2010-2011 schedule: Five toughest games

DETROIT - APRIL 06:  Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)Indiana released it’s 2010-2011 schedule late last month and here’s a look at five of the toughest games on the docket.

5. Wisconsin (Kohl Center, January 20, 9:00PM ESPN2): While the Badgers might not stack up quite as high talent wise to some of the other opponents on IU’s schedule, winning at the Kohl Center is no easy task. The Hoosiers have fallen by a combined 52 points the past two seasons in Madison and the Badgers return three starters, including 6-10 senior forward Jon Leuer (15.4 ppg), from a team that finished 24-9 before falling to Cornell in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

4. Kentucky (Rupp Arena, December 11, 5:15PM, ESPN): The Wildcats replaced five first round NBA Draft picks with the nation’s top recruiting class and once again should be ranked in the top 15. The eligibility of their top incoming player, Turkish center Enes Kanter, will play a significant role in determining just how good this year’s Kentucky team will be. Without Kanter, the Wildcats will be a much more perimeter oriented team with freshman guards Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb and junior wings DeAndre Liggins and Darius Miller leading the way. If Kanter is eligible to play, Kentucky will once again have a likely top-five NBA Draft pick and a dominant post presence in the fold.

3. Illinois (Assembly Hall, March 5/6, TBA, TBA): When you combine one of the best student sections, a general disdain for the IU program and one of the better returning rosters in the conference, you get an environment in Champaign that will be both hostile and tough to conquer. The Hoosiers matched the Fighting Illini blow-for-blow a season ago on the road before falling 72-70 on a buzzer beater from Demetri McCamey. This year’s meeting won’t be any easier as McCamey, Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale all return for Bruce Weber as do super sophomores D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul.

2. Purdue (Mackey Arena, February 8, 7PM, ESPN): When E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson opted to return for their senior seasons, the Boilermakers solidified themselves as one of the nation’s best teams and a co-favorite to win the Big Ten. With Moore, Johnson and an assumed healthy Robbie Hummel, Matt Painter has three All-Big Ten caliber players at his disposal, but will need to replace the intangibles of the graduated Chris Kramer (defensive agitator) and Keaton Grant (capable of hitting the big shot). Lewis Jackson is the incumbent at point guard, but it likely won’t be long until freshman Terone Johnson, a North Central product, takes the reigns.

1. Michigan State (Breslin Center, January 30, 6PM, BTN): IU caught a break by once again getting a single play with the Spartans, but this time the meeting will be in East Lansing, a place where the Hoosiers have dropped their last 15 games. After flirting with the Cleveland Cavs job, Tom Izzo dismissed guard Chris Allen over the summer, but returns a stacked roster that includes Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, Korie Lucious, Draymond Green, Delvon Roe and a stellar incoming freshman class. That sounds like a recipe for another Final Four run.

Others games under consideration: New Mexico/Colorado (Las Vegas Classic, December 23, TBA, TBA); Ohio State (Value City Arena, February 26/27, TBA, TBA).

Remembering a time when a man defined an institution

Somewhere in my father’s attic or basement, resting assumedly under my old Legos or a bevy of rusted tools, you will find one of a pair of box-framed pictures. They bear the likeness of a man I’m told is quite imposing in person, tall and broad. But in these pictures, he’s simply a tough face, frozen in action, stalking the sideline of an unrecognizable arena.

According to the Sharpie-written signature on the glossy front, the man is Bob Knight. Perhaps you know him?

This requires backstory: Growing up, I played church league basketball and indoor soccer, and I don’t believe there was a season in either during which I did not call my father “coach.” In basketball, in particular, he was very defense-first, which explains the reverence of Knight. And so it was that I came to know the man known as “the General,” from the man every son listens to most.

He was a tough coach, but a fair coach. He preached discipline, defense and respect — all the sorts of things a father teaches a son, or tries to. I’d like to think at least some of it took.

What didn’t take, in a manner of speaking, was what existed behind Knight, beyond him. I saw the man, and I saw his signature, and I tried to live his commandments, relayed to me through my father. But I had no idea where that sideline was. I wasn’t much more sure of where Indiana was, beyond the fact that my father’s late father was raised in Seymour. I hadn’t the foggiest idea Knight coached at Indiana, much less what had been accomplished there not through that man on my bedroom wall.

All I knew was Knight — his toughness, and his willingness, apparently, to answer a thankful letter with a pair of signed pictures and a short letter.

