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Chicago Cubs draft Jake Kelzer, Scott Effross early on Day 3 #iubase

On the final day of the MLB Amateur Draft, the Chicago Cubs displayed a fondness for Hoosier arms.

The Cubs selected former Bloomington South standout Jake Kelzer in the 14th round before swinging back and taking Scott Effross in the 15th round. Both Kelzer and Effross can return to IU next season if they do not sign with Chicago.

Kelzer, who was selected by the New York Yankees in the 22nd round in 2014, worked to a 3.95 ERA over 17 appearances in 2015, including 11 starts. Over a team-high 73 innings, the 6-foot-8 right-hander allowed 65 hits, struck out 57 and walked 31. He held opposing batters to a .237 average while flashing a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s and a tough breaking ball. Kelzer earned his first save in the first game of a doublehealder with Ohio State on May 15, striking out a career-high seven batters in three innings.He was an All-Big Ten Freshman Team selection last season. Kelzer will be eligible for the draft as long as he remains at Indiana because he turned 21 years old during his draft month in 2014.

Effross could have been a candidate to be selected during the latter rounds on Day 2. The right-hander has pitched in every role during his three seasons at Indiana, working as a starter and middle-, late-inning reliever in 2015. Effross appeared in 21 games, starting seven, while posting a 2.35 ERA. He scattered 50 hits over 61 1/3 innings, while striking out 51 and walking only nine. Opposing batters hit only .217 against the Ohio native. Effross also has a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90s, along with a changeup and a slider. Effross was outstanding down the stretch. Out of the bullpen in IU’s NCAA Tournament loss to No.1 Vanderbilt, Effross retired 10 of his first 12 batters and 16 of 20 for the game.

The draft runs through the 40th round on Wednesday evening. The Hoosiers have a handful of players who could possibly be taken, though right-hander Ryan Halstead and left-hander Kyle Hart remain the most likely to hear their names called on Wednesday. Iowa Western outfield transfer Alex Krupa, along with incoming freshman outfielder Luke Miller, could also be selected in the latter rounds.


Lyonel Anderson hired as IU basketball strength coach #iubb

Indiana announced Wednesday that Lyonel Anderson will oversee the strength and conditioning program for the basketball program. (Courtesy)

Indiana announced Wednesday that Lyonel Anderson will oversee the strength and conditioning program for the basketball program. (Courtesy)

Indiana coach Tom Crean took the next step toward filling his coaching staff on Wednesday, officially announcing the hiring of Lyonel Anderson as head strength and conditioning coach.

Anderson, who replaces Je’Ney Jackson and interim coach Chris Virtue, returns to IU after working with the Hoosiers’ football program as an assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2012-13. Anderson most recently worked with the University of Houston football program.

“I’m extremely excited to work for a great coach like Tom Crean,” Anderson said in a statement. “This is like my Super Bowl. Every day I will have the opportunity to work with elite level athletes and elite level young men. I can not thank Coach enough for allowing me to be a part of this program.”

A native of Rochester, N.Y., Anderson played tight end at Alfred State College before transfering to Kansas after his sophomore year. With the Jayhawks, he caught 43 passes for 485 yards and three touchdowns in 21 career games from 2003-04. He later signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals and was a member of the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad. Anderson also played for the Arena Football League’s Colorado Crush.

He began his career in strength and conditioning as a graduate assistant at Kansas in 2008, when he also served as a season intern with the Denver Broncos. Anderson was also an assistant strength coach at Youngstown State and Rice prior to joining the IU football program.

“Lyonel has coached and played at a high level and with great success,” Crean said in a statement. “Those who have worked with him and know him have nothing but the highest praise for him personally and professionally. He is well respected and developed a great rapport with everyone during his visit here.” (more…)


Cincinnati Moeller DE Ryan Smith commits to IU

Indiana picked up its second recruit in the 2016 class, taking a verbal from Cincinnati Moeller defensive end Ryan Smith on Tuesday evening.

According to Rivals.com, Indiana is the only school to offer the 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive lineman. The Hoosiers offered Smith at the end of April. Rivals lists offensive line coach Greg Frey as Smith’s lead recruiter. Smith appeared in 10 games as a junior last season, making 24 tackles, including 13 solo stops, and recording 3.5 sacks.

Smith announced his commitment through his Twitter account before IU coach Kevin Wilson confirmed it with his customary “#boom” tweet.


Handful of Hoosiers waiting on MLB draft #iubase

Chris Lemonis will spend the next two days peeking at live streams, monitoring Twitter and checking in on player trackers to find where his Hoosiers may fall in this week’s MLB Amateur Draft.

The Indiana coach could see a handful of players, as well as an incoming recruit or two, taken in the draft, which runs through Wednesday.

“The thing about the pro draft is it’s big for our kids,” Lemonis told The Herald-Times. “Kids come to Indiana because they want to play professionally. We have 35 guys in our clubhouse and all 35 guys want to play professional baseball. It’s the dream, so we want that in our program. We want a big professional baseball influence. It means we’re signing the right kids.”

