Video: Dominique Ferguson, 5/15/09

Dominique Ferguson is a very highly touted 6-foot-9 swingman from Lawrence North High School in Indy, who reopened his recruiting after Billy Gillespie was fired from Kentucky in late March. As he discusses in the video, Ferguson has been contacted by the Indiana staff and is interested in the school, among many other elite Division I programs.

Props to my housemate and fellow intern Farrin Davis for producing the video.

But now, if you’ll allow me to opine:

The video is difficult to call a collection of highlights; lowlights might be more accurate.

Ferguson, while clearly one of the most athletic kids on the floor, often looked lost. After hitting his first shot from the floor, a 3-pointer, Ferguson defensively lost his man a number of times. That, combined with a nasty cold-streak from the field that quickly followed, saw Ferguson benched for a considerable portion of the first half. (more…)

DeShaun Thomas sticks with Buckeyes

Fort Wayne’s (Bishop Luers) DeShaun Thomas reaffirmed his commitment to play for Thad Matta and the Ohio State Buckeyes moments ago.

Thomas told reporters the Buckeyes had been recruiting him since about the eighth grade.

“I like the teachers, the campus and I like coach Thad Matta,” Thomas said. ” … See if we can’t get a National Championship my freshman year.”

Since committing about two years ag0, many rumors have swirled around whether Thomas would make good on his word.

“I really don’t worry about it,” Thomas said of the rumors. “They see me at an IU game, or they see coach Crean speaking at our school or whatever and then they are, ‘Oh, he’s decommitting.’ But, you know, I am just there learning.’”

On a side note: Thomas plays with Indianapolis’ (Pike) Marquis Teague, who appears to be one of Indiana’s most sought after prospects in the 2011 class.

Thomas said Teague is his favorite point guard to play with and light-heartedly told reporters he has been trying to convince Teague to join him at OSU.

Kyrie Irving makes unofficial visit

I have caught up with Jeremy at Assembly Hall, but not before getting out to the Sportsplex to see prized prospect Kyrie Irving.

Irving was still drenched with sweat when he paused to talk with reporters after dropping 24 points on top of three rebounds, five assists and six steals in his squad’s blowout win.

Shortly after arriving in Bloomington last night, the 6-foot-2 combo guard from St. Patrick’s in New Jersey headed to Assembly Hall.

“I was with the coaches and I just looked around,” he said this morning. “I went around the campus and just had a good day with the coaches.”

Irving said he enjoyed his trip about campus.

“It’s really big,” he said. “The fan support here is great and I can see how they get 17,000 even though they didn’t have a great season. But the campus on the whole is tremendous.”

In addition to meeting with an academic adviser, Irving said he was able to meet Hoosier guard Jeremiah Rivers.

“I saw him working out and got to hang with him,” Irving said.

Irving said he plans to meet with the coaches again on Sunday after the tournament.

But first, he’ll have a showdown with Indiana 2011 commit Matt Carlino, and the rest of the Indiana Elite One squad which features many highly sought after prospects. The game is at 1 p.m. here at the Hall.

Kitchell TO puts SoCal on top

Jake Kitchell’s miscue in the waning overtime moments of the matchup between his SYF squad and the Southern California All-Stars black squad was just one of many mistakes his team made throughout the night.

Unfortunately for Kitchell, it was the one miscue which could defintively be labeled as costing his team the game.

The game tied with only ten seconds left in OT, Kitchell threw the ball to the wrong colored jersey leading to an easy layup and win for the opposing All-Stars squad.

Visibly upset after, the 6-foot-8 forward punched Branch McCracken Court before finally flopping to his back and covering his face.

The game served as a sour punctuation to what Kitchell, a 2010 prospect, said had been a pretty good week.

He said the attention of major Division I schools is “starting to pick up a little bit. Starting to get a lot more calls – a lot from the Pac 10.”

One of those Pac 10 schools, Oregan State, yesterday became the first large program to offer a scholarship to the Union Mills, Ind. native.

Kitchell did say he and Indiana have been in contact.

