Indiana at Illinois: Discuss it here

Means declares for NFL draft, S. Florida backs out

A couple of lingering tidbits on football to brighten up this bleak Saturday.

Former Indiana wide receiver/center fielder and current Cincinnati Reds prospect Andrew Means has entered his name in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Due to his baseball obligations, Means was not going to return to the football team (he’s got to report to spring training in February.) He’s harbored thoughts of playing both sports professionally for a few years and now will give it a try.

Certainly stranger things have happened than a guy like Means, who caught 34 passes for 450 yards and one touchdown last year, making it in the League. You look at any NFL roster and see a mish-mash of top draft picks from power schools and unsigned free agents from smaller schools and everything in between. Despite all the money spent on talent evaluation there’s still no reliable way to tell exactly who has what it takes to play at the next level.

Means has above average speed for a player his size (6-0, 215) and is tough.

So maybe somebody will take a chance on him as a free agent. I can’t imagine he’ll get drafted, given he won’t be available for training camp. Or mini camps. Or any of that.

The respected Web site ranks Means the 74th wide receiver available.

The same site lists RB Marcus Thigpen as the 39-best at his position. It seems likely he’ll get a look as a kick returner.

Finally, South Florida has backed out of a scheduled game at Memorial Stadium next year to play (and cash in on) a home-and-home with Florida State.

The Hoosiers will now host the Bulls in 2015.

Jordan Hulls, South take on North tonight

Indiana signee Jordan Hulls, and a few Bloomington South teammates who might become future IU targets, will face rival Bloomington North tonight, which has a guard worth watching in Julian Boatner.

H. Williams Kellenberger will have the coverage for The Herald-Times, and he’ll be blogging at QuickHits if you want to follow along.

South’s Price verbals to IU

Aaron Price

Aaron Price, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive tackle at Bloomington South, has verbally committed to play for Indiana next season.

Price had originally committed to play for Miami of Ohio, but Indiana offered and Price has accepted, said coach Drew Wood.

Price played left tackle for the Panthers, who had one of the more potent offensive attacks in 5A. He moves very well for a player his size and could gain some weight without losing that mobility.

He’s also a tough kid, playing both sides of the ball during the second half of the season. At defensive end in a three-man front, Price was a roadblock.

I am going to try to talk to Price tonight at the South-North boys’ basketball game.

IU women lose to Minnesota

From the Associated Press:

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ashley Ellis-Milan scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Minnesota to a 70-62 win over Indiana on Thursday, stopping the Hoosiers’ nine-game winning streak.
Emily Fox scored 15 and Brittany McCoy added 10 in the Gophers’ third straight win.
Indiana last held the lead late in the first half and was within a point four times in the second half. But the Hoosiers were unable to make a key shot while Minnesota (11-4, 3-1 Big Ten) kept them at arm’s length until a late spurt in the game’s closing seconds.
Indiana’s Whitney Thomas led all scorers with 22 points. Amber Jackson scored 15 and Jamie Braun 10 for the Hoosiers (10-3, 3-1), who lost their first Big Ten game after starting out with three straight wins. Minnesota won for the second time in three Big Ten games.
The Gophers took the lead for good at 47-43 on a basket by Zoe Harper and two free throws by McCoy, but they weren’t able to shake the Hoosiers. Indiana managed to close to within one point at 59-58 on a pair of foul shots by Jori Davis, but freshman Kiara Buford made a 3-point basket from the deep left corner to stop the comeback attempt.

The win streak is dead, long live the win streak

The Indiana women’s basketball team saw its nine-game win streak go by the board Thursday night in a 70-62 loss at Minnesota. The pull of Williams Arena was too much for the Hoosiers to overcome as they still have not won there since 2001.

IU trailed by five at the half, but were within 59-58 late in the second half. A drought lasting nearly five minutes largely did in the Hoosiers, who still battled back within 65-62 in the final minute. With the shot clock winding down, Jamie Braun stuffed the Gophers’ Brittany McCoy, but was whistled for the foul. Braun disagreed with the call, and coach Felisha Legette-Jack disagreed even more, earning a technical foul with 30 seconds left. Three free throws later, the game was effectively over.

For more on the game, visit later tonight.

The Barn is, well, The Barn

Venerable Williams Arena, home to Minnesota basketball, has been the site of many a bad memory for Indiana basketball teams and fans. A win by the IU men last season not withstanding, The Barn, as it is known, is probably not high on the list of warm fuzzy places to visit for Hoosiers.

It’s no different for the Indiana women’s basketball team, which will put a nine-game win streak on the line in Minneapolis tonight. At Tuesday’s practice, coach Felisha Legette-Jack was chastising her scout team for not playing aggressive enough defense, telling her team, “It’s not going to be that easy. Doesn’t anybody remember the last two years when they kicked out butts?”

Two years is all Legette-Jack remembers, but the Hoosiers’ have found The Barn uninviting for the last seven years. IU has not won in Minneapolis since a 79-76 win on Jan. 4, 2001, behind Jill Chapman and Heather Cassady. So while a win tonight doesn’t a season make, it may provide a barometer of just high this team is capable of going this year.

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