Almost exactly 10 years ago... | Syracusefan.com

Almost exactly 10 years ago...

cto

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Almost exactly 10 years ago (or, as I stand corrected, 11), there was a coveted recruit named Julius Hodge. It was between SU and NC State. The recruitment was watched and analyzed and dissected as much as that of Dejuan Coleman.

I vaguely remember that Bees had a source he called "the Maryland mole." As I recall, the mole guaranteed that Hodge was coming here. Or maybe it was another source and another story. Whatever. The whole process was full of intrigue and secret sources and stuff. On the day of the big announcement, Fishy actually went to Hodge's high school in the Bronx for the press conference -- because there was no other way to get the news instantly. Then, via cell phone, he relayed the news to Jake who immediately put it on syracusefan.com and into a chat room here. Hodge had picked NC State. The SU coaching staff learned of Hodge's decision by reading it here.

Later in the day, I was in Mike Hopkins' office when Hakim Warrick's mother returned home and returned Mike's phone call. Mike told her that Hodge had committed to NC State ... and that SU really wanted Hakim (who had remained patient as our "back-up plan" throughout the Hodge recruiting drama). Mrs. Warrick was so happy that she started to cry. She told Mike that Hak would call him as soon as he got home, but she knew he would be coming to Syracuse. The rest, as they say, is history.

There are a couple of interesting aspects to this story.

1) Communications has so evolved in the past decade. There was no Twitter and no Facebook and no texting, and cellphones were not omnipresent. Mike could not reach Hakim via a cellphone or a tweet or an text message. He had to leave a message on his mother's home phone. And Mrs. Warrick could not reach Hakim by cellphone either. And Fish could not post something here from his (non-existant) iPhone. He had to call Jake with the news... and Jake posted it from his desktop.

2) The idea of a school learning about a recruit's decision from an internet fan forum was considered newsworthy. There were no blogs then and internet communication was still evolving. And espn was not covering these announcements live.

3) Everyone here liked Hakim for being patient and waiting for Hodge's decision, but everyone still thought he was a "consolation prize." Fast forward to 4/7/03. Enough said.
 
Almost exactly 10 years ago, there was a coveted recruit named Julius Hodge. It was between SU and NC State. The recruitment was watched and analyzed and dissected as much as that of Dejuan Coleman.

Bees had a source he called "the Maryland mole." As I recall, the mole guaranteed that Hodge was coming here. On the day of the big announcement arrived. Fishy actually went to Hodge's high school in the Bronx for the press conference -- because there was no other way to get the news instantly. Then, via cell phone, he relayed the news to Jake who immediately put it on syracusefan.com. Hodge had picked NC State. The SU coaching staff learned of Hodge's decision by reading it here.

Later in the day, I was in Mike Hopkins' office when Hakim Warrick's mother returned home and returned Mike's phone call. Mike told her that Hodge had committed to NC State ... and that SU really wanted Hakim (who had remained patient as our "back-up plan" throughout the Hodge recruiting drama). Mrs. Warrick was so happy that she started to cry. She told Mike that Hak would call him as soon as he got home, but that she knew he would be coming to Syracuse. The rest, as they say, is history.

There are a couple of interesting aspects to this story.

1) Communications has so evolved in the past decade. There was no Twitter and no Facebook, and cellphones were not omnipresent. Mike could not reach Hakim via a cellphone or a tweet. He had to leave a message on his mother's home phone. And Mrs. Warrick could not reach Hakim by cellphone either.

2) The idea of a team learning about a recruit's decision from an internet fan forum was considered newsworthy. There were no blogs then and internet communication was still evolving.

3) At the time, everyone here liked Hakim for being patient and waiting for Hodge's decision, but everyone still thought he was a "consolation prize." Fast forward to 4/7/03. Enough said.

I thought the Maryland Mole was Rick's source during the first SU-to-the ACC thingy.

Whatever, Hak looked to be the best player on the court in the Legends game and if Coleman chooses KY, then I'll take Hak back as a consolation prize in a heartbeat :)
 
Bees had a source he called "the Maryland mole." As I recall, the mole guaranteed that Hodge was coming here.

