A few free throws on Friday afternoon

By   |   Friday, Aug. 1, 2008 - 2:45 PM   |   9 comments

Thoughts on Indiana basketball and college hoops in general . . .

  • No word yet on Indiana’s third assistant coach. Tom Crean has said that he wasn’t in any rush to fill the position because, per IU’s self-sanctions, that person would not have been able to recruit. Well, that part of the sanctions — as well as restrictions on how many times the basketball staff can contact recruits — expired yesterday. So there should be movement there soon. It will be interesting to see if Crean, who so far has  hired only people he’s worked with before, brings in what Gary Parrish of CBS calls a free-agent assistant.
  • Christian Watford told Louisville Courier-Journal recruiting writer Jody Demling, who hit the late July circuit hard, that Indiana coaches have called him their “No. 1 target.” That makes sense. Watford’s a dynamic scorer whose game is similar to former Indiana recruit Devin Ebanks. He’s 6-7 and, in the games I’ve seen him play, has effortlessly dominated the unique summer-style games. Watford may make the trip to Bloomington for an elite camp taking place later this month.
  • Marshall Plumlee may attend the same camp, according to Mike Pegram and Peegs.com. Both of Plumlee’s older brothers are headed to Duke, but the sophomore-to-be is still early in his decision-making process. Indiana is also following the development of Cody Zeller, younger brother of Notre Dame’s Luke and North Carolina’s Tyler. Think about what those families have seen: their kids have been recruited by three different IU head coaches and probably three or four or five different assistants.
  • Parrish has an interesting story on elite camps, by the way. In my two years here I haven’t caught on to IU pulling this trick. Anybody who’s been around longer think of an instance where this took place here?


1/5 of top 25 comes from Big Ten

By   |   Friday, Aug. 1, 2008 - 12:53 PM   |   15 comments

So the coaches have voted and it is their decree that five of the top 25 teams heading into the season are Big Ten teams.

To think that it was just a week ago at Big Ten Media Days that much of the talk centered on whether the conference had dropped a notch or two in the hierarchy.

Here’s a link to the complete poll.

       
         


Crean chats with Bozich and Demling

By   |   Thursday, Jul. 31, 2008 - 1:57 PM   |   7 comments

Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean took about 10 minutes to talk to Rick Bozich and Jody Demling, writers for the Louisville Courier-Journal and hosts of the Front Row Ticket on 93.9, earlier today.

Crean lamented the fact that he didn’t have more recruiting days to use in July (he had seven while most coaches had 20) but lauded his two assistants, Bennie Seltzer and Tim Buckley, for energetically making up for his absence at many events.

Crean also said that Indiana is not rushing to answer the NCAA’s “failure to monitor” charge.

“Time is not of the essence right now,” he said. “What’s of the essence is that we’re very clear, that Indiana is very clear, with where we stand on this latest issue. . . . I want to see us fight it as vigorously as we can, and I think that’s crucial.”

Crean also talked about the IU Family Reunion he’s planning for late August in French Lick. Every former IU player and student manager has been invited for a weekend trip.

You can hear the entire audio of the interview at my favorite IU basketball blog, Inside the Hall.



Dear IU football: No one hates you

By   |   Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2008 - 8:05 PM   |   5 comments

Adam Rittenberg, the prolific new Big Ten blogger for ESPN, ranked the conference’s football teams from most hated to least hated today.

Your Hoosiers are the least hated. Ohio State is the most hated.

Rittenberg says of Indiana: “… the program usually isn’t relevant enough to be hated.”

No Machiavellian examination of these rankings — is it better to be feared or loved? — is in order.



Report: Crean gets two more years

By   |   Monday, Jul. 28, 2008 - 1:44 PM   |   23 comments

4:05 update: Tom Crean has spoken, and he has not said much. His statement, according to an e-mail, is:

“As soon as the long form contract is finished it will be released.  To date, I am comfortable with the progress that is being made with finalizing the details of my contract and look forward to its completion.”

————-

2:35 update: IU will release a statement from Tom Crean today regarding the report that he has agreed to a two-year extension that would give him a 10-year contract.

Crean is still in the process of negotiating his initial contract with IU and it appears he’s very close to completing that process.

—————

2:15 update: IU trustee Phil Eskew just told us that he doesn’t know anything about an extension for Crean and would be surprised if one has been approved because university president Michael McRobbie has been in Australia. Eskew thinks McRobbie would need to be involved in such a decision.

This doesn’t mean that the report about Crean getting a two-year extension is incorrect, but if it’s true, it’s interesting that one of the trustees hasn’t been informed about an extension for IU’s highest-profile employee. That extension would likely cost more than $4.5 million, based on Crean’s initial memorandum of agreement for an average salary of $2.3 million for eight years (a total of $18.2 million).

We’ll provide further updates today on this report.

————

Indiana head coach Tom Crean has yet to sign a contract with Indiana, though talks have been ongoing.

According to the original memorandum of understanding he signed on April 1, he and athletic director Rick Greenspan were supposed to work out the details of the 8-year deal worth $2.3 million a year and make it official by May 15.

Since then, of course, Crean has realized how muddy the situation is at Indiana. And Greenspan has been bought out of his contract.

Now, the Indy Star is reporting that sources close to the situation are saying that Crean has already received a two-year extension.

We haven’t been able to confirm this yet, but we’re working on it. It seems likely that the addition of two years to the deal came up during the drafting of the final contract — either at the request of IU or Crean — and that an announcement of its finalization could come soon.



Jeff Meyer lands at Michigan

By   |   Sunday, Jul. 27, 2008 - 3:51 PM   |   Comments Off

Jeff Meyer, the former Indiana assistant who has already be cleared from any serious wrong-doing in the mess that brought down Kelvin Sampson, has taken a job as an administrative specialist at Michigan.

He’ll assist coach John Beilein with….something. The release isn’t exactly clear. But Beilein, in the statement, expressed confidence in the long-time coach. Meyer was cleared of any major violations shortly after the hearing before the NCAA committee on infractions ended on June 14.

Contrary to what the Michigan press release says, Meyer spent the last two seasons at IU. That’s a significant fact, because his hiring certainly played some role — however minor — in luring Eric Gordon to Indiana. Meyer coached Eric Gordon Sr. at Liberty.

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Hoops Weiss on Tom Crean

By   |   Sunday, Jul. 27, 2008 - 11:43 AM   |   12 comments

Dick “Hoops” WeissDick Weiss, who has been covering college basketball for 40 years now, penned a story that was given the headline “Tom Crean has tough job ahead in rebuilding Indiana hoops” for the New York Daily News.

I promise the story itself is more insightful than the headline

“Hoops,” as Dick is usually referred to, caught up with Crean in Las Vegas and somehow got him to stop and talk. Crean, he writes, has put 150 miles on his rental car already and is buzzing around trying to keep his current recruits happy and find future ones.

It’s a long story and much of it rehashes what you, as Hoosiers fans, lived through the past couple of months. Still worth a read, and a discussion here.





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