ITH Super Happy Fun Time All-Big Ten Preview: Demetri McCamey

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 12: Guard Demetri McCamey #32 of the Illinois Fighting Illini controls the ball against the Wisconsin Badgers during the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 12, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)Hoosier Hysteria is on the horizon and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s preseason All-Big Ten team. Today: Illinois’ Demetri McCamey.

The 2009-2010 season was a tale of two Demetri McCamey’s.

There was the All-Big Ten version that Indiana fans remember all too well after he sliced through three Hoosier defenders on his way to a teardrop buzzer-beater on January 30 in Champaign. He also led the Illini back from a 15-point deficit in Bloomington with 19 points, nine assists and just one turnover in a 66-60 win. Impressive.

And then there was the other McCamey.

The one that showed little respect for his coach, Bruce Weber, in this sideline incident during an ugly 72-57 home loss to Wisconsin on March 7. It was a stunning display of immaturity and poor decision making from one of the Big Ten’s finest players.

And it couldn’t have come at a worse time for Illinois as that loss ended any chance of an at-large NCAA Tournament berth. The Illini, a team many believed had the talent to dance in March, went on to the N.I.T.

So as the Illinois floor general returns after testing the NBA Draft waters, the question on everyone’s mind is this: Which version will show up for his senior season?

I’ll go with the All-Big Ten version for two reasons:

1. It’s the last stand for McCamey. Weber needs him to be more consistent and the leader if the Illini are to return to the top 20 like many are predicting. Sure, senior stalwarts Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale also return to help provide leadership, but let’s face it, as McCamey goes, so goes Illinois. That was evident last season when he shot just 37 percent down the stretch and Illinois lost 7 of 11. Coincidence? Not at all.

2. If McCamey wants a shot at guaranteed NBA money, he’ll need to display better decision making and do his best to avoid another sideline incident with Weber. The last thing an NBA franchise wants with a fringe first-rounder is questions about attitude and coachability. A summer to regroup is likely just what McCamey needed to realize it’s now or never to lead Illinois back to the NCAA Tournament and secure his future at the next level.

Previous Super Happy Fun Time All Big Ten Previews: Robbie Hummel, Kalin Lucas, William Buford.

Former Hoosiers to return for next Friday’s Hysteria

Per IU Media Relations:

The Indiana University men’s and women’s basketball teams will tip-off Homecoming Weekend and the 2010-11 basketball season this Friday, October 15 at Hoosier Hysteria, presented by Smithville, in Assembly Hall. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with an autograph session scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but fans are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to benefit Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

In addition, fans may visit Cook Hall throughout the day as the Pfau-Shine Legacy Court hours will be extended to remain open until 7:30 p.m.

The autograph session will feature both the men’s and women’s teams and this year includes a number of former IU men’s basketball greats including Damon Bailey, Archie Dees, Brian Evans, Matt Nover, Wayne Radford, Jimmy Rayl, and Landon Turner.

Following the autograph sessions, both teams will be introduced, but details of each team’s activities are still being finalized.

The IU Athletics Department Ticket Office will be open until 9 p.m. that evening. Students are encouraged to purchase their season tickets by October 15. This year’s package includes a new Crimson Guard “Front Line” seating area on the main level which rewards those who arrive early at the games.

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A little taste of the Maple Street Press Hoosier Tip-Off

The Maple Street Press Hoosier Tip-Off, which begins shipping Monday and will hit newsstands later this month, is a 128-page preview of the 2010-2011 Indiana Hoosiers. As a sneak peak, we’ve embedded “The Long Road Back” by Chris Korman, an excellent piece on the anatomy of the rebuilding project at Indiana:

2014 wing Trevon Bluiett attracting major attention

It was a bittersweet moment for Reynardo Bluiett when his 15-year old son, Trevon, a freshman at Park Tudor, picked up his first scholarship offer a couple of weeks ago from Indiana.

“You don’t really expect it this early, but I just know from personal experience the work that Trevon has put in,” Reynardo Bluiett told Inside the Hall. “He loves to play and I just know the work that it takes and the work he’s put in. Just to get that reward it’s gratifying. He’s just going to continue to work whether we had the offer or not. He enjoys working on his game.”

The 6-5, 185-pound Bluiett, an AAU teammate and friend of IU commits James Blackmon Jr. and Trey Lyles, is considered one of the top 25 prospects nationally in the 2014 class. recruiting analyst Evan Daniels listed him as one of the top eight 2014 performers at last weekend’s John Lucas Midwest Invitational in Louisville.

