Come Fly with Me: A Grounded a Look at the North Carolina-Dayton NIT Finale by Greg Adams

by Greg Adams

Okay, so maybe you’re a lifelong Tar Heel fan reeling from a disappointing season who’s been self-medicating since January 4, 2010—the night you watched your beloved ‘Heels lose to the College of Freaking Charleston. Or perhaps you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Dayton Flyer who’s still angry at the world over not being invited to the Big Dance—and subsequently found yourself spending Friday evening hanging out with a couple of other losers at Taco Bell and 40 Lanes for Bowling and Burrito Night.

Welcome to the NIT. The place where dreams come true. But only after other, better dreams came violently crashing down to earth.

Fans of American history—and those with nothing better to do—should actually appreciate the championship matchup if only for one reason.

North Carolina and Ohio have a somewhat petty and subtle bone to pick with one another: just which state should be credited with the origins of manned flight?

Orville and Wilbur Wright, who are generally acknowledged as the creators and builders of the world’s first successful manned and sustainable airplane, have roots in Dayton, OH, but made their historic flight in Kitty Hawk, NC.

A few years ago, Ohio started using the phrase “Birthplace of Aviation” on its license plates. As someone who often finds himself sitting behind Ohioans in traffic, I thought, “Hmm…way to go Buckeyes. You guys really are about more than getting clowned by SEC teams in major bowl games.”

However, when my aunt and uncle visited from North Carolina at Christmas, I noticed their North Carolina license plate read, “First in Flight.”

Wait a second.

It turns out that both states have a valid claim to the Wright Brothers’ accomplishments. Orville and Wilbur came up with most of their original designs for human flight in Dayton. They then tried, failed, tried, failed, and eventually tried and succeeded with some of those ideas in Kitty Hawk.

(What gets lost in all of this is that Indiana also has a claim, albeit an extremely minor one, in all this. Wilbur was born in Indiana and his birthplace can be found off an exit on I-70 on the eastern side of the state. And Wilbur attended high school in Richmond, IN. However, he never graduated, dropping out of school when his family moved to Dayton. The irony in all this is that in 2007 Richmond High School was labeled a “drop out factory” in a Johns Hopkins University study. Those poor Richmond kids never had a chance, though—even Wilbur Freaking Wright couldn’t graduate from Richmond!)

Which brings us to tonight’s Carolina-Dayton NIT Finale, which will be played at historic Madison Square Garden. I know it’s historic because ESPN announcers informed me of this 20-30 times during the semifinals—which were also played in historic…well, you get the point.

This is neither square nor a garden.

Tonight, it won’t matter that Dayton’s players should have spent more time perfecting the three-point shot and less time beating each other’s brains out at a local boxing ring. And it won’t matter that the University of North Carolina—who, in addition to generally chipping paint and hoisting bricks from three-point range—has trouble with other silly things like dribbling, passing, and shooting free throws.

No, there’s more to play for tonight. This goes deeper than winning a tournament that will likely be swallowed up in 2011 by probable (gluttonous?) NCAA Tournament expansion.

This is about making history. Or writing history. Or taking more of it for yourself. I’m not really sure.

But this is what I do know. Apparently the NIT Selection Committee watches even less mid-major college basketball than the NCAA Selection Committee (Minnesota. Seriously?). I don’t know how the Flyers are a No. 3 seed in this tournament.

I also know that North Carolina had absolutely no business hosting a first round game in this tournament, is playing some of its best basketball of the year, and still isn’t a very good college basketball team after 36 games. And this is coming from one of the most passionate Carolina basketball fans you’ll ever meet.

Dayton's Chris Wright. Not an original Wright brother.

Tonight’s game won’t be decided by Dayton’s Chris Wright—no relation to Orville and Wilbur—just my best guess here. And it won’t be decided by Tar Heel Deon Thompson’s turnaround jumper.

It will be decided by history.

And while the execution of a good game plan can’t be underestimated, the origin of the game plan makes it all possible.

By truly rising to the occasion, the Flyers ground the ‘Heels.

And then the state of Ohio, in all its manned-flight glory, will turn southward toward the Tar Heel State, stick their thumbs in their ears, wave their fingers about, and say, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.”

