Roundup: Transfers a major topic of discussion at Big Ten meetings

The annual Big Ten meetings are taking place this week in Chicago near O’Hare Airport and the league’s men’s basketball coaches are in attendance as usual.

Here’s a look at some of the coverage that has come out of the meetings, which will wrap up later today:

· Brian Bennett of ESPN.com shares thoughts from some of the league’s coaches on the transfer “epidemic” and a fear that the process could morph into something that resembles free agency:

While no course of action was decided upon, coaches and administrators generally agreed that the transfer situation has spiraled out of control, especially with graduate transfers who are immediately eligible at their new schools.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. “Where we’re headed is ultimately free agency, and that’s not a good thing.”

· Nebraska coach Tim Miles believes every transfer should have to sit out a year and says that many Big Ten coaches agree with him:

As the rule stands now, athletes who transfer from one Division I school to another must sit out one season before playing again.

But some athletes apply for immediate eligibility because of medical or family hardship or a coaching change. Also, athletes who graduate in four years can move to a different school and pursue a master’s degree with immediate playing eligibility.

Some coaches want change.

“My personal feeling,’’ Nebraska coach Tim Miles said, “and a lot of the Big Ten coaches feel the same way, is that no matter who you are, transfers should sit out a year. It makes it an academic process.

“Anytime you have an immediately eligible transfer, it promotes free agency. I don’t think that climate is positive for anybody.’’

· Graham Couch of The Lansing State- Journal has thoughts from both Tom Crean and Tom Izzo on the issue:

This always has to be only about the players — at least in how it’s presented. It’s the only chance coaches and administrators have of slowing down this runaway train, or at least preventing it from blowing up the sport as we know it. That’s the direction college basketball is headed, a discussion that’s soon to be had — the notion transfers should never have to sit.

“That would just disrupt everything,” Crean said.

If it happens, Izzo has said, he won’t stick around to see it.

· Mum is the word, so far, on anything official regarding a new rights deal for the league, but the prospect of moving games to FS1 isn’t a huge concern for league coaches according to Chris Collins:

Most men’s basketball coaches who spoke Tuesday kept a stiff upper lip about Fox and its cable channel Fox Sports 1 (FS1), which has struggled in the ratings. FS1 carries Big East basketball and averaged just 96,000 on the network (national champion Villanova calls the Big East home, by the way). Last year, the Big Ten averaged 1.2 million viewers for basketball games on ESPN.

“I think it’s been (ESPN) a great partner for the conference,” Northwestern basketball coach Chris Collins said. “I think it’s provided a lot of great exposure, but I have all of the confidence in Commissioner Delany. He’s already shown with BTN and a lot of the moves that were made that maybe people thought might not be the best ended up being great for the league. It’s hard for me or any of us to argue his leadership on what he thinks might be best for the exposure of the league. I think we’re all aboard. I think he’s given us great assurances that everything that’s going to be done is going to be for the best of the conference and best for the exposure of this product.”

· Further expansion does not appear to be on the horizon for the league:

Athletic directors gathered at the Big Ten headquarters for meetings this week said the topic has not been discussed.

It’s a sharp contrast from the Big 12, where presidents are considering expansion from 10 teams. The league is mulling whether adding two more members, splitting into divisions and playing a football championship game will increase its revenue and chances of participating in the College Football Playoff.

“We have other things that we’re focused on,” Nebraska AD Shawn Eichorst said. “The stability is terrific, that’s for sure.”

POTB 129: Recapping the NBA draft combine

Podcast on the Brink is back for another 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 edition of the show, Morris and Inside the Hall editor Alex Bozich are joined by Eric Crawford, a sports journalist at WDRB in Louisville who covers Louisville, Indiana and Kentucky and attended the NBA draft combine in Chicago.

Among the topics discussed:

· Impressions of Troy Williams at the NBA draft combine
· Troy’s defense and whether it’s NBA ready
· Whether the NBA is less favorable to seniors
· Indiana’s ceiling next season with Williams and without him
· Yogi Ferrell’s future in the NBA and why he’s looked at less favorably than some of the other smaller guards in the draft
· The atmosphere of the NBA combine
· The rule change this year of testing the waters and whether it’s good for college basketball
· Whether OG Anunoby would have stood out at the combine

And plenty more. As always, feel free to drop the show a note at jerod@assemblycall.com.

