Ebanks bolting from Bloomington

  • 03/06/2008 6:28 pm in

Devin EbanksPostmanR addressed the possibility of Devin Ebanks backing out of his letter of intent with Indiana and today, another report from Adam Zagoria’s blog states that the forward from Connecticut will do just that. Here is what Zagoria reported earlier today:

“I’ve heard from about 25 schools,” Lawrence McGugins, Ebanks’ AAU coach, said Thursday by phone. “It’s not going to be open recruiting. He’ll let us know the 2-4 schools (he’s considering) and I’ll contact the schools to let them know.”

Ebanks, ranked No. 2 among small forwards and No. 13 overall in the Class of 2008, has opted to de-commit from Indiana after former coach Kelvin Sampson was fired for repeated recruiting violations. Ebanks chose Indiana last summer over Miami, Rutgers and Texas.

Not a huge surprise here. Rick Bozich was the first to report Ebanks’ interest in Memphis and the Tigers appear to be the odds on favorite to land him. As far as Indiana fans are concerned, this hurts Indiana’s chances to be a top tier club next season, but beyond that the effect on the program should be minimal. Ebanks was likely a one-and-done and if he doesn’t want to come now that Sampson is gone, let him go and move on. The most important recruiting work still remains: keeping the current roster intact for next season as well as Terrell Holloway, Matt Roth and Tom Pritchard. Let’s hope the next coaching staff can do just that.

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  • And trust me, you should have heard the scathing criticism of Williams when he lost to Georgetown last year. If he hadn't won the championship with Sean May et. al. he probably would have been run out of town.

    And when I say “Matta isn't going anywhere”, I say it as “Matta is very happy at Ohio State, a team that he is building into a national powerhouse and is not coming to Indiana, as much as I'd like him to”. Read the whole post next time.

  • Jerry

    Good work SOcks. Now we need to peal the onion back to final 4's, 8's Coaches of the Year etc. If so then the last 2 COY's were Jay Wright and Tony bennett. Bennett won 7 COY's last year, I believe that is more than other coach you listed in any one year. More than Wooden ever.

  • ALH_00

    The first two you mentioned have impact freshmen who could be NBA lottery picks. Kevin Love is a freshman with similar numbers to DJ White…in the Pac 10.

    But, in reality, no, they don't need those impact freshmen to be in the hunt because those teams have rosters full of good basketball players. But, tell me 17 points and 11 boards per game doesn't help UCLA win.

    Put another way, does tOSU even get the opportunity to play for the title without Greg Oden (or Connolly)? Is K.St. even above .500 without Beasley. Does IU win 25 games without EJ? I'm speculating, but I don't think so.

    My point is that IU should get the best players (if they are quality kids). Your point seems to be that because Florida won the NCAA two years in a row without contributing freshmen, that IU shoud not care about losing a blue-chip recruit. It defies logic.

  • B (MD)

    I think you need look past the tournament. The tournament is a crap shoot most of the time. Keith Smart's jumper hits front rim and all of the sudden Boeheim and Knight have the same # of titles, and Knight hasn't won anything since 1981.

    I'm looking at a complete body of work. Roy Williams has been to multiple final fours and championship games (winning one), consistently recruits McDonald All-Americans and is consistently in the top 10 whether at Kansas or UNC. You bashed Bill Self above, he consistently recruits 5-star and 4-star players and is in the top 10 every year.

    You know what, I'll take that body of a work from a coach and roll the dice in the tournament.

  • Billy Donovan was hired from Marshall while he was an up-and-comer.
    Roy Williams was established.
    Jim Calhoun was an up-and-comer through Northeastern.
    Boeheim was an assistant coach and then named head coach, both for Syracuse.
    Gary Williams had been an up-and-comer when he went to Ohio State, then went home to Maryland.
    Coach K was an “up and comer” from Army when he was hired at Duke. In fact, K almost was canned after three years at Duke.
    Izzo wasn't even a head coach before Heathcote handed the reins over, so he wasn't even up-and-coming.
    Tubby Smith had established himself as an up-and-comer when he was hired at Georgia, where he continued success. His years at Kentucky are already well documented.

    Of that list, we have four guys who were hired because they played for those teams.
    Only R. Williams, G. Williams, and Smith had prior coaching positions at major (now-BCS schools) schools. Two of them (Izzo and Boeheim) were top assistants who were given the head coaching positions from there.

