Tom Crean made his first recruiting trip as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers today when he attended the Top 100 Showcase at Ben Davis High School.Â Crean watched the players rotate through drill stations — he sat right in front of the group working on rebounds because he wanted to evaluate the intensity each player brought — then watched a few games. He and assistant Tim Buckley made sure to watch recruit Derek Elston play, and the 6-8 forward out of Tipton played well. Elston said that he hasn’t actually had a conversation with Crean yet but will do so on Sunday when he takes an unofficial visit.
Crean was also checking out another class of 2009 forward, Stephan Van Treese out of Lawrence North. And he made sure to see a few runs by Jordan Hulls, a 2009 guard out of Bloomington South who made a visit to Indiana earlier this week.
Crean is headed to Akron tonight for the King James Shooting Star Classic, one of the premier AAU tournaments of the April evaluation period.Â Now that Crean has been given 10 recruiting days, he’s using them carefully. He said he might use one or two more this month and save the others for July.
New Orleans took Tracy Porter with pick No. 40, followed moments later by Buffalo picking Indiana’s James Hardy with No. 41.
Porter, a Louisiana native, is probably thrilled to get to play so close to home.
The take from the guys on ESPN is that Hardy will have a chance to play right away at Buffalo.
A good call on Porter by one of our posters, Dynasty, who suggested in a comment that Porter would go mid-second round as Mel Kiper predicted. A lot of other draft prognosticators had Porter lower, but Kiper and Dynasty had it right.
This is the first year since 1990, according to ESPN, that no wide receivers were picked in the first round. But in the second round, there were three wide receivers among the top five picks: 2. (33 overall) Donnie Avery of Houston to St. Louis, 3. (34 overall) Devin Thomas of Michigan State to Washington, 5. (36 overall) Jordy Nelson of Kansas State to Green Bay.
With the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft just completed, Indiana’s James Hardy and Tracy Porter are still waiting to be picked.
Hardy, according to most prognosticators, has a good chance to hear his name called in the second round, while Porter is more likely to be picked Sunday when rounds 3-7 will be held.
Four Big Ten players were picked in the first round, including two to the Jets:
1. LT Jake Long of Michigan to the Miami Dolphins
6. DE Vernon Gholston of Ohio State to the New York Jets
23. RB Rashard Mendenhall of Illinois to the Pittsburgh Steelers
30. TE Dustin Keller of Purdue to the New York Jets
Indiana coach Tom Crean and assistant coach Tim Buckley are out recruiting at the Top 100 camp at Ben Davis High School this afternoon.
Among the players at the camp are 6-8, four-star Indiana recruit Derek Elston from Tipton and uncommitted Bloomington South guard Jordan Hulls, who made an unofficial visit to IU’s program this week. Both are in the class of 2009.
Chris Korman is at the camp and will have further details for you later today.
Indiana University has amended the sanctions it imposed on the men’s basketball program, according to a source close to the athletic department.
The school has granted new coach Tom Crean ten days to go on the road and recruit.
When Indiana put the punishment in place last fall, it limited Kelvin Sampson to 10 recruting days from Oct. 5 2007 through July 31, 2008.
Sampson used most of those days. Dan Dakich used the rest of them.
Crean arrived at IU with the understanding that he’d be unable to go out and recruit. But he said Thursday that the restriction has been more difficult to deal with than he anticipated.
Crean likely won’t wait long to get out and see players; he may start as soon as tomorrow.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com is reporting that former Hoosier coach Kelvin Sampson is talking with the Milwaukee Bucks about an assistant coaching job.
New Bucks coach Scott Skiles, according to the story,Â has targeted Sampson and Muncie native Craig NealÂ - associate head coach under Steve Alford at Iowa and New MexicoÂ -Â to be part of his staff in Milwaukee.
Skiles, who led Plymouth High School – enrollment 900 – to the Indiana high school state title in 1982 while averaging 30.2 per game, including 39 points in the championship game, has been living in Bloomington since being fired as the Chicago Bulls coach in December 2007.Â Â Never a favorite of the crowd at Assembly Hall, SkilesÂ was alsoÂ aÂ Big Ten MVP andÂ a first-team All-American at Michigan State who had some very memorable battles against Alford and the Hoosiers before going on to an NBA playing career that included a couple of years with the Indiana Pacers.
Since Sampson was forced to resign in February, he has been an unofficial observer with the San Antonio Spurs. HeÂ could not be reached to comment on Stein’s story. To read that entire story, click here. Â Â
Three writers met with Tom Crean this afternoon to discuss his first three weeks on the job.
He’s been busy. To say the very least.
We’ll have a full story in the paper tomorrow, but here are some of the newsier tidbits to come from the conversation:
– Crean will have his third assistant in place by next week. He’s also completing the rest of his staff, bringing in a mix of people from Marquette and others he has known through the years. With the current situation at Indiana, he’s putting a premium on hiring guys that he already has a working relationship with. He needs to be able to trust them.
– Crean is recruiting as if Indiana will not lose any more scholarships due to the APR. Grades are still at the top of his priorities but he seems hopeful that, one way or another, the program will avoid the punishment of losing grants.
– No real update on Armon Bassett or Jamarcus Ellis. Both players have made it known that they’d like to return, but Crean is waiting on grades before he makes any decision on the team. Many of the players still listed on the roster are in this sort of limbo, it seems. Crean wants to see that they did what they needed to do in the classroom.
– IU has has been hosting unofficial visits almost every single day. A player was scheduled to show up after we left, in fact. Right now, the players are mostly from the 2008 and 09 classes, but a few 2010 players have shown up and the staff has invited 2011 guys.
– Indiana’s schedule is pretty much in place, with only a few games remaining to be figured out. The Hoosiers already play a tough slate of non-conference games away from Assembly Hall (Maui Invitational, at Kentucky, at Wake Forest) but there’s the possibility of a neutral site game being played at the new Lucas Oil Stadium.
– Crean had no reservations bringing Bennie Seltzer, a Kelvin Sampson disciple, with him from Marquette. “I know Bennie,” he said. “I’ve worked with Bennie.” Seltzer was not sited by the NCAA in any wrong-doing at Oklahoma. He spent most of his time working with the team, not recruiting, Crean said.
– Crean went house-shopping over the weekend but hasn’t made a decision yet. He’ll head home for a brief trip this weekend, as his son’s baseball season starts and his daughter turns 13.
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