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It Takes 5ive opens July evaluation period

A who’s-who of college coaches arrived in Cincinnati Monday for the opening of the July evaluation period at the adidas It Takes 5ive Classic.

Among the coaches spotted: Tom Crean and assistants Tim Buckley and Bennie Seltzer; Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Walter McCarty and Steve Masiello; UCLA’s Ben Howland; Kentucky’s John Calipari; North Carolina’s Roy Williams; Ohio State’s Thad Matta; Minnesota’s Tubby Smith; Michigan’s John Beilein; Arizona’s Sean Miller; Memphis’s Josh Pastner; Notre Dame’s Mike Brey; Michigan State’s Tom Izzo; Maryland’s Gary Williams; West Virginia’s Bob Huggins and Georgetown’s John Thompson III.

Inside the Hall spent the day bouncing back and forth between the Fifth Third Center and the Campus Recreation Center and here are our observations:

+ The jury is still out on David Williams: The 6-7 lefty (pictured), IU’s lone commitment from the 2010 class, started the day slow as he failed to score in the Atlanta Celtics opening contest. Williams told us he wasn’t happy with his play in that game and looked much better in the afternoon in a 10-point effort. Offensively, Williams has a long way to go to become a scorer at the Big Ten level. He often looked out of rhythm offensively and needs to become more assertive. In July, the best players tend to stand out and make a name for themselves. Today, we simply didn’t see that from Williams.

+ Strong performances from Indiana Elite’s Matt Carlino, Cody Zeller and Marshall Plumlee: Carlino looked much more comfortable than he was in May and looked like a player that can make an impact at the next level. His court vision and ball handling were both excellent.

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July evaluation period set to kick off on Monday

The July evaluation period kicks off Monday for college coaches and their assistants. And with coaches being unable to attend AAU tournaments in the month of April, July’s evaluation period has even more importance in 2009.

In no particular order, here are the storylines we’ll be tracking this month:

+ Is David Williams a high major talent? Before he committed to Indiana in late April, Williams was relatively unknown nationally. He is not among the top 100 prospects in the 2010 class on either Scout.com or Rivals.com and many wonder if offering a scholarship to Williams was a stretch for the IU staff. Playing on a stacked roster for the Atlanta “J-Smoove” Celtics that includes N.C. State commit Ryan Harrow, Tennessee commit Jordan McRae and former Ohio State commit Trae Golden, Williams is often overshadowed and perhaps under appreciated by scouts. We’ll get our first look at the Jacksonville native on Monday.

+ Can Indiana secure an official visit from Kyrie Irving? The Hoosiers appear to be in a favorable position for their top 2010 target after he said Indiana was at the top of his list in early June. However, Irving has established himself as one of the top players nationally in his class and Duke, Virginia, Kentucky and Notre Dame are all believed to be making a strong push. He will participate in the LeBron James Skills Academy this week and IU coaches will be able to watch him on Wednesday and Thursday.

+ Will Matt Carlino return to form after a tough April and May? After being slowed by injuries this spring, Carlino hopes to get his shooting stroke back and display the talents that led to an IU offer last summer. With his recent move to Bloomington, he should be more familiar with his Indiana Elite teammates. Look for IU’s lone 2011 commitment to have an impressive summer while playing both guard spots.

+ Is Indiana a major factor for Marquis Teague? Publicly, the stance from the Indianapolis Pike point guard is that he loves Indiana and Tom Crean. At the same time, Louisville has been recognized as the team to beat since last winter. There’s no doubt IU has been able to make up considerable ground in his recruitment. But can Crean sell Teague that he’ll be able to compete for a national title his freshman season?

+ Who is the best player from Indiana in the 2012 class? The 2012 class is loaded with talent and IU is actively recruiting four of the top players: Bowman Academy’s Dejuan Marrero, Broad Ripple’s Ron Patterson, Lawrence Central’s Jeremy Hollowell and North Central’s D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera. To this point, Smith-Rivera has garnered the most national publicity, but Hollowell’s length, Patterson’s versatility and Marrero’s athleticism are all things to keep an eye on.

On Monday, July 6 we’ll be at the adidas It Takes Five Classic in Cincinnati and on July 10, 11 and 12 we’ll be at the Kentucky Hoopfest in Louisville. Follow us on Twitter to receive updates throughout the day from both events.

Hoosiers will face Pittsburgh in Jimmy V Classic

As speculated a couple of weeks ago, Indiana will face Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden in December. The game will be part of a doubleheader in the Jimmy V Classic. Here’s the official release from IU:

The Indiana University men’s basketball team will face Pittsburgh in the second game of the 2009 Jimmy V Classic scheduled for 9 p.m., Tuesday December 8 in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Butler will face Georgetown in the opening contest at 7 p.m., with both games set to air on ESPN.  This is the 15th Annual Classic, with Indiana making its second appearance in the event (1999).

“My wife and I are contributors to the V Foundation and it is an honor for us to participate in the Jimmy V Classic,” said IU Head Coach Tom Crean.  “This is annually one of the premiere events in college basketball and it is always exciting to take a team to Madison Square Garden.  We have great respect for the Pittsburgh program.”

