With Chris Korman probably not able to join us this morning for our weekly Q&A, I’m going to start it a little earlier than usual so I can answer as many of you questions as possible. Chris is currently attending the annual Sports Journalism Summit at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.
To submit a question or comment for today’s chat – or to just read those from others – click here.Â Â
Josh Harrellson, a 6-9, 250-pound forward from Southwestern Illinois Junior College (yes, the same school attended by recent Hoosier Lance Stemler) told me Wednesday night that Indiana is among the schools he’s considering.
Only freshman last season who averaged 15 points and eight rebounds a contest. He had originally committed to Western Illinois coming out of high school, but opted to play for SWIC instead.
But there are others in the mix, including Kentucky, Purdue, Missouri, Iowa State and St. Louis. He plans on making a visit to Lexington this weekend, followed by one to St. Louis the last weekend of the month.
Harrellson was first contacted by new Indiana coach Tom Crean “about a week or so ago,” and said the two had a very good conversation and got to know each other.
“I’d like to visit,” he said. “When you think of Indiana, you think basketball. It’s a great place with a lot of history. One thing that is really important to me getting to play immediately. I definitely wouldn’t mind playing there.”We got to know each other a bit, and I found him really down to earth,” Harrellson said of his talk with Crean. “He talked to me a lot about what Indiana is all about, what he’s learning and the kind of kids he wants to play there.”
According to a report from The Louisville Courier-Journal’s Jody Demling, Kentucky head man Billy Gillespie recently visited an open gym Harrellson was playing in. Purdue’s Matt Painter and Minnesota’s Tubby Smith were also seen around the school.
Also, Nick Williams’ mother told me Wednesday night that although she claimed to be in the dark on the issue, her son is very interested in Indiana.
“He’s very interested,” she said. “I’m going to let him make the decision, but I know he’s looking at them very hard.”
Williams is a 6-4 shooting guard from Mobile, AL that has narrowed his search to IU and Arkansas. He originally committed to Marquette while Tom Crean was the coach, but opted out of his letter of intent when Crean left for Bloomington.
It hasn’t taken new Indiana coach Tom Crean long to hit the recruiting trail.
According to various reports via recruiting hubs Rivals.com and Scout.com, IU’s new head man is making headway at filling in some of the vacant spots on the Hoosiers’ roster.
Firstly, it appears that Crean made quite an impression on a 6-4, 200-pound shooting guard from Mobile, AL named Nick Williams. Williams, who was released from his letter of intent with Marquette after Crean left for Indiana, told Scout’s John Decker he is very interested in the Hoosiers.
“Coach Crean is a great coach, he has great passion,” Williams said. “One thing I really admire about him is he loves to win, and heâ€™s a great player developer. Thatâ€™s maybe the biggest reason Iâ€™d want to play for Coach Crean.”
According to Decker, Williams also likely developed a very close relationship with likely Indiana assistants Tim Buckley and Bennie Seltzer. Indiana’s top competitor for Williams is the ever-familiar Arkansas Razorbacks and coach John Pelphrey, who bounced IU from the NCAA Tournament’s first round last month.
I gave Williams a call Wednesday evening, but haven’t gotten a call back yet. When I do, I’ll keep you guys posted on what he says.
Another prospect Crean is eying is the highly-touted Verdell Jones, one of the top-ranked players in the class of ’08 who is still unsigned. Jones, a 6-4, 160-pound point guard from Champaign, Ill. (Yes, Illini country) is rated as the 123rd best player in the nation by Rivals and is currently a hot commodity in the recruiting world.
According to a story by Jeff Drummond of the Rivals network, Kentucky, Minnesota, Southern Illinois, Arizona, and Oklahoma are all in the running along with Indiana for the talented Jones. It appears that Minnesota and Kentucky are among the leaders.
He said that a recent home visit from Tubby Smith puts the Golden Gophers in a good position.
“I like him a lot. He’s a class act, and you have to be impressed with how he turned their program around in only one year. I feel like they’re going in the right direction.”
