Tuesday, May 31, 2011

IU Standout Returns as Basketball Coach; Crean Grades Tough

Whitney Thomas, one of the best basketball players in Indiana history, is ready to make her mark as an assistant coach.

Thomas will join Felisha Legette-Jack’s staff seeking to make as much impact as a coach as she did as a player. She is the only Hoosier to ever surpass 1,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 200 career steals.

“The family atmosphere if very important to the growth of our program and bringing Whitney back as an assistant coach is a tremendous get,” Legette-Jack said in a university release.

Thomas totaled 1,240 points, 1,090 rebunds, 258 assists, 237 steals and 73 blocks. She ranks second in school history in steals and rebounds. Her 32 career double-doubles rank fourth at IU.

“I look forward to helping the program grow into something special,” Thomas said.


If you play basketball for Indiana and Tom Crean, you’d better go to class.

Yeah, you hear that from every coach, but not every coach puts the teeth into it that Crean does. He’s always taken pride in his players’ academic performances and, after the misery the program endured during the end of Mike Davis’ run and the Kelvin Sampson era, the program has finally gotten back on track.

Crean keeps track of his players every academic movement. If they’re late for a class, he knows it that day. If they miss a class, he knows it right away. If they’re struggling, he knows that, too.

If you’re late for a class, the next day you have to come to Assembly Hall at 6:30 in the morning and either run the arena stairs (if you’ve been in the place, you know how much fun that is), or endure a rigorous workout with strength coach Je’Ney Jackson (who probably isn’t happy HE has to be working that early).

If you miss a second class, you have to come in at 5:30 in the morning for another session. If you’re late a third time, the whole team has to come in early.

Yeah, that would cause some major player unhappiness with the offender.

Crean said nobody has ever had a third screwup.


You probably know that the Big Ten recently heard officials from Indianapolis and Chicago make their pitches to host the Big Ten football championship game and the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

League officials are set to make a decision soon.

Right now Indianapolis has all three events. It’s had the basketball tourneys for a number of years (next spring is the final year of the contract). It will host the inaugural football title game in December as the league makes room for Nebraska and divides itself into divisions, the names of which are so silly we can’t bring ourselves to say them.

For football, you could play the game in the fan-friendly comfort of Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium, which was designed to host a Super Bowl and will next February if the NFL ever gets its act together and resolves its labor dispute.

Or you could play on the frozen tundra of Soldier Field, which looks like a poorly designed flying saucer and will never host a Super Bowl. Chicago officials pushed the fact that the average temperature in early December in the city ranges from a high of 41 to a low of 28. But anyone who has endured the weird weather of the last year or so knows that averages no longer apply. Figure an End of Days type blizzard, and we say that with total objectivity.

IU coach Kevin Wilson and Purdue coach Danny Hope are pushing for Lucas Oil Stadium. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald favors Soldier Field.

As far as the basketball tourneys, if you care about the fans, the teams, the convenience and reasonable prices, it’s Indianapolis all the way. It’s not even close.

Here’s the deal, and this is huge in these economically challenged times. Chicago is a gazillion times more expensive than Indianapolis. You have the kind of traffic and construction issues to turn Rush Limbaugh into a liberal Democrat. You have bagels that cost more than a Donald Trump hair weave. In Indianapolis, you can walk to Conseco Fieldhouse, passing great restaurants along the way that won’t tax your credit card limit. In Chicago, nobody walks to the United Center from the nearest hotel. Nobody walks to the United Center from anywhere.

It’s possible one city could host the football game, and the other the basketball tournaments. Big Ten officials also could rotate the sites.

Nobody has asked us, and probably never will. Still, the choice seems as obvious as a Snookie tan: Indianapolis rules.

Worse Than Kelvin Sampson – Ohio State Football Going Down

Ohio State is going down big time.

Coach Jim Tressel is out. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor is under investigation by both the school and the NCAA into receiving cars and extra benefits beyond the tattoos and selling Buckeye memorabilia. And who knows what’s going on with his reported mentor, a Pennsylvania businessman named Ted Sarniak. Pryor likely has played his last game for Ohio State.

Forget all the big names becoming the next Ohio State coach. The program is about to become toxic. If the NCAA has any backbone at all, it will hit the Buckeyes hard. Big names won’t want any part of this mess, which will extend well beyond the one-year interim coach status of Luke Fickell, who might end up being the permanent coach with a successful season.

Tressel lied multiple times to the NCAA, broke NCAA rules and his own Ohio State contract, and tried to cover up his players’ violations.

Players have been alleged to have received extra benefits that include deals for cars and the stench apparently reaches to the Ohio State compliance department.

Talk about lack of institutional control.

A Sports Illustrated article that appeared Monday night said that the practice of trading Ohio State memorabilia for tattoos had gone on at least since 2002 under Tressel and involved at least 28 players. It also detailed possible violations Tressel committed while an Ohio State assistant coach in the 1980s and while the head coach at Youngstown State (star quarterback Ray Isaac accepted improper benefits including cars).

Speaking of cars, the Sporting News reported that a Columbus, Ohio, car salesman sold more than 50 cars to Ohio State athletes and relatives in the last five years because the school’s compliance department directed them to him. A compliance department official denied it to the Columbus Dispatch. The car salesman said he had the phone records to prove it. Then Ohio State officials said the Dispatch screwed it up and then, oops, there were a bunch of phone calls with the salesman.

With all this going on, no wonder Tressel tried to cover it up.

In the end Tressel had to go, but that won’t be enough to avoid sanctions that could rock the Buckeye program worse than what has hit Indiana basketball.

The NCAA will likely look at Ohio State as a multiple offender. Former Buckeyes Maurice Clarett and Troy Smith were suspended by the NCAA for receiving money and other benefits from Boosters.

The death penalty is not in play. After seeing what it did to SMU in the 1987 (shutting down the football program devastated the athletics program and the university), NCAA officials won’t ever go that route again, but they will make a point of showing that no school, even one with the clout of Ohio State, can break the rules.

First thing up –- address the travesty that allowed Pryor and four other teammates to play in last year’s Sugar Bowl even though they’d broken NCAA rules. Ohio State should forfeit that victory over Arkansas.

Next should come a ban on postseason participation. It should be multiple years.

There needs to be scholarship reductions, recruiting restrictions and a cleaning house of the compliance department.

Don’t be surprised if at least athletic director Gene Smith soon joins Tressel in the ranks of the unemployed. In fact, the university will probably impose its own penalties to try to avoid nastier sanctions.

The NCAA will hit Tressel with a show cause penalty that almost certainly will end his college coaching career. Perhaps he moves on to the NFL (Kelvin Sampson became an NBA assistant at Milwaukee after devastating IU’s basketball program). Perhaps he starts a tattoo parlor. Coaching college football is over for a guy who won five national titles (one at Ohio State), and a ton of Big Ten championships and games (he was 106-22 in 10 years with the Buckeyes) in a 37-year career.

Yeah, you’ll read about Urban Meyer and Bo Pelini and others taking over after next season. Ain’t happening. Coaches have seen what Tom Crean has gone through at IU. Big names won’t want any part of that.

Tressel is done and Ohio State is going down big time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Having Faith – IU Track Rocks; Hulls and Oladipo Thrive; Final A-HOPE Thought

Is Faith Sherrill finally ready to rock the national track scene?