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The Importance of This Year’s Recruiting Class for Indiana University by The Truth

by Kyle Miller

It’s really quite simple.  Competition drives success.  Crean has come up empty on some top recruits (Selby, Irving, and most recently Abraham, to name a few), but there is no reason to fret.  If Crean wants to establish a solid foundation, he must produce and excel with the core players we currently have.  Would landing a top 10 recruit be nice?  Of course.  In time I believe Crean will land his fair share of those players, but not this year.

Players spend a ridiculous amount of time throughout their playing career in practice and working out.  Practice and off-season workouts are where the majority of players improve and sharpen their skills.  Crean commented late in the season about how players seem to compete in practice but lack that same type of aggression and drive in games.  This statement did not come as a surprise to me for one simple reason:  IU lacks competition in practice whether it is five-on-five or one-on-one due to the lack of depth at all positions.

In order to mimic the intensity of games, practice must match that sort of intensity.  Imagine a one-on-one dribble drive drill between Verdell Jones III, arguably IU’s most explosive offensive player, and Kory Barnett.  How does Jones’ game benefit?  It doesn’t.  In certain practices and drills, I’m sure Jones is matched up against the likes of a Maurice Creek, but not on a day-to-day basis.  Skills are perfected through repetition, so when Oladipo (number 23 in white in video below) and Sheehey become official Hoosiers this summer, Verdell will face stronger competition.  This is apparent at each of the five positions for the Hoosiers.

I expect exponential improvement from the returning core players, especially Watford and Elston.  They ought to push each other each and every day.  This will make them both better.  If Rivers sticks around, his athletic ability will help prepare Jordan Hulls and Maurice Creek for the defensive pressure they will face in games.  We lack an inside presence, obviously.  We need a skilled big man to help Bawa develop.  Hopes are lost on Pritchard, and Cappobianco is a solid four.

Is it too early to talk Indiana Hoosiers basketball?  Hell no.  Indiana basketball is on my mind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Football season is simply a prerequisite to basketball season.  I wish Crean would allow practices to be watched by the public more.  I would be very interested to see how he conducts his practices.  I’ve heard rumors on which I won’t release because half of rumors are lies.

Practices are where players improve, bond, and win championships.  The foundation needs to be built on the basis of competition.  We need our top guys competing each day with players that can challenge them.   This recruiting class can provide that.

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Final Four Breakdown – Three Goods Versus One Evil by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

The talking heads never want to step out and say that there is some seriously crooked nonsense going down in college basketball, and I lose respect for them every time they wax rhapsodic about Bob Huggins and John Calipari.  “Baby, there guys can flat-out coach!” is the refrain.  How are they at building young men who can go out in the world and make a difference?  How are they at finding a way for their kids to earning a meaningful degree?  How are they at selling their programs to recruits on its merits?

To pour Coach K, Tom Izzo, and Brad Stevens into the same career pot as Bob Huggins is laughable.  I was thrilled to see West Virginia and Kentucky paired in the same bracket because at at one would have to lose before coming to Indianapolis.  Of course all of the coaches will be here in their shiny logoed sweatsuits this weekend for the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention.  They will spend their money at the OTB, Ike and Jonesy’s, and Iaria’s, all the while complaining about how kids are flakier than ever, and how their parents are worse.

Then Saturday will come, and we will turn our attention from the annoyance of the sweatsuited throng to the basketball the country is waiting to see.  Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans will enjoy their sixth trip to the Final Four in 12 years, and will match-up against the supposed Cinderella.  That’s not a glass slipper on Matt Howard’s foot – it’s a size 18 basketball shoe.  The bus Butler will use to get to the stadium won’t turn into a pumpkin because these Cinderellas are the favorites in the first semifinal.

Brad Stevens’ group does an outstanding job of playing within themselves and controlling the tempo.  The winners of 24 consecutive games, the Bulldogs are pretty close to unflappable.  They know how to finish games and in 80 minutes against the numbers one and two seeds in their regions, Butler looked flustered during exactly zero possessions.  They play the way they play, and nothing Izzo can do will change that.  It may or may not be good enough to beat the Spartans, but Butler won’t be awed by the experience and beat themselves.

In the second game Saturday night, we have two teams I would like to see lose.  As with the Kentucky vs.West Virginia game on Saturday, I will have to settle for a guarantee of one of them losing.  Duke I root against because the university is a pious and sanctimonious place where the kids who are too cool to go to an in-state school but not smart enough to get into an Ivy League institution go to be all impressed with themselves.  I’ve been to the campus twice, and the vibe is early American Self-Impressed Douche Nozzle.  Coach K appears to be this wonderful mentor for kids (and is), but he is said to have the foulest mouth in sports.  That raises my level of admiration a bit for Duke, but not enough.  Jon Scheyer is the typical Dukie.  He’s that guy who gets all the broads, but doesn’t know what to do with them.  The guys who play at Duke just aren’t “guys” – you know?

