Tom Crean tweeting on Twitter

For those of you unfamiliar with Twitter, which by this point shouldn’t be many of you, it’s a micro-blogging service that allows users to post short updates about what they’re doing. Everyone’s favorite basketball coach, Tom Crean, has apparently found the platform viable enough that’s he’s decided to enter the fray:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Coach Tom Crean wants to give you the chance to be informed with what is going on with him and the Indiana Hoosiers.

Keep yourself updated by visiting twitter.com/tomcrean.

So far, Crean has been tweeting several times per day and here’s a quick sampling:

Paul davis from msu and the clippers is trying 2 find the girl of his dreams on bravo. A indiana alum would never need a show 2 get a date

The Evans Scholars house on campus busted into the IU fight song when jeremiah and matt ran past. ITS INDIANA

Two quick observations: 1) Believe it or not, I actually caught Paul Davis on Millionaire Matchmaker or whatever the show is called. Incredibly awkward dude. 2) With the enormous growth Twitter is currently experiencing, I have a feeling you’ll be seeing more and more college coaches interacting with their respective fanbases, and indirectly with recruits, this way.

Shameless plug: Follow us here on Twitter.

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Jeremiah Davis looking for the right fit

Muncie Central’s Jeremiah Davis was thrust into the national spotlight when then Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie offered him a scholarship following his freshman season. With his sophomore season in the books, Davis is on the spring AAU circuit with Indiana Elite’s Team Indiana and is enjoying playing alongside a talented cast.

“We’ve got a real talented team. My teammates are great,” Davis said. “We play together. We’ve got a lot of heart.”

The 6-3 guard averaged 13 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists as a sophomore and has picked up offers from Indiana, Purdue, Ball State and Tennessee in addition to his UK offer. Xavier and Ohio State watched him work out last week at Muncie Central.

“I don’t know about Kentucky, but hopefully once everything settles down, we’ll go down there and visit the campus,” he added. “Right now I’m just surveying to see what’s going on. We’re going to have to see what the right fit for me is.”

As far as his interest in the Hoosiers, Davis likes what he’s been able to see of the campus so far and says he keeps in regular contact with Tom Crean.

“I talk to Coach Crean a lot. He’s a good guy. He’s very energetic,” Davis said. “I’ve been down to campus about three times already. It’s really nice, I like it a lot.”

Scouting report: Davis is a strong point guard that can hit the jump shot off the dribble and also get to the basket and finish. In games on Friday evening and Saturday morning, Davis showed the ability to distribute the ball and also score in bunches. He’ll need to improve on defense and with his agility. He’s definitely a prospect the Indiana staff will be keeping tabs on over the summer.

Zeller looking to find his role with Indiana Elite

6-9 Washington (HS) junior-to-be Cody Zeller has one leg up on most of his peers going through the recruiting process for the first time. He heard the pitches various schools made to his older brothers Luke and Tyler, both Mr. Basketball’s and McDonald’s All-American’s that ended up at high profile programs.

And although Luke and Tyler haven’t passed on much advice as his recruitment heats up, the youngest Zeller kept his eyes and ears open as they went through the process.

“They haven’t passed on much advice but I know how it goes. I went on most of their trips with them. I sat in on some of the conversations Dad and them had,” Cody Zeller said. “I know that every college coach is going to make their school sound great but you’ve gotta look through all the stuff they put out there. You’ve gotta find the real details. Ask around and figure out what the school’s really about.”

With two years of high school left, the immediate focus for Zeller, who has a scholarship offer from IU, is improving over the summer and gelling with his Indiana Elite teammates.

“I need to get stronger. It will help my defense and rebounding,” Zeller said. “I’m just trying to figure out my role. In high school I was having to shoot the most but with this team I don’t have to shoot as much. I’m trying to figure out what I need to do to help the team win.”

AAU Preview: Eddie Ford’s Grassroots Shootout

This weekend I’ll be in Louisville for the Grassroots Shootout, an event organized by Eddie Ford. Tournament play kicks off Friday night at 6:00 p.m. at the Hoops facility in the east end of Louisville. Pool play will continue through Saturday with the finals being held early on Sunday. A complete schedule of the event can be found here.

