Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hanner Perea commits to Indiana

Hanner Perea
Rivals.com
Hanner Perea has made it official and committed to Tom Crean and the Hoosiers after his visit to Bloomington this weekend. Evan Daniels broke the news via Twitter just minutes ago.
Perea had long said he was only considering Indiana and Baylor, but the investigation into threatening and excessive text messages sent from a Baylor assistant to Hanner's high school and AAU coaches seemed to pretty much eliminate the school from the recruitment. Perea was on campus this weekend, along with Cody Zeller, Austin Etherington and Yogi Ferrell, and had his name chanted multiple times during the Night of the Living Red Friday and the football game Saturday.
Hanner is the 3rd commitment in the class of 2012, joining his good friend Peter Jurkin and Indianapolis star Ron Patterson. Perea is ranked #10 overall by Rivals and becomes the highest ranked prospect to commit to IU since 2nd overall Eric Gordon back in 2007. He transferred this past summer to LaLumiere School in LaPorte, Indiana and has been playing his AAU ball for the Bloomington-based Indiana Elite. Perea is good friends and AAU teammates with both Ferrell and Etherington, but has said that his recruitment was not being affected by Zeller's at all. As Zeller plans on deciding between November 8-10, we may see a commitment from Ferrell soon after. Ferrell has said that he would love to play college ball with Cody and has also been to campus with Hanner a number of times. This commitment may just get the dominoes falling in terms of Tom Crean's top prospects.

Here's some videos of Hanner: Dunk Reel, Indiana Elite Highlights, 12'2" vertical jump, adidas Nations 2010 feature
Perea is listed at 6'8, 210 lbs. Ranked #10 overall and #4 power forward in class of 2012.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

6 new members inducted into Indiana Hall Of Fame

The newest members of the Indiana Hall of Fame were inducted Friday night and were honored during halftime at this afternoon's football game at Memorial Stadium. Here's the list of inductees:

Chuck Bennett (football, 1926-28)
Lee Corso (football coach, 1973-82)
Steve Green (men's basketball, 1973-75)
Denise (Jackson) Salters (women's basketball, 1981-84)
Wayne McDonald (men's golf, 1968-70)
Van Waiters (football, 1983, 85-87)



Friday, October 29, 2010

UPDATE: Greg Lewis to Rutgers

To follow up from yesterday, Greg Lewis has committed to Rutgers. He had narrowed it down to Rutgers and Maryland yesterday. The Baltimore big man becomes part of a 7-man class with 4* recruits Kadeem Jack and Jerome Seagears and 3* star recruits Malick Kone, Myles Mack, Derrick Randall and Mike Taylor. First year coach Mike Rice is quickly rebuilding the Scarlet Knights program into a formidable Big East contender.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Greg Lewis narrows list, will stay on East coast

According to Adam Zagoria, IU target Greg Lewis has narrowed his list of schools down to just 2: Maryland and Rutgers. The Baltimore senior cut Indiana, USF, and UNC-Wilmington according to his father Greg Sr. The father also said that he was expecting his son to make a decision by next Monday in order to "get this thing over with."

Lewis is 6'9 225 lb prospect out of St. Frances in Baltimore. He is ranked #130 overall by Rivals and the 14th best center.

AP Preseason Poll Released, Duke 1 Michigan State 2

The Associated Press has released its official preseason top 25, as voted by 64 basketball writers and broadcasters from across the country. Duke comes in at #1, and the top 5 is rounded out by Michigan State, Kansas State, Ohio State, and Pittsburgh. Joining the 3 Big Ten teams in the top 5 are Illinois at #13, and Purdue at #14. Wisconsin and Minnesota received some votes but did not make it onto the list.
The list looks a little something like this:


1. Duke
2. Michigan State
3. Kansas State
4. Ohio State
5. Pittsburgh
6. Villanova
7. Kansas
8. North Carolina
9. Florida
10. Syracuse


Tom Crean at Big Ten Media Day



Indiana head coach Tom Crean this morning at the Big Ten Media Day in Chicago.

video courtesy IUAthletics

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chasson Randle commits, Matt Gatens out indefinitely

Rock Island, IL senior Chasson Randle has committed to play for the Stanford Cardinal, according to ESPN's Paul Biancardi. Randle is ranked #68 nationally by Rivals and #38 by ESPN. He was considering Stanford, Illinois and Purdue as his final three schools and will announce his decision today at a press conference at 5pm CST. According to Randle, he "chose Stanford because the program is growing and it's a great fit both academically and athletically." There were rumors that he was leaning towards Illinois and that the distance to Palo Alto was a deal-breaker, but after a recent official visit the distance issues were squashed. Randle becomes head coach Johnny Dawkins' second member of the 2011 class and will join up with a stellar class of sophomores next season. Stanford should definitely be in the Pac-10 mix the next few seasons.

