Indiana All-Stars week kicks off Tuesday

I was furiously trying to keep a running box score for the Hoosier Reunion Classic on Friday when the group of guys behind me started discussing this week’s junior all-star exhibitions.

The question was not if the juniors could beat the Indiana All-Stars, but by how much?

The first game is tomorrow at 8 p.m. at Benton Central, followed by a Thursday game at New Albany.

Part of the reason this is even a debate is that this is considered a down year for the senior class, with only six players headed to what is perceived as major college basketball (sorry, Butler, that does not mean you).

And, on the other hand, the junior class is nothing short of outstanding, at least on paper.

Fort Wayne Luers’ Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State) could break Damon Bailey’s scoring record. He is the posterboy for why the All-Stars should open things up and let one or two juniors play with the seniors.

Lawrence North’s Dominique Ferguson, an IU target, will also be on hand. As will a pair of Purdue guys (North Central’s Terone Johnson and Danville’s Travis Carroll) and a Michigan State commit (Fort Wayne Blackhawk’s Russell Byrd).

Donnie Hale (New Albany), Jake Kitchel (South Central) and Jesse Berry (Lafayette Jeff) are also seen as potential Indiana targets.

The juniors have not won since 2006. Eric Gordon went off and Greg Oden was out with an injury.

18 comments

  1. Any word on whether Thomas from Ft. Wayne is going to reopen his recruiting?? It just makes me sick to think of those guys continuing to go out of state, though you can’t blame Crean for this one, with the kid committing so early before Crean was hired. Hey, that’s another thing we can blame on Cellvin!!!

  2. Butler is the winningest program in the state by a large margin over the last decade, will be in the preseason top 10, and are very likely to make their 3rd S16 in the last 7 years and possibly beyond. In short, the best program in the state and it’s not close.

  3. Unfortunately ten years does not make a basketball program, otherwise LOL would be right.

    But keep trying little guy, one of these days Butler may make a Final Four or possibly (gasp!) even win a National Championship.

  4. LOL, clearly you are right, I mean missing the tournament 4 out of the past 8 years is definitely the “best program in the state and not close.” You have a good program I’ll give you that, but if you are the best program then why are Derek Elston and Jordy Hulls suiting up in an IU uniform this year? Why is IU bringing in a top 10 recruiting class this year?…a class like Butler has never had.

    And as for most wins by large margin…join the Big Ten and see how 15 win conference seasons you have…hell, see how many 10 win conference seasons would have.

  5. Eric, ever since he was awarded the Tiffany Gooden Award he has said a few times that he remains commited to Ohio State. It doesn’t make me sick to see these guys go to the UNCs and such because they are a better program. But Ohio State? Without Conley and Oden what does Matta have there? Look at Koufos and Mullens. They were terrible!

    Thomas is a great basketball player but with his terrible academic record and god awful personality, I am glad Crean isn’t going after him. But hopefully Roy Williams is because we don’t have them on the schedule.

  6. I have been a proud Hoosier since the Walt Bellamy, Van Arsdale, George McGinnis, Steve Downing days…continue to be, even after the shame of the Sampson days. Yet, today I am embarrassed by the clearly immature, ignorant, uninformed and simply idiotic comments about Butler University.

    You can not be a Hoosier and not humbly recognize that Butler has been a major-Major since the days when Butler Fieldhouse was the Mecca of college and high school basketball.

    Your comments are not only wrong, they are embarrassingly stupid.

  7. Tsao – I don’t think anyone is trying to disrespect Hinkle Fieldhouse and the tradition that it carries. It was/is a great place to play and watch basketball games. I’ve certainly had a great time watching ball games there over the years.

    But I simply will not stand for anyone trying to tell me that Butler is a Major college basketball program. That’s darn near blasphemus to be spewing that kind of insidious rhetoric in a state that is home to more basketball-rich programs.

  8. Lampwick, good job, just what we need, locker room bulletin board material for Butler. Gee they won’t be fired up beyond belief to beat IU the next time the two teams play.

    Butler is not a major conference team, but has competed on a major level with some consistency the last 10 years or so. As such they deserve our respect and admiration; Hoosiers are supposed to admire basketball that’s played well, and Butler epitomizes that. Outside of IU, they’re my favorite team in the state.

  9. Tsao, please show me how my comments about Butler are uninformed. Lets see…missing the tournament 4 out of the past 8 years – Fact. IU is bringing in a top 10 recruiting class this year…a class like Butler has never had – Fact. And as for my last comment about conference wins, if you really think Butler would get as many conference wins in the Big Ten as they do in the Horizon then YOU are “ignorant, uninformed and simply idiotic.”

    Like I said Butler is a good program and had a nice run the past 10 years or so and I even cheer for them when they are on TV, but I’m not going to listen to some Butler fan come on to the IU blog and say they are the best program in the state and its not even close. Here’s two more facts for you…Even during IU’s crappy run over the past decade we have still turned out more NBA players than Butler and have one more NCAA Final Four Appearance than Butler has had ever. Two Sweet 16 appearances over a 10 year stretch doesn’t make you the best program in the state…that makes you a very good MID-MAJOR.

