Around the Hall: ESPN love for IU, 2013 rankings, more

  • 05/12/2011 1:28 pm in

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall crew. So go ahead, get your read on. (Photo credit: James Brosher.)

It’s never too early to start the 2011-2012 chatter, right? Our friend and ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde weighs-in with ten things he’d like to see next season in college hoops. Indiana comes in at No. 6 on the list:

6. Indiana as a viable member of the Big Ten: It’s time for the Hoosiers to finally crawl out of the Kelvin Sampson smoking crater and rejoin the ranks of the competitive. Not necessarily the ranks of the good, but the competitive.

After three straight 20-loss seasons, Indiana should finally have the players to at least threaten to be .500 and arise from the Big Ten basement. Prep All-American Cody Zeller will not — repeat, will not — be an immediate savior, but he joins an experienced cast in a league that will hardly be impossible to handle.

College basketball isn’t as much fun when Indiana stinks. Time to change that.

Scout.com expanded its 2013 rankings to fifty prospects. Neither Collin Hartman or Devin Davis Jr. made the cut. Purdue has two recruits — Bryson Scott (42) and Kendall Stephens (46) — on the list.

The adidas May Classic is this weekend in Bloomington. Admission is $5 on Friday, $15 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday. Both The Hoosier Scoop and Peegs have put together comprehensive guides to follow the IU recruits.

James Blackmon is the new coach at Marion High School, where he played from 1980-1983. His son and IU commit, James Jr., will likely follow him there.

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  • Anonymous

    This thread opened with a line I considered posting a week or so ago. I was going to ask if others were thinking like I am that the sour taste of the 2010-11 season is out of my mouth and I’m already ready for the next season. I’m all ready to skip football season and get it going (unless Coach Wilson can do what no one else seemed able to accomplish–other than Hep, who I truly believe would have built a solid program.)

    I’m looking for objectivity here—are Hartman and Davis being sold short, because everything I’ve read (and granted, most of it is here, so that’s why I’m saying I’m asking for objectivity,) has said that they’re both top-notch, especially in comparison to the Purdue guys?

  • Plane1972

    Wow! Perhaps we’ll have a pipeline of Blackmon brothers for the next decade or so.

  • I’m surprised Crean hasn’t offered Jalen … it’s never too early to start thinking about the 2021 class!

  • Plane1972

    It feels too early to judge these kids just yet. So much to happen between now and their arrival on campus. However, if the hype remains for the 2012 class, even if Hartman and Davis are ranked more along the lines of #50-100, they are going to be solid 4-year guys to fill roles in between the more ballyhooed classes of 2012 and 2014. The rankings don’t bother me that much.

  • Anonymous

    I like your point Plane. I was at first upset to see they were not ranked. However, we will never be and I don’t believe want to be a Kentucky (i.e. recruit 4 5-stars a year), which we are almost doing in 2012 and 2014. It takes a team to win. Mixing in strong talent that may not be quite as hyped as some other players is not all bad…it all depends on how they play as a team.

  • eph521

    Rankings,shankings… “we don’t need no stinking rankings!”.

    I’m not sure what stock to put into rankings of high school kids, especially if they’re not seniors. Speaking of stocks… have you ever heard the true story of how a blindfolded monkey outperformed the S & P 500 one year? Apparently he was blindfolded, threw darts at the wall and whatever company names he hit on the wall, that’s what stock they chose for the year. The monkey made better picks than professional experts… for whatever that’s worth.

    In the end, Hartman and Davis Jr. are officially “my boys” now, because once you commit to IU, you’re part of the IU family. I could care less what they’re ranked after they commit, I’m going to support them. (at least until they play like crap, Capo anyone? joking, joking, well, kind of)

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    Me too, damn you PhD and your quick wit!

  • Anonymous

    So since this thread is an open discussion about random stuff basically. I was wondering what everyone’s honest opinions on the Hoosier’s will be? I mean I would love to see us compete for the big ten title, but realistically I know that we’re not there yet.

    I can see us, finishing around 6 or 7 in the Big ten, winning one or two tourney games, and maybe sliding in the big dance ala Penn State last year, or making the NIT.

    thoughts?

  • oldred1976

    I think it’s been stated before . After these young men commit to IU they get ignored till they play college ball.

