1. HOOSIERS HQ
The No. 14 Indiana soccer team opened the season with what coach Todd Yeagley called the best opening practice “in a lot of years,” I wrote.
Coach Kevin Wilson is still searching for his backup quarterback this season, Mike writes.
Crown Point shooter Grant Gelon became IU basketball’s first commit for the 2016 recruiting class, Mike wrote.
Indiana diver Joshua Arndt finished 12th on the 3-meter springboard at the U.S. national championships, we reported.
And from earlier this week, Speck Mellencamp will serve his four-day jail sentence stemming from a 2014 assault case in 12-hour increments due to a panic disorder, Laura Lane wrote.
2. IT’S INDIANA
From Army brat to IU grad to ESPN, it has all worked out for Sage Steele, Dana Hunsinger Benbow of the Indianapolis Star writes.
IU soccer has plenty of depth as practice begins, Michael Hughes of the Indiana Daily Student writes.
New kid Kyle Schwarber has given the Chicago Cubs’ offense a jolt, Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes.
3. BIG TEN COUNTRY
Bo Ryan’s already re-thinking this whole retirement thing, Tim Froberg of the Post-Crescent writes.
4. ONE FOR THE ROAD
Sending this out to Kevin Wilson and his quest for a backup — Survivor with “The Search is Over.”
As Grant Gelon’s shooting proficiencies began drawing attention on the summer AAU circuit, his high school coaches at Crown Point knew what was next.
Bulldogs coach Clint Swan and his assistants told themselves that as soon as Gelon played well in front of the right college coach, a major scholarship offer could be headed his way. Then it happened.
Indiana coach Tom Crean sat down for a game at last month’s adidas Invitational looking to watch Eron Gordon, the brother of former Hoosier star Eric, and a prime target in the 2016 class. But it was Gelon who stole the IU coach’s attention after scoring 19 points and taking a charge against Gordon’s team.
While on an unofficial visit to IU Wednesday — a month to the day of that first encounter — Gelon received an offer from Crean and accepted on the spot.
Gelon’s verbal commitment makes him the first player in what is expected to be a sizable 2016 recruiting class for the Hoosiers. Indiana is expected to take between four and six players during the upcoming recruiting cycle, filling the first spot with a kid from The Region.
“Being an Indiana boy, growing up in Indiana, it just seemed right,” Gelon said.
Indiana is getting an outstanding perimeter shooter measured at 6-foot-5 and 176 pounds. As a junior at Crown Point, Gelon averaged 14.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, connecting on 102 3-pointers and shooting 44 percent from beyond the 3-point line. He played this summer for Indiana Elite Central.
At Indiana, Gelon projects as a replacement for senior guard Nick Zeisloft.
“He’s one of those guys that, even if you know where he is and you know what’s coming, he still has that ability to find ways to get his shot off,” Swan said. “He’s developed a mid-range game out of necessity because (opponents) extend so much on him that now he’s able to put the ball on the floor and hit pull-ups and runners and things of that nature. His size serves him very well and he has a very, very quick release. It’s off in a heartbeat, so I think all those traits like his size and his hair-trigger release serve him well as a good shooter.” (more…)
The process of developing adequate quarterback depth is one of Kevin Wilson’s priorities for fall camp.
For the Indiana football coach, It’s not merely a matter of filling the depth chart behind senior starter Nate Sudfeld, but an exercise for preparing for the future and Sudfeld’s impending graduation.
The Hoosiers have five quarterbacks taking snaps beside Sudfeld this month, meaning the next few weeks will determine who gets the next set of repetitions during the regular season and who might have a leg up on the starting job once Sudfeld leaves.
“Quite honestly, we’re going to look really hard because that’s going to determine our direction,” Wilson said. “We need a backup quarterback this year and we need a future quarterback, and we’re trying to determine what that future is. Maybe that future is on campus, maybe that future is not.”
Sophomore Zander Diamont returns after starting the final six games of last season following season-ending injuries to Sudfeld and then-backup Chris Covington in the same game at Iowa. Covington has since moved to linebacker. While Diamont has more in-game experience than any IU quarterback aside from Sudfeld — he completed 64 of his 132 passes for one touchdown in 2014 — Indiana coaches would prefer to redshirt him this season and get back the original redshirt year lost last fall.
That means redshirt freshman Danny Cameron could be next in line behind Sudfeld. Cameron, the son of former IU coach Cam Cameron, has looked good in limited windows of practice open to reporters through the first week of camp.
