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GnarlyTimGarl

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  1. GnarlyTimGarl

    Fire Coach Woodson Thread

    Exactly. I don't know if many predicted Archie's firing on February 15th, 2021. (At that time we were 11-9 (6-7).) I do think it's notable that national guys like Jeff Borzello and Trilly Donovan are mentioning that there's a little bit of uncertainty already here on February 15th while IU sits at 14-10 (6-7). Borzello wrote "it could go either way" and Donovan has started mentioning that "Woodson's not doing himself any favors" just weeks after being pretty clear that he was not in any trouble. This proves to me that the "Hot Seat" smoke has some substance and is not purely the imagination of disgruntled fans.
  2. GnarlyTimGarl

    General Coach Candidate News

    A lot of IU fans like to knock Painter because of his lack of deep tournament runs. But you know what? I'd love to have a coach like him on the sidelines. A coach that has made the NCAA Tournament eight of the last nine years. 14/18 years total. He has won four Big Ten regular season tiles. Two Big Ten tournament titles. His teams have finished in 4th place or better in the Big Ten in 13/18 years. His teams are almost always near the top of the Big Ten. Also, lean years are okay when credit is built up around it. He has a clear scheme and system. He recruits to it and he does it well. While he can land top-tier talent (Jaden Ivey, Caleb Swanigan, E'Twaun Moore, etc.) he doesn't just chase top talent. He knows what his system requires to make it work. And it doesn't require a team of top recruits. He always has shooters. He always has big guys. They move on offense. They play aggressive defense. They rebound. They always have bulldogs. They always play with intensity and they always hustle. You pretty much know what Purdue is going to be every year... tough, competitive and disciplined. They're always (at the very least) good. It's easy to identify because that was how Knight ran the program for many years. This is why I can get behind potential hires of guys like Micah Shrewsberry or Dusty May in the future. Because I really feel they would try to develop the same type of program in the same manner. Build the team/system and add the top talent vs. add the top talent to build the system. One style allows you something to fall back on when you miss on a top recruit or two... which is something that IU has struggled with a lot in recent years. I could be wrong... but I just get the feeling that Shrewsberry and May are cut from that same cloth and would win a lot of games at IU. No guarantees, though, and I could be wrong. Still can't believe how badly Archie flamed out. Also, I would recommend folks getting in their pot-shots on Painter soon because it appears there is a good chance the proverbial monkey will get off his back in another couple of months. They have a really good team.
  3. GnarlyTimGarl

