Maui, as you may have guessed, flourishes with life of all kinds. We met a lizard in our hotel hallway the other day. Birds of all sorts sit outside our windows, some making the most harmonious tweets and twits and others that sound as if they are choking on a bad piece of pineapple.
Today â€” and for the next three days â€” it will be alive with basketball.
All eight coaches who have teams in the 2009 Maui Invitational are about to hold a joint press conference, which will be moderated by ESPN’s Jay Bilas, in a broad courtyard at the Westin. We’ve got a view of the ocean, and it is much more pleasing than Phil Martelli (no offense, Phil.)
There will be a free-throw shooting contest after the press conference. Who do you pick to win?
Just a quick note for you all to wake up to.
A small contingent of reporters covering the Indiana basketball team has gathered here in Maui. It has been raining since we got here. They say it never rains here. They say this apologetically. We don’t mind. Really. It is still glorious.
The festivities officially get under way Sunday morning at 8 a.m. (1 p.m. EST) with a press conference featuring all the coaches. We’ll update you on what they have to say.
Tonight, Matt Dollinger and James Brosher of the IDS and Mike Pegram of Peegs.com and I went to a party thrown for all the teams by EA Sports, which of course featured an NCAA Basketball 2009 tournament on Xbox 360. Though I will have more coverage of that later on Sunday, let me say that IU did not advance to the Final Four even though Devan Dumes dominated Luke Harangody.
The football season ended today, and quite dramatically so. Though that season is over there still seems to be plenty that needs to be covered. But during this Thankgiving week Indiana fans will no doubt turn their attention to Tom Crean’s first test against high-major competition.
Check in later for full coverage.
The Indianapolis law firm of Ice Miller has charged Indiana University $460,840.76 through the end of July for its work on the NCAA’s investigation into the men’s basketball program.
In the most recent bills sent to the university â€” received through a public records request made by The Herald-Times â€” Ice Miller billed IU for 687.30 hours from April 1st through July 31. The total bill, including expenses, for that period came to 211,034.37.
The three Ice Miller attorneys that worked on the case were heavily involved in preparation for Indiana’s hearing with the Committee on Infractions in Seattle in June, the records show.Â They also represented IU there.
Indiana had been charged $249,806.39 from July 2007 â€” when an intern in the compliance office found 3-way calling patterns and spurred the hiring of the law firm with strong NCAA ties â€” through March of this year.
Indiana has been charged with failing to monitor â€” a major violation â€” the former men’s basketball coaching staff, two members of which face charges that they violated NCAA recruiting rules. Former head coach Kelvin Sampson, now an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks, and former assistant Rob Senderoff, who returned to Kent State as an associate head coach, have been accused of purposely circumventing limits put on contact with recruits.
A decision on the case is expected any day. Though the NCAA does not comment on ongoing cases, it appears as though the committee on infractions is in the process of completing a document that details its findings and any punishments given to the university or the former coaches.
The Indiana basketball team is currently en route to Maui after taking an early flight this morning. Team members stayed in Indianapolis last night and will arrive in Hawaii at about 8:30 tonight. The players have not practiced since beating IUPUI 60-57 on Tuesday night and aren’t scheduled to be back on the court until Friday.
The Hoosiers open the Maui Invitational with Notre Dame at 5:30 (EST) Monday.
As we reported earlier today, Verdell Jones is OK after hurting his ankle in the second half of the IUPUI game.
Big opportunity here – your last chance to chat with Mr. Korman before we send him off to Maui Friday!
So what’s on your mind — Bucket Week, the first two games of the Tom Crean era or maybe my good fortune in visiting West Lafayette this weekend while Chris is stuck in Hawaii?Â
Join us Thursday at 11 to talk about all that and more. You can submit your questions and comments by clicking here. Â Â
Unfortunately, the reporter did not ask him for his opinion on the bailout or other economic stimulus possibilities.
But I thought you’d like to give it a read anyway.
Â The Indiana women’s basketball team announced two more 2009 signees today, bringing the total recruiting class to four.
The latest additions are 6-foot-2 forward Jasmine Davis of Metropolis, Ill. (insert Superman joke here), and 6-1 junior college transfer Hope Elam. Davis averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds as a junior. Elam, a forward, transferred from St. Louis to Vincennes University, where she is averaging 31.3 points and 12.7 rebounds in her first three games this season. She is a former Miss Illinois Basketball Award finalist from Champaign, Ill. — take that Bruce Weber.
They join 6-1 forward Aulani Sinclair of Eminence and 5-6 point guard Sasha Bernard of Delray Beach, Fla., who signed last week.