I left a message with Jones’ father Wednesday night as well, and still haven’t received a call back.
Also, Daniel Moore from Carmel told the Indy Star’s Kristen Leigh Porter Tuesday that he has turned down a scholarship offer from Boston University to walk-on at Indiana.
He had originally planned on coming to IU as a walk-on under Kelvin Sampson, but after Sampson’s resignation and the scholarship offer from the Terriers, Moore weighed his options.
But in the end, Moore says he always wanted to be a Hoosier.
“The plan had always been to go to IU and the Boston thing came up within the last couple months,” he said. “It was a real intriguing offer but when it came down to it, I always wanted to go to IU. I had dreamed of playing there since I was a little kid. I’m really thankful I don’t have to accept a scholarship and can go to a place I really want to go to.”
Moore averaged 13.5 points per contest last season for the 22-3 Greyhounds.
This year's Indiana spring football game is being labeled a scrimmage because of its format, which is not like a regular game. Here's today's release form IU with details of the spring scrimmage that will be played Saturday:
BLOOMINGTON -- The Indiana football team will close its 2008 spring practice with a Cream & Crimson Scrimmage at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 19. The scored scrimmage will start at approximately 2 p.m. and the schedule of events listed below is subject to change.
Format: Offense vs. Defense. The first half will consist of three scrimmage periods with a 15-minute running clock. Following a halftime period, the second half will consist of two scrimmage periods with a 10-minute running clock. Punt and kick periods will be mixed in between the scrimmage periods.
Offense Scoring: First down = 1 point. Touchdown/25-yard gain = 3 points. Defensive interference = 1 point.
Defense Scoring: Pass break-up = 1 point. Defensive stop = 1 point. Interception = 3 points. Offensive interference = 1 point.
Rules: 1) No fumbles, ball is spotted where it hits the ground. 2) No fourth downs.
Fans: Gates to Memorial Stadium will open at 1 p.m. Admission is free and seating for the public will only be made available in the west stands. Fans will also receive the opportunity to renew or order their season tickets.
After what I think might have been the longest layoff between posts in the history of the Scoop, what better way to get things back rolling than the announcement that the Big Ten will once again get pounded in this annual made-for-TV event.
The Hoosiers will face Wake Forest.
Here’s the full release from the Big Ten:
Tenth Annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge Matchups
North Carolina vs. Michigan State at Ford Field Highlights Event
Matchups for the 10th annual ACC/Big Ten Challengeâ€”featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissionerâ€™s Cup on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNUâ€”will be highlighted by North Carolina vs. Michigan State at Ford Field in Detroit, site of the 2009 Final Four. This yearâ€™s schedule will also include defending Big Ten regular-season and Conference Tournament Champion Wisconsin at Virginia Tech, Duke at Purdue and four other first-ever Challenge showdowns.
For the fourth consecutive year, the event will feature 11 games and will include two telecasts on ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network.Â ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise the remaining nine games.Â The event will be played on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after Thanksgiving (December 1-3).
2008 ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined)
Monday, Dec. 1
Wisconsin at Virginia Tech
Tuesday, Dec. 2
Duke at Purdue
Clemson at Illinois
Ohio State at Miami
Virginia at Minnesota
Iowa at Boston College
Wednesday, Dec. 3
North Carolina vs. Michigan State (from Ford Field)
Indiana at Wake Forest
Michigan at Maryland
Florida State at Northwestern
Penn State at Georgia Tech
2008 Challenge highlights:
First-Ever Meeting: Wisconsin and Virginia Tech will square off in the first meeting between the two programs.
Pursuing Perfection: Two teams will look to continue their undefeated streaks in the Challenge: Duke is 9-0 while Boston College has won its previous two games.
First Time Around: Six of the 11 games will feature the first Challenge matchup between the schools: Wisconsin at Virginia Tech, Clemson at Illinois, Ohio State at Miami, Iowa at Boston College, Duke at Purdue, Michigan at Maryland.
Unfamiliar Opponent: Iowa and Boston Collegeâ€™s first Challenge matchup will also mark the first time the teams have met since 1974, a Boston College victory.
