Now, while I was gone, the NBA had their draft. The Pacers added Solomon Hill. I don’t have any memory of him at Arizona, but the team seems awfully high on him, and it seems he’ll be a very good backup for the time being. Which is exactly what this team needs. No, that wasn’t what I found interesting about this draft. In fact, I found exactly nothing interesting about this draft. But, I did have a minor annoyance, and that was good enough.
If you remember, Indiana* had two players go in the top five draft picks in Victor Olidipo (2nd, Magic) and Cody Zeller (4th, Bobcats**). A lot of Indiana fans here went a bit nuts. Which, actually, I don’t have a philosophical problem with. It’s just annoying because it’s IU. My bigger problem was with how it was celebrated. It came off as such a huge accomplishment for the program,*** and that just simply isn’t true. It’s great for those two guys. But what did they really do for Indiana?
*The bad Hoosier kind, not the good Pacer kind.
**Rumor is Charlotte is going to return to the Hornets nickname soon, since New Orleans has become the Pelicans. This could create some pretty interesting record keeping. It’s confusing me just to try and write about it, so I’ll keep it brief for now. You’ll now have to be very specific about certain Hornets records. Sure, Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson surely have some Charlotte Hornets records, but those records actually belong to the New Orleans Pelicans, not the Charlotte Hornets. Today’s Hornets will be competing with the likes of, um. Byron Mullins? Emaka Okafor? I don’t know who qualifies as a Bobcats legend.
***I very specifically did not say school there. One of my biggest gripes (probably the biggest gripe) about IU fans are their sheer bandwagon nature. It seems the vast majority of Indiana fans have no connection to the school whatsoever and probably could not tell you anything about the school outside of the men’s basketball team. And yet, they argue with the passion of somebody who has had three generations of family go there. Oh, and they root for Notre Dame in the fall. You don’t typically get this sort of fan with Purdue. Usually, if you have a diehard Purdue fan on your hands, they can tell you about their time there or start rattling off family members who have gone there.
A lot of this was because this was an extraordinarily weak draft. That was all we heard about coming into this draft, about how there was really nobody to get too excited about. Still, if you have two top five NBA draft picks on your college team, shouldn’t you at least make it past the Sweet Sixteen? I mean, you probably ought to win the whole thing or at least get to the Final Four,* but you were a one seed and could only beat the two pasties you got as basically a freebie. I mean, I’m so disappointed that the Hummel-era Boilers couldn’t get past the Sweet Sixteen, and we at least have some mitigating factors to blame (mostly Hummel’s body rejecting him). And none of those players were highly drafted. How can you be so excited to do so little with apparently so much?
*Even though I told everybody who would listen this Hoosier team had no chance of doing that. I wasn’t alone in that, but it felt that way in this part of the country at times.
Heck, that’s just looking at the tournament. With that kind of high-placed talent, you should be running away with your conference title, no matter how tough the league is. Indiana did eventually win it, but it took a Michigan bunny rolling the wrong way off the rim to do it. And the conference tournament saw Indiana losing fairly handily to a Wisconsin team that I’m pretty sure didn’t have anybody drafted at all, or really was on anybody’s radar.
What did all that talent really get you, Indiana fans? What are you all that excited about? Be excited for those players, sure. But recognize that your talent underachieved. Or, you know, act a bit more like a Purdue fan. We have plenty of doom and gloom over here!