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Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo to tour China

Jordan Hulls and Victor Oladipo will both travel to China from May 17-31 as part of Reach USA’s trip centered on basketball and a cultural exchange.

Below is the press release from Indiana media relations:

Bloomington, Indiana – Indiana University men’s basketball players Jordan Hulls and Victor Oladipo will join eight other Division I college basketball players on a trip to the Far East with Reach USA from May 17-31.

“I think it is a great honor to represent Indiana University in something like this,” said Hulls, who averaged 11.0 points and 2.9 assists as a sophomore. “I’m really looking forward to the experience.

The group, coached by retired Oldham Co. (Kentucky) High School coach, Gary Forrest will be involved with a cultural exchange trip throughout the area. The team will play a club team from Lithuania, seven times, and an all star squad from Brazil, twice. Daily updates can be found on www.sportsreach.org

Other members of the group include former Hoosier Malik Story (Nevada), Justin Bocot (Southern Illinois), Austin Hollins (Minnesota), Garlon Green (TCU), Marcus Thornton (Georgia), Keith Clanton (Central Florida), Devonte Elliott (Nevada) and Eloy Vargas (Kentucky).

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Oladipo, who averaged 7.4 points and 3.7 rebounds during his freshmen season. “I’m very humbled and honored to have the chance to play basketball and experience a trip like this at the same time.”


Photos from day two and day three of the adidas May Classic

We’ll be posting videos and some recap stuff from the adidas May Classic, but I am sure you know by now that the 16U Eric Gordon All-Stars did win their tournament. Collin Hartman and Devin Davis both played really well during this tournament, especially late on Sunday. I came away thinking both had brighter futures than I believed a few weeks ago.


Indiana Elite loses first game

Well, Indiana Elite Team Indiana is out of the adidas May Classic.

The team lost to Baylor LNO this morning 78-64, ending their run in the tournament’s second round.

No individual stats were kept, but there were a couple of factors in the loss.

  • Indiana Elite played with eight guys. As Mark Adams said yesterday, depth is a big part of these things and his team just doesn’t have it right now.
  • Baylor was very aggressive, attacking on both ends. They shot a lot of 3-pointers and made a high percentage of them.
  • On defense, they did a very nice job of forcing Hanner Perea into traditional post position. That part of his game is improving, but it’s not there yet. He didn’t get loose for more than one or two dunks, and that offense was a major factor in Indiana Elite’s domination yesterday.
  • 17U SYF is still in it, so Mitch McGary remains the lone 2011 prospect for Indiana remaining. He plays again at 11:45 at Cook against the Eric Gordon All-Stars.
  • Indiana Elite South lost its first game, and Spiece Indy Heat survived without James Blackmon Jr. and Trey Lyles. Both are not playing today for what is being described as minor injuries. Spiece, now led by Trevon Bluiett, is playing again right now at Cook. The 16U Eric Gordon All-Stars are playing right now and lead 32-27 with 9:15 to play.

From the paper

Here’s the first part of my story in today’s print edition on Indiana Elite Team Indiana. You can read the rest here. Here also is a notebook featuring Devin Davis, Collin Hartman, Mark Donnal and Dan Dakich.

Three games on Saturday. Potentially four games today in a single-elimination tournament.

That’s what it takes for the vast majority of teams in order to win the May Classic (some teams played their first game Friday night).

So what do you need to win and take home the trophy come tonight?

“It takes eight really good players and two role players,” Indiana Elite Team Indiana coach Mark Adams said.

Right now, Team Indiana does not have that.

They are, by far, the most popular team in this tournament. About 500 people came to watch the team dominate three opponents on Saturday, and they had a reason — three of Indiana’s 2012 commitments (Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell and Hanner Perea) were on the floor.

But the other two commits were not. Peter Jurkin remains sidelined with a stress fracture in his shin, while Ron Patterson was attending prom.

It’s been that kind of spring for this team, which has had to battle injuries to Jurkin and Hollowell and the allure of a formal event.

“We’ve got a prom-going group here,” Adams said.

The result has been no championships in four tries for Team Indiana this spring. That’s seen as disappointing by some fans, who are clamoring for signs of a winning future, and ESPN.com’s Dave Telep, who earlier this week tried to draw a line between Indiana and Purdue’s commitments not winning a week ago in Fort Wayne and the problem of taking too many early commitments.

But that may be a bit of a simplification. Only one team is going to win, and they’re going to have to win four games today to do it. Tournaments become a battle of endurance more than skill toward the end, which is why Adams suggests depth is the primary factor in winning.

Team Indiana has not had that, and it has lost several close games because of it.

“They look good, but you can’t play eight games with seven guys,” Adams said. “Every tournament we have lost to the team that won the tournament, and three of the four times it’s been by a basket. They’re really good, but when we get everybody together, we’re going to be really good.”

Patterson should be back today, and he’ll give Team Indiana a defensive-minded presence at the guard position.