Entering this year’s draft, Indiana has seen seven players from its roster selected since 2013. That doesn’t include freshmen Logan Sowers (31st round) and Larry Crisler (35th round) and senior Ryan Halstead (36th round) who were selected out of high school before they matriculated to IU. Halstead was also drafted in the 26th round after his junior year in 2013. Nor does the list of seven include Josh Ockimey, a first baseman in last year’s recruiting class who was taken in the fifth round and signed to play with the Boston Red Sox instead of attending IU.

This year, Halstead, junior Scott Effross, junior Kyle Hart, senior Scott Donley, senior Luke Harrison and junior Nick Ramos are all possibilities, as is junior Caleb Baragar and senior Casey Rodrigue. Incoming junior college transfer Alex Krupa, an outfielder from Iowa Western, and Cowan senior outfielder Luke Miller could also see their names called. Whether any of the underclassmen actually sign is a different matter.

Rounds three through 10 will be held today, followed by rounds 11-40 on Wednesday. No one from IU was picked during the first and compensatory rounds on Monday. (more…)


IU included in top 8 for 2016 small forward Miles Bridges #iubb

Indiana is among eight schools being considered by Miles Bridges, one of the top ranked small forwards in the 2016 class.

Bridges, ranked as a five-star prospect in the 247 Sports Composite, tweeted Tuesday that he’s considering IU along with Michigan State, Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Iowa State and Louisville, in no particular order. The 6-foot-6 prospect played alongside Indiana signee Thomas Bryant last season at Huntington (W.V.) Prep, where he averaged 15.7 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.8 blocks per game as a junior.

ESPN ranks Bridges at No. 7 on its list of top 60 players, while 247 slots him at No. 21 in his class and Scout has him at No. 27.

Bridges told 247 Sports two weeks ago that Kentucky, Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa State and North Carolina comprised his top five. A native of Flint, Mich., Bridges was slated to visit IU for last season’s Hoosier Hysteria, but did not attend due to illness, according to Scout.com.

Bridges told Mlive.com in April that he’d like to play guard in college.

“We’re trying to make Miles aware of just how unstoppable he is,” Bridges’ AAU coach Brandon Neely told Mlive.com. “When he puts the ball on the floor and attacks the rim, he puts a lot of pressure on the defense. He can always pad the stat sheet because he’s always flirting with triple-doubles. But he should also be having seven to nine assists a game because of the all the defensive attention he draws.”

Here’s his junior year mixtape:


IUWBB: Hoosiers to play in Preseason WNIT in 2015

It was announced Tuesday that Indiana will begin its season at the Preseason WNIT in November.

The field of 16 includes 10 teams that participated in the postseason last year. The tournament begins Nov. 13, with the championship game on Nov. 22.

“We are excited to get a chance to play in a challenging field for this year’s Preseason WNIT to begin our season,” IU head coach Teri Moren said in a statement. “This is another great opportunity early in the year to help prepare us for Big Ten play.”

Other participants include: Alabama State (SWAC), Baylor (Big 12), Chattanooga (Southern), Dartmouth (Ivy), DePaul (Big East), Drexel (Colonial), Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun), McNeese State (Southland), Siena (Metro Atlantic), South Florida (American), Southern Illinois (MVC), Southern Miss (Conference USA), St. Bonaventure (Atlantic 10), Tennessee State (Ohio Valley) and UT Arlington (Sun Belt).

This will be the third time that IU has participated in the Preseason WNIT, and the first time since 2008.

Teams are guaranteed three games in the tournament, and those games are hosted at campus facilities, including the semifinals (Nov. 19) and championship (Nov. 22).

Moren made a point last year to say the Hoosiers needed to strengthen their non-conference slate. The pairings for the tournament have yet to be announced, but the field does include last year’s No. 5-ranked team in the country, Baylor.


NCAA approves 30-second shot clock, other rule changes #iubb

The long-discussed possibility of reducing the shot clock from 35 seconds to 30 seconds became a reality on Monday, not that the Hoosiers will have much trouble adjusting.

The thought of a five-second reduction was enough to make Troy Williams smile last month when the topic of impending rule changes arose during a spring wrapup session. A 30-second shot clock? Indiana is already used to a much tighter limit.

“We practice with a 24-second shot clock,” Williams said. “And it’s probably quicker than that. We’ll be used to it.”

The new shot clock headlines a list of changes approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, changes that will go into effect starting with the 2015-16 season. Among the new rules, the panel approved moving the restricted area under the basket from three feet to four feet to reduce the number of collisions, cutting the amount of timeouts alotted to coaches from five to four, with no more than three able to be carried from the first half over to the second half. Coaches also no longer have the ability to call live-ball timeouts.

Other changes going into effect next season include the ability for officials to review a shot clock violation on made field goals throughout the entire game instead of only the final minutes, while smaller technical fouls — like hanging on the rim, delaying the resumption of play, etc. — will now be one-shot technicals instead of two shots. The five-second closely guarded rule has also been removed, as has the prohibition on dunking in pregame warmups. The rule that resets the 10-second backcourt clock when a timeout is called has also been abolished. (more…)



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