Crean offers ’08 big (but skinny) man

By   |   Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2008 - 4:47 PM   |   10 comments

According to John Decker at, Indiana has offered a scholarship to Maurice Sutton, a 6-10, 200-pound center/forward out of Largo High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Sutton’s stock slipped a bit last summer as he didn’t see much time with his AAU team. In fact, Crean backed off on Sutton a bit while he was recruiting him to Marquette.

But Sutton had a terrific senior season, averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds and nine blocks per game while leading his team to a state title.

He also had 17 points in just 13 minutes last weekend while playing at the Derby Festival Classic in Louisville. That has stirred increased interest in a player with considerable upside, if not girth (yet).

He is also considering Boston College, Villanova, Syracuse, Seton Hall and Kentucky.

Williams signs with Indiana

By   |   Monday, Apr. 21, 2008 - 3:34 PM   |   37 comments


Nick Williams, a 6-4 shooting guard from Mobile, Ala., has committed to Indiana.

Otis Hughley, the coach at LaFlore High school, told The Herald-Times today that Williams has faxed his signed letter of intent to the university. They are now awaiting confirmation.

Hughley coached Williams, a physical guard who has played plenty in the paint, through a historic four-year run. Williams played varsity as a freshman, and was a star on a team that went to three state final fours and won a state championship. LaFlore was also at one time ranked the No. 1 team in the country by USA Today.

Hughley credits much of the program’s success to Williams’ dedication.

“You can’t find him, you go to the nearest basketball court,” he says. “That, or the library. There he’ll be. He’s all character, all class.”

Williams, who is ranked by the 34th best shooting guard in the class of 2008, becomes the second player to join the class since Tom Crean took over as head coach of the Hoosiers. The other, JUCO transfer Devan Dumes from Vincennes, gave a verbal over the weekend and plans to sign his letter of intent tomorrow in Indianapolis. They join Matt Roth, a guard out of Illinois, and Tom Pritchard, a forward from Ohio.

Williams originally signed with Marquette, but was let out of his scholarship when Crean left. He was considering several schools, including Arkansas, but chose to stick with Crean.

“Ultimately, he built a relationship with a coach over two years,” Hughley said. “That’s hard to leave behind.”

UPDATE (4:27) — Here’s the official press release from Indiana, which includes quotes from head coach Tom Crean:
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Skiles hired by Bucks, may hire Sampson

By   |   Monday, Apr. 21, 2008 - 2:34 PM   |   5 comments

Scott Skiles, the Bloomington resident who was between NBA coaching jobs after being ditched by the Chicago Bulls midway through the season, has apparently agreed to become the next coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.

In an odd twist, the move may mean that Kelvin Sampson — run out of Bloomington for his part in the NCAA violations — ends up in Milwaukee. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, a columnist for Yahoo! (and the author of the sublimely superb book The Miracle of St. Anthony) Skiles might hire Sampson, thus creating a virtual coaching worm-hole from Milwaukee, known for producing a lot of beer, to Bloomington, known for drinking a lot of beer.

Indiana, of course, hired Tom Crean away from Marquette in Milwaukee.

Devan Dumes Bloomington-bound

By   |   Saturday, Apr. 19, 2008 - 11:47 PM   |   33 comments

My usual Saturday night wind-down time in the HT office after fielding a plethora of phone calls from high school coaches all afternoon informing me of their results for the day was interrupted this time around by a late phone call from one Dave Hunter, the Sports Information Director at junior college Vincennes University, sparking a wave of furious activity to make sure our loyal readers would wake up to this tidbit in their edition of the Sunday paper.

Hunter’s news was this: He had just received a text message from Vincennes basketball coach Everick Sullivan at around 10:30 p.m. informing him that Trailblazers sophomore Devan Dumes had given a verbal commitment to play for the Hoosiers beginning in 2008. The 6-2 guard averaged 16.9 points per game last season on the 28-6 team that reached the NJCAA Tournament for the 27th time.

Devon Dumes

Dumes, who attended Decatur Central High School and arrived on the Blazers after spending his freshman season at Eastern Michigan, nailed a school-record 109 3-pointers, shooting .399 from beyond the arc and .414 on all field goals. He was also an 83.7% free-throw shooter and dished out 4.0 assists per game.

