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Indiana’s 2017 recruiting class got bigger on Saturday.
The Hoosiers landed a verbal commitment from three-star Ohio defensive tackle Derrius Mullins, who weighs in at 6-foot-3 and 354 pounds. It’s another sign of IU’s commitment to addressing a need on the defensive line, where the Hoosiers’ coaching staff is currently valuing bigger bodies in the middle.
Not only is Mullins big, but the Columbus native can move, too.
“I think the reason he’s so marketable is because of how athletic he is and how good his feet are for a guy that size,” St. Francis DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. “A lot of times, guys that size are projects, or they’re slow. He happens to have all of that.”
Indiana now has 11 recruits verbally committed for the 2017 season. Of that bunch, six are projected to play along the defensive line.
According to 247 Sports, Mullins chose Indiana over offers from Pittsburgh, Purdue, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among others. IU coach Kevin Wilson’s staff offered Mullins a scholarship last November and have continued to pursue him hard during the ensuing months.
Indiana offensive coordinator Kevin Johns was one of Wilson’s staffers who made regular check-ins with Mullins. (more…)
Overlooked in the NBA Draft and left to the bench in the Las Vegas Summer League, Yogi Ferrell’s focus has never been more clear.
To continue playing basketball in North America, and preferably in the NBA, Ferrell knows what must come next.
“It’s time for me to go out and prove myself, I feel like,” Ferrell said. “I can only do that through my work and confidence and just doing what I can do.”
Buoyed by a partially-guaranteed deal with the Brooklyn Nets, Ferrell will have an opportunity to do so this fall. Although the Nets won’t open their preseason camp for another two months, Ferrell is already looking to gain a step in his pursuit of an NBA roster spot.
He’ll report to Brooklyn in the next few weeks, aiming to learn the system ahead of schedule and build rapport with his new coaching staff. In need of guard depth this summer, Brooklyn has restocked its backcourt by signing Jeremy Lin, Greivis Vasquez and Randy Foye, and selecting hometown combo guard Isaiah Whitehead in the second round of the draft.
A partially guaranteed deal, at the very least, will give Ferrell a nice chunk of cash — terms of his deal have not been disclosed — and an invitation to camp.
From there, it’s on Ferrell to show he’s worth keeping around.
“It’ll be fun playing against guys that have been there multiple years, veteran guys,” Ferrell said. “I definitely still gotta prove myself (but) I feel like I can still learn something from them.” (more…)
Kevin Wilson isn’t shy about playing freshmen.
Across his first five seasons as Indiana coach, Wilson has sent a total of 60 true freshman onto the field. That’s an average of 12 per year, or roughly half of a signing class. With 20 newcomers set to join Indiana’s camp next week, including 17 true freshmen, Wilson will be looking for the next wave of youngsters ready to accept the responsibilities of becoming immediate Big Ten contributors.
“The more those guys play, odds are they’re going to do better in school, they’re gonna do better off the field, they’re gonna do better in winter and spring ball because when you practice and don’t play, it kind of sucks,” Wilson said. “There’s no JV team. These guys have played ball — a lot of them — since the third grade, fourth grade, Pop Warner, pewee, junior high, freshman ball, you name it. They’ve played on teams. We don’t have a JV team. We just have the one team and when guys don’t play it can create a lot of negativity.”
There are at least a few freshmen already on Wilson’s radar.
Offensively, the IU coach said Cole Gest, a 5-foot-8 running back from Ohio, may already be one of the program’s most dynamic skill players. Wilson wants to play eight or nine receivers, and Jonah Morris, Taysir Mack and Phil Benker will compete for opportunities in the rotation.
“It’ll be interesting with Kiante Enis,” Wilson said of the one-time Michigan commit from Winchester High School. “We gotta find out (where he’ll play) between running back and receiver. Some of those guys, we have to find their spot. Until you get out there throwing balls and catching them, we gotta find out what spot some of those guys end up in.” (more…)
Clyde Newton, a physical and punishing linebacker, wants to play running back.
Kevin Wilson is willing to give him that chance.
The Indiana coach said this week that Newton will split time between both positions once fall camp opens next week, potentially giving the Hoosiers an added dose of power in short-yardage situations this season.
After IU wrapped spring practice, Newton asked Wilson if he could move to offense, and after consulting with his defensive coaches, Wilson believes he can find just the right niche for the senior.
“I’m excited about it,” Wilson said. “He’s had a good summer. He’s strong and he looks great. We’re not going to become a two-back team, but sometimes in short-yardage, goal-line offense, four-minute offense (it) can be a little tough when you’re a spread team. Hopefully big Tyler Natee and Clyde can give us a little bit more.”
Either as runners or lead blockers, Newton and Natee would add some heft to Indiana’s backfield.
Newton, a senior who started all 13 games at strong-side linebacker last fall, is listed at 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds. Natee, a 6-foot incoming freshman, tips the scales at 260 pounds.
