Report: 2014 Chicago big man Cliff Alexander on campus

Update: Multiple reports on Twitter are now stating that Alexander will actually visit on Wednesday.

According to Scott Phillips, 2014 Chicago Curie big man Cliff Alexander is visiting Bloomington today. Alexander, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward, is rated the No. 13 prospect overall in his class by

Alexander, who plays AAU with the D. Rose 15-and-under team, told Sam Estes of in July that his list of schools includes Connecticut, DePaul, Florida State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Here are a couple looks at Alexander (wearing No. 11 in White in the first video and No. 12 in White in the second video) via YouTube:


An early look at the 2011-12 frontcourt

We detailed a few early backcourt storylines on Monday. Today, a look at the frontcourt:

— Cody Zeller’s arrival: Fresh off a summer where some veteran players appear to have taken an important step in maturity and leadership, Zeller’s inclusion should do much to keep the good vibes going in Bloomington. It’s been said before, but the Washington native’s ability to do a lot of fundamentally sound and smart things on both sides of the ball will not only give Indiana a high-level frontcourt talent for the first time in the Tom Crean era, but it’s likely the other four guys on the court with Zeller will reap the benefits of his game, something that should translate into the ultimate goal: more wins.

— What will we see from Tom Pritchard?: After averaging almost 10 points a game as a freshman, Pritchard’s offensive game the last two seasons has suffered. Last season, he used the least amount of possessions– garnering a “nearly invisible” tag from KenPom — of any player getting rotation minutes. Pritchard also made just 34.8 percent of his free throws in 2010-11. The addition of Zeller could allow Pritchard some more confidence in a secondary frontcourt role. Additionally, Derek Elston noted in comments he made to the media earlier this month that “the free-throw thing is not a big issues anymore” for Pritchard. And if Pritchard can show this kind of swagger and fire alongside Zeller consistently this season, his senior year could be one in which he rebounds a bit.

— Can a three-man rotation get it done?: After Zeller and Pritchard, Elston — who may be in for a bit of rebound himself if he’s back to full health this season — could exist as a sound third option in the frontcourt. But with the Hoosiers losing out on Garrett Green, Bobby Capobianco’s transfer and Jeff Howard not seeing much time in 2010-11, depth may be a concern for the Hoosiers. It’s likely Christian Watford will be called upon to play the 4-spot at times next season, though it would probably benefit the team more to keep him out on the wing as much as possible.


Video: Gary Harris at LeBron James Skills Academy

Thanks to our friends at CityLeagueHoopsTV for this new highlight reel of 2012 Hamilton Southeastern guard Gary Harris at the LeBron James Skills Academy last month in Akron, Ohio:


– HD Video: Gary Harris at GRBA National Championships (August 1, 2011)
– Video: Gary Harris Highlights at IBCA Top 100 Showcase (July 13, 2011)
– HD Video: Gary Harris at Indiana Jr-Sr All-Star Exhibition (June 7, 2011)

An early look at the 2011-2012 backcourt

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks since the conclusion of the July evaluation period, but it’s time to ramp back up once again as the official start of basketball practice is less than eight weeks away.

We’ll have comprehensive player-by-player previews as the start of the season grows closer, but here’s an early look at some of the storylines to keep an eye on with next season’s backcourt:

— A battle for minutes: Of the twelve scholarship players on Indiana’s roster, eight will fight for minutes in the backcourt rotation. And for the first time since his arrival in Bloomington, Tom Crean should have enough depth to allocate minutes to those will defend the best on a consistent basis. An inability to stop penetration from the perimeter or close out on shooters were two of the many reasons the Hoosiers finished as the worst defensive team in the Big Ten last season. If Indiana hopes to climb out of the conference cellar in season four of Crean’s tenure, progress will be largely determined by an improved defensive presence in the backcourt.

— Will Jordan Hulls take the leadership reigns? Recent comments by Derek Elston suggest that the junior guard from Bloomington is taking on the role of team leader this offseason and if that spills over into the season, it will be a huge positive moving forward. The Hoosiers have been without a player that the coaching staff can rely on as an on-court extension of themselves the past three seasons. Many believed Jeremiah Rivers might develop into that role upon his arrival from Georgetown, but that never materialized. In Hulls, the Hoosiers might finally have that guy.

— Last call for Verdell Jones: It was a mixed bag of results for the Champaign native in his junior season in Bloomington. On one hand, Jones became the 33rd player in school history to surpass the 1,000-point barrier. On the other hand, his 83 turnovers were a team-high and Jones struggled from both the foul line (67.2 percent) and the 3-point line (29.8 percent). The 6-foot-5 guard has been at his best in an IU uniform when he relies on his solid mid-range game. The scoring and ball handling burdens may lessen on Jones as a senior, but improved efficiency and better decision making will go a long way in defining his final collegiate season.


Open Thread: Five most memorable moments

Tuesday’s open thread on next season’s rotation sparked over 175 comments and also some emails from our readers with suggestions for additional open thread topics.

One such email came from MiamiHoosier:

Hey fellas, best site on the web.  My thread suggestion is to have the readers list their 5 favorite memories from the past 3 awful seasons. We will probably never have to go through something like that again, but we will never forget it, and despite the ultimate frustrations of home losses to Penn St, Lipscomb, etc….there were SOME good moments… top 5:     5. Sheehey’s Iowa dunk 4. Creek goes off on Kentucky 3. Beating Pitt in madison square garden 2. Pritchard’s dunk and our ensuing victory against Minnesota 1. last year’s victory over Illinois

So via MiamiHoosier’s suggestion, what are your five favorite memories from the past three seasons of Indiana basketball? These can be on the court memories, like MiamiHoosier went with, or off the court memories.

Happy Friday, friends.

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Video: Cody Zeller senior season highlights

Slow week around here (things should ramp back up next week), but here’s a pretty nice mix of Cody Zeller that recently surfaced via TheIndianaRecruits on YouTube.

Included are clips from last December’s Hall of Fame Classic at New Castle, the McDonald’s All-American Game, the Indiana Junior-Senior All-Star exhibitions and the Indiana All-Star games at Bellarmine and Conseco Fieldhouse.


HD Video: Cody Zeller at Indiana Junior-Senior All-Star Exhibition (June 8, 2011)
HD Video: Cody Zeller Derby Festival Classic Highlights (April 25, 2011)
HD Video: Washington’s Cody Zeller vs. Batesville (March 21, 2011)
HD Video: Washington’s Cody Zeller, Evansville Bosse’s Jaquan Lyle (March 12, 2011)
HD Video: Washington’s Cody Zeller vs. Vincennes Lincoln (March 5, 2011)
ITH Video: Cody Zeller at Evansville Bosse (December 20, 2010)

2014 Intro: Greensburg’s Bryant McIntosh

2014 guard Bryant McIntosh put together a solid freshman campaign at New Castle, but has transferred to Greensburg for his final three high school seasons after reportedly being struck by Trojans coach Steve Bennett.

The 6-foot-2 guard played well this spring and summer for the Eric Gordon 15-and-under team that also featured Perry Poindexter, Jalen Coleman and Sean Sellers, who will team with McIntosh at Greensburg.

McIntosh was among Indiana’s guests at last fall’s Hoosier Hysteria and recruiting analyst Dave Telep said after May’s Spiece Run-N-Slam that the sophomore is “one to watch because he’s tough, makes shots and has a ball player’s swagger.”

Check out Inside the Hall’s highlights of McIntosh from July’s adidas Invitational and the Best of the Midwest as well as Q & A in the embedded media players below (Note: You can expand the video to full screen by using the arrows in the bottom right hand corner of the players.):


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