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A year after landing Max Bielfeldt in Bloomington, Indiana is courting another Michigan transfer this spring.
Former Wolverines point guard Spike Albrecht is considering IU as a transfer option, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported late Monday night. Albrecht, a Crown Point native, is seeking to play a fifth and final season, and told ESPN that he’s also considering Purdue, Wichita State, Texas A&M, Syracuse, USC and Milwaukee.
Albrecht, who starred for Michigan in the 2013 national title game, announced last December that his playing career was over due to an extended recovery time following bilateral hip surgery last summer. He played in eight games as a senior early in the 2015-16 season, but received a medical redshirt due to his nagging hip injury.
By the middle of last month, Albrecht determined he was healthy enough to play a final season — and due to Michigan’s scholarship situation, it will have to take place outside Ann Arbor, Mich.
Michigan coach John Beilein granted Albrecht’s release in late March, and later lifted the school’s restrictions preventing a possible move to a conference school.
Albrecht played in 115 games at Michigan, averaging 3.9 points, 2.0 assists and 1.3 rebounds for his career. As a healthy contributor two seasons ago, Albrecht averaged 7.5 points and 3.9 assists per game. He found his shining moment in 2013, scoring 17 first-half points off the bench in Michigan’s eventual national championship loss to Louisville.
Last spring, Bielfeldt received a waiver from the Big Ten allowing him to transfer within the conference for his final season of eligibility. He eventually chose Indiana over offers from Nebraska and Iowa State, and became a valued member of the program’s Big Ten title pursuit.
IU could have a scholarship open for next season if Troy Williams, who last week declared for the NBA Draft, hires an agent and does not return to school. Otherwise, all 13 scholarships next year are taken. Indiana is also hosting junior college forward Freddie McSwain on an official visit this week. McSwain, who arrived on campus Monday, is expected to announce his decision between IU and Kansas State on Sunday afternoon.
Although they must replace senior point guard Yogi Ferrell, the Hoosiers appear to have strong backcourt depth entering next season. Juniors Robert Johnson and James Blackmon Jr. are both expected to play significant roles, while former Pittsburgh transfer Josh Newkirk is set to give IU another option at the point. The program is also bringing in a pair of combo guards, including four-star prospect Curtis Jones and three-star recruit Devonte Green. Crown Point shooting guard Grant Gelon is also signed for next season.
Indiana women’s basketball Todd Starkey will become Kent State’s next head coach, according to a source.
Starkey was brought to IU in August 2014 as part of Teri Moren’s coaching staff. Prior to joining the Hoosiers, he was the head coach at Division II Lenoir-Ryne University in Hickory, North Carolina, He compiled a 165-95 record in nine seasons there and was named the national Div. II coach of the year for the 2008-09 season.
Starkey reportedly interviewed for the Western Carolina job after last season. He remained at IU, though, and was on a staff that guided the Hoosiers to 21 wins and the program’s first NCAA tournament game since 1983. Moren was the Big Ten’s coach of the year, but generously credited her staff for the program’s success.
That surely helped Starkey’s stock as he interviewed for the Kent State job last week, which opened up when Danielle O’Banion’s contract was not renewed. Kent State finished 6-23 (3-15 Mid-American Conference) in 2015-16 and complied a 21- 98 record in four years under O’Banion.
More evidence that basketball season never truly ends in Indiana will manifest locally June 7 when Bloomington South hosts Indiana All-Star Senior-Junior scrimmage games with a big Indiana University angle.
The girls and boys All-Stars conduct two scrimmage games every June in preparation for renewing their annual series with Kentucky, with signees and potential Hoosier recruits doting the rosters for both the All-Stars and the Juniors this year.
South’s Tucker Blackwell, still considering his college choice, and IU signee Grant Gelon of Crown Point are on the 2016 Indiana All-Star boys’ roster.
The boys’ Junior team will feature such IU recruiting targets as Southport’s Paul Scruggs, North Central’s Kris Wilkes, Fort Wayne Snider’s Malik Williams and Park Tudor’s Jaren Jackson.
