Jeffries visits Bloomington

By   |   Thursday, Jun. 5, 2008 - 2:12 PM   |   7 comments

Jared Jeffries watches basketball campers on Thursday at Bloomington North.

Jared Jeffries is in town for his annual basketball camp, his attempt at giving 50 or so area youths the kind of specialized (and free) instruction that he did not receive before he became older, taller and highly-recruited.

But while the former North and IU star was in Bloomington, he did sit down for a chat with new Hoosiers coach Tom Crean.

“I saw some of the younger kids plays,” Jeffries said. “I talked to him, talked to the assistants. They couldn’t have hired a better person for this job. He understands what Indiana is about, he understands what Indiana basketball is about.

“You couldn’t have hired a better person.”

When Kelvin Sampson was hired, Jeffries was quoted as being in favor of the move. It’d be easy to back away from Sampson now, considering all that has happened, but Jeffries did not.
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Negedu update

By   |   Wednesday, Jun. 4, 2008 - 10:47 PM   |   48 comments

You’ve clamored for it. And I suppose that, as Indiana fans, you’ve become accustomed to new news coming daily — nay, hourly — after the past couple of bizarrely eventful years. So, let me feed your need (here’s looking at you, Boombaby.)

Emmanuel Negedu, he of the soaring dunks and limitless hustle, apparently got into town a little bit late on Tuesday. Though I haven’t reached Negedu or any of his closest confidants, I have spoken to a few people who are aware of how things have progressed. Due to the late start, Negedu extended the visit in his attempt to get to know Tom Crean and the rest of the coaching staff.

The situation at Indiana is markedly different from the ones at Memphis, Tennessee or even Georgia Tech. First off, Negedu knows those coaching staffs and can look at their recent histories for an indication of what types of teams they will have. Also, you can tell a lot about those programs simply by looking at the rosters they’ll have next season; Tennessee and Georgia Tech return the heart of their respective teams while Memphis loses its stars but has new ones lined up in a top recruiting class. At Indiana, of course, the situation is much less stable with just three returning players and a hodge-podge recruiting class that must fit into a system that worked in the Big East but will probably need to be tweaked to fit the personnel available and the grinding Big Ten style.

So the Indiana visit, I’ve been told, is much more of a fact-finding visit for Negedu. You’ve heard kids talk about the “feeling” they get about a school, and that’s what so many of them are hoping to find when they step on campus. So coaches do whatever they can to create the feeling: they show off the banners, they drive through the campus on golf carts, they hang a jersey with the prospect’s number in the middle stall of the locker room.

That approach doesn’t seem to be the one that will win convince this recruit. Negedu has spent plenty of time in Bloomington but has too many questions that need to be answered about the IU program now that it is in the care of Tom Crean before he can allow himself to have the “feeling” that would lead to his commitment.

Negedu has visits planned to the three other schools he is considering and will make a decision sometime after June 12. A 6-7 forward and product of the Bloomington-based Indiana Elite AAU program, he is the best unsigned high school player in the class of 2008. He requested and received his release from Arizona last month because he was upset by the staff changes there and what he perceived to be a lack of honesty by the school.



BTN to celebrate Indiana Day on June 11

By   |   Wednesday, Jun. 4, 2008 - 4:49 PM   |   9 comments

To deal with the fact that it has exactly zero sporting events left to televise, the Big Ten Network has decided to take one day for each conference school and celebrate the sports teams of said school by broadcasting 24-hours of programming that centers on said teams.

Indiana Day is next Wednesday, June 11.

We had all wondered what the BTN would do to fill its summer hours, and an idea along these lines is fairly obvious. But you have to wonder about the execution. As you’ll see in the broadcast schedule I’ve pasted below, there’s plenty to see. Maybe if you’re the truest of true Hoosiers, you’ll carve out 24 hours and do nothing but watch television. But probably not. Better to just set the DVR and spread the viewing out over the summer.

(Doug has already mentioned his excitement for this event and is considering having a few of our blog regulars — you know, 50 or 75 of you — over to his house to enjoy the day. I’ll get back to you with more details on this.)

Schedule after the jump:


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IU football off-season notes

By   |   Wednesday, Jun. 4, 2008 - 4:14 PM   |   4 comments

With the IU football team starting its organized summer workouts this week, I’ve talked to several of the Hoosiers about their off-season plans and thoughts. Here are some notes on what they had to say:

Greg Brown is almost completely recovered from a shoulder injury that restricted the use of his left arm throughout last season. Brown injured the shoulder (torn labrum) when he fell on his shoulder during a pass rushing drill.

