Some Hoosiers just go harder than others.
|Bobby Knight instructs Landon Turner during a Dec. 22, 1979 game versus North Carolina. |
(photo courtesy of IU Archives Photograph Collection.)
On the evening of his induction to the IU Hall of Fame, former IU basketball great, Landon Turner, was delivered the following letter from his former coach, Bob Knight, by former Herald-Times sports editor & longtime Knight friend, Bob Hammel:
For over two years as a member of our basketball team, you were a monumental pain in the ass. You were a kid with enormous talent — oh, and you had some great moments that helped us win some games and championships, the NIT final game was one of those. But times like that only made more frustrating all of those much more frequent times when you didn’t come close to playing to your abilities in a consistent way.
I had just about given up on you as a player who could be counted on to play his best in every game. Then, on Feb. 12, 1981, in our 23rd game of your junior year, we were playing Northwestern at home. Steve Downing and I were going to tell your great parents after the game that we no longer thought you could help our team. Then, with nine minutes to go in that Northwestern game with us about 30 points ahead, I finally put you in the game — and you immediately missed a block-out and gave up a basket. Of course I took you out of the game, but for some reason I don’t understand I put you right back in. For the next 8 and a half minutes you did it — you played to the full extent of your abilities, and it was a joy to watch.
After the game, Steve and I met with your Dad and Mother. Our original plan had been to draft a letter that would make you eligible for the NBA Draft. After the way you had played, before we brought up the letter I asked you a question: “Landon, what keeps you from playing that way all the time?” You said, “I don’t know, Coach, but I would like the chance to try.”
From our next practice through the final game in the NCAA tournament, you were the best player in the country. Our team could not and would not have won the national championship without the way you played. You did a complete turn-around, not only as a player but also as a student. I have never seen anyone make that complete a change in his approach to life.
Then came your summertime accident on the way to King’s Island. Only through great will and determination did you even survive. Your life was changed forever, and you would never experience what you were going to be as a basketball player — the best in the country.
But what you did become, Landon, is the most amazing human being — the greatest example of dealing with and overcoming adversity — that I have ever known. There is no player of all the great, great kids that I have coached that I respect more than you.
My favorite moment as a coach was seeing you become the player I thought you could be. My worst moment as a coach was learning that you would not have a senior season.
And you also gave me my most unforgettable and meaningful moment on a basketball court. It was at one of our Senior Days. You had come down to be part of it — I always appreciated that — and you were in your wheelchair on the court behind me when on the spur of the moment I asked all the former IU players in the stands that day to stand. Then I thought of you, looked back, and needled you as always: “Landon, aren’t you going to stand up?”
You gave me that great big smile and said, “Coach, I am standing, in my heart.”
That, I’ll never forget.
Congratulations for this wonderful recognition and honor, Landon. You deserve to be up on that wall, as a continuing reminder of a great young basketball player whose future changed in a minute and — after a lot of tears and family time, I’m sure — just said, “Well, that’s the way it’s going to be. I’ll make the best of it.”
And you have.
The significance of this connection to Indiana's basketball legacy cannot be overstated.
In a state which is world-renowned for its passion for basketball, the relationship between the All Stars and IU represents the confluence of Indiana's storied high school basketball talent and the vaunted college basketball program which also bears the state's name across its chest.
Here's a few tidbits which illustrate how IU and the All Stars have become inexorably intertwined with basketball greatness over the past three quarters of a century:
-Since the All Star team's inception in 1939, 884 high school players have been selected to play for the Indiana All Stars. With this year's class of commits, IU has now amassed 100 Indiana All Stars on its rosters, or 11.31% of all All Stars.
-63 of the 74 All Star rosters (85%) have produced at least one IU player.
-This marks the 63rd season IU's roster will feature at least Indiana Mr. Basketball winner. For more on IU's history with Indiana Mr. Basketball winners, click here.
