The Barnstorming Tour, which is run annually by Criss Beyers, has likely seen its last stop. According to our friend Chris Korman of the H-T/Hoosier Scoop, the NCAA has advised the Big Ten to not allow the tour to take place.
Criss Beyers, a local AAU coach who has run the tours for six years, learned late yesterday that the NCAA has “strongly advised” the Big Ten not to allow the annual tour to continue. Beyers said that the NCAA has had questions about the tour in recent years but has always ultimately declared it to be acceptable. Beyers wasn’t sure what precipitated the NCAA’s altered outlook on the tour.
Not much else to say about this. IU is at the mercy of the NCAA overlords until their punishment is announced. My personal take is that it’s a harmless event that gives fans across the state an opportunity to see the incoming players, but given the current climate in Bloomington, the NCAA will get its wish and the event will cease to exist. Bummer.
According to our friend Chris Korman of the H-T/Hoosier Scoop, the dates for the Barnstorming Tour are just about finalized:
Aug. 2 or 4: Vincennes University 7 p.m.; Aug. 5: New Albany H.S. 7 p.m.; Aug. 6 : Carmel H.S. 7 p.m.
A fourth game, which would pit the new recruits against a team of ex-Hoosiers, might be played at Assembly Hall in late August. Admission to the games will be $5. All nine of Indiana’s incoming players who will be eligible to play next season are expected to participate.
Whenever a coaching change takes place, it’s never clear if events like this will continue, but it’s nice to see this will go on. Criss Beyers does an excellent job putting the event together and this year should be no different. And just like last year, Inside the Hall will be right there in the thick of things providing coverage for those of you who can’t be there.
Two future Hoosier guards were on display at the Barnstorming Tour at New Albany High School on August 2 and both were equally impressive.
Jordan Crawford, the second IU player to come from Hargrave Military Academy in the last two seasons, was ready to show off his game to the Hoosier faithful in attendance.
“It was good because I know a lot of them thought I couldn’t play. I was just looking to pass the ball to my teammates,” he said.
As far as what he’ll bring to the table come October, Crawford is looking to come in and contribute immediately.
“Penetration, leadership and a lot of assists,” the guard originally from Detroit said of what he’ll bring to the IU program.
The exhibition was also a great opportunity to get a look at 2008 commitment Bud Mackey from Scott County, KY.
Mackey is still working towards 100% health after surgery on his knee following Scott County’s run to a state championship last March.
He’s considered one of the favorites along with Darius Miller of Mason County for Mr. Basketball in 2008 in the Bluegrass state.
While he didn’t play much AAU over the summer, Mackey was thrilled with the opportunity to play with some his future IU teammates and in front of IU fans.
“It was great, they showed a lot of love and interest in the game. It was nice,” Mackey said.
For those of you who weren’t able to make it out to one of the first two stops of the Barnstorming Tour at New Albany or Batesville, there’s a very nice YouTube video that has surfaced of the game at Batesville courtesy of the Hoosier Authority. You can get a good look at all of the incoming players (sans Eric Gordon) so I encourage you to check it out. Thanks to ITH reader Kelin for pointing this out.
You read how Big A — our man on the scene — reacted to the various exploits of IU’s incoming recruits last night … now read how those mainstream guys (you know, the ones who get paid to do this) saw things:
Rick Bozich: Louisville Courier-Journal: Nights like last night are the reason this is the best college basketball area in the country. When I arrived at New Albany High School gym before 5:30 p.m. yesterday, there were already nearly a hundred people waiting outside, eager to be there when the doors opened at 6 for the scrimmage game between Indiana recruits and a group of Southern Indiana high school players.
To watch a scrimmage. Top that Tobacco Road. Don’t think so. …
Eli Holman showed he has the potential to give Sampson quality minutes around the basket. He’ll give D.J. White something he didn’t have last season — help on the glass and a guy who can allow White to go to the bench for a few minutes. Holman was the biggest surprise to me. He is more polished than I thought he would be. Nice tough. And he can really, really run.
We’re jammed pack with content for you over the next few days and a great time was had by all at the first stop of the Barnstorming Tour at New Albany High School. Among those we were able to interview tonight: Lance Stemler, Armon Bassett, Bud Mackey, Jordan Crawford and Jamarcus Ellis. So look for content regarding each of them over the next few days, starting tomorrow.
I was able to honor some of your requests for questions and I’ll be sure to include the answers where applicable.
As far as my closing thoughts for the evening, I’ve got quite a few to share with you. First off, Eli Holman has qualified and will suit up for the Hoosiers next season. That’s great news because the Richmond (CA) product will be a factor once the Big Ten season rolls around. His offensive game isn’t spectacular, but he can finish and he’ll help a great deal defensively because of how long he is.
DeAndre Thomas has dropped about 30 pounds since his arrival in Bloomington. He’s doing quite a bit of cardio work to shed the pounds.
Eric Gordon was spectacular once again. He showed why he is the top incoming freshman in the land. He’s also looking a bit stronger in the upper body since we last saw him in the Jordan Brand All-American game. For those of you who haven’t seen him in person, it’s a real treat and IU is fortunate to have a player of his caliber.
Jordan Crawford played well and since it was the first time I saw him, it’s the first time I can pass real judgment on the Hargrave Academy product. He’s got excellent court vision and gets up and down the floor very well. I expect he’ll contribute immediately.
Jamarcus Ellis was my favorite interview of the night. The Juco Player of the Year can score, rebound and pass. He’s definitely the slasher that IU needs. Most importantly, he’s a good kid who came to IU for the right reasons.
Brandon McGee is a blue collar player that does a lot of different things well. He likes to go inside and mix it up and he can also handle the ball a bit on the perimeter if need be.
Bud Mackey seemed thrilled to be at the game and he enjoyed the love from the IU fans. The lefty from Scott County should be a top contender for Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky.
And last, but certainly not least, Ray McCallum Jr. impressed me with his exceptional quickness. He’ll only be a sophomore at Bloomington North, but he’s already a high major target.
I hope you enjoyed the live blog coverage and make sure to check back over the next few days. There will certainly be plenty to talk about.
We’re just a couple of hours away from the IU recruit barnstorming tour getting underway at New Albany High School. I’ve heard from a few readers that will be in attendance, but for those of you who are unable to attend, you won’t have to go without your fix. I’ve got you covered right here.
A special thanks to Mr. Lee Kelly of WNAS for making the necessary arrangements that will allow Inside the Hall to live blog the game. Mr. Kelly does an excellent job running the Radio and TV program at New Albany High School and is a first class individual.
As I told you yesterday, there is a good possibility that I’ll have the chance to talk to some of the recruits either before or after the game, so if you have any questions you’d like to have asked, please post them in the comments. No guarantees, but I’ll do my best.
I’ll update throughout the game, so just click below to continue reading and remember that once we’re underway, you’ll need to refresh to see the latest information. We’re live and blogging away, so click the link to continue and join the discussion. Enjoy!