Thomas signs; Kates committed but taking visits

Conveniently answering a question asked on the live chat today, junior college linebacker Jeff Thomas signed a letter of intent to Indiana and will enroll in January, according to an Indiana sports information release.

Cornerback Andre Kates, the Hoosiers’ other junior college recruit, will not finish his associate’s degree until the spring, so the early JUCO signing period that began Wednesday doesn’t apply to him. Kates said he is still committed to IU, but that he is taking visits to other schools. He will visit Oregon State from Jan. 15-17, and then has a trip to Miami (Fla.) planned at the end of January. He will also visit Oklahoma State and possibly another school. Those three are among the 24 teams that have offered him scholarships, Kates said.

“I’m still committed,” Kates said. “I’m not looking to change my mind. I’m just testing the waters to see exactly what’s going on.”

Kates expressed concern about IU’s inability to finish games this season, but didn’t say if that would drive him away from IU.

“They’d start off real good, and I mean real good, and then they could never finish the game in the fourth quarter,” he said. “They had Michigan, Iowa, they were up in a bunch of games. And I don’t know why they could never finish.”

23 comments

  1. Kates is talking out of both sides of his mouth. If he was committed he would sign now and surely not be taking trips.

  2. “They had Michigan, Iowa, they were up in a bunch of games. And I don’t know why they could never finish.”

    Neither do I, Andre. Neither do I. You are right to be worried.

  3. well there goes our 2nd best player supposed to be coming in next year. Black then Kates. why can’t we sign a Charlie Strong type coach. he is gonna make louisville GOOOOOD

  4. I agree. Andre Kates’ comments don’t look good for IU. Although I’m not quite ready to give up on him completely, I;m guessing that he’ll eventually commit to Miami since his is from FLA (and has been playing up in the cold Buffalo, NY, weather for the past 2 years).

  5. Maybe UCLA (3-6, Pacific-10) will soon try to get a new basketball coach to rebuild a program brought to its knees by… early departures. Tom Crean might be interested (“because it’s UCLA”). And then the Hoosiers might be in a position to get a real coach! It could happen.

    😀

  6. Why couldn’t they finish? Because the secondary completely and utterly sucked! When those teams got down they threw the ball and that’s how they caught up and eventually won those games. It’s not fricking rocket science and if a conerback can’t easily see that’s the reason. Well, then he’s obviously not too bright defensively either.

  7. TheKidYouWant: “I saw that IU’s offense scored and gave the team leads. As a defensive player that’s all you can ask for. I look forward to taking on the responsibility of leading the defense and closing out these winning opportunities.”

    TheKidYouDon’tWant: “I’m not comfortable with anything less than a team that doesn’t really need me to win.”

  8. TheRationalKid:”I want to win. IU doesn’t win. I am good enough to play for a school that doesn’t need to sell their program on moral victories and phantom improvement.”

    TheAnnoyedKid: “I’ve seen fans on the IU blog that see finishing ‘tied with Michigan’ as an end in itself, worth celebrating.”

    TheRealisticKid: “Every recruit above 3 stars jumps ship and goes to play somewhere better. It seems like this should be telling me something.”

  9. Dude, there was one angry husky comment earlier in the week that went like this

    Let’s look at these wondrous “undefeated” teams for a second. I’ll start with New Mexico. Their leading scorer is a senior, Roman Martinez. Their second leading scorer is a junior, Derington Hobson. Their point guard is a junior, Dairese Gary. So, in three key roles you have upper classmen.

    Meanwhile New Mexico keeps making headlines.

    New Mexico is 11-0 for just the third time in the program’s 107-year history as it heads into a home game Saturday with Creighton. The Lobos have road wins over New Mexico State, Hawaii and San Diego. They also have an impressive home victory over preseason Pac-10 favorite California.

    The Lobos, whose top three scorers from last season graduated, are doing all that winning with one of the nation’s youngest rosters.

    Martinez is the Lobos’ only senior. New Mexico also has two juniors: 6-7 swingman Darington Hobson and 6-1 guard Dairese Gary. Saint Louis, Washington State and Toledo are the only Division I teams nationally with fewer upperclassmen.

    New Mexico’s inexperience explains why the Mountain West Conference’s media picked the Lobos to finish fifth in the league before the season. The Lobos were coming off a season in which they went 22-12 and reached the second round of the NIT.

    So it looks like the Husky picked the only senior and the only two juniors and made it sound as if there’s plenty where that came from. Doesn’t this sound like the strategy of Fox News?

    What seems true to me though is that we still can’t compare Crean’s Hoosiers with Alford’s Lobos. The Hoosiers are far younger and less experienced. But not by much. And if Crean’s the better coach the Hoosiers better start next year 11-0 and be ranked by Christmas.