-2012-13 will be the 66th consecutive season in which at least 1 Indiana All Star is represented on the IU roster.
-This year's class of IU commits is tied for the 4th largest class of All Stars in IU history (3).
-Indiana All Stars will account for 53.85% of IU's scholarship athletes, which also ties it for the 4th most All Star-laden roster in IU history.
-1994 & 1995 are the only consecutive All Star classes which did not send a player to IU.
-Tom Crean ranks 4th all-time in collecting Indiana All Stars by IU coach, with 8 All Stars to his credit. However, he is 2nd in the average number of All Stars/IU roster year, with an average of 3.8 All Stars per year coaching IU (including '12-'13).
Largest All Star Class To Play At IU
1969: (5) McGinnis, Ritter, Memering, Downing, White
1981: (4) Dakich, Flowers, Morgan, Rowray
1989: (4) P. Graham, Cheaney, G. Graham, Leary
1972: (3) Abernathy, Kamstra, Wilkerson
1977: (3) Tolbert, Risley, Baker
1978: (3) Turner, Kitchel, Wittman
1979: (3) Bouchie, Franz, Cameron
2012: (3) Ferrell, Hollowell, Patterson
Most Indiana All Stars On An IU Roster
1981-82: (9) Kitchel, Wittman, Bouchie, Flowers, Dakich, Morgan, Cameron, Franz, Rowray
1979-80: (8) Tolbert, Woodson, Turner, Bouchie, Risley, Kitchel, Wittman, Franz
1980-81: (8) Tolbert, Wittman, Turner, Kitchel, Risley, Bouchie, Franz, LaFave
1982-83: (7) Wittman, Kitchel, Bouchie, Morgan, Robinson, Dakich, Foster
1989-90: (7) Cheaney, G. Graham, P. Graham, Nover, Jones, Leary, Oliphant
1992-93: (7) Cheaney, G. Graham, P. Graham, Nover, Bailey, Evans, Leary
2012-12: (7) Hulls, Elston, Zeller, Etherington, Ferrell, Hollowell, Patterson
1970-71: (6) McGinnis, Downing, Ritter, Ford, White, Memering
1971-72: (6) Downing, Ritter, White, Shepherd, Memering, Ford
1972-73: (6) Downing, Ritter, Green, Kamstra, Abernathy
1974-75: (6) Green, Benson, Wilkerson, Abernathy, Radford, Kamstra
1978-79: (6) Woodson, Tolbert, Wittman, Risley, Turner, Kitchel
1984-85: (6) Alford, Robinson, Brooks, Morgan, Smith
1990-91: (6) Cheaney, Bailey, G. Graham, P. Graham, Nover, Jones
1993-94: (6) Bailey, Evans, P. Graham, Leary, Hart, Wilkerson
Most Indiana All Stars by IU Coach
Coach Seasons All Stars Avg. All Stars/Roster Yr.
