With Chris and Doug unavailable, I’ll be heading up the blog this afternoon. Please, be gentle.
The Detroit Free-Press is reporting Jordan Crawford has been seen recently playing pickup ball in Detroit Mercy’s gym. The athletics director is not denying the report, only stressing the openness of the open gym.
This should come as no great shock, since even a guy who has spent a week in Indiana knows of Crawford’s connection to Ray McCallum, the former IU assistant turned Detroit Mercy coach. Still, there is usually a cooling-off period where the prospective transfer student lays low and tries not to make headlines with his whereabouts. It is also entirely possible that Crawford is just playing an innocent game of basketball with some friends.
Tom Crean is in the Indianapolis Airport waiting for a flight to Seattle this morning. He said he’ll be at IU’s table at the meeting with the NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing on Friday, but he isn’t sure what his role will be.
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” he said.
Gotta be honest with you. Things have been ornery ’round this blog for the past couple of weeks. So much sniping and snark in the comments. I almost read right past the insightful, passionate thoughts that are always eventually expressed and that I count on from you guys.
Right now, I’m guessing you’re probably looking at the title of this post and the time stamp and figuring in your head that if I’m headed anywhere at this hour it’s bound to be dark. As such, you’re formulating some way to mock me, or Kelvin Sampson or any of the players who left or Barack Obama or your neighbor’s dog. Whatever.
But hold on. Let me explain.
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The Crawford family has issued the following statement about Jordan leaving IU:
“We are proud that our son Jordan has been a part of the Indiana University basketball program, one with a long and storied tradition of academic and athletic excellence. In Jordan’s short career, he was able to show his desire to emulate these characteristics. However, due to unforeseen circumstances he has chosen to move in a new direction. He and our entire family wish Indiana University continued success.”
I spoke briefly with Sylvia Crawford, Jordan’s mother. She said it was a difficult decision for her son to make, and one that he has struggled with since the end of the season.
“We just wanted to make sure that, as the information got out about him leaving, the fans knew how much he appreciated their support,” she said.
Here is the only information I have on this story right now. It’s a quote from Indiana coach Tom Crean, given to me by a spokesman for the IU athletic department:
“Jordan Crawford and his family informed us today that he will not return to Indiana University.”
More to come.
The good folks over at rivals.com are counting down FBS football from No. 120 all the way to No. 1. It’s a fun list, and a crowd-pleasing way to pass the summer months.
Well, Indiana football did make the list – at No. 79. Ouch. From the Big Ten, only Minnesota fared worse.
The crux of the argument against the Hoosiers seems to be the uncertain future of quarterback Kellen Lewis. Should Lewis return, everything is fine and dandy. Without him, this team “becomes ordinary quickly,” Tom Dienhart writes.
Here’s the good news: Indiana is better than N.C. State. I watched the Wolfpack flounder through 12 games last season, and saw a lack of real, game-changing talent during the Spring Game. And rivals.com has the Pack listed at No. 68, 11 spots higher than the Hoosiers. So there’s at least one team above Indiana that should not be.
And remember, it could always be worse – the Golden Panthers of Florida International come in dead last.
Michelle Gardner was hired as IU’s new softball coach Monday. She replaces Stacey Phillips, who resigned last month.
Gardner took over a new program at Nevada in 2001 and spent the past six seasons building the Wolf Pack into a Western Athletic Conference powerhouse. Last year, she was named the conference coach of the year after leading the Wolf Pack to the NCAA regionals and a school-best 44-18 record. Gardner was 187-176 overall at Nevada.
Gardner had previously served as an assistant at Arizona State, Florida State and Bowling Green and pitched for Michigan from 1984-88. The Sun Devils reached the College World Series with Gardner on staff. Before coaching, she competed with several nationally-ranked Amateur Softball Association teams and was a participant in the 1996 Olympics Trials.
Once again, the Scoop has made the trip to Knightstown and the gym where scenes from the movie “Hoosiers” were filmed. And once again, it it 120 degrees in this tiny little place packed with nostalgic hoops fans and players who are too big and rambunctious for this size court.
It actually makes for fairly interesting basketball. The pace is relentless, the contact inevitable. Right now, Mr. Basketball Tyler Zeller (Hickory) and Robert Goff of Broad Ripple are going at each other. Nice matchup.
Of interest to our local readers: Alex Guyton, the North star who is bound for Purdue, dominated the girls’ game even though Hickory ultimately lost 101-97. She led here team with 26 points and probably had double-digit rebounds and at least five blocks. Impressive all around.
Garrett Butcher, the Butler-bound Edgewood star, is playing for Terhune right now while two players who are invited walk-ons for Tom Crean’s first team, Kory Barnett and Daniel Moore, are playing for Hickory.