QUESTION: Good afternoon, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Thanks for joining us a little bit later than usual.
Gentlemen, How are you today? Lots of IU sports news this week so let’s get started.
JEREMY: Despite this late start throwing off my Thursday bio-rhythm, I’m ready to chat.
DUSTIN: Doing well. Just got out of some IU football availability and taking this in while watching Pirates-Cardinals. Good stuff. Let’s get to it.
ANDY: Goodness gracious, it feels like football weather out there.
Ready to chat.
QUESTION: 1. Can Crean please give up on taking verbal commits from 8th graders?
Nothing good every comes of it and either you have an awkward situation where a kid is not as good as you think and you have to pull the scholarship offer or they are really good and scouts get in their ear that they have committed to early and need to look again and De-commit. No eighth grade commitment has ever stuck as far as I know and it just makes it so you cant take commits from older kids at that particular position.
I don t’ fault the kids at all and Crean needs to learn from this and make no more scholarship offers until sophomore year of high school period. I hope he’s learned from our recent DE-commitments, about scholarship offers in middle school.
2. Very happy to see IU set a school attendance record and basically sold out every home game!
3. Was shocked that IU was preseason no. 1 in soccer after losing Zavaletta and our 4 yr starting goalie. I am not as up on IU soccer and wondered if this ranking seemed a little high in your guy’s mind?
First, I don’t think IU has ever taken a commitment from an eighth-grader. Now granted, Blackmon and Lyles had not yet played a high school game as freshmen when they committed. I don’t completely disagree with you about offering so young, but unless the NCAA changes the rules, it’s going to happen — and ensuing decommitments will occur.
But IU is in a completely different place now, where it shouldn’t have to make college offers to those that young very often. On occasion, you identify a clear talent and make them a priority with an offer, but those should certainly be the exception rather than the rule.
2. Good for IU, but does this mark the start of discussion regarding a newer, bigger basketball venue? Just thinking out loud.
3. Not at all surprised by the No. 1 ranking. Generally, when you win a national title, you’re going to be at the top or close to it. And despite losing three key guys in Zavaleta, Konstanski and Soffner, Indiana returns eight starters and four other guys who saw playing time in the NCAA title game, plus several talented newcomers, including Louisville transfer Dylan Marres. If you were going to rank anybody else No. 1, it could be Maryland, which is No. 2 and lost in the College Cup semifinals to Georgetown last year. The Hoyas, by the way, are No. 3. I suppose it’s worth noting that other teams IU beat in last year’s tourney run are UNC at No. 4, Creighton at No. 6 and Notre Dame at No. 7.
1. Let’s first point out some facts. IU didn’t take any commitments from eighth-graders. It took two commitments from ninth graders in 2010. At that point, Indiana was just building recruiting momentum and didn’t have a commitment from Cody Zeller yet. They were in a position where they pretty much needed to take anyone who would’ve committed to them. They’d won a total of 16 games over the previous two years. They weren’t in a position to tell Trey Lyles and James Blackmon Jr. � two players they correctly identified as future stars � that they couldn’t take their commitments. They took those commitments in the late summer and early fall of 2010. Later that fall, they took commitments from Devin Davis and Collin Hartman, who were high school sophomores at the time, both of whom ended up enrolling. Since then, Indiana has not taken a commitment from a player who was younger than a junior at the time. So it’s been three years and the program has totally changed profiles since, and the strategy has therefore changed. Obviously, Crean is still offering early, but no one’s committed, so there’s something to be said for the adaptation there. The only reason it looks bad now is a three-year old commitment just un-did itself.
Two things here, though. No. 1, part of the reason you offer in-state players early is because you see them before anyone else. That’s your benefit of being the in-state school. You want them to know you care about them before anyone else does, and the competition gets a lot tougher going into their junior year when everyone else finds out about them. You sort of hope they don’t commit to you early and just keep you in mind, but if they do, you’re kind of in a position where you have to take them or else the offer wasn’t real and that causes all kinds of issues. It’s kind of a rock and hard place situation. Also, with Lyles and Blackmon, there’s a bit of a “better to have loved and lost” question. Is Indiana really worse off having Lyles and Blackmon de-commit than never having had them at all? Is there any reason to believe they would have still committed to IU if they would have not offered until they were sophomores. Especially with Lyles, I think having those players committed for the future helped them recruit the 2012 and 2013 classes. Pardon the expression, but that’s what Ron Patterson meant when he called it “The Movement.” There was a feeling going around that it was cool to go to Indiana again, and those guys were a part of it whether they enrolled at IU or not. I’m not sure it’s something they’ll do in the future, but I’m not sure it’s something they regret either in this case.