Signs point to it.

Yes, her big-time throw of 60-foot-4.5 shot put in Saturday’s NCAA regional meet didn’t count because it came in warm-ups, but it demonstrated better than anything else the Indiana senior’s potential. Of course, so did her previous four Big Ten titles and being a four-time All-American, but this effort, coming just two weeks before the outdoor nationals in Iowa, indicates she’s about to end her national meet frustrations.

And as a senior, it's her last shot.

Sherrill has never won a national title, but has seemingly challenged for years. In last winter’s indoor nationals, she came in seeded first and finished fourth.

Sherrill eventually led all regional competitors on Saturday with a throw of 17.51 meters, which is 57-foot-5.5. That was nearly two feet better than anyone else.

She is one of eight Hoosier track athletes to qualify for the outdoor nationals.

Another is fellow shot putter Monique Riddick. She earned the 12th and final spot with a throw of 16.24 meters (53-foot-3.5).

Sarah Pease, De’Sean Turner, Andrew Poore and Andy Weatherford all made it in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Pease had an automatic qualifying time of 10:09.14. Poore ran an 8:51.32, Weatherford had an 8:46.62 and Turner got in with an 8:39.40. Turner’s time is the third best in IU history.

A pair of pole vaulters made it. Vera Neuenswander led the field by clearing 13-foot-1.5 without a miss. Ahbe also cleared 13-1.5. Ahbe is making her second straight appearance at nationals.


It appears that IU’s Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hulls are making the most of their China experience. Both played on a Reach USA team that is 5-1-1 on its Chinese tour. Reach USA beat a Lithuanian Club team 104-99 with Oladipo totaling 13 points, three assists and three steals, and Hulls adding 12 points, four rebounds and two steals.

In an earlier win over Lithuania, Hulls had 12 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting while Oladipo had six points, four rebounds and three assists. In another game, Oladipo had eight points and eight rebounds, and hit a buzzer-beating game-winning three-pointer.

It looks like both are averaging around 7.8 points on the trip.

Oladipo and Hulls are among the 10 college players involved in this cultural exchange program with Reach USA. The trip ends on Tuesday.


Here’s a final thought about the drama involving A-HOPE, Indiana and recruiting.

Unless something far bigger emerges, IU won’t suffer any consequences and standout forward Hanner Perea will play for the Hoosiers. Yes, A-HOPE official and Indiana Elite coach Mark Adams supplied Perea with benefits such as air fare home to Columbia, but whether that violates NCAA rules, as implied in the ESPN.com story, is unclear.

There’s a big gray area here because A-HOPE is a non-profit organization and, as such, can do things other entities can’t. Adams has insisted he went through IU’s compliance department and the NCAA to make sure rules weren’t broken.

Figure the NCAA will take a deeper look at that, and eventually ban any kind of benefits for any athletes, even from non-profit agencies. That will clear up any confusion.

Until the next problem emerges.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What’s Up With ESPN, A-HOPE, Perea and IU Basketball?

Okay, so you've seen the well-researched ESPN.com report on Indiana, basketball recruiting, the Bloomington based nonprofit organization called African Hoop Opportunities Providing an Education (A-HOPE), super-recruit Hanner Perea, paid-for trips, cell phone and laptop, and have had a Kelvin Sampson flashback.

Oh no!

Suddenly after three years of misery and rebuilding, when everything seems ready to fall into place so the Hoosiers can return to postseason basketball relevance, comes an investigative piece that suggests Perea, the highest rated of IU’s top-rated 2012 recruiting class, received illegal benefits from A-HOPE and his Indiana Elite travel team coach, Mark Adams.

Specifically ESPN reported that those benefits might mean NCAA rules regarding preferential treatment and extra benefits were broken. The key word is "might" because A-HOPE is a non-profit organization and the NCAA is still formulating rules regarding that kind of entity. A-HOPE provides such benefits for all its players.

Could that mean the 6-9 Perea will never play for IU? Are the Hoosiers about to return to NCAA infamy? And what about the connection with Drew Adams, Mark’s son and the Hoosiers’ former director of basketball operations, and the entire connection between the Indiana program, A-HOPE, Indiana Elite and even adidas (which supplies shoes and apparel to IU and Indiana Elite)?

Keep this thought in mind -- Julie Cromer is very good at what she does.

And another one -– Tom Crean is way too smart to jeopardize three years of hard work.

Still, questions have been asked and the NCAA could get involved.

First, Julie Cromer is IU’s senior associate athletics director for compliance. She was hired from the NCAA to make sure IU follows all the rules. Because there are almost as many rules as there are stars in the universe, this is a complex task. Cromer is up to it. So is her beefed up compliance staff.

Anyway, nothing in the ESPN story suggests that Indiana did anything wrong. It does, however, question the hiring of Drew Adams. He recently left to join the New Mexico program and former IU All-America Steve Alford, and the article, written by Mike Fish, suggests that move had a darker reason, that Adams fled because of the questions about his hiring and involvement with Indiana Elite.

That seems extremely unlikely.

The implication was that Crean hired Drew Adams, who had done some coaching with Indiana Elite, to help form a pipeline between Indiana Elite and the Hoosiers. For instance, all five members of IU’s Class of 2012 -- Yogi Ferrell, Ron Patterson, Perea, Peter Jurkin and Jeremy Hollowell -- play for Indiana Elite. Two players in the Class of 2011, Cody Zeller and Austin Etherington, are from Indiana Elite.

Crean also brought in Kory Barnett as a walk-on player. Barnett is the son of Mike Barnett, who is on Indiana Elite's board of directors.

To some, that smacks of conspiracy and that IU pushed the boundary of what’s acceptable in recruiting.

Look, Crean hired Adams for a lot of reasons. Was recruiting one of them? Of course. Recruiting is extremely competitive and you have to be aggressive. Recruiting is about relationships and the better your relationship is with a player, the better your chances. If Drew Adams could help, well, other programs have hired AAU and high school coaches in part because of recruiting. That didn’t break any NCAA rule, although the NCAA has since amended things so that teams, if they hire someone with an AAU affiliation, can’t sign players that person coached for two years.

As far as Indiana Elite funneling players to IU, well, it also has sent players to Purdue, Butler, Kentucky, Ohio State, North Carolina, Duke and Michigan.

Specifically, Marshall and Mason Plumlee went to Duke; Tyler Zeller went to North Carolina; Terone Johnson, Patrick Bade, Lewis Jackson and D.J. Byrd went to Purdue; Deandre Liggins went to Kentucky, Erik Frohm went to Butler, and so on.

Still, Crean's recent hot streak with in-state players has attracted attention. Crean and Mark Adams suggested in the ESPN.com story that rival coaches were the driving forces behind the story. Crean mentioned Purdue and Baylor (which was heavily involved in recruiting Perea) as possible sources. Fish wrote that neither school cooperated with the story.

Mark Adams told the Indy Star’s Kyle Neddenriep that he had a conference call with the NCAA and the IU compliance staff about his relationship with Perea and the A-HOPE Foundation, and that everything Adams does is above board. He said he uses much of his own money to run the foundation and does it for humanitarian reasons. He also said his son’s leaving Indiana had nothing to do with A-HOPE and everything to do with a better opportunity.