Listen in the audio player below, download the episode, subscribe via iTunes or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Transcript: Yogi Ferrell on the Chris Mannix Show

Former Indiana point guard and All-American Yogi Ferrell is beginning to workout for NBA teams this week after being snubbed for the draft combine over the weekend in Chicago.

Ferrell was also recently a guest on the Chris Mannix Show on NBC Sports Radio and discussed a variety of topics, including mock drafts, his senior season in Bloomington, not being invited to Chicago, whether college athletes should be paid and much more.

A full transcript of Ferrell’s comments is available below:

On the last time he looked at a mock draft:

“I’d say probably two years ago. I don’t really get into that stuff. I haven’t even paid attention to all of the NBA boards.”

On whether it is hard to avoid looking at mock drafts given their prevalence:

“I feel like some of the mock drafts are people’s assumptions. I’d say the lottery, those guys are normally locked in. But from there on out, it can be assumptions, maybe different guys, people they’ve talked to. I feel like it’s always up for grabs.

“The only people that know are the teams, that’s about it.”

On if his friends or family members tell him about the different mock drafts:

“I get that a little bit. Them telling me that they’ve looked at all of the mock drafts and tell me where I’m going to go. It happens.”

On how strongly he considered coming out of school following his junior season:

“To begin with, I’d say it was pretty strong. That’s why I took up as much time as I did, to figure out whether or not it was a great choice for me to go or come back to school. As time went on, the process went on and I got feedback from all of the teams where they projected me, basically. And as time went on, I was swayed back to coming back to IU. I felt like that was one of the best decisions I made.”

On what brought him back to Indiana for his senior season:

“I just thought it was the class we had coming in. I had met those guys, had a strong connection with them and I could see how hard they were working. I felt like we could make a jump, especially from last year, from my junior year to my senior year, a jump in our play and our ability. I felt strongly about that. Coach (Tom) Crean and I was talking to the coaches, they really wanted me to come back and felt like I could do a lot of things for this university and me going in here and breaking a lot of records, leaving as a four-year player, it was a good choice.”

On if he’s glad he came back looking back on it:

“100 percent. I am glad I came back, definitely.”

On what he will miss the most about college:

“I’d probably just say my teammates. I know how it is at the next level. It’s all about business. In college, it’s more of a business and a little bit of fun to it. I’ll just miss my teammates, playing with them, playing those home and away games. Especially playing at home, Assembly Hall. Playing there is just one of the greatest feelings ever with the best fans in the country. I’d say just the whole aspect of basketball.”

On what he won’t miss about college:

“I would have to say those long practices. They get to you, especially me being there for four years. But those long practices get a little shorter when you’re winning. You win games, coach cuts practice to an hour and a half or two hours instead of going three and a half every day.”

On whether that’s how Crean operates: lose and it’s a long practice or win and it’s cut shorter:

“You could kind of say so, basically. Which I would understand that. Coming off of a loss, you don’t want a short practice and acting like everything is OK. You gotta go into practice, fix everything you need to fix, get better at different things. So I can understand his reasoning behind doing that.”

On whether he thinks college players should be compensated beyond getting a scholarship:

“Yeah, I’d say so. Probably a little bit of a stipend. I’ve kind of looked into it a little bit and I think student-athletes have two jobs with school and basketball, just the amount of hours they put in each week. But on the other side, to play the devil’s advocate, a scholarship is an opportunity to play at the highest D1 level against some of the best competition, free education, which other students can’t get. So it’s an opportunity. So I can kind of see that. But I think probably a little bit, student-athletes need a stipend to just help them along the way.”

On if it bugged him that he wasn’t invited to the draft combine:

“Yeah. I didn’t get invited and a lot of people were shocked. I did everything I could, sent in my form and got an email back saying that I wasn’t invited. I didn’t get down on myself, though, I feel like. I’m not discouraged by it or thinking that this is basically the end for me. After talking to a lot of guys, like my coaches and my agent and they feel like I should have been in there just with the different people that they’ve talked to. I’m not down by it, I’m still just getting my workouts in right now and getting ready for these NBA workouts. I just want show them that basically, I should have been invited and show them my ability.”

On the feedback he’s received about his draft prospects:

“My agent has told me great things. I’ve got a lot of workouts coming up. At the end of the day, I’ll probably have up to 20 workouts. 18 to 20. So I’m going to be flying all over the country doing these (workouts) and my agent said they’re very high on me. I just got to go in there, show I can shoot the ball, I got to have great conditioning, which I’ve been working on since the season was over with and I feel like I’m ready for it.”

