Indiana ranked No. 24 in preseason coaches’ poll

Indiana was rated No. 24 in the preseason USA Today Coaches’ poll, which was released on Thursday. 

Kentucky was rated No. 1 in the poll followed by Michigan State, Louisville, Duke and Arizona. The Hoosiers were one of five Big Ten teams in the Top 25, including the Spartans, Michigan (No. 9), Ohio State (No. 10) and Wisconsin (No. 21).

104 comments

  1. Indiana needs to be a top 5 team every 3 or 4 years and a top 10 team almost every year at some point in the season and ranked # 1 at some point during those times and win championship/s.

  2. t-

    I agree completely…But how do we get there? Do you have a plan?

    Is Tom Crean considered a top echelon coach by the majority of recruits that pursue most programs in that preseason top 10?

    Do you think landing Zeller was simply a matter of a kid that wanted to give Indiana a shot in the arm irrespective the man at the helm?

    And if Crean is not in the top company of prestige coaches(Izzo, Matta, Beilein, Coach K, Patino, Boeheim), then does his post-Movement/post-“everything hinges on Cody,” pipeline strategy to go 800 miles east for many of his recruits a stronger strategy than concentrating on Indiana/Chicago/Ohio recruits?

    Can Tom Crean be a coach that can consistently put teams in the top 10 if he gradually loses favor with the best talents from Indiana?

    Bob Knight did have the one championship season(’87) where a majority of the starters were outside Indiana(other than one of the best perimeter shooters to ever don the candy stripes in Steve Alford), but don’t we need to consider Knight had already had two championships and additional Final Four trips already under his belt before he built a team moving away from the homegrown talent pool that so many Indiana fans enjoy wearing a Hoosier uniform?

    Does Tom Crean’s name carry equal enough weight at this to dial back the insurance policy of staying more than just casually relevant with Indiana recruits?

    And if sleeper recruits is the strategy(finding 3-stars in the rough that have the drive to become NBA draft night material), does Tom Crean have the coaching acumen to beat teams with talent that is wider spanning throughout the roster and proven 5-star level from day one?

    6 Indiana kids on the #9 Michigan Roster…2 top Indiana kids on the #2 MSU roster.

    Michigan(2013-14):

    Glenn Robinson III 6-6 220 Forward SO St. John, Ind. (Lake Central)
    Spike Albrecht 5-11 175 Guard SO Crown Point, Ind. (Northfield Mount Hermon Prep [Mass.])
    Mitch McGary 6-10 255 Forward SO Chesterton, Ind. (Brewster Academy [N.H.])
    Andrew Dakich 6-2 185 Guard FR Zionsville, Ind. (Zionsville Community)
    Sean Lonergan 6-5 195 Forward FR Fishers, Ind. (Fishers)
    Zak Irvin 6-6 200 Guard FRFishers, Ind. (Hamilton Southeastern)

    Pipelines? Yeah, MSU and Michigan have found the pipeline to the best ballers matched with the highest b-ball IQ’s. They’ve got one hell of a pipeline currently taking the giant straw and drinking our hoops milkshake.

    Good thing everything hinged on Cody staying.

    And Dan Dakich’s son to Michigan to play with that Sampson criminal Crean chased off the floor? Blasphemy!!

  3. I realize that Michigan lost Burke, but I don’t see that team staying out of the top-5 for very long. Return Final Four trip?

    In addition to the plethora of solid Indiana talent, they have Stauskas returning along with a flashy freshman point guard from Detroit.

  4. That is one sweet looking jump shot on Walton. He reminds me a bit of Quinn Buckner…Wide and solid with really good balance in the lower body.

  5. Not very familiar with Lonergan..After taking a quick view of some YouTube highlights, I came away very impressed.

    He has a nice stroke and an outside game to go along with some natural instincts at slicing to the glass on penetrations. Also a very solid passer with quick hands and strong court awareness.

    Irvin and Lonergan both from the community of Fishers(just northwest of Indy). Puzzling….

    Geoff- Had you heard of Lonergan? Curious to your opinion after watching the clip. Does he not look like a kid that could find the Michigan starting lineup very quickly?

  6. H4H…Michigan has had a pipeline in Indiana for a LONG time.. longer than you prolly realize; Zack Randolph from Marion and before him the Guy who graduated from Plymouth HS and was ALL-State and later coached in NBA.I think some factors that influence ,,recruiting …not that long ago staying close to home so family and friends could watch was important but now with “conference packeges” like BIG 10 network..kids dont HAVE TO stay “home” to be seen…and I think ALOT of “chat” at AAU leagues and tourneys….can count the number of minutes of playing time..reason Calipari can recruit is because he changes TEAMS like a runway model changes dresses at a fashion show-they start looking for an agent soon as they return from Christmas break…when you coach an elite program like IU …its exposure and playing time at this level……..now 1 question…is there ANY; ANY recent info concerning Dante Exum

  7. It’s just strange that a Michigan team looks more homegrown Indiana than a Butler or an IU.

    Let’s not forget that Knight used to pull players in from northern Indiana(Nover, Laskowski, Valvicious, Dakich), Chicago(Isiah), and northern Ohio(Scoot May).

    I’m just wondering what started the east coast trend and why? There just seems to be plenty of talent within 250 miles of the IU campus.

    Could Blackmon end up at Michigan? Wolverines will be looking like an All-Star Indiana squad..Currently 3 freshman and 3 sophomores. Man, did you see the academic accolades for the Lonergan kid from Fishers? Wow…top of the class material.

    Skiles(Plymouth h.s.) went to MSU… Lord, was he a clutch performer.

  8. Interesting how both the former team of Steve Alford (UNM) and the current team of Steve Alford (UCLA) are ranked higher than the Hoosiers. I maintain that Tom Crean remains the last self-imposed sanction of the Rick Greenspan’s regime. The guy is not only basketball incompetent he’s simply nuts.

  9. HH, What you did not say is that every year Coach had Indiana kids on his incoming class including this year. 2014 may end up with 1 or none but he only needs 2 kids. You also did not say that if you count Hanner for playing one year at an Indiana High School and playing 3 years of Indiana AAU ball IU has 11 Indiana kids on it’s roster. Granted some are walk on’s but they are still on our team making everyone better in practice along with the Indiana kids on scholarships. The kids we lost this year are all looking for a place to go in and start without earning it like they would at Indiana and then Jump to the NBA after 1 year with no degree. Blackmon changed his date to commit and says he is going to visit IU one more time before he make his final decision.
    Most of us thought he was a done deal for sure to KY but that might not be the case not after he talked to Coach a couple of days ago. For all your dislike about our Coach and your constant slamming of him you are just a fan like all of us with one opinion right or wrong that does not count for anything other than good conversations. I have not always agreed with every decision Coach has made in the past but he is still our Coach and if you really look at Knight’s 3 Championships he had none Indiana Players on every team who started and others who filled in to make his teams stronger. Knight and the Player’s on the great 75 and 76 teams all said that the hardest teams they played all year was the one in practice. If your an Indiana kid who loves IU it does not matter if you start or play as long as It’s Indiana. Also, in an Article a few weeks ago on ESPN Men’s Basketball page was a survey of current coaches as to who are the hardest Coaches to play against and our Coach was in the top 10 so many of his peers do not agree with your opinion that he is a horrible coach. He is still learning and he is still young. He like every coach are going to have bad games. Coach Knight had lots of them
    Just like every coach. Even the great John Wooden had bad games. Now you are going to get all fired up and attack these comments because that is what you enjoy. You will most likely call be a guy who makes excuses for Coach but I am really not. I am trying to take a middle ground and yell for my Hoosiers no matter what sport or Coach. Also, for the record my Daughter, bless her heart, lives in Oklahoma City and when we hired Sampson she called me and said Daddy my Spouse and I agree this is going to be a bad move for IU. How true it was. At my age my kids are the sharp basketball fans while I fill out every March Madness bracket with IU winning!! Can’t change it’s in my blood.

  10. Sorry for the bad spelling and lack of periods and comma’s but I am sure you know what I meant.

  11. Paragraphs have never been my specialty as well..If you just add some white space(anywhere), I think you’ll find that your posts will be more enjoyed by all.

    In summary, don’t worry about spelling and punctuation…Just add white space.

    I used to work in advertising(primarily newspaper layout)..It’s the white space that sells. Keeps the eyes interested.

  12. The other thing that Harvard omits is that IU is fulfilling t’s desires from post #1.

    Last year we were #1 more than any other team. The last 2 years we have been in the top 10. Last year we won an outright B1G championship.

    So…. Ummmm…. If those Are the things you’re looking for…. Then, um…. It’s right in front of your nose. There is no need to ask the question “how do we get there?”

    WE ARE THERE!

    There is no reason to to ask the question “Do you have a plan?”

    STAY THE COURSE!

