Anya: “They’re like rock stars over there”

BeeJay Anya had been told to be prepared. He was told that Assembly Hall would be packed solid for Hoosier Hysteria, and that all of the fans there would shower attention on the recruits in attendance.

But the DeMatha Catholic High School center and long-time Indiana target from Hyattsville, Md., still wasn’t prepared for what he experienced. Along with Oak Hill Academy wing Troy Williams and the four verbal commitments Indiana already has for the 2013 class, Anya was the main recruiting attraction Saturday night, and he got the treatment that usually comes with that.

“The atmosphere was great,” Anya said. “Hoosier Hysteria was popping. It was packed. Fans were going crazy. It was just great. … They told me basketball was like gold there. I was expecting it to be crazy, but I wasn’t expecting all of that. They were chanting my name when I walked in the building. That was surprising to me.”

Anya has been among the names at the top of Indiana’s wish list for well over a year. The 6-foot-8, 270-pound center is a four-star recruit and the No. 47 player in the country according to and has been a household name for Indiana fans as long as the Hoosiers have been after him. However, he’d never been to the state, so they had no opportunity to dote on him as they usually do in-state recruits of similar stature. Hence the reason Saturday’s response came as such a big shock to him.

Hoosier Hysteria was certainly the highlight of Anya’s official visit, but he said he was also impressed with his tour of the facilities and his dealings with everyone from the coaching staff and players to the academic staff. The life-long East Coaster also noticed that relations between people are slightly different in Indiana.

“I found out it’s a lot different in the Midwest,” Anya said. “Everybody seems so together. It’s like family. Everybody’s just so nice to each other. It’s a great atmosphere.”

Anya said he’s going to take his time making his decision. He has a visit scheduled with North Carolina State next weekend and still has three more official visits available to tour any of the 18 other schools he reportedly has offers from which include powerhouses such as Duke, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse.

Anya said he’s looking for a school that could develop him into a professional player, and one that would use him prominently in the offense. He’s noticed from watching IU center Cody Zeller that the Hoosiers can certainly do that.

“I think I want to go to a place where I can go play and be a focal point of the offense,” Anya said. “I’m watching schools play, and certain schools run the offense through their big men.  Cody Zeller, he’s amazing. He’s ridiculous. And everything they do is through him. And their guards, they like that too because that gets them more and better shots too.”

There are certainly other schools among his favorites that do the same, but when Anya makes his decision, he will remember Hoosier Hysteria. Former DeMatha guard Victor Oladipo had told Anya what it was like to play basketball at Indiana, and this weekend, Anya found out what that meant.

“He just told me they’re like rock stars,” Anya said. “They’re like rock stars over there. And I found that out first hand.”


  1. Glad he was impressed with IU and how we totally get geeked up over our ball players. But if he wants to go where he’s the focal point of the offense, let him take his 8-10 points and 4 rebounds a game somewhere else. The dude is 6’8″, 270 and never dominates. His stock fell with the last rankings for a reason. He will be a bust at IU. Pitt might be a good place for him. Bring on Meeks. Thanks for coming to visit Beejay. Enjoy your visit to NC State.

  2. He didn’t say “the” focal point, he said “a” focal point. Big difference.

    But, I agree I’d prefer another player.

  3. He’ll go to Duke? LOL

    You know that Duke isn’t even in his list of finalists, right?

    Anya might npt end up at IU, but no way he ends up at Duke

  4. He is not like Cody but Fisher comes close.Anya will not be the focus of any top tier progams offense because its a guard oriented game.IU is reaching the point of having 13 players wanting to start. Something has to give.I bet Patterson starts for the school that he picks.

  5. Patterson only starts if he attends a school that won’t require him to actually pass his classes and test.

  6. Jeremy-

    I don’t follow the rankings sites/tabloids concerning these prima donnas very closely. One of Dustin’s paragraphs above mentioned offers from “powerhouses” and it gave me the impression that the door was not closed on Duke. I didn’t realize Anya had removed them from his narrowed list.

