Around the Hall: Freshmen to watch, Williams works out in Boston, more

  • 06/10/2016 9:58 am in

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff: lists a freshman you should know from each team in its preseason top 25 and goes with Curtis Jones as the pick for Indiana:

Jones, a versatile guard who comes in at No. 40 in the ESPN 100, will be a welcome addition to the Hoosier backcourt after the departure of Yogi Ferrell. Jones excels in transition and can make scoring plays for himself. Not only can he play on or off the ball, but he can defend both guard positions as well.

Indiana associate head coach Tim Buckley is one of five assistant coaches that deserve another chance to be a head coach, according to Dick Vitale:

The current Associate Head Coach at Indiana under Tom Crean, Buckley was the head coach at Ball State from 2000-06. Over the past five years, Buckley has helped Indiana to a 120-53 record and helped the Hoosiers win outright Big Ten titles in 2013 and 2016. He has been a major factor in recruiting. If he wanted to run his own program, I am sure he would do a great job.

Former IU forward Troy Williams was among 12 players who worked out for the Boston Celtics on Thursday:

The Celtics on Thursday also worked out Alex Caruso (Texas A&M),Damian Jones (Vanderbilt), Georgios Papagiannis (Greece),Rasheed Sulaimon (Maryland), Robert Carter (Maryland), Stefan Jankovic (Hawaii), Shawn Long (Louisiana-Lafayette), Nik Slavica(Croatia), and Troy Williams (Indiana).

The Indiana Junior All-Stars avenged their Tuesday loss to the Indiana All-Stars in a big way on Thursday night in Lebanon:

Just 48 hours after absorbing a 22-point loss in Bloomington, the Junior All-Stars evened the score with a 103-90 win over the All-Stars. The result wasn’t all that surprising, considering the Juniors have four players ranked in the top-50 in the country.

“They were pissed off and we were lackadaisical,” said Mr. Basketball Kyle Guy, who arrived a few minutes after tipoff after graduating from Lawrence Central High School earlier Thursday. “We made a push, we just came a little short.”

New Albany’s Romeo Langford is the No. 2 player in the class of 2018 according to the latest ESPN 60 rankings:

Romeo Langford is the other big name to know. He has been on a tear in the spring circuit and has made the biggest surge in the 2018 player rankings. Langford’s dynamic scoring ability separates him from his peers. He is very dangerous from all three levels on the floor and almost unstoppable in the conversion game. His sheer athletic ability overwhelms opponents and his step-back jumper is his go-to move.

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  • sarge

    CUJO could be huge for this team, especially long term. He seems like the kind of guy that would really excel in our program. He has a larger frame than most guards and seems to do a little bit of everything. I am really excited to see how these freshman carve out their spot on the squad.

  • TomJameson

    I like the “defend both guard positions” comment. I have no doubt that, by mid season maybe, CoJo will be contributing. Don’t know how all the good guard play is going to work out, but there certainly are plenty of options there. And it’s really beginning to look like CTC is adding another “must have” ability to his recruits … must play defense.

  • IUBizmark

    I really wish we would get Langford. He’s a program changer and a good in-state kid. Instead he’ll probably go to Duke…

  • inLinE6

    He’d be a top25 recruit were he had 10 more lbs of muscles. Not a problem with our conditioning program.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    It’s an odd off-season / new year for the IU backcourt. So many questions.
    Will JN beat out everyone at the point guard?
    If not, will RJ/JBJ be able to be competent point guards?
    How good will CUJO and our other freshman guards be?
    Will CTC play a 3 guard lineup?
    If he goes to a 3 guard line-up, how good defensively will they be (we have a tough pre-season and the B1G is always competitive)?

  • E Foy McNaughton

    He would be the most important in-state Indiana recruit since Cody.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I hate how the article automatically jumps to the idea that it’s down to KY and Duke with all of these recruits.

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t think he’ll go to Duke. I get the impression he really likes his parents being able to see him play. My prediction would be Louisville (barring any NCAA sanctions.)

  • TomJameson

    This season is really kind of strange when you look at it at a certain angle. We have all these pieces coming back that are proven players, really good basketball players. Then we have 2 juniors coming to the team that are supposed to be good, but we don’t really know how they will do. Plenty of opinions though. Then there are some good to great freshmen coming in that can be a boom or bust. Not everybody makes the transition to CBB in stride.

    Right now there are a lot of questions about the injuries/recoveries, and if the boys can make the jumps from one year to the next, and if they can all make the adjustments about playing without Yogi, Troy, Max, and Nick.

    I think IU will be alright, but there could be a little bit of a rocky start. If that happens, I won’t lose heart, or faith in that team. They will start to click and they have the potential to be awesome.

