A look at the week ahead, Antonio Allen’s return

It’s been a busy first week on the beat, what with football season getting underway, men’s basketball preparing for a trip to Montreal and Indiana’s search for a women’s basketball coach dragging on at a most inopportune time of the year.

Where did summer go?

Alas, we’ll have a few things coming down the line in print, online and, of course, right here on the Scoop as the week continues. Let’s get you up to speed.

First, because I don’t want anyone to miss this, we’re moving the chat from tomorrow to Friday this week and possibly next week, too. No, it’s not a permanent move, or anything like that. I’ll be en route to Montreal Thursday morning for a week with Tom Crean and company north of the border. So, check in at heraldtimesonline.com on Friday at 11 a.m. and we’ll chat.

Speaking of men’s basketball, later today we’ll examine five things to watch for on IU’s trip to Canada. There won’t be any streaming/radio options for the games, but we’ll have you covered here, in print and on Twitter, where you can also find me at @MikeMillerHT. I suppose that means I’ll have to be your eyes on this trip, but I’m up for it. Let’s make this as interactive as possible. I anticipate we’ll have a live chat here on the blog and I’m willing to pass on observations on any additional areas you’re curious about. Just keep me posted.

It all ended for Antonio Allen on a cold Michigan night last October, when the freshman safety tore his anterior cruciate ligament against the Wolverines and wrapped his season prematurely. The tear was a personal defeat for Allen, who had been working in a three-man rotation with Mark Murphy and Greg Heban before earning his first career start in that game on Oct. 19.

But Allen has endured the rehabilitation process and is back for his sophomore season, ready to build on an introductory campaign that saw him emerge as one of the more exciting young players on Indiana’s defense.

“I have to go out there and show I can do better than I did last year, mentally and physically,” Allen said earlier this week. I’ve been going with (new IU secondary coach Noah Joseph) every day, going over the playbook and stuff liek that so I can have it down pat. The physical thing, I gotta show that I’m not scare to put my foot in the ground and go out there and play hard.”

That’s the key for Allen at this point. The sixth-month rehab process has taught him to regain his back peddle and, more than anything, how to trust his leg again.

“Just doing little things, like putting my foot in the ground hard,” Allen said. “Make sure I can just stop and break.”

The real shame of the injury came with the timing. Allen was limited during the spring and missed the 15 practices that would’ve given him a boost heading into the preseason. Since then, he’s continued to develop his footwork and Joseph hopes he can make up for lost time during two-a-days this month.

“I think Antonio adds a different element to our defense, where he can make plays and be physical and really define who our secondary is and, hopefully, who our defense is,” Joseph said.