On what he’s trying to work on or polish before the workouts:

“Definitely shooting. With me being, I guess you could say, one of the shorter guys, we’ve got to bring a little something extra to the table. With that being said, guys like me, my height, we’ve got to be able to knock down jump shots. Another thing is being able to play the entire game if we have to. Conditioning has got to be right, got to have our defenses down, defenses right, getting that and just going out there and being a leader.”

Video: Troy Williams talks to reporters at NBA draft combine

Indiana junior forward Troy Williams met with reporters on Thursday and Friday at the NBA draft combine in Chicago and discussed a variety of topics, including his upcoming decision on whether he’ll remain in the draft, what he’s heard from NBA teams and much more.

Watch clips from three different media sessions with Williams below:

Draft combine roundup: Williams struggles to boost stock at combine

The NBA draft combine wrapped up on Saturday in Chicago and it appears that Troy Williams did little to help himself move up into a guaranteed spot in next month’s draft according to most accounts.

The 6-foot-7 forward was listed as one of 11 guys by DraftExpress.com that should return to school next season and one of the “losers” from the event by CBSSports.com.

Here’s what DraftExpress had to say:

The Indiana junior showed both Thursday and Friday that he’s a ways away from being a player an NBA head coach can trust in live action. As has been the case for his entire career, he’s extremely wild with the ball and has very little discretion as a decision maker. He drives into the paint with no plan and jacks up early threes in transition without conscience. He’s a great athlete with good size and will make an occasional three, but Williams’ decision making is still a major work in progress, even at age 21. His best option is to return to school, study the game and try to slow himself down while becoming a more reliable shooter.

And here’s the scoop from Sam Vecenie at CBSSports.com:

Instead of trying to show scouts he can play within an offense and make good decisions, Williams was his wildly unpredictable self. He was out on the floor chucking shots with abandon, not particularly looking for teammates and generally tried to do too much. He also didn’t test at the elite level athletically many around the league anticipated and has relatively short arms.

There’s definitely a player within his package of skills but he must get his more wild tendencies under control. But right now, it’s tough to see a team investing a draft pick in him.

Additionally, Chad Ford of ESPN.com listed Williams on his “all-go-back-to-school” team. From ESPN Insider:

So who’s on the All-Go-Back-To-School Team? Maryland’s Melo Trimble, Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan, Kentucky’s Marcus Lee, Memphis’ Dedric Lawson and Indiana’s Troy Williams all are at risk of not getting drafted. All of them struggled this week.

Unless they want to spend the next year in the D-League or Europe, they should go back to college. All of them have enough talent to improve their draft stock with another year of school.

The question, of course, is: Will any of this matter when it comes down to decision making time for Williams?

The Hampton, Virginia native has three workouts scheduled this week for NBA teams, including the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is Wednesday, May 25.

Indiana coach Tom Crean said recently that he expects Williams to be in the draft and at the combine, Williams talked as if going to the D-League will not be a deterrent.

“It’s not going to kill my pride or anything like that if I have to go to the D-League,” Williams told WDRB.com. “That will make me work even harder.”

Indiana, with the addition of 2016 junior college forward Freddie McSwain, is at 13 scholarship players for next season not including Williams.

Around the Hall: Bryant’s return, life without Ferrell, more

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff.

· Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com writes about the future of Indiana basketball and the importance of Thomas Bryant returning for his sophomore season:

Yet, despite all that, Bryant’s return was the biggest deal of IU’s offseason. In one fell swoop, a stretchy, slightly undersized frontcourt became one of the nation’s best, and a promising roster became one capable of recovering from the loss of Ferrell (and likely Williams).

It’s hard not to trace the origin of Bryant’s decision, and thus IU’s entire 2016-17 outlook, back to that moment when North Carolina’s offensive explosion, and the finality of the loss, was too much for Bryant to shoulder alone.

· Rick Bozich of WDRB.com has the latest on Troy Williams from the NBA draft combine in Chicago:

Williams repeated the “50-50” line even after I suggested the odds were closer to 100 percent that he will not be taken in the first round of the NBA Draft next month.

“It’s not going to kill my pride or anything like that if I have to go to the D-League,” Williams said. “That will make me work even harder.”

If you interpret those two sentences as Williams actually leaning at least 50.1 percent toward leaving IU, then you’re standing with me because I’m convinced Williams wants to begin his against-the-odds push to the NBA sooner, not later.