The NCAA might disagree. In the end, its rules are open to interpretation, and its interpretation is the final word. If it finds fault, there will be consequences. Perhaps Perea will never play for IU. And if there were other things going on in which the Hoosiers were directly involved, well, do we really need to revisit that topic.

Breaking the rules would be out of character for Crean. He prides himself on doing things the right way and succeeding through hard work, not cheating. His career has been based on that.

Of course, in this cynical age of Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones, it’s hard to be sure of anything, but it’s harder to believe IU, Crean and Cromer would be dumb enough to ruin everything they’ve spent so much time and effort building.

They are not dumb.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

McGary Vs. Jurkin; IU Basketball gets Good Academic News

A reader wanted to know if IU is going after rapidly improving big man Mitch McGary and what’s up with Peter Jurkin in the never-ending Class of 2012 recruiting saga.

First, Tom Crean and company are taking a long look at McGary, who in one year has gone from not worth the time to the nation’s most improved big man. In fact, he might end up being the nation’s BEST big man.

Rivals.com lists McGary as the No. 5 overall player in the Class of 2012. ESPN.com has him at No. 4.

The 6-10, 250-pounder still has some work to do to be the best because three of the players ranked ahead of him are big guys, led by No. 1 Isaiah Austin, a 7-foot forward committed to Baylor.

McGary’s move from Chesterton, Indiana, to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire –- which moved him from the Class of 2011 to the Class of 2012 -- was a good one in a lot of ways. He learned to handle the academic load and to overcome attention deficit disorder. He got bigger and stronger while maintaining his ability to run the floor. He’s become a big-time prospect.

McGary showed during the adidas May Classic in Bloomington that he is still prone to the occasional poor on-court decision, but that’s true of a lot of players. Coaching can correct that if the player has a good attitude and work ethic, and a strong desire to improve.

That seems to describe McGary.

As you might imagine, a LOT of schools are after him. Those include Arizona, Kansas, Texas, Marquette and Cincinnati.

As far as Jurkin, well, he’s been sidelined with a leg injury this spring. He isn’t ranked by any of the major recruiting sites. We’ve never seen him, so we don’t know if he’s closer to the project status of Tijan Jobe or the future star potential of a D.J. White.

IU needs a physically imposing inside presence to take the load off Cody Zeller. Is Jurkin that guy?

In just over a year, we’ll start finding out.


Okay, it’s not quite as big as winning a national championship, but the fact IU’s men’s basketball program scored a perfect 1,000 in the NCAA Academic Progress Rate for the 2009-10 academic is another sign Crean has the program going in the right direction.

That gave the Hoosiers a 929 four-year average. Anything above a 925 and you have no worries. Below a 925, as the Hoosiers had been the previous few years thanks to ex-coach Kelvin Sampson’s cast of misfits and Mike Davis’ final-year struggles, and you run the risk of losing scholarships.

In fact, IU took a self-imposed penality of two reduced scholarships after recording an abysmal 866 score for the 2007-08 year. That was one of five straight years of averages below 925.

Under Crean, the Hoosiers recorded a 975 and 1,000 in his first two years.

What do those numbers mean? Basically, they record whether players are on pace to graduate and how well schools retain players. Guys transferring or leaving early for the NBA affect the numbers, but if they leave in good academic standing, it doesn’t hurt as much. That’s why Eric Gordon continued to do the job in the classroom even after announcing he was leaving IU after just one year to enter the NBA Draft.

Figure the Hoosiers will continue to thrive in the classroom. That’s been Crean’s M.O. since he became a head coach and that’s not going to change. Unlike Sampson, he’ll bring in only guys who are willing and able to meet their academic, athletic and social responsibilities as representatives of the university.

It also means every IU sport is above the 925 mark.

Remembering Dave Schnell; DeChellis Surprises; D.J. White Camp

Dave Schnell was one of the good guys, a great college quarterback, a fierce competitor, a man who didn’t flinch when asked to beat the odds.

He led the Indiana Hoosiers to a football victory at Ohio State in 1987, and to understand how significant that is, you have to realize it remains IU’s only win there since 1951.

He helped IU beat Michigan that same season (the only time it’s ever beaten the traditional powers in the same year) and to consecutive victories over Ohio State (that hasn’t been done since).

Schnell could beat just about anything except the one thing that remains a chillingly formidable foe –- cancer.

On Sunday, after a four-year battle that saw him go from 220 pounds to around 100, Schnell died at age 44 in Elkhart.

Quarterbacks are judged mainly by victories and in that, Schnell thrived. He started his last three years and IU was 21-13-1 in that stretch.

Schnell is all over the IU passing records lists. He threw for as many as 378 yards (in a 34-10 win over South Carolina in the 1978 Liberty Bowl), which ranks fifth in school history. His 5,470 career passing yards rank fifth and his 27 career TD passes are sixth. His 56.2 career percentage is fourth.

His passing numbers likely would have been better if not for superstar tailback Anthony Thompson. He rushed for 5,299 yards and 67 touchdowns in that same era.

Schnell’s success wasn’t a surprise. Sports Illustrated named him the nation’s top high school player in 1985 after leading Elkhart Central to an 18-2 record his last two years. He went with IU and coach Bill Mallory even though the Hoosiers were just 4-18 in the previous two seasons.

He signed as a free agent with the Buffalo Bills in 1990. Quarterback Jim Kelly was there and soon Schnell wasn’t. He returned to Elkhart and got into the insurance business, where he lived and worked until he died.

He will be missed.


Ed DeChellis got emotional with his surprise decision to leave Penn State and take a pay cut to coach at Navy.

In truth, it was smart. Yes, he’s taking over a struggling program that was 11-20 last season. Sure, he’ll be going from the high-profile Big Ten to the low-profile Patriot League.

And recruiting will be a lot tougher given Navy’s height restrictions. David Robinson was an exception, but he was 6-6 when he arrived at Navy, then grew to 6-11. He thrived in college and in the NBA.

Still, DeChellis had taken the Nittany Lions about as far as he was going to. Last season they won 19 games and reached the NCAA tourney. In 2009, they won the NIT.

However, career scoring leader Talor Battle graduated, as did key contributors Jeff Brooks, David Jackson and Andrew Jones. Talented but troubled freshman guard Taran Buie left the program.

DeChellis was about to face a major rebuilding challenge and do it with indifferent fan support. While his contract was good until 2014, he only had a 114-138 record at Penn State and just 41-95 in the Big Ten. And with an annual salary of $642,000, he was the Big Ten’s lowest-paid coach.

A bad year might have left him in the ranks of the unemployed, regardless of what his contract said.

At Navy the pressure is less. Instead of dealing with the Ohio States, Michigan States and the rest of the Big Ten, DeChellis will get Bucknell, American, Holy Cross and Army.

DeChellis likely will have better job security, and more chance of success, with Navy.

Athletic director Tim Curley released a statement that said Penn State will “quickly begin a national search” and that it would be “comprehensive” and “focused on finding the best candidate to lead Penn State basketball into the future.”


Former Hoosier D.J. White will be back in Bloomington next fall for his annual youth basketball camp. White, who played with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Charlotte Bobcats this season, will personally help direct camp activities. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 6 to 14.

