D.J. White on NBA future: ‘I’ve got a couple options’
INDIANAPOLIS — D.J. White was in a good professional situation last year. While he didn’t get nearly as much playing time as he did in Charlotte, White got a chance to learn under veteran forward Kevin Garnett with the Celtics.
The former Indiana forward was sent to the Nets with Garnett and Paul Pierce in a blockbuster trade that was finalized on July 12, but White was released on July 18. The move saved Brooklyn nearly $4 million in luxury taxes, according to reports.
White remains a free agent, but is confident his NBA career will continue.
“I’m just sitting, waiting around,” White said Thursday night while playing in a Pro Am alumni game at Cardinal Ritter High School. “I’m talking to a couple people, I have a couple options. I think you guys will be hearing something in the next three weeks, hopefully.”
White said Thursday was his first trip back to Indiana since the NBA season ended. He moved back down south to Atlanta, so he doesn’t get back to the Midwest all that often. White hasn’t trained with former Indiana teammate and close friend Eric Gordon this summer.
But even though he hasn’t been in the area, White still followed Indiana’s basketball season closely.
“No. 1 seed, what can you say?,” White said. “They had a great season. I know everybody wanted them to finish as national champs, and it’s unfortunate that they didn’t, but those guys did a great job of bringing the program back to where it is. Those guys will always be remembered for what they did.”
Hulls, Elston prepare to travel overseas
INDIANAPOLIS — It was all fun and games Thursday night at Cardinal Ritter High School. An Indiana alumni team consisting of Jordan Hulls, D.J. White and others played a Purdue alumni club made up of JaJuan Johnson, David Teague, among others.
The pace was fast, the defense was non-existent, and the result, meaningless.
Well, maybe not for Hulls.
The former Indiana guard missed four consecutive jump shots down the stretch, allowing Purdue to sneak away with a 110-106 win before a capacity crowd.
After shaking hands with his teammates and flashing a mostly obligatory smile, Hulls retrieved the game ball, and continued to shoot 3-pointers before another one went in.
Not much has changed for Hulls.
“I was like, ‘Really, Jordan?,'” his mother, Joni, said afterward.
For Hulls and teammate Derek Elston, Thursday night was the last fun exhibition game before life in the real world begins. Both have signed professional contracts overseas — Hulls in Poland and Elston in Malta — and will depart in August (Hulls) or September (Elston).
“I’m not counting down the days,” Hulls said. “It’s a business now so you have to take care of your business, make sure you’re in shape, getting workouts in. Go over there and enjoy it, but be prepared for whatever happens because it’s a little bit different than what we’re used to.”
The recently-engaged Hulls admitted heading to Poland will make planning a wedding a little more difficult. He will leave the United States on Aug. 18, and his fiancé won’t be going with him.
“She’ll probably visit me a couple times through the year,” Hulls said. “We’ll make it work.”
Elston doesn’t have a fiancé to worry about, but he will face similar challenges in Malta. The former Indiana forward has spent a lot of time since the season working on his jump shot, and it looked quite good on Thursday night. The Tipton native made a number of deep 3-pointers against the Purdue alums.
HD Video: D.J. White on IU’s Big Ten title, pro future
INDIANAPOLIS — Former Indiana forward D.J. White was back in the Hoosier state on Thursday night for the Knox Indy Pro-Am at Cardinal Ritter.
White teamed with Earl Calloway, Roderick Wilmont, Derek Elston, Jordan Hulls and Daniel Moore in an exhibition against a group of former Purdue players. The Alabama native finished with 23 points, but the IU alumni team fell, 110-106.
Afterward, White discussed a variety of topics with reporters, including Indiana’s Big Ten championship season as well as his future in professional basketball.
HD Video: Elston, Hulls discuss professional futures
INDIANAPOLIS — Derek Elston and Jordan Hulls will soon begin the next step in their basketball careers as professionals.
Elston will leave for Malta next month and Hulls for Poland later this month. Inside the Hall caught up with both players last night following the Knox Indy Pro-Am at Cardinal Ritter for an update on what’s next as they prepare to head overseas:
Watford becomes fifth from 2012-2013 team to sign professional contract
Indiana’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team has a fifth player in professional basketball as Christian Watford signed with Hapoel Eliat in Israel on Wednesday.
Watford joins Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic), Cody Zeller (Charlotte Bobcats), Jordan Hulls (Slupsk Energa Czarni/Polish Basketball League) and Derek Elston (Floriana Francesco Fenech Greens/Maltese Powerade League) as the latest Indiana player to ink a professional deal.
Watford, who was not picked in June’s NBA Draft, played for the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando Summer League and the Dallas Mavericks in the Vegas Summer League, opted to head overseas for a guaranteed contract rather than trying to catch on in the NBA via the Developmental League.
“I had four or five offers from different places in Hungary, Russia Germany but I felt this was the right fit for me,” Watford told IUHoosiers.com. “What really persuaded me to go to Eilat was the great feedback I got from Americans who had played on that team.”
As a senior at Indiana, Watford averaged 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and shot 48.4 percent from 3-point range.
He finished his career in Bloomington in the No. 9 spot on the all-time scoring list.
