Josh McRoberts' decision not to play in the annual Top 40 workout or the annual Indiana-Kentucky All-Star
series has gotten him a lot of criticism, with the director of the series, Pat
Aikman, even calling him "selfish" and suggesting that he didn't play
because he was mad he wasn't named Mr. Basketball in Indiana.
Now just a minute. The kid has a right to play or not play, and is
under no obligation to Aikman or anyone else. And as it turns out,
according to his mom, the reason he isn't playing is because Duke asked him to
take a break to rest a bit and make sure his back is okay.
And not that it really matters, but if the kid is possibly the #1 prospect in
his class nationally, generally regarded as no worse than third nationally, how
could he finish third in the in-state voting for Mr. Basketball? Final
tally: Luke Zeller, 101, Dominic James 63, Josh McRoberts, 41. No one
should have a beef with Luke Zeller. He is from all accounts a great kid, and
Mike Brey is lucky to have him coming in at Notre Dame. We don't know much
about Dominic James, but he's a quality guard who will be playing at Marquette,
and he arguably had a better high school career than Zeller (there's not much
question that McRoberts has). So despite our great respect for Indiana's
brilliant tradition of basketball, we're forced to wonder: did Zeller win
so decisively because he decided to play in-state, rather than leave like
McRoberts and James? And if the politics of basketball there punishes
McRoberts, why would he want to represent a basketball culture which had just -
and by 164 votes rather substantially - snubbed him? And then his schedule
with Duke? Who is Aikman kidding here?
We should add to this a couple of points. First, Sean May's reception
when UNC played at Indiana this year, which was disgusting. There is one
level, which is the kid deciding to go elsewhere, and if that made people mad,
well, okay. The other level, though, is his family. His father,
Scott May, just may be the finest player Indiana ever had, since he was one of
the real keys to the team losing only 1 game in two years (and that one when he
was injured). That in and of itself should have guaranteed Sean kinder
treatment. But in addition to that, his brother, Scott Jr., was a walk-on
at Indiana. So one of IU's great basketball families was seriously abused.
And secondly, when Jared Jeffries was being recruited by Duke, he came under
enormous pressure to stay home. Some of the pressure was really nasty, from what
Aikman, as it turns out, is
not always the smoothest character, if this article is any indication.
Just who is he and what is the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series? It's an
event sponsored by the Indianapolis Star, and Aikman is a contract employee of
And the Top 40 Workout? Just what it says: workouts.
Drills and scrimmages.
So unless the Star sponsors the whole event for charity, we'd say Aikman
calling McRoberts selfish is a bit backwards. And even if it is for
charity, any kid could reasonably decide to take some time away.
What a ridiculous non-story this is.