Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Lowdown: Towson Tigers

Who: Towson Tigers (0-0) at Indiana Hoosiers (0-0)
Where: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana
When: Thursday, Sept. 2 @ 7:30p/6:30c
What: The Hoosiers are opening their fourth season under head coach Bill Lynch (14-23 overall, 3-0 in season openers), returning eight offensive starters and four more on defense. The Tigers, who hail from Maryland and the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), enter their second year under head coach Rod Ambrose (2-9 last season).  This is the first ever game between the two.

The Lowdown:
The Tigers started out last season on the road against the Northwestern Wildcats, losing 47-14 in coach Rod Ambrose's Towson debut. Prior to his head coaching job, Ambrose spent seven seasons as the offensive coordinator at Connecticut under Randy Edsall. Ambrose was on the staff in 2006 when the Huskies came to Bloomington and beat the Hoosiers 14-7, as well as in 2003 when the Huskies won 34-10 in East Hartford. However, the Huskies were 0-2 during Ambrose's tenure in games against the Bill Lynch-led Ball State Cardinals. He played wide receiver for Towson from 1990-1993 and after graduation spent the next eight seasons at the Tigers WRs coach.
Last season, Ambrose started freshman QB Peter Athens for the first 6 games of the season until Athens suffered an ACL injury. Athens is back now but the expected starter under center is junior transfer Chris Hart. The dual-threat quarterback spent last season at Georgia Military College where he passed for 1,060 yards, 22 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions, while adding 362 rushing yards and 3 rushing scores. Thursday will be his first start in a Tiger uniform. The Tigers also have Bart Blanchard, a transfer from the Citadel who has started 19 games and has passed for a total of 4,238 yds and 38 TDs over three seasons.
We should expect to see sophomore Tremayne Dameron running the ball quite a bit in this game, as he accounted for a large chunk of the Tigers offense last season. Dameron, as a true freshman, ran for 588 yds and 8 touchdowns on his way to be named the Towson men's Rookie of the Year.
Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell should have his hands full with Towson's secondary, which features four-year starters Jeremy Gardner and Ollie Thomas.
Another player that can make an impact is senior defensive tackle Yaky Ibia, who recently earned preseason All-CAA honors. Ibia comes in at 6-2, 285 and finished last season with 52 tackles (11.5 TFL), 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

The Bottom Line:
This game should obviously end with a win for the Hoosiers, but we saw last season with Eastern Kentucky that just because an FCS team is coming to town it does not guarantee an easy victory. Indiana should have no problem putting points on the board and it will be exciting to see Duwyce Wilson getting some reps in the slot for the first time. We could also see newcomers Dre Kates, Lenyatta Kiles, and Kofi Hughes getting some field time in this game. The only concern I have is keeping the Tigers out of the end zone. Chris Hart is a solid quarterback and is a threat to pass it and run it. He will be a good first test for our fresh new defense. I doubt the Hoosiers will be able to hold Towson (or any team at this point) to under 20 points in this game, but I predict a 38-21 victory for IU.

Rivals releases top 150 for 2012

Rivals.com has released their updated Rivals150 list for the class of 2012: Ron Patterson came in a little lower than expected (I would say this even if he weren't an IU commit) at number #78 with 4 stars. I've got to think that a strong junior season will be enough to move him into the top #50 at the next update. Hugh Kellenberger from the Hoosier Scoop wrote that uncommitted players are more likely to be higher ranked due to their popularity on the site, adding that the rankings will put more stock in flashy dunks than shut-down defense. The other '12 Hoosier commit, Peter Jurkin, made the list at #137 and 3 stars.

Other notables:
Hanner Perea - #10, 5 stars; Wanaah Bail - #15, 5 stars; Yogi Ferrell - #17, 5 stars; Gary Harris - #24, 4 stars; D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera - #25, 4 stars; Jeremy Hollowell - #39, 4 stars; AJ Hammons - #56, 4 stars; TJ Warren - #71, 4 stars; DeJuan Marrero - #99, 4 stars

Two Hoosiers In, Two Hoosiers Out

Freshman linebacker Jack Denton, who graduated high school early this past year in order to get to Bloomington for spring practice, has left the Indiana football program. Earlier this offseason, Coach Lynch had said that Denton needed to meet "certain expectations" in order to rejoin the team, but apparently he has not met them.

Another freshman, cornerback Cameron Cole, has failed to qualify academically to play this season.
On a lighter note, freshmen Shaquille Jefferson (safety) and Ryan Phillis (linebacker) have returned to the team after previously being out with injuries.

This news comes by way of the Herald Times.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Depth Chart For Opener

The IU athletic department has released the official depth chart for this Thursday's season opener against the Towson Tigers. The game, which is being played at the rock, airs live on the Big Ten Network at 7:30/6:30 ct.

