The Week Ahead: Recruiting madness

Well, the first weekend of the July evaluation period was a spirited one. Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson hit Cincinnati for the It Takes 5ive Classic and then headed to Akron for the LeBron James Skills Camp. No word on where he’ll go next.

We’ll continue to monitor all the talk that comes out of the camps and tournaments as the week goes on, but right now there are a ton of names just floating out there. Indiana has three scholarships left to give during the class of 2008 early signing period. With Bud Mackey and Devin Ebanks already providing enough offensive threat from the wing and the ability to get to the lane, look for Indiana to target two big men and a pure point guard. Lewis Jackson, the point guard for Indiana Elite’s 17-under team, is only 5-9 but knows how to play the game. He’ll help somebody, and could be the guy Indiana really chases depending on the way the rest of the class fills out.

Speaking of recruiting, suddenly Indiana’s football team has 12 commits for its next class. This would seem to mark a shift in philosophy for the Hoosiers. As you can see from this chart, it’s usually the top programs in the country that grab a lot of kids early. Meanwhile, programs that have a harder sell, such as Indiana, wait to pick at the remains. Lynch and his staff — and perhaps this was a plan Terry Hoeppner had in place — are picking the guys they want and grabbing them early. Many fans are a bit worried that Indiana is stealing kids away from Ball State and Directional Illinois instead of Michigan and Ohio State. We’ll try to explore what Indiana’s large number of verbals means for the program right now. Mike P., one of our most loyal readers, pointed out in a post below that he believes Indiana is recruiting for position right now and trying to fill holes. Usually, I’d agree with him. But at that Rotary Club event last week, head coach Bill Lynch said they are, in fact, doing the exact opposite. He’s just trying to find the best football players he can, regardless of position.

We’ll also be trying to provide updates on Hoosiers playing summer ball, be it with NBA teams or the U.S. soccer program.

What are you guys wondering about? What would you like to see?


  1. I am wondering about our head football coach.. Are we just going to wait and see how Lynch does this season?? Even if he does take the Hoosiers to a bowl (which I doubt given his performance as head coach last season) he is still a questionable head coach at best.. This program can’t afford to be waiting around to see what happens. Defend Bill all you want but we need a “Rock” at head coach.. Not a fill in..

  2. Chris, did you watch Sarkodie and the U-20’s against Brazil on Friday? It was a sweet game. Adu’s assist on the second goal was phenomenal. And Altidore is gonna be quite the player.

    Any info you can give us on IU basketball and recruiting is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  3. Johnathan – You, like others that get on Coach Lynch for the two games last fall need to take a step back and look at the whole picture. I have coached football, never at this level of course, but I have been put in the postioion to take over practice, and a game for the head coach that had to be absent. In that situation, you turn conservative in your game play in a hurry. Sometimes you mess up by trying not to mess up. Coach Lynch had to hold together a team that A) Didn’t have a starting QB set, B) Was without their biggest play maker (James Hardy), C) was very young, starting two true freshman on the O-line, and D) were concerned on the health of their head coach who had suddenly left the team to have Brain Surgery.

    Say what you will, most Coaches in this country would fail under that situation, and that kind of pressure. So don’t judge if you have never been on the sideline, leading these kids, and collecting a check to do it.

    Chris – I can’t argue the words from Coach Lynch. Though I look at our recruits, I would have to look over all the guys again, but I believe 6 (half) are lineman, mostly defensive, a position they have repeatedly said the team is lacking in. Then of the other 6 recruits, their is more diversity, except they seem to come up with the same words “running back, corner back, line backer”, running back – a position we are lacking a true player in. Corner and Line backer, also both positions we are looking towards needing more help in the near future. So he may be going after the best players he can get at this point, they just all seem to fit the spots where they are the most thin.

  4. Mike – I think you hit the nail on the head in reference to Jonathan’s post. My feeling is that although his past performances are definitely nothing to get excited about, its certainly not nearly enough, especially considering the circumstances, to completely write him off.

    I think the apparent mass amount of lineman has more to do with the recent lineman camp which IU hosted. I believe 4 (maybe even 5) recieved their offers during or after the camp with commits coming shortly there after. I think that this has much more to do with timing than trying to fill a need for lineman.

    Also, I think the filling needs vs finding the best players available is somewhat relative. Any team is going to have its weak links or thin areas, that they need to improve. I think what Lynch is getting at is that the staff is finally comfortable with the talent level/depth at all positions, not to blow anyone out of the water, but at least to hold their own in the Big Ten. I think in the past, IU has needed to put players out there, especially depth players, that probably weren’t ready for the big ten.

  5. It was not just a lineman camp. They had a lineman camp, a 7 on 7 camp, and high school team camps. I was there for them, I had a family member participate in these camps.

    I am sure Lynch is going after the best players he can get, and it may be by chance they fall into the positions that we they are thin at.