    Fire Coach Woodson Thread

    This is a fair viewpoint and it is entirely possible that you are spot-on. But I also think that some of your assertions don't have any more certainty than the ones it would appear you are debating against. Your first couple of paragraphs assert with some confidence that Woody will definitely make some noticeable changes next year that will definitely get us back to the tournament. I mean... maybe? But I don't think one can blame another fan for being hesitant with this prediction. What would make the average fan believe that legitimate changes are coming? In his press conferences he has consistently pushed back against the notion of modern basketball tendencies such as increased 3FG proficiency, running a single post, spreading out the offense, etc. He has shown his strong desire to adhere to his nail-slot-rim defensive philosophies despite not appearing to have the personnel to run it effectively. Basically, he just says they need to keep working on the things they are doing. There are certainly some positive qualities I could use to describe Mike Woodson but innovative, adaptable and versatile do not come to mind. RE: Recruiting. He's been able to get some talented players... there's no doubt. But his roster construction is probably the #1 reason why this year's team has struggled so much. He banked heavily on the health of Johnson and Newton, the continued emergence of Galloway and the readiness of Cupps... none of which have had anywhere near the level of success required for a team to win championships (which he repeatedly mentioned was why he came here to coach.) Instead, he continued to recruit both Walker and Sparks to buff a frontcourt that didn't really need buffing with Ware and Reneau in the fold. Did he feel like the frontcourt really needed depth but the backcourt did not? Mind you... we still have an open scholarship. That question leads me to mention how I struggle to believe Woodson is only playing a post-centric style because "he has to." I'd make the argument that he has most certainly prioritized the post during his tenure here and we're seeing the returns on that this season. So if there are clear roster construction concerns (especially in the free agency period of college basketball) do we really have the confidence of him being able to retain/assemble a more complete roster next year (and the years to come?) Like you said (and I believe you are 100% accurate) the portal does not make it easy to rebuild. You can't just add the most talented pieces and make it work. We tried this year. Ware and Mgbako are wonderful talents. But the pieces don't fit. The chemistry isn't there. As such, I don't think it's unreasonable for anyone to have legitimate concerns that even if we add Queen and a top-tier portal guard next year while retaining a fair amount of the roster (which is far from a guarantee... and is that even in the best interest of the program?) that we're going to be clearly better. A transfer PG-Galloway-McNeeley-Reneau-Queen lineup will still be very post-centric. If Mgbako returns even moreso. It's setting up to be the same style Woody has run since he has been here. Talented? Yes. Does it work? Far from a guarantee. Especially without an All-American TJD. As far as the health of the program goes... a legitimate portion of the fanbase has already began to question Woodson. We have already heard boos rain down from Assembly Hall. I'm curious to see the temperature of the program this time next month. If we don't show some competitive fire (i.e win more than a game or two) here down the stretch then we're going to have a very toxic situation on our hands. Is it healthy for the program to carry that level of toxicity through the offseason? Can Woodson successfully recruit within that environment? Is it good for the program if Woodson enters next year on all of the "Hot Seat" lists next year? I'm afraid that any sort of success they would have next year would be torn down the first time they lose a game they should have won or play poorly. The next three weeks or so is very important for this program. There's no reason why we can't win five or six of the last conference games , salvage an NIT bid and build some momentum into next year. I really hope that happens! Our schedule is more than manageable. But if we continue our current trajectory and only win another game or two... you're going to see a really toxic situation. It'll make the current "unrest" of the fanbase seem mild. We've seen this movie before.
