Fri., Apr. 24, 2015
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Tom Crean isn’t recruiting Yogi Ferrell for a second time. He’s not telling him what to do or how to proceed.
What the IU coach has done is present his point guard with the research and thoughts of the NBA decision makers who hold Ferrell’s immediate future in their hands.
From there the decision is up to Ferrell, who will announce Saturday night whether he will return to Bloomington for his senior season or forego his final year in search of a professional pay day.
“What we try to do is we try to get real feedback that we can add to the projection, and then it becomes a matter of are you going to trust the research?” Crean said. “Are you going to look at it and say this is what it is or are you going to believe something that’s not there? That’s the most important thing you can do, but I don’t bug those guys about that. I really don’t.”
The research says Ferrell is a second-round pick, at best, and even that’s muddled by a few factors.
For one, DraftExpress.com projects the 6-foot Indianapolis native will go undrafted and doesn’t include Ferrell among its top 100 potential NBA prospects in the 2015 draft pool. Of that group, 15 are pure point guards ranked ahead of Ferrell.
ESPN draft expert Chad Ford told The Herald-Times last month that Ferrell could boost that stock by returning for his senior season and proving that he can lead the Hoosiers deep into March.
“It’s interesting because his size, his physical stature is the biggest thing holding him back,” Ford told The Herald-Times. “He can’t do anything about that. He can get physically stronger, and that’s something. But I think what he’s gonna have to do to get drafted is follow Shabazz Napier. Everybody said the exact same thing about Shabazz Napier coming in. He was second round pick at best if he would’ve come out then he led UConn to a championship and caught the high.
“(Scouts said), ‘This kind of swagger, this kind of floor leadership, I’m gonna value that on a veteran team and draft him.’ It wasn’t really until the tournament that he did that.”
With Troy Williams and James Blackmon Jr both announcing their plans to return to school next fall, and with the recent addition of four-star center Thomas Bryant, Ferrell would have the opportunity to lead the most complete and balanced team he’s had since his freshman year, when he started all 36 games on the way to IU’s second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance.
He will make a player like Bryant better, and a true center like Bryant will do the same for Ferrell. With a proven point guard like Ferrell, Indiana could start the season ranked as high as No. 15 — and perhaps higher.
Whether or not they get there is, in part, up to Ferrell.
“Whatever happens on that, he’s going to make a smart decision,” Crean said. “All you want to do is you want to make sure you’re giving them every bit of factual information that you can give.”
Kappa Alpha Theta literally cruised to a second straight Little 500 championship Friday after a crash on Lap 98 put the race under caution on the final lap.
Theta and top rider Liz Lieberman were gearing up for a sprint finish, but several competitors, including Ski and Alpha Chi Omega were wiped out in the crash. Lieberman was already in front when the caution flag went up, which meant she could retain her position in front of Tabitha Sherwood from Phoenix Cycling.
This is Theta’s sixth championship overall, which is the most for any women’s program. Lieberman and Bloomington North grad Abby Rogers cycled in both of those races.
FINAL: INDIANA 6, MICHIGAN STATE 1. Ryan Halstead shut down the Spartans in the ninth inning, helping Indiana to its second consecutive win and an optimal start to another important weekend series. Scott Effross earned the win, his third, after 4.1 innings of shutout relief. Brad Hartong finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs, while Scott Donley also added three hits for the Hoosiers. (more…)
QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Thanks for being here.
Andy, Mike and Jeremy: How are you today? Ready to get started?
JEREMY: As ready as ever this Friday. Let’s dive in.
MIKE: Hey, everybody. Doing well. Let’s chat.
ANDY: Sure looked and felt like football season last evening as IU concluded its spring sessions with a public practice, with a ton of other IU athletes from sundry sports present for the festivities. Got one in the mood to … chat.
QUESTION: With the circus that was IUWBB this offseason, what should fan expectation be for next year? Lost two huge assets for next year including Brooks and Stratman!
Good question, and keep in mind that IU may not be done adding pieces for next season. The spring signing period runs through May 20.
That said, I think you have to expect progress. For one, because the roster is at least a little more balanced in terms of guards and bigs. For two, because this will be the second year under Teri Moren’s system and with players who theoretically suit her preferences. That said, there won’t be a senior on the roster, so still a very young team overall.
The full schedule hasn’t been released yet either, so maybe we can revisit some actual numbers then. (more…)
Beyond the fact that he’s a quarterback, beyond the fact that he is Indiana’s first recruit in the 2016 class, Peyton Ramsey’s commitment this week represents a greater significance to the big picture success of IU’s football program.
Ramsey, who gave a verbal commitment to IU on Tuesday, is the latest prospect to come from the fertile football area of Cincinnati, where the Hoosiers are aiming to establish a long-lasting pipeline.
