It might soon get tougher for college basketball coaches to recruit. Why? Because according to ESPN.com’s Andy Katz, the Conference Commissioners Association is recommending to the NCAA that the July evaluation period be eliminated. That means coaches could no longer watch recruits play in all the camps and travel events in the month. It could happen as soon as 2012.
Coaches already can’t attend travel events in April and May. If the recommendation is passed, coaches could only evaluate prospects in workouts at the high schools and in high school games.
The goal would be to reduce the influence of AAU coaches and others on the travel circuit and return it to high school coaches. It is, in effect, an attempt to clean up some of messiness involved with summer recruiting.
One consequence would be to make it harder for college coaches to see for themselves how recruits stack up against the best competition.
Coaches invest a lot of scholarship money on players. The more times they see guys play, the better they’re able to determine which players are the best fit for their programs. College coaches often don’t have time to make a lot of high school games, and even when they do, the competition is often weaker than what players see over the summer.
However, the daily structure and demands associated with high school ball are closer to what is seen at the college level.
In July, coaches can see a lot of games and a lot of players in a short period of time. It saves time and money.
That’s why the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) is against the proposal.
Coaches prefer seeing players in both a high school and travel setting to get a better feel for how recruits handle both environments.
Recruiting, of course, remains an inexact science. But the more information you have, the better choices coaches –- and players –- can make.
If nothing else, the Cody Zeller recruiting saga is hitting North Carolina’s travel recruiting budget a lot harder than it is Indiana’s.
Tar Heels coach Roy Williams flew a private plane to an airport near Washington Wednesday night so he could attend Zeller’s early Thursday morning workout at the high school, then flew back in time for his own practice that afternoon.
Yes, that means Williams is very, very serious about Zeller.
So is Indiana’s Tom Crean. He and assistant coach Tim Buckley drove to Washington to see Zeller work out early Tuesday morning.
Zeller, of course, will make his official visit to IU next weekend. If he has a great visit, figure the Hoosiers win the prize. If disaster strikes, well, you can figure it out.
Crean, by the way, opened a practice to the media for the first time in his Indiana tenure Thursday afternoon. Everything was off the record, but he did talk to the media afterward.
The gist of his message was the same as it's always been -- IU has to develop a fierce competitiveness and mental toughness to do what needs to be done regardless of the quality of the opponent or the difficulty of the situation.
It remains, Crean said, a work in progress.
Receiver Tandon Doss continues to play like a guy who will one day earn a living in the NFL.
For the second time this season the IU junior has been recognized with one of Paul Hornung’s Most Versatile Performances of the Week honors. This weekly award highlights top performances from the previous week that best display Hornung’s versatility.
That versatility, by the way, requires a long memory. Hornung won the Heisman Trophy in 1956 on a bad Notre Dame team as a do-it-all quarterback. He later became a runner-kicker-receiver on Green Bay’s NFL championship teams.
Anyway, Doss won it after totaling eight catches for 103 yards and a touchdown against Arkansas State. He added 121 kick return yards, plus 17 rushing yards. That gave him 241 all-purpose yards. It’s the fourth time in the last eight games he’s surpassed 200 yards.
Doss, also honored after the Michigan game, leads the nation in all-purpose yards (202.0 yard a game). He has 32 catches for 438 yards and two touchdowns.
He will need to have a huge game if Indiana (4-2) is to win at Illinois (3-3) Saturday and snap a 12-game Big Ten road losing streak.
In an ideal world, Indiana would be totally healthy entering this crucial stretch of Big Ten football games that will determine its postseason future.
This, of course, is not an ideal world, certainly not for the Hoosiers.
Tailback Darius Willis is out for the season with a knee injury. Now we find out offensive lineman Josh Hager also is out for the season with a knee injury. He was hurt early in last Saturday’s Arkansas State victory.
Safety Chris Adkins (ankle) and cornerback Richard Council (knee) are still out with injuries, but are expected to return. Also out but expected to return are offensive lineman James Brewer (ankle), kicker Nick Freeland (hip), safety Lenyatta Kiles (groin) and tailback Nick Turner (concussion).
Kiles was IU’s third safety. Figure redshirt freshman Lawrence Barnett will move into the role Saturday at Illinois.