Chandler interested in IU, taking wait-and-see approach

  • 12/08/2010 10:35 pm in

Lawrence North senior Michael Chandler, one of the top remaining players still available in the 2011 class, said Wednesday night that he’s interested in Indiana.

“I think Indiana’s a great school. They’ve been there for me ever since I started playing, so they mean a lot,” Chandler told Inside the Hall. “I haven’t talked to them (directly). They’ve called my uncle and Coach (Jack) Keefer.”

The 6-foot-10, 245-pound center, who previously committed to both Louisville and Xavier, is in no rush to reach another decision.

In addition to IU, Chandler said his uncle and Keefer have been contacted by UConn, Oregon, St. John’s and Syracuse.

“I’ve just been really focused on the season,” he said. “I’m playing pretty good. I love playing with my teammates and making each other better as players on and off the court. I’m having fun this season with my team.”

Lawrence North will be in Lexington on Saturday for a game and Chandler will watch the IU-Kentucky game at Rupp Arena.

“We have a high school game in Lexington and while we’re down there, we’re just gonna watch the game,” Chandler said. “I’ve never seen that game up close and in-person before. It’s just something we’re just going to watch.”

Indiana’s recent recruiting momentum, including nine commitments since the beginning of August, is something Chandler is well aware of.

“I think (Crean has) gotten commitments from a lot of younger players and they could possibly change the program,” he said. “I think I could see myself fitting in at IU.”

(Photo credit: Jody Demling)

Filed to:

  • How much effort do you think IU will put in to him due to the loss of Guy? Would this raise a scholarship issue down the line?

  • HoosierDavey

    That’s the thing that concerns me the most. If he was one and done, I’d take a chance on him with the available scholly next year. But if it affects our ability to get Harris or Holloway? I’d rather pass. Other red flags, too (acadmics, 2 decommitments), but I’d trust CTC to do the right thing if those issues weren’t as bad as they seem.

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    Very interesting and way to CYA Coach Crean….I like having options and he is a good option. Based on what I have seen tonite of KY, he could be in Lexington watching an IU upset….no bench, no depth, one dominate player….

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I sure hope so. pUKe is definitely more athletic then IU but not necessarily a better basketball team….maybe I just have crimson colored glasses and a fierce loathing of all things kentucky- but I can see IU winning.

    As for Chandler, I wouldn’t think that he’s necessary- but IU’s front line certainly needs some help.

  • Marsh21

    man we do need a productive big inside but this kid has some red flags

  • Anonymous

    A couple really interesting notes on this:

    1. Our staff and CTC have not been talking to Chandler directly, that makes it pretty obvious to me that they are doing their due diligence to ensure that he would be a good fit with what we have been building towards.

    2. Regardless of what we end up doing, we have some hefty competition with 2 legendary coaches (Boeheim and Calhoun), Phil Knight’s Oregon, and one of my favorite college basketball personalities in Lavin.

    Here’s my take for what it’s worth, for all of those in ITHland that have been citing academic issues, but love McGary, that’s a completely unfair assessment on two kids who seem to be having similar issues. I know this has been said before, but it is worth repeating, these are high school kids, many kids in that age range make plenty of mistakes, so let’s try our best to withhold judgement until we have some concrete details, not just wildly swirling rumors. With all the work CTC and his staff put in, I am trusting them to make the right decisions on who to go for and I think they know a lot more than any of us.

    I think that we do need another post presence, whether that be McGary or Chandler. We have wings, we have guards, we have guys who are going to prefer to play in the PF spot, let
    s lock down some quality depth in our frontcourt.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting to point out Lavin. He never really hit Indiana when he was at UCLA (didn’t really need to with all the west coast talent,) but–given his former ties to Purdue–don’t be surprised if he’s a regular in recruiting the state. Don’t get me wrong, I think it looks (at least at this point,) that CTC will be top-dog for years to come, but there’s enough talent here that they can’t all go to IU and Lavin has always just gushed when talking about basketball in the state.

  • VanPastorMan

    I am very concerned about this kids ability to make grades. At IU being a player is not enough you have to be the whole package and that includes a student. I’ve only seen him play a few times on television so I can’t make a determination on his ability to be a great player at IU. As far as his decomits, I think it could be because he is a young man who is uncertain on what he wants to do. As always with any player I wish him well.

  • Anonymous

    Are you talking about T. Jones or B. Knight being UKs dominant player (Frosh)? To me, it seems we’ll face a formidable foe on Saturday. Don’t get me wrong..i think we can go into their house and deliver a solid punch in the gut, but i’m not thinking upset now.

