I’m not gonna write you a basketball blog …

By   |   Sunday, Apr. 27, 2008 - 10:36 PM   |   9 comments

cause you asked for it.

Well, actually, I guess I will.

Somebody calling themselves Dynasty (a 1980s soap opera fan, I assume) commented below seeking basketball news. So, here goes.

A person with direct knowledge of the situation told me today that Armon Bassett is still hoping to stay at IU and play basketball. He expects to hear something this week about his status with the team. As we’ve been reporting, it appears as though his grades will have a major impact on whether he’s reinstated.

There have been reports on some message boards that Bassett has decided to leave Indiana and transfer to a nearby school. One report said he has already visited Cincinnati.

But I know his desire is still to play for the Hoosiers next year.

I’m still trying to figure out the situation with Miles Plumlee. The 6-10 big man in the class of 2008 has requested his release from Stanford. He had an offer from former Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson, but it is unclear how familiar new coach Tom Crean is with the versatile forward who played his high school ball in North Carolina but is from Warsaw, Indiana.



Porter, Hardy reaction

By   |   Saturday, Apr. 26, 2008 - 10:12 PM   |   7 comments

I haven’t been able to reach James Hardy and Tracy Porter yet, although I’m still hoping to hear from Tracy tonight.

In the meantime, here’s what we’ve got:

Hardy is quoted on BuffaloBills.com: “He [Coach Jauron] told me he didn’t think I’d be available in the second round, but God blessed me to be in Buffalo and I just want to make the Buffalo nation proud.”

I talked with Porter’s agent, Paul Lawrence, who said his client was so ecstatic about New Orleans picking him that he could barely speak when Lawrence called him right after the pick. “He’s just excited to be able to play close to home,” Lawrence said.

IU sent out a press release in which it noted that this was the first time the Hoosiers have had two first-day picks since 1988 when offensive lineman Eric Moore went to the Giants in the first round and defensive end Van Waiters went to Browns in the third round.

Bill Lynch said in the press release that the football program is extremely proud of Tracy and James. “They gave everything they had to Indiana University and have been rewarded for all of their efforts,” Lynch said. “We congratulate them and look forward to watching their NFL careers for many years to come.”

The Bills also posted a video on BuffaloBills.com in which Tom Modrak, vice president of scouting, talks about Hardy. Modrak said that even in the NFL, Hardy’s 6-foot-5 stature will cause mismatch opportunities against smaller defenders, particularly in the red zone.

“He gives you opportunities that a quarterback doesn’t always have because of his height,” Modrak said. “And really he’s a good athlete. He bends better than you’d expect for a 6-5 guy.”

BUGG UPDATE: I just spoke with long snapper Tim Bugg who said that whether or not he gets drafted Sunday, he expects to know by the end of the day what team he’ll be signing with. He said that all indications are that he has a good chance of making a team and that if he isn’t drafted, he should be hearing right away from teams about signing as a free agent.

It’s quite a week for Bugg. He got married last Saturday and just got back today from a honeymoon in Cancun.



On the road

By   |   Saturday, Apr. 26, 2008 - 7:38 PM   |   4 comments

Tom Crean made his first recruiting trip as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers today when he attended the Top 100 Showcase at Ben Davis High School.  Crean watched the players rotate through drill stations — he sat right in front of the group working on rebounds because he wanted to evaluate the intensity each player brought — then watched a few games. He and assistant Tim Buckley made sure to watch recruit Derek Elston play, and the 6-8 forward out of Tipton played well. Elston said that he hasn’t actually had a conversation with Crean yet but will do so on Sunday when he takes an unofficial visit.

Crean was also checking out another class of 2009 forward, Stephan Van Treese out of Lawrence North. And he made sure to see a few runs by Jordan Hulls, a 2009 guard out of Bloomington South who made a visit to Indiana earlier this week.

Crean is headed to Akron tonight for the King James Shooting Star Classic, one of the premier AAU tournaments of the April evaluation period.  Now that Crean has been given 10 recruiting days, he’s using them carefully. He said he might use one or two more this month and save the others for July.