Some notable depth chart items:
* Due to a groin injury, Tandon Doss will not be in the lineup on Thursday night. Because of this, true freshman Kofi Hughes moved on to the two-deep behind Damarlo Belcher.
* The backup QB race seems to still be going on, as that position is listed at Dusty Kiel -or- Edward Wright-Baker. I'm assuming this means that Kiel is the actual back-up but EWB will be used in certain Wildcat-like formations. (I know, I'm really going out on a limb with that one...)
* Junior-college transfers Dre Kates (CB) and Lenyatta Kiles (CB turned FS) each made the two-deep as backups. Kates was voted the Junior College Player of the Year last season, while is a stud DB out of Cerritos C.C. in California.
* Sophomore RB Darius Willis, as we should expect after exploding last season, gets the starting job over fifth year senior Trea Burgess.
* RS freshman Duwyce Wilson and Nick Turner join RS senior Terrence Turner as the kick/punt return specialists.

We're Still Here!

While this has understandably been a slow week for IU basketball, I have been slacking a bit on my blogging responsibilities. I apologize, but I have had a pretty busy last 10 days. Two things that we cannot skip over here at the Source are the releasing of IU's 2010-2011 basketball schedule and the upcoming season opener against Towson Thursday night at The Rock. The Windy City Hoosier Source will be here to give you all the latest updates from gridiron and hardwood alike.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hoosier News

* An ankle injury to junior safety Chris Adkins has prompted CBs Lawrence Barnett and Lenyatta Kiles to move over to the safety position. The Hoosiers have incredible depth at cornerback right now so this move will allow Barnett and Kiles to get some reps at safety that they probably would not have gotten as corners.

* Two true freshman will likely be on the team's travel roster, according to Bill Lynch, and will have an opportunity to possibly see some playing time this season. Those players are wide receiver Kofi Hughes and linebacker Chase Hoobler.

* Scout has released it's updated list of the top 2011 basketball prospects. Some notables include IU targets Cody Zeller at #16 (5-stars) and BJ Young at #17 (4-stars) and committment Austin Etherington getting back to #98 (4-stars) after falling out of the top 100 earlier this year. Other players on Crean's radar include Chane Behanan (#29) and Michael Chandler (#67). If Crean lands Zeller and Young, IU should have at least a top-10 recruiting class in 2011.

* Rivals also released their updated list today, so here are the highlights: Young - #18, 5 stars; Zeller - #20, 5 stars; Behanan - #23, 5 stars; Chandler - #47, 4 stars; Etherington - NR, 3-star.
This may be because I am a homer, but I honestly feel like Etherington got shafted by both recruiting services. He fell off the boards earlier this year due to injuries but he had an unbelievable summer with Indiana Elite and is working to regain his reputation. I think we will see him higher on the lists by the time this upcoming season is done.
Also notable: Rivals has Austin Rivers, Jeremiah's younger brother, as their new #1 prospect. If only we had any remote shot of landing him....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hoosier Pride

This is IU junior receiver Tandon "The Boss" Doss. He, and fellow teammates Damarlo Belcher and Edward Wright-Baker display some hardcore team spirit on their bodies. In this article from the Indianapolis Star, Terry Hutchens examines the trend of getting team-pride etched into players' skin forever. Doss' arm "IU" tattoo is not his only school ink; he's also got the state of Indiana outline with an homage to his home of Indianapolis. Belcher has over 20 tattoos, including an outline of the state featuring the words "Indiana Made." EWB got an "IU" logo on his arm after he committed in high school in order to show his true commitment to the team and the school.  This is the kind of image that I love to see, especially from a Hoosier footballer. It's nice to see some of the leaders on this team showing a bit of swag for once. Indiana is picked by most to finish 10th or 11th in the conference this season, but with the new uniforms, an updated stadium, a loaded crowd, an explosive offense and some serious attitude, the Hoosiers will surprise some people. Especially with an easy out of conference schedule and valuable home games against the likes of Michigan and Iowa. Here's a photo of Doss and Ben Chappell on Media Day rocking the new Hoosier uniforms. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

NCAAF Preseason 120 (Rivals)

So Rivals.com has released its list of all 120 FBS schools ranked from top to bottom.
The not-so-surprising part? Indiana is the lowest ranked team in the Big Ten at #97 overall.
The surprising part? Indiana is the second lowest team of all BCS conferences, beating only Washington State (#99).
Hoosier fans should be used to getting little to no respect on the football field, but I believe this is a bit harsh. With the potent offense we have, we should turn some heads this season. I guess it is better to be underrated than overrated, so the Hoosiers will just have to go out there and prove that they are more than the second worst BCS school.
- The Big Ten has some solid representation near the top of the list: Ohio State #2, Iowa #8, Wisconsin #11, Penn State #19, plus future conference member Nebraska is #5. The second lowest team is Illinois at #84.
- BCS teams that we should be ahead of: Duke, Illinois, Syracuse, Maryland, possibly Virginia
- Some notable non-BCS teams ranked ahead of Indiana for some reason: Middle Tennessee St., Wyoming, Ohio, Idaho, Akron (beat in 2009), Kent St., Florida Atlantic, Western Michigan (beat in 2009).