Newton has a background in the backfield, where he rushed for 1,938 yards, averaged 8.4 yards per carry and scored 23 touchdowns as a senior at Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda, Fla. (more…)
Indiana University football players and coaches can’t say the word “turnover,” or they will be doing pushups.
In the final part of the HSR’s interview with IU Wrestling Coach Duane Goldman, he discusses what the Olympic Trials are like, the difference between collegiate wrestling and international competition and wrestlers taking an Olympic redshirt.
LSU Shreveport has hired former Indiana assistant Curtis Loyd to be head coach of its program.
After three seasons as an assistant with IU, Loyd left this offseason to explore other opportunities. LSUS announced Loyd’s hire as head coach Thursday, taking over the NAIA program.
“We are excited for Curtis to join the Pilot family as our new women’s basketball coach,” LSUS athletic director Lucas Morgan said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of experience from the highest level and we know he can take our program to places it hasn’t been before.”
Before his hire by former IU head coach Curt Miller, Loyd was an assistant at Minnesota, Akron, Virginia, Arizona and Colorado State. Loyd was briefly the interim head coach at IU when Miller abruptly resigned in July 2014. He was then retained as part of Teri Moren’s first staff.
This offseason, IU has had to replace two of its assistant coaches. Todd Starkey left IU to become the head coach at Kent State. Janese Banks was hired away from IUPUI to fill that vacancy. Glenn Box, formerly of Akron, was hired to replace Loyd.
This will be Loyd’s first head coaching job.
“It is my goal to recruit good people and that will make good things not only happen on the court but in the classroom as well,” Loyd said in a statement. “I don’t just want a great team but a great program.”
CARMEL — Tom Allen spent most of Wednesday watching high school football players run through drills. He spent another portion of it reconnecting with his roots.
As a former head coach at Ben Davis, Allen’s name still carries weight around the Indianapolis area. So when IU brought its entire coaching staff north to oversee a series of four satellite camps around the central part of the state, Allen was a man in demand.
“We got to Lawrence North and I went to high school with the principal,” Allen said. “His dad was our principal. I went to high school with their AD there. One of the local coaches, (Doug) Peacock, he just retired recently from Mt. Vernon. He coached with my dad 20 years ago. So it’s that type (of interaction) over and over again. It gives me a great chance to see guys — I saw two guys here today that I haven’t seen in 10 years that I used to coach against. One of the guys I used to go to church with. Every time I go somewhere, that always happens — just from having so many connections in this state. It makes it fun. I enjoy it.”
Indiana’s program, too, seemed to enjoy the exposure it generated Wednesday, planting its recruiting flag firmly in the center of the state.
Kevin Wilson’s coaching staff oversaw four free camps for high school players entering grades nine through 12 on Wednesday, beginning with a “Big Man” camp for linemen at Lawrence North and ending the day with a skill camp at Brownsburg. In between, Wilson’s staff also visited Carmel and Westfield. (more…)
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Indiana is one of eight schools still in the mix for four-star forward Malik Williams.
The 7-foot Fort Wayne prospect, considered the No. 32 player in the 2017 recruiting class, lists IU along with Purdue, Michigan State, Iowa, Louisville, Georgetown, NC State and UCLA as his final eight schools under consideration. Williams tweeted his list of eight on Monday afternoon.
Williams told The Herald-Times in June that Indiana’s staff, especially assistant Tim Buckley, has done a great job building rapport with him during the last few years.
“They’ve been there for a long time,” Williams said of IU. “They were my first offer and they’ve been consistent ever since. We’ve built a strong relationship.”
As a junior last season at Fort Wayne Snider, Williams shot 46 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range, while averaging 21.4 points, 12.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 blocks. Juan Gorman, his AAU coach with Legit Basketball, told The Herald-Times earlier this summer that Williams’ biggest selling point is his versatility and range on the perimeter.
“He has great timing in that skill set of blocking shots and going to find the ball,” Gorman said. “He has a motor. You don’t find too many 6-11, 7-foot kids that can run. He can run, he can defend and do all the little things that kids his size can’t do. … He’s fine-tuning what he does well and he’s getting stronger. He’s already got a nice, soft shot and he can shoot with the best of them. He can probably out-shoot some guards.”
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Lyndsay Leikem has been added to the roster at the University of Missouri-Kansas City as a grad transfer, the school announced Friday.
The 6-foot-1 forward graduated in three years from Indiana. Before the 2015-16 season, Leikem expressed interest in moving to the Washington D.C. area upon graduation and pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Instead, she will play for head coach Marsha Frese and pursue at master’s in criminal justice at UMKC.
On Friday, Leikem posted on Twitter about her decision to play at UMKC.
“Was not expecting to play my fourth year,” she wrote, “but tremendously blessed to receive this opportunity to pursue my masters!”
Leikem started seven games early in the season for IU in ’15-16, but came off the bench once Jenn Anderson was healthy. For the season, she averaged 1.9 points and 2.2 rebounds per game, helping a Hoosiers team that won its first NCAA tournament game since 1983.
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