer workouts before transferring and they both landed in places where they made sense. I was thinking the same thing before they transferred, that Crean was obviously waiting too long and they would end up stuck. I think there are more teams keeping scholarships open because of transfers (you usually don’t NEED 13 guys) and I think more coaches are waiting until the semester ends, kids have their grades and they know they’re not going to take an APR hit. (There’s a good story in CBS about this.)
    I actually don’t think there will be a transfer, but if that were the direction Crean decided to go, I don’t think the player would have a problem finding a place to go.

  34. Thanks for the Colombia-not-Brazil correction, Dustin. I don’t always have all the details right (like when I thought Towson was in the MEAC not the Colonial–duh)but I think my point is valid. Perea’s what we call a late bloomer, except that normally ‘late bloomers’ are kids who developed physically later than most of their classmates, whereas Perea is a late bloomer due to relative inexperience. Even I can tell in a couple of Youtube videos that he’s definitely not a physical late bloomer!! I look forward to seeing him develop learning from Watford and Cheaney. Talk about two good forwards to learn from, in one way or another.

  35. Thanks Dustin for the information on redshirting/number of scholarships. I did not know. I am not sure I feel comfortable with ‘oversigning’, particularly when we make a pretty big deal out of players who back out of their commitment. Seems to me some day we may get caught in the crossfire of similar situations. Can’t imagine it’s the right thing to tell a player on scholarship that he needs to pay his/her own way or stop playing because we need their scholarship for someone else. That’s all, I asked for information, was given the answer. Thanks DD.

    Eric, great point- I think you are right on target on Hanner. I’d love to see him succeed in a big way (and with his success, ours). No question Hanner is a very unusually gifted athlete who is physically way ahead of others. Given a much shorter period of time playing the game Hanner would benefit from additional time and experience. I wasn’t suggesting he be redshirted, only that he would benefit from additional time. It’s the experience issue. I suspect you are very right that the learning curve for Hanner will now speed up under Tom Crean and his staff and with exposure to excellent players every day.

    Jay Gregg- I was just wondering out loud if one of the two coaches I mentioned was one of the two Colombians who witnessed the incident (and supported BK). Just a passing thought. Both where nice guys. I was also definitely intrigued by his last name and by Hanner’s possible relationship to the Colombian soccer forward. Spanish culture people carry both the father’s and the mother’s last name and that allows one to be more precise in identifying families and yes, lineage (nombre de pila). I thought it interesting if there is a relationship. Colombia is not one of the top teams in South America (Brazil and Argentina are), but Colombia has improved quite a bit in the last 15-20 years and- given Hanner’s age- I thought it may be partially attributable to a generation that did have frequent contact with IU basketball (which would be great if that is the case).

    I look forward to watching Hanner Perea Mosquera play for the Hoosiers and, perhaps, following him if he plays for the Colombian National Team in the South American championships, the Pan American Games, the World Championships and the Olympics (if they qualify). It will still be Hoosier pride out there, regardless.

  36. Why do you you guys bother judging the players? I don’t give kids a hard time for backing out of their scholarship commitments…

    The NCAA is a corrupt and hypocritical organization

    Coaches can can back out of their commitments to players and schools without consequence

    They have parents, friends, “advisors”, coaches, etc in their ears all the time, and not always with the right message

    and more than anything… They are kids. they are very much still trying to figure life out.

    So Tsao why do you make a big deal out of that?

  37. I’m with you, Geoff. The kids have so little say in any of this that I don’t begrudge them the tiny amount of control they do have.

    When are these guys gonna be on campus?

  38. I am not sure I feel comfortable with ‘oversigning’, particularly when we make a pretty big deal out of players who back out of their commitment

    I didn’t interpret that statement from Tsao as being supportive of bashing players for backing out of commitments.