In Big Ten news, Iowa's leading return scorer Matt Gatens has injured his non-shooting hand and is out indefinitely. He is scheduled to have surgery and will make a full recovery, but will miss considerable time this season. This is not the way that new head coach Fran McCaffery wanted his tenure in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes are returning a very depleted lineup and their top scorer is taking things from bad to worse. McCaffery will his work cut out for him in rebuilding this Iowa basketball program.

Weekend festivities

Herald Times Online
As many Hoosier fans already know, Cody Zeller makes his official visit to Bloomington this weekend. Needless to say, this is the most important weekend for IU recruiting in recent history. Landing Zeller, the number 20 overall HS senior, would be the biggest recruit signing since Eric Gordon.
On Friday night, the school will host their Night of the Living Red event at Assembly Hall. The evening consists of trick-or-treating activities for kids and families, a full scrimmage at 8pm and autographs afterwards. It is similar to last years Haunted Hall of Hoops and the timing works well in that Zeller will be able to see somewhat of a Hoosier Hysteria Part 2.

Another bonus for Zeller's official visit is that his good friend and AAU teammate Austin Etherington will be making his official visit, as well. Etherington is Indiana's lone 2011 commitment but never made an official visit before announcing his decision. Zeller and Etherington will have all their meal, etc. expenses covered by the school per NCAA rules this will allow the coaching staff to really focus on winning Cody over. Many recruiting outlets and experts are feeling that Cody is Indiana's to lose right now. After his official visits to Butler and North Carolina, experts believe that IU remains at the front of the race and that this weekend's visit should seal the deal. Zeller has been to campus many times on unofficial visits, including a weekday visit to the Kelley School of Business with his parents earlier this month.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Verdell Jones sprains ankle in practice

According to Zach Osterman from Inside The Hall, junior Verdell Jones III suffered an ankle injury in practice Sunday and was seen walking with crutches. The extent of this injury is unknown at this time, but The Hoosier Source will provide more information when it becomes available. Jones is arguably the leader of this Hoosier team, so losing him for an extended period of time would definitely be detrimental. Luckily, this is a preseason injury so if he misses a couple of weeks he will not miss many significant games. The Big Ten season does not start until December 31st with a home game against Ohio State.

Michael Chandler also to Xavier

A day after fellow Indianapolis stud D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera committed to Xavier, senior Michael Chandler did the same. Chandler, who is ranked #47 nationally in 2011, was considering IU and held a scholarship offer but has been the subject of some eligibility concerns. As a sophomore, Chandler committed to Louisville but will now be a Musketeer. Coach Chris Mack has brought in some impressive recruits, including Chandler, Smith-Rivera, 4-star prospect Dezmine Wells, and Bloomington South point guard Dee Davis.


"I felt as though they had the perfect program for me to be successful as a person and to get better as a player and it's close to home," Chandler told Scout.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera commits to Xavier

North Central junior D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera committed to Xavier University Saturday night during an unofficial weekend visit. The team was holding their annual Musketeer Madness event this weekend and Coach Mack had a trio of Indianapolis prospects on campus for it. In town with Smith-Rivera were Michael Chandler and Dejuan Marrero. Smith-Rivera is ranked the number 25 prospect in the class of 2012 and had cut his list down Georgetown, Miami (FL), Indiana, Ohio State, Wake Forest and Xavier. DSR posted this on his Twitter account after making the announcement:

"I am officially apart of the XAVIER FAMILY, with no regret.. Coach Mack u scratch my back I scratch yours.." - D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera via Twitter

Friday, October 22, 2010

ESPN basketball preseason top 25

The first edition of the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll was released Thursday and the top spot, not surprisingly, belongs to the defending national champion Duke Blue Devils. According the ESPN, Duke received 29 of a possible 31 first place votes with the other two going to Michigan State. The Spartans lead a strong Big Ten presence at the number two spot, followed by Kansas State, Pittsburgh and the Ohio State Buckeyes to complete the top 5. Coaches Izzo and Matta aren't the only Big Ten'ers ranked near the top, as Matt Painter's Purdue Boilermakers grabbed the #8 spot despite losing star player Robbie Hummel for the season. The #16 spot belongs to a talented Illinois team, while Wisconsin ranks #24. Fans should see a very competitive Big Ten this season and should not be surprised if the conference can make it two straight against the ACC in the annual challenge.
For those of you wondering, and are too lazy to click the link, North Carolina is #9, Kentucky #10, Butler #18 and Tennessee #20. Those were the other notables I thought I should bring up.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Robbie Hummel out for season