· One of the biggest offseason question marks in the Big Ten: What will Indiana look like following the departure of Yogi Ferrell? Scott Phillips of NBCSports.com tries to tackle the question:

The last four seasons, senior point guard Yogi Ferrell was a key part of what Indiana did on offense. He was the engine that made them go. Now that he’s gone the Hoosiers will be a unique team, as Thomas Bryant and Robert Johnson are the beat guys guaranteed back. If Troy Williams returns from the NBA Draft and James Blackmon Jr. (who’s also going through the Draft process) is healthy, Indiana will again find themselves in Big Ten contention.

· Indiana could have two of college basketball’s breakout stars next season, according to Rob Dauster of NBCSports.com:

Bryant is the obvious pick here. He’s a star freshman and potential lottery pick that played well down the stretch and is returning to school. Anunoby, however, is the guy that could end up being the best all-around player on the Hoosiers next season. He averaged just 5.8 points this past season, but there are reasons for that: he got limited minutes before James Blackmon’s injury and his role is similar to that of Troy Williams. He is a versatile, athletic forward that can guard multiple positions and isn’t as much of a liability offensively as he’s been made out to be. If he can build of the strong finish he had to the 2015-16 season, Anunoby could follow a similar career-arc to that of Victor Oladipo: Unheralded recruit-turned-first round pick.

· The D-League Digest reports on the journey of former IU guard Verdell Jones, who played last season for the Santa Cruz Warriors:

As they squared off with Penn State, Jones was riding a hot streak that was punctuated with a 15-point win over #5 Michigan State just a few weeks prior.

The clock rolled on and Indiana had control of the game, when Jones entered the game as a substitute. Six minutes into his time on the court, his career would substantially change.

With the Hoosiers on offense, Jones jump stopped like he had done so many times in his career to that point, but this time his right knee gave out from under him and he collapsed to the ground.

His worst fears were realized the following day when doctors determined that he had torn his ACL and would be forced to take a year off from basketball. If the four years at Indiana hadn’t tested him, the surgery and rehab from the injury certainly did.

“There were moments when I thought about walking away from basketball. I tore my ACL during a game that I had been working towards my entire career, so it was definitely one of the hardest experiences of my life. It just felt unfair and it was really discouraging and made me think about if I wanted to do it anymore.”

· The one player who isn’t at the draft combine who deserved to be there? Yogi Ferrell, according to Andy Katz:

Williams still pondering future as draft combine tips off

Speaking to reporters at the NBA draft combine in Chicago on Thursday evening, Indiana junior Troy Williams said he is still undecided on whether he’ll keep his name in the draft or return for his senior season.

Williams, who has not signed with an agent, has until May 25 to withdraw his name and still retain eligibility for his senior season.

The 6-foot-7 wing said he expects to have a final decision soon, potentially as early as next week.

“I’ll talk to my uncle, John Lucas, my aunt (Terri Williams-Flournoy) and coach (Tom) Crean,” Williams said. “But at the end of the day, it is still my decision.”

A third team All-Big Ten selection as a junior, Williams averaged 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Hoosiers, who won the conference outright for the second time in four seasons.

He said his time at Indiana really helped him blossom his game as he came to college as an athlete who had a long way to go in terms of skill development.

“It helped me out a lot. I went from an athlete to being a basketball player,” he said. “Coming in, I was just an athlete. As the years went by, I developed a better skill set. Being at Indiana, I made a lot of plays, had the ball in my hands a lot, was able to control the court.”

With Thomas Bryant returning as well as Robert Johnson, OG Anunoby and several others, Indiana has been mentioned as a top 15 team in several preseason polls for next season.

While that’s intriguing for Williams, he said Thursday that he has to make the best decision for him.

“Yeah, it is (appealing),” he said. “But at the same time, it’s more of what can also benefit me the most.”

Projected as a second round pick at best by most analysts who cover the draft, Williams has workouts scheduled next week with the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. He has relocated to Houston where he’s working out with Lucas, a former No. 1 overall pick who he has trained with since his sophomore year of high school.

The experience at the combine, which Williams compared to going through the recruiting process as a high school player, has given him the opportunity to hear feedback directly from NBA teams.

“I’ve found out a lot of positive information,” Williams said. “A lot of great things that I’ve heard. I’ve also learned a lot about myself. That’s all going into helping me make my decision.”

In his first 5-on-5 game on Thursday afternoon at the combine, Williams had 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting to go along with five rebounds in 20 minutes.