The exception is Nolan Smith, the son of the late Derek Smith, who helped the University of Louisville to several Final Fours and a National Championship in 1980.  Derek was one of the all-time good guys in sports.  He was asked one year to play in the Foster Brooks Celebrity Pro-Am at Hurstbourne Country Club in Louisville.  Foster Brooks was this guy who did a drunk act on the Dean Martin Roasts and put together a golf tournament to benefit the Kosair Hospital for Children.  Bob Hope, Ernie Banks, and a bunch of half-baked celebs would join pros like Fuzzy Zoeller, Jodie Mudd, and Billy Kratzert  for a day of golf.

Smith declined to embarrass himself by playing but he did offer to serve as a caddy.  The entire 18-holes, Smith shagged a bag for a golfer.  He raked traps, pulled pins, and all with a big smile.  He won me over forever that day, and his kid must be a decent enough guy because of that.  Smith died as a result of a congenital heart defect almost 14 years ago, so there is a part of me that wants his kid to put a smile on the old man’s face as he watches from above.

It also helps that Duke is playing a team coached by Bob Huggins.  I don’t care what the school is.  If Huggins is the coach, I want losses of the most agonizing kind.  I want Smith to throw in a half-court shot that leaves his hand the exact moment the horn sounds.  I want Huggins to leave his seat, lean all this way and that, and then gaze in horror as the shot hits the back iron and pops 25-feet straight up in the air, jump up and down twice thinking he’s won, and then collapse in horror as the ball slices through the net.

Huggins doesn’t graduate young men ready for the challenges of the business world.  In fact, he graduates no one.

The final of Butler and Duke would be a singular affirmation that student-athletes can triumph over the one-and-dones that have populated the Finals for that past few years.  College basketball should be played by kids who go to college to learn about life, not use it as a weigh station for a professional career.  The rule requiring kids to attend a year of college is so completely ludicrous and absent any academic logic that those in the NCAA who agreed to it are the standard bearers of boobism for our generation.

A final of Duke and Butler – two schools that enjoy racial, athletic, and academic harmony will be something parents can point to as an example of competitive sports being done right.  Can we be so lucky to see that on Monday night?  A Butler win would change the landscape of basketball in Indiana for a decade.  Kids here would grow up dreaming of playing for the Bulldogs.  Can you imagine Matt Painter and Tom Crean making home visits hoping that Brad Stevens isn’t behind them?

I see no parallels between the Hickory High School team of “Hoosiers” and Butler Bulldogs, but come on, do it for all the small schools that never got a chance.

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American Idol Review – March 30, 2010; Siobhan Magnus, Crystal Bowersox, Casey James, Lee Dewyze, and Aaron Kelly; Who Will Be Eliminated by kentsterling

by Justin Whitaker

While I enjoy seeing two UFC fighters fight to bleed and love seeing safeties crack defenseless wide receivers, I have to admit I also love American Idol.

It is not the most masculine thing, but as a music fan, it is enjoyable to see a contest so hyped and publicized. And as a sports fan, I enjoy the competition the show brings. Blend the music with the competition and it is a combination I cannot stop watching.

I catch flack from most of my buddies because I watch the music talent show, but it does not really bother me because they have terrible tastes anyways. They are watching Real World and Jersey Shore, I am watching Idol, who really needs to be getting thrown under a bus?

While I will still be writing and talking sports weekly, I am going to be giving my not-so-expert opinions on everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure every week.

Time for the now weekly American Idol review!

Top Ten: R&B/Soul Week

1. Siobhan Magnus– “Through The Fire” by Chaka Khan

I like the song choice first off. The Kanye West version of the song is good, so I was hoping for the same here. Siobhan looked the most normal we have seen her all year. I was really a fan of her outfit until they showed her boots. Wow, those things were hideous. She was pretty and elegant, and then had some military boots on.

Uh, what? But at least her unique voice distracted me. It was at times hard to understand her because of the way she sang it. But Siobhan did an okay job with it. I don’t think her niche is R&B/Soul so she’ll get a pass this week. The judges were way too hard on her though. Maybe their critiques seemed worse than they really were because they are usually very complimentary toward her. When she was talking to Ryan I thought she was going to break down in tears. But returning from break, the floodgates burst.