3. ( 2 was not a question). I’m a little surprised to see the ranking considering the losses, but sir Price and Graham know more about this than I do, so I’ll trust their judgment.
1. I think CTC, early in his IU tenure, had to cast very early and very wide nets regarding recruiting. It was basically a necessity. The situation was, after all, pretty desperate. Now the situation has altered a bit and I would imagine he’ll moderate his approach somewhat. And there is a fine line. You do want to get in on kids early, want to let them know you feel they’re going to develop into special players, and that (in the case of guys such as Lyles and Blackmon) that their home-state school wants them. But, as you note, taking verbals before they’ve played a minute of high school ball is probably a bit extreme.
2. For most of the elite programs, build it and they will come. Just on student-ticket demand alone, IU could probably pretty easily pack places the size of Rupp and the Dean Dome.
3. Good question. Is the ranking based primarily on last year’s result or on the actual strength of this year’s team on paper? Actually, I think it’s probably a little of both. There are a lot of key returnees and a good freshman class coming in. If Indiana isn’t the best team in the country, it’s got to probably at least be in the top five, and I think there is kind of a notion out there that the champs gets the No. 1 ranking until somebody knocks them off.
QUESTION: Good afternoon guys. I hope all is well. As always, thanks for your hard work and continued excellent coverage. It’s been a bit chilly for August mornings for my liking but it does feel like football so we must be close!
1. I watched the Big Ten Network’s “camp tour” preview this past week and found at least a couple of interesting things. First, Howard Griffith was asked about under-the-radar players who would surprise and he mentioned Laray Smith. He said of Smith, “the fastest guy on the team and the coaches will find a way to use him”. Have you heard any buzz about this freshman from New York and what should we expect from him this season and in the future? Griffith also said Clyde Newton would end up starting at LB this season? Do you see that happening?
2. Which injuries are of the most concern for the Hoosiers thus far in camp?
3. With the decommitment of James Blackmon Jr. (bummer, I love his game), I think Robert Johnson will be committing sometime soon. I think Johnson would be a good addition (he led the Peach Jam in scoring and I think he can be a really good player). Anything buzz or noteworthy you are hearing post-AAU season?
Two weeks to go until kick-off. Enjoy the last couple of weeks of offseason, enjoy this mild weather, God bless and go Hoosiers!
1 and 2 — football fellas.
3. Robert Johnson is certainly a strong possibility, particularly if he has a good visit coming up later this month. I watched half of one of his AAU games online recently, and he is a very similar player to Blackmon and runs the point for his Boo Williams AAU squad. I would think North Carolina to be the biggest challenger for his services. Other than that, IU making a lot of lists for recruits, but who actually winds up in Bloomington is anybody’s guess.
DUSTIN: Hey TJ,
Wilson did say (and we had in the Scoop) that Smith is the fastest guy who walks in the building, and we’ve seen that in practice for sure. Wilson says sometimes he doesn’t know what direction he’s running and he sometimes has trouble holding on to the ball right now, but he’s lightning fast and he’s a playmaker. He’s obviously not going to be your starting tailback because Tevin Coleman and Stephen Houston are much more physically developed and D’Angelo Roberts has experience, but Smith is an electric playmaker and they’ll find ways to get the ball in his hands. You might see him as one of the returners and I’m sure they’ll develop some packages (we haven’t seen them yet but they wouldn’t want to show us) where he gets the ball on offense. Also, he’s apparently running track, and Ron Helmer is going to to absolutely love him.