  4. GnarlyTimGarl

    Fire Coach Woodson Thread

    A few thoughts... -RE: Shooting. Has Woodson ever really highlighted shooting as a problem? That's an honest question. I know he has repeatedly pushed back against any notion that our lack of perimeter shooting is an issue. What I have heard him say is that guys need to hit the shots we take... which doesn't really address any issue. I say this because I've heard some mention they believe we're only a couple of good shooters away from being a good team. But when has Woodson ever addressed shooting through recruiting? He has with McKneeley, but outside of that... not so much. It appears he has passed on the opportunity to recruit better shooters in favor of chasing NBA-style/blue-chip players. Does he view shooting to be a problem? I'm not so sure. This leads me to my next point... -RE: Style of Play: Has Woodson shown in three years that he likes running plays for shooters? Not really. He has mentioned it "wasn't his job to run plays for Miller Kopp" despite Kopp being one of the better shooters in the Big Ten. No other player has shown much proficiency scoring from the outside in his tenure. Some guys have hit high percentages but on low attempts. Which begs the question... is this appealing to the prospective perimeter help next year/beyond? What we have seen is a style predicated heavily on running two posts along with a wing that may even be better utilized as a stretch-4 in modern basketball (TJD/Race/Kopp and Ware/Reneau/Mgbako.) It would not appear we are an attractive destination for top-notch shooter... even if we felt the need to prioritize them. -RE: Injuries/"Next Man Up": We've heard Woodson say "it's next man up" for much of the season. This implies that the standard does not change despite the availability of certain players. It implies "you have to be ready when your name is called." We're not. Our roster construction does not help this... which leads to the next point... -RE: Roster Construction: I've heard some express concern that firing Woodson would lead to an overhaul of the roster. From my perspective, an overhaul of the roster appears inevitable regardless. X and Walker are gone for sure. Galloway and Leal TBD. Ware is a pretty safe bet to go pro. Mgbako wanted to be one and done and it hasn't worked out like that at IU... will he stay here or try his luck elsewhere (just like Ware did with Oregon.) Gunn, Banks and Sparks are struggling to find the court and Cupps has astoundingly low levels of offensive production. It's not hard to fathom any of those guys leaving. Meanwhile, we're currently bringing in one guy (McNeely) when we're realistically gonna have to have at least another 5-man class coming in next year. Can we reasonably trust this coaching staff to construct a sure-fire NCAA Tournament roster through the portal after seeing what happened this year? Maybe... but it takes a fair amount of faith in the staff. -RE: "My Goal Is To Win Championships": Woodson said this repeatedly his first couple of years. Right now we're nowhere close. How does he change this? -RE: The Numbers: The most important statistic at the end of the day is our overall win/loss record. Looking at advanced statistics like AdjO, AdjD, etc. I am quite surprised we're as good as 13-9 (5-6). Can even this meager win percentage be sustained for the remainder of the year? Statistics and predictive measures suggest otherwise. But games aren't played on paper. This is where adjustments play a role. We'll see what happens. -RE: Fan support: We've seen it time and time again. Once you lose the fans the writing is on the wall. It was with Davis, Crean and Archie. It was with Tom Allen and Bill Lynch and Gerry Dinardo. You have to have hope. A reason for optimism. A realistic belief of good times ahead. Have we reached that point with Woodson. I don't know. As Woody says himself, "Only time will tell." If this season ends with many more losses... I think you'll have the answer.
  5. GnarlyTimGarl

