Anthony Lee talks transfer process, calls IU “a front-runner”

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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.

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Big Ten tournament to expand to 13 games with addition of Maryland, Rutgers

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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.”

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Class of 2015 forward Raymond Spalding talks IU offer

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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.

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An updated look at members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team in the pros

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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.

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Hoetzel, Johnson to play in Derby Festival Classic

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Class of 2014 Indiana signees Max Hoetzel and Robert Johnson will play in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic at Freedom Hall in Louisville on Friday, April 18.

The duo will be teammates on the Green roster and will also participate in the Night of Future Stars on Thursday, April 17, at Floyd Central High School in Floyd Knobs, Indiana.

The game will be televised in the Louisville market at 7 p.m. ET on WDRB.

Indiana’s third signee for the 2014 class, James Blackmon Jr., will play in the McDonald’s All-American game, the Nike Hoop Summit and the Jordan Brand Classic.

Basketball Classic tickets are available at TicketMaster locations or ticketmaster.com, by phone (800-745-3000) or the Freedom Hall box office (502-367-5144).

Full rosters are available after the jump.

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Crean watches pair of 2014 prospects advance in state tournament

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Less than a week removed from a disappointing end to the 2013-2014 season, Indiana coach Tom Crean is hitting the recruiting trail hard.

On Tuesday, Crean pulled double duty and watched two highly contested state playoff games in different states.

His first stop was Detroit where he watched class of 2014 forward Yante Maten and Bloomfield Hills move past Warren Mott, 74-68, in the Michigan Class A quarterfinals on the University of Detroit campus.

Maten, a 6-foot-8 forward, scored 31 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the win. The victory means Bloomfield Hills will play in the Class A semifinals on Friday at the Breslin Center against Detroit U-D Jesuit.

It’s the second time Indiana scouted Maten this week as associate head coach Tim Buckley watched him on Monday.

Maten, ranked the No. 290 prospect nationally in the 247Composite, has also drawn attention this spring from Michigan State.

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Could Temple transfer Anthony Lee be a fit for IU?

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About a year ago, Christian Watford’s block in the round of 32 helped seal Indiana’s win over Temple as the Hoosiers advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season.

The Temple player Watford blocked, 6-foot-9 forward Anthony Lee, is now leaving that program and is one of the first significant graduate transfers to emerge this spring.

The graduate transfer has become a major part of spring recruiting in college basketball as it allows players who have graduated to seek immediately eligibility at another program. For programs seeking an immediate contributor, it can be a better alternative to reaching for a lower rated player or a JUCO prospect.

Indiana has had experience pursuing graduate transfers in recent years. The Hoosiers recruited Garrett Green, who ultimately picked San Diego State before the 2011-2012 season. And after Maurice Creek and Remy Abell left the program last spring, Indiana added Evan Gordon from Arizona State.

Given that Indiana continues to recruit frontcourt players for the class of 2014 with the likely departure of Noah Vonleh to the 2014 NBA Draft, it makes sense that Lee could get a look from any program in need of frontcourt help.

The left-handed forward is originally from Maryland, but his family now resides in the Quad Cities in Iowa.

So what kind of player is he?

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