Wouldn’t be totally shocked if Clyde Newton starts, but i’d say he’s only the second-most likely freshman to start at linebacker. T.J. Simmons, who enrolled in the spring and was around for spring practice, seems to be ahead of the four. But I’d rank the freshman linebackers in terms of their likelihood to play immediately 1. Simmons. 2. Newton, 3. Marcus Oliver and 4. Khris Smith. That being said, I still think the veterans are likely to start. I’d say the favorites are David Cooper in the middle, Steven Funderburke on the strong side and Flo Hardin on the weakside. Again, Simmons and Newton will probably play, and you’ll certainly see Jacarri Alexander and Griffen Dahlstrom involved as well, but I think those guys are still a little ahead.
2. There haven’t been a lot of huge ones besides the likely-season ender for Chase Hoobler. Chris Cormier’s knee injury certainly holds him back and that’s a little problematic because I think they were hoping he could make an immediate impact as a junior college transfer. Defensive end David Kenney has been out with some sort of injury so he’s lost some important time, but I still think he’s the most talented end they have and he’s going to find his way out here. Cornerback Rashard Fant had a hamstring injury, and that might be what locks up a redshirt for him. The Hoosiers love the four-star recruit as a cover guy, but they were concerned about his slight build from the beginning, and this gives them a better excuse to have him take a year to build up his frame so he can not only cover but tackle somebody.
3. Everything is in flux with recruiting right now after Blackmon’s decommitment. Robert Johnson certainly seems to be a focus, but Isaiah Whitehead out of Brooklyn suddenly is too. Other than Dante Exum (who I really don’t think is going to college now and is probably a top five pick in the 2014 draft) Whitehead is the best player they’re recruiting. LeRon Black just cut his choices down to four and Indiana’s on that list. Lourawls Nairn is interesting as is Quentin Snider. And there’s still Goodluck Okonoboh of course. A lot of things can break a lot of different ways for them, and I’m sure they’ll get some highly-regarded players.
1. Big buzz around Laray Smith. How fast is he? To quote Stephen Houston: “He makes my fast look slow.” Dude ran a 6.49 in the 55m, 10.43 in the 100 and a 21.33 in the 200 last year, but he isn’t just fast. He seems to have good vision, cutting ability and overall moxie as a runner. He needs to get stronger and has had some ball-security issues, but CKW Wilson has already said Smith is likely to play in support of Coleman and Houston. Newton may or might not start, but he’s another freshman who is probably going to play a lot of snaps. A couple of linebackers have gotten dinged, but it’s worth noting Newton has been running with the 1s and 2s lately.
2. Fortunately, there isn’t much in the way of serious injury so far. Chris Cormier got his knee scoped, but is expected back before the end of camp. Rashard Fant is missing time with a hamstring issue. He’s probably one of IU’s best cover guys, just in terms of natural ability, but there was some question about his readiness at only 162 pounds to begin with. And Ricky Jones has a minor shoulder issue that isn’t expected to linger.
3. As has been noted by several people, Robert Johnson is down at the cross roads, trying to beg a ride (a full-ride, that is.) And he might well end up headed for Bloomington, though obviously there are plenty of people willing to pick him up. Heard he’s really come along well this summer. And I’ll let Dustin and Jeremy weigh in more fully on that and the other basketball AAU stuff, since they follow that more closely. I will only add that when I spoke to James Blackmon up in Tipton after the Indiana Senior-Junior All-Star scrimmage there in June, there was no intimation whatsoever that he was considering opening up his commitment. He talked pretty freely and frankly about looking forward to playing at IU. To be honest, unlike most decommit situations, I don’t necessarily think his original school is totally out of the picture here, even now. I think he’ll in all probability head elsewhere, of course, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near as final as the Trey Lyles situation always was after that decommit. And I, like you, also love Blackmon’s game.
Weather is awesome. Almost unprecedented. Am enjoying it immensely. Not a big fan of heat and humidity.
QUESTION: 1) Do you have any indication of what football ticket sales look like? With all of the positive news, analysts being bullish, recruiting class growth, etc., it looks like this year could be a lot of fun. I’m hoping to see and hear other IU fans further up the stands than I’ve been!
2) As a ticket holder in Football and Basketball, I need to keep boosting my priority points to get better seats. This year, I’m going to get either soccer or baseball tickets. Any advice to a casual fan about which might be better facility/environment to bring three young kids to?
