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Gordon vs. Crawford; Sampson drawing NBA head-coaching interest

Two things of interest on this Thursday afternoon involving former members of the IU basketball fam.

First up, via Gery Woelfe of the Journal Times,  comes word that Jordan Crawford reportedly used to give Eric Gordon a run for his money in practice:

Many NBA scouts weren’t caught off guard by Crawford’s highly-productive season. They were well aware of his myriad of talents when he was a freshman at Indiana University.

That’s when he had some memorable practices against then Hoosiers guard Eric Gordon, who wound up being the seventh overall selection in the 2008 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Some people who witnessed those Indiana workouts swear Crawford was often as good or better than Gordon.

“I heard that from time to time from players on the team, saying stuff like that,’’ Crawford said. “I really wanted to compete against him.

“He was the best player on the team, so every day in practice I wanted to go at him.’’

Considering the Undisciplined One was rather boom and bust that season — flashes of brilliance mixed with some typical freshman mistakes — it’s not out of the realm of possibility that on his best days he could have matched Gordon here and there.

Second, via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, looks like Kelvin Sampson is getting at least a look from the Cavs in their coaching search:

As the Cleveland Cavaliers sift potential coaching candidates, general manager Danny Ferry has made calls checking on Milwaukee Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.

For now, the Cavaliers’ interest appears to be strictly in the fact-finding phase, but some league personnel believe it’s just a matter of time until Sampson becomes a legitimate head coaching candidate in the NBA.

This comes on the heels of a report from K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that Sampson could draw interest from the Bulls in their search. Sampson worked a lot with rookie Brandon Jennings this year as a member of the Bucks’ staff, and though Jennings’ shot still needs plenty of work, he garnered some rookie-of-the-year consideration. Dude also tossed up 55 points in a game during the first half of the season, and was the team’s leader at the point for a team that made the playoffs and nearly upset the Hawks in the first round.

Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry are talented, no doubt, but they weren’t getting the type of experience Jennings was this year at the point. They may not have gotten the coaching Jennings got either.

You can criticize Sampson for other things, but his coaching prowess — after only two years in the pro ranks — is already garnering him some consideration for head-coaching jobs. That’s impressive stuff any way you slice it.

Oh, and just before I was set to hit publish, here’s a tweet that just came through from the well-connected Brain Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Sources confirm Yahoo! report about Cavs’ interest in Bucks asst. coach Kelvin Sampson. In fact, I’m told he may be near top of list.”

And then this tweet from Woj: “The Clippers are also showing an interest in Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, sources tell Y! Sampson has relationship with Blake Griffin.”

OK, that’s it. Discuss at your leisure.

2012 Intro: Ron Patterson

The Essentials: 6-3, 200-lb guard for Broad Ripple and Indiana Elite

The Schools: Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue, Tennessee and Xavier have offered scholarships.

The Quote: “I am still a ways off on all of this, but I still like IU. It’s just somewhere I could come play, and I could start. It’s close to home.” – Patterson to Hugh Kellenberger of The Herald-Times.

The Ranking: The Hoop Scoop ranks Patterson the 77th best prospect in the 2012 class.

The Scout Says: “Over the course of the past year we’ve seen Patterson a number of times, but his effort Sunday was the best we’ve seen from him. He’s turned himself into a pretty good long-range shooter off the catch and his shooting off the dribble is much improved as well. On top of that, he’s a good athlete that focuses on rebounding the basketball from the guard position.” – Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels on Patterson following the adidas May Classic.

The Highlights:

2012 Intro: Hanner Perea

The Essentials: 6-8, 210 lbs forward for United Faith Christian Academy and Indiana Elite

The Schools: Alabama, Baylor, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee have all offered scholarships. North Carolina and Wake Forest have shown interest.

The Leaders: Perea said at the adidas May Classic that Indiana and Baylor are sitting at the top of his list. Indiana Director of Operations and Video Coordinator Drew Adams coached Perea on Indiana Elite before joining the Hoosier staff.

The Ranking: ESPN ranks Perea No. 25 in its “Terrific 25″ for the 2012 class.

