2022 NBA Draft Will Crush Big Ten Story, While Reminding IU Basketball Recruitment Failure – The Daily Hoosier

It’s a well-known fact—the Big Ten Conference hasn’t produced an NCAA champion since Tom Izu and Michigan State won the title in 2000—a 22-year drought.

Most critics will say that the league’s futility in March stems from a physical style of play that doesn’t translate beyond the season, discouraging high-end secondary talent from even joining a team from the league in the first place.

“The league’s biggest challenge is its ability to recruit NBA-level talent throughout the conference,” ESPN’s Myron Medcalf said last year discussing why the Big Ten didn’t lift a trophy in a generation.

Undeniably in recruiting circles, the Big Ten’s physicality is a concern, and something coaches outside the league use as a passive tool. In essence – “Don’t go there, you’ll get beaten up and you’ll never make it to the NBA.”

In general, this account was accurate.

In a 2016 study by Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, the Big Ten were the last six major conferences when it came to NBA first-round options from 1996 to 2015. Here’s the update – even if you add in the Big Ten first-round options in the six drafts the following while keeping the other championships at their 2015 levels – you will remain in last place. In fact, the Big Ten only had one first round in each of the last two drafts.

But that’s all about to change Thursday night.

According to most dummy NBA drafts including ESPN’s latest update on Thursday, the Big Ten should have five players hear their name in the first round.

To be drafted into today’s NBA, you have to demonstrate the ability to thrive in an open field, free-flowing style, and to varying degrees Jaden Ivey, Keegan Murray, Johnny Davis, Malaki Branham and AJ Liddell have all done it – while playing in Big Ten.

The Big Ten surely didn’t magically cure everything that hit her with stylistically speaking. It’s still very materialistic, and has yet to produce a product that translates in March.

And recruiting didn’t suddenly take off in the league either.

In fact, while Branham (247Sports Composite No. 38) and Liddell (44) might reasonably be seen as potential NBA players, so-called experts were a long way off when it came to picking potential lotteries Ivey (89) and Davis (164)), Murray (334).

But when five Big Ten players are called up on Thursday night, the idea that the Big Ten is hurting your chances of making it to the NBA will falter, and suddenly you become a counter-recruiter to Mike Woodson and others in the league.


Credit – via Blake Wesley on Instagram

Former Indiana coach Archie Miller recently gave a candid interview where he admitted that his biggest regret from his time in Indiana was his recruiting style.

With only 13 scholarships to offer, talent assessment is crucial to the college staff, and Thursday night’s first round will also likely be an indictment of Miller’s scouting ability while at IU.

Ivey was a state producer and many believed to be Hoosier’s most complete original producer in the 2020 class. But Miller didn’t even offer Ivey a scholarship despite being placed in IU’s team camp in 2018, the day he set fire to the net at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and demonstrated his future potential in the NBA.

Sure enough, thinking Ivy, a South Bend product and son of Notre Dame women’s coach Neil, would stay home. But this was clearly misguided thinking.

Blake Wesley, another South Bend producer, received an offer from Indiana, and for a while there was common interest. But I vividly remember August of 2020 when his father told me that the family had not heard from IU staff for months. This was a recruit that Indiana had a chance of winning if he pushed hard with the right message.

That message should be exactly what Notre Dame did this year – put the ball in his hands and let him go. Wesley averaged 14.4 points per game as a true rookie, and he was exactly the kind of two-way athletic scoring winger who lost the Hoosiers in 2021-22. He will also be drafted into the first round on Thursday.

Finally, Indianapolis producer Jake LaRavia of Lawrence Central HS Miller has three chances to land him — first before he commits to SIU-Edwardsville, and then after he reopened his assignment after a training change and landed in Indiana.

The last chance to land in LaRavia came at an inopportune time, just as Miller’s tenure at IU was crumbling.

But 14.6 points per game at Wake Forest and 38.4 percent of shooting from behind the arc as a recent 6-foot-9 stretch could have been another major asset for the Hoosiers.

Now it’s also likely that LaRavia on Thursday will hear his name in the first round, and it will be another reminder of what could have been.

LaRavia and Wesley have both been more mistaken by their recruiting sites, too. Wesley was 121st, while LaRavia wasn’t exactly ranked.

The Daily Hoosier – “Where Indiana Fans Gather When They’re Not in the Assembly”

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