  13. Yeah, it’s called Cody Zeller, genius.

    No Zeller = No hoopla = No ranking = No national media attention = No Sweet 16’s = No contract extension = N0 success to hide the questionable coaching ability = No fan base remaining patient = No chasing Meyer = No banner ceremony for a Big 10 title = No chance for Oladipo to have his “going home” party.

    Without Zeller, Crean is nothing other than a gerbil on on the sideline spinning in the monotony his stationary inability to have an original basketball thought to move a team forward….Here’s his coaching on full display against Syracuse.

    We’ll see how long it stays the course now. Now we’ll see how well any “plan” works while watching both Michigan teams fill their rosters rich in Indiana’s best.

    Lonergan looks like the next Dave DeBusschere….He’s before you were born, Mr. Expert.

    I will give you credit for attempting to adopt “Christ” to your advantage. Unfortunately, it works about as well for your argument as it does for Crean’s coaching.

  14. Harvard – Lonergan is a non-scholarship walk-on. With the amount of talent on Michigan’s roster my guess is he sees less time than Johnny Marlin, and starts fewer games (if that’s possible).

  15. Pure speculation in post #15. Typical of you.

    I deal in reality and facts Harvard.

    Speaking of speculation, I’ll be happy to bet you on Lonergan’s impact on the program.

    Btw, Dipo created his own party. Not only was he a better player last year, but he was a higher pick, and by the looks of the summer and preseason seems to have the makings of a NBA star. If, and when, he succeeds in the NBA it will be a nice, lasting feather for IU.

  16. You’ve got that bet on Lonergan. Beilein must have seen something in the kid. Maybe he won’t get in the starting lineup by the end of this season, but I see this young man having the “it factor” and presence on the court that is in its earliest blossoming stages. Between his junior and senior year in high school, he went from averaging 2 ppg to 11 ppg. He played on a Fishers team that played North Central tighter in the state sectional match-up than Zack Irvin’s Hamilton Southeastern team.

    And don’t be so cynical toward Jonny Marlin. Do you have something against the kid? Andy Graham was very high on Marlin in a recent Thursday chat. Andy said Marlin was damn impressive in an Indy city tournament where many heroics were displayed….He could end up contributing in a similar surprise/fast rise as Michigan’s Spike Albrecht during March Madness.

    I’ll admit that I didn’t know Lonergan was walk-on. Did you watch the YouTube clip? There’s some definite promise..He’s far from the rawness in a Perea or Jurkin. He’s fundamentally very sound and moves in traffic very well. Not a bad stroke from the perimeter which gives him an added dimension to his crafty style.

  17. Lonergan is an inside/outside threat. He shoots it well from the outside, and has the quickness to beat bigger opponents off the dribble. He also has some bounce off the floor. Lonergan has good footwork and moves in the post as well. It is always tough for walk-ons to get playing time especially at the Big Ten level, but his length could earn Lonergan some playing time down the road.

  18. I’m not cynical about Marlin. I think he will have a few moments. I doubt he’ll ever start a game, but I think he has a better chance than Lonergan.

    I particularly liked the last sentence of post #20… “Could earn Lonergan some playing time down the road.” Sounds very promising for the kid.

    I’m doubtful he is, or ever will be, a better player than Zack Novak or Matt Vogrich… And their UM careers didn’t end well with Beilein.

    I appreciate the fact that you like to search for these little gold nuggets Harvard, but you realize that while it may be cathartic to you to pan through tons of sand to get that one fleck, the rest of us pass by and wonder why you waste so much time for so little return.

  19. Well, we do know Mitch McGary took the college basketball world by storm last year. And we do know that that’s quiet a nugget from a tiny town like Chesterton. And Zack Novak was also from that tiny northwest Indiana town.

    I’m pretty sure Novak had far more respect from Michigan fans and those that understand the game of college basketball beyond the scoring averages. Didn’t they retire his jersey? Much in the style of McGary, the kid was a work horse, unselfish, pure positive energy by example, possessed a keen understanding the floor, and played a poised game far above his talent level.

    Don’t be hating on Indiana kids simply because we weren’t open-minded enough to put them in Hoosier uniforms.

    Why not love the “nuggets” and the kids that make college basketball worthy of what little respect it still holds onto.

    How can you not love what Mitch McGary did for college basketball? Nuggets can also be very high level hoops talents that are golden to the core because of what they believe extends outside the popular trends. How beautifully eccentric a kid that is willing to risk it all for a banner. How wonderfully golden and unique to have such spiritual depth to know youth is truly priceless and your own teammates are as much your own soul that nourishes the game.

    I feel a sadness for fans that can’t break free the routine and recognize the unheralded gems, the blossoming late maturing kid that his worked his butt off to catch the eye of a top coach at a prestigious program…Maybe he’ll slip into the same place your memories have no use..Not this fan of the game. Kids like Lance Stemler, Steve Downing, John Ritter, Ray Tolbert, John Laskowski, A.J. Moye, Jarrad Odle, Earl Calloway, Armon Basset….Aren’t they all nuggets? Do they have to have “going home” parties to be nuggets? Do they have to be NBA superstars to be recognized as clutch performers that possibly took their talent to higher levels than someone with far greater gifts at the game? Because the “return” of an NBA contract was not in their future, they gave nothing to our hearts and increased our love for unpredictability, the mystery of shooting stars in their rare moment of shining most bright, the best game on the planet? ‘One Shining Moment’….What in the hell is more worth digging so deep for finest gold in one’s love for something than a return that has only the digging as its value?

    And to this fan of the game, it’s is the digging that makes it all worthwhile. I love talent and the pure art in taking a game to godlike levels…But I just don’t stare at the T.V. box to look at gods percieved as your “nuggets” that became goldmines on draft night. I find more in the game that never finds a headline. I look at basketball for its personality beyond its show of flesh. There is hope for me in the unheralded dreamer, from the Remy Abel’ls to the lanky and somewhat unrefined walk-on from Fishers that sparks my belief…They may love the game no less than those that soak up all the headlines and rewards to ‘self.’ And if sometimes those that don’t possess the goldmine of skills get a share of the limelight for their inner fortitude to not give up on their game, not exchange their own glory for the price of depleting the hope of a team or a young fan, and remain the backbone of what college basketball should provide to the heart….?

    Is that such a bad quest for a nugget of only dreams to share?

  20. “I looked at him (Zack Novak) and told him if I were going into an alley to fight, he would be the first guy I would grab.” — Michigan great Cassie Russell

  21. …”the rest of us” pass by and wonder why you waste so much time

    That pretty much sums you up. You’ll always be blinded by such assumptions rooted in your insecurities and jealousies. You wonder why someone doesn’t want to do lunch and invest their time in you when you sell them as being such a “waste” of their own time? But you go beyond your own waste of time..You speak for the entire family of Scoop visitors.

    Do you think anyone would want to be a friend and share beers from the starting point of your condescension? I tend to believe friendships built from bonds of trust don’t need “the rest of us.”

  22. And while Crean was oiling up Cody’s giant NBA stones to sign with IU and thus save his next 10 million dollar coaching contract from turning to dust, an unworthy castaway, a young man sometimes lost in finding a pathway others claim not on the course of holy redemption, left a golden nugget upon my memories in the darkness my warped affection for a different truth. Where some never shut up about “their” chosen God, I was given glimpse in the unheralded beauty a basketball shining moment I believe a greater loving spirit found a place to gift a memory and actually played a part in the “nugget” of a performance as destiny and reward for a belief in a young man labeled as not worthy the return.

    One of the many “nuggets” and reasons I watch is to find that spirit living through sports. I want to believe that forgiveness grants us greatness where chasing demons leaves us empty.

  23. Harvard, that was one hell of a good post Southport65 wrote to you. From other comments by him and linking some little details together, I suspect he was one hell of a coach and enjoys your reverence towards ‘old Indiana roundball’ memories, the lore and your feelings for the essence of sports. Anyway, one heck of a compliment towards you.

    Hope you keep some of it…it’s time for an e-book travel book through Indiana and its backboard culture in three dimensions: places, characters and time.

  24. Finally decided to hijack Tsao’s name…And here I thought you said his name was too respected to steal? So much for respect.

    You’re so predictably original…

  25. Harvard…this may be one of those moments and I hate to break your heart….but, indeed, it is me. All I’m trying to say is that I detected a deeper respect in Southport’s post than what you may have read into it. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong…but that’s no one’s hijacking. (Now…that’s original!)

  26. Podunker has a lot of integrity and it is easy to discern his real from false/forged id’s. But, he shouldn’t have to clarify it because some low-life is too much of a coward to sign his own screen name. Whoever is doing it is a real ‘piece of virus laden fecal matter. I hope Jeremy traces him (whoever is forging Podunker’s name) and throws his slimy butt out.

    That was written July 2nd…Sad that in just over three months he had to go from “a lot of integrity” to a member of a despicable group of coldblooded terrorists.

    May Podunker rest in peace.

