Thursday, October 28, 2010

On Crean, Yoda, Chappell, Mom and Cody Zeller

Tom Crean is not Yoda. For one thing, he doesn’t lift space ships with his mind. For another, he’s not 2 feet tall and nimble with a light saber (although, given that most basketball practices are closed, do we REALLY know for sure?).

Anyway, Crean had a Yoda-like moment when asked during the Big Ten basketball media day gathering in Chicago the biggest thing he learned from his Marquette success (including a Final Four appearance) that he’s bringing to Indiana.

Here’s his answer:

“Keep getting tough-minded players who have been raised on winning. I don’t think there’s anything even close. You have to have talent. Certainly you’ve got to have positions. But you have to get people who are raised on winning.”

Crean said he tries to recruit players from winning high school and travel programs.

“And if they played a different sport, which I always love, that they won in that.

“I think that competitive mindset is very hard to get if you don’t have it coming in. You can make it better. You can add to it, especially in the mental toughness realm. You can make them stronger.

“But you have to have people who have been raised on winning. I don’t think you can ever get away from it no matter what level you’re at. If there’s one thing I’ve learned is that equation works, no matter what, no matter the level, probably no matter the sport.”

Yoda couldn’t have said it any better.

Wait. Actually, Yoda did say it better. When Luke Skywalker was struggling to use the Force to lift that spaceship, he said he was trying. Yoda said, in a paraphrase, there is no trying. Either do, or do not.


Ben Chappell’s good deeds are now earning him money as well as accolades.

No, this doesn’t mean a violation of NCAA rules.

The fifth-year senior quarterback is one of 16 recipients of the 2010 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Award. He gets an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and is eligible for the 21st William V. Campbell Trophy that goes to the nation’s best scholar athlete. THAT award is worth a $25,000 scholarship, plus a 25-pound bronze trophy.

“Ben Chappell carries all the qualities we’re looking for in a student-athlete,” IU athletics director Fred Glass said in a university release. “He is an exemplary student, a leader on the field and a model citizen in the community. We congratulate him on this honor and are proud to have him represent Indiana University.”

Chappell is a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection who is working on his masters in business systems and accounting. He’s also the most accurate passer in IU history.

“There is not much else to say about Ben that hasn’t already been said,” coach Bill Lynch said. “This is an incredible honor. He means so much to our entire program and is a special young man.”


Was that Verdell Jones limping around on a walking book on his right foot during the Big Ten basketball media day in Chicago?

Yes, it was. While the junior guard is limited right now, he insisted he’ll be back in time for IU’s Nov. 12 season opener against Florida Gulf Coast.

Figure if it was a more serious injury, IU officials wouldn’t have taken him on the trip.


Thanks for the feed back on the Rating Big Ten Basketball blogs. Reasonable people can disagree, and that’s fine. Some of you were a little less enthusiastic than others about picking Indiana No. 6 in the Big Ten. It was similar to the feedback I got about a month ago when I voted unbeaten Boise State No. 1 ahead of then unbeaten Alabama. I was called, among other things, a moron, an idiot and an embarrassment to the journalistic profession.

And that was just from my mother.

Sorry. Only kidding.

Anyway, the Big Ten is going to be very, very good. Whichever teams survive will thrive in the postseason.

Does this mean the conference could send a couple of teams to the Final Four?

That is too early to say.


Oh, in case you've forgotten, Cody Zeller is making his official visit this weekend. Praying is optional.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you brother on IU being No. 6 in the Big Ten--I see a big step this year. Hoosier Nation will once again be back in all it's glory! What will all the naysayers do when that happens...? Watch reruns of Sesame Street?