Thursday chat: 11 a.m.

Crean’s mentor headed to Louisville?

This just in from Pat Forde (a guest on our chat this past Monday): Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard, who gave Tom Crean his first full-time assistant coaching job, could be joining Rick Pitino’s staff at Louisville.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has offered his vacant assistant position to Holy Cross head coach Ralph Willard, a source close to the situation told Wednesday.

Willard is expected to give an answer to Pitino by June 10, according to the source.

This could make things fairly interesting. Crean has not been shy about sharing his affection for Kentucky coach John Calipari through Twitter. Of course the Hoosiers and Wildcats play each season, so that rivalry is going to be talked about annually. The situation with Louisville and Pitino has been a bit murkier for Crean, though. The Cardinals have aggressively recruited Indianapolis, an area Crean knows he needs if he’s going to be successful.

If Willard, who hired Crean as an assistant at Western Kentucky in 1990, ends up taking a job two hours south there’s going to be a new layer to the Indiana-Louisville-Kentucky battle.

Jared Jeffries gives back to Bloomington

Jared Jeffries announced from Bloomington’s SportsPlex on Tuesday he would be forming the Jared Jeffries Foundation.

The foundation’s aim is to improve Jeffries’ ability to give back to his hometown. Though, he hasn’t needed much help to this point.

Now seven years into his NBA career, Jeffries has given out more than $52,000 through 24 college scholarships to Bloomington high school students.

Jeffries added the foundation would help him focus away from the little things and more on the events he holds.

“I think a lot of time people overlook how important Bloomington is and how much it really gives to everybody,” he said. “I have traveled all over the world, been to a lot of different cities and I haven’t found any place as special as this city is.”

Irving says IU at the top of his list

It’s been a while since we could link to Zagsblog, but today Adam Zagoria reports that New Jersey guard Kyrie Irving, the No. 4 point guard in the class of 2010 according to Rivals, has Indiana at the top of his list of potential schools.

“They’re at the top of my list for now,” Irving said in a phone interview. “It’s them and Notre Dame and Duke and Virginia. They’re at the top of my list right now.”

Chat with us (and Pat Forde)

OK, so the ESPN senior writer is probably the real draw here.

Pat Forde, the Louisville-based columnist for ESPN, will join Alex from Inside the Hall, Zach Osterman of the IDS and myself for a discussion of all things college basketball tonight at 7:30.

More IU baseball info

For those of you looking to listen, watch or follow tonight’s regional game between Indiana and Louisville, follow this link, then click on your preferred broadcast form.

Also, tonight’s starter for the Hoosiers, Eric Arnett, was named a Louisville Slugger Second Team All-American according to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Arnett is just six strikeouts shy of the school single-season record.

Back to baseball for Means

As the IU baseball team prepares to play in the NCAA regionals this weekend, former Hoosier center fielder and wide receiver Andrew Means is back on the diamond with the Cincinnati Reds organization, playing at single-A Dayton.

There was a story on Means in Wednesday’s Dayton Daily News.

“He runs like what he is, a Big Ten football player,” (Dayton manager Todd) Benzinger said of the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder. “I’m coaching third, and when I see him coming, I back up a step.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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