    Maybe all of you should stop worrying about interpreting a “deeper respect” for what’s hidden in a long post/reply to Harvard(especially within the context of a history of insults) and start concerning yourselves with self-respecting behavior. And maybe stop making statements that assume you speak for the “rest of Scoop” and stop condescending routines when most of you are far more guilty of truly vicious insults and labels(including accusations of being a bigot or having mental disorders)than anything I’ve ever used in exchanges.

    How do you go from integrity to terrorist in three months? That may be a source for deeper contemplation than worry about what Southport’s rant means to Harvard.

    And maybe start with an apology to Podunker…I’m sure the “rest of us” would feel it’s within you.

  27. You are right, I do question whether I needed to become so irate at Podunker’s too frequent (in my opinion) ‘fire the coach/fire somebody’ rants that it sent me over the top. A mistake in judgment I apologize for.

    While not excusing the above, I do believe that the’fire somebody!…mentality is extreme, especially when exercised over a game.

    Yesterday I watched the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera talking about how lucky he felt to be able to leave the game while still a respected player, and that he was able to avoid what goes with becoming a ‘fallen star’.

    In my father’s words: ‘never kick the shovel out of a man’s hands!’ The issue of dignity had importance in his eyes, you should understand that. And I should have remembered it before going off on Podunker.

  28. I haven’t “hated” on a single player besides VJ3… It’s simply called being realistic Harvard. Non-scholarship players in top 25 programs with 4 & 5 star recruits ahead of them, to whom much has been promised, don’t get much in the way of opportunities to contribute in games.

    You know the difference between all the guys you mentioned like Downing, Calloway, etc and Lonergan… They were all scholarship players…

    I’m glad you saw a 3 minute highlight clip and determined that he will make an impact with guys like Stauskas, GR3, Irvin, and LeVert in front of him this year, and 3 of those guys plus Chatman, and (one of) Booker/Blackmon/Blueitt in following years.

    Hey, I wish him good luck. I just won’t be holding my breath waiting for the feel-good story.

    Now, I’m not going to go into the whole McGary thing again. I know you love him because he’s from your nape of the woods, neck of the wape (Why are you here?). The facts show he was a very average player for the vast majority of the season last year. I’ve never seen anyone benefit more than he did in the tournament from outstanding PG play. Pritchard would have made the all-tournament team had he been in Mitch’s shoes. Be big, catch ball, uncontested dunk… Tough work.

    All that being said, I do believe Mitch will have a good year. He is a load. He has some skill. I don’t think he’ll set the league on fire. It’s an interesting year for big men in the Big Ten. I think Payne is overrated, Vonleh and Fischer are young, Hammonds is inconsistent, Amir Williams has been an underachiever, Woodbury has potential, UW graduated their front court. It’s not that there aren’t a number of talented bigs in the B1G, it’s just that you can’t point to any and say with much confidence what he’s going to bring night-in. There are no Zellers, Berggrens, Sullingers, or Greens to really challenge him for all-conference honors.

    Sorry… My bad on Novak… I was thinking of Smotrycz, who got forced down the bench and then transferred out.

  29. Pritchard would have made the all-tournament team had he been in Mitch’s shoes.

    I love Pritch, but you’re the one now delirious. McGary can actually shoot the ball and there’s really no comparison in the balance, the breakout speed, the quickness, the versatility, the ability to put the ball on the floor and take it full court….and probably, most importantly, the hunger.

    Small town kid from Indiana with very little hoopla takes March Madness by storm. How can you not love that story? Michigan with six Indiana kids on their roster(and even the walk-on’s wouldn’t be there if Beilein didn’t think they had a role to play) and possibly more to come. And they represent exactly a slice of what Indiana high school basketball used to be about….small town nobody …steel town area pedigree…high level mid-state recruit…big names..no names with awkward and lanky strides with sparks in his game hinting a kid on the verge of unleashing his potential…and a son of the Hoosier that shut down MJ. Beilein has more of a love affair with our wonderful blend of city and rural basketball bloodlines from every corner this state than the man we’ve placed in charge in Bloomington. He searches it more with a passion than the coach at the university with the state name. Don’t ask what Harvard is doing here. Ask what in the hell Tom Crean is doing here. He’s simply a watered down version of the friend that’s a better coach at UK. He’ll never attract the McDonald’s All-Americans and he’ll never be able to connect nor find the unheralded and unsung basketball talent in Indiana right in front of his nose.

    Yeah, you were wrong about Zack Novak. I brought a lot of basketball passion during lunch breaks to that tiny Goldsborough Gym at Chesterton High School…It took a few decades to mature into a fine wine, but basketball is now part of its ambiance and lore. Could be the next French Lick…? Who knows, maybe one day McGary will be in a Celtic uniform.

    On another note…Hammonds has impressed me. Not sure what Purdue has to build around him, but he could have a hell of a year.

  30. It’s coming back to me…I may have played football at CHS with Tim McGary(Mitch’s dad). I believe he was a receiver.

    We had a QB that I truly believe could have one day played in the NFL..Rather tragic story. He was such a skilled athlete..Handsome with a full messy bundle of curly blond hair…He had a real presence…Always had his pick of the cute girls that looked a little edgy and mysterious. Unique young man..He was actually from Porter(just across the railroad tracks north of Chesterton). He played all major sports..Hell of a baseball player too. I remember first seeing Marty on a basketball court in middle school. He was built like a grown man when he was in the 8th grade…He was nearly 6 ft. tall and with full sideburns and facial hair. He was the epitome of the destined star athlete that would one day make it big. You looked at how he carried himself and you knew his name would not die like the rest of us dreamers on the third page the Chesterton Tribune. On the gridiron, he was special…Could throw and run with power…They used/abused him in run plays to the point he blew out his knee. His name was Marty Wagner. I think Marty and Tim McGary were friends. I bet it’s very bittersweet for Marty to watch Mitch live a life he seemed so destined.

    So many untold stories..So many dreams live on such a precarious thread. Wonder what ever happened to Marty..?

  31. Ok, maybe the Pritch comment was a bit much…. But I watched the UM tourney games. All of them…. It is not an overstatement to say that 75% of Mitch’s offense came directly, and very easily, from plays that Burke made. He had his moments in the high post against Cuse, but other than that it was inflated stat lines that had nothing to do with him.

    Prior to the tournament (33 games – no small sample) McGary had 7 double figure scoring games, 5 double figure rebounding games, 16 total assists, and this guy you said “can actually shoot” hit 44% of his FT’s.

    The little guy is great! He thinks I’m pretty funny, and therefore my newest hobby in life is to make him laugh….

  32. It’s not an overstatement to say that 75% of any post player’s offense come via the dynamics a talent backcourt threat. That doesn’t mean once the ball is in their hands, they know what to do with it in key moments.

    McGary played to the moment, Geoff. I never heard more criticism aimed at Eric Gordon than how he became a shrinking violet in the NCAA tournament. McGary is a gladiator. He is unfazed by big moments. I would revisit replays of Michigan’s tournament games and witness how he changed the complexion those games.

    Burke was amazing down the stretch against Kansas, but they wouldn’t have been in the contest without the surging McGary.

    He took the NCAA tournament by storm. You need to accept it. It was Oladipo’s regular season, but it was the unknown from Chesterton that captivated the March Madness audience. Nobody cares about regular season stats at that point. I won’t waste time diving into your regular season stats on McGary…I do remember reading a piece where Beilein explained that he was witnessing the confidence growing in McGary and he wasn’t going to overly stress or rush the process of letting him get acclimated to the college game at an unforced pace. And because of that understanding of the young man’s potential – not hitting the panic button by pushing a kid too hard, too early – Beilein deserves a good share of the credit for the breakout tournament performance. Don’t forget that this kid was a freshman. Pretty unusual for a big to soak up so much of the press during an NCAA tournament…no less a freshman. It was good for the game. Sorry it couldn’t be Cody or Victor. It’s not like they didn’t have a chance to still be part of a Final Four dance.

    You don’t have to label yourself as a disloyal Indiana Hoosier fan to get on board a unique story. You don’t have to dig for the stats in an attempt to prove something you can’t take back from the young man’s achievement.

  33. I also forget to mention that McGary transformed his body, lost something in the neighborhood of 20 lbs., while progressing through his freshman year. I remember an interview where he talked of altering his diet drastically and the resultant benefits coming in stamina and quickness.

    McGary — who is averaging 17.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in Michigan’s four NCAA tournament wins — said he’s lost 20 pounds since the beginning of the season. Back then, McGary probably would’ve accepted that offer for the postgame hamburger and then ordered a pizza back at the hotel.

    M&M’s were another favorite of McGary — “because of my initials,” he said — and he often chose poor times to eat his meals.

    “My metabolism slowed down,” McGary said. “I guess it was from getting old and not eating the right foods. It wasn’t the healthiest [diet].

    “To get on the court, I knew I needed to make a change.”

    McGary began to keep a log of everything he ate. Michigan’s strength and conditioning staff developed a high-protein, low-fat meal plan for McGary that helped him shed weight quickly.

    All of a sudden, the player who would lose his balance and topple over while maneuvering through the paint has become one of the most agile and effective players on the court for Michigan.