REMEMBER! Despite all the basketball talk recently, the Hoosier footballers start their season on September 3rd with a Thursday night game at Memorial Stadium against Towson. Football previews are coming YOUR way VERY soon. Peace.

This and That - Friday the 20th

Here's a collection of news nuggets for your reading pleasure....

* Former IU center Bawa Muniru will be playing for the Tennssee State Tigers next season. Muniru left the Hoosier program in June and becomes the tallest player on the TSU roster. The Tigers are a part of the Ohio Valley Conference. Some of you may remember when the Tigers came to Bloomington a mere two seasons ago. DJ White had 29 points and 13 boards in that game...oh what a different team we were back then. 
* Coach Crean has settled some of the discussion surrounding IU senior Jeremiah Rivers. Crean stated that Jordan Hulls, Verdell Jones and Maurice Creek will be sharing most of the ball-handling duties this season, putting to rest the notion that Rivers would remain the starting point guard after that rough junior season. Though Crean said that Rivers will not be the main ball-handler, he also stated that he does not believe the Hoosiers will have one single player bringing up the ball all season as having multiple guards that can make good decisions is more important than having a set point guard. Don't forget that Rivers went down with an ankle injury earlier this summer, which slowed his development and hurt his chances at working ahead of his teammates for the starting job. No word yet on whether not his dad, younger brother, or Ray Allen have helped JR learn how to shoot free throws...
* With one player still to be cut, Eric Gordon is still on the 13-man Team USA roster. The team is very guard heavy and the word right now is that the last player to be cut will either be Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry or Gordon. Curry suffered an ankle injury and is currently practicing with the team again at "80 percent." From everything that has been said about Gordon, it seems that he will remain on the roster and either Westbrook or Curry will be the final cut.
* Former IU target Aaron Thomas has narrowed his list of schools down to five: Purdue, Nebraska, Cincinnati, Clemson and Florida State. My gut says that the Cincy native stays at home and joins the Bearcats. On another note, isn't it weird to have to consider Nebraska as a basketball program now that they are joining the Big Ten? I thought so, too.
* New NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert stated that he prefers the baseball model to the current one-and-done trend in college basketball. The rule, which allows players to go pro right out of high school or spend a minimum of three years in college, is something that the new Prez likes "a good deal." As more high powered parties get involved with this discussion, we should expect to see some sort of changes in the coming seasons. A rule change would certainly send our favorite Coach down in Lexington running towards the pro ranks.
* The University of Illinois - Chicago has its new head basketball coach in Howard Moore, a Chicago native and assistant to Bo Ryan at Wisconsin. This is actually a huge hit to Ryan's staff, as Moore was his main link to recruiting the Chicago area. It is crazy to think that UIC didn't have a head coach until this late in the summer, but either way this is a good hire for their program. 
* Michigan State transfer Chris Allen will be enrolling at Iowa State on Monday to play for the Cyclones. 
* Tim Tebow is already injured. Bust?
* Everyone watch the Little League World Series! So awesome!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Crossroads Classic official

The Indiana Hoosiers will join the other college basketball powers in the state of Indiana for the Crossroads Classic in 2011 and 2012. In December, the Hoosiers will play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in one game and the other game will see the Purdue Boilermakers taking on the Butler Bulldogs. The 2012 Classic will pit the Hoosiers against Butler and Purdue against the Irish. The events, which will be held at Canseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, will put the four teams together for the first time since the Hoosier Classic ended in 1959. Credit can be given to Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke for getting things underway but all four ADs worked hard to get it done. Indiana AD Fred Glass had this to say: "It's a premier basketball venue in the country. It's wonderful that we are able to play it in the capital city" (ESPN.com). There is hope that the Classic will continue after 2012, but it seems that the match-ups will be limited to these two doubleheaders due to Indiana and Purdue playing each other in Big Ten play twice a year already.

Jeremiah Davis transfers

Senior guard Jeremiah Davis is leaving Muncie Central High School for Huntington Prep in West Virginia. Davis, who holds a scholarship offer from Indiana and a number of other D1 schools, said that while basketball was a factor his reason for leaving was academics. "It's just a better opportunity to get me ready for college," he told reporters. Not too long ago, Davis was a hot commodity who looked to be very high on Indiana and Michigan State. However, talks between Davis and the IU staff have apparently cooled in the last few months as Crean and company have made other recruits a higher priority. In addition to picking up a commitment from Ron Patterson, Indiana is chasing in-state guards Yogi Ferrell and Gary Harris and St. Louis product BJ Young. My guess is that while Indiana has cooled on him and Michigan State has picked up four recruits in the last couple of weeks, Davis is off to the East Coast to play in front of new coaches and get his game back up to speed. Best of luck to Jeremiah wherever he ends up.