By the way, the backstage reaction of the contestants was great. I really enjoy that point of view and I hope it continues every week.

2. Casey James – “Hold On, I’m Coming” by Sam & Dave

For the first time I believe in all of Casey’s performances, there was more of his voice than him playing the guitar. While I am normally not a fan of his, I enjoyed his performance this week. But as my step mom said continuously, “He is eye candy!” Well duh. That is the only reason he is on the show. Casey’s future is as one heck of a lead guitarist, but not as a bland wannabe rockstar. Wait, does Nickleback need a singer?

It was one of Casey’s better performances, but to me it was like the Detroit Lions having a good season. Sure it does not happen every often and it was nice. But how good is having a 9-7 performance only once in a while? That is what Casey’s performance was to me. The 2000 Detroit Lions, about time something decent materialized. Back to mediocrity next week though.

3. Michael Lynche – “Ready for Love” by India.Arie

Big Mike brought it tonight. He had been starting to wear on my nervous with his overzealousness and larger than life (and body) personality. But he was subdued, relaxed and controlled. I really enjoyed his performance a lot. I had never heard the song before but he made me a fan of it.

I enjoy it when the singers move into the crowd or perform in different places. Big Mike did a great job this week of doing that because it made his performance more special and memorable. Ellen said it best, “That was beautiful, I loved it.”

4.  Didi Benami – “What Becomes of a Broken Heart?” by Jimmy Ruffin

First off, I have to admit I have some bias towards her. I am hoping Didi stays around a little while because she’s a great person to watch sing. She is such a beautiful girl. And I am fond of the little bit of Regina Spektor in her voice.

This was one of Didi’s better sounding performances so I was disappointed that the judges tore into her. Maybe I was distracted, but I did not notice all the drama. But I can also tell you that I was not exactly looking for drama during her performance either.

She not make a good song choice though. I am not sure if it was supposed to be a slow or fast song. It seemed to be a very rushed song, like a lot of things were packed into that small time window.

Didi was not going to share what that song was about either, it did not matter how much Ryan pried. After break they showed her pretty emotional in the green room, I just wish I could have been there to give her a hug.

5. Tim Urban – “Sweet Love” – by Anita Baker

I believe I have figured out why he’s still on. His facial expressions. He looked like a sad puppy dog throughout the entire song. He really took Usher’s advice and connected with the audience, but too much. He stared into the camera every chance he got and it felt very awkward. But I am sure all the teenage girls were swooning over him as I thought he was starting to make a pass at me.

While his voice is dreadful, I have to give the guy credit that he has a great sense of humor about this. He realizes that he no place on the show and it is by pure luck he’s still on the show. Tim just laughs at the harsh critiques the judges give him, which makes me laugh. Maybe he should stay a little longer, his uncomfortable awkwardness is quite entertaining.

6. Andrew Garcia – “Forever” by Chris Brown

Some people do not like him, but I have been driving the Andrew bandwagon since day one. I have enjoyed almost all of his performances and when I heard he was singing this song I was ecstatic.

He was dressed to impress in that grey suit with a purple and white shirt underneath. His outfit blended really well with the purple lights in the background. More importantly, he did such a great job with the song. It was original and fun to listen to. Andrew made it sound very easy and graceful. Great performance and good to have him back to form. They just better stop with that weekly “Straight Up” reference now.

Lastly, I disagree completely with Simon’s statement about him being boring. Idol featured his story during the audition weeks, which shows there is some substance there. Andrew just seems to be a very subdued guy. Good to see him finally get the judges support again.

7. Katie Stevens – “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin

Like the entire night, Usher gave great encouragement. Telling her that she needed to have some attitude was essential to the performance and song. The bouncing her shoulders and head right off the bat injected attitude immediately.

I cannot believe she is still in high school. Watching that performance would not make you think that she is so young. But Katie and her voice just seem much older than what they really are. Pretty big comparison here but she sounded like Christina Aguilera in parts of the song. (I swear I typed this before Randy made the comparisons)

She is getting better every week and she could make it pretty far in this competition. I would not be surprised if she made the finals if she continued to improve like she has been.

