Little 500: The Perfect College Basketball Recruiting Week

Malik Reneau, Indiana Men's Basketball
Malik Reneau, Indiana Men's Basketball / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

In 49 other states, it is just basketball. And in 49 other states, it is just a bike race. However, we do things a little differently in the state of Indiana.

Everyone is well aware of the long-standing adoration for the game of basketball that is spread across the entire Hoosier state. And everyone is well aware of the everlasting loyalty between the candy stripe faithful and the Indiana University basketball program. Any recruit in their right mind would be lucky to suit up for such a storied program, but there is much more to Bloomington, Indiana than just Assembly Hall and it's younger sibling Cook Hall (where players spend most of their time).

For instance, many are unaware that Indiana University is home to what can only be described as the "World's Greatest College Weekend". If you have never heard of Little 500, than you should do some diligence. Honestly, the old cliche of "you have not lived until you have experienced _____" could easily be completed with Little 5.

Little 500 bicycle race riders participate in the Indiana...
Little 500, Indiana University / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Madness aside, Little 5 week is the perfect opportunity for someone looking to maximize their "Bloomington experience". The entire campus is rocking, and the vibes across the University are rolling all week long.

With that in mind, it made perfect sense for Mike Woodson to invite a handful of highly targeted recruits to Bloomington for what turned out to be a beautiful weekend. Seeing that they had a prime chance to see what the culture behind this entire college was really like, it also made perfect sense that both Myles Rice and Oumar Ballo committed so quickly.

Rice committed on just the 2nd day of his official visit, and Ballo committed just a day after his ended. The two did not even elect to explore other options, even though they both had other official visits set (which have obviously since been cancelled).

Clearly the magic connected to this bike race had something to do with the commitment of these hoopers, so clearly it is much more than "just a bike race". Mike Woodson and his staff would be wise to ensure that this particular week remains among the program's most prioritized timelines during the recruiting process each offseason.