Everyone who is reading this most likely would swear by the fact that they are a “Hoosier.” Yet they would be hard pressed to actually tell you what a Hoosier is, besides saying â€œsomeone from Indiana.â€
This is the most likely reason the Indiana Hoosiers have never sported a mascot. Although most big time athletic programs swear by the costumed cheerleaders, the Hoosiers have remained mascot-less.
But today I heard what might be the best solution to the Hoosierâ€™s mascot woes. I was getting my hair cut at the Razorâ€™s Image, which is home to Hershel Tieman, barber and legendary Hoosier fan.
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So Kelvin Sampson believes D.J. White is staying at Indiana and not entering the NBA Draft.
At least that’s the impression he gave ESPN National Writer Andy Katz.
Katz’s column, which is only available if you are an Insider, can be found here.
Because I often side with the outsiders, and find them to be usually more interesting and thoughtful people, I’ll paraphrase what I can here. ESPN probably has powerful lawyers, so I’ll be careful.
Here’s Sampson’s quote: “All indications are that he is coming back,” Sampson said of his 6-foot-9 forward. “He’s at every workout. He’s a workout leader. There is no formal announcement plans yet, but I think he’s coming back.”
Sampson goes on to tell Katz that White would probably already be in the NBA if it weren’t for the broken foot he suffered — twice — last season. In fact, Sampson indicates that he might not even be coaching Indiana if White hadn’t been injured: he thinks the Hoosiers would have gone further in the 2006 tournament and possibly saved Mike Davis’ job.
Katz then shares the fact that Eric Gordon might be good at basketball, and says that Gordon will have tough games at home against Kentucky and Connecticut next season and against Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Finally, it appears that the Hoosiers will play a few pre-season games around Labor Day in the Bahamas to help acclimate Gordon to the team. Taking such a trip would allow the Hoosiers to conduct 10 practices leading up to those games.
Let the rumors come to a rest. Beas Hamga is not committing to Indiana next week. Or Kentucky. Or anywhere else anytime soon.
After reading a few rumors claiming Hamga might verbally commit to the Hoosiers next week, I decided to give the 7-foot Cameroonian a call this evening to see if there was any truth to them.
There is not.
Hamga, who found the rumors humorous, said no such college decision had been made, nor would he make a decision anytime soon. When asked about if he had been in contact with Kelvin Sampson and his staff Hamga downplayed the question and replied, â€œwe talk.â€
Although the Hoosiers are one of Hamgaâ€™s top schools, the class of 2008 center said he wouldnâ€™t be making a choice anytime soon.
â€œAt the end of the summer, at least until the AAU season is over,â€ he said.
Hamga, who is a junior at Decatur Christian in Illinois, was in the state of Indiana over weekend. Hamga made the short trip to Indianapolis to practice with the Indiana Elite, his AAU team.
For more on Hamga and the class of 2008, be sure to check out Tuesday’s H-T. I’ll break down the Hoosier’s involvement with the class and hear the latest from Chattanooga East Ridge’s Philip Jurick.
Some things of interest from Hoosiers coach Felisha Legette-Jack:
THREE PLAYERS NOT RETURNING NEXT SEASON:
F Michelle Carr, who averaged 3.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in 16 games as a freshman before being ruled academically ineligible for second semester.
G/F Vanita Smart, who appeared in 23 games and started one as a freshman walkon.
G Nicole Hardin, junior college transfer who played three minutes in the team’s first game against Wake Forest but never got fully integrated before being relegated to a practice player role.
RECRUITS ARRIVING IN BLOOMINGTON FOR SECOND SUMMER SESSION:
G Jori Davis, 5-9, Greece Athena High School in Rochester, N.Y.
F Georgia Follmer, 6-4, Santa Margarita Catholic in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
F Ebony Jackson, 5-10, Indianapolis Arlington
G Haylie Linn, 5-11, Edgewood High School in Madison, Wis.
G Andrea McGuirt, 5-9, Marist High School in Atlanta, Ga.