    “He gives us a great deal of energy,” said coach John Beilein, whose team plays Syracuse in Saturday’s NCAA semifinal. “The game has really slowed down for him. His ceiling is so high.”

    McGary had started just two games before the NCAA tournament, but these days he’s impossible to keep off the court. McGary had 25 points, 14 rebounds and three steals against 7-foot Kansas center Jeff Withey. Two nights later, he scored eight of his team’s first 11 points in an Elite Eight victory over Florida.

    McGary said a lot of his buckets are coming because opposing defenses are keying on All-American point guard Trey Burke and his backcourt mate, Tim Hardaway Jr. While it’s true that McGary has been the recipient of some easy dump-off passes, his athleticism coming off screens and his arsenal of moves in the paint enable him to finish plays that others couldn’t.

    ________________________

    And in agreement with your observations, McGary gave credit to his backcourt fro his successes…But, as you can see, the author of the ESPN piece goes on to further acknowledge that McGary’s “arsenal of moves in the paint enable him to finish plays that others couldn’t.”

  34. Yogi came nowhere close to creating even 25% of Zeller’s offense at any point last year. You are blinded by your Chesterton-colored glasses Harvard. It is a fact that the vast majority of what Mitch did in the tourney was simply make uncontested lay-ups and dunks in transition or when his man left him to help (cut off a drive or contest a shot in the lane). He created very little offense for himself or others outside of the Cuse game. That is a fact Harvard.

    Anyone can rise to the moment when they are literally uncontested.

    I don’t have to go back and watch anything. I was saying the same exact thing at the time. I understand its easy for the media, Chesterton natives, and un-discerning fans to get excited about impressive stat lines, especially during tournament time, but it took very little basketball acumen, and simply the ability to pay attention to the game, to see it wasn’t anything McGary was doing.

    In football, if a RB gets 6 TD’s in the option offense because every time they got in the redzone the defense all keyed on the star QB, and he just received the pitch and walked into the end zone… Well that would be news-worthy because of the impressive nature of the stat line, especially coming from a RB who only had a couple TD’s on the season… But it doesn’t mean that the RB was a dominant force….

    Doesn’t mean Mitch wasn’t, isn’t, or won’t be a very good player… Just giving you the facts buddy.

  35. Geoff-

    Gladly admit I’m blinded by the Chesterton-colored glasses…Wouldn’t you be blinded the same?

    That being said, I think you’re being blinded by some strange jealousy a kid that you fail to recognize as having some exceptional skills in the post. This kid was a freshman on the biggest stage in college basketball..That stage has been known to destroy many a player with thick stats, nose-plugging gestures of their self-proclaimed greatness, in games that don’t mean diddlysquat.

    We all have are blinders…And yours are no less obvious.

  36. Your football analogy is ridiculous by the way…

    McGary put three double-doubles together…I tend to think he was starting to get quite a bit of attention. And that attention also made Burke far from the only concern. It’s a two-way street, my friend. If McGary doesn’t rise to the occasion, they swallow Burke with more help, traps, double-teams, etc.

  37. I’m not jealous. There isn’t a jealous bone in my body in any matter. I don’t get jealous about money, women, men, noteriety, houses, cars, talent, others’ success or belongings, etc…. Seriously. It is not now, nor has ever been, part of my DNA. (My wife can confirm this because it’s a point of minor irritation for her, as she is a bit jealous-natured). It has nothing to do with me thinking I’m the bomb, I am just content for the most part, and if I’m not content then I believe I have the ability to change my circumstances, so I don’t feel any reason to ever be jealous. Occasionally I am disgusted at myself for not applying myself to change something I’m not content with. Now moving on…

    He has yet to prove he has exceptional post skills. He has proven that he can catch a pass and finish consistently when not being guarded or challenged. He has proven he can run the floor and finish in transition. Beyond that he should be an above average rebounder because of his size and strength. He shows plenty of promise, but he’s had 1 game in his career where he did anything more than what I described above. He hasn’t even come close to proving that you can dump the ball into the post to him and he can score over or around a defender with a post move. He hasn’t come close to proving that you can give the ball to him down the stretch and expect a bucket. He hasn’t shown that he can do anything on he perimeter. He hasn’t proven that he can stay out of foul trouble. He hasn’t proven that he can make FT’s.

    He has skill, but it takes very little skill or composure to catch an on-target pass and make an uncontested shot within 2 feet of the rim. Especially when it is happening so frequently to you. I can guarantee you that if I played on UM last year and the opponents in every game decided to leave me unguarded on the wing and just let me take uncontested 3’s I would have been a major storyline. That doesn’t mean I’m a D1 player. Mitch certainly might turn out to be a college star. I have him ranked as one of the top 10 players in the B1G this year. But he still has a lot to prove.

    There is not a single thing I fail to see about Mitch McGary (when it comes to basketball). Sorry Harvard.

    My football analogy was dead on.

  38. Don’t apologize for being wrong. There are plenty of smart politicians cut from the same DNA as you.

    You have him in your card catalog as one of the “top 10 players in the Big 10” this year, but yet you’re not impressed…

    You really should consider politics….or selling snake oil..or trying on a Tom Crean cheap suit.

    The young man took March Madness by storm and you can’t give him his due recognition …In all honesty, Geoff, you and I both know Cody Zeller wouldn’t have stuffed the highlight reals and vacuumed the glass(even with Burke in a Hoosier backcourt)anywhere approaching what that Chesterton gladiator did as a freshman.

    What’s there to be jealous of in Maine while practically locked away from society? Conquer a city like Chicago…Introduce the wife to a night on the town with Tsao. You’re sheltered. It shows. Learn to be a little humble like Mitch. He knows he’s not the next Jesus between Geoff’s ears. It’s easy to be driven to tear others down. That really takes no confidence.

    You won’t lose any fans bashing McGary here…He wasn’t strongly recruited by Crean and he’s a nightmare in waiting…and he stole the NCAA show that was supposed to be lit for our actors. Yours is an easy basket of cabbage to throw at the kid. Fact remains that McGary wasn’t throwing cabbage or chasing around ex-assistants of Kelvin Sampson. McGary was quietly and humbly showing what real men do under pressure and without the need of sensationalism and hype.

  39. I haven’t bashed McGary once. There hasn’t been a single derogatory word out of my mouth about him Harvard. It’s your typical thin skin shoeing. Every time someone doesn’t agree with you or isn’t complimenting someone you think they are bashing them. I’m just talking facts.

    As far as Cody goes, I think he would have had a few more points and a couple fewer rebounds had they switched places. Cody is currently a much more skilled offensive player. It’s not even close. He isn’t nearly the rebounder that Mitch is or will be… That’s not even close.

    “I’m not impressed” by his NCAA tournament run with the exception of the Syracuse game. In that game he was special. Like I said, he shows flashes and potential. He shows a nifty court sense. He seems to be an above average passer for a post player. He’s a mammoth. There are a lack of experienced special bigs in the conference… And for all of those reasons I think he’ll be a 1st or 2nd Team all-B1G performer.

    It’s hilarious that you always try to make fun of me for relying too heavily on stats. I never rely on stats. Stats can help support visual evidence. I use stats that back up what I see on the court. In the case of McGary his buzz was a potent combination… NCAA tourney + inflated stats + dunks + unexpected contribution = extreme hype. There is no question that McGary took advantage of a great opportunity. He didn’t fail. He didn’t choke. When fate handed him a fortune he accepted it… But it’s not like he went out and made the fortune himself. He was Burke’s trust fund baby. (Again, with the exception of the Syracuse game, in which he was special and proved he has real potential)

  40. Here the scoop Harvard, if you can tell me why I should be impressed by a trust fund baby for having money, then I will give Mitch his due. Until then I will give him the due he has earned which is compliments on the outstanding game against Syracuse.

  41. Cody is currently a much more skilled offensive player. It’s not even close.

    Can’t agree with that statement. And I certainly don’t think Cody was more skilled or poised as a freshman.

    Take a breath of reality, Geoff. McGary put up those performances in the tournament with nothing near the court time as Cody during his first postseason experiences.

    You’re comparing a McGary that had lost 20 lbs and was barely wet behind the ears before entering the NCAA tournament. The performance was stunning considering the level of competition and the stage. Any current comparison is rather ludicrous considering you’re talking a Cody Zeller with two full years of experience against McGary’s barely scratching the surface. It shows just how flawed your statements and evaluations.

    We saw what Cody did against Kentucky in his freshman Sweet 16 game. He made some stupid early fouls and put himself on the bench as a result(like many overly stressed freshman in big games in the dance). He performed admirably considering those mistakes, but he was not the heady and dominant force we witnessed in McGary’s debut. We haven’t even discussed McGary’s marvelous positioning and instincts to the glass and how uncanny for a freshman to stay relatively out of foul trouble or play within himself when in a position of carrying two or three fouls.