More on Ron Patterson

As promised, here's my more in depth discussion of the Ron "Buss" Patterson commitment.
Patterson is the kind of player that 'gets' what it means to be a Hoosier basketball player. He is an Indianapolis guy whom Crean has been recruiting since he first got to Bloomington. IU was the first school to offer a scholarship to Buss back during his freshman year at Broad Ripple and the early start ultimately paid off for Crean (who was personally recruiting Ron throughout). Patterson is a four-star prospect on Rivals and ranked as the 10th best shooting guard in the country (65th overall). He's got a 6'9 wingspan and he's very athletic (watch as he rises up). In a time where a lot of the state's top talent has been crossing the borders for college ball, Patterson's decision to stay home is a huge step for the IU program. Talents like Patterson and Etherington playing at their 'home school' is great for Indiana basketball and will help lure more of the top talent to stay at home, as well. This is especially important in a loaded 2012 Indiana class, which now includes top IU target Hanner Perea.

An important role Patterson will play through his final two years of high school is recruiter. Like Austin Etherington has been doing, Buss said he would try to convince some of his buddies to follow him to Bloomington. One of his most important buddies is Jeremy Hollowell, the #35 prospect in the 2012 class who recently stated that he had narrowed his list down to just IU and Ohio State. Hollowell is a 6'6 wing who has star potential written all over him. He's a future pro that will have a huge impact on IU basketball, even if he only sticks around a couple years. 

The commitments from Patterson and Peter Jurkin are encouraging for Hoosier Nation and may very well cause a domino effect. There a number of prospects that seem close to pulling the trigger, including Hollowell, Perea and top 2011 priority Cody Zeller. Also high on the Hoosiers is Yogi Ferrell, a good friend of Etherington's and Zeller's. This could really be the start of something special for the Hoosiers and it is very fair to argue that if IU were able to land these top talents they could be considered a legit Final Four threat just a few years down the road from now.

Patterson quotes (courtesy Peegs):
"I like IU a lot, I like Coach Crean, and I want to be with friends."
"My buddy Jeremy (Hollowell), he should be thinking about it."
On Coach Crean's reaction: "He started going crazy."

Assorted video:
Patterson highlights (music has some language)
Zeller highlights
Hollowell highlights

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Michael to 'assist' Scottie one more time

Michael Jordan will present Scottie Pippen into the Basketball Hall Of Fame this Friday in Springfield, Massachusetts. Jordan was inducted to the HOF last year and delivered a memorable speech that just reminded us all that he is, in fact, THE Greatest. Scottie and Michael were the only two Bulls that played in both 3-peats (plus Coach Jackson). I think that with all of this talk of the trios in Miami and Boston, neither can hold a candle to the trio of Jordan, Pippen and Jackson. What Scottie had to say about choosing Michael: "I can't think of a better person to do it."

Here's to hoping the current Bulls can channel MJ and Scottie to stay on the right track in their rise back to prominence in the NBA.

Ron Patterson commits to IU

Tom Crean has landed another 2012 recruit in 6'3 shooting guard Ron "Buss" Patterson out of Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis. Ranked #65 overall by Rivals, Patterson is a great pick-up for the Hoosiers. He should also be a valuable recruiter, as he is already said he will try to convince Jeremy Hollowell to come to IU with him. I apologize for such a brief report but I am currently in Bloomington in a house with no Internet access. Expect a more detailed write-up tomorrow. Time for those dominoes to start falling, Hoosier Nation!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

IU mourns loss in football family

Yesterday's Alaskan plane crash that killed former Senator Ted Stevens also took the life of lobbyist Bill Phillips Sr., the father of Indiana freshman tight end Paul Phillips. Also on the plane was Paul's brother Willy, who was one of four fortunate enough to survive. Phillips left camp in Bloomington to be with his family.
Official press release from IU:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The father and brother of Indiana freshman tight end Paul Phillips were among nine passengers aboard a small plane that crashed in the Alaskan wilderness on Monday evening. Phillips' father, Bill Sr., was among five, including former United States Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), who passed away in the crash, while his brother, Willy, was among the four survivors. IU Football Head Coach Bill Lynch informed the team of the tragedy in a meeting this evening and Paul has left Bloomington to be with his family.
"The thoughts and prayers of the entire Indiana University community are with Paul, his family and everyone touched by this tragedy," Lynch said. "Please be respectful of the family as they deal with this private matter."
Paul Phillips, a native of Darnestown, Md., is in his first year with the Hoosiers after starting for three years at Georgetown Prep. He was a first team all-state selection his senior year. His father played football at Evansville from 1972-76, while his mother, Janet, was a swimmer in college and is a competitive equestrian. His two older brothers, Andrew and Colter, are football players at Stanford University and the University of Virginia, respectively. Andrew is a senior offensive guard and Colter is a sophomore tight end. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Peter Jurkin to IU

Peter Jurkin made it official last night: he is going to be a Hoosier. The Jurkin commitment is a big turning point for Indiana basketball for many reasons.