    Coach Curt Cignetti to INDIANA

    Just another man's opinions on some of the "realistic" candidates... - Each candidate will have legitimate reasons why they may not be successful at IU. I think that's just the nature of IUFB right now. We're not going to attract the "top-notch" candidates. But our Big Ten membership will help us more than in the past, I think. The key will be to hire a good fit (i.e. someone with an attainable plan/blueprint/culture that the administration/school can fully support 100%). I really think the school/administration support is going to be every bit as important to the next coach. - Jason Candle (Toledo): Kinda surprised we seem to be an option for him as he seems to be a popular name on the market who may be able to be patient to wait for what fits for him. 65-33 (43-19 in the MAC). Will be in 6 bowls out of 8 seasons as a full-time coach. Never had a losing season. Currently 11-1 (8-0) and will play for the conference championship. Already won the MAC twice (2017, 2022). Appears to recruit well at his current level. My concerns is that he kinda reminds me of Archie Miller, to be honest. A coach who took over a program that has historically been pretty good at the mid-major level and has more resources than most of their conference counterparts. He inherited a pretty good situation and has maintained it (if not raised the profile.) Not only would IU be a step-up for him in coaching, he's assuming a rebuilding situation he hasn't really encountered before. If he can't get us to a bowl in the first couple of years will anyone really think he's able to compete in the Big Ten? Can he out-coach guys like Walters, Locksley, Schiano, Fleck, Bielema, Braun, etc.? I don't know. Kinda feel this is maybe who we end up getting and I feel okay about it. It could work (i.e. make bowls.) - Paul Chryst (ex-Wisconsin/Pitt): The first thing that stands out to me is his 86-45 record (67-26 at Wisconsin). You can talk all you want about playing in the Big Ten West but that's still an impressive record. Only losing record was 2-3 in 2022 when he was fired midseason. Went to a bowl every other year (including the Cotton, Orange and Rose Bowls). He's won in the Big Ten which I feel is very meaningful. Finished in the Top 15 three times. However, similar to Candle in way, he took over a good program from the start and didn't really have to build it up. Wisconsin hasn't been quite as good lately but still won 10 games in 2019 and 9 games in 2021 which is still very good. But is he a good fit? Smash-mouth football? Will he embrace NIL? Some folks really don't like his personality which I feel is overplayed... but who knows? If he comes in here acting like DiNardo then it will be a colossal failure. Personally feel this could be like Bielema at Illinois. It'd be pretty sweet to beef up our lines for once. Again, I think we could have some success with him (i.e. make bowls.) - Tom Herman (ex-Texas, current FAU): 58-30 record. Helped orchestrate some pretty good offenses over the years. One of the biggest names on the list. Coached at some big-time schools like Ohio State and Texas. Once one of the hottest names in the profession but fizzled out rather quickly at Texas. Been at FAU one year with a 4-8 record. Not sure how I feel about this one. Had a lot of success quickly at Houston but is starting slow at FAU. How would he approach a rebuild at IU? Would he and the IU administration be on the same page? For some reason, I'm a little apprehensive on him. But I could be talked into it without much prodding. I guess I'm sort of surprised he is a candidate. - Justin Frye (Ohio State OC): A few months ago this is where I figured we would end up. He's worked his way up the coaching ladder rather nicely. Some big-time coaching experience at UCLA and Ohio State. We could do a lot worse. But the fact he has never been a head coach is a big negative in my book. I really think we need someone who has the top-level leadership experience to guide the program. Plus, OSU fans aren't exactly huge fans of him and the OSU offense has seemingly taken a bit of a step back this year. My confidence in him having success at IU right now is low. Maybe a few years down the road? I am probably higher on Pat Fitzgerald than most because of his extensive success in the Big Ten at a school where it's hard to win. But it appears the tea leaves are saying he's no longer a candidate so it's a moot point. Kane Wommack has had some initial success at South Alabama but nothing that makes me say that I have more confidence in him than guys like Candle, Chryst or Herman. Curt Cignetti has had a lot of success at James Madison and has guided them into immediate success in FBS football. He's a guy who reminds me of someone like Jerry Kill who could really get the most out of IU regularly. I like him but unsure of how much mutual interest there is. Similarly, I also like Willie Fritz at Tulane. His resume is a little more scattered but kinda reminds me of a college football version of Jim Larranaga. He could do good things at IU. But again... is there mutual interest? I love Antwaan Randle El as much as any IU player in history... but his coaching pedigree is so limited right now. That would be such a huge gamble. Also wouldn't be surprised if we're in the running for a Matt Campbell or Dave Doeren or Dave Clawson. That would be where our Big Ten membership helps. I think IU was actually an option for Doeren and Clawson at some point in the past anyway.
  6. GnarlyTimGarl

    (2024) PF - Derik Queen to Maryland

    I have always found it puzzling how many have believed Maryland to be the clear leader in this recruitment for so long. I get that is where he's from but he's played in Florida for prep ball the last two years so it's not like he has no desire to leave home. Didn't the original assistant at Maryland for whom he had a close relationship already leave a while back which opened things up a bit? Also, I am almost positive I read somewhere (can't remember where but it was on an IU fan site) that Queen actually chose to stay with McNeeley and his family at some point over the summer instead of going back home. If, and that's a big if, that is true then it tells us two things. 1) Once again, he's not a kid that appears to have an overwhelming desire to return home whenever possible. 2) His relationship with McNeeley is more than a teammate and more in the territory of a good friend. He may go to Maryland. But the recruiting analysts have always said Maryland is out front but then say things have always been tight-lipped in Queen's circle. If the latter is true, how do they know the former is really accurate? My guess, and Trilly alluded to this, is that they really didn't have a close read on this to begin with. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to hear if when this is all said and done that IU was actually out front for a quite some time. But who knows?
  7. GnarlyTimGarl