LOL. The mole never commented on Hodge. He knew nothing about recruiting. His legend has grown.
 
That's one of the greatest stories in Cuse history. Pretty funny how in 2005 after Cuse lost to Vermont, two days later on the same court I sat two rows behind Herb Sendak's wife and watched Julius Hodge in probably his greatest moment lead NC State to an upset vs Yukon. Bottom line we made out much better in that deal.

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LOL. The mole never commented on Hodge. He knew nothing about recruiting. His legend has grown.

Well, I remembered a Maryland Mole somewhere in the musty archives of this board. But the rest of the story is accurate. My purpose in posting it was to show... that Hak was not a bad "consolation prize"
 
I would like to congratulate Julius Hodge's brother Steve on getting a job at adidas shortly after Julius committed to NC State.
 
Almost exactly 10 years ago, there was a coveted recruit named Julius Hodge. It was between SU and NC State. The recruitment was watched and analyzed and dissected as much as that of Dejuan Coleman.

I vaguely remember that Bees had a source he called "the Maryland mole." As I recall, the mole guaranteed that Hodge was coming here. Or maybe it was another source and another story. Whatever. The whole process was full of intrigue and secret sources and stuff. On the day of the big announcement, Fishy actually went to Hodge's high school in the Bronx for the press conference -- because there was no other way to get the news instantly. Then, via cell phone, he relayed the news to Jake who immediately put it on syracusefan.com. Hodge had picked NC State. The SU coaching staff learned of Hodge's decision by reading it here.

Later in the day, I was in Mike Hopkins' office when Hakim Warrick's mother returned home and returned Mike's phone call. Mike told her that Hodge had committed to NC State ... and that SU really wanted Hakim (who had remained patient as our "back-up plan" throughout the Hodge recruiting drama). Mrs. Warrick was so happy that she started to cry. She told Mike that Hak would call him as soon as he got home, but that she knew he would be coming to Syracuse. The rest, as they say, is history.

There are a couple of interesting aspects to this story.

1) Communications has so evolved in the past decade. There was no Twitter and no Facebook, and cellphones were not omnipresent. Mike could not reach Hakim via a cellphone or a tweet. He had to leave a message on his mother's home phone. And Mrs. Warrick could not reach Hakim by cellphone either. And Fish could not post something here from his (non-existant) iPhone. He had to call Jake with the news... and Jake posted it from his desktop.

2) The idea of a team learning about a recruit's decision from an internet fan forum was considered newsworthy. There were no blogs then and internet communication was still evolving.

3) At the time, everyone here liked Hakim for being patient and waiting for Hodge's decision, but everyone still thought he was a "consolation prize." Fast forward to 4/7/03. Enough said.

CTO,

I remember those days with the "Mole". I* also remember that Julius Hodge "supposedly" logined into the Syracuse hoops board and talked about how he wanted to go to Syracuse. He received an warm welcome from the board and everyone told him how great it would be for him to committ. Later after he commited, Hakim was the real prize and we all were glad to have him.

It is surprising looking back but Hodge would not have fit into the Syracuse style of basketball. I say this because he needed the ball way too much to be effective. I know at NCST, he was basically the only scoring threat/real player NCST had for a couple of years. Kind of remind me of free agency in baseball/basketball where a team spends way too much to get a star player and the supporting cast remaing is just not up to task. While he had a good senior year, I don't think he grew as a player like Warrick did at Syraciuse (improving every year).
 
Eleven years ago already, actually - that class was on campus in fall 2001. But a good story, and a great message. The "crushing" recruiting losses are rarely that crushing (except in the case of Kenny Anderson).
 
Eleven years ago already, actually - that class was on campus in fall 2001. But a good story, and a great message. The "crushing" recruiting losses are rarely that crushing (except in the case of Kenny Anderson).

You are correct. It was 11 years ago because Hak was class of '05 at SU. How time flies when you're an SU fan.
 
Too darn quickly if you ask me.

I only remember it so well because I was in the same high school and college class as those guys. I clearly remember getting home from practice and dialing up some sort of phone news service that the Post-Standard offered in that technologically slower era. I got to learn from Mike Waters that Hodge was going to State.