8. Lee Dewyze – “Treat Her Like A Lady” by The Cornelius Brothers

Lee admitted that self-doubt has hurt him.  I do not know why he has any because he is a great singer. He has such a unique, enjoyable voice. It was on display throughout this song and the crowd was involved the entire time. They were clapping, cheering and soaking it all up. Plus, quite an ovation after the song was over.

It was easily his best performance in the competition. The song fit him well and he made it sound interesting. Lee turned a song that I’ve never liked into something I would listen to. After Simon’s high complement, Lee looked completely speechless. But Simon could be right, that might have been the performance that changed his life.

9. Crystal Bowersox – “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & the Pips

I liked her sitting down playing the piano, it made the performance seem more intimate and special. It was obvious immediately she felt weird standing up with just a microphone and no guitar to play. But her performance was good, but not as good as her other performances. It was just average for her.

Simon was right about the backup singers, it did feel old fashioned because of them. When Ryan asked Crystal about Kara’s one-sleeved shirt, all she could say about it was “It’s cute.”  Which you could tell was code for, “Uh, there’s no way I’d be caught looking that ridiculous.”

10. Aaron Kelly – “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers

Wikipedia says that Aaron Kelly is one of 127 people to cover this song. It also seems like someone on Idol has performed this song every year. Unfortunately for Aaron, there are a lot of comparisons to be made.

I will admit before hand that I am not a big fan of his. He might be a star, but not to me. But I don’t think I am the demographic he is really interested in. I am sure him and Justin Bieber are not really sweating over a 21-year-old college student disliking them severely though.

There were a few things that bothered me about his performance. His outfit did not match the song at all. Aaron should have been dressed better. Not look like his parents just dropped him off at the mall for some Wetzel’s Pretzels and Orange Julius. I did not like his performance at all. He just did not fit well singing such a commanding song. The crowd agreed with me because if they really liked it, during the quiet parts of the song you would hear a reaction. But there was nothing, much like the feeling I get after all of his performances.

Overall, a pretty solid night. I had doubts about the R&B/Soul week, but most of the contestants delivered.  Usher was actually a helpful guest judge too, he seemed to have meaningful tips for the singers. While the judges enjoyed Lee the best, Andrew was my favorite of the night. I look for Tim, Didi and Katie to be in the bottom three this week. With hopefully Tim leaving, if not, it is goodbye for my favorite on the eyes, Didi, to leave.

Justin’s Idol Power Rankings of R&B/Soul week

  1. Andrew Garcia
  2. Lee Dewyze
  3. Michael Lynche
  4. Katie Stevens
  5. Crystal Bowersox
  6. Casey James
  7. Siobhan Magnus
  8. Aaron Kelly
  9. Didi Benami
  10. Tim Urban

Harry on Sports – Wednesday, March 31, 2010 by kentsterling
March 31, 2010, 6:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Harry was out late last night, and we are still waiting for him.  The hotel front desk has been called, and they are efforting to wake him so he can fulfill has contractual requirements.  This is what the producers of Harry on Sports get from time to time for trusting Harry in a city where he has friends.

Sports Digest – Wednesday, March 31, 2010 by kentsterling
March 31, 2010, 6:13 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sports Digest staff is out of town.  There is no sports digest today.

Should Brad Stevens Be the New Head Coach for Indiana University Basketball? by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

There is some discontent in Bloomington.  The Hoosiers have posted 16-wins over the past two seasons, and that isn’t going to get it.  The recruiting class that is supposed to prove that last year’s top ten class was no fluke currently consists of two kids at positions where Indiana already has depth.  Moses Abraham, one of the best big men who didn’t sign a letter of intent in the fall, chose Georgetown over IU despite a heavy late push from Tom Crean.

So people wonder if Tom Crean is the right guy for the job.  They wonder if the Crean hire was just another blind stab in the dark by Rick Greenspan, the man who did very little to stop IU’s athletic evolution toward the bottom of the Big Ten.

As Butler prepares to go make the 15-minute drive from Hinkle Fieldhouse to Lucas Oil Stadium, Hoosier fans are wondering if Brad Stevens might not be the right guy to lead IU out of this eight-season funk that has reduced the once proud best in-state program, and one of the top-five nationally respected basketball schools to no better than the fourth best in Indiana.