Bob Knight 29 42 4.8 All Stars/roster
Branch McCracken 24 29 2.9 All Stars/roster
Lou Watson 6 11 3.5 All Stars/roster
Tom Crean 5 8 3.8 All Stars/roster
Mike Davis 6 6 2.5 All Stars/roster
Harry Good 3 3 .66 All Stars/roster
Kelvin Sampson 2 1 3 All Stars/roster
List of Indiana All Stars to play at IU
|2012||Yogi Ferrell||Park Tudor|
|2012||Jeremy Hollowell||Lawrence Central|
|2012||Ron Patterson||Broad Ripple|
|2011||Austin Etherington||Hamilton Heights|
|2009||Jordan Hulls*||Bloomington South|
|2007||Eric Gordon*||North Central|
|2005||Armon Bassett||Terre Haute South|
|2004||AJ Ratliff*||North Central|
|2004||James Hardy||Fort Wayne Elmhurst|
|2003||Errek Suhr||Bloomington North|
|2001||Sean Kline||Huntington North|
|2000||Jared Jeffries*||Bloomington North|
|1992||Steve Hart||Terre Haute South|
|1991||Brian Evans||Terre Haute South|
|1990||Damon Bailey*||Bedford North Lawrence|
|1989||Pat Graham*||Floyd Central|
|1989||Todd Leary||Lawrence North|
|1989||Calbert Cheaney||Evansville Harrison|
|1989||Greg Graham||Warren Central|
|1985||Jeff Oliphant||Lyons & Marco|
|1984||Delray Brooks*||Michigan City Rogers|
|1983||Steve Alford*||New Castle|
|1982||Stew Robinson||Anderson Madison Heights|
|1982||Tracy Foster||Fort Wayne Homestead|
|1981||Winston Morgan||Anderson Madison Heights|
|1981||John Flowers||Fort Wayne South|
|1981||Rick Rowray||Muncie Central|
|1979||Cam Cameron||Terre Haute South|
|1978||Landon Turner||Arsenal Tech|
|1978||Ted Kitchel||Lewis Cass|
|1978||Randy Wittman||Ben Davis|
|1977||Ray Tolbert*||Anderson Madison Heights|
|1977||Steve Risley||Lawrence Central|
|1976||Mike Woodson||Broad Ripple|
|1974||Wayne Radford||Indianapolis Arlington|
|1973||Kent Benson*||New Castle|
|1972||Tom Abernathy||South Bend St. Joseph|
|1972||Bob Wilkerson||Anderson Madison Heights|
|1971||Steve Green||Silver Creek|
|1969||George McGinnis*||Indianapolis Washington|
|1969||Steve Downing||Indianapolis Washington|
|1969||Cornelius White||Hammond Tech|
|1965||Earl Schneider||Evansville Rex Mundi|
|1962||Gary Grieger||Evansville Bossee|
|1959||Ray Pavy||New Castle|
|1958||Charlie Hall||Terre Haute Gerstmeyer|
|1955||Gene Flowers||Muncie Central|
|1953||Hallie Bryant||Crispus Attucks|
|1953||Charlie Hodson||Muncie Central|
|1951||Don Schlundt||South Bend Washington-Clay|
|1951||Paul Poff||New Albany|
|1948||Bob Masters*||Lafayette Jeff|
|1944||Murray Mendenhall#||Fort Wayne Central|
|1943||Bob Mehl#||Arsenal Tech|
* Denotes Indiana Mr. Basketball winner
# All Stars were not selected in '43 & '44 due to WWII; rosters were selected 50 years later
Upon returning home from their loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16, the IU men's basketball team addressed the fans who had gathered at Cook Hall (full video here). When Will Sheehey was given the microphone, it took him about two seconds to go from 0 to badass:
(via IU Athletics)
"We're not happy with the Sweet 16 and you fans shouldn't be either. You should expect more from us than that, and that's why you guys are the great fans that you are."
Now THAT'S how you go hard on the mic.
Just drop it next time, Will.
Four years too long. Yet still a year earlier than expected. It's pure madness, Hoosiers.
Thus, it's the perfect time to uncork Chronic's Bracket Challenge.
The rules are simple:
1) Register & submit your entries here: http://es.pn/wG0x3X
2) Winner receives an autographed bottle of the Nectar of the Gods at the completion of the tournament*.
*Winner must verify legal drinking age to receive the goodness (otherwise minors receive cash equivalent) and live within the continental US.
Saw this little piece today about the IU-Illinois rivalry, and it got me thinking about IU's emergent rivalry with Illinois. Sure, most Hoosiers have long since given two shits about our neighbors to the west, but how exactly has this rivalry morphed into what it has become today? Let's examine just a few of the differentiating factors between IU & UI:
|IU plays in Assembly Hall, the National Basketball Cathedral.|
|UI plays in the State Farm Center, formerly Assembly Hall, the motherfucking spaceship.|