The early recruiting attention, which also includes heavy interest from Illinois and Purdue, has a lot to do with Bluiett’s efficiency, a trait that is not often the focus of younger prospects.

“He has a knack to score the ball without taking a bunch of shots,” Reynardo Bluiett said. “He’s a pretty efficient guy and just a super team guy. I think coaches really look at the numbers and how efficient he is at this age.”

The younger Bluiett didn’t rule out the possibility of an early commitment in this video interview with The Courier-Journal’s Jody Demling and is expected to attend Hoosier Hysteria next Friday. He’s also working on setting up an unofficial visit to Bloomington.

Blackmon Jr. and Lyles are already in Bluiett’s ear with the hope he’ll become the third member of IU’s 2014 class, according to Reynardo Bluiett.

“Yeah, I think they’ve mentioned that a couple times. Those are super, super kids, too, so that’s not a bad situation at all,” he said. “Those guys are really in love with IU, even before the commitments and offers, they were IU guys. Trevon’s situation is a little different. He plays and he never thought about college, so it’s just a little different situation for him. But he says he would love to be with his buddies, so it’s something he’s thought about and we talk about it.”

Royce Waltman joins IU basketball radio team

We mentioned this on Monday, but here’s the official release from IU and Learfield Sports:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Oct. 7, 2010) –Indiana University Sports Properties announced that celebrated collegiate basketball coach Royce Waltman will join Don Fischer in the broadcast booth as color commentator for the Hoosiers’ 2010-2011 season. Long-time pre game and post game host Joe Smith will begin his 28th year on the broadcast team.

“Royce is one of the most highly respected coaches in his profession,” said Fischer, who is in his 38th year as the “Voice of the Hoosiers”. “His knowledge of basketball and his background at almost every level of the game will add much to our broadcasts.”

Waltman boasts an already familiar tie to IU having served as an assistant coach with Head Coach Bobby Knight from 1982-1987. He then become head coach for DePauw University (1988-1992), University of Indianapolis (1992-’97) and Indiana State University (1997–2007). He won 100 or more games at each of these schools and led all three to the NCAA National Tournament. Most recently, he had returned to coaching at the high school ranks serving as assistant coach at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis.

“Royce is an accomplished collegiate coach with hometown appeal who we felt certain would be the perfect addition to work alongside Don Fischer calling Hoosier games,” said Rob Louthain, general manager for Indiana University Sports Properties (IUSP).

On behalf of Indiana University Athletics, IUSP oversees management of every aspect of the IU Radio Network.

“As an assistant basketball coach at IU, I gained great admiration for the program and all its tradition.,” said Waltman. “It is with great pleasure that I return to the IU family.”

Pale, and freckled, and sore all over

BLOOMINGTON — For those who are unaware, I rode in the Little 500 for four years in college. We took it pretty seriously — year-round training, races in the summer, suicides up all 11 floors at Ballantine, a curtailing of night-time activities during spring semester. The works, in other words.

And I cannot begin to quantify the amount of incredulity that would flow our way, particularly for that last sacrifice. (Living in a fraternity house and not drinking? To quote Denzel Washington, boy, you must be outside your mind.) But we did it, and we probably were crazy, but not because of that.

As I’ve moved further in my still-short career, though, I’ve often hoped that my Little 500 experience did give me a little bit of an understanding when talking about college athletes’ conditioning. Which is why I jumped at this opportunity. (Well, jumped at scrambling to rearrange my schedule at the last minute. Journalists really only at our best on deadline.)

If you don’t want to click the link, here’s a brief summary: Media got to take part in a 2 1/2-hour-long workout today that simulated some of what the IU basketball team does on a regular basis in conditioning. We were put through some early paces, stretched out, took down some measurables (6-foot-1 wingspan and a 9-foot-4 vertical — I’ll reject your stuff) and then got down to business.


Cody Zeller takes Wednesday unofficial to IU

(Photo credit: Jack Arent/adidas)

As we first reported earlier this afternoon on Twitter, 2011 Washington (IN) forward Cody Zeller is in Bloomington this afternoon on his second unofficial visit in less than a week.

Zeller was spotted at the Kelley School of Business and Cook Hall with his family. The visit comes just four days after Zeller and his parents, Lori and Steve, attended the Michigan-IU football game at Memorial Stadium.

The 6-10 forward is scheduled to take an official visit to Butler this weekend, his first of three that also includes IU and North Carolina.

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