    We rarely win recruiting battles when Duke is showing strong interest.


    Personally, I think all of the hype surrounding these kids is an ugly chapter in college basketball. Actually, it appears to be more the book than a singular chapter. Arrogance over humility your talents seems to be the popular trend in all walks of life.

    I realize I sound terribly old-fashioned, but whatever happened to letting your game do the talking? I admire kids that stay loyal to hometown high schools and retain a bit of humility. I admire professionals that desired to be professionally educated(to the best of their abilities). I admire risk-takers that put team and personal growth beyond greed motives in athletics. I admire the few true stars remaining in the sport that refuse to be infected by the self-absorption that can consume a personality because the buzz from NBA executives, rankings sites, and constant hype concerning draft days, dominates the only remaining overwhelming focus.

    Calipari, a documented cheat with a long list of NCAA offenses(most recently recruited a future NBA star who used an impostor to take his SAT exam), now has in his corner the trophies of hyped methods. He can now turn eyes of the self-infatuate into even bigger saucers by proving that the continually slathering of these high school prima donnas can even result in the ultimate rewards of an NCAA championship to hype their names.

    Where are the lessons? Where is the future for the idea of student/athlete when only the individualistic pursuits and delusions of turning immature high school prodigies into overnight NBA rock stars reaps all the rewards?

    So few truly become rock stars. So few ever live up to all the obsessions these rankings sites fill into their heads. Such a crime to throw away the time they could have filled their heads with learning instead of the almighty dime.

    We’ve turned college basketball into a sports version of American Idol..Nothing but superficiality. Originality and quirkiness a talent that must be slowly nurtured is dead. They all line up with at Calipari’s Lexington for their auditions. They believe to already possess all the gifts, but only one or two will ever make a true impact and be remembered. Hopes will die. They never really played the small clubs…worked their way through smoke-filled bars…learned what it felt like to appreciate a small crowd that valued your secure love of a craft so much that it allows for its honing under the closest examination its truth in the intimacy a discerning, cultured, stage.

    It hurts my ears to listen to the created singing sensations offered on the radio airwaves via our manufactured “stardom” TV industries. Most are nothing but mediocre creations for the bottom lines of networks that have found the ultimate weakness our fantasies born from the lure a chance to be the next overnight “it.”

    It hurts my eyes to watch basketball built on the same lures of empty hype, personality over itnimacy, and mega media bottom lines on balance sheets fueling the ultimate purpose of a sport. Replace by the next ‘Hoops American Idol,’ I miss the game once as long and humble a pathway to skies as the slow growth rings a maple sacrificed for the hardwood stage a nurtured and appreciated craft; a basketball with true tones, and a soulful, heartfelt voice.

  7. Oops.

    They all line up at Calipari’s Lexington address for their auditions…

  8. Replaced by the next ‘Hoops American Idol,’ I miss the game once as long and humble a pathway to skies as the slow growth rings a maple sacrificed for the hardwood stage a nurtured and appreciated craft…

  9. I’m not actually sure Anya actually put together a list of finalists. There was one that made the rounds in the summer, but I believe he denied that he’d narrowed his list. I just googled “BeeJay Anya narrows list” and there isn’t much on there. I think he’s probably a fringe recruit for Duke at best, but he has an offer according to Rivals and they haven’t shrunk his list yet. I think Syracuse is a bigger concern, and I don’t know if he’s a big deal to Duke at all, but I don’t believe there’s any official statement that they’re out of it.

  10. I’ve never seen why Anya gets the attention/craze that he does. I think it’s because of his nonchalant attitude(before HH) towards IU. Fans want him to want to come here and since he isn’t head over heals for IU they want him even more. He’s done growing at 6’8″ and is nowhere near a lock to be a pro. I not only think he’ll go somewhere else I’m hoping he does. There are about 6-7 other incoming recruits that I’m more excited about than BeeeJaaaay Anya.

