After missing the majority of the 2009-2010 season with a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot, Matt Roth, arguably Indiana’s best pure shooter, is 100 percent healthy.
Inside the Hall went one-on-one with the junior guard on Thursday about a variety of topics including offseason workouts, Cook Hall, competitiveness for playing time and more. The transcript of our Q & A is below:
On his individual progress this offseason and the team’s offseason progress:
“It’s been a real good summer. I took classes both summer sessions. I’ve been working out, trying to get back to playing like I did before my injury and playing much better. It’s been a good summer for me and a great summer for the team. We’ve really made a lot of strides and built a lot of good relationships within the team. That’s something you definitely need going into the season.”
On the competitiveness for playing time in the backcourt:
“I think it’s going to be very competitive and I think everybody kind of knows what they bring to the table and what they’re going to have to bring every day to practice. And that’s going to be a great challenge coming into practice knowing that we’re going to be as competitive as we are both in practice and certainly on the court when the games come around.”
On what he learned last season missing time with an injury:
“It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever gone through with basketball. It’s been such a huge part of my life and not to have it be something I could physically do was very difficult for me. But it also opened up a lot of great opportunities for me to learn and take different aspects and outlooks on life. It really made me cherish the game would be a way to put it. It means just as much now as ever, but it just kind of revamped my love for the game. I was able to learn a lot of things. It was very difficult, but it’s something I’m going to look back on someday and be grateful that I had the opportunity to recover, learn and move forward.”
According to a report by the Washington Times-Herald, 2011 Washington (IN) forward Cody Zeller has trimmed his list of schools to three.
And as expected, there are no surprises: Zeller’s final three are Indiana, Butler and North Carolina:
“It was a hard decision, but those three were in front by a lot. I have five official visits I could take, but I didn’t want to lead anyone on,” Zeller said.
“There is all the tradition at Carolina and that is special. Coach (Tom) Crean has done a great job turning things around at Indiana and Butler is such a good team year-in-and-year-out. They have one of the best young coaches in the country. All three coaches are great people,” Zeller added.
Not much to add here beyond the obvious, but despite what has been written elsewhere, IU’s chances to land Zeller are certainly as legitimate as UNC’s or Butler’s. The next step, if Zeller sticks to his original plan, will be to set up official visits in the fall before signing a National Letter of Intent in November.
Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall crew. So go ahead, get your read on.
+ Michigan State guard Chris Allen will not return to East Lansing next season after failing to meet multiple obligations. KJ discusses the ramifications of Allen’s dismissal for the Spartans at The Only Colors.
+ Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star reports that Indiana offered a scholarship to 2014 forward Trey Lyles, who will be a freshman at Indianapolis Tech this fall.
+ In a Monday notes column on ESPN.com, Andy Katz reports that Butler, Indiana, Notre Dame and Purdue are considering a doubleheader as soon as 2011. Eamonn also weighed-in over at College Basketball Nation.
+ Brian Neubert of the Purdue Rivals site, GoldandBlack.com, tweeted that 2013 guard Bryson Scott was offered by Indiana.
+ Indiana is not listed in Aaron Thomas’ most recent top five according to Jody Demling of The Louisville Courier-Journal.
+ Per a tweet from Tom Crean, we learned that D.J. White visited Cook Hall on Tuesday.
+ IUHoosiers.com updated the roster for the 2010-2011 season, revealing jersey numbers for the incoming players.
+ Rush the Court ranks the top 20 Big Ten players for the 2010-2011 season.
+ Drew Cannon breaks down what you really need from a lineup over at Basketball Prospectus.
Joe Eberhardt, the editor and creator of Indy Hoops Blog, was in attendance this past weekend at the ChicagoHoops.com End of Season Showdown in Merrillville, Indiana. Also in attendance: A trio of Indiana coaches: Tom Crean, Bennie Seltzer and Steve McClain.
Joe’s thoughts and observations on several 2012 and 2013 prospects with IU interest are included in the report below. Follow Joe on Twitter by clicking here.