Among the top players and teams I’ll be keeping an eye out for (and hopefully grabbing some video of):

  • Cody Zeller (Washington HS) and Spencer Turner (Bloomington South) from the Indiana Elite One 17 & U team. (Matt Carlino and Marshall Plumlee will reportedly not make the trip to this weekend’s event.)
  • D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (North Central)
  • Obij Aget (Central Park, Birmingham, AL) and Hanner Perea (Central Park, Birmingham, AL). Both Aget and Perea are a part of Mark Adams’ A-HOPE Foundation.
  • Former Kentucky commitment and sophomore-to-be Michael Avery
  • Justin Gant (Terre Haute North) and Jeremiah Davis (Muncie Central)
  • Team Southern Indiana Red, a team organized by Matt Denison that won the Indyball.com Tournament last weekend.

In unrelated site news, beginning this Monday, April 20, we will begin a bi-weekly live chat on the site. The chat will be moderated by myself and Chris Korman of the H-T/Hoosier Scoop and will be available here and on the Scoop. It will take place at 7:30 p.m. The plan is to have guests join us from time-to-time to field questions and also discuss all things Indiana basketball.

Nick Williams will not return next season

The scholarship situation in Bloomington is starting to sort itself out. A couple of weeks ago, the Hoosiers were oversigned by a scholarship and speculation grew on players considering a transfer. First, it was Malik Story. And now, his roommate and fellow freshman Nick Williams has also decided to leave the program.

Our friend Chris Korman of The Herald-Times/Hoosier Scoop was first to report the transfer:

“After the season, Nick expressed displeasure with his role this year and also shared concern with members of our coaching staff about his future role in the program, ” said Crean.  “He is a fine young man and we have enjoyed our relationship with him over time.  He played hard and did some very good things for us and we wish him the best.”

The decision by Williams is a curious one considering he originally signed with Marquette and then followed Crean to Bloomington last spring. But when you consider that Maurice Creek is coming into the program, Devan Dumes commands his share of looks and Verdell Jones came into his own down the stretch, Williams, like Story, would likely have taken a tumble down the depth chart. As of right now, IU will enter next season with 12 scholarship players. There is, however, a possibility that another player could be added to the 2009 class as the staff continues to evaluate talent this spring.

Korman’s story also reported that walk-on Broderick Lewis has left the team. The complete release from IU, with more comments from Crean and a quote from Williams, after the jump.

(Photo credit: Indianapolis Star)

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DeShaun Thomas says he’s sticking with Ohio State

In an interview with Michael Rothstein of The Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette, Bishop Luers junior and Ohio State commit DeShaun Thomas says he’ll honor his commitment and play for the Buckeyes. This, according to Thomas, is despite pressure from teachers, friends, strangers and students to attend IU:

“It’s an every-day thing. It’s ‘Are you going to transfer? Are you going to go to IU? Why Ohio State?’ I told everybody it’s what’s best for me. It’s a lot of pressure, but I stay in my books, not worry about it too much. I’m only a junior, I got one more year and then just worry about it next year.”

Call me a blind optimist or call me crazy, but I still refuse to count Tom Crean out of this race. Thomas made his commitment to Ohio State long before Crean arrived in Bloomington and the 2010-2011 season should be big for the program. The practice facility will have opened and the Hoosiers should be in the thick of the Big Ten race. In other words, like Crean told Marquis Teague, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that kind of environment?

(Photo Credit: ESPN Rise)

Next stop for Isiah: Florida International?

There’s no question that Isiah Thomas is one of the best guards, if not the best, to ever play for our Hoosiers. His recent track record, however, suggests he might not be the guy you want running your favorite NBA franchise. But now that he’s 18 months clear of his sexual harrassment fiasco with the Knicks, reports are running rampant that he might get back into coaching. This time, on the collegiate level:

Florida International is trying to hire former New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas as its next basketball coach, sources have told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz.

Florida International coach Sergio Rouco was fired Monday, and sources confirm that FIU athletic director Pete Garcia made calls within the conference recently to check on the viability of hiring Thomas.

The Sun Belt has recently become a second-chance destination. Florida Atlantic hired former St. John’s coach Mike Jarvis and Arkansas State hired former LSU coach John Brady.

If Thomas lands at Florida International, I like the move for both sides. Isiah gets a chance to start repairing his tarnished reputation. And Florida International, which hasn’t had a winning season in five years, gets a little buzz for its program. If nothing else, this mention of Isiah gives me a chance to relive this classic moment between Zeke and Bob Knight (earmuffs, boys and girls).

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