  • Anonymous

    Not so fast my friend. I agree that all we have are rumors for the academic part of Chandler’s preparation for college athletics. But I do not believe that you have been reading ITH carefully about McGary’s work in academic and non-sport preparation. I have read from his new HS coach at Brewster about his solid work in the classroom, all A and B grades, and about the recognition awards he has received from the school for his non-athletic activities at the school. McGary himself has commented on the 1/6 teacher/student ratio of his classes and about how each teacher is open to extra sessions to help him with his learning. So there is solid evidence that McGary is doing his work to raise his academic and good citizen profile.

  • HoosierDavey


  • Bleeding Crimson

    Agreed, Also it is interesting the situation that we are in. I really believe at this point we “Indiana” is in a position where they can now “hold out” on a player where as before we needed to take whoever may have been availalbe at the time. Maybe, just maybe, there is someone else that is available that we (ITH’ers) aren’t even aware of.

  • GFDave

    I think if we were hot after this kid we would’ve talked directly to him by now.

  • MillaRed

    Just an FYI, it is rumored that the followers of ITH number in the thousands. Many, many, many thousands.

  • MillaRed

    I have no concern at all about the ability to sign Harris if Chandler or anyone else joins the 2011 class. This is a business folks. And we are in the process of developing a better product. Would someone have to go? Yes. Does that kinda stink? Yes. Does it happen all the time? Yes. If Coach can nab Chandler and Harris, he’s gonna do it.

    Am I concerned about Chandler’s decommits? Eh. Sorta. Not sure what his deal is. Am I willing to support him if he joins the fray? Uhhhhhhhhhh, yes with a capital Y.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll go on record saying that I want Chandler as a spring signee IF his grades qualify. (A big IF, I know.)

    I think the character of the IU program is such that they can take a measured chance on someone with a checkered past. Next season we’ll have leaders like senior Verdell, junior Mo, junior Jordan, and sophomore Victor. If Chandler isn’t doing what he needs to do on the court or off, I think we have the guys that will call him on it. I don’t think that Chandler’s attitude problems will infect the team; they’re too strong for that.

    Bottom line: he fits a big need (pun intended), and (famous last words) is worth the risk.

  • HoosierFromCT

    We didn’t mind when Ej decommitted from UI….

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    My thoughts are the same Milla and if we are honest with ourselves we just want wins, banners, and recruits….How many of us thus far this season have mentioned Bawa’s name or David Williams or Nick Young? Zilch Chandler is a player that could help us and I trust Crean is doing all he can to put the best product on the floor.

  • MillaRed

    We have been chatting for a year about the possibility of someone getting
    “nudged” out the door. I have a feeling we will see it for real in the next
    12 months. It’s part of the rebuilding process unfortunately.

    David who? Nick who?

    I did look up our old friend Nick Williams recently and it looks like he is
    doing pretty well.

  • Anonymous

    You are probably right. There are the people who post numerous times daily, and others, like myself, who only occasionally. Plus there is a silent majority who never post and stop by to keep updated. Anyway, this is by far my favorite website to check out. A+ quality.

  • Anonymous

    I think that Watford will be in the draft after either this year, but definitely next year. Things always change, that is the nature of the beast. When the B10 season starts, and we have had some losses, then the warm and fuzzy time is over. There will be some guys who want to weather the storm, and some who won’t. Someone will say, “I don’t want to lose and sit on the bench”, knowing that better players are coming. That is how it seems to go, and I would bet it will be a wing or a post player, considering that is what is coming in and what we have in excess.

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    Former ties??? He’s got “The Comb-over” riding shotgun with him. (Keady)

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    Jones….B.Knight isn’t as good as many think IMO. He is NOT a one and done for certain.

  • WMR

    So I dont know exactly what his “character issues” are (and I dont really care that much.) This young man isnt in prison. I dont know what kind of home life he has, but I’m guessing that it might not be as stable as some of our childhoods were. I hope wherever he decides to play he does well.

    On the Chandler/McGary conversation I would have to go with Chandler if he and CTC decide this is were he should be. I think MM is a poor mans Zeller, and we have the real Zeller. CZ has made it pretty clear that he wants to play the 4. MC would allow him to play his natural position. And after reading McGary say he only practiced 3’s in the off season I was even more put off on him. I dont think everyone on the team needs to shoot a 3 every time he gets the ball. We need a player with a post move.

  • Plane1972

    Agreed. Jones and Knight are both major talents and have the ability to take over stretches in games. UK is not deep, but they have 7 solid guys in their rotation, imo.

  • JerryCT

    Reacting to a collection of other posts:

    It seems to me CTC has begun creating a “brand” off the floor where :

    + we stand by our players whether they are injured ( Creek , Roth ) , mediocre ( Tijan ), or inelgible ( Guy ) . Unlike Nick Saban

    + we give walkons a chance

    + through Cook hall we develop player skills to high level.