* The could very well be the commitment that gets the dominoes falling in terms of recruiting. The news and rumors are out there about a lot of IU targets, but so far no one has officially made the call until now. Seeing Jurkin pull the trigger may push some of the 2011 guys to put the wheels in motion. We're ready for your commitments BJ and Cody! You too, Robert Goff.

* Jurkin's close relationship with fellow 2012er Hanner Perea makes him as valuable of a connection as he is a player. If landing Jurkin means landing Perea, then this is a HUGE moment for IU basketball's turnaround. He has also spent time playing with Obij Aget, Wanaah Bail, Yogi Ferrell and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera.

* Peter will draw comparisons to Tijan Jobe and Bawa Muniru based on his international status, position, and skill-set, but he is much more developed than either of them were. He still has two more years of high school basketball to get his fundamentals lined up and his body more ready for Big Ten basketball. He's listed right around 210-215 lbs depending on where you look, which is obviously not big enough to be a force at the college level. But we have seen what the weight room can do to our very own Verdell Jones and Christian Watford, so it is fair to say that once Jurkin starts to really hit the weights he will fill out. Jurkin has more time to grow than Tijan and Bawa had and he could be a much more refined talent by the time he gets to Bloomington. I think that there is a lot to be excited about with Mr. Jurkin.

* Like my old high school coach once told me, you can't teach tall. Mr. Jurkin has a solid 7 feet of tall right now...as an incoming high school junior. Not to mention his 7'6 wingspan. Yeah, he's big. He can even block shots without jumping.

* Here's some video, for reference: Right here, and over here.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Big Ten/ACC Challenge Games Set

The Big Ten Conference has released the official schedule for the 12th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Last year, the Big Ten won the event for the first year ever and this year they look to make it back-to-back wins. Indiana will face the Boston College Eagles on Wednesday, Dec. 1st at 7:15 ET. The game will be aired live on ESPNU. The Eagles finished last season with a 15-15 record (6-10 ACC), plus a loss in their first game of the ACC Tournament. They return their three leading scorers in Joe Trapani, Reggie Jackson and Corey Raji. Boston College is 4-0 all-time in the challenge, including a close win in Ann Arbor last season. The Hoosiers are 3-6 in the challenge, but have not won since 2007 (v. Georgia Tech).
The schedule looks like this:

Monday, November 29
Virginia at Minnesota - 7pm ET on ESPN2

Tuesday, November 30
Iowa at Wake Forest – 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU
Georgia Tech at Northwestern – 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Ohio State at Florida State - 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Michigan at Clemson – 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2
North Carolina at Illinois - 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Wednesday, December 1
Indiana at Boston College - 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPNU
NC State at Wisconsin - 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Purdue at Virginia Tech - 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Maryland at Penn State - 9:15 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Michigan State at Duke - 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

I think that there are some winnable games for the Big Ten in this years challenge, specifically Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. However, most of the conference's best teams will be on the road. We will dive into the challenge much more closely in November.

Points of Interest

Sooo, a lot of things have happened (and ended up not happening) in the past couple of days. Here's the scoop:

* Peter Jurkin is expected to make his college decision sometime today (Monday), and Indiana looks to be the clear choice. He also holds offers from Clemson and South Carolina, as well as interest from a number of other schools, but his ties to Bloomington and the continued interest from the IU staff makes Indiana the most likely option for Jurkin. This would be a HUGE commitment it for the Hoosiers, due to both his size and potential and his connections to other big prospects in the class of 2012, namely Hanner Perea.

* There were also rumors that Hanner Perea was ready to pull the trigger this weekend with his body Peter Jurkin, but it turned out to just be bad information. Perea has said that he will not be making a decision any time soon, but the fact that he is down to Indiana and Baylor, is transferring to an Indiana prep school, makes frequent visits to Bloomington, and is great friends with Jurkin are all very promising facts. It doesn't matter when he commits, as long as he chooses the Hoosiers.

* Warsaw guard Nic Moore has committed to Illinois State University. The Redbirds are getting a great prospect in Moore, who lead his high school team to a state championship last season as a junior. Moore had interest from a number of high major teams, but had yet to receive an offer from any of them. ISU could be getting quite a steal here.

