by Kent Sterling
It was inevitable that an addlepated knucklehead on a message board would put two and two together to make 17 when Park Tudor head basketball coach Ed Schilling was hired by UCLA’s Steve Alford.
The thinking from the message board conspiracy theorists is that Alford must have hired Ed Schilling because of his relationships with 6’5″ wing Trevon Bluiett (ranked #46 by Rivals in the 2014 class) and Indiana freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell.
The truth is Alford hired one of his best friends, co-author of a book on guard play, and a well respected developer of talent as an assistant coach.
Nothing like message board lunacy to awaken a fanbase that knows Indiana will be one scholarship heavy even if both Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller declare for the NBA Draft. Two words about the rumored transfer of Ferrell – ignore them.
There are a lot of logical motivations for Ferrell to stay put, and only one for him to leave, and people are assuming that Ferrell has a positive enough relationship with Schilling that it would compel him to consider bolting. Schilling is a nice guy, and runs a great workout, but three years can be a long time for a player and coach to get along.
Here is a very incomplete list of reasons that Ferrell will resist any attempt to lure him to Los Angeles:
- He would be unable to play next year. That’s a big deal. A year is a long time to a college freshman.
- Ferrell’s home is Indianapolis – close for family.
- There is a sense of family among the Hoosiers team that is palpable. The players love each other.
- Tom Crean has not lost a kid once he got to Indiana that he didn’t want to lose.
- Indiana has the number three ranked class in the country coming to Bloomington, and Ferrell will be the leader of this team for the next three years.
- Crean has a well-earned reputation for developing talented players, and Indiana’s facilities allow for players to work as hard and long as they want to improve their skills.
- While Tom Crean hasn’t exactly been lights out in the NCAA Tourney with a 9-7 record, but Alford’s is a hard to swallow 5-7. Alford hasn’t gone to the Sweet 16 since the Earth cooled (1999).
- The dime bags (they used to be a dime) of popcorn at Kenny’s Food Mart are way too delicious, and a place of honor on the Liar’s Bench is the honor Ferrell covets more than being an All-American.
So… teammates Ferrell enjoys – check. Close to home – check. Chance to win in NCAAs – check. Can continue to play next season – check. Great facilities and staff – check. Kenny’s – check!
Weighing against Ferrell staying. His high school coach is on the staff at UCLA.
A very smart man told me many times, “For change to occur, the pain of change must be outweighed by the pain of remaining.” The pain of staying is nowhere near the pain of bolting.
While believing anything posted on a message board is always a crapshoot. In this case, it’s money in the bank that the rumors are unfounded and ridiculous.
It’s fun to imagine the postgame blow by handshake between Crean and Alford if Ferrell made the move and UCLA and Indiana found themselves matched up, but it will never happen.