    There’s a lot to it my friend. And your not looking at the total picture(the composure, the performances juxtaposed against such limited playing time, the alertness, the tenacity) nor making a realistic comparison in terms of career maturation

    And when you don’t acknowledge an achievement that every other observer/commentator/broadcaster/coach serving as ESPN/CBS analysts in the national media covering the games were praising as a phenomenal performance in the tournament, I’d say that refusal and aloofness is pretty close to bashing.

    He took the tournament by storm. And there was no going home to Chesterton party. He’s back at Michigan because he’s still hungry for more than hundreds in a wallet.

  42. Cody may run the floor and dunk, but you won’t see him do this…(against that Syracuse team that embarrassed us).

    Hell, Geoff…As a youngster, the kid was riding a unicycle all over Chesterton while delivering newspapers. He delivered that sweet pass to Hardaway as if it were the Sunday Morning paper and on to the next driveway.

    Give the kid a break. He’s unique. He’s special. He’s a gladiator. He came to the plate of the NCAA tournament like Roy Hobbs in The Natural…He is a natural and he’s from the state where basketball is natrually analogous its roots…He fought ADHD…Probably fought a lot of stigmas growing up…Great role model…And plays one hell of a determined game of basketball. What is not to love? Sorry he had to be from my hometown, but that’s your own blinders you’re wearing. I’m simply a proud Hoosier that still wonders why our university stopped looking to the north for talent. Well, Beilein built a pipeline to Chesterton. Novak provided the backbone its flow and McGary provided the one-of-a-kind show.

    I think my TCDS couple with MMW(March Madness Withdrawal) has turned into a bad case of MMDT(Mitch McGary delirium tremens).

  43. Huh…funny how that hadn’t dawned on me earlier. Same first initials..March Madness & Mitch McGary.

  44. Oh, and by the way, there were plenty of other people saying exactly what I’m saying about Mitch during the tournament. Hell, Mitch even admitted it in your cited article.

  45. And in the “cited article,” the author went on to describe his “arsenal” of post moves. And Mitch doesn’t just move up to the post like a dead weight(e.g. Our failed strategy against Syracuse)…McGary often puts the ball on the floor and moves the ball from the wing to the post. Watch the highlights…He brings so many more dimensions than what you’re acknowledging. Moves extremely well without the ball and his passing is phenomenal for a big(much better balance than Cody and doesn’t go into the lunging mode in the fashion of Cody hurrying his body before the instinct of where to attack). Watch the films…There are plenty of instances where McGary initiates movement outside the post with the ball that gave his guards far more freedom than being simply a guy to dump an entry pass into.

  46. Went and saw “Gravity” tonight. Fun film…Not Academy Award material(outside of special effects), but it certainly keeps your attention.

    You should take the wife out tomorrow. It can do a world of good to remove yourself from the gravitational forces of Harvard on Scoop….Maybe put your arm around her and have a nice dinner. It’s not healthy to dedicate so much effort to Mr. Breaking Bad of Chesterton.

  47. Actually, the author of article “described” nothing. He made a leading statement with zero evidence to back it up.

    I am giving him credit for Syracuse game, which is the one you also bring up…. Because it the only game where he wasn’t just a benefactor of circumstance.

    I have watched plenty of McGary. I have zero bias against him. I don’t need to go back and watch because I was paying attention at the time. He is a good prospect with a high college ceiling and a lot to prove.

    Cody wasn’t perfect. He was a bit soft, but he was far more skilled and agile, with the exception of his passing, which I already stated as a plus in Mitch’s game.

    Here’s that breath of reality you were looking for… Less than 2 weeks prior to the NCAA tourney IU played in Ann Arbor (cue your stale Crean Chasing Demons comments). In that game Mitch played 8 minutes and scored 2 points because Cody got him in foul trouble. He was a non-factor. (This happened several other times over the course of the season) Meanwhile Cody went for 25 & 10, which consisted of actual offensive moves and made FT’s, not catch and dunk with no one around. I’m assuming that Mitch didn’t drop the 20 lbs in the 10 days leading up to the tourney…

    Again, I am giving you the opportunity to sway me Harvard. All you have to do to get me to give McGary undue credit is to explain to me why I should be impressed by a trust fund kid who inherited their wealth.

    If your argument is that he sets good screens and moves well without the ball, well that has absolutely zero to do with why he “took the tournament by storm”. The hype was purely based on the impressiveness of his stats and the unexpected nature of them. All of a sudden in the National Title game Pitino came up with the brilliant idea of “maybe we should guard him”… When they did that he scored 6 points and had 6 rebounds in 30 minutes. Crazy how actually placing someone between him and the basket changes his effectiveness.

  48. We are going “out” to my parents house for dinner. I’ll make sure to wrap an arm around her. We almost went to see Gravity last night because my mother-in-law was visiting the baby.. But for whatever reason that fizzled out. Haven’t heard anything remotely negative about it yet.

  49. The credibility of your memory stands on very firm ground with Zack Novak.

    Love Cody…but he does not possess the repertoire of moves in the post, the ball skills, nor anything approaching the passing skills, of Mitch McGary.

    Victor and Cody had their chance to prove they could get to a Final Four. They had their chance to beat an athletic Syracuse. They had their chance to take the tournament by storm this season. They viewed college basketball as a game of monopoly and passed to buy Boardwalk.

    McGary is not finished…He still has a full year to evolve in his game maturation process and PT before he remotely approaches Zeller’s level of experience heading into last season’s tournament.

    Yes, McGary was the benefactor of Burke…And you don’t believe Cody was the benefactor of the mini MJ(Dipo) and a big(Watford)that could take his game to the perimeter and open up the floor?

    Watch film. Watch the quickness on the pivot. Watch the vacuum cleaner at the glass. Watch the turnaround from the baseline over Whithey in the Kansas game. The author “stated” and arsenal of moves at McGary’s disposal. Happy?

    Hester finally broke one! YES!!

  50. My memory was correct, I just said the wrong name.

    “The repertoire of moves”… That’s rich Harvey. He made about 6 moves the entirety of last season, and now you want to claim he’s better than the guy who brought IU back to #1. The guy who opened the game up for all the other guys you mentioned (not the other way around). The guy who scored 1160 points in 2 seasons. The guy who was the #4 pick in the draft.

  51. Draft picks don’t mean anything. I want guys that believe in the jersey and come to IU to finish the job that hasn’t been finished in nearly 30 years.

    McGary played to his talent unfazed by the moment and the stage. Zeller & Co. played for the drums of hype and then walked away with a job unfinished.

    You’re comparing a freshman going into the tournament barely wet behind the ears to center with two years experience under his belt. Yet, McGary shined more when the pressure was magnified.

  52. Here are the numbers their freshman seasons:

    Zeller – 15.6 ppg, 6.6 reb, 1.3 assists, 1.4 st, 1.2 bl, 62% FG, 76% FT

    McGary – 7.5 ppg, 6.2 reb, 0.6 apg, 1.1 st, 0.7 bl, 60% FG, 44% FT

    Thank you for bolstering my argument…

    I wonder what you’ll say about Mitch if he leaves after this year.

  53. I know you don’t care about the NBA, but here is what people who break this stuff down for a living say his weaknesses are (after witnessing the NCAA tournament):

    1) Post game – not a threat to score on the block, ONLY SCORED 4 BUCKETS OUT OF POST UP SITUATIONS ALL YEAR, weak jump hook with limited range, doesn’t have great feel – uses shot fakes when he shouldn’t.

    2) Shooting stroke – very limited range, poor FT shooter, took quite a few wild jumpers out of the post

    3) lack of upside – has the game of a C but undersized for that position and not explosive, plays below the rim, has lots of shots blocked due to lack of explosion. 2 YEARS OLDER THAN MOST OF THE KIDS IN HIS CLASS (he’s actually 4 months OLDER than Cody). 41% of his offense came in a pick-&-roll situations – will he be able to perform when Burke isn’t getting him easy dunks?

    With the exception of that last little bit in parentheses those are exact quotes from Draft Express. They had good things to say too. They gave plenty of strengths to his game. But here’s the thing Harvard, they agree with my strengths and weaknesses and observations, not yours.

    Your SI writer paid so much attention that he called McGary’s 4 post up scores all year an “arsenal”

    Thanks for making me dig a bit to and look at some video. Strengthens my argument even further.

  54. Oh, and just as a kicker… Here are the weakness listed in UM’s official scouting video on Mitch… Yes, what UM actually says are his weaknesses:

    1) foul discipline
    2) POST OFFENSE
    3) 1-on-1 post defense
    4) FT shooting

    So anytime you want to come back to reality, I will welcome you Harvard. That’s the reason I do this… It’s an attempt to save you from completely falling into the rabbit hole.

  55. Show me there numbers comparison from the NCAA tournament for freshman vs. freshman(including fouls).

    Show me minutes played per game. Beilein was bringing McGary in at a different pace than a coach who’s success would be defined by his savior recruit.

    Never mind, I’ll show you minutes played.

