Verdell Jones, out since suffering a concussion against Cornell, may return to the lineup today. He is currently on the floor taking shots, which is more than he’s done before recent games. He’s slowly returned to practice, first working only in non-contact and then moving up to more vigorous drills.
If Jones can play he’ll give the Hoosiers a player who can matchup with freshman point guard DeAndre Liggings (who is 6-6). Those two are probably familiar with each other having both grown up playing basketball in Illinois. Remember that Jones often traveled to Liggins’ home town of Chicago to face stronger competition.
We’ll let you know something as soon as we know more.
Jeff Withey, a 6-11 center who was the No. 36 player in the class of 2008, is considering IU as his next destination after decided to leave Arizona, according to Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer.
Withey left the team, before ever playing a game, after coach Lute Olson abruptly exited prior to the season. He plans on enrolling at his new school in January, which would make him eligible to begin playing there in January 2010.
Indiana, of course, doesn’t have an open scholarship for Withey. It doesn’t even have enough scholarships for the six players it has already signed in the 2009 class. But that will not stop Tom Crean and his staff from considering a player that could — just maybe — give the Hoosiers more than a legit chance at making the NCAA Tournament in year two of the rebuilding project.
There are few columnists in the country that I respect more than Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel. He uses his platform not to pontificate because he loves to read his thoughts or thinks you must have them in order to operate in the world but to point out injustices
I believe that’s what he’s trying to do with this column, which has drawn some harsh criticism from Indiana fans.
Read it if you haven’t. I’ll be back to discuss it in a bit and hopefully spark some good conversation.
My quick thoughts, because the discussion is already roiling: people like Wetzel need to continue to monitor the NCAA. As has been pointed out here, his anecdotal evidence might not quite add up to support his conclusion this time, but he certainly is onto something (and has been for a while, as he’s written about this issue before).
There needs to be reporters who have time to perform the essential watchdog role over the NCAA and its often bizarre processes. Mark Alesia of the Indy Star covers NCAA matters as well as anybody, but he’s got other duties, too. Writers from publications that focus on higher education (such as The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed) also devote some time to covering the NCAA but probably not enough to ever truly grasp the stories as well as they need to.
A short update on IU women’s basketball. I missed the first hour and a half of Thursday’s practice, but coach Felisha Legette-Jack didn’t. Maybe she wishes she had. In her words, “Sometimes you’ve got to love em up, sometimes you’ve got to drag it out of them.” Thursday there was some dragging going on, but this is no time to let up with five-game winning streak intact and a trip to West Virginia looming on Saturday.
On the injury front, Indiana sent out a press release on 6-foot-3 freshman Sasha Chaplin, who injured her left knee Tuesday against Butler. Basically, Chaplin has a doctor’s appointment early next week for further evaluation. Coach Jack said she is definitely out for the next two games, Saturday vs. the Mountaineers and the Big Ten opener against Northwestern on Dec. 20. Chaplin was at practice Thursday wearing a knee brace, but not participating in drills.
We’ll have our weekly Indiana sports chat at 11 a.m. Thursday. You can submit your questions and comments, or just follow the conversation by clicking here.