“We’re kind of 50-50 on both of those guys because Danny’s gotten a lot better,” Wilson said. “Zander can make a lot of plays with his energy and movement, but his carelessness scares you. He’ll force some throws and do a few things, so it’s a little 50-50. One, because Danny’s doing better.” (more…)
The No. 14 Indiana men’s soccer team took to the pitch for the first official practice of the 2015 season on Wednesday morning with the annual two-mile run that caps the preseason fitness training officially in the rearview mirror (won by freshman Austin Panchot, for the record). Here are some other notes, quotes and observations from practice:
• Sixth-year head coach Todd Yeagley was thrilled with what he saw in the opening practice. “I thought that was as good a first session as I could remember in a lot of years,” Yeagley said. “Starting with our fitness, it was very good in the run today, and leading into our practice from the sharp play to the energy and just the quality of play. You want good energy, but you have to have quality, and I thought today the combination of both was very good for a first day.”
• What Yeagley liked also included the freshman class, starting with Panchot. “I like this freshman group a lot,” he said. “It’s early, it’s our first session. There’s no doubt that with Austin Panchot leading the group in the two-mile, it just shows how prepared and how focused this young man is. He had a very good spring coming in early. No question Andrew Gutman showed well in his first day, along with Rece Buckmaster, another example. I thought Jeremiah (Gutjahr) had good moments. Those are just to name a few. Really good start for our freshmen. They’re ready to come in and push.” Yeagley later said he felt Gutman was “as talented as any freshman in the country.”
• Forward Andrew Oliver was not with the team and is not listed on the team roster. Oliver left IU last spring to take care of some academic issues, according to Yeagley.
• One of the candidates to fill the forward role, which has been a challenge in recent years for the Hoosiers, is Brown grad transfer Ben Maurey. Maurey is listed at 6-foot-5, although he didn’t appear any taller than 6-4 center back Grant Lillard (perhaps he’s grown), but still is one of few players capable of rivaling Lillard’s size. Maurey appeared active and agile during the part of practice I saw. Having bookend big guys could prove a real boon to IU’s prospects this season, especially on set pieces.
• Junior goalkeeper Colin Webb is the only returnee among the five goalkeepers Indiana had on the roster last season. He is joined by IUPUI transfer Christian Lomeli and freshmen Sean Caulfield and Cody Jewett, but Yeagley likes the group. “I do feel our goalkeeping corps is as good as we’ve had since I’ve been here,” he said. “Colin is going to be pushed, and that’s what we want. I think we’re in a good position with our goalkeeping.”
• Indiana spent most of last season in the top 10 in the polls and even hit No. 1 in the RPI. And while rankings aren’t a concern, getting to No. 1 and staying there remains the primary focus according to senior forward/midfielder Femi Hollinger-Janzen. “We had a very good team last year, and they set a standard, so to reach that No. 1 ranking spot and hold that, just play as good as that team did, if not better,” he said. “We need to play better, and that will definitely be the goal.”
Read more in Thursday’s edition of The Herald-Times.
1. HOOSIERS HQ
Lee Corso celebrated his 80th birthday last Friday, and earlier this summer he celebrated it as a Hoosier, Andy writes.
Things got chippy at IU football practice Tuesday, but coach Kevin Wilson is fine with that as long as it stays between the lines, Mike writes.
IU diver Joshua Arndt was sixth on the 1-meter at the USA national championships Tuesday, we reported.
2. IT’S INDIANA
Notes from IU’s first full-pad practice on Tuesday, via Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star.
Several freshmen are impressing in the Hoosiers’ camp so far, while there is a battle for backup QB, Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star writes.
Could this be Kevin Wilson’s season on the brink, asks Dan at puntjohnpunt.com.
Former Hoosier Bobby Richardson is one of the sleepers as an undrafted free agent in New Orleans Saints camp, Jeff Duncan of nola.com writes.
Victor Oladipo is drawing from a fresh well of motivation at USA basketball camp, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes.
3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
For Lee Corso, Paul McCartney performs the Beatles’ “Birthday” live.
The Herald-Times has confirmed a report from Peegs.com’s Jeff Rabjohns that Indiana is set to hire Brett Burman as its new director of basketball operations.
Burman most recently held the same position under Frank Haith at Tulsa. He also worked as a graduate assistant for Haith at the University of Miami, working on video and opponent scouting. Burman spent a season as Hofstra’s video coordinator and has NBA experience with the Detroit Pistons, for whom he served as assistant video coordinator. He also scouted for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the D-League.
Burman would replace Rob Judson, who appears likely to fill the current assistant coach position on IU’s bench. Judson has been on the recruiting trail for Indiana all summer.
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