The camp, which is set for Sept. 17 at the Twin Lakes Recreation Center, will emphasize fundamental skills and team concepts.

For more information, call 513-793-2267 or check out www.DJWhiteCamp.com.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

On Mascots, A Football Commitment, And Capobianco Part II

You’ve probably seen the buzz about whether it’s time for Indiana to have a mascot.

Indianapolis businessman Jim Gearries told the Indy Star’s Terry Hutchens that he’s pushing for a contest to determine one. He envisions a mascot wearing blue jeans and suspenders, carrying a peach basket with a basketball and a corncob pipe who would be called Hurryin’ Hoosier Harry.

IU has tried a mascot before, with a bison in the late 1960s (a bison is part of the state seal) and with a country dude called Hoosier Pride in the late 1970s. Neither lasted.

IU did have an unofficial mascot in the 1990s thanks to businessman and Hoosier fan Tom Spiece. He came up with “Hoosier Man.” He spent thousands of his own dollars on an inflatable, motorized mascot costume. He spent more money on lessons in how to use it and perform in it.

Why? Because of his strong affection for the university and his belief that IU needed a mascot. Sometimes he performed in it. Sometimes he got Hoosier students to do it.

IU officials were not amused or appreciative, although for a while they did tolerate it. Football coaches Bill Mallory and Cam Cameron liked it. Spiece even went the diversity route by buying an African American Hoosier Man. He bought two motorized scooters so the Hoosier Men could zip around the Memorial Stadium parking lots during home football games.

Athletic director Clarence Doninger wasn’t a huge Hoosier Man fan, but he didn’t object to it. His successor, Michael McNeely, couldn’t stand it. He was clear and to the point -– Hoosier Man had to go. Spiece gave up the Hoosier Men in exchange for Varsity Club points. IU officials took them and put them in storage, sort of like what happened to the Arc of the Covenant at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie.

Eventually Spiece got the Hoosier Men back.

Spiece, by the way, was the same guy who once brought a life-sized dummy of Bob Knight to IU basketball games. Later, he bought a talking Bob Knight dummy (it featured G-rated sound bites). He bought two seats near the court –- one for him and one for the dummy. It was a hit. Referees talked to the dummy during timeouts. During a nationally televised game, an announcer came over and did a mock interview.

Those were the days that the Hoosiers were winning championships. You’d like to think those days will soon return.


It looks like football coach Kevin Wilson has his first commitment for the Class of 2012. Matt Weaver of Peegs.com has reported that cornerback Dion Witty from Florida wants to be a Hoosier. He picked IU over Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Central Florida, Michigan, Nebrask and Iowa State. That’s some pretty solid competition.

Witty, who is listed at 5-11 and 175 pounds, has played mainly safety in high school but has the speed and athleticism to handle cornerback.


The blog on Bobby Capobianco leaving IU generated plenty of comments. Not everybody agreed with me, which is as it should be.

Still, here’s the bottom line –- if the Hoosiers are to become a perennial championship program, the talent level has to improve and coach Tom Crean has to maximize it.

Was Capobianco the kind of player to help get IU where it wants to go? No. Could he thrive at a mid-major school? Absolutely, but he has a lot of work to do. He’ll have a redshirt year. He has to make the most of it and it starts, but certainly doesn’t end, by not fouling.

The Hoosiers, meanwhile, need difference-making big men. Cody Zeller appears to be one, but as a freshman, he’ll have growing pains. In a year or two, look out. Senior Tom Pritchard, in particular, needs to step up.

In the meantime, IU is still recruiting power forward Mitch McGary, one of the nation's best big men in the Class of 2012.

We’re about to start Crean’s fourth year and there’s no reason why, barring some major injuries, the Hoosiers can’t make a postseason tourney next season. There’s enough talent and experience to have a winning record.

Friday, May 20, 2011

No Surprise -- Capobianco Is Leaving IU; Will Others Follow?

So now there’s scholarship room. That is significant if you’re an Indiana basketball fan. Sophomore forward Bobby Capobianco is leaving, which frees up a scholarship for next season.

If the Hoosiers can land an impact big guy, they should take him. Just, please, no more guards.


Capobianco’s departure is shocking only if you’ve been too wrapped up in the Arnold mess and the Rapture is Coming drama. Coach Tom Crean keeps signing and offering scholarships and the numbers only add up if veterans leave.

Capobianco was an obvious first choice.

He seemed to be a good guy. He definitely was a great quote when he was available to talk, which wasn’t often, mostly because he rarely played or made an impact when he did. Still, he was a strong student who earned All-Big Ten academic honors. He’s set to take IU summer classes into June.

Let’s face it. Capobianco had as much chance to play next season as Mike Tyson has of winning the heavyweight title again. The guy was the Mark Spitz of fouling, the Mozart of fouling. He had 44 in 165 minutes last season. To give you perspective, if he played 40 minutes a game, he’d total 11.7 fouls. That means he’d foul out more than twice a game if referees would have given him the chance.

Mercifully, that never happened.

Even if Crean wanted to play Capobianco, if he spent every waking hour devising reasons for Capobianco to play, it wouldn’t happen because of all the fouling.

When Capobianco did play and didn’t foul, he wasn’t productive. He struggled to score, rebound and defend. That’s the kind of triple crown you don’t need when you’re trying to rebuild a championship program.

After the season Capobianco insisted he had no intention of transferring. He referred to his teammates as “brothers.” He said this was a family and he was there “to battle” and would do it again next season.

Then he changed his mind.

A cynic could say Crean ran him off, but that’s harsh and almost certainly wrong. Crean probably explained the facts of life to him. Capobianco had career averages of 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds. He averaged just 6.3 minutes a game last year and didn’t play at all in six games. He had played twice as much as a freshman.

IU returned all its big guys (Tom Pritchard, Derek Elston and Christian Watford), plus is bringing in heralded freshman Cody Zeller. Plus, Crean often plays with three-guard lineups, and has been known to even use four guards.

There was no place for Capobianco.

“Bobby has decided to go for a fresh start and transfer to a school where he can have three years to play two,” Crean said in a university release. “He has indicated he would like the opportunity to find a program where he can get more playing time.

“We will help him accomplish this move any way we can. We all want to see Bobby be successful. My hope is he finds a school like Indiana, one that puts a prominent emphasis on academics as it does in basketball. He’s done an excellent job in the classroom. He will be an asset to whatever program he chooses. We wish him the best as he moves to this next stage in life.”

That stage would be better at a mid-major school. Capobianco is from Ohio, so maybe a Kent State or Akron or Cleveland State or Miami of Ohio.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Indiana, but I want to look for an opportunity to further my basketball and academic career at another institution,” Capobianco said in the release. “I value the experience that I have had here and appreciate everything the coaches and basketball staff have done for me. I am looking forward to this new chapter, and will always have very strong feelings for my teammates, coaches and everyone associated with IU.”

Given the numbers, don’t be surprised if another player or two eventually departs. You never stop recruiting or stop trying to improve the talent. If that seems unfair, well, unfair is what Kelvin Sampson did to the program, not so much for the phone calls he made, but for some of the players he brought in.