“I talked to Coach Buckley last week,” he said.

Evoking Tom Crean’s  favorite phrase, Kitchell said “It’s Indiana,” when asked if he liked IU.

“Just its history,” he said was his favorite part of the program.

Dominique Ferguson slow out of gate

We’ve reached halftime in the game between SYF and the Southern California All Starts Black squad.

So. Cal. leads the game 29-25.

But more importantly, touted prospect Dominique Ferguson has had a slow start. After hitting a 3 in his first attempt of the night, the 6-foot-9 swingman was benched for some time after what has seemed to be lazy defense and noticeably poor shooting.

He currently has the three points, two rebounds and two turnovers.

Jake Kitchell has three rebounds and a steal in about 10 minutes of play.

Xavier Jones is not with his SYF team. We’ll try and find some information on that after the game.

Note: I have collected all of these stats, so they are far from official.

Crean present, but not, at adidas May Classic

The big screen, showing the highlights.

***Correction: Jake Kitchell is not the son of Ted Kitchell as originally stated in this post. I am sorry for the gaffe.

Jake Kitchell said this mistake is prevelant and that he and Ted are second cousins.***


I come to you all from Assembly Hall where the familiar faces of Eric Gordon and D.J. White have been spotted.

OK, sorry for the tease. EJ and D.J. are not actually here, so put the car keys down and come back to the computer.

The duo makes up two of many new posters featuring famous former Hoosiers. EJ is in his Los Angeles Clippers uni, pulling up for a jumpshot. While D.J.’s shows him soaring to the rim for a dunk in his Thunder jersey.

The photographs are part of a mini-redecorating project which Tom Crean discussed under the maximum 140 characters allowed on his Twitter page.

“We have been redecorating the office area and our main visiting area for recruits,” he wrote early this afternoon. “There is never a bad time to make something better.”

Upon arrival at the Hall, visitors and prospects are greeted with signs on the doors from the Indiana coaching staff. The message apologizes for the staff not being able to watch this weekend.

Coming through the doors, the main entrance has a large flat-panel television playing highlights from last season, and clips from the legendary Bob Knight area.

Pouring on the indirect recruiting, a table holding pamphlets for Crean and Co.’s summer camps sit behind the sign-in table.

The plan

Now this is top secret so don’t tell anyone, but fellow intern Jeremy and I are planning on posting to the Scoop a few times this evening – I’m sure the majority of which coming during the 9:30 showdown between the SYF Players and the SoCal All-Stars Black.

The game features Dominique Ferguson, Jake Kitchell and Xavier Jones.

Late tonight there will be a video from today’s game, likely featuring Ferguson. And in the morning’s print edition we will have a full story on Ferguson as well as a notebook of various things we witnessed tonight.

So in short, stay tuned.

Quick hits: Crean presser

Tom Crean held a press conference today to update reporters on the summer for him and to, as usually happens when us media types are in the room, answer some questions.

Here are some highlights:

Story misses grade

Though Crean stressed his team made progress academically this semester, the program stands to take a small hit in their Academic Progress Rate, monitored and issued by the NCAA.

This because Malik Story did not meet a 2.6 grade point average, forcing IU to take another blow to its already lackluster APR. It should be mentioned Nick Williams did meet the goal.

Here is everything Crean had to say on the issue:

“Well we have had a very good semester and I am proud of that. In reference to (Williams and Story), it appears Nick has accomplished what he needed to accomplish and it appears that Malik didn’t – which really is not surprising either way. Both are eligible, that’s not the question, but in the form of looking for that 2.6. … We’ll lose a point.”

“But we had some guys really do an excellent job. We have had some guys really continue to build on what they did, and had some guys really pick themselves up academically. All of the grades aren’t in yet, but they are close. I feel they are about 80 to 90 percent of the way in.”

Also discussed was the possibility of Story coming back for summer school to raise his GPA above the 2.6 benchmark, a thought Crean dismissed.

“It has to be important on both ends,” he said. “It is what it is.”

Devan Dumes’ pinkie; offseason workouts


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