* If you get CBS College Sports Channel (CSTV), then you can check out a number of IU targets in action tonight at the finals of the adidas Nations Experience. At 7pm ET, Latin America takes on Africa in the third-place game. This game will feature Peter Jurkin, Hanner Perea, and Obij Aget. After that is the championship game between USA 2011 and USA 2012. In this game, you can see Cody Zeller, Michael Chandler, Yogi Ferrell, and Wanaah Bail.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Former Targets and Anthony Davis

Just a few nougats:
* Former IU target Rakeem Christmas, the #9 prospect in the class of 2011, has committed to Syracuse
* Former IU target and Bloomington-native Spencer Turner has committed to Belmont University in Nashville, TN
* I have tried to avoid commenting on this Anthony Davis story due to all of the 'rumors' surrounding it, but now that the story is starting to get some legs I will have to weigh in on it. Especially because he's a Chicago kid, the story revolves around a Sun-Times article, and it deals with possible shadiness from Calipari and Kentucky. Look for a more detailed write-up should he do the unthinkable and choose the Wildcats amidst these rumors.
* Go Hoosiers!

BJ Young Update

ESPN Recruiting's Paul Biancardi spoke with Indiana target BJ Young down in Orlando and posted the video interview on ESPN.com along with a nice write-up on Young's skills. When asked what schools Young was being recruited by, he named Indiana first before listing off a bunch of high-majors that now includes Purdue. The main take-away is when Young said that he plans on making his visits and then coming to a decision in late August or early September. Young has had plenty of great things to say about IU and seems to favor coming to Bloomington. The one holdup for the St. Louis point guard is his academics. With the way things look right now, should Young get his grade situation in order he is highly likely to play at Indiana. This would be fantastic news for Hoosiers fans, as Young (the #33 overall prospect) played very well this summer and even had a 40-point showing at Nationals last week.

You can check out the article and interview HERE.

New Hanner Perea Video

Highlight video courtesy HardwoodElite.com

Encouraging words for Guy

Yesterday Bobby Capobianco, along with four of his returning teammates, had great things to say about the newest Hoosier big man Guy-Marc Michel:

"You are going to find out fast [about him]. Guy is a really, really talented player, we feel really glad to have him. He is the center for this team that we have been kind of missing. Tom [Pritchard] and I have done our best the last two years to really try to guard some of these guys but it is a very big, strong league and Guy brings us that presence in the paint."
"He is all of 7-feet, 7-1 or however tall they have him. He’s a legit 280, and I look at myself as one of the stronger guys and I can not move that guy if I try my hardest. He’s big. And we’re really, really looking forward to being able to have a guy who we can come down and in a half-court offense throw it in the post and know that he’s going to be able to just bang, bang and get to the rim."
Few have seen Michel playing at all recently, including the IU coaching staff, so hearing this from one of Guy's teammates is very encouraging. Having a legit big man will be crucial to turning this program around and Guy comes in with two years of experience and two years to make something happen for the Hoosiers.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

NCAA cracking down, Selby still not eligible

There has been some news in the past few days about players having trouble getting cleared by the NCAA to play this season. Yesterday came news that Memphis recruit Will Barton, the #11 player in the class of 2010 who was once recruited by IU, is academically ineligible as of right now and could possibly miss the entire season. Kentucky is also facing issues with their Turkish recruit Enes Kanter, who is the #3 player in the class, has yet to be cleared by the NCAA to play this season. There have been questions linked to Kanter's amateur status, as he played for a team back in Turkey that may have caused him to become a professional in the eyes of the NCAA.
The latest eligibility news concerns Kansas freshman and former IU recruit Josh Selby, who is yet to be cleared by the NCAA. Selby, who finished his high school careers as Rivals' #1 prospect, is being looked at mostly due to the alleged relationship he has with Robert Frazier, business manager for Carmelo Anthony. Frazier has acknowledged that he acted as an "advisor" to Selby during his recruitment and the NCAA has been investigating whether Selby has compromised his amateur status as a result of this relationship.
There was a lot of talk of Selby spending his one-and-done year in Bloomington earlier this year, but if he ends up not getting cleared, missing out of Selby may have been a blessing in disguise.

IU targets at adidas Nations in Chicago

The 2010 adidas Nations Experience  is taking place at the ATTACK Athletics Center in Chicago from today (Aug. 5) until Aug. 8th. The championship and 3rd place games will be broadcast of CBS College Sports Network live from the UIC Pavilion. If you are in the area it is definitely worth checking out. The world's elite 18-and-under players were assembled onto a variety of different rosters: two teams from the United States (2011 and 2012) and one each from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. The rosters are filled with big-time high school prospects, but some of which are of special interest to Hoosier fans.