    By the way Scouts didn’t make my top fifty either

  • Anonymous

    @Joshmofo1:disqus I see us settling around 8th. We’re definitely not an upper echelon team yet and there are still some mid-level teams (Purdue, Illinois and maybe Northwestern) better than we will be, especially without a healthy Maurice Creek. Regardless, we should still finish above .500 and go to the NIT. I’ve been a staunch Crean supporter, but if this team can’t meet those expectations next year his seat will start to warm up.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it’s just coincidence, but the only 2 teams in the Big Ten that did not have at least 1 guy that could take a game over and win it for his team, were Indiana and Iowa, and look how distant they finished from everyone else. On a bigger scale, even the teams that advanced in the tournament, (Shelvin Mack, Kemba, Nolan Smith, Brandon Knight,  Sullinger Friddette) had at least one.  Basketball is a team game, but when the shot clock’s at 8 you have to have somebody who can get a good look on their own. Who will that be for us this season? Zeller will need time to develop into that, I think Watford has a chance to be that guy, if played at the 3. Hulls, Creek, Jones……..Abell?    If we don’t find that guy on the team in 2011 I don’t see how we finish with even a .500 record…………J Johnson, E Moore, Luer, Lucas, McCamey, Battle, D Morris, these were those guys for their teams, they’re now gone. Even the league needs IU to produce one of these guys………….come on somebody take this team over….

  • Anonymous

     Then you try to run like hell to avoid letting the shot clock get to :08 as often as possible.  That has to start with defense, though.

  • Bucky

    But with his recent growth spurt, he’s projected to at least 4’7″.

    Plus, once he hits the weight room, he’ll add another 7 pounds of muscle by the time he’s at IU.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree on Hartman.  Watched him play twice this year and thought the same thing.  I and whoever I was with walked away thinking “there is no way he is tired after that game”.   

  • Are there door prizes?  Can there be? 

  • Yeah, I’m like the smartest guy at Purdue. Ever.  Neil Armstrong gets the bronze — I came in first and second — followed shortly thereafter by a horse in the school of vet science.

  • Keep your eye out for a runner for Calipari giving a large dufflebag to Jalen… 

  • MillaRed

     Honestly I’m not sure where we will finish, but I have an idea of what needs to happen.

    We need to finish above .500
    Get an N.I.T. bid
    Avoid multiple 20 plus point blowouts
    Avoid long losing streaks
    Coach better
    Play better

    The recruits are in the funnel, the current team has talent. Time for this team to turn the corner. Four seasons is enough to accomplish the above if the staff is a capable one.

  • Anonymous

    I am of a similar opinion.  I think we could finish anywhere from 5th to 9th, but I think 6-8 is where we will probably end up.  I think OSU, MSU, UW will be the elite teams, and then PU and UM.  After that, I think Illinois, Iowa and IU are the next three.  I think we are better than NW, Neb, PSU and MN next season.

    I think that that group of 5 teams in the middle could jumble around.  It wouldn’t surprise me if any of those teams finished 4th or 8th.

  • Anonymous

    2013 is not a strong class in the state of Indiana, compared with ’12 and ’14. We don’t have a lot of spots anyway, I don’t see us taking more than 3 kids in ’13. Particularly if we add another player to ’12.  

  • Anonymous

    oh, maybe I wasn’t clear, I was saying all the Big Ten teams had AT LEAST one guy, Jordan Taylor was definitely more ‘the man” for them this past year, where Luer was more the year before, but Purdue also had 2, Michigan St had 2, when Brooks was healthy, even Penn St had 2. I’m just asking for one! I think a lot of people would agree with you on Watford, but I feel it has been really unfair to him and his development that he’s been forced to play as a power forward. Guarding a guy stronger, and sometimes 30 lbs heavier wears you down on the defensive end, and playing with 3 other guards forces you down low and now you’re trying to post up against either Lauderdale or Sullinger, OR Sampson or Mbakwe, OR Luer or Bruzewutz,  I just  think he’s had no chance in those type of situations, it’s not his game. Look what he did in Iowa City when they tried to guard him with Basabe, he dropped 30. With Zeller and Pritchard starting, that puts him back to the 3, I’m telling you this guy was a top 40 player and has played the minutes of most Seniors, I think we could see a big jump this year.

  • Anonymous

    I’m expecting a finish anywhere from 4th-7th. There are a lot of unknowns with B10 teams next season, and the league will be a lot worse than this year. Anything worse than 7th will be a huge dissapointment.