    Freshman Seasons:

    Zeller 36 games 1035 minutes 31.3 per game

    McGary 39 games 769 minutes(585 total minutes prior to the 6 NCAA tournament games) 585/33 = 17.7 minutes per game

    McGary’s first game even approaching 30 minutes was the game at IU on February 2nd. He was averaging around 16 minutes per game prior to the @ Indiana game.

    As noted previously: 3 double-double’s in the NCAA tournament..

    But did know McGary had 9 boards against South Dakota State and 9 boards against Florida? He was in double figures in both those contests and thus two rebounds shy(one in each game)of FIVE DOUBLE-DOUBLE’S in the tournament. If that’s not taking the NCAA tournament by storm(especially considering his 17.7 minutes per game leading into the NCAA tournament), then I don’t know what in the hell is…

    The season point averages and your numbers above(freshman comparison) mean nothing considering they don’t take into account how little action McGary was seeing until very late in the season.

    Thank you for bolstering my argument of a kid that took the NCAA tournament by storm. 17 minutes per game before the NCAA tournament…Eat those stats and throw them back up in your little pink stat book. Now go save yourself from your skewed reality, jerk(which I have no problem calling you after your “crack” comments that were appropriately deleted).

    And then to be 2 boards shy of FIVE double-double’s? That’s called wowing the moment, my friend.

    I’m not claiming the kid is going to be Shaq. I’m claiming he played incredibly poised and was a great tournament story. A quiet kid from a small town with nothing of the preseason hype that followed many that turned out to be duds during March Madness… and barely wet behind the ears in PT until late in the season.

  56. And to have nearly the same rebounding averages considering the huge season disparity in minutes per game averaged? That’s the difference in quickness to the glass and positioning.

    Watch the films…Vacuum cleaner on the boards. How do you quantify that into points and extra possessions..and extra chances the ball can get back into the hands your stellar All-American point guard?

  57. His numbers were great. His statistics wowed… But he wasn’t great, and he certainly didn’t wow me. Burke wowed me. No question about that.

    It’s fine Harvard, I know I’ve demolished you on every aspect we disagree on, so you’ll just keep switching what your point is. It’s been going on for 2 years now…

    Here’s the reality. I’ve said plenty of nice things about McGary’s game. Every area where he has earned praise or credit I’ve given him his due. But I’m a realist, and I pay attention, so I’m also well aware of his weaknesses and/or areas where he hasn’t proven a damn thing.

    You however, have fallen in love with Mitch because he’s from Chesterton. Therefore the closest you’ve come to admitting he has any fault is “I’m not saying he is going to be the next Shaq”. Outside of that you have made exaggerated claims and don’t back off them even when presented with actual evidence-based opinions.

    I can’t believe the “crack” comment was deleted. Funny that it offended you as well. Maybe it’s generational, but I’m pretty sure my friends and I, and most groups of male friends I know, have been saying that for 25 years about eachother. I’m sure I could find several instances alone on this years football draft comment log.

    I don’t “actually” believe you are crack you crackhead.

  58. 4 buckets on low post moves the entire season… What an arsenal!

    If you want me to take into account regular season minutes or mpg or whatever, then fine… If you want to go with “it means nothing” because he only averaged 17.7 mpg in the regular season, well fine.

    In the regular season Mitch’s per-40-minute average was 14.0 ppg, Cody’s freshman regular season per-40 was 21.4 (um, advantage Cody).

    Let’s move to the post-season…

    Mitch, in 6 games, averaged 18.5 points per 40 minutes.
    Cody, in 3 games, averaged 22.2 per 40 (ummmm, advantage Cody)

    In Cody’s 6 career NCAA tourney games he’s averaging 18.8 per 40…

    Whatever way you want to slice it Harvard – points, FG%, FT% – Cody is a more polished offensive player with a bigger arsenal.

    I know, I know… It doesn’t matter. None of it matters. You are in awe of his ability to catch and dunk with no defender nearby. He took the tournament by storm, along with your heart.

    GO TROJANS!

  59. Wow..You really do go crackers when you’re wrong. Appears your wife has two toddlers on her hands.

    McGary was the biggest name in the tournament, Geoff. You can slice and dice your stats into whatever Waldorf salad you choose..It won’t change the fact that he had big games on the biggest stage.

    Two rebounds shy of FIVE DOUBLE-DOUBLE’S …Let me know next time a freshman center accomplishes a run like that in the NCAA tournament.

    I think most people thought it was a great story. I admitted to the hometown bias. It doesn’t change how others that cover basketball for a living were overjoyed with the impression he was making on them…They were enjoying the ride. They were stunned by his ability. Listen to the excitement in Clark Kellogg’s voice in some of those highlights….(You know, he’s the guy that shoots hoops with the Prez during March Madness). He took the tournament by storm. His confidence and unbelievable crisp execution infected the team with confidence.

    Sorry, it wasn’t Victor’s party. I know…It’s o.k. You had all the balloons and streamers ready…You had the Final Four cake decorated..Dad was gonna come over.. Scream it to the heavens…Get it out of your system…Mitch stole Dipo’s going home party!!!! No prize in your box of Cracker Jack’s!!!

  60. Crisp execution….Quick, focused, and crisp execution. Still hadn’t used that adjective for McGary until now..It sounds so simple. doesn’t it?..But for five out of six games that’s what McGary delivered in the clutch. he was crisp. You won’t find it on a stat sheet. It’s a calmness under pressure that few possess. It’s what Steve Downing brought to Bill Walton and the Bruins in 1973 when nobody saw it coming. It truly is a thing of beauty.

    If our Hoosiers would have been half as focused and crisp to the details, we would have likely marched all the way to that sixth banner. Some solid and confident coaching may have also helped. Sometimes you possess more talent, but you just don’t bring it when it counts. What good is the Cracker Jack’s left in the box?

    It’s basketball…It’s not life or death. Maybe it seems like life or death when you lose focus on the truly important memories and the joys you’re taking for granted. I don’t think McGary places basketball on such a podium to take those things for granted. Perspective is rare in a top athlete.

  61. I tried crack once. Back in 94… I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. Maybe my roommate just said it was crack… Maybe you have to smoke it more than once to really get the feeling. I’ll never know. (He eventually got thrown off the team and kicked out of school for drugs – last I heard he drove his car drunk into the police chief’s living room somewhere in Long Island and was in jail)

    I think 100 posts is ok… It’s not like anyone else is paying attention to this thread.

    Here is your issue. You always move the target, and once you get proven wrong on something, you try to come back with something I’m not debating you on.

    You are RIGHT about McGary with several of your points:
    – he was the story of the the tournament
    – he is an excellent rebounder
    – he is an excellent screen setter
    – he does have intangibles like hustle, and crispness
    – he does show promise as a passer
    – it was enjoyable to watch
    – he can run the floor
    – lots of people gushed about his performance

    I have no issue with any of those points… You can try to make it out like I’m a hater, or jealous, or whatever… But I’m just sticking to arguing with you on the things you are WRONG about, and one piece of semantics:

    – McGary does not have an offensive arsenal, at least not one he ever showed last year.
    – McGary does not have a good shooting touch
    – McGary is not a better offensive player than Zeller
    – McGary did not “take” the tournament by storm – it was gifted to him on a silver platter by Burke

    I know you can’t follow logic, but I’ll try anyway one more time…

    Would MCGary have been THE story of the tourney had he averaged 6 points and 11 rebounds?
    (Answer: no, he would have been a nice side note , but not THE story)

    He was THE story because he had games of 21 and 25 points against VCU and Kansas, and surrounded those with solid games against everyone else except UL.

    So now I ask, why did he score so many points? Was it because of his “arsenal” of offensive moves or “crispness”? (Answer: no, the vast majority of his offense came from uncontested lay-ups and dunks and put backs when his defender left him all alone to deal with Burke, and in a few other rare instances other perimeter drivers)

    The crux of this debate is that you want me to give him credit for taking the tournament by storm. For showing amazing fortitude in big games games.

    I’m telling you for a fact, that if Mitch was just as “crisp”, just as mentally tough, set the same number and just as effective screens, grabbed even a few extra rebounds, hustled just as much to loose balls… BUT 90% of the time Burke got into the lane McGary’s defender didn’t leave him, and the help came from somewhere else or not at all, then he would have had 1 double-double, and averaged fewer than 7 ppg.

    He would have impacted the game in many ways that you, I, other fans, and experts could get excited about and appreciate, but he would not have been THE story of the tournament.

    Scoring all those points was what made Mitch famous, but it wasn’t something that Mitch earned… It was something the happened TO him, not because of him.

    “4 buckets off post ups all year.”
    “Shooting range is limited, and he takes wild shots out of the post.”
    44% from the FT line, including 6-16 in the tourney (38%) – amazing skill and composure, to be sure…
    Personally, I don’t think it takes a ton of composure or mental toughness to make dunks and lay-ups when you’re wide open and 6’10″…

    I don’t have a problem with giving the kid his due where he deserves it – it’s all there in black and white in several posts… But I will not give him credit where he does not deserve it…. I guess I’ll just have to leave that up to you.