Porter, Hardy go back-to-back in second round

By   |   Saturday, Apr. 26, 2008 - 6:37 PM   |   11 comments

New Orleans took Tracy Porter with pick No. 40, followed moments later by Buffalo picking Indiana’s James Hardy with No. 41.

Porter, a Louisiana native, is probably thrilled to get to play so close to home.

The take from the guys on ESPN is that Hardy will have a chance to play right away at Buffalo.

A good call on Porter by one of our posters, Dynasty, who suggested in a comment that Porter would go mid-second round as Mel Kiper predicted. A lot of other draft prognosticators had Porter lower, but Kiper and Dynasty had it right.

————

This is the first year since 1990, according to ESPN, that no wide receivers were picked in the first round. But in the second round, there were three wide receivers among the top five picks: 2. (33 overall) Donnie Avery of Houston to St. Louis, 3. (34 overall) Devin Thomas of Michigan State to Washington, 5. (36 overall) Jordy Nelson of Kansas State to Green Bay.

————

With the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft just completed, Indiana’s James Hardy and Tracy Porter are still waiting to be picked.

Hardy, according to most prognosticators, has a good chance to hear his name called in the second round, while Porter is more likely to be picked Sunday when rounds 3-7 will be held.

Four Big Ten players were picked in the first round, including two to the Jets:

1. LT Jake Long of Michigan to the Miami Dolphins

6. DE Vernon Gholston of Ohio State to the New York Jets

23. RB Rashard Mendenhall of Illinois to the Pittsburgh Steelers

30. TE Dustin Keller of Purdue to the New York Jets



Crean at Top 100 camp

By   |   Saturday, Apr. 26, 2008 - 3:20 PM   |   8 comments

Indiana coach Tom Crean and assistant coach Tim Buckley are out recruiting at the Top 100 camp at Ben Davis High School this afternoon.

Among the players at the camp are 6-8, four-star Indiana recruit Derek Elston from Tipton and uncommitted Bloomington South guard Jordan Hulls, who made an unofficial visit to IU’s program this week. Both are in the class of 2009.

Chris Korman is at the camp and will have further details for you later today.



Crean granted 10 days on the road to recruit

By   |   Friday, Apr. 25, 2008 - 4:32 PM   |   25 comments

Indiana University has amended the sanctions it imposed on the men’s basketball program, according to a source close to the athletic department.

The school has granted new coach Tom Crean ten days to go on the road and recruit.

When Indiana put the punishment in place last fall, it limited Kelvin Sampson to 10 recruting days from Oct. 5 2007 through July 31, 2008.

Sampson used most of those days. Dan Dakich used the rest of them.

Crean arrived at IU with the understanding that he’d be unable to go out and recruit. But he said Thursday that the restriction has been more difficult to deal with than he anticipated.

Crean likely won’t wait long to get out and see players; he may start as soon as tomorrow.



Report: Sampson likely headed to Bucks

By   |   Friday, Apr. 25, 2008 - 8:57 AM   |   14 comments

Marc Stein of ESPN.com is reporting that former Hoosier coach Kelvin Sampson is talking with the Milwaukee Bucks about an assistant coaching job.

New Bucks coach Scott Skiles, according to the story, has targeted Sampson and Muncie native Craig Neal - associate head coach under Steve Alford at Iowa and New Mexico - to be part of his staff in Milwaukee.

Skiles, who led Plymouth High School – enrollment 900 – to the Indiana high school state title in 1982 while averaging 30.2 per game, including 39 points in the championship game, has been living in Bloomington since being fired as the Chicago Bulls coach in December 2007.  Never a favorite of the crowd at Assembly Hall, Skiles was also a Big Ten MVP and a first-team All-American at Michigan State who had some very memorable battles against Alford and the Hoosiers before going on to an NBA playing career that included a couple of years with the Indiana Pacers.

Since Sampson was forced to resign in February, he has been an unofficial observer with the San Antonio Spurs. He could not be reached to comment on Stein’s story. To read that entire story, click here.   





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