    (2024) - PG Boogie Fland to Kentucky

    "For one of these schools to separate themselves they’d have to show more interest than the others," he explained. "I’m also going to be playing for the head coach so they need to be interested in me as well." https://247sports.com/college/indiana/article/college-basketball-indiana-alabama-kentucky-maryland-johnuel-boogie-fland-217036256/ Considering this was said in an interview immediately after he was visited by the head coach of Alabama and just an assistant coach from IU... may not mean anything, but it caught my eye. I know Woody was just up there for a clinic a week or two ago, though. I'd feel a lot more confident if IU somehow secured another visit. EDIT: Assuming Oats visited him yesterday, which is what I thought I read somewhere... but I could be wrong. EDIT #2: Don't see confirmation of a head coach visit from Alabama anywhere which pretty much renders my point moot... Gnarly's mind is slippin' these days. Interesting quote nonetheless!
  8. GnarlyTimGarl

    2024 General Recruiting Thread (BBall)

    I think it's absolutely fair to have concerns about our current state of recruiting for the '24 class. I won't dive too deep into who we have missed out on so far this year but here's where I have concerns... Let's look at our scholarship situation: - We have one currently open right now to go along with X and Anthony Walker exhausting their eligibility at the end of the season. So there's pretty much a guarantee of three available scholarships. - Have you read what most IU beat writers and national journalists have to say about Mbagko and Ware? It's clear those guys have their sights set on the NBA. It's not so much they are hopeful as it appears the PLAN is to be at IU one year and then go pro. I think it's very likely one or both of those guys leave after this season. So that means you now have four or five available scholarships for the '24 class. - Then you have Galloway and Leal who are entering Year 4, although they both have the option for a fifth year of eligibility should they want it. My gut says Galloway returns because he's figuring to be a major piece of the team. But Leal? He hasn't played much under Woody and I think he already has his degree right now. Does he stay an extra year to sit the bench again? I have my doubts. I'd guess another scholarship opens up... which brings us to five or six available. - Last, but not least, you have unexpected transfers. A year ago people expected/hoped Tamar Bates and Jordan Geronimo would be vital cogs for the future of IU basketball. It didn't happen and now they are gone. Especially in the age of the Transfer Portal the risk of losing players to transfer is high. Most teams have one or two transfers and I would be surprised if we aren't included in that group at the end of the season. That could put our new total to six, seven or even eight available scholarships. Mind you... each team has a total of 13 available scholarships to give. Obviously, my point is that we're probably going to need to bring in AT LEAST 4-5 guys for next season. At MINIMUM. Right now, we have zero commits and considering it's already late September it's fair to be concerned. Personally, I feel good about McNeeley. So that's one. But after that it appears to focus is on Queen, Fland and Givens. I'm all for it but I have seen no indication we're any better than "in the running" with any of them. There are rumored favorites for each (Queen-Maryland, Fland-UK, Givens-Memphis) and we're not included. That doesn't make me feel great because we have already hosted two of those guys for an OV recently and if we haven't pulled ahead after that we could be fighting an uphill battle. We've already been dropped from the likes of Newell, Boateng, Mustaf, etc. We haven't heard hardly anything about Betsey, Passmore or Perry for a long time, either. So again, that puts so much pressure on getting Queen, Fland and Givens. I'm glad we're going after good players like them but they are hard to get and for a guy that follows IU basketball recruiting much closer than I am proud to admit, I'm struggling to find what our contingency plan is in the somewhat likely event we miss on Queen, Fland and Givens. My prediction? We only pick up 1-2 HS recruits and subsequently have to hit the portal hard again next spring. That's not necessarily a bad thing as there are a lot of good players in there. But once again, it's risky and you're playing with fire. Plus, I heard either Kenya or Ya mention in an interview with the Hysterics over the summer that they didn't plan on needing to rely on the portal again this year. If we do, that doesn't make me feel like things are going as well as they planned/hoped on the recruiting trail. All of this to say that if you have some concerns on where we currently stand for '24 recruiting, I think it's fair. Of course, things can change very quickly. If Woody pulls in McNeeley, Queen and Fland then we won't have much to worry about.
  9. GnarlyTimGarl

