Sat., May. 23, 2015
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Indiana gathered as a team to watch each of the the last three NCAA Tournament Selection Shows, but this year’s event had a different feeling.
The Hoosiers knew they were safely in each of the last two tournament fields because of their grand bodies of work and also by virtue of winning the Big Ten Tournament. So the only drama on Selection Monday used to come from waiting on a national seed, or from anticipating who might join them in their field. This time the wait took on a different tone.
Senior Will Nolden sat near his locker inside the IU clubhouse on Monday with his feet propped up on a table and the collar of his shirt pulled over his chin. Over the last three seasons, he has experienced a range of emotions, from turning IU into a Big Ten power to playing in the College World Series. But he never felt like this.
So when Indiana’s name finally popped into the bracket more than 20 minutes into the show, Nolden threw both arms in the air, leaned his head back in his chair and let out a “Whoooooo!” for all the room to hear.
The at-large berth Indiana waited on arrived as a No. 3 seed in the Nashville Regional, where the Hoosiers will open their third consecutive NCAA Tournament against No. 2 Radford on Friday at 3 p.m. Eastern. Defending national champion Vanderbilt will host and face No. 4 Lipscomb at 8 ET Friday evening. Each game from the region will be streamed online via ESPN3.
“It’s the first time in the past couple years that you’re sitting in there actually nervous,” Nolden said. “You don’t know if your name is gonna be called. We’ve overcome a lot and we’ve faced a lot of adversity this year. I think that’s what’s gonna make us even tougher in this tournament.” (more…)
Griffith, 20, was booked into Monroe County Jail at 5 a.m. Saturday morning and released at 10 a.m. His bond was set at $500 cash, $1,000 surety. An Indiana spokesman said Saturday afternoon that the football program is aware of the arrest and is currently gathering more facts.
According to IUPD spokesperson Lt. W. Craig Munroe, Griffith was stopped near 19th and Dunn streets at 3:54 a.m. Saturday. Griffith’s vehicle was heading northbound on Dunn with its high beams on, Munroe said. Officers observed another vehicle flash its high beams on and off to try and get Griffith to turn his lights to low, Munroe said, but Griffith did not respond.
According to Munroe, officers pulled Griffith over and detected an odor of alcohol. Officers administered a field sobriety test and asked Griffith if he would perform a breath test. Munroe said Griffith agreed and, based on those results, he was arrested.
Griffith nearly drowned while on spring break in Sarasota, Fla. on March 17, 2014 when a rip-current pulled him too far from the shore. IU teammates Nick Stoner and Ty Smith, along with another friend, Mitch McCune, helped rescue him from the water.
Griffith was briefly placed into a medically induced coma before he was discharged from Sarasota Memorial Hospital on March 23. Doctors said they expected Griffith to make a full recovery.
Last season, he appeared in games against Indiana State and Ohio State, and earned scout team honors for his work leading into the Maryland game in late September.
It is the second arrest for an IU football player this off-season. Defensive lineman Ralph Green III was arrested April 19 on a preliminary charge of misdemeanor battery after allegedly slapping a 20-year-old woman in the face. Green was also preliminarily charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
One bad inning and a handful of missed opportunities ended Indiana’s run at the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday.
Now, all that’s left to do is wait.
A series of Hoosier mistakes in the seventh inning allowed Maryland to run away with a 4-2 win over IU in the tournament semifinals at Target Field in Minneapolis. After returning to Bloomington, Indiana will learn where its season is headed once pairings for the NCAA Tournament are announced Monday at noon.
Indiana coach Chris Lemonis expressed confidence that Saturday’s loss was not the end of the season, though it was certainly an avoidable ending to IU’s defense of back-to-back Big Ten Tournament championships.
Indiana received another solid start — this one from Caleb Baragar — out-hit Maryland 8-6 and put leadoff men aboard in four consecutive innings, but couldn’t cash in until it was too late.
Then there was the disastrous four-run seventh inning for the Terrapins, who jumped on three Indiana errors and watched the Hoosiers play their way out of the game.
“The team that wins tournaments, regionals, super regionals, they just execute,” Lemonis said. “Early in the game, let’s get the runner in from third with less than two outs. We’re not asking guys to make the greatest play. We’ve played with a lot of pressure for about the last three weeks. We’ve been handling it pretty good, but it just got to us today.” (more…)
He didn’t want to be the one to let Indiana down, so Christian Morris pitched as if the first few months of his season never happened.
With the Hoosiers facing elimination for the second consecutive game, Morris took the mound at Target Field on Friday evening and looked like his former self. He looked like the pitcher that earned first team all-conference honors a year ago. He looked confident and in control.
And, as he settled in, he looked determined to see his team through to another day.