    Of those ten men (Donovan and Calhoun counted only once), it was a combined 124 years to win a national championship, or roughly 15.5 years to do it. Izzo was the shortest at 5, Boeheim the longest at 27.

    So, you're right, no one's going to win this thing overnight. But at the same time, there's no guarantee that an established coach will do the trick any sooner than a young up-and-comer

  • funny that you would mention Bo Ryan. where did he coach before landing the head coaching gig at Wisconsin?

    UW-Platteville and UW-Milwaukee. good thing that Wisconsin didn't follow you're “PROVEN with a big-time program” approach that you want IU to follow.

    three Big Ten Championships later, id say Wisconsin did pretty well with that hire. thanks for proving my original point that IU should take a shot on an unproven guy fthat has had a lot of success with mid-majors.

  • Does Williams recruit McDonald's All-Americans, or does the names “Kansas” and “North Carolina” do the recruiting for them? Matt Doherty had no issues getting talent into Chapel Hill; what he did with it was the problem.

    I'm not saying Self is anywhere near what Doherty was/is, but you have to admit that his teams are consistently underpeformers in the tournament. What was the big criticism of Knight for his final years in Bloomington? That he kept getting bounced in the first round.

    Self is young enough, he may establish himself down the road, as a lot of peple had the same criticism of Florida (being highly ranked and yet making early exits from the tournament year after year) under Donovan. I don't think anyone is going to criticize him now.

  • since you hate UNC, duke, tennessee, and memphis (and all of their head coaches) so much, who is in your top five this year? Davidson?

  • B (MD)

    Part of it it's the program and part of it is the coach, but I think we need a proven recruiter at a high level. The name on the front of the jersey has not been getting the recruits for IU recently.

    Either way this debating is fun, this is what sports is all about:)

    I noticed somewhere above that Miller is a guy your hoping for. Even though I'm hoping for a little more proven guy, I can definitely get on board with Miller. He was a smart player and seems to be a smart coach as well. I think he's kind of meeting in the middle of our sides of the debate.

  • Great point.

  • Exactly why I'm behind Sean Miller.

  • Yeah, Miller's my pick, Brownell is second.

    I'm all about the younger coach who can connect with the kids more. I think that a lot of recruiting (outside of the top programs) is the charisma of the coach. So, I think, a younger coach is more able to get into a kid's living room than someone more established and older, unless that older guy is at a top program.

  • B (MD)

    I'm with you guys on Miller. He's the one “up and comer” maybe along with Bennett, that would excite me.

    I think the A-10 falls somewhere between Major and Mid-Major, and Miller has proven himself somewhat in the tournament.

  • Ha, good call calling out my inner hypocrite!

    Davidson can't be, because they lost to NC State. As far as hating a program, NC State is tops on my list, even moreso than Purdue.

    As I would rank them, right now:
    1) UCLA
    2) Kansas
    3) UNC
    4) Texas
    5) Louisville

    I think UCLA is the real deal, and I think Kansas is balanced.
    A lot rests on Ty Lawson's ankle at UNC.
    Texas is talented, but like Kansas, the big question mark is their coach.
    Louisville is playing some really good basketball right now and they are peaking at the right time.

    I threw the records out the window and tried to look at talent and who is playing good basketball right now.

  • They were one bad call last year away from sending Oden and Conley to the NBA a lot sooner.

  • B (MD)

    Sounds like most of us can agree on Miller.

    That's another part of this for IU. Bringing the fan base together.

  • Jerry

    I like Miller but give the nod if possible to Bennett. He fights the bigger wars in bigger arenas with as much success at a place that has never had much. Xavier plays in smaller wars, smaller arenas, with a basketball program created by Gillen, Matta before him. He also brings West Coast recruting to his Midwest roots. Miller is not national in scope.

  • Jerry

    I checked out Miller vs Bennett on recruiting scope just to check my facts.

    Miller has 8 players from Ohio , 2 Indiana, 2 Pa etc. I say pretty narrow but OK.

    Bennett has Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, Germany, Colo, Ca, WIsc, Ore, Wash etc.