    NCAA MBB Transfer Portal

    Something to keep in mind... Metaphorically speaking, the transfer portal is not an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet with unlimited lobster and filet mignon. There appear to be some lobster and filet on the line but they are limited in number. There may be some more put out on the buffet soon... and we may have been tipped off by the cooks that we can expect some more! Maybe. But nothing is guaranteed and IU is not the only customer at this establishment. There are many others crashing the buffet hoping to grab a piece of lobster or filet. We are not guaranteed anything. IU is going to have a sizable plate to fill at this buffet. Of course, it would be nice to have a plate full of lobster, but again, there's only so much lobster and there are a lot of customers fighting for it. That being said, there is nothing wrong with grabbing some potatoes or a nice salad as a compliment to the main meal... especially if you KNOW you can get it. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem at all with a piece of filet, a piece of lobster, some potatoes and a nice dinner salad for my meal. Also to note, just because we said last week we are cutting down on carbohydrates or red meat doesn't mean we won't be picking up any potatoes or steak on the buffet today. Times change. And sometimes people say one thing and do another when they realize what is available on the menu.
  10. GnarlyTimGarl

    2023 General Recruiting Thread (BBall)

    Agreed. USPS posted this Borzello tweet in another thread... We're gonna get some good dudes in the transfer portal. They'll be out there and we'll offer plenty of PT, NIL, exposure and tradition. Every bit as important will be having two NBA draft picks after this year. We're gonna get some good dudes. Now... will they all mesh together? Will all the pieces fit? Will there be some holes on the roster? That remains to be seen. But I have a hard time believing our roster is in danger of being as bad as some fear it could be. I get that the unknown isn't as comfortable for fans like us, but the unknown doesn't mean we're in trouble. For that reason, my focus is on the finish of this season. We have potential to make some noise in the postseason and I am going to enjoy the legitimate possibility.
  11. GnarlyTimGarl

    IUBB vs Iowa - Tuesday, 2/28/23 @ 7:00 on ESPN2

    Funny you say that because I remember the year after he graduated he returned to Assembly Hall with Athletes in Action and looked like a completely different player. Scored 20 points against us and nearly won the game... https://iuhoosiers.com/news/1998/11/4/HOOSIERS_BEAT_AIA_IN_OVERTIME_97_95 . I remember a young GnarlyTimGarl asking his dad where this new Robbie Eggers came from because we never saw that performance in an IU uniform. Although the link infers we lost the prior year (which would have been Robbie's Senior Year). I remember when we lost to AIA, though, whenever it was. They actually had some competitive squads and were probably extremely valuable to play in the preseason exhibitions. The old exhibition days in the 90's of AIA, Marathon Oil, Melbourne All-Stars, etc.. Anyway, beat Iowa. Decisively.
  12. GnarlyTimGarl

    National Player of the Year

    Here's the problem: Zach Edey: 21.5 PPG, 13.2 RPG as a dominant force for #1-ranked Purdue. I think he's pretty much the clear frontrunner at the moment. As good as Trayce has been, Edey and Purdue have been consistently great all year long. That being said, Trayce is on a torrid pace right now and the Hoosiers are on a roll. 19.4 PPG and 10.1 RPG along with 3.5 APG and 3.1 BPG puts him squarely in the conversation. What we need is for Trayce to keep up this pace and the Hoosiers have to keep winning AND Purdue will need to start losing and Edey start struggling a bit. As Hova said above, it would really help if Trayce gets the better of Edey when they play this year. If that happens and IU and Purdue are battling it out at the top of the league at the end of the season then I think Trayce has a chance. But I believe it's an uphill battle at the moment. Kinda reminds me of the Big Ten Players of the Year in 2013 and 2016. As good as Victor and Yogi played those years, Trey Burke and Denzel Valentine were just a little bit better.
  13. GnarlyTimGarl