  10. Sorry, third sentence from the bottom end should read:

    The Hoosiers are [definitely] younger and less experienced.

  11. Meanwhile we have self-proclaimed gurus dishing out verdicts left and right. The one below in particular bordering on asininity:

    Jay on December 14th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    As J Pat said [Pat Knight] not ready now. Maybe tomorrow. Alford, probably never.

    How in the world can this person say decide that “never” is the only time when Alford will be ready to coach the Hoosiers?

    And don’t start talking about Dakich. As a player Dackich was not Alford. As coaches their records are not the same. It’s one thing to say that Alford is not ready yet. But to say Alford will “probably never” be ready to coach the Hoosiers is like saying Jay is “probably arrogant, or idiot, or both.”

    And this is the guy who keeps hitting at Downing. Along with GooFyDave, Clarihoot and Cassie. What a bunch of losers!

  12. I know why we couldn’t finish games — we didn’t have a lock-down corner like yourself!!! Next year it will be different, AS LONG AS YOU SIGN THAT LOI IN FEBRUARY, MY MAN!

  13. Downing- Nothing changes the fact that New Mexico’s three leading scorers are upper classmen.

    Here’s something interesting:

    Knight chides Calipari in Indiana speech

    INDIANAPOLIS — Bob Knight said integrity is lacking in college basketball and cited Kentucky coach John Calipari as an example.

    During a fundraiser for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Knight said he doesn’t understand why Calipari is still coaching.

    “We’ve gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that’s why I’m glad I’m not coaching,” he said. “You see we’ve got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he’s still coaching. I really don’t understand that.”

    Massachusetts and Memphis were both sanctioned by the NCAA for violations committed during Calipari’s tenure.

    Knight, who won a record 902 games as coach of Army, Indiana and Texas Tech, did not elaborate or take questions from reporters.

    But for more than 90 minutes Thursday, Knight recounted tales from his coaching days, stories from the recruiting trail, lessons he passed along to players and, oh yes, even a new critique of the NCAA.

    Dobbs We’ve gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that’s why I’m glad I’m not coaching. You see we’ve got a coach at Kentucky, who put two schools on probation and he’s still coaching. I really don’t understand that.
    ” — Bob Knight, during a speech at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

    Just like old times for Knight, except this speech had some poignant moments, too.

    “You know, I’ve always been a Kenny Rogers fan and I always liked that song where he says ‘You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away and know when to run,” Knight said. “I’ve tried to follow that philosophy, and I should have run at Indiana when the trustees and the administration had gotten too far apart and that’s probably as much my fault as it was theirs.”

    Knight, who wore a green sweater, instead of his trademark red one, said he had been advised by three different people early in his career that he was too strong-willed to stay at Indiana forever. Instead of heeding that advice, though, Knight said he couldn’t find a better basketball environment and stayed right up until the moment Myles Brand fired him in September 2000.

    It’s close as Knight has gotten to admitting he may have made a mistake in Bloomington.

    Those who paid $50 for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame didn’t come to hear Knight offer regrets, they came to hear the man they still revere and Knight welcomed the two standing ovations he received.

    “I’ll always take great pleasure in having been part of the heritage of basketball in Indiana,” he said.

    It was a rare trip to the state where Knight was treated like a royalty, and it was his first public appearance in Indiana since skipping his own induction into the Indiana University Hall of Fame last month.

    Before the induction, new athletic director Fred Glass made a personal plea to reunite The General and the university, to no avail. Knight said then that he didn’t want to distract from the induction of others into the Hall of Fame.

    It may not have been the only reason he didn’t go.

    “I would have loved to have seen him back for the induction,” said longtime broadcaster Chuck Marlowe, who writes to Knight on a regular basis. “But he explained to me that ‘You do know there are still reasons why I cannot do it.”

    Marlowe was one of the friends hoping Thursday night’s appearance may open the door to getting Knight and the university back together.

    “I think somewhere along the line, there will be a relationship renewed that will bring him back into a relationship with IU,” Marlowe said.

    But Knight is in town on a business trip. He is scheduled to be an analyst on ESPN’s broadcast of the Xavier-Butler game Saturday afternoon.

    The fiery coach set a Division I record with 902 wins before retiring at Texas Tech, winning three national championships at Indiana and the hearts of many Hoosiers fans with his outspokenness.

    Before dinner, Knight took pictures with fans and signed autographs, and he spent much of the speech telling tales about former players, like Quinn Buckner and Scott May, who were in attendance and some, like former Army player Mike Krzyzewski, who were not.

    That drew plenty of laughter from a loyal fan base that nearly sold out all the tickets in less than three weeks.

    “He was very gracious and easy to work with,” Hall of Fame executive director Chris May said. “I think he’s very excited to be back with his old friends from Indiana.”

    But Knight still lobbed memorable one-liners at some old targets.

