He’s thanking us all for being here.
Specifically, he’s thanking his friends and coaches.
Now, he says it: he’ll be entering the NBA draft. He’s entering “to compete at the highest level, not for the fame or the money.”
J.D. Campbell, the director of media relations for Indiana athletics, is making the introductions. There’s going to be a couple of speakers.
First, Ira Jaffee. He’s the director of the JCC. I spoke with him a few weeks ago for a story.
Jaffee tells the story of the Gordon’s being members here for 20 years, then introduces Jeff Meyer.
Meyer, you may recall, coached Eric Gordon Sr. at Liberty.
Turns out that the Gordons invited Meyer over for dinner when he took a job at Butler a few years ago. After the dinner, they came across the street to the gym here to watch E.J., then in fifth grade, play basketball.
“He was knocking down the 3, he was using the glass off the dribble,” Meyer says.
Meyer says that Gordon has had a great attitude during a difficult year. “E.J. could probably write a book about the year we had,” he jokes.
“Where ever you go, and I’m sure you’ll be traveling, you’ll always be an Indiana Hoosier,” Meyer says. “And you’ll always be, in my humble opinion, a great Hoosier.”
We’re about to get started. Assistant coach Jeff Meyer is here, seated with Gordon at the podium. New coach Tom Crean is on his way.
The Gordons have arrived, including E.J.
A lot of kids in this situation would be working the room, owning the event. I’ve seen that happen before. Gordon looks sort of nervous, almost out of place at his own celebration.
About 100 people have gathered in a conference room here at the Jewish Community Center in northern Indianapolis. There’s an IU apron on the table and an IU background for the cameras to film.
A few kids here in Eric Gordon jerseys.
No sign of Gordon or his family yet.
I am like you in this way, at least: as I watch the basketball games tonight my mind will flash back to September and the promise Indiana’s team seemed to have then.
Not because I am a fan. My job precludes me from that. But if you choose to make your living writing about sports, you must have some reason for caring about the games they play. Going into this year, I had this reason: I wanted to know what it took to become a truly elite team. I remember talking to some of my mentors and friends about the great teams they had covered. What made them great? When could you tell they would be great? What set them apart?
Say what you will about Kelvin Sampson â€” and many have and will continue to do so â€” but the guy knew how to motivate players. That seemed like it would be enough, given that he had Eric Gordon and D.J. White to work with. The rest of the ingredients didn’t seem to matter all that much; everyone just figured they would come along.
Of course, I learned nothing about what it takes to become a special team this year. I learned, mostly, about ruin. What causes it and what it causes.
Many of you who are subscribers to the Web site may have already read this series on Indiana’s season, but I thought I would offer it here for those who hadn’t. Because as much as everyone is ready to move on to another new era, there is no easy, instant escape from the events of the past year.
Read the rest of this post »
That was the first concrete look at the IU football team. All-in-all a good day for Chappell, the running backs and defense, while the recievers didn’t have as a great a showing. Look in tomorrow’s copy of the Herald Times for further coverrage.
The receiving corps have dropped plenty of catchable balls today. The last to do so was #18 Walker-Roby, who dropped one across the middle. Evans has shown athleticism and and ability to break out of the pocket for a positive gain, which is the one dimension that Chappell is lacking. What Chappell lacks in the mobility department, he has made up with his arm, going 18-of-21 for 137 yards on the day.
While Chappell continues to impress, Evans has thrown his first interception of the day, as #17 Bruce Hampton jumped an out-route in the redzone for an interception.
Read the rest of this post »
Indiana’s practice held inside Mellencamp Pavilion late Friday afternoon was a light one with the first scrimmage of the spring ahead Saturday at 1:30.
So there wasn’t a lot of scrimmaging or anything else that looked much like real football. One thing that did catch my eye was how IU is using redshirt freshman tight end Max Dedmond all over the field.
Dedmond, one of the top-rated players in IU’s 2007 recruiting class, is a big target at 6-5, 238, but the Evansville native lines up at wide receiver and in the backfield as a fullback, as well as at a traditional tight end spot.
The IU depth chart at tight end has juniors Troy Wagner (6-5, 250) and Brian Zematis (6-3, 250 and the best blocker of the trio) at 1-2, but the Hoosiers are also planning on the agile Dedmond seeing playing time next season, tight ends coach Kyle Conner said, in a role somewhat similar to Dallas Clark of the Colts.
“He has excellent ball skills,” Conner said.
IU plans to use a three tight end set in short yardage situations next season and to add play action – again like the Colts – which should allow Dedmond to line up as a blocker but break downfield as a receiver.
A press release from IU . . .
Indiana University All-American freshman Eric Gordon will discuss his future plans in basketball at 4:30 p.m., Monday, April 7, at the JCC in Indianapolis. The event is open to the media and public.
Gordon was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year after averaging a league best 20.9 points and setting a Big Ten record with 669 points scored. Regarded as one of the top players coming out of high school in 2007, Gordon was a McDonald’s All-American at North Central High School in Indianapolis.
He is currently in San Antonio where he is a guest of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
The JCC is located at 6701 Hoover Road, Indianapolis: (317) 251-9467.
Take 37 to 465 west. Exit 465 at 71st St.
Take 71st St. east for about 8 miles or so. 71st turns into Westlane and then into 73rd St.
At Hoover Road (a stop sign in a neighborhood setting), turn right.
The Max and Mae Simon Jewish Community Campus will be on your left. The JCC is the building furthest south on the campus, located behind the fountain.
Turn in and park in the lot in front of the building.
According to the terms set out in a memorandum of understanding between Rick Greenspan and Tom Crean, the university has agreed to pay $650,000 toward buying Crean out of his contract at Marquette.
The document actually states that Indiana will pay no more than $525,000 toward the buyout, but a hand-written note in the margin shows the higher amount and is initialed by both Crean and Greenspan.
The buyout payment is in addition to Crean’s regular compensation, which will amount to $18.24 million over eight years.
Crean will receive a salary of $600,000 per year. The balance of his pay â€” his annual salary averages about $2.3 million â€” will be paid for “outside, marketing and promotional” duties. He’ll be paid $1.4 million for those responsibilities the first year, with increases each year. In the eighth and final year, he will receive $1.96 million.
Also as part of the memorandum â€” which states that Crean and the university hope to finalize a contract on or before May 15 â€” Crean has agreed to a $3 million buy out of his Indiana contract for the first three years of employment. In years four and five, the buy out drops to $2 million; it drops to $1 million for the remainder of the eight-year contract.
Indiana junior defensive end Greg Middleton is among 42 of the nation's defensive players who have been named to the 2008 Lott Trophy Watch List released on Friday.
Last season, Middleton received All-America honors from the Associated Press, The Sporting News, CBSSports.com, SI.com, Rivals.com and CollegeFootballNews.com. He was a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award and became the first IU defensive lineman since Adewale Ogunleye in 1997 to earn first team All-Big Ten honors. Middleton set a new single-season school record with 16 sacks, which also led the nation.
Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its fourth year, The Lott Trophy is the first college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.