It’s odd to think that, to parts of the country where basketball wasn’t king, (college football rules) that’s what Indiana basketball was: simply a vehicle through which the public got to ingest more Bob Knight. The good, the bad and the ugly of the winningest coach in Division I history, that’s what so many people saw when they watched Indiana basketball. Not the Hoosiers, not the winning or the losing or the automatic All-Americans, but Bob Knight.


It was ten years ago today …

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of Bob Knight being relieved of his duties as head basketball coach at Indiana University. Time flies, right? A lot, obviously, has transpired in the time since Knight was fired.

Mike Davis rallied the program, albeit briefly, for a run to the national championship game in 2002. Davis then failed to sustain his early success, missed on several key in-state recruits and resigned near the conclusion of the 2006 season. He also allowed Bracey Wright to shoot many ill-advised jump shots. And to his credit, he recruited D.J. White.

Kelvin Sampson, arguably one of the worst hires for a major program in history, brought the program to its knees in less than two years via excessive use of the telephone. In the process, the 2007-2008 team, which was capable of a deep NCAA Tournament run, fell apart at the seams. Dan Dakich admirably attempted to fill-in, but ultimately, the damage had already been done.

And then IU hired Tom Crean, who inherited a cess pool of characters from Sampson and had to clean house. Crean is, in my opinion, ultimately going to bring Indiana back to national prominence. You can quote me.

As far as Knight goes, the Inside the Hall staff (all three of us) debated on how to approach this anniversary. But Knight’s reluctance to attend his Hall of Fame induction should signal the end, at least from our perspective, of any public attempt by the University to bring him back.

So with that, we’re going to open this thread and welcome your thoughts on the last ten years, positive Knight memories, negative Knight memories or anything else you’d like to discuss.

(Photo from the SI Vault)

Recruiting notes: Guerrero, Hollowell, Goff and more

(Photo Credit: Jack Arent/adidas)

+ Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times writes that Indiana is targeting 2011 California point guard Cezar Guerrero (pictured), a 6-foot point guard from Bellflower, California. The H-T also posted a mixtape of Guerrero. Korman is gone for a few weeks and now Dustin and Hugh Kellenberger are on a mixtape binge.

+ Jody Demling of The Louisville Courier-Journal noted that Tom Crean would be checking in with Hutchinson (KS) Community College forward Robert Goff this afternoon. Today was the first day of a four-week open contact period.

+ ESPN updated its rankings for 2012 and several players with IU interest are in the top 60. Gary Harris is No. 16, Yogi Ferrell is No. 21, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera is No. 28, Hanner Perea is No. 42 and Jeremy Hollowell is No. 52. Commit Peter Jurkin is rated No. 53.

+ Hollowell will visit Indiana on September 18 according to Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star. The Lawrence Central forward recently sprained his ankle and will be on crutches for two weeks.

+ Excellent piece by our friend Pat Forde of ESPN.com on the Plumlee and Zeller families.

+ Evan Daniels of Scout.com reported that Smith-Rivera is down to six schools: Georgetown, Indiana, Miami (FL), Ohio State, Wake Forest and Xavier. The Musketeers were the only school to check in with Smith-Rivera on the first day of the contact period.

Catching up with former IU forward D.J. White

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 14:  D.J. White #3 of the Indiana Hoosiers defends against Damian Johnson #34 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 14, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The 2010-2011 NBA season will be important for the career prospects of former IU forward D.J. White. After battling injuries during his first two seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, White has appeared in a total of just 19 games and split time between the Thunder and the Tulsa 66ers, a D-League affiliate. He’s entering the final fully guaranteed year of his contract.

White, who will be in Bloomington later this month for his second annual basketball camp, sat down with IUHoosiers.com for a Q & A, which is re-published below with permission from IU:

How has your rehab been going? Are you looking good for the start of the season?

“Recovery has been fine; just take it day by day. As of right now, I’m one hundred percent. Yes, I’m looking good for the season. I’ve been working out twice a day all summer in preparation and I’m looking forward to it.”

How have you avoided getting frustrated by your injuries?

“I just try to stay positive and not get down on myself. Things happen for a reason and it’s a part of basketball.”

When was the last time you were in Bloomington, and how often do you make it here?

“I was in Bloomington in July. I’ve been living in Indianapolis all summer and only made it down twice, so not as much as I wanted to.”


Video: 2012 commit Peter Jurkin

This was linked in the comments by azur10 and I figured it was worth a post as it’s the best Peter Jurkin mixtape I’ve seen thus far:

Update: Apparently One Entertainment asked that the mix be removed from YouTube. Here’s a short Jurkin clip from adidas Nations.

And since it was mentioned in the comments earlier today, the reports of a Wednesday visit from Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell are not accurate.

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