+ Garrett Green talked about his visit to San Diego State with Aztec Sports Report (premium link). Green is expected to announce a decision on Friday when he graduates from LSU. The 6-foot-11 center left California this morning per his Twitter account.
Joe and I will hit the recruiting trail once again beginning Friday in Fort Wayne for the Spiece Gym Rats Basketball National Championships. A few of the players expected to participate according to the schedule released include Gary Harris, Trey Lyles, James Blackmon Jr., Jaquan Lyle, Trevon Bluiett and Demetrius Jackson. This will be the AAU final event we’ll cover this summer, but until that coverage gets underway, here are some news tidbits and notes from Thursday:
— 2013 Hamilton Southeastern wing Zak Irvin is down to two schools: Butler and Michigan. Our friend Dylan Burkhardt over at UMHoops confirmed the news with Irvin on Thursday morning. Irvin told Burkhardt that he plans to decide on a school before summer ends. If John Beilein and staff can successfully land Irvin, it’ll be Michigan’s third commitment from Indiana in the past 12 months (Glenn Robinson III and Austin Hatch are the other two). Seniors Zack Novak and Stu Douglass are also Indiana natives.
— Despite the focus being on football at the Big Ten media days in Chicago, athletic director Fred Glass was asked about the patience of basketball fans in Bloomington according to Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star. Here was his response:
“I think there is a lot of enthusiasm as people see the light at the end of the tunnel. One the great untold stories has been the patience of ‘Hoosier Nation.’ We’re still second in the conference in attendance. It’s just been ridiculous how people have stuck with us through competitive challenges – except that it’s Indiana. That’s what people do. If you’re doing things the right way, people are going to give you space to do it the right way. Quick answers often end up in quick crashes. I like that people are passionate and care and they definitely see the light.”
— ESPN.com is running a “summer buzz” series featuring the 25 most intriguing college programs and Indiana will be featured next Friday.
— Finally, Indiana has been releasing player photos via Twitpic that were taken in Cook Hall for next season’s yearbook. You can take a look at Cody Zeller donning the candy stripes for the first time at this link.
2013 Hamilton Southeastern and Eric Gordon All-Stars guard Zak Irvin holds offers from Butler, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Miami (FL), Purdue and Xavier and is receiving interest from several other high-major schools including Florida, Georgetown, Louisville and Michigan State.
Watch over 90 seconds of Irvin from last week’s adidas Invitational in the embedded media player below. (Note: You can expand the video to full screen by using the arrows in the bottom right hand corner of the player.)
The 2011 USSFA High School Shootout tipped off today at Carmel, North Central and Warren Central and Inside the Hall had a chance to catch a pair of Indiana commitments and several prospects with interest in the Hoosiers. Here’s a rundown of the prospects we caught on day one:
— Jeremy Hollowell, Lawrence Central: Hollowell was impressive in both contests we caught which included 25 points in a 67-60 win over Brebeuf and 20 points in a 69-62 win over Indianapolis Scecina. In the morning win over Brebeuf, the 6-foot-7 Indiana commitment got to the foul line at will and knocked down a high percentage. Hollowell was also converting from the perimeter and when both parts of his game are working, he’s a nightmare to contain. Lawrence Central coach J.R. Shelt told us he continues to push Hollowell to play with the same amount of passion all of the time instead of just in spurts.
— Gary Harris, Hamilton Southeastern: It was a solid, but not spectacular day for the five-star guard. Hamilton Southeastern will play Sunday’s games without Harris, who will participate in the Kevin Durant Skills Academy that begins tomorrow in Chicago. The Royals split the pair of games we caught which included a comfortable win over Perry Meridian and a 65-59 loss to Warren Central in the afternoon. Harris coasted to 14 points in limited minutes in the win over Perry Meridian and was simply too much to handle due to his athleticism. In the loss to Warren Central, Harris finished with a team-high 18 points, but struggled with consistency on his jump shot. Harris also clarified a report that surfaced at the NBPA Top 100 Camp that implied his list of schools had been cut to five. The list he gave was the five schools recruiting him the hardest, but he has not cut any from consideration.
— Zak Irvin, Hamilton Southeastern: Like Harris, Irvin’s minutes were limited in the morning win over Perry Meridian, but the junior-to-be asserted himself more in the afternoon loss to Warren Central. Irvin finished with 15 points in that game and showed that he’s continuing to improve inside the 3-point line. His perimeter shooting is still his strongest attribute, but Irvin is becoming more reliable from mid-range and more assertive taking the ball to the basket. Despite rumors that a decision could be imminent, the 6-foot-6 junior-to-be told Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star that he’s unlikely to make a commitment until after the July evaluation periods.