The two early-season college basketball events showcasing top programs on ESPN and ESPN2 will conclude the third annual Jimmy V Week, a week-long initiative across multiple ESPN platforms and programs featuring special content to help raise funds for cancer research December 2-8.

Maybe I’m a bit optimistic, but I’ve got a good feeling this could be a win for our Hoosiers. The top three players for Pitt, Dejuan Blair, Sam Young and Levance Fields, are gone. And IU will no longer have to rely on Daniel Moore or Michael Santa to run the point. Is it time for Hoosier Hysteria yet? Hey, it was worth a shot.

No shortage of IU targets in new Scout.com rankings

With the summer evaluation period set to begin next week, Scout.com expanded their rankings for the 2011 class to include 75 prospects.

And several players being pursued by Indiana made the list.

Matt Carlino, the only player committed to Indiana in the 2011 class, is No. 72. Carlino recently transferred from Highland (AZ) to Bloomington South and is playing this spring with Indiana Elite.

Among the notables (High school and AAU team in parentheses):

+ Marquis Teague (Indianapolis Pike; Spiece): No. 6

+ Branden Dawson (Gary Lew Wallace, SYF Players): No. 26

+ Marshall Plumlee (Arden Christ School, NC; Indiana Elite): No. 35

+ Chasson Randle (Rock Island, IL; Illinois Wolves): No. 49

+ Austin Etherington (Hamilton Heights; Indiana Elite): No. 57

+ Cody Zeller (Washington HS; Indiana Elite): No. 59

Rivals.com also released an updated version of their 2011 rankings.

Sampson’s appeal to NCAA: Denied

As you may recall, the NCAA levied a five-year show-cause order on Kelvin Sampson back in November, along with slapping IU with three years probation for “failure to monitor.”  Essentially, this means Sampson has little to no chance at being a coach at an NCAA member school for the next five years.

But, Sampson did not agree with the NCAA’s ruling. So he appealed. And today, he was officially denied.

Some more details from the Indianapolis Star:

Sampson appealed the penalties in an April hearing, saying his ban was too severe and that the original committee hearing was biased against him because a date was set before the NCAA enforcement staff issued formal allegations and before it completed interviews.

The NCAA contended that the the original findings and penalties were correct.

Nothing surprising here: it was unlikely Sampson’s appeal was going to help lessen the penalties brought down upon him. Now that he’s been denied, IU has no more hearings with the NCAA on the matter and he’s toiling away on Scott Skiles’ bench in Milwaukee, this will likely be the last nail in the coffin on the Kelvin Sampson era at IU. (Unless members of that team/Sampson/an assistant coach/a member of the athletic staff/a member of the administrative staff/a recruit does a tell-all interview or leaks something to the media. I suppose there’s always a chance of that happening.)

Feels good, doesn’t it?

Crean, Calipari discuss moving rivalry back to neutral site

The annual Indiana-Kentucky game may be returning to its rightful location: a neutral site. According to comments made by UK coach John Calipari on Monday’s SEC teleconference, the UK coach and Tom Crean have discussed moving the rivalry game back to Louisville and Indianapolis.

The game was last played at a neutral site in 2005 at the RCA Dome, a game the Hoosiers won 79-53 behind 23 points from Marco Killingsworth.

In 2006, the game was moved to Rupp Arena because Freedom Hall was unavailable on the date agreed upon by IU, UK and CBS. Kentucky won in 2006 and 2008 at Rupp Arena and IU won in 2007 at Assembly Hall. This year’s game will be played in Bloomington.

If the game were moved to Louisville in 2010, both schools would likely want it to be played in the new downtown arena. The arena, which has yet to be named, is scheduled to open in November of 2010. Seating in the arena is expected to exceed 22,000, according to the Louisville Arena Authority.

{HT: Hoosier Scoop}

Inside the Hall turns two years young

As you can see, Inside the Hall has received a face lift. Nothing against our old digs, but collectively, Eamonn, Ryan and I decided it was time for a fresh look. And here we are.

For those of you who haven’t kept track of our birthday (shame, shame), Friday marks the two-year anniversary of the launch of Inside the Hall. What started small has grown into a community that all three of us are proud to be apart of.

The focus of the site will remain the same as we head into year number three. We’ll continue to bring the same commentary, news and recruiting updates and in turn, we hope you’ll continue to be the engaged audience that you’ve been the past 730 days.

We feel like it’s as great of a time as any in recent years to be a fan of Indiana basketball. Enthusiasm continues to grow despite a 6-25 season in Tom Crean’s first year. The program is headed in the right direction.

As for the makeover, we hope you’ll share your feedback with us. If something doesn’t look right or you notice any problems, drop us a line at info@insidethehall.com. Or if you absolutely love it, you can tell us about that, too. We’d like to give a shout-out to Collective Colony (which is actually just Ryan and a friend), who worked diligently to build our new look.

Most importantly, thanks to all of you who read, comment and spread the word about Inside the Hall. We hope you’ve enjoyed the first two years of Inside the Hall and will join us for year three.

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