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Paterno continues to push expansion talk

The refrain from most coaches on Tuesday’s Big Ten football teleconference, the first and only of the spring practice period, was that conference expansion ideas are above their paygrade. Most expressed their general support of the idea, but said any specific ideas were beyond them.

“I’m certainly supportive of whatever our presidents and our commissioner feel is the right thing,” Indiana coach Bill Lynch said.

Said Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio: “That decision has to be made by people at a much higher level than myself.”

Said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz: “I haven’t given it an awful lot of thought, and part of that is a point you made a minute ago. Not only will I may not have a vote, I doubt I’ll have a vote.” (more…)


Indiana recruiting former Iowa signee Larson

Cody Larson, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward from Sioux Falls, S.D., was visited by the entire Indiana coaching staff on Sunday night according to a source close to Larson who asked to be neither quoted nor identified. Larson signed a letter of intent to play at Iowa, but is reconsidering after the Hawkeyes fired former coach Todd Lickliter. New coach Fran McCaffery released Larson from his scholarship last week.

The source said that Larson has already been offered scholarships by Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, Arizona State and Wake Forest. Florida is set to visit Larson in South Dakota on Friday. Ohio State and Arizona are coming in on Sunday and New Mexico will visit next Wednesday.

Lee Taylor, Larson’s coach at Roosevelt High School, said he could not confirm Indiana’s involvement, but that he’s handled calls from dozens of schools who want to get involved.

“Everyone’s calling just to make sure he is in fact release and that he’s still open,” Taylor said. “He’s keeping his options open. He definitely could go back to Iowa. He just feels like he needs to dot all the “I”s and cross all the “T’s” with the new coaching staff.  But he’s getting calls from the ACC, the Pac-10, the SEC. It’s really been all over the map.”

It’s been a strange process for Larson, Taylor said, but it’s also been exciting.

“He didn’t foresee this coming,” Taylor said. “Even as Iowa was struggling, he thought for sure Lickliter would be there. Now’ he’s listening to people again to see if he did make the right decision. The schools calling all have been definitely flattering and he’s humbled about that.”

Taylor said Larson has the skill to play anything from point guard to center at the high school level, but that in college he fits best as a combination small and power forward. As a senior, Larson helped Roosevelt to a fifth-place finish in the state, averaging 19.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and about six assists and two blocks per game, according to Taylor.

“He’s a big-time level player,” Taylor said. “He”s 6-9 and he does everything really, really well. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor. He’s an unbelievable finisher. He’s a great passer. He has an off-the-chart basketball IQ. He has great court awareness. He can step out and shoot from beyond the arc. He was our second-best ball handler. … He’s an unbelievable talent. He has the tools and the body to step in as a freshman and make an impact for a top level program.”


Video: Michael Ramey

Here is a short video of 2012 prospect Michael Ramey. He is a 6-foot-5 guard out of Southport that has exploded. I remember seeing him as a freshman and he was probably 6-foot, tops. Had a great shot, but the size wasn’t there. Obviously, it is now (he told Peegs he had a 35-inch vertical). Tim Buckley has been up to Southport to watch Ramey and teammate Kellon Thomas.


Hoosier Morning

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There is a large crop of prospects in the state of Indiana for Tom Crean and other college head coaches to go after. David Snodgress | Herald-Times

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Video: T.J. Bell at IndyBall.com

Here’s a video of 2012 prospect T.J. Bell from this weekend’s IndyBall.com Shootout. He’s a Bloomington South kid that is playing this summer for the 16U Meanstreets team.

UPDATED: Uploaded it again in a better quality format.


More on football recruit Tre Roberson

I finally got myself in  a position where I could actually hear Lawrence Central coach Jayson West to learn more about quarterback Tre Roberson, the recent Indiana commit. My story for tomorrow’s paper follows.

Tre Roberson’s list of interested schools was getting interesting and he still had a lot of time to make it grow. Purdue and Toledo had both offered scholarships, and Oregon, Ohio State, Tennessee, Illinois and Ball State were sending letters.
But when Indiana offered the Lawrence Central junior quarterback a scholarship, he didn’t need any more time to think about it. He committed to the Hoosiers on Saturday after he and several other members of his team watched a controlled scrimmage at Memorial Stadium. He became the fourth member of Indiana’s Class of 2011.
“I always wanted to be a Hoosier,” Roberson said. “Ever since I started playing football.”
Roberson and his family’s connection to IU go back well before his birth. His grandfather, Larry Highbaugh, lettered with the Hoosiers in 1968. Because of that, Roberson said he became a Hoosier fan at 7 years old when he started playing football.
When he was being recruited, his vision of the program only improved.
“It was a perfect fit,” Roberson said. “I really like being around the team. It’s fun. Practices and everything are fun. That’s a perfect fit for me. You want to work hard, but you want to be having fun.”
The Hoosiers apparently think he fits their system well enough to play quarterback. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder ran for almost as many yards as he passed for last season with 984 on the ground to 1,008 in the air, but Roberson said the Hoosiers recruited him as a quarterback, not an athlete.
“They said they could use me freshman year in the wildcat package,” Roberson said. “They run the same system right now that I run in high school.”
Well, according to Jayson West it’s not exactly the same. Lawrence Central runs a spread option with some elements of the Wing-T, but according to Roberson, they do use the pistol formation on occasion.
Regardless, West said that if Roberson puts some weight on, he will have the tools to play under center.
“He has a very live arm,” West said. “But if he has a bad day at the office throwing the ball, he can run. A lot of quarterbacks, if they’re having a bad day at the office throwing, they’re in trouble. But he does have a very live and accurate arm.”
If the Hoosiers decide to move him elsewhere later, Roberson said, he doesn’t have a problem with it.
“I just want to play football,” he said.


The Derby Classic, a morning-after review

I write this blog post while watching the IndyBall tournament at North Central High School. I got home from Louisville at 2 a.m. Ideally, I’d be maybe considering waking up right about now. I do not look conscious. One consolation, however, is I can look down press row and see that Mike Pegram, who made the same trip I did last night, looks just as far from awake as I do. For some strange reason, I take comfort in this.

Regardless, considering that my last live blog entry from the game came with about 5:30 to go in the third quarter, I presume that some of you may want a more detailed scouting report of Victor Oladipo and Moses Abraham. (more…)



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