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Around the Big Ten: Dantonio is back

Conference play returns to the Big Ten this week, but more importantly, so does Mark Dantonio.

The Michigan State coach will coach from the press box when the Spartans play Wisconsin this week, two weeks after suffering a heart attack the morning after his team’s dramatic overtime win over Notre Dame. Dantonio held his weekly press conference for the first time since the heart attack Tuesday, then re-joined the Big Ten teleconference.

“I just want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers over the past few weeks,” Dantonio said in his opening statement. “It’s good to be back.”

Dantonio said offensive coordinator Don Treadwell would still serve as interim coach when circumstances dictate, and that he would be closely watched to see what he could and could not do. (more…)


That’s a lot of Hoosier

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That’s the cover of the first Maple Street Press Hoosier Tip-Off magazine. It’s 128 pages and no ads. It’s all about Indiana.

I wrote two stories for it (one on the 1976 and 1981 championship teams, the other on Dane Fife). Dustin wrote a 5,000-word season preview. Old friend Korman wrote the same amount on the rebuilding process. The Ginger, Zach Osterman, edited it, and Alex Bozich was a part of it. And a host of old IDS friends and former interns had their own contributions.

So, yeah, this dominates Lindy’s. Athlon too. Maybe even Sporting News.

You can order the book online here and they’ll ship it on Oct. 11. Or you can wait until the end of the month, when it hits news stands.


Sterling commit for IU women

The Indiana women’s basketball team recently secured its first commitment for the recruiting class of 2011 in the person of Necole Sterling of Manassas, Virginia.

Sterling is a three-star recruit ranked as the No. 41 wing player in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz. HoopGurlz lists her at 5-11, but her Stonewall Jackson High School coach Nsonji White says she is actually 6-foot.

This will be Sterling’s first year playing under White after transferring from Heritage High School in Leesburg, Va., but she previously played against her new coach, who says the Hoosiers are getting a versatile performer.

“Indiana is getting a talented 2-3 guard,” White said. “She can play the point, post up and is an outstanding passer, which is the best thing about her game.”

Stonewall Jackson is loaded with talent, including a Boston College commit, another players with six offers and a freshman drawing interest from North Carolina among others. White said that just gives Sterling a chance to show off all her skills.

“We have a well-rounded team,” he said. “If she wanted to score 20 a game, she could, but her best attributes are as a natural passer and playmaker.
“We’re excited about taking the wrapper off of this new package we have.”


Hoosier Morning

IU_Football

Leon Beckum and the defense is getting ready for Michigan. Heather Brogden | Herald-Times

(more…)


Buzzer-beater for soccer Hoosiers

Soccer is not a sport that lends itself to last-second shots with the exception of a penalty-kick shootout. But that’s essentially what the Indiana soccer team got last Friday night when Will Bruin powered home the game-winning score with 11 seconds remaining for a 3-2 win.

That came after Penn State had the apparent go-ahead goal wiped off by an offsides call just 10 seconds earlier, and the Hoosiers had tied the game at 2 with just over 12 minutes to go. IU coach Todd Yeagley admitted the finish was an unusual one.

“I’ve been involved with a couple games like that, you just don’t see it often,” he said. “And the emotional swing from scoring to tie it and we had a lot of momentum, them getting the goal called back off the offsides, the emotional roller coaster we were on was incredible. That was an exciting game.”

The excitement returns to Armstrong Stadium Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. when Evansville visits.


Lyles and Blackmon rankings

I am loathe to lend too much credence to player recruiting rankings, generally. And we’re talking Class of 2014 here. And ESPN’s player rankings can be especially “squirrelly.” But given all that, here is where Indianapolis Arsenal Tech frontliner Trey Lyles and Fort Wayne Bishop Luers guard James Blackmon — who have now given verbal commitments to attend Indiana — are in ESPN’s national rankings for the Class of 2014:

Lyles, No. 1;

Blackmon, No. 7.

I’ve only seen brief film on these players, culled from their play as AAU teammates for a Spiece squad, but even that small snippet was enough to impress. Lyles struck me a little bit like a young Jared Jeffries, who I was privileged to see develop into an outstanding player very early in his high school career. And, like Jeffries, Lyles has had a bit of a growth spurt here in his freshman year of high school.

That’s the thing to remember. These players are prep freshmen yet to play a game for their respective high school teams.

But suffice to say that IU fans should have more and more reasons to get out and watch some good in-state high school teams play over the next few years, if the latest trend in verbal commitments persists.


Lynch: Robinson “Scary Good”

Many of the questions Bill Lynch faced in his press conference on Monday centered around one man, and Lynch certainly understood why.

“Denard Robinson is scary good,” the Indiana football coach said.

Indeed, the Michigan sophomore quarterback is. Heading into the Wolverines’ 3:30 p.m. game at Memorial Stadium, Robinson leads the nation in rushing yards with 688. He’s scored six touchdowns and has a gaudy yards per carry average of 8.7. He’s also completed 71.2 percent of his passes for 731 yards and four scores against just one interception. He averages just under 50 yards of total offense more than the No. 2 competitor in the category in the Big Ten, Northwestern’s Dan Persa.

So Lynch was asked repeatedly and in various forms how an Indiana defense that was gashed for 160 yards by Akron this week could hope to contain such an explosive player.

Lynch admitted there’s no magic formula, and that it simply comes down to brilliant execution of the basics. (more…)


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