    Sound slike Tony wil go the end of the effing earth for players. Maybe we could see the next Manute Bol at IU…………….ok, Hasheem Thabeet, Hakim Olajuwon

  • BrianK

    Everyone has said though this is an exceptional freshamn class this year, every year isn't going to be like this. Although their impact is great it still remains a rarity for team who relies heavely on a one and done to win a championship. I like going after them and landing them but history shows maturity and experience win you championships.

  • BrianK

    Hey he was allowed to go to Ohio St and play his final 3 yrs. Inner Conf trans are rare.

  • BrianK

    Considering Grant was Major oart of recruiting the players that won them 2 championships I think he can recruit.

  • B (MD)

    How about the next Uwe Blob:)

  • BrianK

    I'm with getting a Young Coach like Miller or Grant. Watch some of Pearl's prev loss' like the UK game. He got outcoached. Crean-way overrated. Barnes is a coach who can recruit but cant do much of anything else. A young guy like Miller or Grant have some heat and excitement to them. I'm sure if they can recruit at Flordia State,VCU and Xavier and have top teams thy would be able to at IU and Win now.

  • You also have to think about how Miller's recruiting base is going to be limited to the area around Xavier, so Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania would be pretty much the meat and potatoes of the recruiting base.

    Moving up to somewhere like IU, then he'd have a lot more area to go with.

    If you toss out the foreign players, then most of Bennett's recruits are localized and then the Wisco kids from his connection to that program.

    Major programs (Duke, UNC, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, Indiana and so on) can go more national.

  • Jerry

    Not saying Miller cannot do it but keep in mind he starts “nationally or internationally ” at ground zero w nothing to build on.

    Bennett has enough national and international scope to compete w teams you mentioned right away, and, he can flat out coach against tough teams in tough venues night in and night out. They are the same age.

    I would go w Jay Wright if I could becasue his meat and potatoes is in championship areas NY metro, Balt/Wash, Phila.

  • BrianK

    Ol Matt just layed some serious smack down with that post. I like and agree.

  • Ricky

    He is not a one and done. Just because he is 5 stars and ranked highly does not mean he is one and done. Next years freshman class is not all that great, especially compared to this years. There won't be too many freshman next year declaring for the draft

  • Ricky

    the big east tourny will have all 16 teams starting next year, so you were essentially right

  • Could live with either Miller or Bennett.

  • B (MD)

    That's another thing to bring up. Everyone says, “this is an Indiana/Midwest guy so he'll be able to recruit the state”. But that's limiting.

    Bring in a guy like Wright (just an example) who has ties elsewhere and that broadens the recruiting base. Whoever the coach is will be able to recruit Indiana and Midwest guys just being the coach at Indiana, assuming he's a half decent recruiter. Add to that ties from another region and we'll be even better…Especially places like NYC, Philly & Balt/DC.

  • Jerry

    FYI- Jay Wright’s current roster is from NY metro, Balt/Wash and Philly.

    Thus I would want to know Miller’s recruiting strengths a little better since he appears to stick to Cincy and Toledo for about 1/2 his players

  • Tom Coverdale IU Hero

    Bruce Pearl

  • kelin

    I won’t go to far back but Anthony Grant coached his team to an NCAA win vs. the almight Duke a couple of seasons ago….if you combine his VCU track record with his time at Florida….he is definitely in the top 4 candidates.

    BUT…..I would not be upset if we began and ended with Sean Miller. Forget the conference he is in…..he produces good teams with what he has and competes against the big boys year in and year out. I saw them when the beat IU and the difference in the game was he outcoached KS primarily from the offensive end. IU did not know what the hell Xavier was doing…….Defensively…..they played in your FACE the entire game. Greeny if you are on this site….that is your FIRST phone call.

    I DO NOT want Rick Barnes, Boehim, or anyone of that group…..go get a young coach who will be here for a long time….

  • Have another, Tom.

  • Jerry

    After looking at Miller’s narrow recruiting and few Top 50 players I would not rank him as high as I originally would have. With 1/2 his players from 2 cities in Ohio and 8 overall I wonder about his readiness to recruit at the level we expect. He is a darn good coach

    Contrast w Jay Wright however w all players from NY metro, Balt/Wash metro and Phila metro . Plus keep in mind he has Big East exposure in Chicago ( Marquette, Depaul, ND ) area and Ohio/Kentucky ( Cincy, Louisville) and FLorida.

