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  1. #1
    Supporting Member SycamoreStateofMind's Avatar
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    20 Years 10 Players


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    Rather than have this conversation on some kids “recruitment thread” I thought I’d take a stab at the best 10 players of the last 20 years... 1999 to 2019. I think for conversation sake this discussion has been had before in some form or another.

    For those not following what prompted this discussion - our most recent commitment was compared to Arop and Richard. Which is fine I guess and then some people used that platform as an opportunity to maybe pick-apart Arop and Richard. I find this behavior funny since we’ve got such an historically successful basketball program here...

    Feel free to debate this wasn’t an exact science by any stretch - just a list I quickly compiled.

    1. Jake Odum - I would argue that the Mo Val was at it’s peak during Odum’s years in the Valley and he still put up elite numbers.

    2. Nate Green - #’s nearly identical to Odum and probably one of the best two way players we’ve ever had let alone one of the best overall of the past 20 years.

    3. David Moss - far and away the best scorer on this list. It’s a shame the teams he was a part of had little talent. If not for some off the court issues Moss has a pretty good resume.

    4. Matt Renn - He and a few others on this list are so damn old they almost disqualify themselves. I was 13 years old when he, Menser and Nate were playing. Obviously he was an exceptional player and remains very involved in the program today.

    5. Michael Menser - Known for having been an IU killer it’s often forgot that he had one of the best assist to turnover ratios in the country prior to analytics really being talked about too much.

    6. Brenton Scott - Probably the most debated player on this list?! Another D word comes to mind (Disrespected). Brenton Scott put up #’s that rivaled those above him on the list despite a coach that never seemed to fully embrace or appreciate his talent.

    7. Kelyn Block - I will always remember him for having a really nice mid range jump shot. Maybe it wasn’t as good as I remember? But I don’t feel like he missed very many. He was such a big part of our late 90’s success.

    8. Gabriel Moore - Was really the lone bright spot of 4 straight losing seasons at ISU. He put up pretty good numbers for a player that’s discussed very little.

    9. Carl Richard - Unfortunately the last month + of his senior year were rocky at best. I think most fans hold a little bit of a grudge for how he finished his career. I’d suggest that his last month was the start of a pattern of player vs. coach relationship struggles. His numbers were not exceptional by any means but his teams won 18, 20 and 17 games his last 3 years here & he played a significant role on all 3 of those teams.

    10. Jay Tunnell - Is probably the most overrated player of the last 20 years. He never played on a winning team and came to ISU with as much hype or more as any player listed above. He showed flashes of brilliance especially his senior year.

    Just outside top 10:

    Kante, Gant, Arop, Marshall and Lathan.

    Side question - where do you put Key and Barnes on this current list? I’m not sure I’d put either of them in the top 10 just yet.

    I think when everything is said and done Key has the potential to be a top 5 player on this list for sure. Barnes is probably looking at at the top 10 without a doubt - needs to have a strong year after some regression last year.
    Last edited by SycamoreStateofMind; 04-15-2019 at 11:19 AM.
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  3. #2
    Administrator Jason Svoboda's Avatar
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    Here are the win shares for anyone that had a WS of 4 or higher from 1999 to current. Win shares is the estimated amount of wins your offense/defense production led to. Something additional to consider and take into account when formulating the list.

    16.5 - Jake Odum
    13.3 - Matt Renn
    11.6 - Michael Menser
    11.6 - Nate Green
    11.6 - David Moss
    11.1 - Djibril Kante
    10.1 - Brenton Scott
    9.5 - Jay Tunnell
    9.5 - Gabe Moore
    7.8 - Jordan Barnes
    7.5 - Khristian Smith
    7.2 - Keyln Block
    7.1 - Dwayne Lathan
    7.0 - Harry Marshall
    6.5 - Aaron Carter
    6.3 - Devonte Brown
    6.1 - Tyreke Key
    6.1 - Justin Gant
    6.0 - Trent Wurtz
    6.0 - Jordan Printy
    5.7 - Everett Clemons
    5.7 - Brian Giesen
    5.4 - RJ Mahurin
    5.3 - Carl Richard
    5.2 - Isiah Martin
    4.4 - Brandon Murphy
    4.3 - Dawon Cummings
    4.3 - Chad Adkins
    4.2 - Manny Arop
    4.1 - Marcus Howard

    Active players in bold, obviously. The next active person likely to join the WS4 club is Cooper Neese as he got a 1.2 score as a freshman. For comparison sake, Barnes had a 1.5 and Key had a 1.0 as freshmen.
    Last edited by Jason Svoboda; 04-15-2019 at 09:14 AM.
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    Supporting Member TreeTop's Avatar
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    Definitely agree with the Top 5: Odum, Green, Moss, Renn/Menser, Menser/Renn.

    From there it gets trickier...and in no particular order: Brenton Scott, Carl Richard, Manny Arop (I realize his "win shares" are pretty low, but I really liked Arop's play), Marico Stinson (yeah, yeah, I know it's a controversial choice), Jay Tunnell, and I'll add an 11th since the Marico Stinson choice will get lambasted, Harry Marshall.
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    Supporting Member 4Q_iu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SycamoreStateofMind View Post
    Rather than have this conversation on some kids “recruitment thread” I thought I’d take a stab at the best 10 players of the last 20 years... 1999 to 2019. I think for conversation sake this discussion has been had before in some form or another.

    For those not following what prompted this discussion - our most recent commitment was compared to Arop and Richard. Which is fine I guess and then some people used that platform as an opportunity to maybe pick-apart Arop and Richard. I find this behavior funny since we’ve got such an historically successful basketball program here...