    Maybe I’m the one misinterpreting his views(seeing how I haven’t been following this thread that closely), but I thought Tsao was expressing a viewpoint that coaches that go over their scholarship numbers can’t expect to always have unwavering loyalty from commitments since they often play the recruiting game to cover their own a$$es by occasionally oversigning as a form of a backup plan a better talent becoming available.

    I will conclude by saying….DA BEARS!!

  39. Geoff, I’ve seen several of your posts where you get upset (and, frequently rightly so) with a critic who has not read your post carefully or done so without bothering to confirm what he thought he read. The same is true here with your comment.

    I posted: “…I am not sure I feel comfortable with ‘oversigning’, particularly when we make a pretty big deal out of players who back out of their commitment. Seems to me some day we may get caught in the crossfire of similar situations. Can’t imagine it’s the right thing to tell a player on scholarship that he needs to pay his/her own way or stop playing because we need their scholarship for someone else…”.

    Clearly, I was voicing my concern (and that’s exactly what it is- a concern) with the issue of possibly having to ‘de-offer’ (it’s not even a word) at some point because of ‘oversigning’ (offering more scholarships than we legally have); when in fact I’ve seen strong negative reactions by posters when an athlete takes back his commitment (and adult would-be IU assistant coaches as well).

    Truthfully, the whole concept of ‘commitment’ by 14-18 year-olds bothers me because it puts the kids (and that’s exactly what they are) in a position to be portrayed as having no integrity simply because they changed their minds. I’ll pick a hard one for you, since we were all overjoyed when it happened to Illinois; the case of Eric Gordon de-commiting in favor of Indiana and making the entire state of Illinois go into a psychotic breakdown comes top mind. We have had equally challenging situations at IU. But, in reality, we put them these ‘kids’) in that position; in part by “oversigning” (which, I suspect is in part a defensive mechanism against ‘de-commiting’).

    Truth be told, the NCAA (and I totally agree with your view of this institution, for them to monitor the entire recruitment process for all of the issues that have been discussed a zillion billion times before is laughable-if it weren’t so sad) does not recognize any agreement from the players until the LOI. And, if it is really interested in a reasonable and level playing field it should simply entirely prohibit the practice of ‘commitment’ and therefore, decommitment.
    What I addressed was that probably, I looked upon the “oversigning” process with a more judgmental view because it does begin with a bunch of adults who have a personal economic stake in the outcomes.

    So, basically Geoff, if read properly, my argument was based on my concern about the “oversigning” process and my linkage to the ‘commitment’/’decommitment’ issues involving kids was a critique of this entire process. As a fan I accept that’s the world we live in.

    As a person, I believe we are creating an ethical situation that puts everyone behind the eight ball; coaches,players, parents and fans. (And don’t let me get started on street-agents, representatives, advisers, ‘house-men’ -that’s what Paul Gallico used to call sports writers who opined from their agendas for the price of their pre-game buffet). Or, worse, a world that enables specimens like World Peace Whatever His Sickness’ Name Is and his league of miscreants to be worshiped.

    We’ve created quite a mess with the importance given the entire recruiting process, to the the way the press hypes it, the emergence of the ‘rating’ services, the 4-6 million dollar coaching salaries when we lack the money to pay Nobel Prize winning professors or to fund educational initiatives for kids who can’t jump or shoot a three pointer or touch the top of the backboard.

    We are all responsible for creating Caliparistein… That includes me. As soon as the pads go on, or the soccer ball rolls through the grass or the basketball starts bouncing I’m there… and my big concern is the Hoosiers.

    But do me a favor Geoff…your welcome to criticize me, there’s plenty to criticize … But, first read me correctly, in English, and make sure you are reacting to something I actually said rather than inventing yourself a straw man. You base your comments on what you consider and often cite with pride as your analysis of facts, empirical data. Reading involves the same skills.

  40. Thanks Harvard, I had not read your post until after I had posted my answer to Geoff. But, I truly do appreciate your post and you actually bothering with reading it as written. You got it exactly right. I just think Geoff was looking for a straw man so what I wrote didn’t matter that much.

