IU officially opened Cook Hall on Sunday afternoon at a dedication ceremony inside and on the men's basketball practice courts.
Ten years from now, we'll probably be talking about the next wave of state-of-the-art facilities in the Big Ten and throughout the region. This is certainly a cyclical process.
Schools A and B need and get upgrades and create that "'wow' factor" Tom Crean talked about on Friday. Then time passes and another set of schools begin to impress the fans and recruits with their newest digs (I've been seeing that word a lot this weekend, figured it was time to make its debut on "the Hype").
Now I don't think Cook Hall is going to single-handedly win over any current blue chip seniors and juniors. However, I do feel it will play a major part in IU's recruiting in the coming years.
Word has it that two of the top 25 sophomores (per ESPN.com) --- Peter Jurkin and Hanner Perea --- are big fans, as am I (and my four years of eligibility) after the media tour on Friday.
Alex Bozich of InsidetheHall.com mentioned earlier today that he had a conversation with someone who had seen the practice facilities of Michigan State, Kentucky and Louisville. That person said Cook Hall trumps all three.
Above all, Cook Hall will help keep IU competitive in recruiting, more so than it has been, thus far. Of course, Crean expected to be behind in 2010, fighting to put together both 2008 and 2009 in his first months at IU.
However, there some good opportunities to tap into remaining talent with the 2011 class and and 2012 has a number of potential stars that very well could dawn the "stripes."
In IU's latest recruiting loss (though it was never expected to really emerge as a 'W'), Marquis Teague verbally committed to Kentucky. UK beat out IU, in addition to Louisville, Purdue and Cincinnati.
Those five schools have been noticeably competiting with each other for the past couple years in and around the state of Indiana. That certainly appears to be the case heading forward too.
I dug up some information on their digs as well, though it did not make into Monday's article on Cook Hall (unless you read the print edition).
Nevertheless, here it is:
The coaching staff hopes that Cook Hall will only add to a number of positives IU has to offer. However, it will also serve as an important part in keeping up with some if its biggest recruiting competitors.
Next year, Louisville will begin playing in a brand new downtown arena, just three years removed from the opening of a $15.2 million practice facility.
Nearly a decade ago, Kentucky's Rupp Arena and the adjacent Lexington Convention Center underwent a combined $50 million worth of renovations.
Purdue is currently in the process of a $99.5 million modernization of Mackey Arena.
Cincinnati, meanwhile, completed a $105 million project a few years back that included a new practice facility, strength and conditioning center and scoreboard for the basketball program.
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