Linebackers Tegray Scales and Marcus Oliver, defensive linemen Mike Barwick, Patrick Dougherty and Nick Carovillano and offensive lineman Wes Martin are among the recent additions IU coach Kevin Wilson has brought from the Cincinnati area to Bloomington.
Ramsey’s father, Doug, sees it as a positive step in Indiana’s recruiting evolution and, as Peyton’s coach at Elder High School, he’d like to see that recruiting success in southwest Ohio continue.
“They’re in on some good players,” Doug Ramsey said. “I think the thing is, being in Ohio and having the Big Ten and then the SEC, there are so many different directions that kids are pulled. I think Indiana is one of those places where, if you can just get a kid to come over there and look around and see what it’s like, you have a chance. I think that’s starting to happen a little bit. Hopefully, it’s a thing where we can get some more guys to go over. Maybe I can be a semi-recruiter, myself, and try to get some kids to go that way, too.” (more…)
James Blackmon Jr. isn’t going anywhere.
Blackmon told reporters Thursday afternoon that he will return to Indiana for his sophomore season, giving the Hoosiers continuity with their perimeter attack.
The 6-foot-3 guard’s announcement is the latest domino to fall in IU’s ongoing roster construction drama. Now the Hoosiers wait on a decision from Yogi Ferrell, who will announce his plans for next year on Saturday night in Indianapolis.
With Indiana officially clearing Thomas Bryant’s signing on Wednesday, Tom Crean remains oversigned by one scholarship next season.
Blackmon earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors and was a member of the league’s All-Freshman team, while finishing sixth nationally among freshmen 16.7 points per game. He set an Indiana record with 77 3-pointers averaged 5.3 rebounds per contest and scored 20 points or more on 10 occasions.
“I love it at Indiana,” Blackmon said. “This is a place where I can get better every day. In the long run, I’ll be better for it.”
But there are too many visible holes in Blackmon’s game that must be addressed before a move to the next level should be considered. He was the biggest defensive liability among Indiana’s regular starters, he went radio silent on the offensive side of the floor during key games down the stretch and he could work on going stronger to the basket with more consistency.
If Ferrell doesn’t return, Robert Johnson is expected to handle the point guard duties, but Blackmon could also share in that role.
ESPN Draft expert Chad Ford told The Herald-Times last month that aside from the obvious improvements Blackmon must make to become a serious NBA prospect, the Ft. Wayne native could boost his stock by proving he can run and initiate an offense.
“You have to be able to show that you can defend your position and you’re capable enough to run an offense because he can really shoot the basketball,” Ford told the H-T. “I think he might go in the second round if he were to come into the draft this year just because someone would take a flier on him with his high basketball IQ and his shooting. He’s definitely a guy that I think would definitely help his stock if he could get in a role where he gets to handle the ball more and help initiate an offense.”
Indiana has landed its first commit for the 2016 class.
Cincinnati quarterback Peyton Ramsey tweeted late Tuesday night that he has committed to Indiana. The three-star prospect chose the Hoosiers over Illinois, Boston College, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Ohio and others.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the 6-foot-3 Ramsey threw for 2,062 yards and 13 touchdowns last fall, while running for 908 yards and 12 scores at Elder High School. He earned Cincinnati’s Greater Catholic League’s co-Player of the Year award and was a Special Mention selection on the Associated Press’ 2014 Ohio All-State team.
Ramsey is a three-star prospect in the 247 Sports Composite, while Rivals has him as a two-star recruit.
With Nate Sudfeld set to graduate after this season, Ramsey will potentially be in the mix with current IU quarterbacks Zander Diamont and Danny Cameron, and 2015 incoming freshman Austin King.
IU coach Kevin Wilson, as he usually does following a commitment, tweeted his customary message to confirm the news.
“#iufb Wrapping Up A Gr8 Spring,” he tweeted. “#Recruiting is Here #HoosierNation – That’s Right #BOOM #513 – Continuing to Build a Strong B1G East Team!!”
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If there was ever a player that matched the direction of Teri Moren’s program, Wabash Valley head coach Zach Loll couldn’t think of anyone better than Tyshee Towner.
Will she defend?
“There aren’t a lot of players that say they want to thrive on being a great defender,” Loll said. “And she really does. She looks forward to that challenge.”
For that, it was hard for Loll to even contain his comparison to the basketball court. He harkened back to a Hall of Fame running back instead.
“Her lateral quickness, my mind immediately thinks of Barry Sanders, because of her ability to change directions so quickly.”
In Moren’s second add of the offseason, announced Wednesday, she acquired a player that couldn’t check any more of her boxes. The junior college All-American not only averaged 17.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, but she fancies herself a defender first. (more…)
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