So what do we make of IU signing 7-1 junior college center Guy-Marc Michel?
For one thing, it shows that new assistant coach Steve McClain is making an early impact.
McClain was recruiting Michel to Colorado. When he moved to Indiana, he convinced Michel to check out Bloomington. Michel did and signed. He’ll have two years remaining.
Michel, a native of Martinique, will remind no one of, say, Shaq. He averaged 7.2 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for North Idaho Community College this past season. He’s only played basketball for five years. He is far from being a polished offensive player.
But he does have a 7-8 wingspan. He does rebound and block shots. If he can just run and wave his arms and jump, like three inches, he will be an imposing inside factor
IU, in case you haven’t noticed, needs inside factors.
The Hoosiers also have a shot at 6-10 forward Kevin Noreen of Minnesota. It’s uncertain how well he plays defense, but the guy can certainly score. He averaged 38.2 points this past season. He’s scored 4,086 career points.
Suddenly this Class of 2010 (remember guards Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey) is looking awfully interesting. No, not Kentucky interesting, but enough to suggest this MIGHT be a decent follow up to last year’s top-20 recruiting class.
Of course, entering Year Three of the Tom Crean era, the 20-loss seasons need to end. This is a good way to help that happen.
Also, the competition to land ex-Ohio State guard Walter Offutt just got tougher now that Ohio is offering him a full ride. Offutt would have to walk on at IU because Big Ten rules prohibit league teams from offering scholarships to players who transfer to another Big Ten school.
Offutt told the Indianapolis Star’s Jeff Rabjohns that it’s 50-50 between IU and Ohio. He’ll visit Ohio this weekend and make his decision next week.
Finally, are you like me –- are you glad IU has reportedly bagged the idea of signing ex-Tennessee big man Emmanuel Negedu (his heart condition –- the dude had a pacemaker implanted in his chest -- was deemed too risky by Indiana’s administration). In other words, doctors said he could play, but the powers that be said, it’s not worth it.
Negedu has the right to play and schools have the right to say you can’t play here. Let somebody else take the risk. More than likely, somebody will. You just hope for a happy ending.