The 6-foot-7 Wilkes (rated No. 12 nationally in the 2017 recruiting class according to Rivals.com), 6-3 Scruggs (No. 32), 6-10 Williams (No. 36) and 6-9 Jackson (No. 63) have all made several unofficial recruiting visits to Bloomington for Hoosier games over the past couple of seasons.
Heritage Christian’s 6-3 Darby Foresman, headed for the IU women’s program, is on a very talented 2016 All-Star girls’ roster headed up by McDonald’s All-Americans Jackie Young of Princeton (Notre Dame) and Lindsey Corsaro of Roncalli (Kentucky).
Young is the state’s all-time scoring leader with 3,268 points.
The girls’ game at South will start at 6 p.m., with the boys following at approximately 8 p.m.
Early Friday morning, Kyle Hart could picture how the rest of his day would develop.
“(It) was one of those days when I woke up and I felt like, just as a competitor, that I was going to dominate,” Hart said after IU’s series-opening win over Iowa.
Yes, Hart followed through with his third career complete game, pitching the Hoosiers to a 7-1 win over the Hawkeeys. Three days later, his performance was deemed worthy of the Big Ten’s Pitcher of the Week award.
Hart allowed only five base-runners in the game, yielding only one unearned run on four hits. He struck out five and walked none, while hitting one batter.
For Hart, who leads the Big Ten with seven wins this season, it was his 28th career win — the third most in IU history. He also has 204 career strikeouts, which ties him for sixth in the Indiana record book. By going the distance Friday, Hart is now third all-time at IU with 300 innings pitched.
He’ll lead the fifth-place Hoosiers (20-14, 6-3) into a showdown next weekend at first-place Michigan State (25-7, 7-2).
Perhaps Thomas Belcher was due for an outing like Sunday.
The last month’s worth of games had been good to the side-arming right-hander — so good, in fact, that Belcher used his available opportunities to assert himself as one of the Big Ten’s most reliable back-end relievers. When he entered the game with a two-run cushion in the top of the eighth inning, Belcher carried with him a streak of 10 consecutive scoreless appearances.
Within a matter of moments Sunday, that unblemished run met its end.
Belcher allowed three runs over the final three innings, including the go-ahead RBI single to Eric Schenck-Joblinske in the top of the 10th that lifted Iowa to a 6-5 victory before an announced crowd of 2,642 at Bart Kaufman Field.
Pitching has been the one constant for Indiana (20-14, 6-3 Big Ten) this season, with a weekend rotation and collection of bullpen arms that helped keep the Hoosiers afloat during a middling start to the year. But after starters Kyle Hart and Caleb Baragar produced outstanding pitching efforts on Friday and Saturday, Sunday’s start and finish were uncharacteristically uneven and snapped IU’s winning streak at eight games.
“(This was) probably our first down day in our bullpen in a couple weeks,” IU coach Chris Lemonis said. “We just gotta throw more strikes, and then they had some hits. They got hits off (Belcher), one of the hottest pitchers in the country. Some days you just have to tip your hat to the opponent.” (more…)
Former Indiana forward Devin Davis Jr. committed to the University of Houston and head coach Kelvin Sampson on Saturday. Brian Snow of scout.com first reported the commitment, and a few minutes later, Davis’ father, Devin Davis Sr., tweeted, “Time of the next chapter,” with a picture of his son in a Houston uniform.
Davis Jr. was dismissed from the IU team, along with Hanner Mosquera-Perea, on May 14, 2015, after the two were present in an IU dorm room when police arrived as a result of a complain about the smell of burnt marijuana. Davis was cited, but charges later dismissed, while Perea was not cited in the incident.
That came on the heels of Davis missing the entire 2014-15 season due to a traumatic brain injury suffered in the early morning hours of Nov. 1, 2014, when he was struck by a car driven by then teammate Emmitt Holt.
Davis transferred to Odessa Junior College, where the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game this season, leading the Wranglers to a conference and Region V title. He was also recently named a first team JUCO All-American.
Now Davis will play for Sampson, the former Indiana coach who is entering his third season with the Cougars, who represent his first collegiate coaching job since being forced to resign at Indiana due to recruiting violations on Feb. 22, 2008.
Also, multiple reports say Holt, who played this season at Indian Hills Community College, is visiting Providence College this weekend and the 6-8 forward could commit to the Friars if all goes well.
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