Hanging on by a thread …

Inside the Hall’s Alex Bozich has left the building. So has Matt Dollinger, who did yeoman’s work today for the Gary Post-Tribune by writing three (yes, three) separate community reaction stories.

Lynn Houser and I work on. Tom Crean has also remained. It appears Matt, Bruce, Tubby and Roy have left the building, or at least not in their seats.

North Central is winning, 90-68, with 3:07 remaining. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera has 16 points and six rebounds. Terone Johnson has 24.

I left Bloomington at 8:25 or so this morning. It is now 10:45 p.m. This seems like a long day. In fact, it is. Lots of basketball. Lots of great basketball. The Indiana high school state tournament is unlike the North Carolina state tournament (my only other frame of reference; I know, not very helpful) in every way. Tons of passion, tons of interest and tons of talent. Other state tournaments have all of these of course, but Indiana seems to have more of it.

It’s been real. It’s been fun. Let’s do it again next year.

Washington 65, Gary Wallace 62

Hell of a game. Wow. What a game.

Washington defeated Gary Wallace 65-62 in overtime to win the 3A state championship.

With a host of coaches in attendance, including Indiana coach Tom Crean and North Carolina coach Roy Williams, Cody Zeller had 20 points and 26 rebounds. That ties the 3A state record for rebounds in a game.

Zeller was 4-of-15 from the field and was not the strongest inside with the ball in his hands, but he was 11-of-17 from the free-throw line and was, obviously, great at pulling in rebounds. Very instinctual, he rarely caught out of position.

“Cody didn’t shoot the ball very well, but he did a lot of other things very well for us,” Washington coach Gene Miiller said. “Twenty-six rebounds is super.”

Branden Dawson, Gary Wallace’s top gun, had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets. He played hurt, briefly leaving the game with what looked like an ankle injury.

The lasting moment of these state championships may be Dawson lying on the court after missing two 3-pointers that would have tied the game, the Washington players celebrating all around him.

“A lot of times you all don’t treat us fair,” Wallace coach Renaldo Thomas said. “We’re stepchildren up north. You never see us. So I brought the Branden Dawsons and the Latroy “Should be on the All-Star team” Taylor. The Brandon Bradfords, who should be invited to the Top 60 (Workout).

“Yeah, I am campaigning for mine. Because you don’t give them recognition. When I was a player, I took it. You didn’t have to give me anything, because I took it. And Branden will come back and take it. I was put at Lew Wallace to fail. To fail. But I didn’t fail. We won tonight.”

He is in the building

Tom Crean is seated in the first row behind the Washington basket. If you are watching at home, he is wearing his Crimson pullover. Every other coach is wearing a suit. Tubby Smith looks particularly dapper.

Crean, I suppose, is hoping to stand out.

Dane Fife and Ohio State assistant Brandon Miller are also in the building.

Definite interest from IU with Marrero

Veteran sports writer Lynn Houser caught up with Bowman Academy coach Marvin Rea a few moments ago for his column on the return of the Region at the state tournament. But he also asked Rea about Indiana’s interest in 6-foot-5 sophomore DeJuan Marrero.

This what Rea said:

Coach (Crean) is at practice, making phone calls. They are definitely showing interest. DeJuan Marrero has to do what’s best for DeJuan. If it’s the Black and Gold, so be it. If it’s the Crimson and White, so be it.

More observations from spring practice

Today was the first day Indiana has been allowed to wear full pads for practice this spring, and the Hoosiers definitely seemed excited to be able to hit each other again. The highlight of practice was an Oklahoma-style drill early on that pitted four offensive players (three blockers and a back) against four defensive players. The back had the ball in his hand when the whistle blew and simply had to try to move it as far down the field as possible. The quarters were tight with the ball moving across the field instead of up and down it and the uninvolved players lined up on either side. Every time a player was tackled, it essentially turned into a moshpit with players hooting and hollering, diving in from the sidelines and mixing it up with whoever they ran into.

So yeah, these guys were ready to get back to real football. (more…)

Live from the 100th state tournament


Park Tudor sophomore Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell misses two contested 3-pointers in the final 12.9 seconds and Wheeler wins, 41-38.

“We were trying to get Yogi off the ball screen and then flare for the screener,” Park Tudor coach Ed Schilling said. “We got a couple of good looks.”

Of the final shot, an off-balance leaner, Schilling said he has seen Ferrell make that shot. Ferrell said he really liked his elevation and look at the basket on the first shot.

Ferrell had a game-high 20 points and four assists. He was 7-of-21 from the field and 1-of-8 from the free-throw line.

He picked up his game in the second half, with 10 points and three assists.

“I wasn’t really trying to be too impatient,” Ferrell said.

He’s a very solid player. Bit of a poor man’s Dee Davis. Peegs pointed out that he doesn’t have the dribbling skills of Davis or Marquis Teague, but may be a better shooter. I’d agree with that. The 1-of-8 is not indicative of his skill, I think. He had to force some shots in an effort to win the game.

No one from IU is here, perhaps because of the John Wilkins visit. Illinois coach Bruce Weber and Purdue coach Matt Painter are both here. Both went and congratulated Bowman Academy coach Marvin Rea during the fourth quarter of the 2A game.

Here is a photo of Painter with Rea.




Bowman Academy pulls away in the second and third quarters to defeat Barr-Reeve, 74-52.

DeJuan Marrero, one of the better sophomores in the country, had 17 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks. Christopher Bond, a nice 6-foot-4 senior forward, had 15 points and nine rebounds to go with four steals and two blocks.

Bowman Academy coach Marvin Rea said as much as Marrero might try to deny it, the sophomore was nervous during the game’s first half.

At halftime, Marrero’s message was short and sweet — give him the ball.

“Assistant coach James Scott told me I had to be more aggressive,” Marrero said. “I had to play better in the post. They’re not stronger than me — that’s what he said. So I just took that to mind and went to work.

“And then I talked to the refs and he said, ‘Keep playing your game. I got you.’ So I started playing more aggressive.”

No sign of Tom Crean or any other member of the Indiana staff, but Purdue coach Matt Painter and Illinois’ Bruce Weber are in the building.


Hello everyone. I am here in Conseco Fieldhouse for the Indiana high school state tournament.

I’ll be here all day, from the 1A game in 15 minutes between Bowman Academy and Barr-Reeve, up to tonight’s 4A contest between North Central and Warsaw.

I’ll have updates all day, so keep checking in.

Boncore: “I know (Crean) is upset and thinks something else is going on. It’s not.”

Joe Boncore sounds exhausted. Moses Abraham’s guardian’s phone has been blowing up for the last 24 hours, and some of the voices he’s heard on the other end of the phone have apparently been explosive.

But Boncore says that many of the conclusions of impropriety that some may have drawn from Abraham’s commitment to Georgetown are incorrect. Abraham simply made a difficult decision, he said, and it was one that even surprised him.

“As soon as he got off the plane we went and had Chinese food,” Boncore said. “He told me he had great time, it’s  fantastic, it’s the best place he’s seen. I said, ‘Well, are you going to commit to Indiana?’ He said, ‘No, I’m gonna go with Georgetown.’  I said, ‘well why?’ He said ‘It’s a smaller school. I’ve only been here four months, and the only people I know are here. … I want you to call the Indiana coaches. I don’t want to let them down.'” (more…)

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