Lyles adds his name to Indiana’s 2014 class

In 2014, I will be 27. Barack Obama, should he be re-elected, will be less than three years from his constitutionally-mandated removal from office. And Trey Lyles will begin his freshman year in Bloomington.

The 6-foot-9 forward from Indianapolis’ Tech High School, already considered one of the state’s top prospects in the 2014 class, joined friend and AAU teammate James Blackmon Jr. on Sunday when he gave Indiana a verbal commitment. Our fellows at the Hoosier Scoop have the details.

Lyles joins Blackmon, a long-armed guard who plays for his father — former Kentucky standout James Blackmon Sr. — at Bishop Luers in Fort Wayne. Some interesting stuff from Hugh Kellenberger’s post:

“It is what Trey wanted to do,” said Tom Lyles, his father. “He has been talking about it for a while. I had told him, ‘No, you don’t want to do that for a while.’ But he was adamant. Me and him and his mom talked about it and he proved positive that he wanted to play for coach Crean and IU.”

We’ll try to get in touch with Lyles and his family in the next day or so. In the meantime, feel free to chew on this and leave your thoughts below. Hope your Sunday was enjoyable.

Reading between the lines

BLOOMINGTON — Tom Crean has started speaking in past tense. It’s reasoned, measured and cautious, sure, but when Crean preached the rebuilding gospel that has endeared him to IU fans over the past 2 1/2 years Thursday night at the IU Auditorium, he suddenly began referring to so many of the Hoosiers’ obstacles much the same way America is supposed to now refer to the recession.

“Every day it’s been about rebuilding or restoring, however you want to look at it, this great program back to those great heights,” Crean said.

By this point, there’s no need for me to rehash or you to relive what’s gone on since February of 2008. That would be wasted space. But as his team has taken various steps — and often stumbled between them — Crean has offered both rallying cries and sobering, realistic assessments of the Hoosiers trials, in measures almost equal.

Thursday night, he began to speak like a man who knows that, at some important levels, his team has turned a corner.

“People have gotten used to seeing Indiana being down. … Our opponents, they don’t want it to come back,” Crean said. “They like knocking Indiana. They like the 19 Fs and all the drug tests failed. They like that Indiana.”

Perhaps Crean’s point, albeit one made abstractly, is that “that Indiana” is finally becoming a thing of the past.

There’s significant reason for optimism in Bloomington this fall. The non-conference schedule, while respectable, is by no means unbearable, and it’s easy to envision Indiana entering Big Ten play with 10 wins already on its ledger. The roster turnover and inexperience that marked the last two seasons is significantly lessened by the return of all but three players from last year’s team, and both Crean and his charges have talked of a productive offseason in the weight room.


A notebook of all things Indiana following Tom Crean’s lecture

BLOOMINGTON — Mostly because I just can’t get enough of datelines, I thought I’d bring you just a few of the highlights of Tom Crean’s Thursday night lecture to students and fans at the IU Auditorium. Enjoy.

+ Perhaps the headline announcement was that Hoosier Hysteria will take place Oct. 15, so there’s that.

+ Crean said that, according to his players, Verdell Jones is right now perhaps the best player on the team. Pointing out that he himself has not been able to assess the team personally per NCAA rules, Crean has polled his players on any number of topics, and on this one in particular, Jones’ name was the one most continually mentioned.

+ Talking about the coming season, Crean said the three areas in which his team needs to improve the most are rebounding at both ends, defensive intensity and decision making.

+ With Franklin College already on the schedule, Crean told the crowd he expects to add one more exhibition, likely on the Monday before the Hoosiers’ season opener Friday. (So Nov. 8 before the Nov. 12 game against Florida Gulf Coast.)

+ Crean also highlighted three “great fights” every team struggles with: division from within, outside forces and fatigue. “Fatigue might be the greatest of them all,” he said, “because it is so easy to believe that you’ll do better tomorrow.”