  11. I’ve never watched American Idol but you can hardly avoid glimpses. I was once flipping through the channels and happened upon some horrific screeching. “Turn it, turn it,” my son beseeched me. I changed the channel as quickly as I could.

    I later learned I had come across a rerun and the animal noises were being produced by the eventual winner.

  12. Chet, I’m proud to say I’ve never seen American Idol or the Dancing with or the Survivor shows or any of the other reality shows. I’ve gone as long as 5 yrs without TV. Got one now that will be real busy in a month through the Final Four.

  13. ^ Chet you are a what is called a regular on this blog. Should your “regular” posts be abnormally delayed all the have to do would be to administer the blog a bit of Miralax. Of course, as is the case above, the opposite effect can also occur: frequent, diluted, incosistent posts on unrelated topics. In that case Pepto-Bismol is recommended.

    What year was that? Give us a link to a you tube version of the animal noises you experienced lest we assume you are again making things up.

  14. Last year the eventual runner up on Survivor played ball with my oldest son in high school so I tried to watch it when he was on. I lasted about 15 minutes.

    I just couldn’t handle it.

    When I first saw the name ‘Dancing With the Stars’ I thought it was some sort of joke. Maybe a Comedy Central thing.

    But, alas, no.

  15. Again?

    OK, the Idol person, I have been informed, was named Fantasia. Do your own looking.

    The guy on Survivor was Chase Rice. Great kid from a nice family down the road. Played football in college at UNC.

    Last season, 5 years ago? Who knows/cares?

  16. Chet – never was much of an Idol fan, but I’m not sure you can lump that show in with DWTS or Survivor. Idol actually produces talent… May not be your cup o’ tea, but Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson are 2 of the top selling female artists of all time.

    Speaking of Underwoods, I watched one season of Survivor because Ashley Underwood was on it. She is the sister of a buddy and fiancé of one of my former players – Chris Markwood, who got a scholarship to Notre Dame, but spent most of his time there injured, then transferred out and had a decent career at UMaine.

    Oooh the fun stories that come out when Chet goes all tangential on us…

    God that was a boring exchange – sorry.

  17. Old Wang Wang watched Survivor when Elisabeth Hasselbeck was on it. Now, she was known as Elisabeth Filarski and Wang Wang had a little fling with her before all this. Two nights. Dinner only one of them.

    I am Wang Wang.

  18. I’ll never forget Clay Aiken’s singing of Neil Sedaka’s “Solitaire” during Idol’s 2nd season.

    It still gives me goosebumps.

    Every time I hear it, I’m cut deep into the heart; reminded my own lonely existence in a solitary life I dysfunctionaly constructed.

  19. Harvard – please remember the comments like this you put out so you’ll be (act?) less offended when I re-state them in a post.

  20. If Clay Aiken was a hoops prodigy, I’m certain he would have been recruited by Duke..I believe he is the hunkalishious singing version of Kyle Sigler.

    Ever since Clay was robbed and went down to Ruben Studdard(DeAndre Thomas’s second cousin)in the finals of Idol Season 2, I’ve been having fantasies of Clay eating a Reuben sandwich while singing Debbie Boone’s “You Light Up My Life.”

  21. I can’t believe all the negatives about BeeJay on here… We can work with him on his offensive game, but this kid’s size and presence cannot be taught. Je’Nay would be able to turn him into a BEAST. His presence and shot blocking ability on defense would be incredible.

    To anyone talking about his stats (I believe Debbie said 8-10pts / 4 rebs per gm) you’re looking at AAU stats where perimeter play dominates the game and Anya wasn’t logging a ton of minutes.

    In high school as a sophomore he averaged 10 pts, 11 rebs, and 6.3 blocks per game.. junior he averaged 13.3 pts, 10.5 rebs, and 6.8 blocks per game! Did I mention his team was rated #1 in the nation by USA Today?

    How can you not be happy about those stats and want this kid in candy stripes?????


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