No. 6 Indiana took advantage of Morris’ quality start and used a grand slam by Logan Sowers to pull off a 10-2 thrashing of No. 2 Iowa at the Big Ten Tournament in Minneapolis. The win propels the Hoosiers into this morning’s semifinal, where they’ll meet No. 4 Maryland at 10 a.m. on Big Ten Network. Should IU win early, it would play the Terrapins again at 6 p.m. to determine which team advances to Sunday’s championship.
Indiana supported Morris with 13 hits, including three by Casey Rodrigue, who finished a home run shy of the cycle. It was, perhaps, the most complete effort of Indiana’s three-game run in Minneapolis. Each starter finished with at least one hit on the way to earning a victory that further bolsters IU’s resume ahead of Monday’s selection show.
Whatever happens to them today, the Hoosiers should feel good about their chances at a third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. If there was any doubt Indiana was a NCAA tournament-caliber team, it put those worries to rest on Friday.
“At this point in the tournament, and even since Day 1, you’re playing a really quality opponent,” IU coach Chris Lemonis said. “I think Iowa’s one of the better programs in the country right now. For us to come out that way and beat a quality pitcher, I thought we did it with a great start, great defense and some timely hitting. It was a great effort by our guys.” (more…)
QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Thanks for joining us.
Mike, Jeremy: How are you today? Ready to get started?
JEREMY: The sun is shining again, so let’s chat (OK, we would have chatted anyway).
MIKE: Good morning, everybody. Let’s chat.
QUESTION: In the words of Denny Green “They are who we thought they were”. I am refering to IU Baseball. Before the season I said they would be 35-20, finish 5th in Big Ten and get a 3 seed in tournament. Actually they are 33-22, 6th in Big Ten and almost certain to get a 3 seed in tournament. Now I was surprised to see IU placed in Louisville in one of the projections (and I know these are not final) as 3 seeds don’t get regional preference, only 2 seeds do. If you guys recall the last 2 years when IU hosted we got regional teams in Austin Peay and Indiana St as our 2 and the 3 was Florida and Stanford. That is pretty much the way it works. If IU wins Big Ten tournament somehow they probably move to a 2 and are very likely to end up in Louisville or Vanderbilt but as a 3 they will be sent somewhere far away regardless of what projections say I am almost certain. Lastly, I was surprised to see you guys not go to the Big Ten tournament and give live coverage as Dustin has last 2 years.!
I assume if IU gets sent to Louisville or Vanderbilt or somewhere close they will send you guys but how about being sent to a far site like Dustin was to Florida St and Omaha a couple years ago?
Good season prediction by you. Hard telling where Indiana might end up in the NCAA Tournament, and it may well depend on how these conference tournaments shake out. I’ll let Mike talk about coverage plans. (more…)
Scott Donley’s final trip to the Big Ten Tournament was unfolding in frustrating fashion before he fixed things with one swing.
Donley’s three-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted Indiana to a 5-3 win over Ohio State on Thursday at Target Field. The win keeps the Hoosiers alive in Minneapolis and arranges a matchup with the loser of Michigan and Iowa on Friday at 4:30 p.m. on BTN.
Nearly 24 hours before Donley’s big hit, IU coach Chris Lemonis was in the bowels of the stadium lamenting his team’s lack of two-out production. Situational hitting was turning into a strength for the Hoosiers over the final few weeks of the regular season, but it escaped them in a tournament-opening loss to the Wolverines.
Facing elimination against the Buckeyes, Donley delivered with a deliberate at-bat.
“He’s had a tough couple of days,” Lemonis said. “I walked out and said something to him and he was just as calm and cool as could be. You could tell he’s been in that position before.”
The three-time All-Big Ten designated hitter had been in a 0-for-6 funk at the tournament before his eighth-inning at-bat. He carefully watched a 2-2 fastball run just off the outside corner before driving a full-count offering from Ohio State starter Ryan Riga into the left field gap. The double scored Brad Hartong, Nick Ramos and Casey Rodrigue and erased a mini slump for the IU cleanup man.
“Heck, I think it’s the first ball I’ve actually hit in about a week,” said Donley, who struck out three times Wednesday for only the second time in his career. He now has a hit in 25 of his last 31 games. (more…)
For a third consecutive year, Indiana men’s basketball has been recognized for sustained academic excellence.
Men’s basketball is one of six IU programs to earn an APR Public Recognition Award, given annually to teams that posted multi-year Academic Progress Rates in the top 10 percent of all teams in their sports. This year’s awards are based on scores between the 2010-11 and 2013-14 academic years.
At Indiana, men’s basketball is joined by men’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s soccer, men’s outdoor track and field and women’s tennis on the list of APR honorees.
