Morgan Park won back-to-back Illinois Class 3A state titles over the weekend thanks to a comeback 59-49 victory against the Lincoln Railsplitters.
Below are some selected highlights from class of 2014 Indiana recruiting target Josh Cunningham.
The 6-foot-7 forward scored 13 points and grabbed nine boards in his team’s victory, despite not playing the entire second quarter due to foul trouble. Cunningham also saw triple teams from time to time, as the Railsplitters paid him plenty of attention down low in their 1-2-2 zone.
It had long been rumored, but late Sunday night, Noah Vonleh confirmed the reports. He is declaring for the 2014 NBA draft, he told Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com.
Vonleh was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in his lone season at Indiana, in which he led the conference with 9.0 rebounds per game and scored 11.3 points per game.
“It’s going to suck leaving college without an NCAA tournament,” Vonleh told Parrish. “But I have to do what’s best for me.”
The 6-foot-10 forward is projected to be a lottery pick in June’s NBA draft, and Vonleh told Parrish he thinks he will be selected anywhere from pick No. 4 to pick No. 12.
The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.
rmclelan on the premium forum writes: How will playing time in Indiana’s backcourt play out next year? Assuming Yogi Ferrell commands 30 plus minutes per game, how will James Blackmon Jr., Stan Robinson and Robert Johnson share time? With the likelihood of Noah Vonleh turning pro, do you foresee Indiana playing a three guard lineup (reminiscent of Dee Brown, Deron Williams and Luther Head several years ago at Illinois)? Unlike this past season, competition seems very steep at the guard position for Indiana next season.
You’re definitely going to see a lot of three-guard lineups next season. There were plenty of three-guard lineups this past season, too, but the major difference will be that IU should be able to surround Ferrell with a couple of more versatile scorers in Blackmon Jr. and Johnson. Those guys should also help guys like Robinson and Troy Williams as well because defenses won’t just be able to sag off and help when they attack the basket with Blackmon Jr. and Johnson roaming the perimeter.
In most cases, Indiana should be able to get away with three guards and even an undersized four (Williams, Devin Davis) on the court at the same time. The frontcourt situation obviously still has a lot to play out and is perhaps the most interesting storyline of the offseason. — Alex Bozich
In the days since 6-foot-9 forward Anthony Lee announced his intention to transfer from Temple, he has been receiving interest from colleges across the nation.
Off the top of his head, he could rattle off the names of schools: Louisville, Indiana, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Purdue, Ohio State, Iowa State, Illinois, Northwestern, Florida State, USC, BYU, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John’s, Georgetown. There were others, too.
“It’s been real crazy,” he told Inside the Hall on Thursday afternoon.
Lee is a hot commodity as one of the first graduate transfers on the market that has extensive college experience who will be eligible next season. As a redshirt junior with the Owls, Lee led the American Athletic Conference with 8.6 rebounds per game. He also averaged 13.6 points per game.
But Temple suffered a 9-22 finish this past season. It was a far slide from last year’s squad that went to the third round of the NCAA tournament — before losing to Indiana.
Lee felt as if Temple took him as far as it could take him. And so he told Owls coach Fran Dunphy on Monday evening that he planned to transfer, and he has been granted his release from the program.
The news leaked Tuesday morning. He appeared on a Temple student radio station and confirmed he was leaving. Since then, he has dealt with the high-major recruiting process he never was able to experience before his freshman year.
“It’s been unbelievable,” he said. “Just being able to hear all the schools that want me and deal with that, it’s been fun.”
Since he made the announcement, he has received a ton of attention — especially on social media. And of all the schools that have approached him, there has been one that has stood out: Indiana.
When the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament tips off next March at the United Center in Chicago, the event will span five days and add two games.
The extra day and extra games are necessary to accommodate Maryland and Rutgers, who will officially join the conference on July 1.
Big Ten Senior Associate Commissioner for Television Mark Rudner told Inside the Hall on Thursday afternoon that the conference tournament will now begin on Wednesday with two games.
From there, the tournament will follow its current format: four games on Thursday, four quarterfinals on Friday, two semifinals on Saturday and the championship game on Sunday.
Rudner said the league has not decided on how seeding will work for the expanded tournament.
“We haven’t determined the times, we haven’t determined the seeding,” Rudner said. “All we know is that we go from 11 games to 13 games.”
It’s been a productive month for class of 2015 Louisville Trinity (Ky.) big man Raymond Spalding.
The 6-foot-9, 210 forward is still playing for a state championship — his Shamrocks are in the Elite Eight of the Kentucky state tournament — and his recruitment has taken off.
As Trinity dispatched of Owensboro, 55-41, in the Kentucky Sweet 16 on Wednesday at Rupp Arena, coaches from Butler, Clemson, Indiana, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky were all in attendance as Spalding finished with seven points, six rebounds, four blocks and three steals.
It’s not particularly surprising that Spalding has become a priority for several programs as his length, size and upside aren’t easy to find.
He’s now ranked in the top 100 on Scout.com and is the No. 88 prospect nationally in the 247Composite.
“He’s had nights where he almost looks like, ‘Ok, he’s legit, he’s arrived,’ but he’s got to be able to be consistent with it and have back-to-back efforts and just stay tough,” Trinity coach Mike Szabo told Inside the Hall recently. “If you could have seen him a year ago from today, the amount of progress that he’s made in that stretch of time, if he can do that same amount again and be here next year, oh man. He’s going to be really, really good.”
Indiana has been a frequent presence at Spalding’s games this winter as Tom Crean and Kenny Johnson have been to Louisville multiple times. Yesterday, associate head coach Tim Buckley watched the rising big man. He also visited Indiana twice this past season. The most recent trip was for IU’s win over Michigan in early February.
The fact that the Hoosiers have been so active is something Spalding has definitely noticed.
Periodically throughout their seasons, we’ll take a look at how members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team are performing in both the NBA and professional leagues around the world. Here’s our March update:
· Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Stats: 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.5 steals in 31.7 minutes per game
Notes: Oladipo and the Magic aren’t in the NBA playoff race, but he is in a battle with Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams for the Rookie of the Year award. Carter-Williams is the leader at this point and Oladipo missed a couple of games since our last update with an ankle injury, which certainly didn’t help his cause. Regardless of who wins the award, it’s hard to look at Oladipo’s debut NBA season as anything less than a success when you look at the numbers he’s been able to put up from an individual standpoint.
Notable recent performance: 15 points, six assists and three rebounds in a 105-101 loss to Washington on March 14.