TRANSFER AMBER JACKSON:
Jackson, who was the WAC’s leading scorer and rebounder before leaving San Jose State and enrolling at Indiana in January, will be eligible to play second semester next season to meet transfer requirement of sitting out one year.
However, Legette-Jack and the Hoosiers are trying to get a waiver from the NCAA for Jackson to play the whole 2007-08 season because of the circumstances surrounding her departure from the Spartans, claiming it was due to hardship from Jackson’s deteriorated relationship with assistant Greg Lockridge. Lockridge took over when head coach Janice Richard took a medical leave of absence to fight breast cancer.
“Amber had to do the right thing for the betterment of her person and her athletic ability,” said Legette-Jack, who has no idea how long the appeal process will last.
SCHEDULE NEWS FOR 2007-08:
The Hoosiers have already accepted an invitation to play in a Thanksgiving Tournament in the Virgin Islands, but the other teams have yet to be announced.
A November 30 home game will take place at Assembly Hall as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, but the opponent hasn’t been decided.
Indiana will play games at Kansas, at Dayton, and against Bowling Green at home as part of home and away agreements with those schools, but the dates are not yet set.
Several Hoosier players said after Saturday’s Cream and Crimson game that the team had gotten an e-mail from coach Terry Hoeppner on Friday. They said receiving it was a surprise because they haven’t heard directly from Hoeppner lately.
Running back Josiah Sears said the e-mail talked about how much Hoeppner has enjoyed watching the progress of the team this spring on film, which interim head coach Bill Lynch has brought to him. The e-mail also said Hoeppner looks forward to returning to the team, Sears said, but it didn’t say how soon Hoeppner expects to be back.
A couple of players said they had even thought Hoeppner might show up in the press box at the annual spring game, but there wasn’t any sign of that happening Saturday. IU officials said if Hoeppner was there, they weren’t aware of it.
Sears said it’s been difficult not having Hoeppner, the team’s leader, at spring practice, but Lynch has done an excellent job of stepping into that leadership role.
“We’ve obviously been praying for him,” Sears said of Hoeppner.
The ball goes off Polk’s hands in the end zone to end the game. It’s a wrap. Cream 27, Crimson 26. We’re headed down to the football offices under Memorial Stadium for interviews.
Polk catches a 34-yard TD pass to cut the deficit to one point with 41 seconds left. The Crimson goes for two and cornerback Chris Phillips was called for interferring with Chris Banks in the end zone on a fade. So the Crimson will try again for a two-point conversion to win the game.
Polk grabbed a pass and ran to the Cream 34. The Crimson has 52 seconds left to get into the end zone to tie this game.
The Crimson defense has stopped the Cream offense, giving the Crimson a final chance to win or tie game. The Crimson has 1st down from its own 10 with 1:49 left, trailing by a touchdown.
The Hoosier defenses were dominating this less than thrilling second half of football until receiver Terrance Turner just grabbed an 81-yard touchdown pass from Chappell. 27-20 Cream with 4:05 left in the game.
It’s three and out for the Cream in the first possession of the fourth quarter. The No. 1 offense, after a big frist half passing the ball, hasn’t done anything in its first two possessions of the second half.
And a scoreless third quarter comes quickly at an end. It’s still the Cream with a 27-14 lead.
Crimson kicker Nick Ford was just well short on a 39 yard field goal attempt.
With a running clock, the third quarter is already half over, even though only a few plays have been run. This half will be over in a hurry, which is probably a good thing for the perhaps 200 chilly fans still here.
The second half is underway with the Crimson having the ball. Running back Trea Burgess got the half started with a 22-yard run against the Cream defense.
Some highlights of the halftime stats – Cream: Lewis is 8 of 18 passing for 242 yards. Hardy has five catches for 107 yards and Fisher four catches fo 92 yards, Bailey two catches for 49 yards. Thigpen three runs for nine yards, Sears two runs for 15 yards.
Crimson: Chappell 9 of 13 passing for 73 yards. Turner five catches for 65 yards, Polk two catches for 30 yards. Trea Burgess and Bryan Payton each have nine yards to lead the team. Both teams combined have just 42 rushing yards in the first half.