The APR measures a program’s ability to retain or graduate athletes, while keeping them eligible. Full national APR data for all teams, including access to postseason play and penalties for underperforming teams, will be released May 27.
In addition to men’s basketball’s recent run of academic success, this is the eighth straight year that men’s golf is being honored and the fourth straight year for women’s tennis. This is also the third consecutive honor for men’s soccer.
“I want to congratulate these students for their outstanding work in the classroom, and commend head coaches Tom Crean, Ron Helmer, Todd Yeagley, Mike Mayer and Lin Loring for continuing to reinforce academic achievement as a top priority,” IU athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement.
Because of the poor academic state of the program Tom Crean inherited in 2008, the annual APR recognition has become a point of pride for the IU men’s basketball coach. This is the fifth straight year that Crean’s program has achieved a perfect APR single-year score of 1,000, and IU was one of only eight teams to earn an APR award and play in the NCAA Tournament last season.
Since Crean’s arrival, 22 players have earned Indiana degrees, including 21 bachelor’s degrees and five master’s degrees.
“Our staff and (academic advisor) Marni Mooney keeps all involved on task, the players understand our commitment to their education, and everyone in the program takes tremendous pride in our academic success,” Crean said in a statement. “Our players consistently exceed their own expectations and reach new heights that are as rewarding an achievement as they experience.”
Homecoming at Indiana will be Saturday, Oct. 17 against Rutgers, coach Kevin Wilson announced Thursday.
It will be a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.
— Kevin Wilson (@IUCoachWilson) May 14, 2015
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Former Indiana guard Stan Robinson announced Tuesday that Rhode Island will be his next home.
Robinson, who declared his intention to transfer a week after IU’s season ended in late March, also considered VCU. Robinson appeared in 32 games last season, making one start. He averaged 3.0 points and 1.9 rebounds, while recording 39 assists against 30 turnovers.
“Thank you God for Helping me make my decision,” Robinson posted on his Twitter account Tuesday afternoon. “Thank you Vcu and Rhode Island for recruiting me. Vcu your fan base is amazing. Thank you too … I will be a Rhody Ram.”
Rhode Island advanced to the second round of the NIT last season, finishing third in the Atlantic 10 Conference with a 23-10 record and a 13-5 conference mark. Robinson will sit out next season, per NCAA transfer rules, but he has two years of eligibility remaining.
He was a four-star recruit when he committed to Indiana’s 2013 class, and started nine game as a freshman. His playing time dropped from 17 minutes per contest in his first season to 11.4 minutes as a sophomore, and his decision to switch shooting hands never produced the consistency or success he sought.
Robinson, along with Yogi Ferrell, was arrested by Indiana State Excise Police in April 2014 for underage drinking and possesion of a fake ID. IU coach Tom Crean later suspended Robinson and classmate Troy Williams for four games at the start of the season for a reported failed drug test.
As Robinson struggled both on and off the court, Crean continued to offer public support for the Landover, Md. native.
“I respect Stan’s desire to contribute more on the court and understand that the opportunity to play closer to your family is something he would like to have happen,” Crean said in a statement after Robinson announced his decision to transfer. “I think he has grown a great deal and matured in the two years he has been a part of the program and I hope he takes his experiences at Indiana University to remind him of what he can accomplish not only as a basketball player, but as a human being.”
On Monday, Robinson tweeted at incoming Indiana recruit O.G. Anunoby, wishing Anunoby luck as he prepares to begin his career at IU.
“Good Luck up there keep your head on right,” Robinson tweeted, “don’t make the mistakes I made. Be the best you can be everyday.”
View more in Men's Basketball
Women’s basketball games will be played in four 10-minute quarters – rather than two 20-minute halves – if an NCAA rules panel accepts a committee’s recommendation in June.
According to the NCAA women’s basketball rule committee, moving from halves to quarters could enhance the flow of the game.
“The rules committee is very excited about the change to the four-quarter format for the 2015-16 season,” the committee’s chair, University of Richmond basketball coach Michael Shafer, said in a statement. “We believe this change, along with the associated changes to the timeout and foul rules, will address flow of the game and physicality. The overall format will strengthen the connection of college basketball with women’s basketball globally.”
All rule proposals have to be approved by an NCAA rules oversight panel, and the panel is scheduled to meet via conference call June 8.
The proposal has been endorsed by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s board of directors and has the backing of one of the most prominent figures in the college game, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma.
“What a great step forward for our game,” Auriemma said in a statement. “As the game becomes more global each year, it’s important that we start the process toward standardizing the rules. This is just the beginning of what I hope are many other changes to improve this great game.”
For more, read the NCAA’s press release here.
View more in Women's Basketball
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