    As a result I voted for Bennett, would have voted for Wright and l like Miller. But I feel Grant , Brownell , Drew are just not in the same league as yet.

    Kelin is usually pretty smart but perhaps you have not caught VCU on tv this year. ODU outcoached Grant to win and he was fortunate against GMU in the 2 games I saw. Nice D however. Did he recruit the Russian ?

  • B (MD)

    I guess an argument for Miller in that case would be, look at who he’s beating with less talented players, must be a good game coach. It’s not exactly easy to recruit to Xavier when you’re batting Big Ten and Big East schools in the region.

    I assume that his recruiting would have to improve at IU, so imagine him coaching the same winning ways, but with even more talent.

  • Jerry


    I guess it depends on what scope IU wants its program to have. I viewed KS as building a National program ala Duke, UNC, UCLA, Kansas, UCONN etc. and I admit to wanting that . Not to say Purdue fans with regional players are not happy right now.

    My point is that Miller has no experience winning recruiting wars in the top 100 and appears to have limited relationships outside a small subset of Ohio. He may have inherited those from the program built earlier by Gillen. Prosser, Matta. Before putting him #1 we need to assess his recruiting scope and success.

    Applying the same logic to the limited info I have on Bennett and Wright however I get a very different and more comforting feeling about their desire, energy , experience , relationships and ability to take us National (or International in Bennett’s case) when recruiting. Bennett recruited Devin Harris , Alando Tucker and even Brian ( the bastard ) Butch before leaving for WSU.

    Therefore I put Miller below both men . They can all coach like crazy . Wright’s 3 guard offense would be perfect for us now

  • Timmy

    In regards to Grant, Greenspan would never hire another african american to be IU’s hoops coach. I personally would love Grant to be our coach, but Greenspan would try to appease the most vocal section of our fanbase (you know what I’m talking about). I mean look how he passed over Ray for Double D so he wouldn’t get more heat…and if you need more proof, look who’s in last place in the poll on this site!

  • BTOWN40

    I would go Bennett #1 then Miller. You have to look at the fact that Bennett has done a great job at WSU where there was no previous success. He recruited Penny, Tucker, devin harris, and Butch just to name a few while at Wisconsin. He played in the NBA and overseas in New Zealand I believe. He is what I call a system coach that can find players that fit his system while not always needing to rely on the one and done player. He has basketball experience since birth, and is a proven recruiter. Just think a minute where he coaches Washington State a middle of the pack to bottom feeder Pac10 basketball school that is on the west coast where there is limited tv exposure to the rest of the nation, not to mention the fact that he has to go up against UCLA and Stanford for recruiting every year. Quick name a player on their roster……………….exactly you can’t and he still wins just think what he can do at IU where I would say half the recruitng is the name INDIANA on the jersey..give him the keys and let him drive, plus he’s not a bad singer either….http://wsucougars.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/bennett_tony00.html

  • BTOWN40
  • BTOWN40
  • Ben

    I honestly don’t think our coach is out there right now. I think this is a bad time to be going through this situation. We can’t make a bad choice rule wise, so I think they will stay away from calapari and pearl. We will end up with Miller or Bennett and I honestly think they will be 3 or 4 and don.e

  • Phillip

    “Crean-way overrated”–Finally someone sees it. I do not want Tom Crean roaming our sidelines.

  • Phillip

    Matta's team may not make the NCAA Tournament this year. Are you trying to say that he's better than the other coaches mentioned? I just don't follow and need explanation…I'm not being a smart-allic.

  • Jerry

    Either guy lets us compete against Painter, Weber for the best hair on a coach in the B-10.

    I keep wondering why we all ignore Jay Wright. he recruits the big citites on the east coast, wins w short guys/guards in a tough conference, has national exposure due to the big east reach from Chicago to CIncy to Fla to Boston. …………and he too can win the hair competition

  • ray

    the most important short-term goal for the hoosiers is to keep the returning players. the most important long-term goal is finding the perfect coach to fit their storied program. i think it's a major loss to have a kid of ebanks caliber back out, but it would be more of a loss to lose players already in uniform.

  • ray

    the most important short-term goal for the hoosiers is to keep the returning players. the most important long-term goal is finding the perfect coach to fit their storied program. i think it's a major loss to have a kid of ebanks caliber back out, but it would be more of a loss to lose players already in uniform.