Team Africa:
Peter Jurkin (2012, Charlotte, NC)
Obij Aget (2012, Beckley, WV)
*both centers originally from Sudan and played AAU ball this summer with Indiana Elite

Team Latin America:
Hanner Perea (2012, Laporte, IN - ranked #13 nationally) - originally from Columbia; plays for Indiana Elite; said to currently be favoring Indiana and Baylor and recently transferred to a prep school in Indiana from North Carolina
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (2012, Indianapolis, IN - ranked #21 nationally) - once thought to be a lock for the Hoosiers, recruitment has eased a bit and D'Vauntes is concentrating on other schools like Cincinnati, Ohio State, Tennessee and Xavier

Team USA 2011:
Cody Zeller (Washington, IN - ranked #35 nationally) - most important recruit for the Hoosiers right now; down to IU, UNC, and Butler
Quinn Cook (Oak Hill Academy, VA - ranked #23) - may be a long shot for IU, but is former teammate and good friend of current Hoosier Victor Oladipo
Michael Chandler (Chicago, IL - ranked #54) - seems to be leaning towards UK but you never know; holds an offer from IU

Team USA 2012:
Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell (Indianapolis, IN - ranked #22) - probably the most likely IU commit on the roster; encouraging friendship built over the summer with Austin Etherington and Cody Zeller, as well as rumors they want to play together again in the future mean good news for IU fans
Kaleb Tarczewski (Southborough, MA - ranked #14) - 7-footer was offered a scholarship back in late May; getting interest from a lot of major programs and is probably too early to tell which direction he is leaning
Alex Murphy (Southborough, MA - ranked #28) - teammates with Tarczewski; got an IU offer but recruitment still wide open
Wanaah Bail (Trent, TX - ranked #12) - new on IU's radar; has gotten some attention from the staff but no scholarship offer, thus far

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Branden Dawson to MSU

In an enormous blow to the Purdue basketball program, Branden Dawson has committed to Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans. Dawson, who visited East Lansing this weekend, becomes the second IU target to commit to the Spartans in the last weeks (the other being Kenny Kaminski). This news broke on Dawson's Facebook page, where he posted the following:
"Made up mi mind of wht college ii wanna go 2; Michigan State he®e ii come! Lol"
The post has gotten quite a few comments from friends, fans, etc., but Dawson has been reassuring the comments by saying he is "dead serious" and that he really did commit.
Dawson is a top 30 recruit in the 2011 class and hails from Gary, Indiana (Lew Wallace High School). Purdue has long been thought to be the leader in Dawson's recruitment, with schools like Indiana and Michigan State getting more serious consideration of late. The MSU committment comes as a shocker since it seemingly came out of nowhere, but this is a great pickup for Izzo and a HUGE loss for Matt Painter. 
This news comes just days after Coach Izzo removed guard Chris Allen from the roster, the first player he has ever dismissed as the Spartans coach. 

Top Chicago recruit Davis decides

Anthony Davis is ranked as the #8 prospect in the country by Rivals. He recently visited Kentucky and Depaul, and is also considering Ohio State and Syracuse. The Chicago native plays at Perspectives Charter school and is the top rated player in the state. Rumors have been circulating that Kentucky is the leader in the recruitment, with his hometown school Depaul being in fourth. Well according to Davis' father Anthony Sr., his son has made a decision on where he will be attending college. The only problem: he's pulling a Lebron and holding off the announcement for a couple weeks. The likely choice is Kentucky, seeing as Davis is a top recruit being heavily recruited by the always ethical John Calipari and that always seems to lead to UK committments. We will just have to wait and see.

Zeller's final three official

Although hardly a surprise, Cody Zeller's final three schools are official: Indiana, North Carolina, and Butler. Official, as in these are the only three schools receiving official visits. These are the three schools that have long stood out as Cody's favorites, especially after UNC offered him a scholarship a few weeks ago. One thing that is encouraging for Hoosier fans is that Coach Crean has been recruiting Cody since the beginning and his family is very comfortable with the program and staff. Indiana is close to home, as is Butler, and he has a brother at North Carolina. But should Cody head out to Chapel Hill, he will only have one or two seasons playing with his brother, Tyler. I have a gut feeling that Cody will opt to stay close to home and suit up in cream and crimson. He has a chance to be one of the key figures in Indiana's surge back to the top. He has the chance to make a name for himself and set him apart from Tyler. His growing friendship with Austin Etherington and Yogi Ferrell is also encouraging, as Austin has been actively recruiting the both of them all summer while they were running the show for Indiana Elite. Cody won't announce any decision until he and his family are ready, and it is VERY tough to figure out for outsiders to get any real insight as to what their thought process is, but I am optimistic that Hoosier fans will be cheering for Cody at Assembly Hall.

