Former Indiana forward Christian Watford hasn’t given up on his dream of making the NBA.
As first reported by David Pick of Eurobasket.com and Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times, Watford will play with the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Pro summer league from July 5-11 in Orlando and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA summer league from July 11-21 in Las Vegas.
Watford is coming off his rookie season in the Israel Winner League with Hapoel Eilat, where he averaged 9.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in 37 games. The Birmingham native shot 51.5 percent from the field and 79.3 percent from the free throw line.
Last summer, Watford played in for the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando summer league and the Dallas Mavericks in the Vegas summer league.
Indiana coach Tom Crean announced the hiring of new assistant coach Chuck Martin in a press conference on Monday afternoon at Assembly Hall, which officially fills a staff vacancy heading into three critical July evaluation periods.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the Martin announcement:
· Crean did his due diligence: While Martin has been in the fold since mid-June, Crean said he wanted to make sure that both Martin and his wife, Lee, could be in Bloomington to announce his hiring and with camps going on in Bloomington in recent weeks, Monday was the date that worked best to make the announcement. When the job opened in late April before the evaluation period, Crean didn’t rush into anything and as the process moved on, Martin established himself as the best fit.
“Jayd (Grossman) had called Calbert (Cheaney) right away, when it looked like Kenny (Johnson) was going to leave to see what his stance was,” Crean explained. “I don’t think Calbert was in a situation where he was looking to move. I definitely talked or had one other person in and did some research on others.
“But, really, for where we’re at with this youth and where we’ve got to go and continue to grow not only on the court but off the court maturity wise and all those things that come with having such a young team, when I kept hearing everything about just this is what he did here, this is what he did there, this is the kind of situation and how he deals with things and this and that, it was pretty easy.”
Indiana coach Tom Crean announced the newest member of his coaching staff, Chuck Martin, in a news conference on Monday afternoon at Assembly Hall.
Martin, who worked last season in the scouting department of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was introduced to the media along with his wife, Lee, and spoke about a variety of topics, including his work with the Thunder, his recruiting philosophy and much more:
A full transcript is available after the jump.
Indiana is expected to announce former Marist coach Chuck Martin as the newest member of its coaching staff in a 2 p.m. news conference this afternoon.
The Hoosiers have had an assistant coaching vacancy since late April when Kenny Johnson left for a similar position at the University of Louisville.
Martin, however, has been listed on the university’s online staff directory for athletics for several weeks and has been actively recruiting.
Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, along with North Carolina’s P.J. Hairston, was introduced by the Charlotte Hornets on Friday afternoon in a press conference with general manager Rich Cho.
Vonleh was the nith pick in the draft and the third lottery pick for Indiana in the last two years. Watch his full press conference in the embedded media player below.
After injuries derailed much of Peter Jurkin’s two-year career at Indiana, the 7-foot center has decided to transfer, a source has confirmed to Inside the Hall.
(Editor’s note: Indiana has confirmed Jurkin’s departure and the full release is available here.)
Jurkin played in just 11 games for a total of 18 minutes in his two seasons at IU but had been sidelined for much of them due to leg injuries. When Indiana coach Tom Crean spoke at Huber Winery earlier in June, he was even unsure whether Jurkin would be able to play in his junior year.
“That’s an up and down situation. There’s no clear path to that right now,” Crean said. “He had his surgery. The poor guy, he never been in any consistent health situation since he’s been here and it goes back to his high school days.”
Jurkin had dealt with leg injuries even in high school days at United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte, N.C., but he still averaged 14.8 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game as a senior and was rated a three-star recruit. He was part of Indiana’s five-man 2012 recruiting class that featured Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Jeremy Hollowell and Ron Patterson.
According to the source, Jurkin hopes to transfer in order to find an opportunity to play once again. He has already received his release from IU.
At Huber Winery, Crean questioned whether Jurkin would ever be able to do just that, but he also commended Jurkin for fighting to this point.
“It is very hard for him to overcome that, but he’s there, he is going to summer school, he’s doing a good job,” Crean said. “But at some point, is he going to be able to play or is he not? That is really what it is coming down to.
“We’re in year three now. He is a great kid and we want him to be successful, but you have to be healthy to have that chance to be successful.”
After opting to reopen his recruitment back on May 29, interest in class of 2015 Sagemont (Fla.) guard Prince Ali has ramped up.
Ali, rated the No. 37 prospect nationally according to the 247Composite, had an impressive spring for Southern Stampede on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit.
So when he decided last month that he committed too soon to Connecticut, it gave schools another shot at recruiting the 6-foot-4 guard who is originally from New York.
Indiana had been interested in Ali prior to his decision to commit to Connecticut and the Hoosiers are right back in the mix. In a phone interview with Inside the Hall from the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Washington D.C., Ali listed Indiana, along with Connecticut, Michigan and UCLA, as the four schools recruiting him the hardest right now.
“So far it’s just been them telling me that they’ve been watching me for a while and when I committed (to UConn), it kind of threw them off and then when I decommitted, it made them happy,” he said. “That’s what Tom Crean told me. He told me I play like two of his former players in Victor Oladipo and Dwyane Wade. I remind him a lot of them.”
So what does Ali think of being compared to a pair of former All-Americans and current NBA guards?