Perea has been in the lineup for every game. He admitted the task at hand is difficult.

“These are good teams,” Perea said. “Teams that run a lot. This is hard for us. To try to win four games in one day is pretty hard, and it’s going to be tough for us.”

 


Wrapping up day two of the adidas May Classic

  • Great game earlier in the first round of the tournament, pitting the 16U Eric Gordon All-Stars vs. The Ville. When I showed up, the EG All-Stars were down by 12. Collin Hartman jump-started a comeback with a couple of 3s and a basket, and both Zak Irvin and Devin Davis kept it going. They eventually forced OT, and won 80-77. Davis finished with 20 points and Hartman had 13. Both guys, by the way, said they do not care about the Scout.com rankings that came out earlier in the week and said they don’t visit the site. Perhaps a bit like a coach saying he doesn’t read the papers when he has them sitting on his desk, but putting it out there.
  • Gary Harris and Demetrius Jackson are both out of the tournament after losing their first tournament games. Harris was really solid but his D3 Heat team just didn’t have enough firepower in this tournament. Still, all of Indiana’s commits are still alive, as are top prospects like Mitch McGary, Jaquan Lyle and Drake Harris.
  • Here are updated brackets for tomorrow. Looks like I’ll be starting the day at the SportsPlex for 16U Indiana Elite South and Spiece Indy Heat in separate contests. 17U Indiana Elite Team Indiana plays at 9:15 there as well.
  • Here are the final four evaluations for tomorrow’s paper. I’ll link to my print stories in the morning, including why it’s a simplification to suggest it means something that Team Indiana has not won a tournament game.

DEVIN DAVIS
6-6, 2012, F, Eric Gordon All-Stars/Warren Central
GAME: In the team’s first game, Davis scored 16 points in a 78-69 win. He followed that with a team-high 20 in a 80-77 victory to move into the tournament’s second round.
SCOUTING REPORT: Davis has struggled with back issues that robbed him of some of his athleticism. Close to 100 percent again, Davis said he is having fun and played like it. He’s undersized, but he defends like a power forward should and can attack the rim.
COLLEGES: Verbally committed to Indiana.

COLLIN HARTMAN
6-7, 2012, F, Eric Gordon All-Stars/Cathedral
GAME: He led the team with 19 points in a 78-69 win to start the day, then had 13 points in a 80-77 win in the tournament’s opening round.
SCOUTING REPORT: Hartman is as good of a shooter as you’ll find on a 6-foot-7 frame and he proved that with a pair of 3-pointers to start a second-half comeback Saturday. He needs to develop strength and be more comfortable in the post, but he has a skill that sets him apart.
COLLEGES: Verbally committed to Indiana.

HANNER PEREA
6-9, 2011, F, Indiana Elite Team Indiana/LaPorte LaLumiere
GAME: Perea delighted Assembly Hall crowds with a high-flying act across three games, capping it with 21 points in a 72-51 win during the tournament opener.
SCOUTING REPORT: Perea is more comfortable around the rim than he has been at times in the past, but his biggest trait remains his athleticism. He’s a guy who can jump from seemingly everywhere and soar to the rim. He looks for blocked shots and attacks rebounds with aggressiveness rarely seen at this level.
COLLEGES: Verbally committed to Indiana.

YOGI FERRELL
5-11, 2011, Indiana Elite Team Indiana/Park Tudor
GAME: Ferrell wasn’t the high scorer, twice putting in nine points, but led his team and piled up assists across three games.
SCOUTING REPORT: Ferrell is the kind of point guard who makes his teammates better, and that’s what you saw on Saturday. He’s developed a relationship with Hanner Perea, feeding him in the right position, and involves everyone, including the role players.
COLLEGES: Verbally committed to Indiana.