    + we treat the players as if it were a family

    + players go to class, get good grades and hopefully graduate

    + players are the best recruiters of other top players.

    That said :

    + no scholarship player who does not willingly want to leave should be asked to leave by CTC or the brand ceases to be real

    + no recruit/player who fails or is likely to fail the brand standards should be on the team

    + any recruit who cannot be a positive example for another recruit does not need to be here

    IF Coach is getting the players he wants THEN he does not need to back off any standards of his brand. IF Chandler, McGary or any young man can commit to the brand then there is no reason not to consider them

  • Plane1972

    “…if we are honest with ourselves we just want wins, banners, and recruits….”

    —Unfortunately I cannot disagree with you on this, Kelin, but in hindsight I think we need to be careful of that win-at-all-cost mentality. In the recent past, I have had a couple of personally regretful moments considering my support of the Sampson hire. I regret overlooking all the evidence pointing to something being amiss. I defended the hire based on his wins and losses, on the little I knew about the quality of guys he was recruiting, and being pretty happy with the state of affairs until all hell broke loose.

    Crean is not Sampson, and I will not cast aspersions on a high school kid. But if any kid seems to be a reach with regard to upholding what we value in this program (team players and good students), they simply are not worth it until the foundational work within the program is complete. This is not a comment on Chandler or McGary. I trust CTC wholeheartedly to do the right thing, but we cannot turn our back on those things.

  • BFowler

    I agree with you on the brand. I will say with that in mind, Coach Crean is the highest paid state employee for one thing: to restore Indiana Men’s Basketball to where the people who fund the program think it should be. If it can be done solely through the brand, than all the better, but all fans will trade some character issues if the team wins by some of their players. I am not saying that they will tolerate it by their leaders (coaches), but they will from individual players. I feel like results are what people are looking for, and they will tolerate some issues, but Crean represents the brand, and as long as the result is winning, there can be some pieces that allow that to be sub-standard to push the team over the edge.

    I will not say that all we want is and will tolerate anything for winning, but you tend to tolerate more when there is less stress and more success.

  • Anonymous

    Completely different issue. Gordon didn’t have alleged academic or personality problems that were hampering his status. Plus, Chandler has decommitted more than once, which may indicate some sort of need for attention. None of this may be true, but the concerns are not without evidence.

  • BFowler

    I have very mixed feelings about Mr. Chandler. He has talent, he is a big body, and at one time he was in the top 10 in his class. He is an Indiana kid from a strong program (I am not a huge Keefer fan, but he gets results). He also seems to be a bit flaky (2 de-commitments). There are a lot of rumors, and when there is smoke….. There are more questions than answers for me, but someone with inside information might have the answers (not asking, just asking):

    I have heard people talk about poor academics, but is there any proof? Is there anyone with first hand knowledge that the kid has academic problems that can not be overcome? Is there any knowledge that he is a bad team mate? Is there any reason that he should not become a Hoosier?

    With strong leadership, a poor attitude is either overcome, or the poor attitude moves on. Is this team strong enough IF, IF, IF this kid has a poor attitiude to withstand? Is the APR advanced to a point where they could handle (IF, IF, IF he has) a poor academic resume?

    At the end of the day (Zach, you do not have that phrase trademarked, do you?), is the risk worth the reward? Would the team be better with or without him? If you pass on him, and he thrives elsewhere and your team struggles, what are the ramifications? Does this mean that there is a scholarship trade-off? I am glad I am not the one who has to put his job on the line to answer these questions.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t make him leave; I would just tell him that if he wants to keep playing here, he’s not going to be doing it on an athletic scholarship. It is just the nature of the beast. Hopefully, someone would volunteer, and it wouldn’t have to come down to that.

  • Anonymous

    I think extenuating circumstances may apply early on in the process. We give walk ons a chance, but when we’ve got a loaded team, they don’t play (in reality). Roth, being a junior, would have an opportunity to graduate on scholarship from IU.

    I don’t see a situation where CTC has to compromise integrity or brand with this. Maybe it’s just me, though.

  • MillaRed

    If we all truly trust Coach, there aren’t any questions to answer are there?

    He has been offered a scholarship for the 2011 class by Coach Tom Crean. All of the Q&A can be filtered through this fact.

    We cannot trust Coach and question a recruit’s integrity that has been offered by CTC at the same time. It’s one or the other.

    I trust Coach Crean. Bring him in.

