As many of you know, it has been a rough week. I've been looking for some positives as I approached today, which is my 32nd Birthday. Thankfully, Tom Crean was thinking of me when he couldn't read a calendar and came off like an idiot in the recruitment of Gary Harris. Sure, in the grand scheme of things it is a very minor violation, but he looks like a fool for not reading dates correctly. if it helps in a small way to push Harris to Purdue I say thank you.
One player we do know that is coming, but we don't know a lot about him, is freshman forward Neal Beshears. Two years ago we had four walk-ons with Dru Anthrop, Bubba Day, Stevie Loveless, and Kyle Coleman. It was enough that I dubbed them the Walk-On Whiteout. Loveless transferred, Coleman decided to no longer player, Day won a National Title, and Anthrop has been awarded the open scholarship we had for this year alone. That means we have a new walk-on, and he picks up mark Wohlford's old number.
Neal Beshears has a solid basketball pedigree and at 6'6", comes in as one of our few forward prospects. he spent a year at Maine Central Institute and was an Indiana All-Star in 2010. In his four years at Winchester the Golden Falcons had a dynamite club, going 87-18 and reaching the Class 2A state championship game twice when he was a freshman and sophomore. The other two years they lost to a team that eventually made it to Conseco Fieldhouse. He averaged 18.3 points and 9.6 rebounds his senior season as Winchester reached the regional finals before losing to Park Tudor and Yogi Ferrell.
Figuring out the impact of walk-ons is tricky. Chris Reid was a scholarship and served mostly as a body in practice, while Bobby Riddell came in as a walk-on, had to start out of necessity early on, and became both a fan favorite and valuable asset late in his career. Considering that at 6'6" Beshears is already one of our taller players, he may see some minutes this year. He's only 187 pounds, meaning he has just 10 pounds, but 7 inches in height on me, making for a skinny forward. Beshears has some range, hitting a couple three-pointers during the All-Star series in 2010.
My guys is that Beshears will be a player much like our more recent walk-ons. He'll be a contributor in practice and get a few token minutes in some blowouts. I do know coach painter will not be afraid to play him if he proves he can contribute positively. If that's the case, he is more than welcome. If he's a hard worker I know we'll find a place for him.
Black Shoe Diaries with a solid statistical preview for Saturday
You know you're struggling when you're the team they are trying to avoid a letdown against.
Penn State will be missing two players on Saturday.