Notes and evaluations midway through day two of adidas May Classic

  • Indiana Elite Team Indiana is moving on to the second round of the tournament with a 72-51 win. It’s been a very good day for the 17U team, routing all three opponents. Ron Patterson is at prom and Peter Jurkin is sidelined with the stress fracture injury, but Hanner Perea has been outstanding, with 21 points in the final game. Yogi Ferrell is making everyone better, piling up assists but scoring in single-digits. And Jeremy Hollowell has had flashes of really strong play, including 16 points in the first tournament contest.
  • The best game of pool play may have been 16U Indiana Elite South vs. Spiece Indy Heat. IE South, coached by Dan Dakich and led by Mark Donnal, changed defenses seven times (“And we don’t even practice,” Dakich said during the game) and kept Spiece on its heels. The score went back and forth, but Trevon Bluiett’s final shot was blocked by Donnal for a 78-77 IE South win.
    Donnal is the kind of forward who always seems to find success at a program like Butler, Wisconsin or Michigan. He’s an inside-outside threat, draining 3-pointers early before putting himself on the block late. He finished with 23 points, four blocks and five boards.
    “I thought at the end, when he went down on the block, he just did what he can do,” Dakich said. “He has a great touch, he finally started getting post position. … When he goes on the block, he’s a strong, skilled, good kid.”
    Indiana is recruiting him, as is Butler, Michigan and Michigan State, among others.
  • Dakich had high praise for two Indy Heat players, IU commits James Blackmon Jr. and Trey Lyles.
    “All the guys they have committed, those two guys are great,” Dakich said. “The rest of them are OK, they’re good and all that. But those two guys, I just think … if there’s better players in the freshmen class than those two guys.”
    Blackmon scored 25 points against  IE South, while Lyles scored six and was strong on the boards. Bluiett actually led all scorers with 28 points.
  • Devin Davis looks recovered from a back injury that cost him some of his explosion. He’s a guy that it is in-between positions at 6-foot-6, but with his motor it may not matter.
    “I just feel like I talk more and I try to get the guys going, because I know what they can do and can’t do,” Davis said. “Some guys on the team don’t like to talk but they like to hear it, so I just try to get them going.”
  • D3 Heat is out of the tournament, losing its first playoff game. The program, led by Gary Harris, also lost to UNC-bound guard J.P. Tokoto and the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in pool play. Harris scored 35 in that game and tried to carry the load, but he’s the only elite talent on that team (though there are a few quality mid-majors guys).
  • Below are four evaluations from earlier. I’ll have more later on tonight.

MARK DONNAL

6-9, 2013, F, Indiana Elite South/Wayne (Ohio)

GAME: Donnal led Indiana Elite South to a 78-77 win against Spiece Indy Heat, scoring 23 points with five rebounds and four blocks — including one to seal the win.

SCOUTING REPORT: Donnal perfectly fits the mold of an inside-outside forward, the kind of guy used to great successs at programs like Butler, Michigan and Wisconsin. He needs to gain weight, but showed the ability to block shots and score from anywhere on the floor.

COLLEGES: Indiana, Michigan, Butler and Michigan State, among others, have expressed interest.

TREVON BLUIETT

6-5, 2014, F, Spiece Indy Heat/Park Tudor

GAME: Bluiett had a terrific game in defeat, scoring a game-high 28 points for his team in a 78-77 loss.

SCOUTING REPORT: At times Bluiett looks like a man without a position — a forward’s game in a guard’s body. But it did not matter during the final pool play game, hitting a handful of 3-pointers to get Spiece going early on.

COLLEGES: Indiana has offered, with both Purdue and Xavier interested.

JAMES BLACKMON, JR.

6-2, 2014, G, Spiece Indy Heat/Marion

GAME: Blackmon played both guard positions during a 78-77 loss to Indiana Elite south, scoring 25 points in the process.

SCOUTING REPORT: Indiana’s first 2014 commit, Blackmon is, at this point, best utilized as a pure scorer. He has the mentality needed for such a role, missing several 3-pointers to start but continuing to fire (and they eventually went in). With a better handle, he could be a true combo guard.

COLLEGES: Verbally committed to Indiana.

GARY HARRIS

6-4, 2012, G, D3 Heat/Hamilton Southeastern

GAME: D3 Heat lost 86-83 to the Wisconsin Playground Warriors, but Harris did as much as he could – scoring 35 points.

SCOUTING REPORT: Harris is a guy who gets to the lane whenever he wants and has a jump shot to prevent defenses from packing it in. That was the case again on Saturday, even with his coach trying to challenge UNC-bound guard J.P. Tokoto to take on Harris.

COLLEGES: Still not trimming of the list, but Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, Louisville and Ohio State are all involved.

 

 

 

 

 


Mitch McGary says he remains interested in Indiana

From today’s story in the print edition. Here’s the full version. Here is a notebook with items on Drake Harris, Jaquan Lyle and Eron Gordon.

College-ready big men are hard to find, especially ones who you could hope to keep on campus for longer than two semesters.

That is as good a reason as any to explain why Mitch McGary has become one of the spring’s fastest-rising commodities.

McGary, a 2012 forward who is originally from Chesterton, is now the No. 15 overall prospect, according to Scout.com. Rivals.com’s Jerry Meyer labeled him as a future NBA player.

At 6-foot-10 and a lean 255 pounds, college coaches know McGary is not a project, nor is he a guy who will be easily pushed around. That’s why Duke, Arizona, Texas and Kansas are among those suddenly showing interest.

“Moving out to Brewster has just been the best for me,” McGary said Friday night after playing at Assembly Hall in the May Classic. “It’s gotten my level of game up even more than it was. . They’re saying they like how I hustle. I was just tired today. I should be in good shape tomorrow.”

Of course, Indiana has already known about McGary. The coaching staff has been recruiting him for a couple of years, first for the class of 2011 and even now.

Indiana has offered McGary, but he said he has not heard from Crean lately. Still, he remains interested in the school.

“They’re still showing interest,” McGary said. “So I am going to keep them on the list. I like it here, and I like the hometown state.”

 


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