    The time for Sampson-era excuses has come to an end. Its time to see the program take some leaps forward. A lot of people are putting too much emphasis on the ’12 class. Yes, they are some very nice players, but they will still be freshman, and none are the kind of instant impact, NBA ready player that will turn things around overnight (like Gordon, Irving, Wall, etc….) 

    NCAA bubble team and 5th place B10 finish is what I’m predicting.

  • You can make your point without the last comment.

  • RobD

    IU could also finish 8th for any number of reasons. Numerous player injuries, for example. Heard a rumor–and I stress, a *RUMOR* that Oladipo was transferring. Anyone confirm / deny? Hope deny?

  • RobD

    Are you kidding me? Nebraska is a basketball powerhouse. 

  • RobD

     “none are the kind of instant impact, NBA ready player that will turn things around overnight (like Gordon, Irving, Wall, etc….) ”

    Sure. But there are five of them. FIVE of them. Do you think a Kalin Lucas, an Evan Turner, and an E’Twaun Moore, all in the same class, along with a Hasheem Thabeet with springs for feet and a 7 foot shot blocker would turn things around? 

    I do.

  • Anonymous

     Creek was going to be that guy… 🙁

  • Anonymous

    Well, for starters, we finished 12-20 (3-15) last season and Michael Jordan isn’t a part of our 2011 class.

    As I plainly stated, I think IU could finish ahead of those teams, but my personal opinion is that we finish 6th or 7th.  I like what we have coming in this year, but instead of taking a very optimistic (3rd) or very pessimistic (10th) stand, I chose the middle.  JMO.

    Purdue lost Moore and Johnson, but nobody else.  I know those are two HUGE holes that need to be filled, but one of them will be filled by Hummel, and if he is healthy, he has to be on the short list for POY in the Big Ten.  They also went 26-8 (14-4) last year.  I don’t think you can legitimately call that team “a bunch of mediocre role players.”  I know we all can’t stand them, but let’s try and be a little objective. 

    I think we close the gap a lot this year, but I am not convinced that we are going to be higher than them in the standings come March.

    We did beat UM, and I think we can compete with them, but they had a few more good players than Morris.   

  • Anonymous

    These guys are going to be juniors in HS in 3 months. They are excellent recruits. Do you like their skills-yes, their attitude-yes, their drive to get better-yes, their character-yes, their commitment to “it’s Indiana”-yes, their academics-yes. Rankings are nice but I will NEVER complain if a recruited-scholarship IU player is at least an Indiana HS All-Star against Kentucky (or a Kentucky HS All-Star against Indiana). Yes, that does include Danny Moore, who has gotten much better in each of his first 3 years under Coach Crean (much like Eric Suhr did under Coach Sampson). 

  • Anonymous

     Agreed.  I think CTC adds one more player to Hartman and Davis for the ’13 class, and that should round out that class nicely.  I think our ’13 class is a great bridge group.  I don’t think we have any 4 year starters coming from that class, but I think they will be able to help immediately as role players and deepen our bench considerably.  That class doesn’t have the star power of ’12 or ’14, but they could end up being just as important to our program.

  • Anonymous

    Indiana NEEDS to win 20 games in 2011-12! Will we? Who knows? I say yes. Start Zeller, Watford and Hulls. Give plenty of playing time to Oladipo, Sheehey, Etherington and Able. Let Mo Creek get totally healthy then he starts. Verdell must play tough defense and be smart on offense, but he can play well. Pritchard must learn not to foul and to shoot from 5-15′, including FT’s. Elston must become a college player this year. That would be 11 deep. You can win 20 with that group!

  • Anonymous

    Raise the bar of expectations.

  • Anonymous

    I think it will be interesting to see what CWat does this year. I think
    the addition of CZ will open him up to be “the man” this year. I agree
    that CZ will not be “the man” this year, however, the addition of him might allow room for someone else to open up (i.e. CWat). If CWat takes the load like I think he can and if Hulls can run the point to move VJIII to the 2, I think we might see VJIII’s production go up due to the addition of CZ as well. I know these are speculations, but I think there are roles for the players that we have that could lead to a 4th place team in the B10. Not saying that it will happen, just that it is possible.

