Something Totally Unheard of Happened Today.

I was all set to give you part two in my award eligible series on how basketball has changed in the last 30 years, but then something happened that has shaken the Assembly Hall to its very foundations.

A 17-year old kid decided that a decision he made when he was 14 may not be something he wants to stick to.

It’s a shocking and disturbing development because there’s nothing more emotionally or intellectually reliable than the decisions of 14-year old boys. I have worked with kids for the last 15 years and I can tell you this with absolute certainty. No 14 year old has ever made a decision and then later made another decision.

And this is why, I fully support the active solicitation of firm and binding decisions from kids who have to given multiple talks about the importance for showering with soap and using deodorant.

But, today, the exception to prove the rule occurred. James Blackmon, Jr. de-committed from Indiana University. But the really crazy thing is that this is the second commitment from the class of 2014 made by a kid who had yet to play a game in high school to be less binding than the tattoo I saw a current IU player speak excitedly about on twitter today. Trey Lyles who committed right around the same time as Blackmon reversed his decision last year at this same time.


Some people, foolishly, will say that maybe he shouldn’t be offering scholarships to 8th graders and taking commitments from high school freshman who haven’t found where the bathroom is on the 3rd floor yet, much less played a game for their high school teams. Those people are idiots who don’t know the power of a 14-year-olds word.

No, the real lesson is this. Crean didn’t trust these kids and that lack of trust left them hurt and upset, but more than that, it left them a little pissed off. If Crean really understood high school boys, he would have taken Blackmon and Lyles at their words and not spent so much time continuing to go see them play. They said they were coming to IU, didn’t they? Back off.

This is exactly what ends so many great high school romances. The kids start dating and he tells the girl how much he loves her. They agree to go steady, but then she keeps calling him all the time. She shows up when he’s ballin’ with his boys, even when he didn’t invite her. She starts to smother him with attention. He gets a little restless and starts checking out other girls. She gets jealous and decides to spend even more time with him. Which he resents.

“Don’t you trust me?”

“Of course I trust you, baby. But these other skanks won’t leave you alone. I know how they are!”

“I told you I’d be your forever lover, you know. Don’t you remember?”

“I do remember. I love you too, baby. Where will you be playing ball tomorrow, I’d like to come and see you. Also, I can now text you as much as I want. I’ll send you 600 texts tonight just to show you how much I’m thinking of you. We can be together forever. And ever. And ever. And Ever.”

So of course, he starts to notice the other girls, because they have a lot to offer too, and they won’t get all up in his business like she does. And then he tells her that he still loves her, but that he thinks he needs to see what else is out there. I mean, he doesn’t WANT to be with anyone else, but they just got together so young, and how does he really know what he wants until he can see what else is out there?

Crean just needs to trust a little bit more. And that’s hard, because once you’ve been burned it’s very hard to open yourself up and love again in that same way.

But relax, IU fans. This isn’t the end. These high school break ups are always just temporary. They always get back together and get married and live happily ever after.

Jeff Taylor