  • BL4IU

    Probably top five recruit all-time and could very easily have the most upside. Unfortunate, we’ll only see him play for a year. Yes, he’ll choose IU.

  • gman

    Why not IU? Does he have issues with the program you know of?

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I couldn’t agree with you more Tom

    I think the floor this year is around 5-6 seed in the tournament and a 4-6 finish in the B1G.

    The ceiling is 3-4 seed and top 2 in the B1G.

    It all hinges on the answers to the questions.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I think Lousiville will get hit hard with sanctions for its actions, regardless of whether Pitino “knew” or did not. I’d say that they will drop off most recruits lists.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Hello Bl. My son last week was invited and participated at the U of L football camp. It was great to see and meet so many parents from the Kentucky and Indiana area. Everyone and I mean everyone there knows about Romeo and how great it would mean to IU. This kid is special and IU has a great shot of getting him. Take care.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Hello EF. I often wonder if next season IU only has a 2 or 1 guard rotation.

  • Bill Graham

    Well put Tom. I agree with the majority of that; however I will add that we have a solid and experienced core that should be able to whether momentum swings against good teams. JBJ, RJ, Collin, and TB are very experienced against good teams. As long as the sophomores stay consistent we should be fine even if the new guys tank.

  • BL4IU

    Can’t wait to see where your son goes to college. Not important where; just hope he gets to carry on the dream.

    Began working with nephew this summer on golf game. He’s just learning the game. First amateur tournament this Monday. He’s calm and collected. Uncle is a nervous wreck 🙂

    Hope Tom can persuade Romeo. What a talent!

  • E Foy McNaughton

    That’s a good question #34, personally I think they are better off going with just 2 guards, CH at the 3, OG at the 4, TB at the 5.

    It would be a better defensive team and still good ball movement. But then your presumably bringing RJ or JBJ off the bench (assuming JN starts at 1). And then I’d assume CUJO gets fairly strong minutes.

    It will be fun to see!

  • Shaggy_C

    Funny the benefit of the doubt a few decades of consistent excellence will buy you.

  • Shaggy_C

    A rocky start is almost guaranteed as our opener is against Kansas in Hawaii. Then again, if this team wins that game…

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I agree with that because I fear that if JBJ is not in sync then IU will be a 1 guard offense. Take care and I hope all is well.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    The verbage in Louisville is the NCAA is coming down hard on bball. Not surprised by that.

  • BL4IU

    They deserve it. I can think of some better excuses for retiring to the clubhouse. Get some lessons 🙂

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83


  • Justin Beard

    Nothing but steaks a protein shakes for Cujo!
    For a dude named Cujo, only a carnivorous diet will suffice.

  • TomJameson

    I agree about the solid and experienced core coming back, Bill. My only concern is the making adjustments part. All the returning players, to some degree or another, will have to make an adjustment because of the different things they’ll be asked to do, and the different roles they may be playing.

    I have no doubt that they will adjust fairly quickly (mostly because of that returning core) I just hope the practice, and the exhibition game(s), will be enough for them to gel before the Kansas game.

  • TomJameson

    Man, winning that game would send a message … right? >-)

    I don’t discount IU winning that game, don’t expect it, but I can see it happening.

    Even losing, it really needs to be a good effort. I would be sort-of satisfied with that.

  • TomJameson

    Long term for that guy may be 3 years. If he is as good as I hear, and our conditioning programs take hold, and talent development goes as normal, I can see him leaving after 3 easily.

    As always though, it all depends on how hard he works at it himself. He needs to be at the Oladipo/Yogi level of work horse.

    Heck, what am I saying … I think ALL of them need to be at that work level! lol

  • marcusgresham

    Oh, I wasn’t counting IU out. It’s just that Louisville is the closest to home.
    I do believe, however, I was told when he was in 6th grade he was on an AAU team with Rod Strickland’s son (Strickland was a UK assistant at the time. Don’t know if he still is or not because I try to avoid hearing about those blue-clad yokels.)

  • HardRockHoosier

    You are right.. That one will be tough. I really would hate to see them start with a loss, so I hope we can, ‘come out of the gate running’, so to speak. Everyone wanted IU to have a tougher preseason… This year we do have that. Go Hoosiers!!!


    Agree, even if JN doesn’t start. Feel like we are going to have to be even more dependent upon our team D being above average this coming year than we were this past season, if for no other reason than that we will more than likely not have near as big of a 3pt threat.

  • jack_j100

    I’ve heard nothing but Duke from friends that have kids attending NA, including one who’s daughter dates one of his teammates. Hopefully that will change to IU before he commits. Just as long as it’s not Kentucky!