On Darius Latham, basketball and big dinners

The highlight of Darius Latham’s time spent with the Indiana All-Stars this week has nothing to do with the basketball court.

“It was eating that Ruth’s Chris steak we had the other night,” he said. “I never ate there before.”

The steak dinner came only days after the Indiana defensive tackle recruit apparently set a record for most plates on a tray during a team visit to the MCL Cafeteria in Southport. He was even reportedly awarded take-home desserts for the feat.

But Latham’s exploits aren’t exclusive to the dining hall or the football field. He showed his range on the hardwood Friday with a nine-point effort off the bench in Indiana’s 114-60 win over Kentucky at Freedom Hall.

The scoring performance was fine — he even hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key in the first half — but Latham showed how versatile he can be on the court. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound forward entered the game 10 minutes into the first half and quickly showed his passing ability on a couple smooth assists. Officially, he finished with three assists, but easily could’ve been credited with more.

“That’s my game, getting people involved,” Latham said. “If I’m not scoring, then I’ll find the open guy.”

The North Central graduate also finished with four rebounds, and used his bulk to set a few jarring screens atop the key on unsuspecting Kentucky players.

“Darius, he can do it all,” teammate and future Indiana University classmate Collin Hartman said. “He’s a specimen. He’s something else.”

Latham said he’s moving to Bloomington on Sunday to prepare for Indiana’s football season, but he hasn’t ruled out pushing for a spot on the IU basketball team. Friday’s game and tonight’s rematch in Indianapolis could be the final minutes he spends on the basketball court.

But don’t rule out a move from Memorial Stadium to Assembly Hall just yet.

“I’m gonna see how football season goes, see how my body feels,” Latham said. “I’ll think about it after that.”

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