The multi-talented Mr. Latham

Not that many defensive tackle recruits can do this sort of thing

Indiana signee Darius Latham, listed on IU’s prospective 2013 football roster at 6-foot-5 and 291 pounds, scored 14 points in the final 4:55 of regulation and finished with 19 to lead Indianapolis North Central past No. 6-ranked Hamilton Southeastern, 78-68 in overtime, Wednesday night in Carmel basketball sectional play.

Latham, who also supplied a game-high 11 rebounds, drilled a pair of huge 3s late and then forced overtime by beating two defenders and the buzzer with a shot off glass as time expired in regulation.

Zak Irvin, the Michigan basketball recruit and a prime Mr. Basketball candidate (on what was a tough night for University of Michigan hoops) had 29 points and 10 boards for HSE, which led by 15 in the third quarter and still by 8 with three minutes left.

Latham, who hasn’t overtly indicated any plans to pursue a basketball career at IU, has started for North Central’s prominent basketball program since he was a freshman, and was a key player on coach Doug Mitchell’s 2010 Class 4A state championship squad. The current Panther squad also includes standout freshman guard Eron Gordon, (younger brother of former IU and current NBA star Eric Gordon), who scored 16 Wednesday night.

IU football coach Kevin Wilson has repeatedly stated he likes versatile, multi-sport athletes who know how to compete and win. And he likes big men who are athletic. Latham seems to fit that bill.



  1. Darius would have held his own on the boards against minne. However, I think the demands are too great at the college level for anyone to excel as a two sport athlete. If someone like Randle El couldn’t pull it off, I wouldn’t have much hope for Darius to do it.

  2. Aruss, do you think a lot has changed since Julius Peppers pulled it off successfully for UNC? I’m not playing devils advocate or debating you… Honest question. You really don’t see that many kids doing it.

  3. Geoff, do you think Julius Peppers was actually a student athlete that went to class?

    The news outlets in North Carolina indicate…not so much.

  4. I wasn’t taking that into consideration. I’m sure that staying on the graduate track puts a damper on successfully playing 2 sports.

  5. Given Crean and Co. has been looking at Michael Chandler (former Indy area head case) as a possible JUCO signing to provide some help inside, I think you could say they arent exactly thrilled with their prospects on the inside next year. Latham would provide some help for sure, but unless Latham really pushed this with Wilson and Crean I dont really think it’s worth mentioning as a possibilty. Wilson has finally got the pieces (albeit young) in place defensively to start taking some steps forward. Unfortunately for IU football both Hagan and Ekeler have already left from the defensive staff, but that is another story. I just think Crean can see what Wilson is trying to do and he sees the picture starting to come together and the last thing he would want to do is damage that momentum by getting one of his best young defenders hurt for his own benefit. So unless Latham really pushes this, which there is no indication he is going to, I dont see him playing basketball.

  6. Actually, that’s not true Aruss. He may not have had gaudy stats but I’m pretty sure he was among the top 6 or 7 in minutes played during each season of his career. He played a lot and he was very effective.

    He was far from a token football player on the team.

  7. In 2 seasons he averaged 16.6 minutes per games averaging 5.7 pts and 3.7 rebounds per game. His best season was 17.6 minutes with 7.1 pts and 4.0 rebs. He shot 61% for his career. I do remember his primary role was as a defender. I imagine he was a ‘presence’.

    Not flashy but far from the end of the bench.

  8. Yeah, I was watching The Experts on ESPNU a coup,e days ago and Doherty basically said his team sucked until the football season ended and Peppers and Ronald Curry joined the team. They ended up 26-7 and Doherty claims it was mostly because of the attitude of those guys. Peppers had more than a cup of coffee…

  9. Correct me if I’m wrong, Darius could practice with the basketball team with no problems being created. But if he plays in a game his scholarship now becomes a basketball scholarship.

    On a side note: Quinn(sp?)Buckner played both FB & BB for two years at IU. He said it was so mentally/physically taxing that it deeply hurt his baketball performance. RMK also told him to choose one sport and one sport only. We all know how that turned out.

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