But that’s a blog for another day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hoosier Rapture -- Class of 2012 Is Nation's Best

Isn’t nice to know, as the world is set to end –- okay, sort of end with the coming of the Rapture according to some California fringe group that has already gotten it wrong once -- that Indiana basketball will go out with the No. 1 recruiting group for the Class of 2012.

Yes, it’s still early, and might forever stay early in the End of Days arrives, but the group of Hanner Perea, Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin tops Rivals.com’s list.

Coach Tom Crean mined the rich mother lode of in-state talent to land a group that covers every position. Assuming veterans such as Cody Zeller, Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls and Maurice Creek are still around, and there is a strong likelihood they will be, it should be a whole lotta fun to bleed Cream ‘n Crimson in the near future.

Sure, there will be pressure, but there’s pressure in everything. The key for this group is to display the maturity, toughness and resolve necessary to handle adversity when it comes.

For a variety of reasons, they haven’t shown that during the travel team season so far, but it will come. Figure Crean will see to that.

Villanova comes in at No. 2 nationally with a three-man class all ranked in the top 62 and led by stud center Daniel Ochefu.

Michigan State is third with another three-man class that features Matt Costello, Kenny Kaminski and Denzel Valentine. All are rated in Rivals’ top 85.

Two other Big Ten schools are in the top 10 with Michigan at No. 8 and Purdue at No. 9. The Wolverines have a pair of impressive commits in Glenn Robinson III (yes, he’s the son of the former Purdue standout) and Nick Stauskas. The Boilers have four commits, three in the top 120 nationally.

That’s an impressive Big Ten showing, but the real measure will come a couple of years from now, when today’s potential becomes tomorrow’s reality.

Assuming there is a tomorrow.


So who do you think is the better player among IU’s Class of 2013 commitments –- Collin Hartman or Devin Davis?

Rivals.com takes the guessing out of it by ranking both among its top 100 Class of 2013 players. Davis is at No. 55. Hartman is at No. 82.

Neither, by the way, was ranked by Scout.com, another national Internet recruiting service.

IU is also recruiting such 2013 studs as BeeJay Anya (ranked No. 16), V.J. Beachem (No. 42), Josh Newkirk (No. 54), Bo Ziegler (No. 60), Mark Williams (No. 67), Demetrius Jackson (No. 71), Jalen James (No. 78) and Zak Irvin (No. 97).

Crean obviously doesn’t have that many scholarships to give. Some how it will all work out because IU has to keep stocking up its talent pool to regain its championship-winning ways.


Good news if you’re an Indiana football fan and can’t make the Hoosiers’ first home game next season, which also will be new coach Kevin Wilson’s Memorial Stadium debut. The Big Ten Network is set to televise the Sept. 10 game against Virginia.

In case you’ve forgotten, Virginia hammered IU 47-7 two years ago in Virginia. But that was a different team directed by different coaches. We’ll see if the new guys and their new approach can produce new and improved results.

It’s Official – Abell Is A Basketball Hoosier; Blubaugh Remembered

How good can newly signed Remy Abell be?

Well, coach Tom Crean compared him to Jerel McNeal after announcing Abell was finally, officially a Hoosier.

That leads to the obvious question –- who’s Jerel McNeal?

The answer -– he’s Marquette’s all-time leading scorer with 1,985 points. He played for Crean.

“I think the most impressive thing about him is his ability to make everyone around him better and he does not have to have the ball in his hands to be effective,” Crean said in a university release. “In a lot of ways he reminds me a lot of Jerel McNeal, who we had at Marquette.”

Does that mean we can expect Abell to break Calbert Cheaney’s IU and Big Ten career scoring record of just over 2,600 points? Well, that would be nice, but no, that ain’t happening, but it does suggest he has potential.

Abell averaged 16 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.5 steals for Louisville Eastern High School team that went 33-3 and reached the Kentucky state semifinals last season. He’s an all-state player and member of Kentucky’s All-Star team that will play Indiana next month.

Abell originally signed with Bradley before being granted a release after a coaching change there.

“He’s a year-round winner who will bring a great deal of versatility to our program,” Crean said. “He’s a big guard who will have an immediate impact defensively with his ability to guard three positions. He can get to the rim on offense, knock down open shots and will really add to our transition game.”

Also, cross Jamari Traylor off the list of possible big men joining IU’s Class of 2011. The 6-7 forward who averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks from IMG Academy in Florida just signed with Kansas. He was the highest rated of the inside players IU was reportedly looking at.

That means it’s looking more and more likely that IU’s inside load this coming season will be handled by incoming freshman Cody Zeller, senior Tom Pritchard and juniors Derek Elston and Bobby Capobianco, with junior Christian Watford having a swing role.

Will that be enough? Perhaps, if Pritchard can stay out of foul trouble and Elston and Capobianco can toughen up. That’s why this off-season is so crucial. They really, really have to put in the time to get better.


How tough was Doug Blubaugh?

Consider how this 1960 Olympic wrestling gold medalist and former IU wrestling coach (1972-84) faced his final few minutes. According to a story by Dustin Dopirak of the Bloomington Herald-Times, the 76-year-old Blubaugh was riding a motorscooter in Tonkawa, Okla., when he was hit in the intersection by a pickup truck. Blubaugh got up and began walking home. Finally, he called 911. He died on the way to the hospital of a ruptured spleen.

Blubaugh’s son, Dale, told the Herald-Times that his father ran a marathon distance every other day, and the other days he would walk the length of a football field on his hands.

Blubaugh’s gold medal run included one of the most memorable upsets in Olympic history when he beat previously undefeated Eman Ali-Habibi of Iran, the defending Olympic champ and a five-time world champion. He also won the 1957 national title for Oklahoma State.

At IU he compiled a 102-144-8 record and produced two All-Americans.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hulls, Oladipo Outta Here – For China; McGary On The Ranking Rise

It’s official -- Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hulls are leaving Indiana. In fact, coach Tom Crean wants them to go. In fact, by the time you read this, they’re already gone.

Oh no!

Wait. It’s not what you think. Maybe all those rumors about transfering Hoosier basketball players will turn out to be true (maybe), but not for Oladipo and Hulls. They’re leaving to participate in a Far East trip (as in China) with Reach USA. It’s a cultural exchange deal and they’ll play against a club team from Lithuania (seven times) and an all-star squad from Brazil (twice).

The team will be coached by Gary Forrest, the retired coach at Oldham County (Kentucky) High School.

Players left today and are set to return May 31.

It's a great opportunity for Hulls and Oladipo to see the world, improve their games and broaden their perspective.

Hulls averaged 11.0 points and 2.9 assists last season as a sophomore guard. Oladipo averaged 7.4 points and 3.7 rebounds as a freshman guard.

“It’s a great honor to represent Indiana University in something like this,” Hulls said in a university release. “I’m looking forward to the experience.”

Added Oladipo: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m very humbled and honored to have the chance to play basketball and experience a trip like this at the same time.”

Also on the team are Kentucky’s Eloy Vargas, Georgia’s Marcus Thornton, Minnesota’s Austin Hollins, Texas Christian’s Garlon Green, Nevada’s Malik Story (a former IU player) and Devonte Elliott, and Southern Illinois’ Justin Bocot.


By now you know that Mitch McGary, the center formerly from Chesterton who has thrived academically and athletically in prep school, has developed into a powerhouse national prospect.

