Ridiculous The Decision-style Yale commitment

If you have 13 minutes to spare today, use it to watch this youtube video. I don't know much about Justin Sears, the high-schooler featured. It looks like Penn was in his top 8 schools (but not top 4, as you'll see in the video), and he's rated a solid 86 by ESPN. But that's not the point.

The point is that Plainfield Sports News made an awkward, 13-minute video of his college decision, in the same vein as LeBron James' ESPN spot a year and a half ago. If you're strapped for time, fast forward to 9 minutes in, when he starts talking about colleges.

10 thoughts on “Ridiculous The Decision-style Yale commitment

  1. Calder -

    While granting there's no accounting for taste, I for one would appreciate clarification as to what you found "ridiculous" about a tape made by a high school that showcases the college decision making process by its star athlete, who has been accepted by some of the elite schools in the country. Wouldn't it make sense to celebrate this success?

    Or is it possible that what you found ridiculous is that regrettably Penn was not Justin Sears first choice, nor even part of his final four picks? I'd wager a case of "Palestra" wine that had Sears chosen Penn, you'd think this was the neatest of videos that reaffirms the resurgence of the once great Penn BB program.

    By now shouldn't the recruiting process be landing some of these targets when Penn goes head-to-head against Amaker, Princeton, Yale, Stanford and other elite schools?

    Just asking.


  2. Ernie,

    What I found odd about the video was how closely it seemed to follow the formula of LeBron's "The Decision" event, with a drawn out interview before the actual announcement of where he would play. There's no harm in celebrating success, I just thought the video was funny and thought I would share it, regardless of what school he chose.

  3. Thought the video was a little odd too, but this likely is big news in Plainsfield so good for the kid.

    Ernie understand your point, but you're off in this case. Penn didn't really recruit Sears and he was NOT a top target. It's my understanding the coaches are very pleased with the 2012 kids committed.

  4. @Penn 2001 -

    Thanks for your input, and I hope you are right about the '12 class. Some aspects are unclear:

    1) Not to be picky, but if this was meant to be "funny" as Calder stated, why lead with the word "ridiculous" and no where mention "funny"? In context, why would it be even noticed by the DP's Senior Sports Editor, if Penn had no interest in an "EXPN solid 86"?

    2) Why wouldn't Penn be interested in an EXPN solid 86? Can you at least see how this might read like sour grapes?

    3) Recall that when several of us were expressing concern last year re the BB recruiting process and the lack of any signings, another "Alum" expressed derisively that given that Penn was so loaded in the Cartwright class, that was the reason why we may have lost all those recruits to Harvard et al.

    4) Recall that Zach Rosen is the last player Penn out-recruited Harvard to get, and he made an immediate impact. Miles Cartwright (also officially recruited by Miller & yes, retained by Jerome) made an immediate impact during his first scrimmage. No one else had that kind of impact, and I'm not sure if any Freshman this year did much of anything.

    5) I sincerely mean you no disrespect, but your "...the coaches are very pleased with the 2012 kids committed" would carry even more weight if anyone can point to a high profile player Jerome has out-recruited Amaker, Princeton, Stanford to get. Without high profile players will the current recruiting process continue to produce 4th place teams? BTW - Would the coaches actually admit to anything other than being very pleased with their recruiting efforts?

    What gets lost in all the deserved trashing of Miller is the so-and-so could recruit. The players we admire: Zach, Captain Jack, Tyler, Miles etc. were Miller recruits. I'd settle for that caliber recruiting right now.


  5. EN

    Thank you for the contribution(s). Your point about the Miller recruits is salient. Good to have you back in the fold here

    Your points and opinions are highly valued by our forum.


  6. First, most High caliber recruits do not have the SAT or grades to get admitted to an Ivy League program, so recruiting is not the same as other schools. Secondly, if they do have SAT or grades the IVY league is not nationally recognizable as many other conferences. Most recruits are not aware of Penn glory days in Basketball so you can't use that as a recruiting tool. If you are not from Phili, most recruits have never heard of the Palestra, so there goes that advantage. Penn does not have the national name recognition as a Harvard or Princeton. Many across the country only think Penn as Penn State, so there goes another advantage gone.