    Feel free to debate this wasn’t an exact science by any stretch - just a list I quickly compiled.

    Nate Green - David Moss - Matt Renn - Michael Menser - Kelyn Block -
    Jay Tunnell - Jake Odum - Brenton Scott - Gabriel Moore - Carl Richard -
    Djribril Kante - Justin Gant - Manny Arop - Harry Marshall - Dwayne Lathan -

    Side question - where do you put Key and Barnes on this current list? I’m not sure I’d put either of them in the top 10 just yet.

    I think when everything is said and done Key has the potential to be a top 5 player on this list for sure. Barnes is probably looking at at the top 10 without a doubt - needs to have a strong year after some regression last year.
    Agree with the list; though I'd say Top 15, not Top 10.

    Have to put Moss at the head of the list on sheer physical talent alone; let see how Odum's foreign career plays out before anointing him... and if memory serves Odum's had some off-court issues of his own; that "halo" isn't Moss' alone to carry
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    Administrator Jason Svoboda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Q_iu View Post
    Agree with the list; though I'd say Top 15, not Top 10.

    Have to put Moss at the head of the list on sheer physical talent alone; let see how Odum's foreign career plays out before anointing him... and if memory serves Odum's had some off-court issues of his own; that "halo" isn't Moss' alone to carry
    I think we probably should have two lists -- I like MOP and MVP. When I think of MOP, I think of the best individual players regardless of overall team success. To me in this time frame, that is Moss and he is probably several notches above everyone on that list. Then for the MVP, I have Jake and then the Renn/Menser/Green/Kante group because I attribute MVP to winning teams.
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    When he graduates, Key could be the best since Bird and Nicks!

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  11. #7
    Supporting Member TreeTop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapala View Post
    When he graduates, Key could be the best since Bird and Nicks!
    Totally agree! Needs/deserves an NCAA and/or NIT to go with his JR/SR years.
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    Fun topic Twitch...Top 5 no matter what your judging on would rank high...The rest?? It really depends what you are looking at...Overall career stats some shine, others had one or two great years, and some were just solid ass players on more talented teams..Some played positions that are very difficult for mid majors to get good players..How does that factor in?? Some played in a time period when the valley was far better than others...So do you value all stats the same? Anyways here is what I went with....

    1. Odum-His legend has only grown since he graduated. I still remember people bitching and moaning about what he couldn’t do or how he wasn’t that good because he didn’t win any NIT or NCAA games..Look at what happen when he graduated?? Some of that was due to the Mcintosh fiasco, but even if you want to put most of the blame on that…Goes to show everyone the value in having a true floor general and leader who can ball. We haven’t had someone who could do both since.

    2. Renn-Probably in the minority here…But I think he was the most important piece on those back to back tourney teams. Menser hit the biggest shots and Green had better stats…But everything about Renn’s game screamed winner.

    3. Green- Amazing player..Think he gets dinged a little because the team the next season after his departure was able to still have great success. Also had far more around him compared to Odum. As I said though, amazing player who could do it all.

    4. Moss- Horrible timing in our program..Some of the worst rosters in all of my 20 years watching the program..If you want to know his value look no further than his Sr. season..Off to a great (almost ranked) few months…He gets hurt and they lose like 10-15 in a row. If that doesn’t speak to value idk what does..He also put up some gaudy overall #’s.

    5. Menser- He is no doubt the one Sycamore I want to take the last shot in a close game..as SSOM mentioned the other special thing about him was his ability to take care of the rock. He is also a heck of a guy and a great rep for ISU post playing career (same for Renn).

    (big drop)

    6. Moore- Extremely underrated. Nothing around him, but could really do it all on the court. Solid PG, Good shooter, competitor, and defensively stout. Also played in the valley when it was at its peak.

    7. Arop-Best tough shot maker on the list. Also seemed to play some of his best ball against the best competition. Underrated on the defensive end as well. Myself and others underestimated his impact at the time. You saw a fine player in K.Smith not be able to fill the void Arop left as the lead big wing…And to be honest nobody has even been as good Smith was in that role since he graduated.

    8. Scott- Mega point totals gets him on the list..Also I liked how he morphed into a respectable defender by his SR year..His FR season he couldn’t guard anyone on or especially off the ball. His JR season was probably the least talented ISU team I’ve seen in my lifetime and he gets a pass on that…But the other 3 teams compared to other teams? Can’t tell me he had less to work with than any player here not on the tourney teams..

    9. Tunnell- He makes my list for two reasons..First off playing in the rough and tough days of the MVC he still put up the best numbers of any big not named Renn. I agree the hype got way out of hand.. but I’d still take one of him on our roster every year based on what we’ve had. At some point you have to value scarcity of position when looking at these things.. Secondly, he went on an absolute tear the 2nd half of his sr year..He was an absolute monster for a team that didn’t have a ton else for others to gameplan for.

    10. Block-Loved the grit he showed and had some big buckets. Helped he was never the featured player early on though. During his senior year you kind of saw his limitations come to light when it came to having an offense run through him.

    Just missed in order
    Kante, Richard, Gant, Marshall,Brown

    Key will be top 6 IMO..How high is still in ?...Barnes?? Season like he had this year he will probably be around 10 even though overall stats will be better…If he figures out how to be a leader and gets the team into some postseason play? He could be knocking at the door of top 6.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TreeTop View Post
    Totally agree! Needs/deserves an NCAA and/or NIT to go with his JR/SR years.
    Yep!!!
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  15. #10
    Supporting Member SycamoreStateofMind's Avatar
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    Speaking of Key check out this graphic and some pretty good company for Key
    Roll Timber!

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