I was surprised by all of the extra hoopla surrounding the blood and carnage of players leaving the basketball team yesterday. Usually, it's announced that players are leaving and that's that. There's no exit interview. There's just a sense of mutual agreement through the media and fans are left to speculate.
Now here is the curious case of Jake Anderson, who felt so screwed over by Ricardo Patton that he had to say something at this point and time and after the fact that Mike DiNunno and Michael Fakuade had both been kicked off the team as well.
"The meeting was supposed to be at 9 [a.m.] and [Patton] didn’t show up until 10:15 or 10:30 [a.m.]," Anderson said. "He asked me what my plans are for next year. I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he asked what are your plans for next year? I said, ‘Nothing, graduate and go to grad school [and play my final year],’ and he said, ‘Well that’s good because we’re not going to have you back next year.’ Then I said, ‘OK.’ There was no hand shake and that’s the last time I ever talked to him."
OK, that is a real dick move right there. You have somebody who has worked hard for this program for 3+ years and this is how you repay them? This isn't a sign of class as a coach, but it's how Patton has been doing things for ages. Just look at the house that he cleaned out right when he came in: Ryan Paradise, Jarvis Nichols, Zach Pancratz. All of these departures involved a similar structure of Patton basically telling them to leave the team. Telling Bristan Kelley to try out for football when when there aren't any scholarships open.
The common quote during press conferences was that NIU "Needed to recruit better". Now what exactly does that tell your players?
But it's not like Ricardo Patton ever really wanted Jake Anderson on this team. He never recruited him out of high school, Rob Judson did. Same thing with Mike DiNunno at PG. Michael Fakuade was a walk-on. In order to earn a scholarship as a walk-on, you have to perform well out there on the court. Nothing is ever promised when you aren't offered a scholarship out of high school. The quote from the Von Stuben coach about Fakuade being promised a scholarship is just ridiculous.
Players get cut all the time all over the country, but you rarely hear anything about it. Jake Anderson's coming out to the media was a rare one indeed.
All though you may disagree with the way Patton does things, he finally has what he wants after three seasons. All of the players on his roster will have been recruited by Patton and Patton alone, for good or for bad. Xavier Silas is his star, not Jake Anderson.
This is just the way Patton is, and I doubt anybody will care in the long run as long as we get some wins next season.