— Devin Davis Jr., Warren Central: Did not play due to a high ankle sprain according to his coach, Greg Graham. Davis Jr. also had his wisdom teeth removed earlier this week.
Joe Eberhardt is a high school sports blogger and regular contributor to Inside the Hall. You can follow him on twitter at @IndyHSHoops and read his blog,IndyHSHoops.com.
LAFAYETTE – Led by great performances from IU targets Gary Harris and Zak Irvin, Hamilton Southeastern defeated Lafayette Jefferson 79-65 on Thursday night.
Harris, one of the top players in the state’s 2012 class, tallied 19 (7-12, 2-3 from 3-point range, 3-4 from the foul line) points, nine rebounds and six steals in the victory. Irvin, a 6-5 sophomore, scored 14 points (5-9 shooting, 2-3 from 3-point range, 2-2 from the foul line) and handed out six assists.
Junior point guard Jacobby Bledsoe also scored 15 points for the Royals in the win.
“When all of those guys are playing well offensively it makes us much harder to stop,” Hamilton Southeastern head coach Brian Satterfield said. “They tried to use a box and one on Gary at one point but he was still able to score some points.”
A strong scoring effort from multiple players makes Hamilton Southeastern a very dangerous team.
“It makes things flow much better when all of our guys are scoring and reliable on a given night”, said Satterfield.
Hamilton Southeastern has a bye in the first round of sectionals, awaiting the winner of Zionsville vs. Fishers.
Video from the game as well as an interview with Irvin are available after the jump.
Hamilton Southeastern sophomore guard Zak Irvin was one of the unofficial visitors at Saturday’s Indiana-Northwestern game at Assembly Hall. Inside the Hall caught up with the 6-6, 180-pound guard, ranked No. 42 nationally in the 2013 class by ESPN.com, for a Q & A on Sunday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Jamie Owens of J. Scott Sports.)
On his season to date at Hamilton Southeastern both as a team and individually: “The season overall is going pretty good. We have a great record. We’ve only lost three games this year. For myself, I had an injury earlier in the year. I sprained my MCL. I had to wear a brace for a couple of games. But I went without it in the Carmel game. So my knee is back to 100 percent and I think that I’ve been playing really well.”
On the knee injury, how it occurred and his return to 100 percent: “I injured my right knee in the North Central game. I came down wrong on it. It’s been pretty easy to come back from.”
On the adjustment from playing junior varsity as a freshman to starting varsity as a sophomore: “I think strength is a big part. Just me getting stronger will help a lot as my high school career goes on.”
On where he’s improved his game the most this season: “I think I’ve probably improved with my off the dribble, shooting off the dribble. That’s probably what I’m best improved at. I think my ball handling and rebounding more.”
After a breakout spring and summer with the Eric Gordon All-Stars, sophomore Zak Irvin picked up scholarship offers from three Big Ten schools — Illinois, Indiana and Purdue — before ever playing a varsity game.
But with AAU now in the rear view mirror, the 6-5 guard is focused on helping Hamilton Southeastern wins games and ultimately, a tough sectional that includes Carmel, Fishers and Noblesville.
“The first thing is, we want to win our sectional this year,” Irvin told Inside the Hall on Thursday. “Hopefully we can win a state championship.”
The transition to the varsity level has gone well, according to Irvin, and the early results have been promising as he poured in 16 points in last Saturday’s season opener, an 84-78 win over Indianapolis Northwest.
“I was a little nervous before the game,” Irvin said of his varsity debut. “It’s a big jump from JV to varsity basketball. Tougher players and it’s more physical.”
Irvin has the benefit of playing alongside and practicing with one of the top juniors in the country, Gary Harris, and the opportunity to compete with his talented teammate is paying dividends thus far.
“He’s the leader on our team this year,” he said of Harris, who is also being recruited heavily by Indiana. “I learn a lot practicing with him every day. We just make each other better.”
While it’s not currently his top priority, Irvin also continues to evaluate his recruiting landscape. The sophomore guard, known for his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter, is hearing regularly from IU, Purdue, Xavier, Butler, Baylor, Miami (Fla.), Illinois and Michigan.