IU also offers Scott, Blackmon

Trey Lyles was not the only young prospect receiving a scholarship offer from Coach Crean. Incoming freshman James Blackmon Jr. out of Fort Wayne Luers and rising sophomore Bryson Scott from Fort Wayne Northop are the latest recruits on IU's radar. Scott has an offer from Purdue and interest from Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Xavier thusfar. Blackmon Jr. was reportedly tearing it up this past AAU season. According to Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette article, Blackmon Jr. has already been ranked by some as a top 5 incoming freshman prospect in the country. James' father James Sr. was a stand-out for the Kentucky Wildcats in the mid-80s.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

IU offers incoming freshman Lyles

The IndyStar is reporting that Tom Crean has offered a scholarship to Trey Lyles, an incoming senior at Aresenal Technical HS in Indianapolis. Lyles is 6-8 and played AAU ball for a Spiece team that came in third in the Orlando national tournament. Coach Crean was in attendance and apparently made the trip specifically to watch Lyles' team. Crean has made a good impression on the boy's father, Tom Lyles. "It shows they are really pursuing the young man. It was a class act for him to be there." The IndyStar articles also lists Illinois, Kansas, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida and Georgetown as some of the other schools showing "major interest" in Lyles at this point.

Big Ten Media Day Highlights

There has a been a lot going in on the Big Ten Conference the past few months, and yesterday kicked off the 2010 Big Ten Media days. Conference commissioner Jim Delany did not have an answer to every question, but he did drop some interesting bits of knowledge. Some highlights:

* With Nebraska joining the conference for the 2011 season, the Big Ten will officially have a conference championship game.

* Delany said that he hopes to have a plan for how to divide the conference into divisions within the next 30-45 days. In order for their to be a championship game, the conference has to be divided into two groups of 6 teams. There are a lot of different ideas floating around, but my favorite can be found here, at BigTenCooler.com.

* The idea of expanding the conference schedule from eight to nine games has been floating around, and some Athletic Directors and coaches like it more than others. There are no plans to change it, or to not change it, at this point in time.

* The conference is currently focusing on fully integrating Nebraska into the conference, rather than looking to continue expansion. Expansion rumors certainly will continue, of course, especially after the 2011 season gets underway.

* When asked if Notre Dame was a candidate to join the Big Ten, Delany said that he believes they will remain independent in football and a part of the Big East for everything else.

Robert Goff Visit

As we reported last week, Indiana is recruiting junior college forward Robert Goff and he was scheduled to visit Bloomington August 2nd. Well if you own a calendar, you know that yesterday was August 2nd. Peegs.com has a fantastic write-up on Goff's visit, however it requires a subscription to Rivals in order to read it. Goff's advisor Jason Knight said that Robert was able to meet with both the staff and the team, as well as getting a chance to play with the guys a bit. He also said that he and Robert will hopefully have a list of 5-7 schools ready by the end of the week. Goff was supposed to have a short visit with Xavier yesterday, as well, but due to "unusual circumstances" the trip did not end up happening. Xavier is considered to be Indiana's main opponent in the race for Goff. After playing at IUPUI in a Pro-Am league tonight, Goff and Knight are headed back to Hutchinson C.C. in Kansas.

Perea, Tharpe, Hollowell

* Hanner Perea, one of the top targets for Crean and staff in the 2012 class, is reportedly looking to transfer to a prep school in Indiana for his junior season. Perea, who attended United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte and is currently ranked by Rivals as the #13 prospect overall in the class, is planning on moving to La Lumiere school in La Porte, Indiana. He has said in the past that the two front-runners in his recruitment are Indiana and Baylor, so a move closer to Bloomington would do nothing but help IU's chances with the big man. The 6-7 forward already plays AAU ball for Indiana Elite, which is based right in Bloomington, along with Austin Etherington and other IU targets Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrell, Peter Jurkin and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. I think that Perea is arguably the most important target for IU in 2012 right now. Ideally, I would like to see a 2011 class of Cody Zeller, BJ Young, and possibly Robert Goff, followed by a 2012 class headlined by Perea, Ferrell and Gary Harris. For your viewing pleasure, here's Hanner being a straight up beast: check it.

* Despite saying he will wait to cut down his list of schools, 2011 PG Naadir Tharpe did not list Indiana as one of the schools he is still considering. It's not necessarily a huge surprise, seeing as Crean's staff have clearly been focusing on other targets in the class, but this new development should officially close the book on Tharpe becoming a Hoosier.

* The Indy Star is reporting that Jeremy Hollowell, the #35 prospect in the 2012 class, is "basically down to Ohio State and Indiana." Hollowell plays for Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis and would be a huge commitment for Tom Crean, but everything that has been said about him in the past leads me to believe that Ohio State is far enough ahead of IU in this race and it would take some magic on Crean's part or some catastrophe on Matta's part to change that fact. Regardless, it is encouraging that Indiana is a top contender for Hollowell at this stage of his recruitment. He still has 2 years left in his prep career, so a lot can change between now and his first college season.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Bernard Taylor makes the call

Defensive tackle Bernard Taylor has committed to Bill Lynch and the Indiana Hoosiers. Taylor, who is from Macomb, Michigan, is 6-2 and 280 lbs. He had offers from Ball State, Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Illinois State. Taylor is able to play on both sides of the ball, an important asset for a college football player. He will be able to fill in wherever the staff needs to put him. Taylor is the 21st commit in the class of 2011 and the 4th from the state of Michigan.