How do you know you've capital-M Made It as a college basketball coach? A giant contract? A run to the precipice of sports history? Thirty schools offering millions for your services? Throwing out the first pitch at Wrigley Field? Signing with gigantic media agency IMG Worldwide?
Whatever the criteria, Brad Stevens has been there, done that. It's been a whirlwind of an offseason. So what's next? A spot helping the USA Basketball under-18 coaching staff select its team, is what:
[Jeff] Capel, [Jim] Boeheim and Illinois coach Bruce Weber, another committee member, watched on Tuesday as Stevens ran some of the nation's best incoming freshman through a brief scrimmage. Players included Austin Rivers, son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, and others headed for Weber's program next fall. [...] But Boeheim made it clear - this was no reward for the way Butler ran through the tournament, including toppling his Orange in the regional semifinals.
"We selected him long before this whole thing happened," Boeheim said.
Just another brief stop on the runaway train that is Brad Stevens' new life. And in terms of Making It, that sort of professional respect -- the legendary Jim Boeheim singing your praises absent your newfound tournament success -- well, that's a pretty good place to start.