Friday, April 2, 2010

Final Four: Who Are These Guys And Where Did They Come From?

The Final Four in Indy Has A Large Hoosier Presence

Literally, where the Final 4 participants getting their players from?

Duke, located in Durham, NC, has just two players from the Tar Heel state (Blue Devil fans just cringed reading that description). One is sitting out this year after transferring (Seth Curry) and the other is a little used freshman named Mike Kelly.

The Blue Devils big three hails from all over: Northbrook, IL, Medford, OR, and Upper Marlboro, MD. The Plumlees are from Indiana about two hours from Indy and Brian Zoubek is from New Jersey. It remains to be seen whether Big Z will appear on Jersey Shore this Summer.

For all the fanfare Michigan State got playing in front of a home crowd in Detroit last year, most of their top players were from Ohio. This year the Spartans have a distinct Michigan feel with top players Kalin Lucas (injured), Draymond Green, and Durrell Summers all playing in their home state.

But Tom Izzo has gone to six Final Fours in 10 years and done mostly without McDonalds All-Americans. Especially as of late having gone four straight seasons without one.

As one would expect, Bob Huggins is not recruiting a whole lot of in-state talent to West Virginia. In fact, the only Mountaineer on the roster is little used Cam Payne who averages 2.5 minutes per game.

The Mountaineers have hit up the fertile recruiting ground of New York City bringing Devin Ebanks and Da'Sean Butler from the Big Apple. Kevin Jones hails from Mount Vernon, NY and Joe Mazulla is from Rhode Island.

Jerry West, the University's most famous alum, is a native of the state and his son Jonnie plays on the team.

The hometown team Butler, whose Hinkle Fieldhouse played host to the famous high school basketball game spawning the movie Hoosiers, is just 6 miles from Lucas Oil Stadium site of the 2010 Final Four.

The Bulldogs are a small, private school making their first Final Four appearance in their home town have a distinct Hoosier flavor with 10 players from Indiana. Star Gordon Hayward hails from Brownsburg and starter Matt Howard is from Connersville.

Brad Stevens' club possesses no McDonalds All-Americans, but did somehow manage to keep the talented Hayward away from Purdue and Indiana, and plucked Shelvin Mack out of Lexington, Kentucky.

By State Count:
Indiana: 12
Michigan: 8
New Jersey: 5
Ohio: 4

New York: 4

Pennsylvania: 3
Georgia: 3
Maryland: 2
Illinois: 2
13 states with 1 player

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