Quentin Snider planning IU visit later this month
Quentin Snider, the No. 28 player in the ESPN.com rankings for the class of 2014, is back on the market after being committed to Louisville for nearly two years.
And Snider, a 6-foot-1 point guard, is already hearing from several schools, including Indiana. Tom Crean talked to both Snider and his father, Scott, on Wednesday night.
Scott Snider told Inside the Hall this morning that a visit to Bloomington is planned for later this month.
In a radio interview with Jody Demling on WKRD’s The Early Birds on Thursday morning, Scott Snider explained Quentin’s decision to reopen the recruiting process.
“It’s something Quentin’s been thinking about, had in the back of his head for a month or two,” Scott Snider said. “Everybody knows they have a lots of guards coming in and the more guards they have, the more he’s kind of wondered what his role was going to be.
“He wants to play. He kind of saw the stockpile of guards and wasn’t sure when it was going to be his time to actually get out on the floor and play. I think that’s kind of what the issue was.”
Louisville is not expected to continue recruiting Snider.
The Cardinals have three guards coming in for the 2013-2014 season in Chris Jones, Terry Rozier and Anton Gill as well as JaQuan Lyle, who will arrive for the 2014-2015 campaign.
As a junior at Ballard in Louisville, Snider averaged 17.2 points and 4.4 assists for a team that finished 32-5 and fell 65-64 to Madison Central in the state championship game.
Indiana among finalists for Trevon Bluiett
Park Tudor forward Trevon Bluiett announced seven finalists in his recruitment on Wednesday night and Indiana is among the schools still in the running for ESPN.com’s No. 41 player in the class of 2014.
Joining Indiana in the final seven are Arizona, Butler, Michigan, Purdue, UCLA and Xavier.
“Arizona, Butler, Indiana, Michigan, Purdue, UCLA, & Xavier,” Bluiett said on Twitter. “(Alphabetical order) This is my list of schools.”
Indiana was the first school to offer Bluiett a scholarship during the fall before his freshman season. In all, the 6-foot-5 wing amassed over 25 scholarship offers before trimming his list.
As a teammate of IU point guard Yogi Ferrell, he helped lead the Panthers to consecutive Class 2A state titles in 2011 and 2012.
His high school coach for his first three seasons at Park Tudor, Ed Schilling, is now an assistant coach at UCLA under Steve Alford.
For much of his recruitment, Bluiett has named Butler, Indiana and Michigan as three of the schools showing the most consistent interest.
In Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) play this past spring and summer, he averaged 19.3 points on 46.7 percent shooting from the field, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists over 22 games for Spiece Indy Heat.
Bluiett is expected to sign a National Letter of Intent in the early signing period, which begins on November 12.
James Blackmon Jr., who committed to Indiana in September of 2010, was an AAU teammate of Bluiett for several years.
(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)
Video: Je’Ney Jackson discusses offseason progress
Via IUAthletics on YouTube:
Indiana has sold 14,500 student season tickets for 2013-2014 season
Update: A previous edition of this story said Indiana had sold 15,500 student season tickets for the 2013-14 season. Fred Glass gave us that number on Tuesday night, but after checking the records, indicated later that the number is actually closer to 14,500 at this point.
When Fred Glass was hired as Indiana’s Athletics Director in 2008 and began his tenure in early 2009, he tried everything he could to get students to buy basketball season tickets. The number of students he could put in the stands at the time was right around 4,000.
Fast forward to now, fresh off a Big Ten regular season title and second straight trip to the Sweet Sixteen, and Glass is facing a different problem entirely. The demand of student tickets has increased close to the level of Glass’ days on campus, and his plan is to just keep selling them.
Glass told Inside the Hall on Tuesday night that 14,500 student season tickets have been sold for the 2013-2014 season. The student section has a capacity of 7800, and as of right now, each student with season tickets will get to attend eight games.
If that number continues to grow significantly, however, students may get even fewer than eight games, though Glass said he “doubts” that will happen.
“Traditionally, IU has oversold the basketball seats,” Glass said. “When I was on campus, it wasn’t unusual to sell 17,000 or 18,000 tickets and then you got a subset of the total package. So if they solid twice as many tickets as they had seats, you got half the games and so forth.
Glass: Marquee non-conference home game remains unlikely for next season
Indiana Athletics Director Fred Glass and basketball coach Tom Crean have been working for some time to find a marquee non-conference opponent to replace Kentucky.
Many schools have been mentioned in recent months — including Kansas, Louisville and Gonzaga — but no home-and-home agreement has come to fruition.
Glass told Inside the Hall on Tuesday that a marquee non-conference home game is unlikely for this coming season.
“We’re getting to the point where I think it’s going to be really challenging for us to get that for this year,” Glass said. “That’s been what we’ve been working on with Tom. We always try to have at least one marquee non-conference opponent. In the past, that was Kentucky, and then in off- Kentucky years, it was our ACC Challenge opponent.
“The Kentucky thing, that sort of threw a curve in it. We’re in between some potential new opportunities. We’re out there. I’m optimistic we’ll have some exciting non-conference teams, but it may be that the Kentucky situation forces us to lose a year.”
As it stands now, the Hoosiers will play non-conference home games against Evansville, North Florida, Oakland University and Kennesaw State.
A further look at what is known of the 2013-2014 schedule is available here.