  62. Personally, I don’t think it takes a ton of composure or mental toughness to make dunks and lay-ups when you’re wide open and 6’10″…

    That’s a very asinine statement. Quickness…agility…ability to go left or right…moving with the ball into the post….give and go plays…shot adjustment while going to the rim. It’s not just about height. It’s managing your size. It’s not taking steps. How many steps has McGary been called for as a percentage his touches? Pretty amazing that statement comes from you after the dozens upon dozens of arguments you attempted to make to defend Shaq as more than a wide bulldozer backing his a$$ into people or being the benefactor of the same exceptional NBA guards that can get in the lane and dump it off for wide open dunks.

    No, none of your arguments hold any water.

    And Burke…Fabulous, fabulous point guard. He kept Michigan in with the long range bombs and some phenomenal perimeter shooting. Cody was not the benefactor of having that multi-threat in one package. I’m not hear to take anything away from Zeller. Crean gave him nothing in the way of a backup other than unproven projects he took because he had to kiss up to an AAU coach. McGary was the backup. He didn’t have the same pressures that were on Cody’s shoulders. Each role has its pressures.

    While the moments got bigger(advancing further in the tournament), McGary may have succumb to some of the mental pressures that come with every set of eyes in the nation focused on your every move. I don’t merely attribute his numbers tapering down by everyone figuring out how to defend him. I won’t discredit the kid from his accomplishments anymore than discrediting Zeller knowing how much greater his success could have been this season with a legit force on the bench that could work in tandem or remove some of mental and physical demands.

    And that’s where you just don’t get it. You post up stats as if the game lives in a bubble with the “all things being equal” asterisk. They’re not equal. What McGary did in that tournament as a freshman power forward/center was without precedent.

    His teammates were absorbing that energy and success. He’s very quick and agile. What freshman isn’t a work in progress? We have bigs that may be works in progress ’til their senior years. You’ve been around long enough to know that the free throw line can get ugly if you’re not in the best condition. It can get ugly if it becomes a mental thing(Shaq..? Wilt?).

    If you don’t believe Burke benefited by his performances and his quickness, then you have escaped reality. It’s a two-way street, my friend. Do I think Burke benefits more if he would have had Cody Zeller as a freshman on the inside? I just can’t say…I do believe Cody would have certainly benefited more by having a Burke in the backcourt. Who in the hell wouldn’t?

  63. …. I’m not [here] to take anything away from Zeller.

    Shooting touch? Cody has a nice touch. It takes him about twice as long to get it off as many top bigs in the NBA. Slow set up…slow release. It may be accurate, but it ain’t that pretty…And it won’t be available with the athletes he’ll be facing.

    Watch film…Watch how quickly McGary gets off his turnaround on the baseline over Withey. Maybe not in the “arsenal” just yet, but the potential, the footwork, and the quickness is there. If they’re playing a game of “around the world,” Jordy probably takes down Burke 7 out of 10 games…Zeller probably has better standing still touch than McGary 7 out of 10 games…But does he set up faster? Does he turn on the pivot faster? Does he catch and release faster? Does he have better balance putting on the breaks? I honestly believe McGary’s ceiling is higher. Only time will tell and lot depends on health. Eric Gordon had an enormous ceiling…Will it be achieved when he’s injured every three months? Zeller appears to be a fabulous physical specimen. It will work to his favor.

    Oh, almost forgot…Yes, McGary did take the tournament by storm. He took the country by storm. Millions of viewers were googling Chesterton, Indiana(Is “googling” the accepted verb?). That’s my hometown, Geoff!! It’s all rather sad because I could beat McGary in a game of free throw shooting. I was a better athlete than his old man…It sucks. It was my spirit of thousands of lunch break jumpers on Goldsborough’s old hardwood that Harvard drained where nobody will ever know or care. Can’t you just let me live for 30 seconds through Mitch? Can’t you do that for ol’ Harvey and his crack pipe and his hero’s day lost? My heart isn’t a statistic. My memories aren’t statistics. My tombstone in Chesterton? Statistic.

  64. And why does he have better balance putting on the brakes?

    Nothing whatsoever to do with basketball..It’s that damn quirky weirdo passion he developed to ride a unicycle around those old forgotten streets of Chesterton. Of course, if there would have been some cars on the streets he’d probably wouldn’t lived past the age of 12….But he still had to deal with curbs and bumpy sidewalks and turning to look at the hot high school girl hanging out on Morgan Ave and 5th with her friends. That ain’t a beautiful story? That unicycle was probably an escape, Geoff. He wanted to do something that he could be proud to call his own in that godforsaken dusty and abandon hell hole of a life in a dead small town. He took that unicycle all the way to Atlanta. And you want to concentrate on his 44% touch at the line. Ride a unicycle, Geoff. See if your smart a$$ stays off the pavement 44% of the time.

    It’s so beautiful..It’s so unconventional. Nobody was shoving a basketball down this young man’s throat. Let it go into your heart..Try to understand that he’s not much different than any kid finding a place to escape ….trying to find a place to keep some happiness and memories. When he was in his element in the tournament and his skills moved without a worry in the world, he was on that unicycle cruising home to mom and dad.

  65. Only 23 more and we’ve hit the century mark…Hate to be bias and somewhat conceited, but I think my posts are becoming more enjoyable for the readers. Springsteen…Unicycles…Who and the hell wants to read the stat phone book?

    I’ve touched somebody’s heart…I just know it. If the NBA thing doesn’t work out..?

  66. I think I’m finished here.

    Work on your focus, Geoff. You miss things…You missed Scoop’s editing our posts…and you miss a lot of the beauty in sports not found in your microscopic examinations. You’re not alone. It’s missing on all the major sports programming as well.

    Cosell…and Costas. Dying breeds. Jack Brickhouse…caring voices with the heart to wrap around the passion they feel for a game far more than the rings or the final results. The art in storytelling is leaving the games. The screaming back and forth..The desire to be “my way or highway” and all the jocks turned to analysts have taken over the desks.

    Nothing of fine dining. It’s all fast food in the belief that more makes it tastier. It will be its death. Cruise on that unicycle and delight in the taste something different. Find a place where sports can live beyond the measurements in a test tube. Find Bob Beamon at the 1968 summer games in Mexico City. Find Mitch behind all those whispering under their breath what a dumb fool he looked on that one-wheeled bike..”He must have some screws loose.”

  67. You guys are off your meds i presume? Another basketball season having to read these posts from the lunatic IU basketball contingent. Awesome. Can’t wait!

  68. You are too funny man. So predictable. When I talk about what I see you want to talk stats. When I dominate your stats talk you want to talk about what you see. When you can no longer come close to making a basketball point just move on to unicycles….

    I knew it was pointless. Go back to your dream world. I’ll leave you alone.

  69. Two rebounds from FIVE double-doubles in the NCAA tournament.

    I wasn’t talking regular season. His scoring average stats during the regular season were pointless to compare to Cody’s freshman year because, in his coach’s opinion at that time, he was not ready for 25+ minutes. Horford was getting a chunk of that PT. Beilein had options and he didn’t need to rely solely on McGary. Had McGary played 10 more minutes per game(though likely not physically fit enough to be ready), I highly doubt those 10 minutes would have been without buckets, or boards, or assists….or stupid fouls.

    There was no legit backup behind Cody. He was going to get his minutes. We had to have his minutes. he had to play smart and be rather risk averse with physicality. Did that risk aversion(often unfairly labeled as “soft”), having no legit backup, make him a better post player? I don’t think so.

    What remains obvious and not up for debate is that McGary took advantage of the opportunity when the minutes became available. He steamrolled into the tournament and did not look back. His coach saw a player transforming and he rode with the momentum. What McGary accomplished in the tournament(especially in consideration his earlier weight issues, limited PT, limited starts, and his finding the pine for much of the regular season)has no precedent.
    It will likely not be seen for years(whether talking McDonald’s All-Americans or more experienced post players/power forwards that have been on the big stage before). Let me know the next time a center averaging 17 minutes during the regular season gets two rebounds shy of FIVE double-double’s in the NCAA tournament while his team rides his breakout performances all the way to the championship game.

  70. You question my memory and you can’t even remember when I broke out their per-40-minute averages from their freshman seasons? Or when I negated their regular seasons, and just compared their NCAA tourney stats? That puts them on an even playing field… It takes those extra 10 minutes out of the equation.

    No wonder you can’t follow the other things I say in my posts…

    I was under the impression that you understood what I was talking about, but were just to stubborn/weird/instigative to ever cede to reality… But now I get the root of it all. You just can’t follow what it is I am saying. It’s like looking at a complex calculus problem for you… Even though it’s just simple addition.

  71. They didn’t ride his performance to the title game. They rode Burke’s performance. Had Burke not dominated on the offensive end, either by scoring, making huge clutch shots or drawing multiple defenders, you be talking about what promise that McGary kid showed with his 6 pts and 11 rebounds per game, while losing in the Sweet 16.