  6. Come on Mike, Lynch has had shots at head coach. If he couldn’t cut it in the MAC he can’t cut it here. I believe he is 81-67 as a head coach. Yeah, lets keep this guy.. Its attitudes like yours that keep our program in the bottom of the big ten. You’re willing to give the guy a season or two to get comfortable, maybe another two to get “his” recruits in there and poof!!! We’re 4 years down the road, IU is 4-7 going in to their last game, attendance has fallen and our brand new facility sits empty like it has the past 15 years (besides a few Randle El games), and we’re looking for a new coach.. I want nothing more than to see the Hoosiers succeed. This isn’t the way… Stop being “OK” with mediocre…

  7. Jonathan – Look around, where can we find a better coach for the Money IU will pay?

    You really think Lynch is that bad? That tells me what you thought about Coach Hep. If you come back and say you liked Coach Hep, and thought he was a good coach, then you are nothing more than a hypocrite. Coach Hep hired Bill Lynch for his staff, because he believed in their ability to get the job done. If your a head coach, you make your assistant a person that you believe can take over and continue on in case of your absence.

    Now, your opinion is he is a horribel coach, Hep’s opinion, and the opinion of other coaches, and the kids that play for him is he is a good coach. I think thier opinion weighs a lot more than yours.

  8. Jonathan – another thing for you to chew on. Bill Lynch is 81-67-3 as a head coach, that is a winning percentage of 53.7, Coach Hep was 57-39 as a head coach, that is a 59.3 winning percentage. Also, if you care to check, in 14 season as a head coach, Lynch has 7 confernce titles, and he has caoched in a Bowl game since the last time IU got to one. Take a little time to learn about him, what he has done, where he comes from, you might learn something.

  9. Last thing, Hep was head coach for 96 games in his carrer, Lynch for 151. At Hep’s winning rate, after 151 games he would be 90-61. A little better that Lynch, but pretty close. Like I said, do the research, you might learn something.

  10. You and Jimmy can pat each other on the back all you want but I’ll be here around Thanksgiving time when IU fans are asking for Lynch’s head to say “I told you so”… Lynch belongs as an assistant, not a head coach. I am not trying to knock IU. I grew up in Brown County and I’ve been a fan since I could talk. My point is IU alway settles when it comes to football and you and Jimmy just prove my point. Thanks by the way. I wish I could be optimistic about Lynch but I just can’t. I hope he proves me wrong… I’ll be the first to admit it.
    Oh, and coach Hep belonged here.. His record was so/so, but this was his dream job.. He was a Hoosier.. Are you trying to tell me Lynch shares the same passion for IU as Hep? I don’t think so..

  11. Having met both, and talking with both, yes I believe Lynch believes. Are you saying Lynch is not a Hoosier? He played in the Hoosier state, has coached 3 college football teams in the Hoosier state. The year before he came to IU he was 8-2 and earned Coach of the Year honors, pretty good for a loser.

    I don’t know how many times you want me to prove that your thoughts are unfounded and lack knowledge of the man.

  12. We shall see Mike. I don’t know what kind of pajamas he wears like you, but I can say with confidence he is not the man for the Hoosiers right now..

  13. Your post have to do with you being a fan, and with some passion for seeing the program grow. That I do respect. My post are from facts of his past, and a personal conversation with him. As far as him being the future coach? I am not sure he is the long term answer, is he the answer for this season? You bet he is. To have replace him now would destroy the program. Not only would the season be a complete tank, where as now there is still a chance to have a good season and a bowl game, but it would lose the recruits we already have with a verbal.

    Also, who do you think IU can get for $250k a year that has a winning record as a head coach, that has the same or more experience than Bill Lynch? Give me some names, we will discuss them. I look at salary list, the coaches under what they paid Hep are from Conference USA, Mountain West, Mid-American, the Sun Belt. Not places I want to look for my head coach.

    Hep made $600k a year with his bonus, Kirk Frentz (Iowa Head Coach) made $2,840,000. Jim Tressel (OSU) makes $2,012,700. Lloyd Carr gets $1,454,619 a year.

    I would love a Nick Saban, Les Miles, Urban Meyer type coach, I just don’t see IU dishing out the $1.0 million plus a year it will take.

  14. Good point! Should I increase my annual donation or what? What has to happen for the AD department to pay someone? Bloomington, in my opinion, is one of the best places in the world for a student athlete. The loss of Hep has been tough.. I guess no one knows whats going to happen now. I just want to see the Hoosiers own the Big 10 just once before I die!!!

  15. I wish I knew what to do to get them to spend the money. They talk about being committed to building the team, in that they are going to spend 25 million to build better offices and a weight room that is badly needed, and that is good. Then you look that they are going to spend 120 million to replace assembly, they spend over a million a year on the basketball coach, but won’t pay for a big name coach for football. If they are dedicated to building a dominant program, they got to dig in the pockets.

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