Report: Five-star Australian point guard planning visit to IU

Class of 2016 Australian point guard William McDowell-White is planning to visit Indiana, according to a report by Paul Biancardi of ESPN.

McDowell-White, who has already visited Arizona State, Fresno State and Texas A&M, told Biancardi at the Nike Hoop Summit that he’s planning to visit Michigan State and Indiana.

The 6-foot-5 point guard is playing for the World Team in Saturday’s Nike Hoop Summit at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. The Hoop Summit will be televised live on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

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POTB 121: Mike DeCourcy on Bryant’s return, IU outlook

Podcast on the Brink is back for a new episode with host Jerod Morris of The Assembly Call. The show is currently available weekly. You can access a full archive of episodes here.

In this week’s edition of the show, Morris and Inside the Hall editor Alex Bozich are joined by Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News to talk about Villanova’s national championship win over North Carolina, the decision of Thomas Bryant to return for his sophomore season and much more. (Note: Alex and Jerod also stick around after interviewing Mike to react to the Bryant news.)

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Thomas Bryant returning to Indiana for sophomore season

Indiana freshman big man Thomas Bryant will return to school for his sophomore season, according to reports from Evan Daniels of Scout.com, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com and Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com.

Inside the Hall has confirmed that Bryant indeed will return to Bloomington for a second season.

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That’s A Wrap: Nick Zeisloft

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2015-2016 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Nick Zeisloft.

Zeisloft (35 games): 6.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 60.8% eFG, 90.5% FT, 41.7 3PFG% in 20.1 minutes per game.

Nick Zeisloft arrived in Bloomington with a reputation as a shooter.

He’ll depart having lived up to that billing, but also as a player who grew into a contributor with the ability to impact the game in other ways.

Any discussion about Zeisloft, however, must start with his prowess from the perimeter. After finishing his first season at Indiana with the second best offensive rating in the country according to KenPom.com, Zeisloft again filled it up from the perimeter as a senior.

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That’s A Wrap: Troy Williams

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2015-2016 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Troy Williams.

Williams (35 games): 13.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 55.4% eFG, 69.1% FT, 34.7 3PFG% in 26.2 minutes per game.

When Troy Williams announced that he would return to Indiana for his junior season in April of 2015, he did so with high hopes for what the Hoosiers could accomplish as a team in his third season.

“I love my teammates and coaches and with continued work, I think we can accomplish so much,” he said at the time. “This is a special place and I can’t wait to see our team grow over the coming months.”

While the path to get there had plenty of bumps in the road, Williams and his teammates accomplished plenty in the 2015-2016 season, including a regular season Big Ten championship. Individually, Williams earned All-Big Ten third team honors.

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Davis, Jones to play in Derby Festival Basketball Classic

Class of 2016 Indiana signees De’Ron Davis and Curtis Jones will play in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic at Freedom Hall in Louisville on Friday, April 15.

Teams have not been finalized, but the duo will participate in the basketball classic as well as the Night of Future Stars on Thursday, April 14 at New Albany High School.

Basketball Classic tickets are available at TicketMaster locations or ticketmaster.com, by phone (800-745-3000) or the Freedom Hall box office (502-367-5144).

Other future Big Ten players participating in the game include Derek Funderburk (Ohio State) and Micah Thomas (Maryland). Full rosters are available after the jump.

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Roundup: Way-too-early preseason top 25s for 2016-2017

Following a 27-8 campaign that included an outright Big Ten championship and a trip to the Sweet Sixteen, Indiana will be looking to build on this season’s success next winter.

There are, however, plenty of questions to be answered with next year’s roster. How will IU’s retooled backcourt look without Yogi Ferrell and Nick Zeisloft? Will Thomas Bryant or Troy Williams be on next year’s team? What kind of sophomore leap will OG Anunoby take? Those are just a few questions that will be addressed over the coming weeks and months.

The uncertainty, however, hasn’t stopped the national media from having a bullish outlook on the Hoosiers for the 2016-2017 season. Several early preseason top 25s are out and we’ve rounded up those rankings below:

ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan: No. 8

Indiana won the Big Ten title outright and beat a Kentucky team many (rightfully) considered a national-title contender en route to a Sweet 16 finish. It was a resounding, narrative-flipping season built in large part on the brilliant work of Yogi Ferrell, who now leaves Bloomington as one of the most productive guards (and players, period) in school history. The return of guard James Blackmon Jr. from injury is among the many reasons to stay bullish on the Hoosiers. Robert Johnson, Collin Hartman, and OG Anunoby, a basketball cyborg incrementally approaching self-awareness, are also on that list. The draft, in the end, might be the difference: If neither Troy Williams nor Thomas Bryant return — the latter especially — the Hoosiers will be a fun, competitive Big Ten team. If either comes back, or both, title contention is totally in play.

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That’s A Wrap: Collin Hartman

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2015-2016 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Collin Hartman.

Hartman (35 games): 5.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 55.2% eFG, 84.2% FT, 35.8 3PFG% in 21.9 minutes per game.

A look at the numbers reveals Collin Hartman’s junior campaign mirrored his breakout sophomore season in many ways.

Hartman averaged an identical amount of rebounds (3.1) and was close in minutes (19.7 vs 21.9), points (4.8 vs 5.0), possessions used (12.0 percent vs 12.8 percent) and conference-only offensive rating (115.3 vs 115.6). Hartman also made the same amount of 3-point buckets in each season (29). But the big difference in those shots from distance? It took the Cathedral product an extra 20 attempts to hit that 29 mark this season. Which means he fell from a highly efficient and best 3-point shooter on the team a season ago (47.5 percent) to a mere average one in 2015-2016 (35.8 percent).

Some of Hartman’s misses late in the season could be attributed to the right wrist fracture he sustained against Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament. Despite the fracture — which he’ll have surgery on this offseason — Hartman still played in all three of Indiana’s NCAA Tournament games. But it was clear the injury affected his follow through.

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IU basketball legend Archie Dees dies at age 80

Archie Dees, who won two Big Ten MVPs at Indiana, passed away early Monday morning at age 80.

Dees led Indiana to Big Ten titles in 1957 and 1958 and is one of just three players ever to win back-to-back Big Ten MVPs.

“Our condolences go out to Archie’s family and all of his friends,” IU coach Tom Crean said in a statement. “Archie Dees will be remembered for many great things and being a part of Indiana Basketball Royalty will be one of them. When Archie was around, we always knew we were around one of the all-time best.”

A member of the IU athletics Hall of Fame, Dees played for Indiana from 1955 to 1958.

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That’s A Wrap: Robert Johnson

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2015-2016 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Robert Johnson.

Johnson (30 games): 8.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 58.6% eFG, 63.9% FT, 44.7 3PFG% in 24.9 minutes per game.

Robert Johnson’s sophomore season was one of growth. The tough minded guard from Richmond, Virginia saw his shooting percentage from the perimeter improve, his turnover rate decrease and his assist rate increase.

Johnson shot nearly 45 percent on 3s in his second season, increased his assist rate by five percentage points and dropped his turnover rate by more than one percent.

While his offensive numbers may not jump off of the page, Johnson’s biggest contribution to the Hoosiers was his work as a perimeter defender. As elite as Indiana was offensively, it won the Big Ten outright by two games because of its defense and Johnson was a key contributor.

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