Stevens story will be told thousands of times this week.  He accepted an unpaid position at Butler in 2000, leaving a nice gig at Eli Lilly to follow his dream to coach collegiate basketball.  Butler was in the middle of its rise from obscurity to a nationally respected mid-major, and launched coaches to big-time gigs.  Barry Collier went to Nebraska.  Thad Matta jumped to Xavier and then Ohio State.  Todd Lickliter bounced out to Iowa.  The Bulldogs administration liked the momentum and decided to hire an internal guy each time.

That allowed Steven to ascend at comparative light speed – taking the head job at 30.  Three years later, Butler is a combined 88-14 under Stevens.  He didn’t build this culture of winning on 49th Street, but he has refined it, and while some will say that the kids like Jukes, Howard, and Hahn were Lickliter’s, Stevens had a major hand in recruiting all of them and was the guy in getting Howard to commit to Butler – their first Top 100 kid ever.  He followed that up by getting Shelvin Mack, Gordon Hayward, and Ronald Nored.  A lot of people say, “If you can’t shoot, you can’t play.”  Steven’s ignored that axiom with Nored – an 18% stoker from deep – and his defense has been instrumental in getting the Bulldogs a couple (we hope) extra home games.

Would he fit in Bloomington?  Stevens has proven himself exceptionally adept at operating what amounts to a small business, but can his culture be successful at what amounts to General Motors – a former giant that is lumbering along praying for a light at the end of a very dark tunnel it has dug for itself?  Or, is he just great at being where he is?

If not for Crean – if the job was open – would Brad Stevens be the absolute best coach available?  Is Crean the guy to do the job.  Two years in, there are questions – serious questions about that.  At Butler, Stevens answers to Barry Collier.  At Indiana, Crean answers to damn near anyone who has ever worn downed a pint at Nick’s.  Brad can wander Indianapolis in anonymity.  In Bloomington, Crean is the most recognizable guy in town.  This brings up another question – would Stevens be willing to accept a job that would mean a hike in profile that would be life-changing when he doesn’t have to?  Remember that Stevens’ Dad was a red-shirt freshman on IU’s Rose Bowl team, and the the two of them drove to Assembly Hall countless times to watch the Hoosiers play in the ’80s and 90s.

These are two very different questions.  My guess, knowing Stevens work-ethic and personality a little is that he would adapt grudgingly to the lifestyle, but would thrive in the position in Bloomington.  He is a very skilled young man who delegates well, and delegation is the key to operating a big clunky business like IU basketball.

So that leaves two questions, are the first two years of the Crean regime indicative of what’s to come for IU, and would IU AD Fred Glass have the stones to buy out Crean’s contract and restart (AGAIN!) the process of getting Indiana back to respectability?  The first answer is unknown and because of that, Glass shouldn’t do anything.  It’s possible that this spring will be the one chance Indiana might have to go get Brad Stevens, but they would be doing it at the expense of the guy who might yet be right for the job.

There is no doubt that as Glass watches the thrilling Butler run to what could be a national championship, he is making that determination in his own head.  He won’t share that with anyone because to do so would start a rumor machine best left silent, but he knows Stevens is so well established in Indiana that he could do a great job recruiting Indiana kids to play at Indiana (what a concept).  And not only do Butler kids graduate – they excel in the classroom.  These aren’t the end of the bench kids either.  Matt Howard and Gordon Hayward are academic All-Americans – Howard is a first-team selection, and Hayward a third-teamer.  Butler is the only school with two kids selected.

So does Glass stroke a fat check to Crean, hire Stevens, and hope?  Or does he continue to hope that Crean can right the ship, and not beg alums for another big bag of cash?  This is an academic argument.  No way Glass turns against Crean.  It took Baylor seven years to move toward excellence, and it will take Indiana that long with Crean, Stevens, or the ghost of Henry Iba.  Glass will ride with Crean, and hope the Cook Center can tip the scales further in IU’s favor.

Stevens will stay at Butler for now, continue to grind and keep Butler atop the Horizon League until they bolt for the Atlantic 10.  He will enjoy going to work everyday, saying hello to Jennifer Johnson (who launders the players uniforms, and plays a great second base for an old broad) and Collier with the same enthusiasm.  There is something to be said for loving your job and feeling loved in it.  Lickliter found that out a couple of weeks ago.  I get the feeling Stevens is smart enough to get it without earning that lesson the hard way.  We’re going to find out because someone is going to back a big-ass truck full of cash up to Stevens’ front door in the coming weeks.

He’ll have to make a decision, but it won’t be Glass whose offer he’ll refuse.

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