Photo credit: USA Today
Purdue senior Robbie Hummel has re-torn his ACL and will miss the upcoming season entirely. He missed the end of last season after tearing it the first time in a game against Minnesota and his absence largely contributed to Purdue's early postseason exit. It's heartbreaking to see a kid like Hummel go down like this again, not even 2 weeks after being cleared to return to practice following last seasons injury. The injury occurred this morning in practice during just the second team drill.
Purdue has been picked by many to be a Final Four team and is listed as a top 5 preseason team by most experts. Hummel's return, coupled with the decisions of seniors E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnsohn to skip the NBA draft and stay for their final year, had expectations higher than ever in West Lafeyette. The Boilers will certainly be a solid team without Hummel but can not possibly expect to have the same kind of success.
The one bright spot is that the injury occurred preseason, which means that Hummel will be able to declare for a medical redshirt this year and have a fifth year of eligibility. Unfortunately, the other two members of Purdue's "Big 3," Johnson and Moore, are seniors and will not be back on the court for the Boilers next season. Purdue had all the tools to make a legit run to the Final Four, provided they were able to stay healthy and play up to their potential. It's terrible for anyone to have to suffer through injuries like this, but especially for a great kid like Robbie Hummel who really personifies college basketball and is a great example of what the state of Indiana is all about.

Cezar Guerrero to Western Kentucky

Point guard Cezar Guerrero (Bellflower, CA / '11) has committed to head coach Ken McDonald and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Guerrero held an offer from Indiana, as well as the likes of Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado, but he was long considered to be highest on WKU. Indiana got involved in Guerrero's recruitment a bit later than most other schools, and in the end Cezar decided that Western Kentucky was the best place for him. Guerrero, ranked #61 overall as a 4* prospect by Rivals, leads an impressive recruiting class for the Hilltoppers. Coach McDonald has gotten four commitments already this month in Nigel Snipes, Deng Leek and George Fant. #135th ranked recruit Derrick Gordon also committed to the Hilltoppers last summer.

Slam Dunk Champ: Victor Oladipo



That is all.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hoosier Hysteria confirmed visitors list

These are the recruits confirmed (via Inside The Hall, Jody Demling and Twitter) to be attending Friday night's Hoosier Hysteria events:

2011:
Austin Etherington (Arcadia, IN) - Hamilton Heights *committed

2012:
Ron Patterson (Indianapolis, IN) - Broad Ripple *committed
Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell (Indianapolis) - Park Tudor
Charles Harris (Lake Forest, IL) - Lake Forest Academy
Jeremy Hollowell (Indianapolis) - Lawrence Central
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis) - North Central

2013: 
Darryl Baker (Jefferson, IN) - Jeffersonville
Devin Davis (Indianapolis) - Warren Central
Darryl Hicks (Shelbyville, KY) - Trinity Boys
Zak Irvin (Fishers, IN) - Hamilton Southeastern
Brenton and Bryson Scott (Fort Wayne, IN) - Northrop
Basil Smotherman (Indianapolis) - Heritage Christian

2014:
James Blackmon Jr. (Fort Wayne) - Bishop Luers *committed
Ernie Duncan (Evansville, IN) - Harrison
Trey Lyles (Indianapolis) - Arsenal Technical *committed
Trevon Blueitt (Indianapolis) - Park Tudor
Bryant McIntosh (New Castle, IN) - Chrysler



Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coach Crean talks to media [Video]

The video below is an 8-minute talk from head coach Tom Crean posted by the official IUAthletics YouTube page. Coach Crean discusses a lot of different topics, including changes to Friday's Hoosier Hysteria event, how the current team is developing and how they have built a defensive mindset going into practice. He also touched on how they have been all about creating competition for playing time and making guys battle with each other to get on the court this coming season. He also stressed the importance of this weekend on recruiting and how he hopes that recruits will stay till Saturday so they can check out a real, full strength basketball practice session.



"Your best players are not your best players if they are not the hardest working and not in that top 3 defensively." - Tom Crean

Cody Latimer (Dayton, OH) commits to Indiana

Rivals.com
I'm a few days behind on this story, but Bill Lynch has received a commitment from wide receiver Cody Latimer from Dayton, Ohio (Jefferson). Latimer is ranked by Rivals as the #39 receiver in the country and the #16 prospect from Ohio. Indiana was the only big conference team to offer the 3* recruit, though he was hearing from the likes of Michigan, Iowa, and Purdue, among others. This commitment is number 22 for Bill Lynch in the class of 2011, and Latimer is the 7th verbal from Ohio. Lynch and staff have spent a lot of time recruiting in Ohio, due to the depth of talent that the state produces year after year. The 7 Ohio commitments equal the 7 Indiana prospects that Lynch has locked up so far in 2011. Indiana's top recruit, linebacker Zack Shaw (#249 on Rivals, 4*), hails from Coshocton, Ohio.