ESPN Analyst Jay Bilas ranked him as the No. 84 prospect in the draft during the network’s broadcast of the combine.

While he’s aware of where he’s projected to go in the draft, a non-guaranteed contract that comes with being a second round pick isn’t a deal breaker for Williams.

“It just depends upon where I’m at in the second round,” he explained. “That comes into play. But at the same time, it’s not going to kill my pride or anything like that if I have to go to the D-League. That will make me work even harder.”

POTB 128: Dan Dakich

Podcast on the Brink is back for another 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 edition of the show, Morris and Inside the Hall editor Alex Bozich are joined by former IU player and coach Dan Dakich, who hosts the Dan Dakich Show on 1070 the Fan in Indianapolis and also calls college basketball games for ESPN.

The trio discuss a variety of topics, including:

· Is Indiana equipped to repeat as Big Ten champs?
· Whether it is fair for IU fans to expect more in the NCAA tournament
· How important it is for IU to climb the league hierarchy
· The ceiling of Thomas Bryant next season
· Why James Blackmon Jr. will be key to next season’s success
· The difficulty in replacing Yogi Ferrell, Nick Zeisloft and Max Bielfeldt
· The prospects of Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams in the NBA
· The next step for OG Anunoby as a player
· Relationships between the IU program and its former players

And plenty more. As always, feel free to drop the show a note at jerod@assemblycall.com.

Listen in the audio player below, download the episode, subscribe via iTunes or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Q & A: Christian Watford talks pro career, his brother, more

Former Indiana forward Christian Watford has spent the last three seasons playing professionally in both Israel and the NBA’s Development League.

One of the top 10 scorers in program history, Watford was a part of two Sweet Sixteen teams while in Bloomington and also helped lead the Hoosiers to a Big Ten title during the 2012-2013 season.

Inside the Hall recently caught up with Watford at the Nike EYBL stop in Westfield to discuss his younger brother, Trendon, what’s next in his professional career and more. Here’s the full Q & A:

You’ve been through the recruitment process before, you know how it goes. What can you tell Trendon to help him get through it?

“He’s just got to cherish every day. There’s only so many times you’re going to be in a room full of coaches with all eyes on you. You never know who is in the gym watching. I just try to make sure he doesn’t take anything for granted. A lot of people don’t get this opportunity. It’s a golden opportunity. Especially the way it is now. It’s so much different than from when I was playing with the Nike circuit. It’s a lot bigger and it’s a lot better. I just try to tell him that all the time.

He has the national rankings and early on he’s a top 10 player. As someone that has experienced rankings that have gone up and down, what do you tell him about that?

“All of the rankings don’t matter. I just try to tell him to not focus on that because it doesn’t really matter. The ultimate goal is to be one of the best players in the world at the end of the day and that’s in the NBA. The rankings stuff is definitely good to have for the McDonald’s game and things like that, but you can’t lose the big picture on trying to get better and better every day.”

I spoke with your dad a bit earlier and he mentioned that Indiana hasn’t really recruited Trendon yet. Is that something you are looking forward to?

“I’m sure they will. A lot of schools haven’t come after him yet, not just Indiana. It’s early and a lot of schools feel like they have time to come see a ninth grader. Especially with Indiana, a school that is further away. We’re getting all of the southeastern schools.”

Is it a built-in advantage for them that he’s been to Bloomington so much?

“He definitely knows what it is like. He knows exactly what it is like. There won’t be any surprises.”

What’s new with you? What’s next?

“I’m just going to get back healthy. I had surgery on my Achilles like three months ago. I’ve been rehabbing and trying to get back healthy and figure out what I’ve got going from there.”

Was the Development League a good experience for you?

“It was great. I was an affiliate player, which was a little different in terms of playing time. I got a great experience out of it and I felt like I got a lot better in the D-League because of the competition and I was with a good program with the Celtics in terms of how they run stuff.”

Are you open to going back overseas?

“Oh yeah, for sure. I’m open to doing anything. I don’t really know what is next, but I’m open to it for sure.”

What’s the timetable for your recovery?

“I’m pretty much almost back. I’m back running and cutting and stuff like that. But I’m taking it slow, I don’t want any setbacks.”

(Photo credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America)

Transcript: James Blackmon Jr. discusses future on Moritz Sports

Indiana sophomore James Blackmon Jr. was a guest on Moritz Sports on 1400 WBAT in Marion on Tuesday and discussed a variety of topics, including his future in Bloomington.

