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Live Chat, 11 a.m.

Before we head up to Jeremania or Hollowinning or whatever you want to call what’s happening at Lawrence Central at 3:30 p.m., we’ll be here for our regularly scheduled live chat at 11 a.m.


Tom Crean praises Cody Zeller’s mental focus, desire to win

On Saturday, Cody Zeller and the Washington Hatchets will play for their third state title in four seasons.

That Zeller, who signed with Indiana in November, will do so is of little surprise to Indiana coach Tom Crean.

“He’s the most mentally focused kid I’ve ever recruited,” Crean said on Wednesday.

During the fall, Crean was a frequent visitor to Washington’s practices. He was there to recruit Zeller (as was North Carolina coach Roy Williams and Butler coach Brad Stevens) but it also allowed him to see the 6-foot-11 Zeller work.

He watched how Zeller responded to Washington coach Gene Miiller’s coaching. How Zeller worked during drills, and pushed himself through conditioning exercises.

(more…)


Young To Post-Dispatch: “Coach Anderson is cool.”

A few readers, Twitter followers, etc., have asked about the status of B.J. Young, a former Indiana target who signed with Arkansas. The Razorbacks recently fired John Pelphrey, raising questions about whether Young might soon be back on the market.

The Razorbacks hired Mike Anderson away from Missouri on Wednesday, however, and Young seemed pleased with that according to this report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Young did maintain that he will continue to consider his options, but he is still under his letter of intent at Arkansas.


Buckley appears out of Northern Illinois running, still up for Loyola job

FoxSports.com’s Jeff Goodman is reporting that Michigan State assistant coach Mark Montgomery will take the head coaching job at Northern Illinois. Indiana assistant coach Tim Buckley had been one of five finalists for the opening, but a source said that Buckley may have backed out of the running earlier in the day on Wednesday. The source said Buckley is still a candidate for the open head coaching position at Loyola (Ill.). Grace Calhoun, a former Indiana assistant athletic director for academics, is now the athletic director there.


Off-Season To-Do List: Victor Oladipo

Indiana freshman Victor Oladipo drives around Minnesota's Austin Hollins in Minneapolis on Jan. 4.

With the season complete and the offseason officially started for the 2010-11 Indiana Hoosiers, The Hoosier Scoop will have a breakdown of each individual player’s season and what he needs to focus on during the offseason. The eighth player in the series is freshman guard Victor Oladipo. PREVIOUSLY: Christian WatfordVerdell JonesJordan HullsMaurice Creek, Tom Pritchard, Derek Elston and Will Sheehey.

2010-11 STATS: 7.4 points per game (54.7 percent FG, 30.8 percent 3-point, 61.2 percent FT) and 3.7 rebounds a game.  28 assists to 44 turnovers, 34 steals.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Will Sheehey and Tom Pritchard may have provided IU’s dunks of the year, but Oladipo made up much of the rest of the Hoosiers’ highlight reel. Beginning with Hoosier Hysteria, when he slammed over seven elementary school kids in the dunk contest, the freshman from Maryland’s Washington, D.C. suburbs established himself as Indiana’s most electric athlete. He and Sheehey were widely regarded as the Hoosiers’ most energetic players, and they served as catalysts for veteran lineups when the team desperately needed a spark. Oladipo’s vertical was a weapon, as he led the team with 51 offensive rebounds and was dynamite in transition, but he was also one of the Hoosiers’ best defenders. He tied for the team lead in steals with 34 and showed an ability to check ball handlers for 94 feet.

THE TO-DO LIST:

  • Become the team’s go-to defender. Defense was considered Oladipo’s strength when he was at DeMatha High School, and as a freshman at IU, he mostly lived up to that. He has all the tools to be a good defender — lateral quickness, length and strength — and it’s evident he takes it seriously, which is not always the case with high school stars when they arrive in college. He usually drew the assignment of the opponent’s top perimeter scoring threat for at least a few possessions per game and as always defending at least the second or third option when he and senior guard Jeremiah Rivers were on the floor together. There is still room for improvement there, though, and with Rivers graduating, the Hoosiers need him to iron out the kinks quickly. He proved his tenacity, but there were still occasions when he got crossed up, beat off the dribble, lost on screens or simply was caught out of position. He will have to cut down on those mistakes in a season when he will likely draw the assignment of the opponent’s top perimeter scorer each time he’s in the game. (more…)

In third practice, Hoosiers go in full pads

Just a day after returning from spring break, the Indiana football team was reminded of what a full-padded practice was like.

The Hoosiers used full pads just a handful of times last preseason and busted them out very rarely once the games began, usually wearing shoulder pads, helmets and shorts.

And, of course, the Hoosiers haven’t had a game since late November, and since then have seen a regime change, so it took them sometime to get used to hitting each other at full speed again.

“(Safeties coach Doug Mallory) about took me out of practice today for just tagging off when we were supposed to be thudding up,” safety Chris Adkins said. “I’m still stuck in tagging off mode.”

The Hoosiers did wear full pads a lot last spring, though some of the injuries that occurred were the reason the coaching staff opted not to use them very often in the summer and fall. It was something the Hoosiers were ready for.

“During the season, you put on the full pads, but you don’t necessarily use them,” Adkins said. “But as far as right now goes, going in just the helmets and top hats, you’re kind of wasting your time and kind of itching to hit. So wearing full pads is cool.”

Four players — running backs Darius Willis, Antonio Banks and Xavier Whitaker and offensive lineman Colin Rodkey — were held out of some of the drills with injuries. Willis, Banks and Whitaker are all coming off of season-ending knee injuries.

AUDIO: Lawrence Barnett

AUDIO: Chris Adkins

AUDIO: Lenyatta Kiles and Donnell Jones

AUDIO: Doug Mallory


IU soccer nabs No. 2 recruit

Multiple media outlets, including TopDrawerSoccer.com and ESPN.com, have reported that Andrew Oliver, the second-ranked player in the 2012 recruiting class, has verbally committed to play his college soccer for coach Todd Yeagley at Indiana.

Oliver has spent the past two years at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., as a member of the U.S. Soccer residency program, but will be returning to his home town of Indianapolis following this summer’s U-17 World Cup in Mexico. He will attend Southport High School, and if he chooses to play high school soccer, would play against Bloomington North and Bloomington South in Conference Indiana games.

Recently, Oliver led the U.S. U-17 team to the CONCACAF Tournament championship in Jamaica, scoring four goals and picking up an extra time red card after the title game against Canada had been decided that will force him to sit out the World Cup opener.

His Westside FC club coach, Josh George believes the 5-foot-9 forward will be a proficient scorer.

“I think technically he’s still developing quite a bit,” George told ESPN.com’s Brent Latham. “I think he’s gonna be a big time goal scorer, I think he has the potential to be a bigger goal scorer than even Landon (Donovan) is for the U.S. He’s not the biggest guy but he’s got an edge to his game, he doesn’t back down from anybody.”

Latham has an entire story comparing Oliver to Donovan, but you have to be an ESPN Insider to read it. Read a broader overview of the story here.

Oliver could still wind up with an MLS Generation Adidas contract next winter, especially if he plays well in the U-17 World Cup, and never make it to IU. But he told TopDrawerSoccer.com that playing collegiately close to home was a big attraction.

“I just thought being close to home was a big plus,” Oliver said. “And Indiana definitely has lots of young talent coming up that’s looking really good for the program. It was the right fit for me.”


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