Devan Dumes celebrated signing his letter of intent to play at Indiana Tuesday night at the Wheeler Boys and Girls Club in Indianapolis.
He told the crowd of roughly 150 friends and family that he didn’t expect that his journey to find a basketball destination that fit him better than Eastern Michigan could work out as well as it has.
â€œI really donâ€™t have a lot to say,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m living a dream.â€
Dave Oberle, the high school coach at Decatur Central where Dumes averaged 24.4 points his senior year, said his former star is the kind of high-character player who’ll help coach Tom Crean rebuild Indianaâ€™s program on and off the court.
â€œHeâ€™s a man whoâ€™s got a plan,â€ Oberle said. â€œHeâ€™s had a plan and he stuck with it and made himself into a very good basketball player, a player who plays with a lot of heart.â€
The plan that Oberle was referring to was one in which Dumes decided after his freshman year at Eastern Michigan to leave. Heâ€™d had a good first season, averaging 8.1 points in 18 minutes of play, but decided the school wasnâ€™t a good fit for him.
Dumes said after Tuesdayâ€™s ceremony that what he was looking for this time was a coach who was a good teacher and a people person, and â€œa place where they love basketball.â€
To find that place, Dumes decided to play for a year at Vincennes, a junior college, to try to attract the attention of other college coaches. Dumes had good grades at Eastern Michigan and academics were not a factor in his decision to transfer to Vincennes.
â€œGrades were never an issue,â€ Oberle said. â€œThey wonâ€™t be an issue at IU.
â€œHis desire, his competitive spirit was what made him rise to the top for us. He does not like to lose. Indiana will be Devanâ€™s last stay and heâ€™ll work really hard at it.â€
DEVAN OR DEVON? Thereâ€™s been some confusion this week about the spelling of Dumesâ€™ first name. The reason for that, according to his mother Alison Evans, is that his birth certificate says Devan, but heâ€™s always gone by Devon. He recently decided, though, that his name really should be whatâ€™s written on his birth certificate, so he has switched to Devan.
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Devan Dumes, the junior college guard out of Vincennes University and Decatur Central in Indy, has faxed his letter of intent to Indiana.
That means head coach Tom Crean can now talk about the fourth member of his 2008 recruiting class.
He does so in the press release I’ve pasted below.
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MEXICO 2, INDIANA 0 (FINAL)
Funny scene to end the game: as injury time wore on for a good five minutes, the Mexican coaches kept pleading and pleading for the game to end. At every little stoppage they’d hop up off the bench and walk toward the nearest official, pointing at their watches.
Then, Jesus Manzo scored. Suddenly, all that extra time didn’t seem so bad. Now the coaches danced and hugged and raised their hands toward the sky.
With only a few minutes left, Mexico makes a change at keeper. Interesting move. I’m headed down to the field. More after the game and a few interviews.
With less than 10 minutes left — including stoppage time — Indiana starts really pressing. Brad Ring — best leg on the team — is the latest to blast from deep. His shot curls past the post, harmlessly.
The Mexican’s are trying to win this thing by using their considerable depth. They’ve made replacements at most of the positions.
Indiana earns another corner kick, and they pack the field trying for a goal. But Weaver’s serve is long, and Mexico manages the rare odd-man rush.
Castillo manages to break past Alston, but his shot squirts wide. I’m not sure if Cain, who had charged on the play, got a piece.
The teams are trading chances now in what has been a fabulous example of this game that American’s still don’t quite understand — or embrace.
Castillo found himself with the ball on his foot to the right of the net, and his high shot for the far corner seemed bound for the twine.
Until the rising fist of Chay Cain knocked it away. Athletic, impressive save, that.
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According to John Decker at HoosierNation.com, Indiana has offered a scholarship to Maurice Sutton, a 6-10, 200-pound center/forward out of Largo High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Sutton’s stock slipped a bit last summer as he didn’t see much time with his AAU team. In fact, Crean backed off on Sutton a bit while he was recruiting him to Marquette.
But Sutton had a terrific senior season, averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds and nine blocks per game while leading his team to a state title.
He also had 17 points in just 13 minutes last weekend while playing at the Derby Festival Classic in Louisville. That has stirred increased interest in a player with considerable upside, if not girth (yet).
He is also considering Boston College, Villanova, Syracuse, Seton Hall and Kentucky.
Nick Williams, a 6-4 shooting guard from Mobile, Ala., has committed to Indiana.
Otis Hughley, the coach at LaFlore High school, told The Herald-Times today that Williams has faxed his signed letter of intent to the university. They are now awaiting confirmation.
Hughley coached Williams, a physical guard who has played plenty in the paint, through a historic four-year run. Williams played varsity as a freshman, and was a star on a team that went to three state final fours and won a state championship. LaFlore was also at one time ranked the No. 1 team in the country by USA Today.
Hughley credits much of the program’s success to Williams’ dedication.
“You can’t find him, you go to the nearest basketball court,” he says. “That, or the library. There he’ll be. He’s all character, all class.”
Williams, who is ranked by Rivals.com the 34th best shooting guard in the class of 2008, becomes the second player to join the class since Tom Crean took over as head coach of the Hoosiers. The other, JUCO transfer Devan Dumes from Vincennes, gave a verbal over the weekend and plans to sign his letter of intent tomorrow in Indianapolis. They join Matt Roth, a guard out of Illinois, and Tom Pritchard, a forward from Ohio.
Williams originally signed with Marquette, but was let out of his scholarship when Crean left. He was considering several schools, including Arkansas, but chose to stick with Crean.
“Ultimately, he built a relationship with a coach over two years,” Hughley said. “That’s hard to leave behind.”
UPDATE (4:27) — Here’s the official press release from Indiana, which includes quotes from head coach Tom Crean:
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Scott Skiles, the Bloomington resident who was between NBA coaching jobs after being ditched by the Chicago Bulls midway through the season, has apparently agreed to become the next coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.
In an odd twist, the move may mean that Kelvin Sampson â€” run out of Bloomington for his part in the NCAA violations â€” ends up in Milwaukee. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, a columnist for Yahoo! (and the author of the sublimely superb book The Miracle of St. Anthony) Skiles might hire Sampson, thus creating a virtual coaching worm-hole from Milwaukee, known for producing a lot of beer, to Bloomington, known for drinking a lot of beer.
Indiana, of course, hired Tom Crean away from Marquette in Milwaukee.