New Albany Barnstorming game, live updates

Final: Indiana 140, Southern Indiana 106

A mad crush for interviews and autographs ensued following the game, but somehow we survived it and have returned to the press overhang to write our stories.

Notes of interest: Eli Holman said he found out a few weeks ago that he is qualified to play this year. DeAndre Thomas said he weighs 223 pounds, meaning he’s dropped 30 pounds since his arrival in May. He hopes to get down to 290.

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4:00 left, second half: Indiana 120, Southern Indiana 99

Gordon brings the crowd back into it with a powerful dunk off a feed from Thomas.

That atmosphere here is so different than that at most sporting events, where who wins actually matters. These people are here to see the new crop. It’s almost like a museum opening or something, where everyone has come to see the latest works of an artistic master.

Ultimately, as organizer Criss Beyers says, this is an introduction. Indiana, meet the new Indiana basketball team. Indiana’s new players, meet the most basketball-crazed state in the nation.

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8:00 left, second half: Indiana 104, Southern Indiana 85

Holman is 9-for-9. He barely jumps when he dunks. Long arms.

Ellis has got a triple double.

Gordon scored Indiana’s 100th point on a put back at the 9:30 mark. I have nothing else to add at this time.

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12:00 left, second half: Indiana 88, Southern Indiana 66

Stop me if you’ve heard the one about Eric Gordon being one helluva basketball player . . .

All of these guys have spent hours up hours in the gym, have worked with coach after coach, attended camp after camp and yet, somehow, Gordon looks so much more at ease with the game of basketball. For all his explosiveness there’s a peaceful quality to his game.

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16:00 left, second half: Indiana 78, Southern Indiana 66

And we’re underway here at the Dog Center or Dog Pound or Dog Crate or whatever they call this place. Gordon and Crawford both hit deep bombs to open the new half and otherwise there’s been a bunch of muck happening.

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A few stats at the half . . . .

Eric Gordon is 6-for-12 shooting for 15 points, but he’s just 2-of-7 from 3-point.

Brandon McGee is 5-for-5 shooting for 11 points.

Jamarcus Ellis is 4-for-7 for 8 points and has 10 rebounds and six assists.

Jordon Crawford is 3-for-3 for eight points.

Eli Holman is 7-for-7 for 14 points.

DeAndre Thomas is 3-for-4 for seven points.

Holman and McGee have four blocks each.

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Half: Indiana 66, Southern Indiana 57

The recruits are too talented. Not that I needed to tell you that, or that it should reassure you in the least. But that’s the story here. The Southern Indiana All-Stars have been able to get a few buckets because they’re quicker — owing to the fact that they’re all short and skinny — but other than that haven’t really had much success that isn’t directly the result of laziness by the recruits.

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4:00 left, first half: Indiana 55, Southern Indiana 46
Crawford’s able to get to the rim without much trouble but often mucks it up somehow. He’s like a great jazz trumpeter who wails through a solo and when the final high note comes, he falls off it. He’s just got to develop a little around the net.

Armon Bassett, who D.J. White told me earlier this summer was really emerging as a leader, is here sitting on the bench with the recruits. Lance Stemler and a dude who appears to be Adam Ahlfeld — I haven’t seen him wildly wave a towel yet, so I can’t be sure — are watching from the crowd.

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8:00 left, first half: Indiana 40, Southern Indiana 35

Let’s say this about Jamarcus Ellis: after just a few minutes of watching him play, I already believe he’s Indiana’s best passer — by far — and also has the most active natural motor. Kelvin Sampson will not to teach this dude how to play with maximum effort. He’s all over the ball. On one play he got his own rebound twice before scoring.

Also, McCallum Jr. doesn’t look out of place on this court. Kid’s a sophomore in high school and he’s playing the point guard position for a group of top college recruits. Comfortably.

Bud Mackey is never afraid to take it to the rim.

Thomas dunks better than I originally thought. I take it back about him. And part of me thinks that, given his size, he might be the most naturally athletic player on the court. Just throwing it out there.

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14:40 left, first half: Indiana 19, Southern Indiana 18

Gordon has knocked down a few threes and the Recruits are looking for big dunks. Southern Indiana is playing a little bit of international ball, knocking down shots from all around. They’re also getting to boards pretty easily as neither Thomas nor Holman seems to have much interest in boxing out.

Thomas took a nice feed from Ellis — they’ve got plenty of chemistry — and dunked. Holman threw one down on a break and has two blocks.

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This 4,400-seat auditorium is close to capacity. Funny thing, too — the fans here are clearly favoring the recruits even though they’re facing a team made of beloved locals.

Jordan Crawford was the first Indiana recruit announced and as he walked out to the center of the floor the whole crowd stood for him. He looked a little bewildered. The fans, they’ve been standing ever since.

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Ellis has shown up now for the second round of warm ups, and the future Indiana players are showing off with dunks. Turns out DeAndre Thomas can in fact dunk, when he really tries hard and even then just barely. Mackey has nice ups and good style in the air. Ellis seems pretty straightforward, and Crawford stuffs it down. Holman doesn’t do anything fancy. Gordon, of course, is the best one here.

Game about to start.

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We’re perched high above the court here at New Albany High School as Indiana’s 2007 recruits warm-up for a game against a team of locals.

Jamarcus Ellis, the guard from Chipola Junior College, is not here yet. His former teammate, DeAndre Thomas, is. Also joining the Indiana team is Bloomington North point guard Ray McCallum Jr. and Bud Mackey, a Georgetown, Kentucky guard who has pledged to play for the Hoosiers in 2008.

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