    The reason I am saying this is not to put Penn down but to let you see what the coaches are going up against when they recruit. Harvard may make you believe they are getting 5 star recruit but they are not. They are getting2- 3 stars recruits, which is still good for Ivy.

    This is what I have seen Penn has going for it which will help them recruit. I am many states away with kids in my program considering Penn. Penn has Jerome Allen who can identify with the non-traditional Penn Basketball player because he has come from the streets of Phili. Once they get to know him, they will want to play for him. Penn is located in a place where you are not only able to recruit New England states but your Footprints can hit the SE states.

    Penn had a Jr Day a few weeks ago and invited top level recruits on campus and once they found out the history, the ivy league advantage, got to know the coaches and their style of coaching, recruits where drooling to go to Penn.
    VCU, Butler and many other mid majors have built there success off the backs of 1,2 and 3 star recruits. Give Jerome Allen a few more years and you will see solid recruits come to Penn. Most Ivy league schools will never get a high volume of program changers but Jerome will be able to recruit solid recruits who will work together to consistently compete for an Ivy champ. You got a good one at Penn, get your arms around him and support the program.

    Also, a committee should be formed on how to increase student support for basketball and all Penn sports. The line and blue red scrimmage are good traditions but just needed support from students. Recruits love to play in front of cheering wild fans. That's why most recruits love playing high school ball over AAU. Penn is so different than a lot of schools. Most school shut down everything when a sporting event is on campus but Penn has concerts on one side of campus and a poetry reading on the other side. Student involvement will come before winning at Penn.

    Sorry for grammar...on iPad and I didn't graduate from Ivy.

  7. @Coach Tony -

    Your opening paragraph efficiently debunks perceived Penn BB recruiting advantages. A bit brutal, but mandatory reading, especially for DP sports reporters.

    You did omit another very salient factor in Ivy recruiting, the Academic Index ("AI"). As each succeeding Penn Freshman class enters with increased academic credentials and test scores, that's great. But it increases Penn's AI and ironically narrows the pool of eligible candidates who can meet Penn's requirements. Witness the case of Xavier Harris, who I sincerely hope makes it.

    The reduced pool of eligible recruits means that increasingly Penn will have to recruit against the better name recognition names you referred to, as well as within the Ivy League H Y & P. Penn has to be able to recruit against them, or it simply won't have the best athletes regardless of sport. At this point Harvard appears to have made a full commitment to sports, and is recruiting the best athletes. One has only to read who's winning Ivy Rookie of the Week/Year & Player of the Week/Year across FB, BB to see this. BTW - Have you noticed which Ivy alums are playing in the NFL and NBA?

    I have sympathy for every Penn coach that has to compete in an ever increasing unlevel Ivy playing field. Jerome's is truly a great story, but I don't envy his having to recruit against Amaker. Why should next year's recruiting results be any different given how things stand? Have you read various DP reporters speculating that Amaker's inevitable departure to a big-time program will lead to a Penn BB resurgence? If that's what it takes to achieve Penn BB prominence, you can keep it!

    Here's a high probability scenario to contemplate: Much like Rob Koll of Cornell Wrestling - who passed opportunities to move to major wrestling powers, stating he wanted to make Cornell #1 (and has come very close) - Amaker has a wife who loves her Harvard ties. What's to prevent him from scheduling top non-Ivy programs such as Stanford, as he has already done against Michigan, and take an Ivy program to the pinnacle of college BB? Having the commitment and resources of arguably the #1 global brand, he can have his cake and eat it too. What could even a Duke offer to top that?

    Penn has its own unique advantages, but for a host of reasons not confined to Weightman Hall, it underachieves. It tolerates, overlooks or offers excuses for underachievement. Heaven help Penn FB when Coach Bagnoli retires.


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