Naadir Tharpe to Kansas

Former IU target Naadir Tharpe (#91 Rivals150) has committed to the Kansas Jayhawks. Tharpe becomes Bill Self's first verbal commitment for the class of 2011, and comes less than a month after missing out on top target Josiah Turner (#10, commited to Arizona). Tharpe is a 4* prospect and is the kind of guy that could very well stay in Lawrence for the full four years and be a solid contributer. Tharpe plays for Brewster Prep Academy in New Hampshire alongside a number of D1 prospects, including Durand Johnson, Richard Peters, Ge'Lawn Guyn, Elijah Carter, Deonte Burton and IU target Mitch McGary

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

IU to play exhibition game against DII Ferris State

According to the Indiana Daily Student, Indiana coach Tom Crean announced tonight a second exhibition game against the DII Ferris State Bulldogs. The game is currently scheduled for Monday, November 8th at Assembly Hall. Ferris State University is located in Big Rapids, Michigan and the basketball roster is comprised exclusively of players from within the state. The Bulldogs are coached by Bill Sall, who is entering his 9th season in charge. Senior leader Justin Keenan was recently named the DII Preseason National Player of the Year. He averaged 20.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game while shooting 55% from the field last season. Ferris State will not be an easy opponent for the Hoosiers, as they are projected to be one of the better teams in DII basketball this season.
It was previously announced that the Hoosiers would take on Franklin (IN) College (alma mater of late IU football coach Terry Hoeppner) in the first exhibition game, scheduled for Wednesday, November 3rd. Following these two exhibition games, the regular season will begin on Friday, November 12th with a home game against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles.

Baylor being investigated by NCAA for Perea recruitment

Mark Morefield -
BaylorBears.com
According to Jeff Goodman at FoxSports.com, who broke this story late last night, the NCAA is investigating the Baylor basketball program in regards to its recruitment of Colombian-born recruit Hanner Perea. Perea is a 5* recruit in the class of 2012 and is ranked #10 in the Rivals150. The investigation centers around excessive and threatening text messages that were sent to Perea's high school and AAU coaches this summer by Baylor assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Mark Morefield. Morefield has been working with Baylor head coach Scott Drew for the past 17 years, dating back to when they were both assistants at Valparaiso under Scott's father, Homer Drew. Sending text messages in July is already against NCAA rules, but some of the texts were reported to be rather startling. One text message that Morefield sent to Hanner's new high school coach at LaLumiere, Alan Huss, was published in the Goodman article:
"I guarantee u if he does [commit to another school] he will be in Colombia for the spring and summer and next year. Don’t forget it." - text from Mark Morefield to Alan Huss, July 2010
Goodman confirmed that attorney Jim Darnell, who defended former USC coach Tim Floyd in his NCAA investigation, was hired by Drew in September. He also confirmed that the NCAA is sending representatives to Waco to interview Drew's staff later this month.
The recruiting race for Perea has long been considered to be between just Baylor and Indiana. Perea plays AAU ball for Indiana Elite and his coach, Mark Adams, is his legal guardian in the United States. Hanner transferred to LaLumiere High School in Indiana this past off-season, and has been to Bloomington quite a bit in recent months. After making unofficial visits the past two weekends, Hanner is expected to be on campus Halloween weekend during the official visit of Cody Zeller. Conversely, Perea has never been to Waco to see the Baylor campus despite listing them consistently in his top two college choices. We obviously do not want to jump to any conclusions right now, but one would have to think that if his recruitment really is a two-horse race, then the path should now be cleared for an Indiana commitment in the near future.
In my opinion, this news, coupled with Zeller's impending official visit, are the catalysts that will get the recruiting dominoes falling for Tom Crean. I look for Zeller to commit to Indiana in early November after his visits and discussions with his family (he has set this as his current timeline), and then Hanner Perea and fellow 2012 5* recruit Yogi Ferrell to pull the trigger soon after. These huge commitments could very well be the deciding factor for other 2012 recruits Gary Harris (said that IU is his leader after recent visit) and Jeremy Hollowell (said he's down to IU and Ohio State) to choose Indiana, as well. With Hoosier Hysteria on Friday night and a lot of huge recruits coming to campus in the next few weeks, this is a VERY important time for Tom Crean and staff. Hoosier fans should be looking for plenty of good news in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Who Is Greg Lewis?