3) What’s the single IU sporting event you’re looking most forward to covering this year?
I’ll leave your first question to the football guys.
But as for No. 2, you really couldn’t go wrong with either one of those teams, the two most successful sports last school year. Can’t speak a lot to the baseball environment at Kaufman Field, but there are always plenty of kids running around Armstrong during soccer games. Just steer clear of the student section opposite the main stands and press box, those folks have been known to forgo a PG rating on occasion.
3. Good question, but you never really know the answer, because it depends on what matchup turns out to be significant in the regular season, or as in the case last year, winding up at the College Cup was rather unexpected.
1. I just put in a text for this after Jeff Arnold’s question. (I think I remembered that right). Anyway, according to IU spokesman Jeff Keag, season tickets are up 5 percent overall and 18 percent among students from the same time last year. So better, but not exponentially so.
2. I don’t think you can go wrong with either. I haven’t been to much soccer, but it has an awesome cult following in Bloomington and you’re looking at a defending championship team that’s going to carry in a preseason No. 1 ranking. It’s going to be jacked over at Armstrong this year. That being said, Bart Kaufman Field is pretty spectacular, especially compared to Sembower Field, and the baseball team is going to have an excellent opportunity to repeat what it did last year. The team only took a handful of significant losses (pitcher Aaron Slegers, shortstop Michael Basil, center fielder Justin Cureton), and many of the biggest stars (Kyle Schwarber, Sam Travis, Dustin DeMuth, Joey DeNato, Ryan Halstead, etc.) are back. When that place is packed it’s a great environment. So you can’t make a wrong choice there.
3. There’s no answer for that one yet. An IU-Syracuse rematch could be interesting and there are a number of football games I think are going to be definitive (Navy, Missouri, Penn State among them) but I don’t know where that season ends. We haven’t even seen an IU basketball schedule yet, and so much is possible for basketball and baseball. I couldn’t have told you last year at this time that I’d spend a week in June in Omaha, so there’s no point in guessing where this year ends up.
1. Checked a couple of weeks ago and football ticket sales seemed good, not great, but IU standards. Student ticket sales were strong. The Hoosiers need to have a hot start, given how the schedule shapes up, and such a start would obviously be conducive to bumping attendance north of 40,000 pretty consistently, I think. If the start, say, 2-2, well, that’s another matter altogether.
2. Both Bill Armstrong Stadium and the new Bart Kaufman Field are attractive, kid-friendly sort of venues. And both home teams at those venues figure to be among the national elite again this year. So beyond just contemplating whether your kids might like baseball or soccer better, the other thing I might mention is that there are more home baseball dates than there are home soccer dates, so it might depend upon how frequently you think your kids want to get out to games.
3. The Old Oaken Bucket game. Without really knowing what sort of great games might arise, say, at tournament time for basketball, baseball, soccer and other sports, that football regular-season finale is something I can count on. I’ve obviously been around a while, and I love rivalry games with a lot of tradition behind them. There is always just a special vibe, regardless of the teams’ records or the given situation.
QUESTION: Can we expect to see Tre in a role like the talent at Northwestern? Seems to me IU might have as many if not more weapons as NW with this approach.
DUSTIN: Mr. Graham, I can tell you, is a huge fan of this idea. I say it’s possible that they could do something like this with Nate Sudfeld and Tre, but I would point out that Kain Colter was at worst the second-best athlete on Northwestern’s offense along with Venric Mark. He was one of the team’s top receivers as a sophomore when he wasn’t playing much quarterback and Dan Persa was the guy. Roberson’s only been a quarterback. You would take Colter at tailback over anyone but Mark and at wide receiver over just about everybody on that Northwestern team. I wouldn’t want Roberson at tailback over Tevin Coleman or Stephen Houston or probably Laray Smith for that matter. And I wouldn’t even consider him as a receiver before the fifth spot, because you’re not taking Cody Latimer, Shane Wynn, Kofi Hughes or Duwyce Wilson off the field for him. That being said, having another quarterback on the field allows you to do a lot of funky stuff, so it’s not out of the question that they could go that route. I don’t think he’d be used as extensively at other positions as Colter was last year, but I also think they still find a way to get him on the field if he doesn’t win the quarterback job.