We’ve transcribed the complete interview below, which is also available to listen to here.

Bring us up to date on the recovery from the knee surgery that happened on January 5:

“I’m about four months post op. I’ve been working with the IU trainers throughout the school year. It’s been really good. Then I came back home so I have people I work with here. It started off really well here starting yesterday and I’m just ready to get back down there and keep working.”

On how devastating it was to find out the serious nature of this injury:

“It was a huge low point for me. Probably the hardest injury I’ve ever had to overcome. But I’m getting through it and everything looks up from here. I’m just staying positive through it all.”

On whether it was just a freak injury:

“I wouldn’t say that. We were playing 1-on-1 drills in practice and I kind of got nudged a little bit and thrown off balance. Then my shoe caught traction, so that’s how it happened, really.”

On whether he was pleased with the progress he’d made up until the point of the injury:

“I was very pleased. Coming into the year I had high expectations and I feel like I was fulfilling them. I feel like I was playing more consistent and shooting the ball a lot better and doing other things as well more consistently my sophomore year than my freshman year. I was very happy with how I was playing before the injury.”

On if he anticipated to have as much success as he did as a freshman:

“To me I really did just because of the way I work, the way I was brought up. Playing at Marion prepared me really well. I really did think I could do that, but I don’t think a lot of others did. I guess you could say I caught a lot of people by surprise.”

On whether he felt like things were moving in the right direction his sophomore season:

“Oh yeah, definitely. We started out rough, but then we beat Notre Dame in a comeback game and that’s where I think the season definitely changed. It was tough not being able to help my team against North Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen because I feel like I could have done a lot. It’s just something that I have to take advantage of motivation wise and come back wherever I am next year, and take control of that.”

On the post surgery prognosis was from the doctors:

“The doctors told me six months would be coming back fast. I’m at four months and I’ve been working so hard at the rehab and doing a lot extra. So I’m at four months and I feel really good. I’m not going to rush anything back or try to come back too fast.”

On where he is at right now in the rehab process:

“I’m probably at 75 percent.”

On whether he’s got to take it slow the rest of the way:

“I can do everything except get out there and play 5-on-5, so that’s really it.”

On when he expects be able to play 5-on-5:

“In July is when everything will be 110 percent.”

On whether he’s made a decision on if he’s going back to Indiana:

“Really the opportunity hit me when coach (Tom) Crean talked about my options. He said I could put my name in the draft, get feedback and test the waters. That’s what I wanted to do and it’s gone really well so far. I’ve been able to talk to teams, see what they think. I’ve met with two teams so far and the feedback I’ve been getting has been great. I don’t know where that will take me yet.”

On whether he’d be able to work out this month for teams:

“I’m not cleared to play 5-on-5 and that’s really what the combine is in Chicago on Wednesday. That’s something I can’t go to. I’ve been able to meet teams individually because I can’t actually play yet and do workouts and meetings with them, shooting around and just talking to teams.”

On whether it’s a possibility that he’ll keep his name in the draft and hire an agent:

“It’s a possibility always. I think it would be for anyone. But at the same time, my junior year at Indiana, I’m going to be a leader, I’m going to be someone that can lead a great team, probably a top 10 team next year so that’s pretty hard to pass up.”

On if his choice between staying in the draft or returning to school is a win-win situation:

“Yeah, that’s what coach Crean put out there for me. He knew that without the injury this year, it probably would have been a no-brainer, that’s what he talked to me about, but he said that the option is still there.”

On whether he’s down to two choices: return to school or go to the NBA and if transferring is an option:

“I never said that I would transfer anywhere else. That’s definitely my plan.”

On his relationship with Tom Crean and if rumors that they’re not on the same page at all times is true:

“That’s really not true. We talk almost every day. He motivates me, he pushes me. He knows that I’m one of the hardest workers ever so I’d say our relationship is really great.”

On the outlook for his junior season if he returns:

“The potential is there, most definitely. It just comes down to how things are executed and what our leaders do.”

On if he plans to test the waters again after his junior season, if he returns:

“I’m not sure because once I decide to go back, I’ll just be all into that season. Just like I was last year, I wasn’t thinking about the NBA or anything like that until after the season. That’s just something we’ll have to see.”

On the drop dead date on when he’ll have to decide if he’s coming back:

“I think it is May 27 where I’ll have to announce that I’m going back to school.”