Saturday, March 12, 2011

IU Basketball -- Crean Gets Good Seat for Harris Vs. Smith-Rivera

Neither Tom Crean nor Tom Izzo was about to let Big Ten tourney losses mess up their recruiting.

Both were at Indianapolis’ Hinkle Fieldhouse Saturday night to check out Hamilton Southeastern’s Gary Harris in action against North Central’s D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera in a regional showdown.

Crean had plenty of time for this given the Hoosiers’ Thursday loss to Penn State in the opening round of the Big Ten tourney. That ended their season. Izzo’s Michigan State squad also lost to Penn State, but that was in Saturday’s Big Ten tourney semifinals. He was able to make the short drive from Conseco Fieldhouse to check out the action.

What did they see?

Harris, despite battling leg cramps, had 21 points against North Central to follow his 22 points in a Saturday morning regional victory over Center Grove. However, that wasn’t enough to overcome Smith-Rivera’s 37 points to lead North Central to the championship.

Both Izzo and Crean are recruiting Harris, who is also a strong football player who might wind up choosing that sport (can you sat Notre Dame). The junior is uncommitted. He’s ranked 24th nationally in the Class of 2012 by Pretty much every major school in the Midwest and beyond has offered him a scholarship. Those include Purdue, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Michigan State isn’t recruiting Smith-Rivera, but IU is. Crean has offered a scholarship. Smith-Rivera also has offers from Purdue, Ohio State, Tennessee and Louisville, among others.

Cody Zeller, IU’s main guy in the Class of 2011, led Washington (22-4) to victories over Evansville Bosse and Corydon Central to advance to next Saturday’s semistate against Batesville (18-6).


Indiana’s Derek Drouin is the man once again in the high jump. He won his third NCAA title by clearing 7foot-7.75 at the national indoor meet in College Station, Texas. He just missed breaking the college record of 7-9.14.

It’s the 140th time a Hoosier has won a national championship. Drouin helped the Hoosier men finish sixth in the team standings.

IU also got a third from Andy Bayer in the 3,000 meters. It’s the second straight year he’s finished third at the nationals. His time of 8:04.70 was .05 out of second and 1.01 seconds away from first. He anchored the distance medley relay to a second-place showing.

Also, Faith Sherrill finished fourth in the shot put at 56-foot-0.5. It was Indiana’s best finish in the event since 1989, when Angie Ryker and Katrin Koch went 1-2.


It pays to coach football. Really, it does. Sure, there’s a measure of job insecurity if your team doesn’t win, and the hours can be brutal, especially during the season. But you can make pretty good money and Indiana, at long last, has joined the big boys.

No, it won’t rival Alabama or Ohio State, those guys are men, but it’s doing much better. Kevin Wilson is making $1.2 million a year to bring winning back to the program. Athletic director Fred Glass gave him $2 million for his staff, basically double what former coach Bill Lynch got.

The highest paid assistant coaches are co-defensive coordinators Doug Mallory and Mike Ekeler. They’ll each make $300,000. That, too, is basically double what last year’s co-defensive coordinators (Brian George and Joe Palcic) made.

Co-offensive coordinator Kevin Johns will make $250,000. Rodney Smith, the other co-offensive coordinator, will make $240,000. Offensive line coach Greg Frey is at $220,000.

That tops the $200,000-plus club. Mark Hagan, the former IU linebacking stud, will make $180,000 to coach the defensive tackles.

Defensive ends coach Brett Diersen will make $160,000 followed by running backs coach Deland McCullough ($150,000) and cornerbacks coach Brandon Shelby ($150,000). Strength coach Mark Hill will make $160,000.

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