HOOSIER SCOOP SAGE TAKE OF THE DAY, Nov. 14, 2012
After a couple of long days at work, I spent some of the past two evenings getting in touch with my inner Hoosier via watching some prime college hoops.
Monday, I watched Jeremy Hollowell deliver 14 points and a slew of heady plays on both ends in helping Indiana cruise past North Dakota State. Fellow IU freshman Yogi Ferrell wasn’t as sharp as he was in the opening win over Bryant, but if Ferrell is sometimes a tad inconsistent with his decision-making and shooting, he’s a guy who is going to have a lot more great games than mediocre ones.
Then I got back from Assembly Hall in time to see Glenn Robinson III hit all six shots he took from the field while scoring 16 first-half points for Michigan in its win over IUPUI. Robinson finished with 21.
Upon getting home from the office Tuesday night, I fired up the dvr and watched Michigan State nip Kansas in a terrific early-season matchup, with Gary Harris shining while supplying 18 points and combining with backcourt partner Keith Appling in keying the Spartan success after halftime.
And it struck me that 2012 Indiana Mr. Basketball Harris, Ferrell, Hollowell and Robinson were all playing together last June as Indiana High School All-Star teammates in posting yet another sweep over Kentucky.
That absolutely loaded All-Star squad also featured other future Big Ten players in Ronnie Johnson (Purdue) and Patrick Ingram (Iowa) in addition to standouts heading elsewhere such as Kellen Dunham (Butler), Austin Burgett (Notre Dame), D.J. Ballentine (Evansville), DeJuan Marerro (DePaul), Nick Osborne (Loyola) and R.J. Hunter (playing for his dad now at Georgia Southern). Not to mention erstwhile IU recruit Ron Patterson, now committed to Syracuse.
So deep was the graduating class of 2012 that Indiana All-Star game director Gary Hall opined that he probably could have named a whole other 13-man honor squad and have still been competitive with Kentucky. And that doesn’t even count former Hoosier players who went to non-IHSAA-member prep schools and therefore were ineligible for selection: Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Indiana), Mitch McGary (Michigan), D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Georgetown), A.J. Hammons (Purdue), etc.
Even by lofty Hoosier historical standards, that was a great class.
And that was just part of a longer, waxing in-state talent cycle over the past few years. DeShaun Thomas, the 2010 Mr. Basketball, is Ohio State’s leader and a potential All-American and National Player of the Year candidate. So is Cody Zeller, the 2011 Mr. Basketball. Branden Dawson, who contested Zeller in the 2010 Class 3A state title game, was part of a superb 2011 All-Star team (and joined with Harris to provide Michigan State a combined 30 points against Kansas.) And so on and so forth.
What blessed Hoosiers are we to be alive in such times.