    College Bball Thread

    I seem to recall a few folks saying they heard "things" about Beard during our last coaching search which led them to believe he would not be considered an option for IU. But no one would give specifics. Most people just assumed he was a lock for Texas and that was that but now I am wondering if this was the sort of "thing" they were talking about. I don't know... I just find it interesting. I always thought it was a little weird that it appeared IU had no interest in Beard as coach because he seemed to be a good fit on several fronts. However, with this news, I am very glad we went with Woody. If the IU search committee uncovered a few potential "red flags" that caused us to go in another direction then good on them. IU certainly doesn't need someone like that as the head basketball coach.
  14. GnarlyTimGarl

    Thad Matta to Butler

    In my opinion, Matta's inclusion to the IU program was weird from the start. He was mentioned as an addition to the program the very same day Woodson was hired which gave the general public a reasonable expectation that he would be an active member of the program from the public's perspective. But yet we hardly ever heard anything about his contributions to the program throughout his year at IU. Was there ever even an interview issued for public consumption? Does anyone really know what he actually did? I know he was in administration but that is very vague. And again, his hire was mentioned the SAME DAY as Woodson's hire. I doubt that was a coincidence. The more I think about it, the more I feel that the inclusion of Matta (and even Fife later on) was a tactical move by the Athletic Department to pacify some of the fanbase/media who had concerns about bringing in an older NBA guy/alum as head coach who didn't have any college coaching experience. Perhaps they thought adding the Big Ten pedigrees of Matta and Fife would lessen the skepticism of a Woodson hire. If that is true then I am left disappointed. If Woodson was/is your guy... he's your guy. Let him build the program HIS way and stay out of the way. Don't force marriages on him. If the athletic department felt that he needed specialized help like a Matta (or Fife) to make the Woodson era work then I don't believe they should have picked Woodson in the first place. But I could be way off base. I don't care. Let's just win games.
  15. A few thoughts on Payton Sparks: - He averaged 13.5 PPG and 8.5 RPG as a freshman. As the season progressed, so did his numbers. He clearly looks like a player who is "on the rise" as opposed to a potential 5th year senior who has basically maximized his ability. Do those numbers translate to the Big Ten? Maybe, maybe not. But considering that he was labeled a late-bloomer and showed significant growth in his first year of college ball it's reasonable to project that he has potential to be a pretty good college basketball player. The MAC isn't the Big Ten, but it's also leaps ahead of the MEAC or Ohio Valley. - No, he doesn't shoot three's well. But there aren't an abundance of post players who do. And there are even fewer who are available in the transfer portal at this time. If we're hanging our hopes on solving our shooting woes by bringing in a "5" who can drain 3's at a high rate we're going to be disappointed. There just aren't many out there. Some may disagree, but at 6'9-240 he is big enough to play the "5" at IU. He won't be the biggest dude on the court most nights but he has enough size where he won't be a liability unless going against aberrations like the bigs at Purdue. Most nights he'll be fine size-wise. Especially if he has a knack for rebounding. He would be our post. Our shooting will need to be upgraded at the guard/wing positions. - His addition makes the most sense should we lose TJD and Race. If either return, it makes this a bit more complicated as you're likely seeing a starting lineup containing two post players (I doubt Sparks comes here if he isn't going to start) who are unable to hit three pointers with any regularity. That means we'll likely have at least two non-shooters on the floor at all times which can severely hamper the offense. However, if TJD and Race leave, you can slot Sparks in at the "5" and Geronimo (who is a developing 3 point shooter) at the "4" which allows the offense to open up a bit more. Would I like the Sparks addition to IU? Probably, because he's still young and is on a good trajectory of improvement right now. He would have three years of eligibility left which could help solidify our post for years to come. However, if Race and/or Trayce returns it clutters up the team with yet another non-shooter. I doubt Sparks would come to sit the bench anyway.
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