  • Anonymous

    No, we loved it because:
    A) We love to give Bruce something else to whine about.
    B) He came to the school with the letters in the right order (IU) and the real Assembly Hall

    Plus, Air Gordon wanted to come to an IU without Davis, and that happened after he had committed to UI. I don’t believe Chandler decommed to go to another school or for coaching changes. It seems more like he got sucked in by some savvy salesmen and good experiences at the schools. This is why you don’t make hasty decisions (a la CZ).

  • Anonymous


  • BFowler

    I can not argue with you there about the trust factor, I was merely pointing out that there were a lot of questions posed and I was saying that most of them are heresay, but a talented Indiana kid who is dedicated would have a place on my team if all the questions were answered. I think we agree in principle.

  • MillaRed

    Certainly, wasn’t dissagreeing at all. It was a shout out to the general
    population, but your thoughts were a good segway.

    I think the decommits are maybe not red flags (see Josh Selby for RED flags)
    but perhaps a cautionary yellow? Still yet, decommitting isn’t a crime. No
    one seems to know the circumstances leading up to either decommittment. With
    that being the case, hey, I’ll put my trust in Tommy Boy. Makes it easier
    for me……………

  • BaseballBuc

    Still don’t think he’s coming, but feel free to rip me a new one if he does.

  • Anonymous

    Jones is the better of the two, and IU has more options for players to guard Knight (Rivers and Oladipo are the first two who come to mind.) There are match up problems with Jones, but he’s shown a propensity to get himself into foul trouble (and Vargas and Harrelson are the other two post guys for Kentucky, who are nowhere near as good as Jones,) so I’d take it right at him as much as possible.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if you can tell the kid that and feel good about yourself. What I think you can tell him is “we offered you a scholarship and we’re more than willing to honor our commitment, but we have to be honest with you and let you know that there probably won’t be a lot of floor time available for you. After hearing that, if you’d want to transfer we want you to know that we support you and we’ll make any contacts we can to help you find somewhere you’ll be comfortable.” (I’d suspect not long after that he might announce he’s going to be, oh, maybe a Saluki just for a first guess.)

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t mind? Heck, we all offered to pitch in to buy Brucie some Depends when he started peeing himself over the whole situation.

  • Anonymous

    Jerry’s getting the IU logo branded on his arm! Who else is in?

  • Anonymous

    I’m not so sure Jeff Howard may not be able to provide some meaningful minutes later in his career.

  • JerryCT

    For me wins are secondary but important. So a kid’s character is key.

    Except maybe KY fans a flow of bad actors is a good way to quickly kill the enthusiasm and pride that fans had in winning. They get embarrassed, make excuses as to why they remain fans.

    I see this all the time with Uconn men’s program as rabid fans quit getting season tix, claim they are too busy to be following the games , weather too bad to attend games etc

    I know how I felt trying to defend Bob Knight and discussing KSampson. Luckily I have not had to defend a player dealing drugs or stealing computers.

    The first goal for me is to be proud of my team and school such that I can cheer for them in public w/o ridicule …………….. then the wins are satisfying . If I were winning but consistently having to defend the team’s/coach’s( Pitino, Calipari ) character I can tell you I would find another team or reason to go to Buffalo Wild Wings.

  • JerryCT

    Not again. The first 16 really hurt

  • Anonymous

    I believe he has been quoted saying that his grades need improvement.

    My apologies for the use of the phrase “checkered past.” It’s a rhetorical cliche and a bit misleading in this case. I was referring to his grade questions, 2 de-commitments, and, to a lesser extent, some observers’ comments that his effort and attitude on the court prior to this year left something to be desired. I did not intend to suggest that he has any legal or disciplinary problems. To my knowledge, he does not.

    He’s a big body and a good player that might benefit from the work ethic and attitude emanating from CTC, staff, and the leaders in the IU program.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Good call marcus. IU should have the guard depth and athleticism to give Knight some problems if they play solid defense and you can rattle a good player early if you put a solid defender on them but I don’t see anyone on our roster who can match up with Jones! IU fans better hope he gets in foul trouble, especially after seeing him go off for 27/17 the other day against a good ND team!

  • BaseballBuc

    If theres anything that they have that is far superior to IU, its athleticism. IU has struggled with teams like this in the past, but we’ll see.

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    I think the interest faded their over the summer. Hammons didn’t have a good summer and his motivation and motor was always in question.

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, I do not see why everyone is so down on Chandler’s academics as a cause for him to not come here. IU needs a big man, and Chandler may need help with academics. LOGIC
    Chandler is a big man, which means he meets his part of the bargain. IU can then show our ability to help these student athletes with their grades.
    Some people have trouble with their grades, and I have experienced this directly through tutoring. This is an opportunity for IU to show that we can teach life lessons to our STUDENT-athletes in addition to basketball.