He was very impressive in last weekend's adidas May Classic in Bloomington.

That development was noted in Rivals.com’s new top 150 list for the Class of 2012. The 6-10, 250-pounder now ranks No. 5 nationally. In Rivals’ previous list, he was No. 92. That makes him the top rising prospect in the country.

Academics scared off a lot of schools early in his high school career. But he’s turned things around at Brewster Academy in Maine, and a lot of schools, including Indiana, are taking a long look at him. Florida and Texas are among the heavyweights in pursuit.

Guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, formerly of Indianapolis North Central and now attending Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, is ranked No. 21 nationally.


When it comes to high school basketball against team travel basketball, it’s no contest:

Travel ball wins.

At least, that’s what many of the players think.

Yes, the two don’t compete against each other. Travel ball is for the spring and summer. High school ball is basically a winter activity.

With high school ball, you compete for your school and community. You often play in front of bigger crowds. You get postseason opportunities that, if you’re lucky enough to win it all, as Cody Zeller did for most of his Washington High School career, guarantee a measure of lasting fame.

Travel ball doesn’t have anything close to that. Crowds are usually small and the games are many and just hours apart. Even national championships don’t draw the acclaim of prep state titles. But that’s not the point. Travel ball offers the strongest competition, high-profile sites, higher-profile college coaches and scholarship opportunities.

Oh, yes. One other thing.

“I like AAU ball over high school,” Yogi Ferrell said. He’s Indiana’s point guard of the future from the Class of 2012. “It’s more free. Everyone comes together and you play against different guys, like All Star teams. It’s a lot better competition.”

Ferrell plays for Indianapolis Park Tudor and wins a lot, including the state Class 2A title last March. He also plays for Indiana Elite Team Indiana and victories have not matched expectations this spring. No matter.

Travel ball wins.

“It’s more fun,” Ferrell said.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

IU’s Class of 2012, Gary Harris, Rocky, Sunshine and Rainbows

Yes, Indiana Elite Team Indiana is now 0-for-5 in spring travel tournaments. Yes, the team that features future Hoosiers Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea, Jeremy Hollowell, Peter Jurkin and Ron Patterson has not satisfied those who want championship results.

After blowing out opponents on Saturday as part of the adidas May Classic, they got handled by Baylor LNO by 14 points Sunday morning to end their title run.

Does that mean they are over-rated or their coach, Mark Adams, can’t do the job?

Absolutely not.

The talent is good and will be better by the time it reaches college. Adams is a veteran coach who knows what he’s doing, but doesn’t have enough weapons to work with.

And that has been a problem.

A lot of these travel events become exercises in attrition. Teams might play as many as seven games in two days. You need a LOT of good players to get through that. You also need plenty of depth and guys staying healthy, which becomes difficult when you play so often against so many talented teams and players.

Jurkin hasn’t played this spring because of a shin stress fracture. Hollowell missed three weeks because of wrist and knee injuries. Patterson missed Saturday’s games because of the prom, although he played Sunday morning.

After the loss, Patterson took off his jersey and quickly left, later tweeting that he needs to find a new AAU team. That suggests a troubling lack of maturity that needs to be dealt with before he reaches college.

In the big picture, it’s all about developing these guys. That means skill and mental toughness. It means learning how to deal with adversity because they’re sure as heck going to face that, in sports and in life. Losing sucks, but sometimes it’s a blessing if you learn from it. That means persistence and determination and resolve.

A decade from now, few will remember how many travel tournaments these guys won. They will remember high school championships (even though most of these guys iinsist they like travel ball more than high school play) and, from an IU perspective, college achievements.

You can learn from everything, good and bad. The special ones do. If these guys are really special, this will toughen them. If not, well, there’s a Sylvester Stallone speech in the last Rocky movie, called “Rocky Balboa,” that really resonates. Yeah, it’s a bit overly dramatic and over the top, maybe Rocky isn’t where you go to find life perspective (isn’t that what Godfather I and II are for?), but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t ring true.

Okay, we admit it. We have tried this line with our 17-year-old son, with limited success because, in his mind, parents don’t know squat.

Anyway, Rocky is talking to his struggling son, who also thinks his dad doesn’t know squat. Rocky offers some passionate advice. He says life isn’t all “sunshine and rainbows.” He says that it’s “mean and nasty, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.”

It includes this line, “It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; it’s about how much you can take and keep moving forward.”

There’s plenty of opportunity for the Class of 2012 to move forward. Let’s hope they make the most of it.


With or without Rocky, the 16U Eric Gordon All-Stars won an adidas May Classic title behind Collin Hartman, who had 19 points in Sunday’s title game. Yes, that’s the Indianapolis Cathedral sophomore who has committed to IU. Another Hoosier commitment from the Class of 2013, Devin Davis of Warren Central, added nine points while battling with a tweaked back.

The title didn’t come easy. They lost one pool game and had to rally from a 12-point deficit in another. Hartman said the key was picking up the intensity.

They obviously did.


For those seeking insight into the college plans of Gary Harris, you’ll likely have to wait until November. The 6-4 guard, who is ranked No. 14 nationally by Scout.com, scored big in a couple of adidas May Classic losses (22 points in one game, 35 in another), but that wasn’t enough to get his D3 Pride team into Sunday’s action.

He isn’t ready to narrow down his list of schools -- which basically means that every quality program in America still has a chance -- or provide a decision timeline. He’s got June summer camp trips with his Hamilton Southeastern teammates, and then the July AAU circuit

The buzz is that Michigan State is the favorite, Indiana is in great position and Purdue is moving up fast, but that’s as etched in stone as an IU-basketball-player-is-transferring rumor. Ohio State, Kentucky, Xavier and Louisville also are in the mix. That doesn’t include the tantalizing possibility (although it’s become remote) that he would choose football and go to Notre Dame. He does play football for Hamilton Southeastern and is, to no one’s surprise, very, very good.

Hey, at least we’ll have plenty to talk and speculate about for the next six months.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Can You Handle the Travel Basketball Truth?

Brian Keeton isn’t a pull-punches travel basketball coach. The man who runs the Eric Gordon All-Stars 15s tells it like it is.

He has a strong team, but when it got off to a slow start in the adidas May Classic, barely holding off Indiana Elite Hoopmatics at Assembly Hall, Keeton spoke from the heart.

For instance, there’s talented Jaquan Lyle, an Evansville Bosse freshman standout who has a scholarship offer from Indiana along with ones from Purdue, Xavier and Illinois (Ohio State could be next). He’s a passionate guy and passionate guys sometimes struggle with focus and discipline and, yes, making it to games on times.

He was late to the Hoopmatics game, which didn’t help his team or his coach’s mood.

“He got here late which threw us off at the start of the game,” Keeton said.

“His big thing is at times he gets lazy on defense. He’s a special kid. A major talent. He can do it. I’ve seen him do it. He’s done in in major games for us.”

Lyle basically averaged 15.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists for Bosse this past season. He brings that kind of production to the Eric Gordon team, but Keeton wants more.

“I also think he has to be a complete teammate. He has to support guys more. He’s the most skillful player I’ve had the pleasure of coaches and if he continues to work, the sky is the limit for him. I love him, but he has to work on getting here on time.”