Commissionerâ€™s Cup: The ACC has won the Commissionerâ€™s Cup the previous nine years.
Since 2000, the ACC (8) and the Big Ten (7) have combined for 15 Final Four appearances (42 percent of the Final Four field) and four national titles – North Carolina (2005), Maryland (2002), Duke (2001) and Michigan State (2000). The ACC and the Big Ten also rank 1-2, respectively, in all-time NCAA Tournament bids, NCAA Tournament victories and Final Four appearances.
Big Ten highlights include:
Final Four Regulars: The Big Ten has accumulated a record 39 Final Four appearances, tying the ACC for the national lead. The Big Ten is also tied with the ACC and SEC with the second-most national titles (10) in college basketball history. The Pac-10 leads all conferences with 15 titles. Since the inception of the NCAA Tournament in 1939, the Big Ten has recorded the most appearances of any conference in the Big Dance with 184 (ACC, 171) and has the second-most NCAA Tournament victories with 295 (ACC, 329).
A Deep Conference: The Big Ten is the only conference since 2000 to advance five different programs to the Final Four. The ACC, Big 12 and Big East have each had four different schools reach the national semifinals over that time, followed by the Pac-10 (2) and the SEC (2). Michigan State leads the Big Ten with three appearances (2000, 2001 and 2005) while Illinois (2005), Indiana (2002), Ohio State (2007) and Wisconsin (2000) have each earned a Final Four spot since 2000.
Rare Air: Michigan State and Wisconsin advanced to the third round of this yearâ€™s NCAA Tournament, making them two of 12 programs that have advanced to the Sweet 16 in at least three of the last six years. Duke, Kansas and Texas lead the group with four appearances. The Spartans and Badgers join Connecticut, Memphis, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Villanova and West Virginia with three appearances.
The Big Dance Constants: Michigan State is one of only five schools in the nation that has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 11 years, joining Arizona, Duke, Kansas and Kentucky. Wisconsin is only one of eight schools to make 10 straight appearances. The Badgers are joined by Gonzaga and Texas and the five teams listed above.
Cream of the Crop:Â With the addition of Tom Crean at Indiana, Todd Lickliter at Iowa, John Beilein at Michigan, and Tubby Smith at Minnesota, the Big Ten coaching contingent boasts six national coach of the year honorees, more than any other conference. The Big Tenâ€™s six national coach of the year award winners include Illinoisâ€™ Bruce Weber (2005); Indianaâ€™s Crean (2003); Iowaâ€™s Lickliter (2007); Michigan Stateâ€™s Tom Izzo (2001, 1999, 1998); Minnesotaâ€™s Smith (2005, 2003) and Wisconsinâ€™s Bo Ryan (2007, 2008).
The Nationâ€™s Best Fans: With an average of nearly 12,900 fans per Big Ten home game during the 2007-08 campaign, the conference is on pace to lead the nation in attendance for the 32nd consecutive year. Big Ten teams welcomed 2,437,673 fans for 189 home contests this season to average 12,898 per game. The Big Ten broke the two-million mark in total attendance for the 16th straight year and the one-million-fan mark in conference games for the 31st straight year.
First team offense enters for last set of 11 on 11. Payton currently has 11 carries for 52 yards. Second team offense enters after 3 and out. Offsides called on defense. Chappell finished 16-22 for 135 yards. Fisher had 6 catches for 40 yards.
4th set of 11 on 11 begins. First flag on the offense for holding. Dedmond makes a 19 yard grab on the sideline. Chappell is 14-19 for 134 yards. Dedmond has 3 catches for 44 yards. Second team offense comes on the field. 7 yard by Walker up the sideline. Burgess goes up the middle for no gain. High snap, leads to sack by Kozak. Darius Johnson intercepts the Evans pass. Set of plays ends.
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It’s warm, but very windy at Memorial Stadium this afternoon. We’re expecting today’s scrimmage to get under way in a few minutes and we’ll bring you live updates throughout it.