Before we get to the aforementioned video, I’d like to publicly begin a campaign for Tom Crean to wear his crimson blazer in a game next season. In case you’re unaware of the storybehind the blazer, Crean received it as a gift from Fuzzy Zoeller, the professional golfer from Southern Indiana who is also a huge supporter of IU athletics. Anyway, it’s time to take the blazer to the next level, Coach. I’m thinking it would look good at next season’s Purdue game at Assembly Hall. Who’s with me?
Now, onto the task at hand. Following his appearance at Huber’s last Wednesday, Crean talked about each member of the incoming recruiting class. The video, courtesy of Rick Bozich, is below for your viewing pleasure:
PARK RIDGE, Ill. — Noted political scientist Thomas Hobbes once wrote that man, in his basest state of nature, lives a life that is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” As a distant observer-turned-one-time insider, this is the best way I can describe the current climate of conference expansion.
To refresh thine memories: Last December, our friends at the Big Ten decided on the idea of exploring the possibility of expansion, or at least doing so publicly. (Commissioner Jim Delany has said since then that the conference had explored the possibility before, but not so seriously as they are now.)
Since then, college sports — and in particular, college football — has spontaneously combusted several times over from Syracuse all the way to Seattle. And this weekend was no different.
Sunday marked the June meeting of the Big Ten’s Council of Presidents/Chancellors, which might have been the only major piece of expansion news spawned in the last 96 hours that was in any way expected. It was hardly the only show in town.
(SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT)
I point you to an article written by yours truly for our friends at the Herald-Times, since it was far more convenient for me to make the Big Ten meetings Sunday. No seriously, it pretty well lists out most of what’s been reported since sundown Thursday. To summarize:
The Big Ten is quite tight-lipped, but willingly admitted that the actions of other major players might accelerate a process it had once hoped would last between 12 and 18 months. The “criteria” for expansion, which includes academic reputation, fiscal responsibility, competitiveness and an institutional fit (would they play well with the rest of the Big Ten), remain unchanged.
According to what we were told today, no institutions have, as yet, formally applied for membership, a requirement for admission per Big Ten bylaws.
The Big 12, once considered a stalwart on the landscape, particularly in football, is in serious danger of extinction. According to (more) reports today, Missouri and Nebraska, rumored to be among the Big Ten’s favorites as candidates, have been given an ultimatum by their conference to make a decision. And suddenly, a state university famous for its journalism school and another known best for Tom Osborne’s lack of willingness to discipline star football players appear to be the lynchpin.
The Essentials: 6-7, 190-lb forward for Medina (OH) and Indiana Elite
The Schools: According to Rivals.com, Arizona State, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin have offered scholarships. Florida has expressed interest.
The Numbers: 17.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg for Medina, which finished 20-3.
The Leaders: Kaminski told reporters at the adidas May Classic that Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State are his leaders. Kaminski will make his decision on July 31.
The Quote: “The main thing that really stuck out was the fanbase is incredible. I know Indiana’s been down a little bit the last couple of years, but it’s so loud in there. It tops any other school that I’ve ever been to or even seen on TV. Their atmosphere is ridiculous. The coaching is always great. I think the players work as hard as they can to get better and obviously they’ve improved since last year to this year. The campus is beautiful. I think Coach Crean is a great coach. I think he’s really going to be able to turn the program around.” – Kaminski to Inside the Hall.
The Scout Says: “Kaminski is a high level shooter who is showing a greater aptitude for grabbing rebounds around the rim and scoring in the paint. Those are still growth areas for him, but the 6-foot-7 forward is definitely coming along in those areas.” – Rivals.com analyst Brian Snow on Kaminski’s performance at the adidas May Classic.
The Scout Says: “Thanks to his performance in Bloomington, Hollowell’s stock is on the rise. A near 6-foot-6 wing with a pretty complete game, things seem to come easy to Hollowell. He handles well enough to create his own offense, has size to post up other wings and he can shoot the ball with range. He’s also a competitor who is willing to take a tough defensive challenge and help out on the glass.” – Rivals.com analyst Eric Bossi on Hollowell’s performance at the adidas May Classic.
The Essentials: 6-5, 205-lb forward for Bowman Academy and Spiece Indy Heat
The Schools: Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State and Purdue have offered scholarships. Florida, Kentucky, Marquette, Michigan and Xavier have expressed interest.
The Numbers: 17.0 ppg and 12.0 rpg for Bowman Academy, which won the Class A state championship.
The Leaders: Long considered to be a Purdue-lean, the Boilermakers, Illinois and Ohio State are believed to be the three schools in the best shape with Marrero, who has not named a leader publicly.
The Quote: “It is cool. I know they are two big rival schools, and knowing I have Indiana and Purdue shows me that my hard work has paid off. It is great to have two great schools recruiting me.” – Marrero to Brian Snow of Rivals.com on being recruited by Indiana and Purdue.
The Ranking: The Hoop Scoop ranks Marrero the 38th best prospect in the 2012 class.
The Essentials: 6-7, 185-lb forward for Bloomington South and Indiana Mean Streets
The Schools: According to Rivals.com, Indiana, Oregon, Oregon State, Virginia, Washington and Washington State have offered scholarships. Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Purdue have expressed interest.
The Leaders: Indiana and Virginia are believed to be the two schools recruiting Bell the hardest. Bell’s mother, Quacy Timmons (formerly Barnes) played at IU and in the WNBA for four seasons.
The Quote: “I’m hoping for more colleges to come in during the summer. I’m trying to have fun with it. I’m just trying to play and get better. And I want to get bigger. I’ve been trying to work on it. We have weight class in high school, so that helps.” – Bell to The Indianapolis Star.
The Ranking: ESPN’s Scout’s Inc. ranks Bell a 95 on its 100-point scale.
The Scout Says: “In the first game of the day, Bell, a 6-foot-7 power forward, was active and aggressive for the Indiana squad. He scored with his right hand in the paint and owned the offensive glass, scoring off put backs and tip-ins. Although he’s not the quickest, Bell was willing to run the floor and finished when he had opportunities in the open court. Bell finished with 25 points against JSA Indiana.” – Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels on Bell at the adidas May Classic.
The Essentials: 7-0, 195-lb center for United Faith Christian Academy and Indiana Elite
The Schools: Clemson, Indiana and South Carolina have offered scholarships. Memphis, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Tennessee have expressed interest.
The Leaders: Indiana, with its ties to Jurkin via Director of Operations and Video Coordinator Drew Adams, is believed to be in great position with the Sudanese big man. Jurkin, however, has not named a leader publicly.
The Ranking: ESPN.com ranks Jurkin the 16th best prospect in the 2012 class.
The Scout Says: “Jurkin is thin but very long. He runs well and covers a lot of ground with each step. He is best on the defensive end right now as he is an excellent shot blocker. He shows good touch on the offensive end and can shoot face up jumpers to 15 feet but needs to be more aggressive with his offense. He obviously needs to improve his strength and girth. He also needs to improve the strength of his hands. He is a solid rebounder with his length and bounce but needs to get stronger in order to hold his ground in the paint. Great upside on this kid.” – ESPN Scout’s Inc. on Jurkin.