    There’s a lot of value in people like you Harvard. I appreciate it.

  41. For the record, I wasn’t criticizing you, TTG, I was just agreeing with Geoff the the kids are pawns in the NCAA’s game. It’s interesting that ‘commitments’ have become what they are. Really, there is no actual meat to them. To the best of my knowledge nowhere is it written that a kid can ‘commit’ to a school and it has any bearing in their recruitment other than a ‘gentleman’s understanding’ among coaches. Am I mistaken on this?

  42. As far as oversigning, I just don’t follow other programs very closely but isn’t it a fairly common practice?

    It’s like overbooking a flight, we may not like it but they aren’t gonna stop doing it.

  43. Chet,
    You’re right that a verbal commitment doesn’t have any official purposes, but I’d say the verbal commitments actually make the process much easier for the kids on a whole. In football there isn’t really a gentleman’s agreement. Committed players are recruited all of the time, mostly because prospects are identified later in their careers (nature of physical development in the sport) and it’s rare that a player really knows what all of his options are until he’s a senior. It’s much harder to keep commitments in football.
    In a way you could say the relationship between a verbal commitment and a letter of intent in college basketball is analogous to a steady relationship and a marriage. I mean that in the sense of the way its viewed by other coaches. It’s a lot worse to hit on someone else’s wife than it is to hit on someone else’s girlfriend, but you’re still a jerk either way.
    Basketball players who decommit may experience some nastiness from fans (but with few obvious exceptions, e.g. Eric Gordon, it isn’t really that bad, so long as they avoid message boards) but those who stay with their commitments actually get more time to be a kid in high school than those who string the process along until their senior years. Devin Davis and Collin Hartman, for instance, haven’t had to deal with recruiting since November of their respective sophomore years. Takes a lot of pressure off and allows them a lot more times to work on their games and just be high school kids. Getting it over with early isn’t what’s best for everyone, but I’d argue that there’s a lot less ugliness than there would be if everyone left their commitments open until November of their senior years.

  44. And on oversigning, it is fairly common practice, but again, it’s more common practice for football because the numbers are bigger. The reason I think it’s an issue with this group is there isn’t an obvious way out of it. There’s no dead weight on this team. Whatever way this “works itself out,” is probably going to sting. That’s more of the issue, I think, than the general practice of oversigning.

  45. Tsao, you are spot on with post #47. You were the straw man, and I definitely took your comments in son text originally. Sorry I used you to speak out to the blowhards who actually get all fired up about de-commits.

    Dustin, I think you nailed it with post #52

  46. Seems to me not too long ago I read that Ohio State’s new football coach Urban Violence(following one who got his commitments in tatoo parlors from high school players who drov e up tp them in their rented $3.75 a=day Porsche Carrera)came into Columbus and immediately set about recruiting players who had given their commitment to other BigTen Coaches. As I understand it (again, not absolutely sure on the exact details) he was called out by other coaches and was pretty public amswering the ‘handshake rules” (my terminology) were no longer binding to him.

    DD, I’m kind of surprised at your argument and your example (married v girlfriends/best friend). Sounds a bit as if you are arguing ‘that’s the way it is and nothing can be done’, sort of a n__ky is n__ky argument. I’m arguing we are asking pretty big ‘commitments’ from kids who in most cases are ‘not yet of the age of consent’. (Chet’s right…it doesn’t mean anything and that’s why coaches try to give it the ‘meaning’. They have the financial stake in selling the idea of the commitment.) The kids have no obligation. In fact, this is probably the reason why, in the next step, the LOI requires the parents cosign and give their permission on most LsOI.

    I’m glad to hear the NCAA will require 50% graduation. What period of time- 5 or 6 years? Will this include those kids leaving early for the NBA? If true, this should impact schools like UK quite a bit and become a step to returning the game to true student-athletes.

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