Indiana Basketball – Why is Yogi Ferrell turning announcement to return into major production?

by Kent Sterling

Hard to imagine Yogi Ferrell will announce anything but the patently obvious decision   to stay at Indiana for his senior season at Ruth's Chris Steak House a week from Saturday.

Hard to imagine Yogi Ferrell will announce anything but the patently obvious decision to stay at Indiana for his senior season at Ruth’s Chris Steak House a week from Saturday.

Does anyone really think that Indiana point guard Yogi Ferrell is going to forego his senior season to enter the NBA Draft?  For those awaiting word, it will come at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse on the north side of Indianapolis Saturday, April 25th.

I have yet to find a mock draft or word from an NBA executive that provides any substantial evidence that Ferrell would be taken inside the top 40 of the June draft, and while being a first rounder is not the point of demarkation it used to be because so many teams are giving second rounders guaranteed money, outside the top 40-to-undrafted is an assessment that would seem to remove all doubt as to what Ferrell will decide.

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Here are the current projections of Ferrell’s draft status, according to the most reliable mock drafts (if there could ever be such a thing):

So what is the need for this formal announcement?

I’m not going to wrestle Kate Upton from her horse, talk her out of her armor, and marry her, but I’m not going to invite people to an event to announce at the Nickel Plate Restaurant in Fishers that I am opting out of a romantic liaison I have no chance of participating in.

My nephew is going to the University of Iowa in the Fall, but he saw no need to sit at a table with a bunch of hats to announce his decision despite it being just as big a deal for our family as the decision of a highly touted recruit selecting his school is for his or her’s.

Certainly, Ferrell has a better chance of playing in the NBA than I have to spend any time with Upton (outside of my brief run in with her at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis when she sneered at me for already being in an elevator she wanted to occupy alone with her security team), but there seems to be no chance that he is going to get the affirmation needed to believe he will be drafted by an NBA team.

Where NBA people currently see him is not what most need to hear in order to pull the trigger on prematurely beginning an NBA career, and with a fourth year as the unquestioned leader of the Hoosiers, there is a chance to make a jump forward for the 2016 draft.

The issue isn’t the assessment of Yogi as a player, but the assumed need for some kind of event to announce what is already widely assumed.  The need to announce publicly what is already widely known is a bizarre choice emblematic of the self-importance so many young people embrace.

This wild over-estimation of the importance of decisions made by a young man and his family is driven by a couple of factors.  The media is guilty for paying rapt attention to where a teenager decides to go to college – an almost entirely meaningless moment for all but the family of the kid. Families who build their lives around the schedule of a child-athlete and treat every game as a monumental event are just as nuts/guilty of inflating a kid’s self-image beyond all reason.

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The unholy confluence of these dynamics causes the existence of the type of event Ferrell and his family will hold a week from Saturday.

Even if the rationale for holding the event is to raise money for a foundation devoted to providing opportunities for young athletes of all abilities, its purpose reflects our strange preoccupation with decisions made by athletes, and reflects a self-immersion that operates outside the parameters of logic and reason.

If Ferrell was truly on the fence as to whether he would return to IU, news regarding the decision would be interesting to IU fans, and to me too.  Without Ferrell as a point guard, Indiana would be in trouble for 2015-2016.  Regardless of the illogic of doing so, fans care beyond all reason, and I’m guilty of that too.

When Cody Zeller sat in the gym at Washington High School to announce whether he would attend North Carolina, Butler, or IU, I worked hard to find out what the decision was beforehand.  My interest wasn’t simply a mercenary effort to scoop others.  It was because my curiosity was beyond manic.  I wanted badly to know where the hell a teenager wanted to spend a couple of years in college.  Silly.

This is different because if the NBA experts to whom I’ve spoken and heard from in the media are to be believed, it makes no sense for Ferrell to leave Indiana.  My curiosity is sated.

There is no news here because the answer is already obvious.

The only news would be an explanation as to why the event exists at all – other than to get a great steak.

10 thoughts on “Indiana Basketball – Why is Yogi Ferrell turning announcement to return into major production?

  1. Frank M Cook

    Staying at IU or going pro are not his only options. As a graduate, he can transfer to another school and play immediately. Would transferring warrant a press conference? I’d think it would be more newsworthy than announcing he was going to play in Turkey if no one drafted him or that he was staying at IU.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      You’re right, but I’ve asked people close, and that – at least to this point – hasn’t been considered. If it is, the shock waves would be enormous.

      1. Jeff Gregory

        Plus, if he transfers, it would entail him being accepted into a graduate program that IU doesn’t offer. It isn’t very likely that he would find that. IU offers graduate programs in nearly everything that their undergraduate studies offer. His degree is going to be in sports marketing, I believe, so where could he go?

  2. Matterhorn

    He’s learning from the best grandstander of all Harold Hill AKA Tom Crean. Yogi left, Yogi right, Yogi up the middle watch me as I clap, clap, clap while my little Yogi dribbles.
    Let him come back I don’t want the Creanaide fans to have any excuses when the Hoosiers fail miserably again at the end of the year. You actually think this team is going to be better than Zeller, Victor and Hulls? Ha, ha, ha, ha.

  3. j

    if yogi announces he is staying I will lose a tremendous amount of respect for him. not because he is opting to stay but because he thinks he is that important. did kate uptons cleavage sneer as well? I have to imagine it functions somewhat independently and has its own agenda.

  4. Robert Golden

    Maybe one or two players compare to Yogi (Berea first and Nelson second, imo). Wingspan/standing reach are just as important, and Yogi won’t come close to most of those guys.

    Also, there are around 15 active players under 6′ in the NBA–less if you use their height in shoes. That’s out of 450 active players, so about 3% of the league.

    With that said, if he can consistently knock down NBA 3’s–say at 40%–and rededicate himself to defense, I can see him making a roster.

  5. Collin

    Everyone is entitled to their thoughts. With that said I’m not sure why it’s a bad thing to announce you are staying; that you have made the decision to lead your team and graduate in order to put yourself in a better position after your NBA career has ended. If he stays I’m definitely not losing respect for the kid. He’s setting a good example for future college players. I can’t blame the Kentucky guys for leaving early but some are at best 2nd rounders and should be staying put to get their education. The NBA doesn’t last forever and we all know there are many who blow their paychecks and have nothing left after they’re done.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      The UK players had a presser on campus. None went to a restaurant for some sort of gala. It’s not him staying or going, but the method of communication that is questionable.

  6. Pingback: Weekend Recap and Yogi’s Decision | Sheninagans

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