White happy with direction of IU program

  • 08/25/2012 1:00 pm in

D.J. White played at IU during a trying time for the program. He played for three different coaches during his career, and was in Bloomington for the beginning — and the end — of the Kelvin Sampson era.

Still, though, White will always have a place in his heart for IU. He said the program has been good to him, and he knows it’s on its way back.

“I’m happy,” said White, who is part of the Tom Crean ProCamp this weekend at Assembly Hall. “When I left, a lot of different things happened, but coach Crean and the coaching staff did a good job of recruiting. Christian [Watford] and those guys were put in a tough situation, but they stuck it out.”

After the Hoosiers advanced to the Sweet 16 last season, expectations are as high as ever for 2012. IU added a highly-touted class of freshman, including point guard Yogi Ferrell and forwards Jeremy Hollowell and Hanner Perea. All three are expected to have some kind of impact next season.

Calbert Cheaney, IU’s director of basketball operations, said Saturday the freshmen have had a good offseason.

“It’s always gonna be an adjustment when you come from high school to college,” Cheaney said. “It’s been a challenge for them, but what’s great about our freshmen is they never quit. I think the sky’s the limit for them. If they continue going at  it like they are, they’ll end up catching up with our guys.”

Cheaney: ‘It wasn’t the right time’

When former IU assistant coach Bennie Seltzer left for the head-coaching job at Samford in April, rumors swirled that the job was Cheaney’s if he wanted it. The former IU legend returned to the program last year as the team’s director of basketball operations.

At Crean’s ProCamp, Cheaney explained why he chose to remain in his current position.

“It just wasn’t the right time right now from the family perspective,” Cheaney said. “Director of basketball operations, it’s a great job. I’ve learned a lot from coach Crean and the administration — I’ve learned from both sides. I’m content where I’m at right now.”

After Cheaney turned the job down, Crean eventually hired former Towson assistant Kenny Johnson to fill the spot.

White remains an NBA free agent

Speaking strictly from a statistical standpoint, White had two of his best professional years with the Bobcats the last two seasons. He got more minutes than he had in the past, and he stayed out of the Developmental League.

But White quickly learned it’s not all about playing time. The Bobcats suffered through a 7-59 season, one of the worst winning percentages in NBA history.

“We didn’t have the best year,” White said, laughing. “I don’t wish that upon anybody, but it’s a learning experience. What can you do? Just continue to do the best you can every day.”

White is no longer with the Bobcats, and he remains a free agent. He said he plans to visit a couple teams next week before making a decision about his future.

“I have a couple options,” he said. “I just want to be in a position to succeed. Hopefully I know my future in a couple weeks.”

ETC…Perea still had a walking boot on his left foot at Crean’s camp on Saturday. The details of the injury are unclear.

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  • inLinE6

    What happened to Perea? He got on that boot since the beginning of the summer.

  • Arch_Puddington

    Calbert Cheaney just seems to have his act together. Unlike many retired athletes, he still has the passion to do productive, challenging work. And not some glorified backslapping position, but an actual job with responsibilities, a boss, and all that. At the same time, he is willing to pass up advancement in this new career until it suits his family better.

    Pretty neat.

  • Yeah I am wondering what’s up now too given two months ago they said it wasnt a big deal. Lots of time to go, but hopefully he’s able to work on his game somewhat.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Thank you Calbert for being silky smooth in your day. Thank to DJ for battling through the injuries and becoming a butt kicker at IU!! Hope to see you in Racers gear this year!

  • It means a lot to see DJ happy for the program given all he went through during his career and how he stuck it out. He’s my favorite Hoosier, but I’m 30, so he was my guy while I was at IU.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I am 32 and would put DJ pretty high up there. I have a lot of favorite players over the years though. Some not the best but guys I really enjoyed watching play. Jay Edwards was one of my early favorites. Loved Joe Hillman and Lyndon Jones. Damon of course, but Pat Graham too. I liked Ricky Calloway but then he left!! Steve Hart was a guy I really was depressed about transferring. Arrrghh lol, I love everyone that was a Hoosier!! I even got excited when Ross Hales was brought over from the football team and he nailed a couple shots from the baseline. Jean Paul for that matter too. He hit several 3’s in a row during one of the holiday tournaments.

  • Arie

    I’m 17, and DJ is my favorite Hoosier of all time. He hails from the mythical era of my childhood, with Earl Calloway and Rod Wilmont. I still wear my #3 jersey, waiting for the current #3’s comeback.

