If Bob Knight’s comments released on Tuesday weren’t a clear indication on where he stood on showing up to his induction into Indiana’s Athletics Hall of Fame, ESPN’s Dick Vitale has your clarification. Knight isn’t coming.
Making matters worse, fans will now be treated to another season of Dick Vitale mentioning that Indiana should rename Assembly Hall after Knight. Might be time to make sure your mute button works.
John Gasaway is a writer for Basketball Prospectus and is a co-author of the upcoming book, The Basketball Prospectus 2010 Major-Conference Preview. He previously wrote for the Big Ten Wonk. We recently exchanged e-mails with John to help us preview the Big Ten and Indiana because, well, he’s smarter than us. The interview is lengthy, so we’ve split it into two parts. Today: the Big Ten and a little national perspective.
Inside the Hall: The Big Ten is once again being mentioned among the top conferences in the country. From top to bottom, where does the Big Ten stand amongst the major conferences?
John Gasaway: It stands rather confidently in a clean well-lighted place at the center of the room where the league is respected but, alas, not terribly feared. The confidence comes from the exceedingly rare spectacle of a league returning its entire all-conference team (Kalin Lucas, Evan Turner, Manny Harris, Talor Battle, and JaJuan Johnson), not to mention last year’s preseason POY (Robbie Hummel).
On the other hand the Big Ten doesn’t terrify the other major conferences unduly because, even with all those returnees, our beloved glacially-paced league isn’t exactly brimming with lottery picks or even first-rounders. Turner, obviously, is going to be putting on a ball cap and shaking David Stern’s hand very soon here, and assuming Johnson and Mike Davis start consuming protein shakes in bulk I’ve seen them listed on some mocks as late first-rounders for 2011. But Turner notwithstanding there are no Walls or Warrens or Aldriches in the league right now. None of which precludes a Final Four run by a Big Ten team or two this year, of course.
Remember Friday when I surmised that maybe, just maybe, this olive branch extended by the alumni might have healed the last wound standing between Bob Knight and IU? Yeah, about that.
“The Indiana University administration recently made a public announcement on a very private issue that I was being sent a check for $75,000 from alumni donations to cover expenses I incurred as an employee at Indiana University,” Knight said in a statement. “Indiana University has refused for nine years to take care of their obligation in this matter. I did not know until [Monday] that this check was sent to my attorney. Upon finding out about it, I immediately gave him instructions to send the check back.
“In all the years I coached at Indiana and elsewhere, I never accepted a thing from alumni and I don’t intend to start now,” Knight said in the statement. “This issue is with the university, not with the alumni.”
[ … ]
“It would be amazing what this university’s legal office has spent over the past nine years avoiding this obligation as well as paying off all the broken athletic contracts they have made,” Knight said in the statement.
Did anyone else envision steam coming out of his ears as you read that? This does not sound like a man that’s coming back to IU with open arms on Nov. 6 for his Hall of Fame induction. As some of you rightly guessed, the money gesture seems to have backfired. (Even if the alumni claim it had nothing to do with the upcoming HOF ceremony.) You can’t buy Bob Knight; if the man ever steps foot inside Assembly Hall again, it’s going to be on his terms.
The latest comments from Dwight Williams, the father of David Williams, seem to indicate a level uncertainty on when or if he will sign a Letter of Intent with Indiana. Herald-Times Sports Editor Chris Korman posted this update last night on The Hoosier Scoop:
“He’s just thinking about having a good final year on the court and in the classroom,” Dwight Williams said. “He knows he’s going to college somewhere. Where? We know this is a process.”
Williams remains committed to Indiana, his father said.
Here’s what we know: Williams was not at Hoosier Hysteria and does not have an official visit to Bloomington scheduled. Neither Williams or his father has confirmed that he will sign with Indiana in November. Williams is not speaking to the media. And Indiana continues to recruit the 2010 class as evidenced by the recent offer to Will Sheehey and on-going courtship of Jelan Kendrick and Josh Selby.
The latest 2010 recruit to nab an Indiana offer is Will Sheehey, a 6-6 wing from the Sagemont School in Broward County, Florida. Inside the Hall caught up with Sheehey, rated No. 131 in his class by Rivals.com, on Monday evening for a Q & A.
On Indiana’s recent interest and scholarship offer:
“About a month ago, my head coach (Adam Ross) and I were sitting down thinking about what schools would be best for me and we thought that Indiana’s program would be one of the top five, so we gave them a call. They came back a week ago and saw me workout. And after the workout, Coach Crean thought Indiana would be a good fit for me.”
On the Indiana program:
“I know there’s a great amount of tradition and the fans are very excited. But besides that, I have a lot to learn about Indiana. I’m actually taking an official visit on the weekend of the 6th through the 8th, so I plan to get my studying in that weekend.”
On his style of play and strengths of his game:
“I would definitely say the strength for me is I think I’m pretty athletic. I have close to a 40-inch vertical, I like to slash to the basket and finish above the rim so that’s what stands out the most. Besides that, I like to shoot a lot of pull-up jumpers around the 15-foot area. That’s definitely a strength of mine. Really everything towards the basket: pull-ups, lay-ups, dunks. Something I’m working on a lot is extending the floor back to three-point range.”
The latest “State of the Hall,” which we’d like you to read, is after the jump.