The Scout Says: “The 6-foot-8 forward is a physical specimen, and someone with absolutely freakish athletic ability. More than that though, Perea has a solid feel for the game and good hands around the rim and on the break. His skill set is still a little raw on the post, but his strength and athleticism make him a very difficult matchup for most forwards, especially at his age level.” – Rivals.com analyst Brian Snow on Perea’s play at the adidas May Classic.

The Highlights:

2012 Intro: Hamilton Southeastern’s Gary Harris

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s a slow news time, so I figured I’d switch things up and begin profiling some of the 2012 recruits on Indiana’s radar. We’ll kick it off with Hamilton Southeastern guard Gary Harris, who might be the best prospect in the state in this loaded class.

The Essentials: 6-4, 195 lbs guard for Hamilton Southeastern and D3 Heat

The Schools: Butler, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, IUPUI, Miami (FL), Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Xavier have all offered scholarships. Florida, Louisville, Marquette, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon State and West Virginia have shown interest.

The Numbers: 14 points and five rebounds as a sophomore for Hamilton Southeastern, which finished 17-4.

The Scout Says: “Harris is more athletic than we’ve given credit for and he looked flat out explosive soaring for rebounds and dunks in the open court. He showed the full scoring package on Sunday, scoring off deep jumpers, mid-range pull-ups for drives to the rim.” – Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels on Harris’ play at the adidas May Classic.

The Highlights (courtesy of UMHoops.com):

Scholarship situation will work itself out

Big Ten Tournament: Indiana Hoosiers v Penn State Nittany LionsI needed a few days to gather my thoughts on this topic, but since it seems be a frequent point of discussion in the comments, I figured it was worth addressing.

On paper, the signing of Guy-Marc Michel has left Indiana without any additional scholarships for the 2011 class. (Scholarship numbers are available here.) At this past weekend’s adidas May Classic in Bloomington, Herald-Times beat reporter Dustin Dopirak asked several 2011 recruits, including Aaron Thomas, Austin Etherington, Jeremiah Davis and Cody Zeller, for their thoughts on the scholarship crunch.

While I felt the question was fair, I’ve steered clear of asking recruits about it because my point of view is that it’s the job of the coaching staff to figure out how to best allocate scholarships. It’s safe to assume that if Zeller or Davis decide they want to play at IU, they won’t be paying their own way, right?

If you flash back to March of 2009, the scholarship numbers would have indicated that Indiana only had one scholarship to give for 2010. Malik Story and Nick Williams then transferred, freeing up two additional grants.

It’s not inconceivable a player could become homesick or unhappy with their role and leave the program. It happens every year at a lot of programs across the country. ESPN’s Outside the Lines ran a story last January where it looked at the roster turnover in college basketball with a specific focus on John Calipari and Kentucky. And the fact is scholarships are renewable each year.

Additionally, Tom Crean addressed the situation shortly after the season concluded. Let’s go to the archives:

“I have to sit here and look ahead into the future and figure out OK, how are we going to have to not do this again. That’s what’s hard because there’s a lot of good young players that we’re recruiting that we want and we’ve gotta make sure that we get those and we’ve gotta make sure we have the ability to sign them when they’re ready to come.”

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adidas May Classic video: Darryl Baker

After a big summer for Team Southern Indiana in 2009, Jeffersonville guard Darryl Baker was regarded as one of the top incoming freshman in the state. But a broken leg sidelined Baker for the entire 2009-2010 season and the 6-1 guard could only watch as his teammates knocked off No. 1 Bloomington South in the Seymour regional. Inside the Hall caught up with Baker at the adidas May Classic to get an update on his injury and his recruitment:

adidas May Classic video: Devin Davis Jr, Zak Irvin and Bryson Scott

The state of Indiana continues to produce top-level talent and the class of 2013 is no different. Watch what a trio of sophomores-to-be — Warren Central’s Devin Davis Jr., Hamilton Southeastern’s Zak Irvin and Ft. Wayne Northrop’s Bryson Scott — had to say at this past weekend’s adidas May Classic in the embedded media players below:

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