The Cream, with the No. 1 offense, now has 289 yards passing. That’s good news for the IU offense, but looks bad for the No. 1 defense. Between both squads today, there’s only 47 yards rushing with barely a minute left in the half.
Six yard touchdown pass from – get this – Josiah Sears to Hardy. 27-14 Cream with 1:31 left in the half.
Here’s some excitement – a scuffle after a late shove by Geno Johnson on Kellen Lewis out of bounds. We had a fight between Johnson and Lewis at first and after that was broken up a fight between Johnson and James Bailey.
The Cream is moving again. James Hardy with another long grab and some slow pursuit by the No. 1 defense in catching up with him downfield. It’s 1st and 10 at the Crimson 14.
A Chappell fumble gave the Cream the ball deep in Crimson territory, leading to a five-yard Josiah Sears touchdown run. 20-14 Cream.
James Bailey broke a tackle to make a 33-yard gain for the Cream. It’s 1st and 10 at the Crimson 28. You wouldn’t think this wet, cold day would be a good one for passing, but Kellen Lewis is having a big game so far. He’s over 200 yards passing with nine and a half minutes left in the second quarter.
Polk is doing it all. He took a handoff in the backfield on a double reverse and threw a 35-yard TD pass to Terrance Turner on the first play of the second quarter. It’s 14-13 Crimson.
End of first quarter – Cream 13, Crimson 7
Nick Polk just caught his second pass for the Crimson. Polk is playing both ways – safety and receiver.
The No. 1 offense has been all about big plays so far – Ray Fisher just got loose after catching a short pass and sprinted down the right sideline untouched for a 67-yard TD. Starr missed the extra point. It’s 13-7 Cream.
Here’s a personnel update: Blake Powers is out for this game with a neck injury that is not considered serious.
Lewis just threw an interception in the end zone, picked off by safety J.T. Owens with just under three minutes left in the quarter.
The Crimson just made the first big mistake of the game. After failing to pick up a first down, the Crimson was going to punt from its own 30 when punter Chris Hagerup fumbled the snap and then got tackled at the 16. It’s 1st and 10 from the Crimson 16 for the Cream.
The Cream comes right back with a quick 46-yard strike from Lewis to Hardy down the left sideline. It’s 7-7 with 5:52 left in the quarter.
Aided by a late hit after a completion, the Crimson drove quickly for a touchdown, capped by a six-yard Ben Chappell run. 7-0 Crimson with 6:46 left in the first quarter.
The Cream’s initial drive died with an incompletion on 4th and 5. James Bailey had about half a step on Leslie Majors, but couldn’t pull in the pass one-handed.
The Cream team is moving the ball. Lewis had a 12 yard pass to Ray Fisher, followed a couple of players later by a 17-yard run by Marcus Thigpen. It’s 3rd and 5 right now at the Crimson 38.
They just had the coin toss and the Cream will get the ball first. That means we’ll see Kellen Lewis and the No. 1 offense first against the No. 1 defense. As a reminder, the Cream team has the No. 1 offense and the No. 2 defense, and the Crimson has the No. 1 defense and the No. 2 offense.
The team is out on the field warming up. One personnel note, second string offensive lineman James Brewer is on the sidelines on crutches. I had not heard anything about him being injured, but something must have happened during one of the practices this week, which were all closed to the media.
As you might imagine, there aren’t a lot of people in Memorial Stadium about 20 minutes prior to the scheduled start of today’s Cream and Crimson game. The weather in Bloomington is miserable today – it’s 42 degrees and raining right now, a very tough afternoon to sit and watch an intrasquad scrimmage.
Doug and I will be perched high above Memorial Stadium — aka “The Rock” — for tomorrow’s Cream and Crimson game. We couldn’t possibly be more excited.
We’ll offer you live updates as the game moves along, and complete coverage of everything everyone affiliated with the program has to say afterward.
So just check back here. We hope you’ll join us.