AC Radio: What To Pay Attention To in Exhibition Games (And What To Ignore)
Plus: Hoosier Headlines and answers to your mailbag questions.
On this week’s edition of AC Radio, we rolled through a number of Hoosier Headlines:
Andy’s appearance on Doing The Work
Our ongoing move to Substack!
Recruiting updates on Boogie Fland(ers) and Derik Queen
The latest on Mackenzie Mgbako’s arrest, which has been reduced to a single Class A misdemeanor
After that, we discuss our mindsets heading into Sunday’s first exhibition game. What does history and our own basketball common sense tell us about what’s worth paying attention to in and exhibition game … and what’s not.
Then we answer a bunch of mailbag questions, some new from this week and some left over from last week.
On mic: Jerod, Andy, and Coach
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And here is the transcript of this week’s Banner Moment:
This week’s Banner Moment occurred on Tuesday night when the NBA season tipped off with seven former Hoosiers on NBA rosters.
OG Anunoby is currently the best of the bunch, still in Toronto with the Raptors despite plenty of trade rumors.
Eric Gordon is the grizzled vet, entering his 15th NBA season as a member of the revamped Phoenix Suns.
Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino are the newbies, both having been selected in the most recent draft by the Warriors and Lakers, respectively, and both impressing their new teams with their play in training camp and preseason action.
Rounding out the list of IU players in the NBA is a trio of Tom Crean players: Cody Zeller with the Pelicans, the recently traded and presently rehabbing Victor Oladipo with the Rockets, and Thomas Bryant, one of the newest members of Heat Culture in Miami.
Unfortunately, Romeo Langford did not make it through training camp with an NBA spot as he was cut by the Jazz and has yet to sign anywhere else.
Indiana’s list of present NBA players is much more extensive than Big Ten rivals Purdue and Illinois, and it compares favorably with other conference foes like Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State, who each have five or more current NBA players.
The reason this matters is two-fold:
First, it’s exciting to see all of these guys who we cheered so hard for when they were wearing the Cream & Crimson carving out successful and highly lucrative NBA careers for themselves. Each of those eight players, including Romeo, has made life-changing money.
Secondly, Indiana’s growing list of NBA players, and their different paths and roles, is a useful recruiting tool that Mike Woodson and his staff can use with the highly ranked players they are going after – all of whom have dreams of playing in the NBA someday, usually sooner rather than later.
Each player is both an example of what coming to Indiana can mean for a player’s professional future, and each player is also a story that can be tailored to the particulars of any recruitment.
Recruiting a lead guard? Talk about Jalen.
Recruiting a shooting-challenged big? Talk about Trayce.
Recruiting a floor-spacing big? Talk about TB.
Recruiting an under-the-radar athlete? Tell ‘em about OG.
And on and on.
As schools like Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, and others have proven, having a proven track record of helping players achieve their NBA dreams can be just as important, and sometimes even more important, than recent on-court success in attracting top talent.
The bottom line that we all know is that recruiting in the circles where Indiana wants to recruit requires having as few holes as possible in your overall recruiting pitch.
So while Mike Woodson and the Hoosiers need to keep improving the on-court success to stay top-of-mind with the best recruits, it’s also helpful to keep compiling as many individual examples and stories of NBA success as possible. The more of those IU’s staff has at its disposal, the more effective their messaging will be on the recruiting trail.