  • DJ, Moye, Guyton, Jeff Newton, Coverdale, Strickland, Andre Patterson and Antwaan Randle El. Does anyone else remember Randle El playing? He was the most intense defender I’ve ever seen.

  • jaypay23

    I am 32 and have been a fan of IU basketball since I was 9 and do not remember Jay Edwards, Joe Hillman or Ricky Calloway. I do remember Pat Graham and Damon. My favorite hoosiers are DJ White, AJ Moye and Calbert Cheaney.

  • hoosier1158

    Calbert is my all time favorite IU player. DJ is close behind at #2. If it wasn’t for DJ, IU wouldn’t have had an inside game for 4 years…

  • Ross

    Small world we live in… I’m 21 and a student at IU right now and a few years ago one Mr. Ross Hales was my high school basketball coach at a small northern Indiana school… small world.

  • IUhoosier02

    That’s crazy. I’m 35 and Ross Hales was a student teacher at my high school, and helped coach my teammates and I in my senior year. He was a great guy and was always sharing his stories from IU hoops. Where is he coaching now?

  • marcusgresham

    Don’t forget Randle-El played baseball, too.

  • Ross

    He’s coaching at a 2A school in Northern Indiana right now. Westview is the name. Has a son and 2 daughters. I always loved the IU stories myself. Nice to be able to talk to a guy who’s actually gotten to be a part of the experience!

  • MPmichael2000

    Agreed. Yes, Calbert is a class act with great determination and will. Most of all he knows where his priorities are- (F.F.F.) Faith, Family & Friends. D.J. should continue to have a long NBA career. Just keep working hard and stay positive.

  • catronhoosier

    Anyone else realize how valuable a guy like DJ white is even though he is gone from the program. He is in the NBA which looks good to recruits. Also he is a guy who could not have had more go wrong with himself and the program in terms of injuries and coaches leaving and players bailing and drug issues, and I have to believe it is the fan base that keeps him coming back to IU. A lot of guys after going through all that he did would wipe their hands of the program. I think that says a lot about his Character and how great our fan base is. Have to think that could help in terms of recruiting at some point. And as a fan base we should take that as the ultimate compliment

  • catronhoosier

    Favorite IU players all time after really thinking about it.
    Tommy Coverdale (js
    AJ Moye (I was at the Duke game in ’02 and first time i cussed in front of my dad, i obviously yelled, “get that s***t outta here” i was 15
    MArshall Strickland(still remember his 4 point play at the Maui Invintational)
    Damon Bailey (wasn’t very old when he played so don’t remember a lot of his games)
    Dj White (just the way he always gave it everything he had and how great he was. i remember his last game in that tourney game he seemed to be the only player who actually cared)

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I remember the chair toss. I grew up in an IU nuthouse and we never missed a game. I have a vivid memory and Indiana Basketball was a big part of my childhood.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Tell him I enjoyed seeing him play and thought it was cool Coach Knight brought him over from the football team. Not strange for Coach Knight to do it though as he was a two sport Letterman as well.

  • Bball Papaw

    Got lot fo love for DJ! Great player and had more reasons than just about anyone to say bad things about the program but remains loyal. I am 51 years old and have been a Hoosier fan for about 42 years now. DJ was a great player at IU and so was Calbert. But I am here to tell you folks back in the early 70’s Steve Downing was the man! He averaged a double double with 16 points and 11.7 boards a game and was part of Knights first Final 4 run in 1973. He was a beast and played the center position at only 6’8″! I am pretty sure he had a game against Kentucky where he dropped 45 points and had 27 rebounds? The numbers were crazy though. I don’t know how you have a list of the top players at IU without him on it. I also think you have to Landon Turner. Had Landon not be injured in the accident we might be giving the arguement that he was one of the greatest Hoosiers of all time. But my list is as follows: Steve Downing, Scott May, Landon Turner, Steve Alford and Calbert Cheaney. Let me have those 5 with coach Knight and anyone else can have whoever they want and I would bet the farm on a victory!

  • skotchie

    Not sure how you can’t include Dane Fife in that mix. I met Dane a couple of years ago, he couldn’t have been nicer and took the time to have a conversation with me.

  • cpmichae

    DJ was on my floor freshmen year. Nicest. Guy. Ever. Seriously, just a stand up individual. Especially, when Lucas Steinj, Tabor, and Vaden, were the other 3 ballers on my floor.

  • cpmichae

    DJ was on my floor freshmen year. Nicest. Guy. Ever. Seriously, just a stand up individual. Especially, when Lucas Steinj, Tabor, and Vaden, were the other 3 ballers on my floor.