Traveling Violations: Good timing
by Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports
November 7, 2004
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Bracey Wright was one of the best freshmen in the country and then figured his sophomore year at Indiana would be his last. Instead a back injury kept him for working out in the summer. He lost his timing, his stamina and his shooting accuracy.
And now he is still here, back for a junior season.
"To me, last year didn't happen," said the 6-foot-3 guard from The Colony, Texas. "Basketball is a lot of rhythm. If you have a job or do something and you don't do it for three, four months and try to come back and be on top of the game like before, it is going to be extremely difficult to do."
Which it was. Wright never recovered from missing that summer.
Wright actually upped his scoring average to 18.5 points a game. But he shot only 34.3 percent to do it.
This year, however, with an improved frontcourt to keep defenses honest, a healthy back and all that timing back, he expects again to be one of the best in the country.
"It's a new year," he smiled.
It is not just basketball, though. Saturdays after practice are reserved for watching college football while having a long, loose-running staff meeting.
Davis is a huge football fan. He knows the teams, the players and the coaches.
But he also is just a television hound. During weekdays, the TV is always on, and even "Judge Judy" gets watched.
Which is why watching the Irish travel to Tennessee to get a huge victory Saturday was cause for some joy in Assembly Hall.
"Is this a trick question?" Bearup asked.
And when I say out, I mean driving to Starbucks and coming back.
Valued reader email of the day
Great article on retiring Coach Keady … humorous, sensitive, insightful. Good work. First-time reader of your stuff … won't be last.
John G. May
First-time reader? Where have you been? Thanks though. And I am printing this to illustrate a point. The purpose of this trip is not to visit the top 10 teams in the country but to have some fun and visit some of the best stories. Gene Keady is one of them.
So please, people, stop e-mailing me about not going to Kansas or Connecticut. We know they are good. Besides, we went to those places last year.
Mizzou was caught committing a bunch of semi-serious infractions and the penalty is a one-year ban on off-campus recruiting. Quin Snyder and his staff can have prospects visit but can't go out to watch anyone play or conduct a home visit.
"This is going to prevent Quin from visiting some of the finest martini bars in America," Bearup said.
We talked to some of the Mizzou staff, and they are painting it well. Because the school just opened the state-of-the-art, $75 million, 15,000-seat Paige Sports Arena, if there was ever a season to have this happen, this is it.
Someone keeps official numbers on this kind of thing.
There is nothing worse than a bar that gives you the first beer in a frosted mug and then just refills that mug the rest of the night. After two beers, the mug is warm. It completely ruins the joy of the original frosted mug.
If you have enough pride to frost the original mug, why would you give up on it for subsequent rounds?
Nick's understands this.
Clearly, Bob Knight didn't care about such things. He won anyway. But in an era when plush, modern and fabulous facilities are everywhere, the IU staff shares a cramped office where the assistants don't even have their own private space.
Indiana is Indiana, of course. It has tradition and fans and so many other special things. But the lack of commitment to this stuff is apparent. One day it might catch up with the Hoosiers.
Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. He is the co-author of the book "Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series," which following five printings of the first edition was re-released in a second, updated edition in October. Follow him on Twitter. Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated on Monday, Nov 8, 2004 2:46 am, EST