From the paper

Here’s the first part of my story in today’s print edition on Indiana Elite Team Indiana. You can read the rest here. Here also is a notebook featuring Devin Davis, Collin Hartman, Mark Donnal and Dan Dakich.

Three games on Saturday. Potentially four games today in a single-elimination tournament.

That’s what it takes for the vast majority of teams in order to win the May Classic (some teams played their first game Friday night).

So what do you need to win and take home the trophy come tonight?

“It takes eight really good players and two role players,” Indiana Elite Team Indiana coach Mark Adams said.

Right now, Team Indiana does not have that.

They are, by far, the most popular team in this tournament. About 500 people came to watch the team dominate three opponents on Saturday, and they had a reason — three of Indiana’s 2012 commitments (Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell and Hanner Perea) were on the floor.

But the other two commits were not. Peter Jurkin remains sidelined with a stress fracture in his shin, while Ron Patterson was attending prom.

It’s been that kind of spring for this team, which has had to battle injuries to Jurkin and Hollowell and the allure of a formal event.

“We’ve got a prom-going group here,” Adams said.

The result has been no championships in four tries for Team Indiana this spring. That’s seen as disappointing by some fans, who are clamoring for signs of a winning future, and’s Dave Telep, who earlier this week tried to draw a line between Indiana and Purdue’s commitments not winning a week ago in Fort Wayne and the problem of taking too many early commitments.

But that may be a bit of a simplification. Only one team is going to win, and they’re going to have to win four games today to do it. Tournaments become a battle of endurance more than skill toward the end, which is why Adams suggests depth is the primary factor in winning.

Team Indiana has not had that, and it has lost several close games because of it.

“They look good, but you can’t play eight games with seven guys,” Adams said. “Every tournament we have lost to the team that won the tournament, and three of the four times it’s been by a basket. They’re really good, but when we get everybody together, we’re going to be really good.”

Patterson should be back today, and he’ll give Team Indiana a defensive-minded presence at the guard position.

Perea has been in the lineup for every game. He admitted the task at hand is difficult.

“These are good teams,” Perea said. “Teams that run a lot. This is hard for us. To try to win four games in one day is pretty hard, and it’s going to be tough for us.”