  10. The BCS is the basic premise for a “major” program. Butler is a fine program, but not a major program by definition. Go ahead and cite records and statistics all you want. You can even argue that Butler has been the best program in the state for awhile. At the end of the day, they are not a major college program. That’s why they have bracketbuster day.

  11. Chester, Brad, Jay…others…for decades, at least 6 (decades=10 years, 6×10= 60years…get it?) Butler has played strong, fundamental, disciplined basketball. It has done so with integrity, against all who would schedule it.(For many years Branch Mc Cracken and Lout Watson refused to schedule Butler for fear of…losing).

    Of your own admission, for the last ten years Butler has far out-performed Indiana. I do not recall Butler recruiting players straight from the Gangster Disciple rosters…or the Mexican Cartels.

    Neither does Butler produce an obsessed blog-fan legion following and hyperventilating over post office wanted posters to add to next year’s recruiting list.

    Butler University is a major and respected basketball power. It is not a large school, but it does feature major-Major attributes we should emulate, not resent.

    And, Butler has one other point-of-pride. It is not encumbered by stupidly conceived attitudes from its more challenged followers who–embarrassed by the lack of success to call our Cream and Crimson own–compensate by downgrading the legitimate achievements of other very worthy competitors.

    We–I emphasize the “we” –have much to learn from institutions that play basketball with dignity, integrity and success such as Butler.

  12. Wow Tsao, I mean really – wow Mexican Cartel/Gangsta Disciples? Really?

    I don’t think anyone on this post or any IU fan has the level of hate towards Butler that you apparently have towards IU basketball athletes.

    I believe, most of us respect Butler, truly like the gym, admire the players – I love Matt Howard. It’s been frustrating to watch Butler have success while IU has struggled, that’s for sure.

    But the fact remains that Butler is not a Major, they don’t play tough competition and they’ve never won a national title.

    I’m sure you and the Butler family enjoy your success at the level you have achieved for, I believe, 6 decades. It’s awesome. But some of us want more out of our teams than just making it to the NCAAs and for that, we turn to IU and their proud tradition of bringing home Big Ten and National Championships.

    Maybe slow steady progress is great for you, but if you don’t mind please move over to the right while the big boys pass you by on our way towards National prominence and future NCAA championships.

  13. On the contrary Chester, I am proud to have two IU degrees, proud to have many more friends among former IU players….proud to wear the Cream and Crimson.

    The embarrassment comes from the lack of respect shown in the blog for a noble adversary; the nearsightedness and the lack of knowledge and understanding about the world of competitive athletics as shown by some (though not all) IU fans.

    IU has fallen on hard times…I suffer through these but not at the cost of my dignity; and especially, not at the cost of the dignity of my university-Indiana University. The pathetic focus you’ve shown in demeaning Butler University’s great basketball history (or any of the other great athletic programs we compete with…including Purdue) can only increase the view of IU as the bad joke of college athletics.

    We can show much greater self-respect than to lay around demeaning rivals. It disrespects not just the other university…it disrespects IU and it disrespect the sport, revealing a basic disrespect for ourselves.

    We need to be more than the bad parody of the “parent supporters” in the movie “Hoosiers” as reflected by some of the noxious comments in this blog.(By the way, I believe that the Jimmy Chitwood character was based on Bobby Plump, the great Milan High School player who went on to a great career…at Butler).

    So please…if you insist on disrespecting other universities…do so without involving those of us who still believe there is a thread of Hoosier pride to build on at IU.

  14. I fail to see how I, or others, are disrespecting Butler University on this board. We are only pointing out that Butler is not a major basketball program school. Many of us, in fact, have gone out of our way to offer effusive praise for Butler and what they’ve achieved. So please just stop with the disrespect card – that is so far from the truth it’s not even funny.

    Butler has had a wonderful run over the past 6 decades and I’m sure it will continue. But that doesn’t mean they are in the same class as IU, Purdue, MSU, OSU, Illinois, etc (not to mention major players from the ACC, Big East, SEC).

    They just aren’t a Major program and that is where I, and many others, appear to disagree with you. I think of Major programs playing top-level competition year-in year-out, winning Championships, making final fours. Not just being good but excelling at times. This in no way should take away from the success Butler has achieved and will continue to achieve – they deserve it, but they aren’t a Major program.

    But, to me, the most troubling thing with you is what you wrote about the Gangster Disciples/Mexican Cartels. That is just ignorant talk and something that I came to expect from my small-minded neighbors growing up in Indiana – not from someone who is an IU grad. That’s beyond shame.

  15. A big part of the delusions of grandeur is the fact that Butler has the college basketball press pool of a major market, Indy, pretty much to themselves. While Butler has, and will continue to be, a strong mid major if the local press were the Delphi or Salem newspapers the inflated impressions would seem less likely.

  16. This is possibly the most overblown discussion ever on this board, which is saying something. I say, ‘Go Hoosiers and Bulldogs!!’

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