Indiana head coach Tom Crean appeared Tuesday night in Jeffersonville (IN) at a fund raising event for the Greater Clark County Schools.
The event, “Coaches Raising the Bar for Kids,” also featured former Louisville head coach Denny Crum and current Louisville women’s coach Jeff Walz and raised over $36,000 that will go towards helping students prepare to take the ACT.
A couple of quick highlights:
– During the Q & A portion of the event, Crum told Crean he’d love to come watch a game at Assembly Hall. Crean countered that he’d let him sit in his seat since he rarely uses it during the game. Crum then said, “I’ve noticed,” which drew a smile from Crean and a few laughs from the crowd. No word yet on whether the Hall of Fame coach will take in a game at Assembly Hall.
– Crean re-iterated that he consumes news on conference expansion and re-alignment just as the fans do: television, the Internet and the newspaper. He also stated that he hopes those in decision-making positions will do what’s best for the schools and the conferences involved.
– Crean said he is open to a series with Louisville in the future.
Here’s video of Crean speaking to the media prior to the event:
As the recruiting game continues to place an emphasis on identifying talent at an early age, the Indiana staff is hitting the ground running with the class of 2013.
A trio of AAU teammates — Hamilton Southeastern’s Zak Irvin, Heritage Christian’s Basil Smotherman and Warren Central’s Devin Davis (pictured) — have been offered scholarships by Indiana.
“No one can say that Coach Crean isn’t putting the emphasis on Indiana kids now,” Matt Green, who coaches the group on the Eric Gordon All-Stars, told Inside the Hall. “He’s going after the top kids in that class.”
According to Green, Davis was offered on an unofficial visit to Bloomington last month while Irvin and Smotherman picked up offers at this past weekend’s Elite Camp.
The 6-6 Davis and 6-4 Smotherman both started varsity on their high school teams this past season, but Irvin, a 6-4 guard, has yet to log a minute above the junior varsity level. Still, the IU staff saw the potential to give Irvin the early offer, which was his first.
“With Irvin, it’s a little different because he didn’t play any varsity. He’s played good in the spring,” Green said. “Coach Crean puts his eyes on him at Elite Camp and likes what he sees. Some could say he pulled the trigger early with him never having varsity time and some could say he winds up being a legit, very-high profile kid and hey, he rolled the dice and got it right.”
After missing time earlier this spring with a stress fracture in his back, Austin Etherington returned to the court at last month’s Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. And while he’s not yet back to full strength, the 2011 Hamilton Heights guard is feeling better each day.
“I’m starting to feel back to my normal self,” Etherington told Inside the Hall on Sunday. “The doctor, the last time I saw him, he said I was only 70 percent, but I could still play. I feel like I’m better than 70 percent now, but I’m still a little slow on my first step. My back doesn’t bother me when I play, so that’s good.”
With some time off in June from AAU, the IU commit made the trip to Bloomington on Sunday for the Elite Camp and will also travel to Charlottesville next week for the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp on the campus of the University of Virginia.
Etherington said he enjoyed the opportunity on Sunday in Bloomington to get to know incoming recruit Victor Oladipo better and also picked up some advice from Tom Crean.
“Everytime I see Coach, he tells me to keep working on my ball handling and my shooting because you can never not need to improve on those kind of things,” Etherington said.
With his decision out of the way, Etherington’s month of July will be much different than many of his Indiana Elite teammates who will be looking to make an impression on college coaches.
This release just popped into the inbox from J.D. Campbell over at IU Media Relations. Normally wouldn’t be posting much about Bill Lynch on here, but under the circumstances, it can’t hurt.
“We are excited to welcome the University of Nebraska to the Big Ten Conference. They are a perfect fit to what we believe is a group of institutions committed to combining the best that academia and athletic competition have to offer. We look forward to building on this new relationship.” Fred Glass
Director of Athletics
“Nebraska is a first-class institution that for years has competed at the highest level in intercollegiate athletics and have a loyal fan base with obvious great support. I have followed their programs for many years with great admiration. We welcome them to the Big Ten Conference.” Tom Crean
Men’s Basketball Coach
“We are excited about Nebraska joining the Big Ten. We think it’s arguably the best conference in the country and adding a powerhouse like Nebraska who’s great in all sports, particularly football and women’s basketball, it just adds to the Big Ten. We welcome a great program like Nebraska to the Big Ten Conference.” Felisha Legette-Jack
Women’s Basketball Coach
“Nebraska is one of the outstanding institutions in the country,” Lynch said. “It is a great fit for the Big Ten both geographically and competitively. Nebraska’s football program is one of the truly elite in the country. It is a model program many of us have studied over the years and it will be a great addition to the Big Ten Conference.” Bill Lynch
In a move motivated solely by college football and money (and also the potential for a Nebraska-Penn State basketball rivalry), the Big Ten officially announced the addition of Cornhuskers to the conference earlier today.
Here’s the press release from the Big Ten, which probably needs to get the wheels moving on a search for a new name:
Park Ridge, Ill.– The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) announced unanimous approval today for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to join the Big Ten Conference effective July 1, 2011, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2011-12 academic year. UNL will also seek admission into the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), which can occur on or before July 1, 2011.
The addition of the University of Nebraska marks the Big Ten’s first expansion since Penn State University joined the conference in June of 1990 and will increase Big Ten membership to 12 institutions for the first time in conference annals. Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany will join University of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Director of Athletics Tom Osborne on campus in Lincoln, Neb., for press conference at 5 p.m. CT on Friday, June 11.
“By unanimous vote, the Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to the Big Ten Conference,” said COP/C Chair and Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon. “We believe Nebraska is an extraordinary fit, reflecting the criteria we established at the beginning of the process – high academic quality, competitiveness, cultural compatibility and fiscal responsibility. The extensive and in-depth discussions my colleagues and I have had about Big Ten expansion permitted us to act expeditiously and prudently on the application submitted by Nebraska. We look forward to working with our colleagues at UNL in the years ahead.”