AMC will stay in Bloomington

Well, that problem was resolved quickly.

Criss Beyers, who organizes the adidas May Classic, was concerned that he’d have to move the event next year because prices at the SportsPlex, which became a city-owned facility on Friday, were going up.

While Bloomington Parks and Recreation Director Mick Renneisen was unwilling to budge on the proposed per hour, per court charges (they still need to be approved by the parks and rec board) for Beyers, he did go ahead and find a partner that was willing to erase the hit to Beyer’s budget. Renneisen said Sunday that the Hoosier Sports Corp., a division of the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention and Visitors Bureau, had agreed to become a partner for the event. Eric Marvin, a spokesman for that group, said late last week that the AMC would have an estimated economic impact of of $1.5 million and said it was one of the CVB’s “big fish.” He said keeping it here was a priority, and that he hoped to help find a solution quickly.

It came together in a matter of days.

Beyers spoke with Renneisen Sunday and agreed to keep the tournament — which began in 2000 because an original goal for the people who built the SportsPlex was to use it to bring top-flight summer games to Bloomington — in the only home it has known.

“This weekend went extremely well and we’re satisfied with the new deal we have in place with the city,” Beyers said. “The tournament is going to stay in Bloomington and we’re going to play at SportsPlex and we’re looking forward to it.”

Teague and Thomas eliminate Carlino and Co.

How else to spend Sunday morning in Indiana than at the basketball court?

A few hundred people did just that as they gathered in the auxilary gym to watch the Spiece Under-17 entry led by top prospects Marquis Teague and DeShaun Thomas beat the Indiana Elite group led by future Hoosier Matt Carlino 75-64 in one of the better games of the tournament.

Thomas, a 6-foot-7 wing from Fort Wayne who has given a verbal comittment to Ohio State, held the ball at the end of the first half and hit a deep 3 to give Spiece a 41-30 lead.

Elite began its comeback with a deep Spencer Turner 3. Then Cody Zeller, the 6-9 forward out of Washington, worked inside for a basket and Carlino surged into the game with a tear-drop shot from the lane and a drive through the defense for a lay-in.

Zeller gave Elite the lead after Turner recongized a mismatch under the net and yelled for the ball to go inside. Zeller scored easily, was fouled and hit a free throw that made it 46-45.

A few minutes later, Thomas calmly pulled up for a 3 to tie the game at 48, and then Teague drove the lane for a bucket.

The teams traded buckets as the game tilted back and forth, but a 3-point play by Thomas, jump shot by Teague and turnovers by Zeller and Carlino allowed Spiece to pull away.

Thomas finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Teague, who was in foul trouble most of the game and sat down with his fifth late in the game, had 10 points.

Carlino scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and had four assists. Zeller finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds, as he continued his emergence during this tournament. Turner had 13 — including 3-of-7 shooting from 3 — playing in his home building.

IU soccer tidbits

And now this interruption from your weekend basketball programming.

If you’ve wondered why you haven’t seen former IU star Brad Ring on the pitch for the San Jose Earthquakes this season, it’s because he’s resting. Ring has been diagnosed with fluid on the hips, and is hoping to avoid surgery by laying low for another 2-3 months.

From the past to the future. Zionsville junior Harrison Petts, the Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year for 2008-09, made a verbal commitment to IU in January. Petts was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American honoree with 41 goals and 26 assists in leading Zionsville to the state finals.

The big show: Irving v. Carlino, Indiana Elite

Update: Runners 68, Elite 59. Final. A cold Elite squad fell to the faster and more athletic Roadrunners, led by Kyrie Irving.

Irving’s key contribution late was locking down Elite’s Spencer Turner, who until about the 5 minute mark, was hitting dropping 3 point shots with the greatest of ease.

Matt Carlino, an IU commit, played very well from the point guard position, continually distributing the ball to open teammates. Carlino did start rather quick in the game, slicing into the lane for a few baskets, but after halftime, his game rested mainly on distributing and playing defense.

Update: Runners 58, Runners 53. 3:19 left in game. Elite has gone cold as Irving has found his teammates and added a few of his own. Though, he was just called for a travel on a break away double-pump slam.

It does appear that the Runners’ speed, hops and tenacity might be getting the better of the home-favored Elite squad. (more…)

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.

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