One intriguing prospect on the Eric Gordon All-Stars is Eron Gordon. Yes, he’s the younger brother of the former IU standout. He’s only a seventh grader, so he’s playing two years up, and it shows. Still, the potential is there.

“He’s a young guy,” Keeton said, “but he’s great. He’s all smiles. Everything you tell him or yell at him, he smiles at you.”

Eric Gordon was a prolific scorer in high school and college, and remains that way with the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. Eron has that same attribute.

“I know at the 7th grade level they tell him to get the ball and score,” Keeton said. “We’re telling him to try to run some kind of an offense and look for your teammates.

“It’s been an adjustment for him. I can imagine him against kids his own age. He’s very impressive. He’s very coachable. He understands he still has to work.

“This is the best thing for him. He’s dominating the competition where he’s at. He needs to play up. This is a great opportunity for him. He’s a contributor for us. He played in Fort Wayne (last week) and had a game where he had 7 to 8 points, didn’t turn it over and defended their point guard.”

Does that sound like someone IU could use in about six years?

You’d better believe it.


You already know this, but Yogi Ferrell is really good. Yes, the point guard out of Indianapolis Park Tudor and Indiana Elite/Team Indiana needs to gain weight and get stronger, so it's a good thing he has a year to do both before arriving in college. But he has the skills you need in a point guard. You could argue that he is the most important player in what looms as one of the nation's best recruiting classes for 2012.

We'll have more on that topic in a future blog.


You bet V.J. Beachem didn’t miss the championship banners hanging in Assembly Hall. The Fort Wayne Harding standout had gotten the opportunity to play –- as a member of the Eric Gordon All-Stars 16 -- on one of the most famous basketball courts in America, and appreciated every moment.

The Hoosiers are on his favorite’s list and just because he has yet to get a scholarship offer doesn’t mean he doesn’t appreciate what IU has to offer.

“It’s a great school with a great tradition,” he said. “Those banners up there are what make this place go. It’s a great program with very classy guys.”

Beachem, a member of the Class of 2013, averaged 17.8 points this past season for Harding, which will close after this school year. He’s heading to nearby New Haven High school.

As far as where he’ll end up in college, the picture is less clear.

He’s only had one offer, and that’s from Purdue. He’s also looking at IU, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Xavier, Notre Dame and Cincinnati.

What is he looking for in a school?

“I want a place where my parents can see me a lot, maybe not every game, but a lot of them. I want a great coaching staff and a great school academic-wise. And a place I can play soon.”

The 6-7 Beachem has a 6-11 wingspan, which is good, but needs to add plenty of weight (he weighs just 185 pounds) and strength to be major-college ready.

“That’s the main thing I’m working on,” he said. “I also have to sit down better on defense and attack the glass more.”

If he makes the necessary improvement in those areas, look out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

IU Basketball Future Boost – May Classic Showcases Prep Prospects

So there was Drake Harris lighting up Indiana Elite 1 in Friday night’s opening round of the adidas May Classic. As it turned out, his Meanstreets team (out of Grand Rapids, Michigan) needed all of his 23 points in a 63-60 victory at Assembly Hall.

Drake is a highly regarded 6-3 point guard in the Class of 2014. IU already has offered a scholarship which, according to our estimates, is the 212th offer coach Tom Crean has made.

Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but Crean has offered a lot of players at early ages in a bid to land the best-possible talent. He’s not the only college coach doing this, of course, but he’s been one of the most successful at it. His Class of 2012, which is set to play today in the May Classic for Indiana Elite Team Indiana, will rank among the nation’s best.

It will include, in case you've forgotten, Yogi Ferell, Ron Patterson, Hanner Perea, Jeremy Hollowell and Peter Jurkin.

Anyway, Harris hasn’t committed to the Hoosiers and isn’t likely to do so in the near future with Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Ohio State in the picture.

If you like inside size, and if you’ve watched the Hoosiers the last few years you know they can’t get enough of them, you’ll like Tyler Wideman. He’s a 6-7, 240-pound bigman also with the Meanstreets team. He had 13 inside points in Friday night’s victory.

Purdue likes him enough to have offered him this past week. It’s his first offer. IU is pushing him hard to make an unofficial visit, so we’ll see what happens.

A rising guard out of Mishawaka Marion in the Class of 2013 is 6-foot point guard Demetrius Jackson. He totaled 17 points in MBA 2013’s 69-57 loss to Indiana Elite Stars, and played like the best guy on the Assembly Hall court.

Crean wants him to make an unofficial visit and Jackson just added IU to his long list. It also includes Purdue, Notre Dame, Louisiana State, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Butler and Xavier also are looking at him. No one has offered a scholarship. That seems likely to change –- fast.

So what do you know about Perry Poindexter? Well, we know he was a standout in his Eric Gordon All-Star team’s 58-56 win over Indiana Elite Hoopmatics. He’s listed at 6-6 and 190 pounds, and plays high school ball for Indianapolis North Central. Indiana, Purdue and Xavier are recruiting him.

He has potential, and if he gets stronger and gains weight, look out.

Here are a few other observations from Friday night from watching the action at Assembly Hall and, to a lesser extent, Cook Hall.

Jaquan Lyle was late and, yes, his coach, Brian Keeton, noticed. So did Eric Gordon, the team sponsor and Assembly Hall visitor, fresh off his third season with the L.A. Clippers (he averaged 24.5 points a game). Gordon was an All-America in his one year at IU before becoming a NBA lottery pick. Gordon was there to watch younger brother Eron, a member of the Class of 2016 playing up a couple of years.

Mitch McGary was late, too, but he had a better excuse than Lyle, who drove up from Evansville. McGary flew in from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. The 6-10 power forward quickly showed the dominant game that has made him a prime-time recruit drawing major interest from Indiana, Kansas, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Maryland North Carolina and Duke.

We’ll have more thoughts in future blogs.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Adidas May Classic Set To Put On Classic Show … Plus Agatha Christie

Okay, you live in central Indiana and you want a good look at the Hoosiers’ Class of 2012, as well as a bunch of other Hoosier basketball commitments and overall studily prospects.

Then this weekend’s Adidas May Classic is for you. It’s the annual AAU event that thrives by showcasing future college standouts.

At Assembly Hall and Cook Hall you’ll get to see Yogi Ferrell, Ron Patterson, Jeremy Hollowell, Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin (assuming Hollowell and Jurkin are healthy) leading the 17-and-under Indiana Elite-Team Indiana juggernaut. All five are part of IU’s Class of 2012 that, at least on paper, suggests championship-producing potential. They open Saturday morning at 11:45 at Assembly Hall.

In the 2013 Class you have IU commitments Devin Harris and Collin Hartman playing for the 16-and-under Eric Gordon All Stars. They open Saturday morning at 9:15 at, you guessed it, Assembly Hall. They also play Saturday morning at 11:45 at Cook Hall (the men’s practice court). And if you’re fast on your feet, you can see Class of 2014 commitments James Blackmon Jr. and Trey Lyles at 11:45 Saturday morning at the women’s practice court at Cook Hall. They play for the 16-and-under Spiece Indy Heat team.

All these guys are set to play two games on Saturday, so there’s plenty of opportunity to see what future Hoosier teams will look like.

That’s a very good thing.


