Yes, the absurdity level has been reached

Hey, did you hear the one about a group of people starting a Facebook group to recruit a basketball player? How about the one where one current player and a committed recruit became part of the campaign?

Yeah, that’s what is happening. There is a new Facebook group titled, “1,000 Hoosier Fans For Cody Zeller.”

Victor Oladipo and Austin Etherington are both admins for the group.

Will any of this convince Zeller to come to Bloomington? Probably not. Does it create a cheap and easy blog post on a Wednesday afternoon? Yep. And, by the way, look at us blogging more than once a day. Such a new innovation to this blogging world.

UPDATE, 4:35 p.m.

Hey, Dustin Dopirak here. An addendum on this one.

Just talked to Austin Etherington. The Hamilton Heights guard said that neither he nor Victor Oladipo had anything to do with starting the Facebook group.  He got an invite for it from the creator, but said he had nothing to do with starting it.

“Someone just invited me,” said Etherington, who said he’d already received a phone call about it. “Me and Vic had no idea who started it, and I don’t know what’s going on with it. We didn’t do anything.”

UPDATE: 7:22 p.m.

Another addendum. An IU spokesperson also said that Victor Oladipo had nothing to do with the creation of the Facebook page, and it has been taken down.

Basketball visit list growing

Beyond the list of 2012 recruits who discussed their visit plans on Twitter on Tuesday evening, there are more Indiana basketball targets planning unofficial visits to Bloomington this weekend for the IU-Michigan football game.

Basil Smotherman, a sophomore wing from Heritage Christian, confirmed that he plans to visit, and there are reports that Warren Central’s Devin Davis is also expecting to make a visit.

Smotherman said he also plans to be in Bloomington for Hoosier Hysteria on Oct. 15. He is weighing a scholarship offer from Indiana along with offers from Illinois, Xavier, Purdue and Notre Dame. He also has received significant interest from Michigan and Michigan State. He said he plans to visit those two schools next month.

However, unlike Trey Lyles and James Blackmon, Jr., the recent 2014 recruits to commit to IU, Smotherman said he’s not close to pulling the trigger.

“I’m young,” he said. “That’s what everybody tells me is just take your time, so I’m talking it over with my parents and taking my time.”

Alford No. 17 Big Ten Icon

From the Big Ten Network:

CHICAGO – Steve Alford has been named Big Ten Icon No. 17. The Big Ten Icons countdown, presented by Discover, continues at 9 PM ET on Tuesday, Oct. 5, with a profile of the sharpshooting Indiana guard. The episode includes new, exclusive interviews with Alford, his father, Sam, Steve Lavin, Gene Keady, Bob Hammel, Don Fischer and others.

New episodes of the 20-episode series, hosted by legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson, debut at 9 PM ET every Tuesday night through the end of football season and into the spring.

Alford helped lead Indiana to the 1987 National Championship, was a two-time All-American, a three-time All-Big Ten selection and was named Indiana’s team MVP four straight years. He finished his collegiate career as the Hoosiers’ all-time leading scorer. The native of New Castle, Ind., also won a gold medal on the Bob Knight-coached 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team.

In the episode, Alford talks about how he worked on his shooting touch in the third grade. “I can remember my mom going to the store and buying Pringles cans. She’d come home and I’d dump out all the chips on the table. The rest of the family could eat all the chips, but that was a hoop for me. And I’d use ping pong balls and I learned touch.”


Hoosier Morning

Towson Indiana Football

Indiana wide receiver Damarlo Belcher stiff arms Western Kentucky cornerback Ryan Beard (15). Chris Howell | Herald-Times

Big visit weekend for IU hoops

Sometimes, you have to love Twitter.

Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes it provides you with lots of information you don’t need, and sometimes you learn things you probably shouldn’t know. But in this case, I can bring you news that took me absolutely zero effort to obtain.

Unless they’re part of some elaborate Twitter hoax, Hamilton Southeastern guard Gary Harris, Lawrence Central swingman Jeremy Hollowell and La Lumiere forward Hanner Perea — all 2012 recruits — will all be in Bloomington on Saturday for unofficial visits that coincide with Indiana’s home football game against Michigan. Guard Austin Etherington, already verbally committed for the Class of 2011, will also be in attendance. Park Tudor guard Yogi Ferrell is considering making another trip, but Park Tudor has homecoming this weekend, so he has to weigh his options. This info comes from the Twitter accounts of Ferrell, Etherington, Harris and Hollowell.

Perea is the No. 10 player in the Class of 2012 according to Ferrell is No. 17, Harris is No. 24 and Hollowell is No 39.

Replogle practicing, but in yellow jersey

Senior linebacker Tyler Replogle was back in pads for Tuesday’s practice, but was wearing a yellow jersey that denoted he should be treated similar to a quarterback in practice. He did participate in some tackling drills — though the Hoosiers were in shells and shorts Tuesday, so there was no tackling to the ground — and also participated in scout work at the end of practice. He was listed as probable on IU’s injury report released at the beginning of practice.

Safety Donnell Jones was also working out in a yellow jersey. He is listed as questionable on the injury report with a knee injury. Also listed as questionable is kicker Nick Freeland, who has missed the last two games with a hip injury, and linebacker Brandon McGhee (knee). Safety Chris Adkins, who is still watching practice in a walking boot and crutches, is still listed as out with an ankle injury.

The Hoosiers spent most of Tuesday’s practice working on tackling drills and trying to prepare for speedy Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. For part of the practice, swift backup tailback Nick Turner lined up as  a quarterback for the scout team, and was more than effective, busting loose on a few long touchdown runs.

Indiana coach Bill Lynch joked that the Hoosiers might want to use Turner under center.

“I went back over to the other field and told (offensive coordinator Matt) Canada, maybe that’s something we better look at,” Lynch said.

Crean to be on a trading card

I collected cards as a kid. Actually, collecting would not be totally accurate. I consumed them. I spent every dollar I could find on them. One of the more memorable moments of my childhood was opening up a pack of Fleer trading cards and discovering it was a rare all-insert pack. The rest of that Food Lion on a Saturday afternoon was surely confused about that happy 10-year-old boy with the baseball cards. I ended up with somewhere between 4-5,000 cards, which are now all sitting my basement.

But cards are for players. Sure, Topps has made lines of presidents, historical figures and vampires. Upper Deck is joining in, releasing cards of 30 NCAA basketball coaches as part of a new “World of Sports” line.

And, as Upper Deck spokesperson Terry Melia said in an e-mail earlier this afternoon, Tom Crean is a member of that group of 30.

You can start collecting Crean and coaches like Tom Izzo, Bill Self and Bob Huggins (I wonder if he’ll wear jorts) in early 2011.

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