Watford added to Indiana Pacers summer league roster

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Former Indiana forward Christian Watford isn’t giving up on his dream to play in the NBA.

The Indiana Pacers announced on Monday afternoon that Watford is one of 14 players who will be playing for the organization in July’s NBA summer league in Orlando.

Watford will wear No. 17 and according to IUHoosiers.com, could also play for the Sacramento Kings in the Vegas summer league.

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Ranking the top 10 players of the Tom Crean era

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It’s late June, recruiting won’t heat up until a couple of weeks into July and thus, there’s finally some time to dig into one of the list ideas we’ve been kicking around in recent weeks for offseason content. 

As we enter season eight of Tom Crean’s time in Bloomington, it’s time for our ranking of the top 10 players to play for the Hoosiers in his tenure:

10. James Blackmon Jr. (2014-present)

It will interesting to see where Blackmon Jr. ultimately ends up if this list is reexamined when his career is over. But as it stands, it’s hard to warrant placing him higher given that he’s played just one season. Still, Blackmon Jr. accomplished a lot offensively in his first season. He ranked sixth in the country among all freshman in scoring at 15.7 points per game and was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection. He also set the freshman record for 3-pointers made in a season (77), breaking a mark set by Eric Gordon. If Blackmon Jr. continues the scoring pace he exhibited as a freshman and stays until he’s a junior, he’s going to go down as one of the better backcourt scorers to ever play for the Hoosiers.

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Troy Williams participating in Nike Basketball Academy

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Indiana junior forward Troy Williams is among the nation’s top college players currently participating in Nike’s inaugural Basketball Academy at Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport’s Barker Hanger.

The event, billed by Nike as an “effort to create a premium and seamless basketball experience with the game’s elite,” features both high school and college players and combines Nike’s previous three skills academies into one.

According to a press release, the academy “will allow the best players in the country to compete against the best competition while receiving guidance from Nike Basketball’s biggest stars; LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis to name a few. Additional basketball legends will be on hand to serve as mentors and coaches for the weeklong session with the top high school and college players in the country.”

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Freshman Focus: O.G. Anunoby

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“Freshman Focus” is an Inside the Hall series on each of Indiana’s three incoming freshmen where we take an in-depth look at all three newcomers. Today the series concludes with a look at O.G. Anunoby. (Previously: Thomas Bryant, Juwan Morgan)

Thomas Bryant comes to Bloomington as the prize of Indiana’s 2015 recruiting class and with accolades like being a McDonald’s All-American and a Jordan Brand All-Star. Juwan Morgan built a national profile last year as he won the most improved player award on Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit.

IU’s third incoming scholarship freshman, O.G. Anunoby, doesn’t have a top 100 ranking like Bryant or Morgan, but was a late riser whom the Hoosiers hope will develop into a rotation stalwart in the years to come.

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Noah Vonleh traded to Portland

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Former Indiana forward Noah Vonleh, a lottery pick in last June’s NBA draft, is on the move after just one season with the Charlotte Hornets.

The Portland Trailblazers announced on Wednesday evening that the organization acquired Vonleh and Gerald Henderson in exchange for Nicolas Batum.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported the trade late Wednesday afternoon.

Vonleh was the No. 9 pick in last year’s draft, but was never a part of the rotation in Charlotte as a rookie and was even sent to the Development League for a brief stint.

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POTB 077: How Max Bielfeldt will impact Indiana

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Podcast on the Brink is back for a new episode with host Jerod Morris of The Assembly Call. The show is now available each Wednesday during the offseason.

In this week’s edition of the show, Morris and Inside the Hall editor Alex Bozich are joined by Brendan F. Quinn, who covers Michigan basketball for MLive.com and the MLive Media Group. The discussion hits on the following topics:

· Max Bielfelt’s decision to finish his career at Indiana and whether it was a surprise to Quinn
· The reasons for Michigan’s lack of interest in Bielfeldt returning to the program for a fifth season
· Bielfeldt’s injury history, what type of player he is and how he will fit in at Indiana
· A look at Michigan’s roster for next season and where the Wolverines may stack up in the Big Ten
· Next season’s Big Ten hierarchy including which teams have the best outlook going into next season

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.

Freshman Focus: Juwan Morgan

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“Freshman Focus” is an Inside the Hall series on each of Indiana’s three incoming freshmen. Over the next couple of weeks, we will take an in-depth look at all three newcomers. Today: Juwan Morgan. (Previously: Thomas Bryant)

It didn’t take long for Waynesville, Missouri coach Chris Pilz to realize he might have a high level Division I player in his program back in the 2011-2012 season.

It was the first year at Waynesville for Pilz and he got to know Juwan Morgan quickly after he wrapped up his football season as a freshman. Once Morgan’s football responsibilities were finished, he started working out with the basketball team. Pilz wanted Morgan to play for the junior varsity. But Morgan told Pilz he would prefer to start out playing freshman ball.

“I told him I was new, he was new, so that would be fine,” Pilz recalls with a laugh. “About a week later he started playing JV. I’d had the opportunity to coach some other Division I players that had played at a major level and shortly after working with him, I told him he had the opportunity to be a major Division I player if that’s what he wanted to do.”

Morgan confirmed to Pilz that’s exactly what he wanted to do and his ascent in the Waynesville program began.

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