Class of 2012
Gary Harris, Hamilton Southeastern (IN): Gary showed a complete game this weekend, knocking down jump shots when given space, but going to the rim for buckets too. In a game against Mac Irvin Fire he hit five 3-pointers, and knocked down several mid-range jumpers on his way to a 28-point performance. In a game against the Rockford Ambassadors, Harris attacked the defense primarily off the dribble, scoring 22 points. Perhaps what was most impressive about Gary was his willingness to get after it on the defensive end of the court. He racked up several steals in all his games, and used his length to impact the glass and block a couple shots. There really wasn’t much Gary didn’t do in Merrillville, showing off athleticism, ball-handling, smooth shooting touch, and game changing defense. Something to keep in mind is that he’s doing this all while still recovering from an ankle injury.
Hanner Perea, LaPorte La Lumiere (IN): Perea (pictured) appears to be close to regular form after suffering a nasty ankle injury at the Adidas Invitational in early July. He’s still an athletic freak, blocking any shot in his vicinity on defense, and throwing down any possible dunk on offense. His athleticism is so elite that he makes very difficult plays look easy. This weekend he did a great job drawing contact on plays and getting to the foul line. He’s got a great free throw stroke for being considered a relatively raw offensive player. Perea did show a few nice flashes of an expanded offensive game this weekend, looking comfortable shooting the mid-range jumper and playing with his back to the basket some. He did knock down a nice hook shot from 7′ out, and while I’m not ready to declare him the most skilled big man of all time, it’s encouraging to see him put an emphasis on expanding his game.
Jeremy Hollowell, Lawrence Central (IN): The talented wing player is continuing his strong summer playing with the Eric Gordon 16u AAU team. I’d be lying if I said he was the most productive player on the circuit, but he just has so many tools to impact the game. He’s a legitimate 6’7, can handle the ball like a guard, and has the length to impact the glass as well. This weekend he was very aggressive off the dribble, taking opponents to the rim first and knocking down his shot second. He also showed off great athleticism, catching a couple ally-oop dunks and finishing some acrobatic lay ups.
If Austin Etherington moved out of the national rankings as a result of missing significant time this past spring, perhaps his performances in July will prove his name belongs amongst the country’s elite high school players.
The 6-6, 190-pound Hamilton Heights guard returned from a stress fracture in his back at the end of May and by the time he reached Las Vegas in late July for the adidas Super 64, his game was clicking on all cylinders.
“I feel like I’m back to normal and playing well,” Etherington told Inside the Hall. “But I can always get better. I felt like I proved myself in Vegas and other times in July, so we’ll just see what happens.”
Playing on a loaded Indiana Elite roster with several high-major prospects, Etherington said lessons in teamwork were the major takeaway from the spring and summer.
“Relying on your teammates is one thing you gotta learn when you get to this level,” he said. “Everyone is capable of making plays so it’s something you have to get used to and not do it all yourself.”
The end of AAU means less time for Etherington with two friends he’s drawn closer to over the summer — Washington’s Cody Zeller and Park Tudor’s Yogi Ferrell.
Although the IU commit says he’ll touch base periodically with several of his teammates over the fall and winter, he’ll make it a point to continue regular dialogue with Zeller and Ferrell.
“I try to stay in contact with most of them, but Yogi and Cody, I stay closest to them because I’m trying to get them to go to school with me. That’s a big thing.”
The pitch to join him at IU, Etherington says, is the same for both players. The delivery of his message, however, is different.
The speculation that has been building for weeks was correct: Medina (OH) forward Kenny Kaminski will take his game to East Lansing.
Evan Daniels of Scout.com reports, via a source, that Kaminski has given a verbal commitment to Tom Izzo and Michigan State.
The 6-7, 180-pound forward helped lead Medina to a 20-3 record as a sophomore and averaged close to 17 points and seven rebounds per game.
Kaminski chose Michigan State over Indiana, Ohio State and Wisconsin.
+ Kentucky Hoopfest: Kenny Kaminski
+ 2012 Intro: Kenny Kaminski
+ Q & A: 2012 Medina forward Kenny Kaminski