    He criticized a proposed tournament expansion to 96 teams, saying nobody should get a bye in the NCAA tournament.

    He urged the governing body’s administration to require tournament teams to submit eligibility reports, an effort to assure that players who are competing in postseason games have been attending classes and earning acceptable grades.

    “Very few people know this, but a kid can play the first semester as a freshman, pass six hours of anything and play in the NCAA tournament without ever attending a class in the second semester. I don’t think that’s right.”

    Knight also said he was glad to be out of coaching because he no longer had to deal with poor officials or incompetent administrators.

    Clearly, though, Indiana basketball carries a special fondness.

    “There is nobody in the history of coaching who knows how hard and how intelligently his players played,” Knight said. “That was my joy in life.”

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

  14. It is as HT stated the Lobos’ main contributors and floor leaders are upper classmen. There is nothing about it to discuss.

    HT, Knight at the point on Calipari’s ethics and on the NCAA’s lax rules providing promo-advertising of “one and done” future stars for the NBA. How could we expect anything less of RMK.

  15. Clarion-

    I’ll remember this one lone moment when we agree on something.

    It is downright simple-minded to not be able to see this fact. It is not a question of youth per se, but where you are young that matters.

  16. There’s the problem that is IU football. Recruits don’t want to come because they want to win. But, we need them to win. Especially, as someone said, we lost those games because of our poor secondary. So, YOU can help change that. Anyway, hard to blame them.

    And, whatever your outlook on moral victories, how can you expect Hoosier fans to react differently, Tom? I know you’re a UW Husky guy (which kinda makes me wonder why you’re even on this blog so much), but how long I’ve you been in B-town? No disrespect at all, and I agree moral victories are BS and pretty worthless. But after getting manhandled by Michigan for 15 years+, and if you want to be real honest about t, probably all but 6-8 times in 50 years, how do you expect fans not to be encouraged? I’m not saying we should settle forever on being proud of just being close, but we probably have been in the game in the 4th quarter at Michigan about 4 times in 5 decades and none in 15 years or so. I understand and agree with your point, high expectations. But, I don’t think it’s reasonable to think fans will respond any other way.

    What’s up with all the Alford an PK talk lately? We ready to fire Crean already. Just what we need to do- it’s worked so well for our football program.

  17. wisco-

    I am a sports fan in general. I came to Bloomington 5 years ago and had no problem adopting the Hoosiers as a second “favorite team.” The Huskies are always #1 in my book, but I love IU nonetheless. I like to talk IU football because
    1) I care, and believe that it is a lot easier to turn things around than people believe. I look at my alma mater: 0-12 in football two years ago; One smart hire later, they go 5-7 (nearly 8-4) and beat three top-25 teams, finishing 7th in the conference. People here just accept it as fate that IU should be terrible in football, and settle for these gradual “phantom” signs of “improvement.” The Michigan team that IU lost to was the one of the worst Michigan teams in recent memory. They had only one Big 10 victory- against us. Looking back, simply staying close in that game doesn’t mean much. The center and Forcier had at least 4-5 bad snaps which, had they not happened, would have resulted possibly a few more scores and a much less “impressive loss” by IU. Even considering, when we did have the chance to ice that game, up 4 points, in possession of the football, and needing a first down, we went 3-and-out on a few flailing up-the-middle runs. It wasn’t just the secondary that cost us that game – it was the same old stagnant playcalling and ineptitude when the game was on the line.

    2) I like these forums because they are way smaller and more comfortable than the Seattle Times forums. I like the personalities, even the annoying and cranky ones. There is one entity in particular – Downing’s 5th – with whom I share a long and often tumultuous (but always entertaining) history.

    As for basketball, I am totally on the Crean bandwagon. The guy has proven himself on the big stage already. This is only his second job, and I think he is still improving and learning. He hasn’t been fired by Ball State, nor has he built up his record and DII schools or liberal arts colleges. He deserves at least a few years of solid optimism at his back before we all start worrying.

  18. Good post. Nice to hear the perspective of an outsider, or at least someone who is relatively new to the scene.

    I agree that something better can be done with football. I’m not going to get into the Lynch debate, next year will decide that for us anyway. But, overall, something better. It’s just hard to believe. There’s no reason we shouldn’t e able to build to at least the level of Purdue- competitive, bowls almost every year, challenge for the league once every 5 or so. But, we haven’t been able to in such a long time- or really ever- that it’s hard to believe. And, right or wrong, a devil’s advocate could say to your UW example that they have better support, more money, better tradition, easier recruiting territory, interstate nearby, and who knows what else. Anyway, I agree we can do better. I agree Michigan sucked, but it was still exciting as an IU fan.

    The Crean comment wasn’t really directed to you specifically, but the board in general. But, I agree with your points there 100%.

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