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INDIANAPOLIS — The weakness in the game of A.J. Hammons is obvious. When you’re 6-foot-10, 7-foot with an ever-expanding afro, you can tend to coast.
Hammons admitted that Tuesday during the Hoosier Shootout. That’s why he said transferring from Carmel to Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, VA. is the best move for him.
“I like going against competition,” Hammons said. “If I don’t go up against competition, I’ll just sit there and have fun.”
The junior said he was at between 260-275 pounds now, but he seems to have trimmed up in the chest. He still struggles getting up and down the court in a high-pace game, indicating a team with a half-court offense might be the best route for Hammons.
For now, he said he remains open. He has offers from Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Xavier.
The move to Oak Hill, he said, would not affect Indiana’s chances of luring the prospect to Bloomington with the promise of playing close to home.
“I am still from Indiana, so that would be my home state,” Hammons said.
The focus for July, Hammons said, is helping Spiece Indy Heat to a title in the last leg of Nike’s EYBL.
“I am trying to win Peach Jam, to tell you the truth,” Hammons said.
Indiana target Naadir Tharpe drives the lane during the adidas Invitational. Ray Whitehouse | Herald-Times (more…)
Much like Sal Paradise, we go no in search of the mad ones. Mad to live. Mad to dunk. Mad to show college coaches that they’ll help them win a National Title.
Beat writer Dustin Dopirak arrived back in Bloomington after a long trek from Akron late last night. He got a few hours of sleep, and now we’re headed back to Indianapolis to cover a couple of recruiting events — the adidas Invitational centered at North Central HS and the Hoosier Shootout on the south end of town — to find out how Indiana is faring with the task of putting together future teams.
Intern Ray is also on his way to Indy, so look for pictures to be posted later today.
Finally, we’re going to get a chance to speak with Je’Ney Jackson at some point. He’s Indiana’s new basketball strength coach. Last job? Southern Miss secondary coach. Looking forward to hearing what he has to say about how he made the decision to come to Indiana.
Shamble on, dingledodies.
Hugh Kellenberger and I have journeyed all the way to the North Central side of Indy (at North Central HS) for the first day of the inaugural adidas Invitational. This used to be the adidas It Takes Five tournament in Cincinnati. They had a great set up there, with a bunch of courts all in the same building. It’s not bad here. So far no one has been felled by the heat they must wade through to get to the middle school.
Let me first say that we picked a heckuva day to have massive computer failure. Hugh’s computer is apparently taking a personal day, and my wireless card is no longer acquainted with my MacBook Pro. They must have had a falling out while riding together in the bag.
I’ve now managed to get connected using my phone. Who knows how long this will last. This BlackBerry could spontaneously explode right now and all I would be able to do is shrug. Been that kinda day.
We’ll have some photos to post, courtesy of Intern Ray, later. And we’ll do a blog wrap up, too.
So far, Cody Zeller has looked fantastic. Austin Etherington struggled a bit but made a clutch defensive play to help Indiana Elite win its first game.
Tom Crean (with son Riley tagging along) has been roaming the gyms. New assistant Steve McClain is now buzzing around. It doesn’t seem like many new names are emerging for Indiana, and the kids they have been recruiting don’t seem to be changing what they’re saying about the process.
Also, it’s true that Indiana is planning on hiring Je’Ney Jackson as its new basketball strength coach. He’s served as an assistant football coach at Southern Miss and Kansas. He was also a football strength coach for the Jayhawks. His tie to the IU situation is apparently McClain; he played football at Wyoming, where McClain was once the head coach.
Crean declined to comment on the hiring today. Larry Fedora, whose staff Jackson is leaving, does not appear to be pleased by the development.
So, it’s been a busy day. We’ll have more as it continues.
The word on the street for sometime is that Branden Dawson was bound to commit to Purdue, it was just a matter of when.
But the 6-foot-6 senior swingman from Wallace High School in Gary said Tuesday at the LeBron James Skills Academy that he is not nearly as close to a decision as many assume he is. Dawson said that, much like fellow in-state blue-chipper Cody Zeller, he plans on taking all five of his allotted official visits and he doesn’t plan on making a commitment until the spring.
“It will probably be next year, around spring,” he said. “I want to take my time with it. I want to expand my options and just watch, stuff like that.” (more…)
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