Decision time coming for Blackmon Jr., Ferrell

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Earlier this month, Indiana secured a commitment from McDonald’s All-American big man Thomas Bryant. That news was quickly followed by a decision by sophomore Troy Williams to return for his junior season after considering a jump to the NBA.

But two decisions still remain that will have major ramifications on Indiana’s chances to contend in the Big Ten next season.

Junior Yogi Ferrell will announce his intentions for next season on Saturday in Indianapolis and freshman James Blackmon Jr. should also have an announcement on his future plans in the coming days. The early entry deadline for the NBA draft is this Sunday at 11:59 p.m. ET.

On Wednesday at a media availability in which he primarily discussed the signing of Bryant, Crean also touched on the decisions that are pending for Ferrell and Blackmon Jr.

According to Crean, meetings with both players have been completed and it’s coming down to “crunch time” for both players to decide what they’re going to do.

Ferrell’s plans to reveal his decision this weekend have been known for several weeks, but Blackmon Jr. has been quiet since Indiana’s season ended with a loss to Wichita State in the NCAA tournament.

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Video: Tom Crean talks Thomas Bryant signing, pending decisions, more

Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media in the Assembly Hall press room on Wednesday afternoon to discuss class of 2015 recruit Thomas Bryant, who recently signed a National Letter of Intent with the Hoosiers.

Crean also talked about several other topics, including the upcoming NBA decisions for Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. and offseason workouts.

Watch the full press conference below (special thanks to Peegs after a video malfunction on our end):

Related:

· Oladipo on Bryant: “He’s gonna be a huge help”
· Derby Festival Classic recap: Thomas Bryant
· Video: Thomas Bryant talks Indiana commitment
· Thomas Bryant commits to Indiana

Matchups for Gavitt Tipoff Games announced

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The Big Ten and the Big East today announced matchups for the Gavitt Games, an annual series of eight games that will be played each year between the two conferences.

Many of the games had been leaked before today’s official announcement, including Creighton at Indiana, but the two leagues today announced dates and broadcast information for all eight contests.

Creighton and Indiana will play at Assembly Hall on Thursday, Nov. 19. The complete schedule for the event is available after the jump.

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Recruiting notebook: New offers, Maker update, more

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A pair of prospects – one in the class of 2016 and one in the class of 2018 – received scholarship offers from Indiana this week.

Nick Ward (pictured), a rising senior from Gahanna Lincoln in Columbus, Ohio, was offered by the Hoosiers on April 18 and Jonathan Kabongo, a rising sophomore who plays at Huntington Prep (W.V.), was offered a scholarship on Tuesday according to his coach, Arkell Bruce.

Ward, a 6-foot-9 power forward, is rated the No. 53 prospect in the 2016 class by the 247Composite. Ward, who plays AAU for All Ohio Red, is currently the leading rebounder in the Nike EYBL at 10.2 per game.

Kabongo, the younger brother of former Texas guard Myck Kabongo, is a 6-foot-3 point guard who also holds an offer from Virginia Tech and is a native of Toronto.

Maker focused on four schools

Thon Maker, who visited Indiana for its final regular season game against Michigan State at Assembly Hall, is focused on four schools according to his mentor Edward Smith.

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Video: Victor Oladipo interview at Jordan Brand Classic

Former Indiana All-American Victor Oladipo, a Jordan Brand athlete, was courtside at the Barclays Center for the 2015 Jordan Brand Classic.

ESPN reporter Quint Kessenich spoke briefly with the Orlando Magic guard about a variety of topics and the full conversation is below:

Report: IU to host Creighton in Gavitt Tipoff Games

The Gavitt Tipoff Games, established last spring as an annual series of eight games that will be played each year between the Big Ten and the Big East, will include Indiana next season.

According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, the Hoosiers will host Creighton next season at Assembly Hall in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.

Led by Greg McDermott, Creighton finished last season just 14-19, but recently added Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster, who will sit out next season, and also signed top 100 recruit Justin Patton, a power forward.

The event is named in honor of the late Dave Gavitt, the founder of the Big East and a 2006 inductee into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Each season from 2015 to 2022, the Gavitt Tipoff Games will showcase four home games for each Big Ten and Big East school on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during the college basketball season’s first full week.

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An early look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten

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With the spring signing period underway and several key NBA Draft decisions out of the way (and a few still to go), it’s time for our first look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten for the 2015-2016 season.

Illinois (19-14, 7th place tie, NIT first round)

· Arriving: Aaron Jordan, Darius Paul, D.J. Williams (247Composite top 100), Jalen Coleman (247Composite top 100), Mike Thorne (Graduate transfer from Charlotte)

· Departing: Aaron Cosby (transfer), Ahmad Starks (graduation), Austin Colbert (transfer), Nnanna Egwu (graduation), Rayvonte Rice (graduation)

Notes: Illinois should be positioned for a move up in the Big Ten standings with a very solid recruiting class plus the addition of Thorne, one of the most coveted graduate transfers this spring.

Indiana (20-14, NCAA tournament round of 64)

· Arriving: Juwan Morgan, O.G. Anunoby, Thomas Bryant (247Composite top 100)

· Departing: Max Hoetzel (transfer), Stanford Robinson (transfer)

Notes: There are a few things still to shake out in Bloomington as Yogi Ferrell will announce his intentions for his senior season on April 25. As of now, the Hoosiers are still oversigned by one and if Ferrell stays, someone else will have to go.

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