“Our position is our position,” Delany said. “I don’t think that moves in the SEC or the A.C.C. or Pac-10 or Big 12, haven’t, to date, created an environment that changes our position. We’re as comfortable as we could be. We’re cautious and conservative.”
Delany pointed out how long the Big Ten had remained at 11 universities — before expanding to 12 this year with the addition of Nebraska — and said he did not expect any imminent change, maintaining his stance of “quality over quantity.”
“We want to play each other more, not less,” he said. “We’re working hard through a successful transition of Nebraska. The fact that others have different ideas about size and the number of schools that you have doesn’t affect us. We are where we want to be and have been. I don’t think that Syracuse and Pitt movement, if it turns to be fact, changes our view of ourselves.”
DeMatha (MD) forward BeeJay Anya is one of the most coveted post players nationally in the junior class with scholarship offers from more than 15 schools, including Indiana.
Inside the Hall spoke to the 6-foot-9, 270-pound big man with a 7-foot-9 wingspan about his interest in the Hoosier program, his relationship with Victor Oladipo, the transformation of his physique over the last year and several other topics:
On where Indiana stands in his recruitment:
“I’m interested in IU. They’re the same as the rest of my schools because I’m completely wide open at this point.”
On his relationship with current IU guard Victor Oladipo:
“Me and Victor are very close. Our parents know each other very well. He’s like a brother to me.”
On how he transformed his body over the last 12 months, including weight loss of close to 40 pounds:
“Just eating better. Cutting out stuff from my diet. Eating better basically and working out every day and running. It’s helped me a lot. We’ve been having open gyms (at DeMatha) and I’ve been running better. I can jump better and I’m a lot stronger, too, because I’ve been lifting. I think it’s benefited me a lot.”
On the strengths of his game and what he’s looking to improve upon:
“I think my strengths are definitely attacking the rim and rebounding. And I want to get better at facing up and shooting the 16- to 17-footer and just being able to be more consistent with my jump shot. And get my ball handling better as well.”
Tom Crean pleaded for patience and promised it would be awarded. By their fingernails, Indiana fans hung on. Now comes the payoff. The Hoosiers’ climb out of the Kelvin Sampson sinkhole appears to have finally reached the end. The state, of course, awaits with breathless anticipation the debut of Cody Zeller. The McDonald’s All-American is easily the most critical recruit in the Crean era and a legitimate program-changer. Paired alongside Christian Watford in the frontcourt, Zeller could be especially formidable. The equally good news is that Maurice Creek could finally be healthy. Sensational as a freshman — he dropped 31 on Kentucky — Creek has been sidelined in each of the past two seasons with knee problems. If he remains healthy, this group has tourney hopes.
Peter Jurkin, the first recruit to join Indiana’s 2012 recruiting class last August, missed a good portion of last high school season and all of the AAU season with a stress fracture in his right leg.
The 7-foot native of Sudan is back at United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina for his final prep season and things are progressing nicely according to his coach.
“He’s doing well. He’s back, he’s full strength,” UNFCA coach Shaun Wiseman told Inside the Hall. “He’s put on about 20 pounds of muscle. I think that injury was a blessing in disguise because it allowed him to just rest and put on weight and work on things that he needed to work on. It’s really helped him a lot.”
Jurkin played limited minutes last high school season after a doctor in North Carolina advised that he could play just two minutes a quarter due to the stress fracture.
However, after visiting with another doctor at St. Vincent’s in Indianapolis a couple of months later, Jurkin learned that he should have been resting the leg he injured in August of 2010 at adidas Nations in Chicago. That news and subsequent period of required rest forced the Indiana commitment to miss the entire spring and summer with Indiana Elite.
With the stress fracture healed, Wiseman expressed excitement about Jurkin’s offseason improvement and optimism about his senior season.
“His skill set has gotten better. He was always long, he was always athletic, he was always a difference maker on the defensive end,” he said. “Now his hands have gotten better, he’s really starting to come into his own. I really expect he’s going to have a great year for us this year.”
Bullitt East coach Troy Barr said the 6-foot-9 Willis already had an offer from Louisville and on Wednesday landed an offer from Indiana coach Tom Crean.
Crean and assistant coaches Steve McClain and Tim Buckley watched Willis for a couple of hours in open gym and in the weight room.
U of L coach Rick Pitino and assistant coach Kevin Keatts watched Willis in open gym on Friday.
Barr said Willis has been invited to Indiana’s Hoosier Hysteria (Oct. 15) and Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness (Oct. 14). He’s also heard several times from Stanford and Georgetown, while Florida State and Oklahoma State have made contact.
Multiple outlets, including our friend Zach Osterman over at Inside Indiana(premium), reported Tuesday that Indiana had a presence at the open gym of Julius Randle, a top five prospect nationally in the class of 2013.
Bennie Seltzer was indeed among the large contingent of college coaches checking out Randle in Plano, Texas yesterday.
Following early commitments from Collin Hartman and Devin Davis Jr., Indiana’s recruiting efforts in the 2013 class for a big man have taken on a national flavor with BeeJay Anya, Luke Fischer and now Randle. IU sits in a favorable position already with both Anya and Fischer.
The Prestonwood Christian Academy junior is ranked No. 3 overall by ESPN.com. A lengthy list of schools, including Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas, are recruiting him.
A man among boys even against the nation’s elite. A rare combination of power and skill who scores both inside and out. What makes him so special is how he handles the ball to get to the rim and get old-fashion 3-point plays. He shoots it well from the perimeter and can not be stopped when he wants to score. He has excellent hands and is a great rebounder when he puts his mind to it.
And here’s video of Randle from May’s Spiece Run ‘N Slam Classic from CityLeagueHoopsTV:
It seems predictions are popping up all over the place these past few weeks. The early buzz has the Hoosiers finishing anywhere from fifth to ninth in the Big Ten. And so in the spirit of all of this forecasting, we’re turning it over to you.
Your task? Predict Indiana’s final regular season record.
13 non-conference games. 18 Big Ten games. A total of 31 contests.
Here’s how it’ll work: This thread will remain open until the end of the month. Your guesses will then be locked in on October 1 and following the Purdue game next March, we’ll revisit the comments and pull out all of the correct guesses. Everyone that gets the regular season record correct will then be entered into a drawing for the prize.
Feel free to show your work with your prediction, but please post it as the first part of your comment. It makes for easier record keeping. Also, one entry per person, please.