If you’re near a radio you can catch a special edition of the Indiana IU football with Bill Lynch radio show. It should be on 105.1 FM in Bloomington.
After Lynch does the show â€” a few seniors will also stop by â€” the team has a dinner at their hotel tonight.Â The main event of the night should be the team talent show.Â Lynch refuse to say who the favorite was, but did share the advice he gave his team.
“I told â€˜em itâ€™s a family deal so lets keep it appropriate,” he said.
While current members of the program gather to remember the past season and look ahead to Monday night, the Varsity Club will be hosting an event for donors at the same hotel. Several former players are expected to attend, and Doug Wilson will be there reporting for the Herald-Times.
I’m headed to a place called Jilly’s American Grill here in Scottsdale to join a IU basketball game watch party being thrown by the Alumni Association.
Check back later and we’ll provide updates from all the festivities here in Arizona.
As you see in the picture above, Indiana’s coaching staff held a short clinic after practice today for a few local players and coaches. After cycling through drill stations, the kids had a chance to meet Indiana players and get autographs.
Indiana coach Bill Lynch said that by the end of practice today he could tell his team was ready to get off the field. His players were tired of mimicking what might happen Monday night. They’re ready, a month and a half after their last game, to play football again.
“I felt at the end of practice today that it was time to call it off,” he said. “Sometimes you can, you know, over-prepare. Theyâ€™ve just done it so many times theyâ€™re ready to play the game. Thatâ€™s where I think we are right now.”
The bulk of Saturday’s practice was spent with the defense running against the scout offense and the offense running against the scout defense. In other words, practicing against what they’ll see Monday night. The first-team offense did eventually run against the first-team defense in the spirited final moments of practice. Both sides looked to be a step slow, which is to be expected.
As with all bowl games, whichever team can accelerate to game speed quickest has an early advantage. The Hoosiers haven’t played since Nov. 17, and Lynch knows there’s bound to be some rust, even on the coaching staff.
“Weâ€™re like anybody else, we havenâ€™t done it for 47 days either,” he said. “We certainly donâ€™t want to have a substitution penalty or we donâ€™t want to have a delay of game penalty just because weâ€™re out of practice. “
The Indiana football team has gathered at Desert Mountain High School again. The players aren’t wearing full pads today, so the workout should be pretty light. Right now they’re getting warmed up with position drills.
Indiana Head Coach Bill Lynch
About the delays in getting to Phoenix yesterday: It was just a long day. Those of us who have been around long enough have had those delays at different times. It all worked out. We got here. If we can get all 108 players and support group out here we would be in good shape. If we had to play today it would have been a distraction. We have enough time. We had a pretty good practice considering the delays we had yesterday. Weâ€™ve made some adjustments today since we missed yesterdayâ€™s workout.
Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy
About todayâ€™s practice: We had a good practice today. Very enthusiastic. We had good practices this week. Our players are really enjoying themselves here in Tempe. The hospitality has been tremendous. The players are stating to sense that the game is getting closer. Theyâ€™ve enjoyed practice being around each other for another week. Practices are already scripted. Sometimes we have to make some minor adjustments back home due to weather or if we feel like their legs are little more fatigued than we anticipated. We are practicing about and hour and a half right now.
I’m sure everyone out there is all fired up about the bowl game in a few days, but there are some important notes I thought I’d share with you coming from the basketball front.
IU duo still wowing Hoosier fans
Former IU players Earl Calloway and Rod Wilmont are continuing to enjoy success for the NBDL’s Ft. Wayne Mad Ants.
Entering tonight’s game against the Rio Grand Valley Vipers, Calloway was leading the team in scoring with 16.5 a contest. Wilmont was nipping at his heals, second on the team, with an even 15 points a game.
Kelvin Sampson said he talked with the two over the holidays and added he was happy to see them continuing their basketball careers just a few hours north of where they played their college ball.
“I think it’s great that they’re in Indiana,” he said. “Hoosier fans are everywhere and I’m sure that’s helped ticket sales for that franchise having those kids in Fort Wayne. They’re still chasing their dream, as well they should.”Apparently, Calloway’s run-and-gun style is working just fine for the 4-7 Ants.
From the Recruiting Trail
IU signee Matt Roth continues to inch closer and closer to the Illinois state record for three-pointers.Â According to a story by the Peoria Journal-Star, Roth is only 13 three-pointers away from the mark. He should have plenty of chances this weekend, as he plays four games in the Pelkin Holiday Tournament.
For those of you who haven’t seen a video of Roth yet, he’s quite a shooter. It will be interesting to see how he fits into things next year for Indiana. Here’s a highlight video of him by MidStateHoops.com of a game last month. Remind anyone else of a right-handed Kyle Hornsby?
Also, Tom Pritchard finished with 14 points and six rebounds in the first game of the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach. His Lakewood St. Edward team walloped Evangelical ChristianÂ 71-47.
That’s about it for now. We’ll keep you updated on the Devin Ebanks situation and any other hoops news.
Bob Otolski and Morris Watts traded stories on the sideline with Varsity Club Assistant Director Mark Deal, who played for IU in the 70s when Otolski and Watts were assistant coaches for Lee Corso.
Otolski, head coach at Illinois State after eight years in Bloomington, retired in Phoenix seven years ago.
Safety Nick Polkâ€™s family, including parents Rick and Laura, was also at practice. They live in Milwaukee, but have been in Arizona since Christmas Day, making a somewhat expensive vacation out of IUâ€™s bowl trip.
â€œItâ€™s worth it,â€ Rick Polk said. â€œFor IU, itâ€™s been a long time coming and we couldnâ€™t miss it.â€
Optimism reigned among the Hoosier supporters.
â€œThis reminds me of when we were big underdogs going against BYU in the Holiday Bowl,â€ Otolski said. â€œPeople were saying, â€œâ€™Why is Indiana coming out here?â€™â€ Our kids were juiced up â€“ which I sense here. I think Indiana has an excellent chance.â€