First, let me say I am just now sitting down to watch the UM/Oregon game from last night. I had an event to attend last night and had to miss all the televised games. I know Derrick had a good look at a final shot to win it. I was rooting for the Wolverines to win, for sure.
UM and it's fans have to, with good reason, carry exceptional pride forward in what this season's team accomplished. Having a reason to celebrate our existence is the best aspect of being alive, in my opinion.
Second, and I'm laughing as I write this because brevity in first drafts is not my strong point, I'll try to respond using the least possible words below.
I'll just leave it vague.
The prevailing story, one that Tom Izzone has referenced, is that before the One and Done rule was instituted in 2005 coaches figured they were wasting their time recruiting Greg Oden because it was thought he was a sure bet to declare out of high school for the NBA.
It was during that period that Thad Matta, then at Xavier, made sure to take his time and stay strong in the game with both Conley and Oden. Therefore Matta gained a huge advantage. Oden and Conley (...and, yes, Conley Sr.) liked Thad as a person, saw the large amount of success he was having as the Musketeer coach and the fact the school wasn't far from Indianapolis.
When the NBA rule was changed college coaches were shocked to realize they had a lot of ground to make up with Oden and tried to get back in with him. What was interesting is that he and Conley Jr. had always planned to attend college together but none of the coaches besides Matta had taken the time to get to know them well enough to believe that was true.
DaeQuan Cook became part of their crew, played on the Spiece Indy Heat AAU team together along with Eric Gordon (who Matta tried very hard t recruit, also) and joined up with them in deciding to become a package deal.
That story is why reasoning suggests if Thad Matta had stayed at Xavier instead of Ohio State, all three of those kids would have signed with the Musketeers. Matta was the reason why.
So much for being brief, eh? I apologize for that.
I don't get it, either. (See bolded text)
He has areas of coaching he excels in. Weaknesses, too. Like almost all coaches.
Yes, agreed. Good and bad. Every school. I was one of the ignoramuses who bought in to some degree to the idea of "hate" for other schools. Mainly, I subscribed to all the jokes and how that kind of stuff debases the other side. Not serious "hate" on my part but not understanding there is always an option to embrace fellow human beings through sport. Thank whatever, whoever, it is that created us, that I finally got it.
Like you I have an older acquaintance, on my end a Michigan graduate who bleeds Maize and Blue, who was my neighbor when I lived in Schaumburg, Illinois. He was just a great, great person. He helped me in being a model to begin to think well of other team's fans, not just Michigan fans, but all school's fans. Especially Big Ten teams. Then on down the line.
People are people. Bob (his name) loves everything Michigan. I admire him.
Since then there have been other Michigan fans I've come to know who are wonderful human beings. They've reinforced the love of competition is really what I am a fan of and that I enjoy individual people.
I grew up in Marion, Ohio. One of my uncles was recruited by Woody Hayes/Ara Parseghian to play football for Miami University. Another played at Ohio State on the freshman basketball but quit to, instead, take three jobs and pay for his education. So I had no choice other than to be loyal to Scarlet and Gray colors.
But I like to think I've evolved and I'm trying to go as far as I can with that as possible. Truth is I can't operate another way, otherwise, or I'll stop following sports completely.
I appreciate in depth the idea I can come here and interact with all of you as people. I feel kinship with you here because you talk hoops as though you love it. As though you love the game itself and the competition it provides the young people who devote their lives to it on the Big Ten and national stage.
I hope I reflect a love for the game of basketball in every single word and sentence I write here.
I could do the same, I suppose, on an Ohio State board, but I've been there, done that. I'm tired of it.
Basketball is an afterthought for Ohio State fans, unless the team is winning big and then every Buckeye fan will try and tell you they've always been huge in following the basketball team.
In the end, when things aren't going well, the kids who represent Ohio State get personally attacked, which makes me angry and then sick to my stomach.
I know enough Buckeye fans who think like I do, though. Which gives me hope!
Anyway, sounds like I'm doing okay so far posting and that you think I'm here for the right reasons. I hope that continues.
I'm sure most of the general umhoops population, and I understand it, is still trying to comprehend my vocal presence here. Maybe I am, too. But I've decided for me it's just wanting to be part of something positive. Does that make any sense?
Still trying to be brief. Not having any success.
See my story above. I feel it was plausible.