I’ve thought that was a viable alternative for some time now, though I don’t know that’s what CKW will choose to do. It’s pretty easy to see Tre in a Colter sort of role, with either Sudfeld or Coffman filling the Siemian role (especially Sudfeld, as the more pure pocket passer.) Not that IU would approach it exactly the same way, even if the Hoosiers went that route. Tre wouldn’t necessary deploy as a wideout as often as Colter does, for example, and there might be different tweaks. But there is no question the general approach you mention worked pretty well for the Wildcats last season (10-3, bowl win.)
But either Sudfeld or Coffman could win the job outright. And Tre might win the job and play pretty much every snap. And I think those are certainly viable avenues, too. Tre would seem to be the front-runner, but I wouldn’t be overly surprised if one the other guys also plays with some regularity. I think CKW is at least open to that notion.
QUESTION: What’s the biggest threat to the stability that seems to have been built in iu bball over the past few years? Thanks.
The biggest threat is a combination of regression and/or stagnation. The overall impression on IU is that this is a program on the rise both in terms of on-court success and player development for the next level. That’s why this upcoming year is so interesting, because if these heralded freshmen don’t live up to those expectations, it could shape perception for future recruits. But if Vonleh lives up to the hype and somebody else enjoys a breakthrough season among the freshmen or sophomores, the profile continues to rise for IU.
This is the first season where Tom Crean has a team that includes the kind of parts he wants, recruits at a level that should be at least maintained going forward. So how things shake out could be quite insightful. Now one off year would hardly be fatal, but another Sweet 16 I would view as a noteworthy accomplishment.
In the long term, clearly the expectations are for IU to eventually reach a Final Four and ultimately win a national title. Five years down the road and neither has happened, then things could get interesting.
DUSTIN: This is a really good question and I’m not sure it’s answerable. If there’s an obvious answer, I guess it’s “the unknown.” If you asked what the biggest threat to the stability of Penn State football was in 2008, there are no amount of guesses that would’ve come up with what turned out to be the right answer to that question. So you never really know what kind of twist of fate is possible. But it also depends on how you define stability. The only scenario that leads to Indiana ending up 6-25 again is a major scandal that none of us can predict. But they’re not going to win the Big Ten championship and go to the Sweet 16 every year either. The biggest threat to them becoming a program that can do that consistently is just the unpredictability of recruiting. Much of Indiana’s staying power as a program comes from the fact that it’s in a fertile recruiting ground, and whenever there isn’t depth of talent in the state, the Hoosiers have to go outside and it becomes a little bit more difficult to get players. (For instance, the 2014 group is extremely top heavy, hence the reason they’re now looking out of state after the Lyles and Blackmon de-commits). So if they find themselves having to win all of their battles out of state, that makes it harder for IU to stay on top, but they’re always going to have enough drawing power to put together a talented team that finishes in at least the top half of the Big Ten. Any threat to that, I think, is something we haven’t heard of.
Hmmm. Hard to say, barring anything unforeseen, like some sort of unexpected scandal. The program is on pretty firm footing. The fan base was, overall, very supportive of CTC while working through and recovering from the program’s nadir. People were patient. But they weren’t very happy about that Syracuse game last March. Over time, people are going to expect consistent competitiveness for Big Ten titles and they’re going to want to see a Final Four trip and/or a national title. If those things don’t materialize over the next few years, eventually pressure will build. But as of now, it looks like pretty smooth sailing to me.
QUESTION: How are we doing on Footbal Season Ticket sales so far?
Jeff Arnold, Bloomington
DUSTIN: Not sure now that you ask. Just dropped a line to IU SID Jeff Keag to see if he knows. Will throw that in if I get something. Sorry about that.
ANDY: Last I heard, a couple of weeks back, sales were reasonably robust, with a good student response (no doubt buoyed by the tying of student basketball ticket availability to the football ducats), but I haven’t heard updated numbers. We’ll be checking on that.