+ Crean said he never picks wins and losses or projects a record for his teams. He also declined to name which team he wanted to beat most when questioned by an audience member, saying he didn’t want to give anyone “bulletin-board material.”

+ Asked to share his most embarrassing moment, Crean told of a time in eighth grade when he scored a layup into the wrong basket during a basketball game.

Quotable: “I do know that if you walk into any game, and you don’t think that you’ve found any way to beat that team, you’re a joke.” –Tom Crean, IU basketball coach

If this doesn’t get you excited for the season

… then I’m not sure what will. Special thanks to Azur for putting this together. Excellent work.

Ferrell, Lyles will visit Bloomington this weekend

Two of the top high-major prospects in the state will be on campus this weekend as both 2012 Park Tudor point guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell and 2014 Indianapolis Tech forward Trey Lyles will take unofficial visits to Indiana.

Ferrell (pictured) has taken several trips to Bloomington in recent months and will do so again this weekend, according to Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star.

The 6-10, 210-pound Lyles, a versatile forward who picked up an offer from Indiana in early August, will visit on Sunday, according to his father, Tom.

The Tech freshman is considered one of the top 25 prospects nationally by The Hoop Scoop.

ITH Super Happy Fun Time All-Big Ten Preview: Robbie Hummel

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 21:  Robbie Hummel #4 of the Purdue Boilermakers celebrates after defeating the Washington Huskies during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Rose Garden on March 21, 2009 in Portland, Oregon. The Boilermakers defeated the Huskies 76-74 to advance to the Sweet 16.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)Hoosier Hysteria is on the horizon and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s preseason All-Big Ten team. Today: Purdue’s Robbie Hummel.

So what should we honestly expect from Robbie Hummel?

In what must either be a case of much ado about nothing or the biggest test of head vs. heart Purdue fans have had to endure since … well I don’t even know when, the 2010-11 season remains one massive enigma for the Boilermakers’ best player.

(In case you have the memory of my cats or, you know, lived in a cave circa last February, Hummel is returning from an ACL tear suffered in late February. This is his senior year and there was obviously no chance for any sort of medical redshirt, making this his last chance to team up with fellow classmates JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore and carry Purdue into the Final Four.)

On one hand, Hummel’s numbers speak for themselves. He’s never averaged less than 11.4 points per game in a single season and finished last year close to 16. He’s never shot worse than 36.4 percent from behind the arc — a fine number for a forward of his skillset — and he’s generally regarded as probably the most complete offensive player in the Big Ten, now that Evan Turner makes money for his basketball.

Johnson is the size, (though not the muscle) and Moore the most pure shooter, but Hummel is the straw that stirs the drink for the Boilermakers. His ability to spot up and shoot or drive the lane in equal measure, combined with a deceptive athleticism that’s useful against larger defenders, makes him Purdue’s best offensive weapon on paper. It would also be fair to say he’s no slouch on defense, and he’s a reliable rebounder.

Of course, that other hand is troublesome.


Sherron Dorsey-Walker has IU among top schools

A day after Tom Crean, Steve McClain and Bennie Seltzer attended one of his workouts, 2012 Detroit Pershing guard Sherron Dorsey-Walker said Indiana is among the top schools on his list.

“They’re one of my top programs,” Dorsey-Walker told Inside the Hall on Tuesday. “I’m very interested.”

The 6-4 guard, who is ranked No. 74 in the Rivals 150, said Indiana became interested after watching him with the R.E.A.C.H. Legends in July at the Kentucky Hoopfest and offered a scholarship in late July.

A trip to Bloomington could be the next step for Dorsey-Walker to become more acclimated to the Indiana program.

“My coach is supposed to take me,” he said. “Probably at the end of this month or early next month he’s supposed to take me down there.”

The junior guard also holds offers from Baylor, Dayton, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Oakland, Fairfield and Drake.

Here’s a video compilation of the R.E.A.C.H. Legends that includes some Dorsey-Walker highlights:

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