    If Yogi were playing PG for UM last year Mitch would have averaged 6 & 11 in the tourney. Good, but not THE story. He was a function of Burke’s dominance.

    He could not score last year unless unguarded or spoon fed. He made 134 FG’s last year. ONLY 4 of them were on post moves!!!

    My issue isn’t giving players on other teams their due… I just give proper credit in appropriate areas to the correct people.

  72. Probably fewer touches for McGary….

    And you can’t just jump averages up to theoretical 40 minutes per game scenarios you damn fool. That’s the problem with you Sloan Analytic types…You just make damn leaps in causation that just aren’t there. The guy playing 17 minutes never gets into near the flow…The more he gets more minutes, the more confidence he gains, the more the slope of improvement gets accelerated(steeper).. Geometry changes. All things do not remain equal. Do you honestly believe you can take Remy Abell’s 10 minutes per game and bump them to 40 minute averages and conclude that will be his production once he gets more PT?

    Wow…You really are lost in your calculus. Go back to the addition of commonsense. You don’t know where a kid will max out when he’s finally given a much greater sample set of games with more minutes.

    And you really should stop with the insults..It’s not helping your logic.

  73. Btw, I am glad you amended your statement from post #73, “What McGary did in that tournament as a freshman power forward/center was without precedent”…. And qualified it with your comments in parentheses in post #82… Because clearly Anthony Davis set a precedent just the prior year. He averaged 14 pts, 12 rebs, 3 assists, and 5 blocks in the tourney as a freshman C/PF.

  74. Ok, Harvard… I don’t disagree with your argument there.

    Now it’s time for you to admit that 4 scores on post up moves in 224 FG attempts doesn’t qualify as having an “arsenal” of offensive moves… Especially when he doesn’t have a perimeter game.

    Here’s what he has…. Ability to roll to the rim catch and finish (41% of points), ability to offensive rebound and score on put backs, and the ability to stand on the block catch a dump off from a driving guard and make lay-ups or dunks.

    Having an “arsenal” insinuates he can create his own offense… Until you admit he hasn’t proven that then you lack any credibility to evaluate players.

  75. No, you don’t pay attention. You can’t extrapolate 17 minutes into 40 with all your given assumptions. And you’re obviously comparing across teams which throws in an entirely new set of variables that can effect improvement slope or digressive slope.

    And I’m quoting the use of “arsenal” from an ESPN piece….Something else you failed to notice.

    All of a sudden, the player who would lose his balance and topple over while maneuvering through the paint has become one of the most agile and effective players on the court for Michigan.

    “He gives us a great deal of energy,” said coach John Beilein, whose team plays Syracuse in Saturday’s NCAA semifinal. “The game has really slowed down for him. His ceiling is so high.”

    McGary had started just two games before the NCAA tournament, but these days he’s impossible to keep off the court. McGary had 25 points, 14 rebounds and three steals against 7-foot Kansas center Jeff Withey. Two nights later, he scored eight of his team’s first 11 points in an Elite Eight victory over Florida.

    McGary said a lot of his buckets are coming because opposing defenses are keying on All-American point guard Trey Burke and his backcourt mate, Tim Hardaway Jr. While it’s true that McGary has been the recipient of some easy dump-off passes, his athleticism coming off screens and his arsenal of moves in the paint enable him to finish plays that others couldn’t.(courtesy: ESPN.com, ‘Mitch McGary’s transformation, by Jason King, 4/4/2013)

    Call Jason..Tell him he effed up with the use of “arsenal.” Should have used his “barrel full of monkey” moves….(a lot of monkeys but only about four colors).

    It’s more of an arsenal than what Bush found in Iraq. Happy?

  76. Almost to 100…

    My “I don’t disagree with your argument there” was directed at post #85. So that’s already been addressed.

    My “you just don’t pay attention Harvard…” was directed at post #88. It was the entire point of my first 2 sentences of post #86

    6 more posts to go!

  77. Yes, and the statement in parenthesis at the end of post #82 were also qualified by the preceding paragraph:

    His coach saw a player transforming and he rode with the momentum. What McGary accomplished in the tournament(especially in consideration his earlier weight issues, limited PT, limited starts, and his finding the pine for much of the regular season)has no precedent.

    And as I said, McGary steamrolled into the tournament..Davis had impressive stats on the boards, but he didn’t dominate in the scoring column in the fashion McGary opened up in the tournament. And it was those opening games that gave Michigan a huge shot in the arm.

    Davis had three double-double’s but he had zero games where he put up anything above his season averages…He has zero NCAA games in the 20+ scoring column. He had two dud scoring games of 6 points and 9 points. He commanded the glass, no doubt. he average 13.6 points in the tournament. He average 14.2 during the season.

    McGary averaged 7.5 pts. during the season. He averaged 17 minutes per game during the regular season(Davis averaged 32 mpg).

    Nobody saw what McGary did coming(maybe Harvard because I said the kid was going to be a force two years ago). Note: I probably would have said that regardless because of my hometown bias. But ain’t it sweet when the bias lines up with truth? Gotta love it. You da man, Mitch. McGary lived up to my hype. He benefited from a fabulous point guard, but it doesn’t change the fact the he delivered in a fashion no one will likely duplicate for decades when compared to the minutes and expectations based on pre-tournament numbers and PT. Even if he had solid numbers during the regular season, his performances were worthy of All-American status. He performed like a savvy veteran. He was unfazed by the stage and fed off the moment rather than become the shrinking violet when thrown into the spotlight.

    The entire irony in this whole debate is that McGary achieved exactly what was so horrifically flawed in your extrapolation/causation approach of taking a 17 minutes per game average into 40 minute games to compare him against the top centers in the game that had their bodies and their minds and their games far more prepared for the biggest stage against the best teams in the nation.

  78. And may I add a very subjective statement…? Yes you may, Harvey.

    Outside of Oladipo, I watched a Hoosier team that looked afraid against Syracuse. I watched guys that looked like they didn’t want the ball.

    Michigan would have been a sinking ship from the onset of the tournament if McGary(with very little on a resume to believe he would turn into a gladiator when the stage lights came on)showed a hint of the weak shoulders we showed against Syracuse.

    McGary came with fire in his eyes, crispness in his every pivot, and sharp decisiveness on every pass.

    Nice achievement to win the Big 10 title. But national relevance comes by deep runs and banners. Those that say Knight failed Indiana in his latter years point to the lack of deep runs and banners. Big Ten Tournaments…Big 10 top finishes…They’re wonderful blue ribbons. But it’s March Madness and our success in the NCAA tournament that our “elite” competition(Duke, NC, Kentucky, Syracuse, MSU, etc) will continue to use as gauge to mock our self-infatuated belief in our national relevancy. It’s the Final Fours, championship game appearances, and the only March banner that traditionally separated Indiana from the rest of the mediocre Big 10 pack, that the Seth Davis’s of the “Hoosier daddy?” world will continue to throw in our faces with the proverbial “What have you done for me lately.”

    McGary can move to the NBA at any point from here on out knowing he’s done something for Michigan lately. But he still wants more.

  79. How am I doing, Dustin?

    Establishment Geoff of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Institute for Higher Stats Learning: 72

    Chesterton Elementary Lunch Break Bugle Boy Toe-Dribbler: 10

  80. Post 100!!!!

    What you’re talking about in #94 was exactly the qualification in () I was referring to…

    Boring post, but I became bored with this awhile back… Just wanted to reach our stated goal.

    Congrats.

  81. You’re a good man, Geoff. Great mind for the game. Flawed applications with horrific extrapolations, but great mind nonetheless.

    Everybody has a story….Malik.

  82. http://www.businessinsider.com/michigan-mitch-mcgary-unicycle-2013-3

    “People still don’t know who Mitch McGary is, I guess,” said Wayne Brumm, his Amateur Athletic Union coach. “I’m somewhat relieved and satisfied to share him with the rest of the world. I don’t know how exactly to describe it. He relates to everybody. I mean, grandmas love him. Grandpas. Little kids. Blue-collar people.

    “He’s going to take America by storm.”(courtesy: New York Times)

    McGary himself added, “I’m going to have fun no matter what.”

    And that’s what is sadly lost from this blog. So many want so insistently to be the “expert”…the “bomb”…the “guru”…the “coach”…the “experienced one”…the “intellect”…the “seasoned worldly one”…the “name-dropper”…that they’ve simply forgotten how to have fun. Harvard included. The blog should be fun. It shouldn’t be a put-down fest. And many on here have left because it stopped being fun and somewhat innocent.

    Good for McGary…When it stop being fun, it stops being young. That’s really what most the slathering con men waving checks in front of noses want to steal.

  83. AGREED Harvard! But I think you know that… It’s why we can battle for 2 straight years…

    I’m so excited for the season to begin. I’m planning on enjoying it thoroughly. Fun in life is key. I’m raising my crack pipe to “fun”!

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