I was shocked; after his official visit a couple weeks before (some fans at the football game had a big sign that said "Fab Four Needs One More"), I thought we were a lock to get a New York kid. Wrong. And soon to be very happy about it.
 
Too darn quickly if you ask me.

I only remember it so well because I was in the same high school and college class as those guys. I clearly remember getting home from practice and dialing up some sort of phone news service that the Post-Standard offered in that technologically slower era. I got to learn from Mike Waters that Hodge was going to State.

I was shocked; after his official visit a couple weeks before (some fans at the football game had a big sign that said "Fab Four Needs One More"), I thought we were a lock to get a New York kid. Wrong. And soon to be very happy about it.

And the other four were Forth, Pace, Edelin and Konecny. Edelin was considered the "prize" of the bunch.
 
Edelin was the prize, and he was a damn fine player who was unfortunately sidetracked by...issues.

I remember the Hodge thing. I was sitting in my dorm room, following along intently in that chat, stunned when the word came down that he'd chosen NC State.
 
My worst job experience came when, as an intern at a prominent CNY company, IT reported to my boss that I was literally on the internet the entire day (the day of the Hodge announcement). Was subsequently never offered a full-time position.

I went on to be a successful engineer for a better company in a different part of the country and would never have met my wife if I stayed in CNY.

True story. Thanks Julius Hodge!
 
Great reminescing by CTO. Great thread. I remember a dismayed board. Nice to see that things look better in hindsight...
 
You could feel the angst flowing thought the internet. Worked out all right, though.;)

At that time we were in danger of slipping and Hodge would have been our first really big-time recruit in a while. Look at our starters and some of the recruits we had on those teams. Greg Davis? James Thues? Billy Celuck?

Edelin's commitment was a real turning point. Getting into Oak Hill was huge.
 
Are you serious, Joyce? Because that's...incredible.

He didn't let the coaches know before hand. We had Fishy at the presser with Jake (or as it Mason) on the phone with him and in the chat. SU found out in the chat.
 
Well, I know we had him at the chat...I was in the chat so I remember that part pretty well. I just had no idea that the SU coaches were apparently keeping tabs on it at the same time.
 
I got to St. Ray early for the press conference and reported to the school's office - DeCesare came down to get me.

The press conference started a little late because they were waiting for a lunch period so that the school kids could come down to the gym and serve as an audience for the announcement. DeCesare and I talked in the gym for a few minutes and then he said he was bringing me up to meet the Hodges. So we went to the suite above the court - for the next hour or so, I sat on a couch with the Hodges chatting and watching daytime TV talkshows.

The older brother who supposedly got a job at adidas, (whether he did or not, I have no idea), was there. If he knew where Hodge was going, he said nothing. The rest of the family did not know where the kid was going.

Eventually, Hodge came out with his plastic shopping bag with three hats. (SU, NCSU and MD.) He thanked everyone for coming, thanked the coaches who had recruited him...and then said he was going to the NBA. Just a little joke, but well played.

Then, he went into the bag and pulled out a hat. Here's the rub - they were cheap, knock-off hats and the SU orange hat looked just as red as the NCSU and MD hats. So when he pulled a hat out, it basically could have been any of the schools. Then he said NC State, etc. Kids clapped, done.

With that, the two or three real reporters ran out to go do whatever. DeCesare brought Hodge over to the 'media' - at that point, just me on a cell phone with Jake and a photographer. Any and all questions I might have had for him went out the window when he said 'NC State', so we just stared at each other for about ten seconds until I said, well, good luck, kid and went back to the office.
 
My first question to him would have been, "Are you f***ing serious?"

Follow up question would have been, "No, really. You're sh***ing me, right?"
 
With that, the two or three real reporters ran out to go do whatever. DeCesare brought Hodge over to the 'media' - at that point, just me on a cell phone with Jake and a photographer. Any and all questions I might have had for him went out the window when he said 'NC State', so we just stared at each other for about ten seconds until I said, well, good luck, kid and went back to the office.

That may be one of the most depressing things I've ever seen in print. And hilarious.
 

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