  • Anonymous

     I actually don’t expect QB to be a big part of the problem. Kiel and Wright-Baker both have the ability to be successful in Wilson’s system. Both are mobile, and they were both well regarded coming out of high school. There will be a learning curve, but if the O-line can keep them off their backs they should be ok. I just pray the new coaches can find a magic solution for the defense.

  • MillaRed

    Over the last two months, I’ve heard  “rumors” about 3 other kids transferring. None of which have happened. We can’t control it anyway. So I won’t worry about it.

  • MillaRed

     I think we know what we will get out of Pritch. It’s Elston that is a big factor as you said. We have to have a contributor in that rotation or the defense will suffer again. The kid has talent, Coach needs to harness it.

  • MillaRed

     Well said. I know KY made a Final Four, but don’t expect it that often. Loading up like they do just isn’t going to bring in a title. Davis and Hartman will be solid contributors and eventual starters.

  • Anonymous

    Same here MillaRed.  The reality is there will need to be a transfer or two over the next 18 months.  Who that is, we can’t control.  The rumors are rather typical…can’t really relie on them until its already a done deal.   

  • eph521

    That’s a rumor I don’t like to think about. I’d be upset if Olidapo leaves the program and it just seems very doubtful, given his boy Creek is also on the team. This is the same kid who flashed the IU sign in high school.

  • Anonymous

    True, if there numerous injuries of course it could happen, but you could say that of any team. The OP though said he expected IU to finish 8th…I just think that is setting the bar wayyy to low.  

    As far as Oladipo, I don’t see him going anywhere. Everyone is a possibility, but the only 3 that I feel confident in knowing won’t be going anywhere are VO, Hulls and Creek.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry Alex. 3 years of losing and having trouble keeping my frustrations from bubbling out.  

  • Anonymous

    I guess my point is that Purdue does not have a team that is any more talented that ours, and we don’t have the inexperience angle either, as most of our team is going to be upperclassmen. And we add a 5 star big man.

    I’ll be upset if Purdue finishes ahead of us this year. It just shouldn’t happen.  

  • Anonymous

    I agree. They willl bring the level of play up QUITE a bit….but most are still going to need time to adjust into the college game. Yogi I expect to have the most immediate impact.  

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand why everyone thinks Wisconsin is going to be a great team. Mike Bruzowitz there second best player, isn’t exactly a world beater, and after that, it gets really thin. Wisconsin is always tough at home, but next year I think they take a dip overall. Remember when Brian Evans was a senior with us? He avg over 20 a game, but we were barely over .500. That’s where I see Jordan Taylor and Wisconsin……not enough support around him.           The only team that is more talented than IU 1-12  IMO is Ohio St. That being said, I agree with the posters expecting a 4th place finish. It may not happen, but the expectation needs to be there, and the coaches need to bear the responsibilty of preparing this team mentally to do what they are now physically capable of, and that is winning against teams with lesser talent and experience. The league has lost too many great seniors for us not to make a jump.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Two words…Bo Ryan.  I see what you are saying personnel wise but look at Wisconsin under Bo.  The fewest amount of games they have won is 19 and the most they have lost is 13.  They have won 24 or more games 7 times!  Wisconsin is remarkably consistent and I don’t think anyone who follows things will pick them to finish very low until they see it happen.  

  • We’re not given access to the players during the offseason, so there’s nothing to report on that front.

  • Anonymous

    With Elston, I’m thinking its more him not harnessing his talent rather than the coach, but I agree otherwise.

  • Anonymous

     Miamihoosier, CreamandCrimson had two words for you and I have three words for you, CreamandCrimson is right.  When it comes to Wisky it’s the same ole story year after year same ole result pretty much year after year. Bo comes up with a player or two that hardly seen the floor the year before and those guys are able to put up some serious quality minutes night in and night out. Are they the kind of players that are going to have their name in headlines about their games, probably not, but they will play a large part in that same headlines saying something about Wisky winning. Hook that up with Bo seemingly able to get his team better as the season goes on pretty much every year and you have a team that, once again, will be hard to beat on the road and even harder to beat at home.

    Seems like I remember reading somewhere that since Bo has been at Wisky they have never finished lower than fourth in the B10. If that is true it would be hard to pick them to finish much lower than that if even that low. If it sounds like I’m taking a few jabs at you it is not intended that way but rather JMO.

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    That horse could not really count, he was just reacting to the crowd.

  • Anonymous

     I remember Hasheem Thabeet as a freshman, and he sucked.