QUESTION: OSD on board for another rodeo. Hope you boys are doing well. A bit chilly here in beautiful NW Indiana last night. Almost a “Three Dog Night.” Maybe that bodes well for getting DE. Andy might be the only one to understand about what I am referring to. Well enough levity and onto the questions.
Looks like CTC with all his activity has moved on from James (I backed out to go to UK) Blackmon. So has he left him in the proverbial dust like TL? Hope so.
Looks like we have some good possibilities at guard with RJ, Whitehead, Lou Rawls and Hill. I say RJ pops first. What say you?
Also do we have a shot at Black or Goodluck or both?
Does this Blackmon thing cause any long term damage for us in state? I smell a Cailpari rat with the whole deal. His Daddy made a big mistake going to UK thought maybe that is why he picked IU but guess the apple don’t fall too far from the tree. Good luck getting Mr. Basketball Jr.
Never hear about Trevor Bullet (sp) any more. Is he going up north or to PU.
Well that is about all the time the Dude has for you today. You boys keep filing them reports. Big w/e here in Chicago as Andy’s Cards are coming to town. Hope we can sweep them and knock out of race. Sorry Andy but you know how Cubs and Cards fans feel about each other.
And just like the Dude was gone……………………………….
Old Sports Dude, Crown Point
Have my doubts Dante Exum ever plays a minute of college basketball, but the Hoosiers have certainly turned up the focus on finding another guard to replace Blackmon. And I know Blackmon still says IU has a chance, and IU is still recruiting him, but let’s face it, these decommits almost never end in a recommit.
So I think Robert Johnson is tops on the wish list and the likely to commit list. Whitehead is really new, so who knows about that one? LouRawls Nairn is a possibility, certainly fits the Yogi Ferrell mode. Seemed like both IU and Ahmed Hill had cooled on each other before Blackmon’s decommitment. Have my doubts there, but I’ve been wrong once or twice before.
In my opinion, Bluiett is UCLA or Michigan, with Arizona a dark horse.
Now that the Reds have swept through Chicago, I’ll cheer for the Cubs against Andy’s beloved Cards this weekend.
I don’t think he’s backed off on Blackmon entirely. I think you’ll see him take an official visit to IU. I don’t know if he’ll actually re-commit, but I think he’ll take an official visit. There were a lot fewer personal misgivings with this one than the Trey Lyles de-commit. As for Kentucky, well, we’ll see. But you’ve gotta tone it down with the animosity toward the high school kids, Dude. Can’t be good for your stress level, and if you find yourself taking the decisions of 17-year-old kids personally, well, your bound to be disappointed or worse.
I dont’ think Bluiett ends up at Purdue. I’m not even sure Purdue’s still involved. Butler has a chance, but I think Michigan or UCLA are more likely destinations. Would be at all surprised to see him follow Ed Schilling out West.
I do think Robert Johnson is the most likely get among the guards, but Whitehead’s a better player and I’m sure they want him bad. And I gather that they have a shot at Black and Okonoboh, but they could also miss on both. Going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out.
Thanks as always Dude.
Hee hee. Pretty good levity. My wife’s first actual big concert was Three Dog Night, by the way. Mine? Jethro Tull.
Don’t know if anybody’s gonna get DE. But if anybody does, it’d probably be IU.
CTC is still recruiting Blackmon. Was never the case with Lyles. And, yes, there are reasons for that.
Don’t think IU’s experience with the in-state class of 2014 will matter much down the road, one way or another. The Hoosiers will recruit the state hard. A lot of Indiana players will still be interested in playing at IU. But it’s safe to say IU’s recruiting is national in scope now.
Might Calipari have something to do with it? No way! He says he’s CTC’s BFF! And BFFs don’t treat each other that way, right? (By the way, it’s also interesting to note that Michigan State is also recruiting Blackmon.)
Bluiett (who is a really, really good player) has never really seemed destined for Bloomington. IU is one of his schools, but the talk with him is mostly Michigan, UCLA and Butler.
Hell, the Cubs just nearly swept my team in St. Louis. Egad.
QUESTION: So how do they count basketball attendance — people through the gate or tickets sold? Unless my memory is failing (and it could be), Assembly Hall was always full during the undefeated seasons of 1974-75 and ’75-76, even the student section. We went to the games to watch IU, it didn’t matter who they were playing. Now, there are often empty seats, sometimes a lot of them, in pre-Big Ten games. I find it hard to believe the past season could have had a higher average attendance than the undefeated national championship season.
