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. Scout.com 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.

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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.

Q & A: 2013 Jeffersonville guard Darryl Baker

After missing his entire freshman season with a broken right leg, Jeffersonville sophomore guard Darryl Baker returned to the court for Team Southern Indiana and put together an impressive summer on the AAU circuit. Inside the Hall caught up with the 2013 guard on Tuesday and talked about his recent trip to Bloomington and a variety of other topics:

On his trip to Bloomington for the IU-Michigan football game:

“It was great. I loved it. I loved the environment. I love the coaching staff, the players. They’re great people to be around.”

On playing in open gym at Cook Hall:

“I liked it. I got to get a couple of runs in. There were some good players there from Indiana like Jeremy Hollowell and Hanner Perea, those type of guys. It was nice to get to play against them since I only see them maybe once in the summertime during AAU ball.”

On where things stand with IU from a recruiting standpoint:

“I think they’re waiting for me to come back (to offer a scholarship). I talk to Coach Crean all the time whenever I go down there and visit. He tells me I can be the next one, the next good player. He tells me I just need to work hard and keep the same attitude I have.”

On the recovery from his injury:

“I think I’m at 100 percent right now. I feel better than I had before. I don’t have any problems with my leg. Before I broke it, I had problems with it, it always hurt. Now I don’t have any problems, so I think I’m at 100 percent, maybe even better.”

On the schools actively involved in his recruitment:

“Mainly Indiana, Purdue and Xavier are the ones I talk to the most. Ohio State and Michigan State, too.”

On attending Hoosier Hysteria this year and other visits he could take this fall:

“Yes, I am going. I think I’m going to go down to Purdue sometime, whenever I call Coach Lusk back.”

On the upcoming season at Jeffersonville and the position he might play:

“I think we can do the same thing we did last year or even better. We just have to keep working hard. We’re very undersized, but we have the potential. Whatever he assigns me, I’m going to do. I want to play the two or the three. If I have to run the one, it’d be fine, I can, but the two or three is what I really want.”

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Monday Notebook: Hysteria, Etherington, Jaraan Lands

+ Despite rumors in recent weeks that the event could potentially be moved due to the floor repair in Assembly Hall, Hoosier Hysteria will take place at 7:30 p.m Friday, Oct. 15. We’ve already started to compile a list of confirmed visitors for the event, which we’ll continue to update in the sidebar. As you can see, even in its infancy stage, the list is impressive.

+ 2011 commit Austin Etherington confirmed he’ll be in attendance for Hoosier Hysteria on Monday and also confirmed that he’ll be taking his official visit on the same weekend as Cody Zeller (October 29-31). We asked the 6-6 Hamilton Heights guard to describe the atmosphere in Bloomington this past weekend at the IU-Michigan football game during a brief conversation this afternoon: “There was definitely more students there at the football game. The last football game I was at, the students weren’t totally into the game like they were that game. It just shows how great the fans are not only with basketball, but with football, too. The atmosphere was crazy.”

+ Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star reported a scholarship offer for 2014 Brownsburg guard Jaraan Lands last week and we spoke to his summer coach, Matthew Green of the Eric Gordon All-Stars, to get a quick scouting report on the 6-4 freshman: “Jaraan was our sixth man last year. He didn’t get a lot of attention because I don’t think a lot of people knew he was 2014. He’s a very skilled kid. He can go both ways with both hands. He played the post for us, but really he’s not a post guy. He can take you out to the 3-point line and shoot the three. He’s going to make the transition to the perimeter in high school. I think Coach Kendrick might even be playing him at the point a little bit for Brownsburg. He’s really one of those kids that you didn’t hear a lot about, but if you were in the basketball circles in the 7th or 8th grade, you knew about him. He was averaging like 30 a game in middle school. He’s probably one of the top three or four kids in that class.”

+ According to this report, former Indiana State coach Royce Waltman will replace Todd Leary as the color commentator on radio broadcasts this season. Waltman served as an assistant coach at IU in the 80’s under Bob Knight. Leary avoided prison on Monday by agreeing to pay restitution for his involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Indiana “very high” on Harris’ list following weekend visit

Indiana fans can thank their sellout crowd for keeping Gary Harris from IU’s open gym on Saturday — he was stuck in traffic.

Harris eventually made it down to Bloomington in time for the IU-Michigan game, and got to take in all the festivities with the current team and a bevy of talented fellow recruits. The day after his trip to Bloomington, Harris had plenty of good things to say.

“I had a great weekend,” Harris told Inside the Hall on Sunday night. He said the visit gave him a feel for “what it’s like to be a part of Indiana basketball.”

Harris’ candor on the weekend, and on where Indiana stands with him right now in general, were both positive. More than that, they were reflective of what has become a common sentiment among several of the top players — particularly in-state — that IU is recruiting.

“What they’re trying to do is just great,” Harris said, noting that Indiana’s latest recruiting victories in the ’12 and ’14 classes have not gone unnoticed. “They’re building it up, so I mean, they’re going to have a team.”

One of Rivals’ highest-ranked Indiana prospects in that 2012 class (Harris is the No. 5 shooting guard and No. 24 nationally) said IU is ” very high on my list,” right now, as well.

“Every time I go there,” he said, “I like it even more.”

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