Simple answer: The #130 player on Rivals150 in the class of 2011 out of Baltimore (St. Frances).
Rivals.com

Lewis is another prospect out of the DMV area a la Maurice Creek and Victor Oladipo. He's a 6'9 center playing for St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. Recently, Lewis named his top 5 schools: Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers, South Florida, and UNC-Wilmington. He has received scholarship offers to four of those five but is yet to get one from Coach Crean. On the surface, he seems to be a back-up plan if Cody Zeller falls through. The Hoosier Scoop posted a write-up on Lewis earlier this afternoon, in which they describe that Lewis had been considered a Maryland lean for some time causing other schools to back off a bit.
The Scoop also says that assistant coach Steve McClain is in charge of Lewis' recruitment. Crean and McClain will be in Baltimore to check out Lewis in action on Wednesday.

Hoosier Hysteria to be streamed live

For those of you who, like me, will not be able to make it to this coming Friday's event there is some good news. Big Ten Network will stream some of Hoosier Hysteria on the website, starting at 8:15pm ET on Friday night. The television network will also air parts of the event on their Big Ten Hoops Hysteria event on Saturday. They will feature coverage of midnight events at Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin. According to the BTN.com story, "On-site reporters will talk to special guests, selected players and head coaches Bruce Weber, Tom Crean, Tom Izzo, Tubby Smith, Bill Carmody and Bo Ryan." Friday should be a special evening for the Big Ten and especially for Tom Crean's Hoosiers. The coaching staff are expecting a number of top recruits to be in attendance at the event and the Windy City Hoosier Source will provide a complete list of confirmed visitors as the event draws closer.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Great news for IU Students!

In this story from this Indiana Daily Student, Ryan Winn outlines Fred Glass' plan to implement a partial "first-come, first-serve" student section at Assembly Hall. Basically, when students have tickets in sections K, L, M in Row 25 or lower, they will be able to choose their seats based on how early they arrive. This means that a row 25 ticket could potentially turn into a front row seat for Hoosier basketball. Students have been asking for a student section for years, despite the fact that Indiana sells more tickets to students than any other school in the country. The sections K, L, M have been largely consisting of students already, but very rarely have students had the opportunity to sit really close more than once per season. This also means that the "die-hard" student fans and those less crazy ones have had equal opportunities for good seats. Now those seats go to those who want it the most, insuring that the craziest student fans will be closest to the court and surely making life difficult for the opposing team (who's bench is just across the court from the new student section).
Of course, this HAD to happen the first season AFTER I graduated...

Monday, October 04, 2010

Weekend Recap

* The Hoosier Scoop has a picture of Cody Zeller on the sidelines during the football team. They also reported that while Zeller did not play at the open gym Saturday morning, most of the other visitors did. The standouts were Hanner Perea and Jeremy Hollowell. Hollowell and Gary Harris, among others, spent Saturday night in Bloomington and got a taste of the college night life.
* Inside The Hall is reporting that Gary Harris is "very high" on IU following his weekend visit. He said that he got a chance to see what it's like to be a part of Indiana basketball and every time he visits he likes it "even more."
* Jody Demling from the Louisville Courier-Journal caught up with 2014's Trevon Bluiett (Park Tudor HS) and talked to him about IU basketball and his latest scholarship offer. He also spoke with 2014 committment James Blackmon Jr. about life after choosing IU.
* Demling was also on hand at the Lucas Midwest Invitational and had this to say about Blackmon and Bluiett's performance:
"Blackmon is ranked higher now, has already committed to Indiana and is a big-time scorer. He'll need to work on his speed and strength but he can score on anyone from just about anywhere. The 6-foot-5 Bluiett was maybe my biggest surprise of the camp because he's a lot better than I expected. The kid has a high-major body and all-around game." - Jody Demling

Friday, October 01, 2010

Austin Rivers to Duke

IU senior Jeremiah Rivers' younger brother, Austin Rivers, is the #1 2011 prospect in the country. Yesterday, he made official that he would play for the Duke Blue Devils. I've seen a lot of videos of this kid and he is the real deal. He even crossed up John Wall this past summer. He originally committed to Florida but decided to open up his recruitment a couple of years ago. He chose Duke over Kansas, North Carolina and Florida. The decision also comes before he made any of his scheduled official visits. Rivers said that he just knew where he wanted to go and didn't want to let it drag out any longer.