I believe it is based on tickets sold, not actually attendance. And Assembly Hall has added a few seats by rearranging press row, among other things. Go back and watch a replay of a game from 25 years ago, and you’ll notice a few differences in the courtside setup that would help explain the difference.
DUSTIN: Pretty sure it’s tickets sold, and I think the capacity is higher than it was then. I’m not exactly sure how that is considering that there’s a lot of old seats there, but you didn’t see averages over 17,000 until the 2000s. So that’s at least part of the explanation. But yeah, it’s definitely tickets sold. They don’t penalize the school’s numbers for people who buy tickets and don’t show up.
Good point. I had the same thought. Then I remembered they’ve actually added a few seats since those halcyon mid-1970s days. The old press row, for example, used to be up in the stands. That area is now all paid seating, and they’ve added seats in pretty much every nook and cranny around the court, too.
QUESTION: In my opinion, we seem to have pretty good success with getting involved with and landing pretty good talent late in the recruiting process as evidenced by the signing of Troy, Noah and Stan. With that being said, is it really worth offering scholarships to kids as early as we have done in the past? They seem to like the big name schools coming at them at the last minute.
indianavelt, Fort Wayne
I think you’re absolutely right on. Now, you probably don’t want to wait until after a recruit’s junior year to make an offer if its an in-state player, who might view that as a slight. And occasionally, an obvious national talent is going to draw a lot of big-time offers early. But I still think less is more when it comes to offers, and as you say, IU has had a lot of success getting in late on some big-time players recently. That trend is continuing with this 2014 class, which prompts you to think maybe that is the way to go. I know Indiana wants to show players they’re serious early and develop a relationship, but I think you can do that by attending games, emails and text messages, etc. without necessarily offering a scholarship right off the bat. There’s something to be said for making an offer a bit more rare and as such more appreciated by those who receive them.
DUSTIN: As I was saying to Darren earlier, there is a different dynamic with in-state and out-of-state kids. You’re always going to know about your in-state kids early and they’re going to know about you. They sort of expect you to offer early, especially in Indiana where the kids are really up on college ball more than anything else. They might hold it against you if you don’t. When it comes to out-of-state kids, they sort of understand why you don’t get involved with them until later in the process. It’s harder for coaches to get to their games and such and to get to see them a lot. I say all that to say I’m not sure if Indiana would have any better chance at James Blackmon if it would’ve waited until he was a junior that it would have if it got involved early. It might have been better off if Blackmon didn’t COMMIT that early, but once they made the offer, they really had no choice but to take it. It’s hard to say, because there’s a lot of amateur psychology involved. But there’s a benefit if you’re an in-state school to offering first. If you’re an out-of-state school, it costs you less to jump in late.
ANDY: Indianavelt: I think a lot of folks are looking at it that way. And CTC’s recruiting situation has changed some now. Early on, he had to be very aggressive in addressing a pretty desperate situation. Now, he just sent two guys through the first four picks in the NBA draft. Methinks he’ll likely be more selective and probably won’t offer as many kids early as things proceed.
QUESTION: MODERATOR: That’s all the time we have for today’s chat. Thanks for joining us.
Andy, Jeremy, Dustin: What else are you all up to in terms of coverage this week and weekend?
JEREMY: Enjoyed it as usual. More soccer, both college and high school, on my agenda for the next week. And keeping an eye on the ever fluid IU basketball recruiting scene, too. See you folks next Thursday.
DUSTIN: We’ve got some more football availability tomorrow and we’ll have notes from today’s coming up on the Scoop soon. Two weeks from today football starts. Thanks everybody.
ANDY: Looking forward to conversing with Kevin Wilson in the wake of Friday afternoon’s scrimmage, to heaer what he might have to say about it. It’s two weeks to opening kickoff now, and it’ll be interesting to see if any players seem to be surfacing into definite playing roles or if any position battles seem to be shaking out. Pretty soon, the guys emerging as the potential starters will start needing to get more of the reps.