Hunter also said that Dumes is the first Vincennes player to move on to the Hoosiers since Courtney Witte in 1983. Dumes, who will have two years of eligiblity, joins scholarship players Matt Roth and Tom Pritchard and walk-on Daniel Moore as members of next season’s incoming class.

Stats from today’s Cream and Crimson scrimmage

By   |   Saturday, Apr. 19, 2008 - 9:29 PM   |   3 comments


I saw a request on here for final stats from today’s scrimmage. Sorry I didn’t get those to you earlier. Here are some parts of my story for the H-T and HTO that provide some of the key numbers:

In the five-period scrimmage, the offense managed 167 yards on 49 running plays, an average of just 3.0 yards per carry.

In 57 passing attempts, quarterbacks the offense gained 248 yards, an average of only 4.3 yards per play. By comparison, IU averaged 6.9 yards per pass play last season.

First-string quarterback Ben Chappell finished 24-of-38 for 169 yards with two interceptions. Second-stringer Mitchell Evans was 13-of-19 for 79 yards with two interceptions.

Collin Taylor, a junior from Carmel who’s played in three games during his IU career, led the receivers with five catches for 72 yards. He was followed by Matt Ernest with seven catches for 59 yards, Chris Banks with four catches for 33 yards, tight end Max Dedmond with four catches for 30 yards and Brandon Walker-Roby with seven catches for 29 yards.

Of the success the offense did have in the running game, most of it came with the No. 2 offense working against the No. 2 defense. Second-stringer Trea Burgess had 11 carries for 47 yards and Zach Walker had nine carries for 37 yards.

The second-string offense scored two of the four touchdowns scored during the scrimmage on runs by Burgess and Walker.

First-string running back Bryan Payton ran for 39 yards on 12 carries, an average of 2.9 yards per carry.

Junior defensive end Jammie Kirlew led the defense with two sacks and five tackles. Safety Nick Polk and linebacker Will Patterson also had five tackles.

Defensive backs Richard Council, Donnell Jones, Joe Kleinsmith and Christopher Phillips made interceptions. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jeff Boyd from Warren Central provided one of the biggest hits in colliding with Chappell to cause the errant pass that landed in Phillips’ arms.

Cream and Crimson final – Offense 36, Defense 34

By   |   Saturday, Apr. 19, 2008 - 1:06 PM   |   6 comments


It appeared that the defense had won today’s Cream and Crimson scrimmage, but the offense was given the ball again after the clock had expired and scored on a 10-yard pass from Chappell to Taylor. The three points made the final officially, Offense 36, Defense 34.

Coach Bill Lynch afterward said the scrimmage had really ended with the defense ahead, but he decided to have a final play as an overtime to decide the game.

Despite the final score, it was obvious that the defense dominated the offense for most of this scrimmage, which isn’t too surprising given the number of returning starters it had playing as compared to the offense.
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Jones Sr. discusses his son’s recruitment

By   |   Friday, Apr. 18, 2008 - 3:49 PM   |   22 comments

I just spoke with Verdell Jones’ father, Verdell Jones Sr., about his son’s recruitment and was able to gauge a pretty good understanding of where they stand in the process.

2008 recruit Jones, a 6-4, 160-pound point guard from Champaign, Ill., visited the IU campus last Friday and met with new Hoosier coach Tom Crean.

“We had a great visit to Indiana, and V (his nickname for his son) really liked Coach Crean,” Jones Sr. said. “He likes his energy and his ability to develop players. He likes that he’s got great knowledge of the game. He’s a go-getter. He wants you to want to get better.”

Jones Sr. said they’ve already visited Kentucky and Minnesota, and have plans to visit Arizona and Virginia in the coming weeks, although those “are subject to change.” It is important to note that Jones Sr. is extremely involved in this process, although he insists he will let his son make the final decision.

“This is a life decision, and you don’t want to rush into making such an important one without assessing the entire situation,” he said. “This will not be an impulse decision, it will be an informed decision. We have a rule where we don’t discuss or assess a visit until 48 hours after the visit. We can’t make a life decision based on excitement.”

Jones Sr. said he expects his son to major in business, something that most certainly bodes well for Indiana, home of the nationally-ranked Kelley School of Business.

“V knows this is his choice,” he continued. “He’s gotta be there. He’s the one that’s going to play. He’s the one that’s going to classes. When he’s ready to pull the trigger, we’ll be there to support him.”

Jones Sr. said they expect to make a decision in the coming weeks.

As always, we’ll keep you posted.

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