Wooden Tradition Officially Dead

In a move that's been coming for a while, the Wooden Tradition is done in Indianapolis...at least for now.

The Boilermaker BlockBuster will return for the first time since 2003, though calling a game against Indiana State a "blockbuster" is a little bit of an overstatement.

This is a real shame, because John Wooden is a source of pride for many Boilermakers and a name that still carries some serious weight. When "Coaches versus Cancer" and "The Great Alaskan Shootout" and things of that nature can garner good teams (or any teams), then the "Wooden Tradition" should be able to as well.

As we've said on our podcast before, this would be really easy to make a tremendously popular event. Continue holding it in Indianapolis and have four regular teams, such as Purdue, Indiana, Notre Dame and Butler. Have any of those play any of the others in one game, and the other two play in another game. No need for a finals if that's too much to ask -- just two great, in-state matchups that, despite being in-state, would have a national interest. Especially now, with Purdue and Butler being such national powers.

Alternatively -- like if, for instance, Notre Dame continues to be afraid to play Purdue -- you could have it be Purdue and IU every year, and then invite one or two other teams on a rotating basis. It could be smaller schools that would jump at a chance to play in a packed, city venue against a nationally-recognized program...or it could be a well-known school from another state that comes in. Wouldn't it be good for, say, Texas to come to Indy and play Purdue or IU, for example? From Texas' perspective, that's one more fertile recruiting ground that it couldn't hurt to have a presence in. Am I talking crazy talk? Or is this simply far too logical to ever happen?

It doesn't have to be difficult and it doesn't have to be something where Purdue is desperate to find opponents. Commit to playing in someone else's hometown gathering in order to get them to come play. Then if that other team can bring in a Purdue or an IU to their local November/December basketball shootout, all the better for them.

I know we're not that smart and we've figured this out. So it can't be that hard.

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