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Hoosiers after Deshawn Painter?

Indiana coach Tom Crean has made no secret of his desire to add players to the class of 2009 — which already numbers six and will bring the team’s number of scholarship players to 13, the maximum allowed — if he believes they can help the program.

Deshawn Painter, a 6-9 forward who played last season for Hargrave Military Academy (with future Indiana guard Maurice Creek), probably fits that description.

Painter was released from his letter of intent with Florida this week. Hargrave coach Kevin Keatts told reporters from both major recruiting services (Rivals and Scout) that concern over playing time lead Painter to request his release (though the move does come after VCU hired Florida assistant Shaka Smart to be its head coach). According to Keatts, Painter will open his committment and see which schools are interested. He may also consider doing a post-graduate year at the prep school.

Count Creek among those who are interested in adding Painter, though. After Creek led all players with 17 points in the 3-point contest at the Night of Future Stars (as brought to you by the Derby Festival Classic) at Bellarmine University Friday, he spoke of his recent work trying to build relationships with the other five members of his class.

He also acknowledged the possibility that the class will grow, and mentioned Painter’s availability. He’s ready to join the recruiting effort.

“We’re going to see what we can do with him,” he said.

According to Scout.com, Painter is a four-star prospect and the No. 21 power forward in the class.

Rivals.com considers Painter the No. 85 prospect in the class of 2009 and rates him a four-star center.

Two of the schools Painter considered before signing with Florida have since gone through coaching changes; he had offers from both Virginia and Kentucky.

Here’s a link to the best video I could find of Painter.


Headed to the Derby Fest

H. Williams Kellenberger is handling the driving as we cruise down I-65 toward Knights Hall on the campus of Bellarmine, where tonight three IU recruits — Christian Watford, Maurice Creek and Jordan Hulls — will take part in the Night of Future Stars event.

We’re not sure what this will entail, but the title was sufficiently enticing to us to make the trip.

Check back for reports starting around 6:45.


Howell takes you inside Memorial expansion


The IU basketball team appreciates you

Press release from IU….

MEN’S BASKETBALL TO HOLD FAN APPRECIATION TAILGATE PRIOR TO SPRING FOOTBALL GAME

Bloomington, Indiana—Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced his program will hold a Fan Appreciation Tailgate on Saturday April 18, at 11:30 a.m. in the Mellencamp Pavilion.  The event, which is free, will be held prior to the start of the annual spring football game which begins at 2 p.m. next door at Memorial Stadium.

“I thought this would be a great way for our players and coaches to interact with our great fans in a very informal and fun setting,” said Crean. “Our fans are the best in the country and we wanted the opportunity to thank them personally and to tie it in with the spring football game is another added bonus.”

The first 90 minutes of the tailgate will include interaction with the players and coaches and games for the kids.  At 1 p.m., Coach Crean and his staff will publicly announce their 2008-09 team awards recognizing several of the players at that time.

“Most of the time you would hand out your team awards at a formal banquet after the season, but we as a staff felt this was a unique situation,” added Crean.  “I think our fans and their support of the program was as important in telling the story of this team as any individual or group accomplishment this season.  We are looking forward to sharing the day with so many of them and then going over together to Memorial Stadium to see Bill Lynch’s 2009 Hoosiers for the first time.”

In addition to the spring football game, the baseball team will host the second of a three-game series against Penn State at 1 p.m., and the softball team will host Tulsa in a twin-bill at 2:30 p.m.


Thursday 11 a.m. Indiana sports chat

It’s that time of the week again.

You know the drill. Submit your comments and questions, or just follow the discussion at 11, by clicking here.


Rivals/SI was not very nice

Kirk Ferentz is the best coach in the Big Ten. The man with the most wins in college football history, Joe Paterno, is No. 4.

And Indiana’s Bill Lynch? He’s in the basement.

So says Tom Dienhart, a senior Rivals.com writer in a ranking of all 11 Big Ten football coaches for SI.com.

I am always very dubious of such lists, believing that far too much credit is given to recent success and not enough to longevity and the overall strength of the program.

But Dienhart does a pretty good job. Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez is second, after a season in which many a pundit would find it tempting to place him in the bottom half.

I do think Jim Tressell got a bit of a raw deal. Granted, his teams struggle in the bowl games but he takes new talent each and every year and gets the Buckeyes to where they want to do. Also, you have to respect a man with enough courage to wear a sweater vest.

As for Lynch, Dienhart gives credit to his coaching experience, but also notes his lack of success at previous stops.

But here’s the question for you — a year ago, after a bowl appearance, where would you have ranked Lynch?


Q&A with Elston

Derek Elston

Tipton’s Derek Elston goes to the basket during Sunday’s North/South Indiana All-Star Classic in Batesville. Monty Howell | Herald-Times

BATESVILLE — Derek Elston, a 2009 Indiana commit, looked like he had not played a competitive game in nearly a month.

Which is, well, true.

Elston, who’s been bulking up in preparation for next season, scored seven points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the North in a 124-97 loss.

For a Q&A with Elston, read after the jump. (more…)


Scoop Poll:

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