He played with the injury throughout the season, limiting his effectiveness, and increasing his motivation to prepare for his senior year next season.

“I really could use only one arm,” he said. “It really frustrated me. I had high expectations. If you ask me, I had a pretty bad season. That is going to change.

Brown is confident that with the development of Greg Middleton and Jammie Kirlew at end, IU will have its best defensive line of his IU career next season.

“Every day, every thing I do now counts,” Brown said. “The No. 1 goal for me is to stay healthy. It’s going to be a lot of emotion for me in my senior year. Things didn’t go well for me last year. I’ve got one more shot.”

—————

Running back Bryan Payton is working this summer and next academic year as a reporter and columnist for the Indiana Daily Student. Payton would like to work in magazine journalism after graduation. He has written six stories for the IDS this summer, including his most recent one on mixed martial arts.  

Payton, of course, is also working out with his teammates while he’s in Bloomington this summer.

“I can’t wait for training camp and the seaosn to get here because I know everybody is going to be ready to go,” he said.



Means, Neuenswander honored for sportsmanship

By   |   Wednesday, Jun. 4, 2008 - 2:52 PM   |   Comments Off

Each year, the Big Ten honors two athletes from each school for their sportsmanship and ethical behavior.

Indiana’s honorees this year are Andrew Means, a junior who plays baseball and football, and  Vera Neuenswander, a sophomore on the track and field team.

Full release follows the jump . . .


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Gordon tests well in Orlando

By   |   Tuesday, Jun. 3, 2008 - 5:33 PM   |   45 comments

[UPDATE] The ambitious folks over at the rush the court blog have named Gordon the top athlete at the combine. They’ve also done some fancy coloring of the chart that first appeared on DraftExpress. Worth a read, should you have time. And I know you do have time because Emmanuel Negedu won’t make his decision for another week and a half.

——-

Not that this is of any surprise to those who watched him play the past few years, but Eric Gordon earned rave reviews for his work at the pre-draft camp in Orlando.

As one of the top 15 players invited to the session, he was not asked to compete in games with and against the prospects who are trying to work their way into the draft. Instead, he was measured and went through a few tests. Here are his results, according to DraftExpres:

  • Height w/o shoes: 6’2″
  • High w/shoes: 6’3.25″
  • Weight: 222
  • Wingspan: 6’9″
  • Standing reach: 8’3″
  • Body fat: 8.2 percent
  • No-step vertical jump: 32 inches
  • Running vertical: 40 inches
  • Bench press (185 pounds): 15 times
  • Lane agility test: 10.81 seconds
  • 3/4 court sprint: 3.01 seconds

Gordon’s numbers compare more than favorably to the rest of the class. He’s clearly not only one of the most athletic guards but one of the strongest. His reach is exceptional for a player of his size. Judging from a quick glance at the full results and using my severely underdeveloped math skills, it appears as though he finished in the top 10 percent in each of the drills.

All of the above, of course, reminds you of all the promise you saw in Gordon throughout the year. But it also magnifies the things that, because of injury and turmoil, we could never really learn about Gordon: First and foremost, can he translate all of that talent and become a player that leads his team to a championship? Can he fit in a system and make the players around him better? Will he be able to adapt his game, to truly play the point guard position when needed or be a traditional shooting guard at other times.

Eric Gordon’s measurables were never an issue. But who he is as a basketball player never came into focus. Nothing really did last year.

D.J. White did not attend the pre-draft camp, even though he was invited. His decision to opt out is an indication that White feels secure with his status right now and will concentrate on his individual workouts.



NCAA will push for 4 major violations, not 5

By   |   Friday, May. 30, 2008 - 5:40 PM   |   23 comments

Indiana University has received the Case Summary — a document that is exactly what it sounds like it is — from the NCAA in advance of the June 13-14 hearing in Seattle to adjudicate the case against the men’s basketball program.

The Herald-Times will receive a full copy of the document through a public records request once it has been reviewed by the university’s lawyers.

But IU has already revealed one favorable tidbit from the summary: the NCAA Enforcement staff has agreed with Indiana’s position that the fifth violation listed in the original letter of allegations — which involved an impermissible gift to 2009 recruit Derek Elston — should be a secondary infraction and not a major infraction.

Indiana officials have refused to discuss the case summary.





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