So Indiana’s basketball recruiting intrigue twists and turns, like an Agatha Christie plot. That leads to the obvious question for those born in the tweet-and-text age:

Who’s Agatha Chistie and what does she have to do with Hoosier recruiting?

First, Agatha is a famous dead British mystery writer who loved twists and surprise endings in her books. That describes the outside appearance of Hoosier recruiting, where what we think might clash with what coach Tom Crean knows, and since he ain’t saying (NCAA rules prevent it) all we have are signs.

Here’s where we’re at. IU could really use another inside player and, just a few days ago, the Hoosiers seemed to be in good position for four big guys even though they don’t have a scholarship available.

See what we mean about twists and turns.

Anyway, 6-9 forward Yemi Makanjuola has committed to Tennessee. Two days earlier, 6-9 forward Ibrahima Djimde committed to Illinois.

That means, if the reports are true, the Hoosiers are down to two inside prospects: 6-8 Percy Gibson and 6-7 Jamari Traylor. Neither is the second coming of Alan Henderson. They’re also not the second coming of Tijan Jobe.

Traylor is the higher rated of the two, but that doesn’t always mean much. What IU needs is somebody who can rebound, play decent defense and score garbage buckets. Okay, what it really needs is Wilt Chamberlain in his prime, but let’s be realistic.

The Hoosiers are in good inside shape with 6-11 freshman forward Cody Zeller, but they need at least one other guy. In an ideal world, veteran Tom Pritchard is that guy, and if he ever learns to stop fouling, he might be enough. But one more big man, even if he’s a hack machine, would at least mean five extra fouls to play with.

Returning veterans Derek Elston and Bobby Capobianco are not the inside answers, although a rigorouos off-season could close the gap.


All this needs to be resolved by the end of the month, and probably sooner. As for what’s going to happen, well, stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hoosiers Hope To Prove Prognasticator Wrong

If you believe Adam Rittenberg of ESPN, it’s going to be another long football season for Indiana.

Rittenberg, who has a good grasp of the Big Ten, recently gave his assessment of how the conference will shape up this fall, and the news wasn’t good for the Hoosiers. He picked them to finish last, just behind Purdue and Minnesota. He had Ohio State, despite the loss of seven starters and the suspension of five key players for the first five games, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor and tailback Dan Herron, to finish first. Big Ten newcomer Nebraska was picked second.

New IU coach Kevin Wilson is pushing a win-now approach that clashes with that last-place prediction. Still, reality is reality, and the Hoosiers are likely to see lots of last-place announcements as preseason publications come out this summer.

They can’t control that, but they can control the accuracy of those predications. If they can win the fourth quarter, if they can make the one or two key plays they couldn’t in recent seasons, they have a chance.

It starts, but certainly doesn’t end, with picking a quarterback. While Dusty Kiel seems to have the edge, we won’t know for sure until mid to late August.


Fred Glass, Indiana’s athletic director, has talked about seeking a new golden age of Hoosier sports with a bunch of programs thriving. While football and basketball aren’t there yet, others are.

Take the men’s golf team. It just received a NCAA tourney bid for the seventh time in the last eight years after winning four tourneys this season. It will host and compete in regional competition at Wolf Run Golf Club in Zionsville just outside of Indianapolis next week. That’s one of six 54-hole tourneys held throughout the country. The top five teams and the low individual not on those qualifying teams advance to the finals, set for May 31 to June 5 in Stillwater, Okla.

“This is something as a coach you never get tired of,” coach Mike Mayer said in a university release. “It’s a testament to all the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes.”

The 14-team Zionsville field is seeded. The Hoosiers are seeded seventh and ranked 37th overall by Golfweek. Alabama is the top seed with a No. 3 ranking. Iowa is next at No. 11 followed by Iowa (No. 18), Stanford (No. 21), Wake Forest No. 26), Tennessee (No. 33) and IU.

“If we play the way we are capable of playing,” Mayer said, “we have a very good chance of advancing to the NCAA finals.”


So now we know, if we didn’t before, that it is NOT okay to pull a swimmer out of a pool by the hair. At least, it’s not for a swim coach.

For that lesson we can thank Geoff Capell. No, he is not, nor has he ever been, and almost certainly will never be, a swim coach at IU. He was the Roseville (Calif.) High School assistant coach until he decided to yank one of his swimmers, Jennifer McCarroll, out of the pool by her hair after a race. In the controversy that followed, he resigned.

Roseville was competeing in the Sierra Foothill League Championships. It wound up finishing fifth out of six teams, but that’s not what set Capell off. According to FOX 40 News out of Sacramento, Capell was angry at McCarroll and another swimmer for intentionally disqualifying themselves in the race.

Apparently McCarroll’s parents filed a police report saying that pulling the hair was a misdemeanor battery. Roseville police figure to send that report to the county’s district attorney office, where a decision will be made on whether this is worth pursuing.

Back in the day, coaches could go old-school on athletes –- a diplomatic way of saying they got physical -- and nobody said anything. Now, you get charged with a crime.

What would Bob Knight say about that?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

IU Recruit Search: Djimde Out, McGary Lookin’ Good

Scratch 6-9 forward Ibrahima Djimde from the list of possible Indiana big men for the Class of 2011. His Huntington (West Virginia) Prep coach, Rob Fulford, tweeted that Djimde will sign will Illinois.

That leaves 6-9 Yemi Makoanjuola, 6-8 Percy Gibson and 6-7 Jamari Traylor as possible future Hoosiers. Nothing is etched in stone. IU doesn’t have a scholarship available for next season, but that can still change. If it doesn’t, the Hoosiers will have to make do with Cody Zeller, Tom Pritchard, Derek Elston, Bobby Capobianco and Christian Watford.

That can be enough if Watford can turn himself into an 8-to-10-rebound-a-game guy, Pritchard can stay out of foul trouble long enough to average around 28 minutes a game, Elston and Capobianco can develop the necessary inside ferocity and Zeller can play up to his potential.

If all that happens, IU could have a heck of a run next year. If not, well, let’s not go there. After three straight miserable seasons, it’s time for Hoosier winning to return.


It looks like Mitch McGary has turned himself into a top-notch recruit. He’s gotten control of his attention deficit disorder, boosted his academics and picked up his play.

When you’re 6-10 and ranked No. 15 in the Class of 2012 by Scout.com, that’s staying something.

How do we know this? Credit a column by the Gary Post Tribune’s Mike Hutton. It is, as expected, excellent. If you haven’t seen it, check out, http://posttrib.suntimes.com/sports/5232787-556/hutton-mcgary-makes-the-right-move.html.

McGary left his Chesteron hometown for Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. It wasn’t what his parents wanted, but he finally convinced them it was in his best interests.

The Hoosiers and Purdue were among the schools once interested in him, but academics made him a risk. Now, it seems, he’s matured to the point that isn’t a problem. He’s become a YouTube video star. Kansas, Florida, Texas, Arizona and Maryland are pushing hard. North Carolina and Duke are in the picture. And Indiana, forever in need of more inside muscle, still has him in sight. Still, the Hoosiers have to be careful in these academic accountability times when it comes to a player who might be an academic risk.

McGary is in no hurry to commit. He still has time to consider other schools while those schools consider him.


Just when you figured there was no way D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera was leaving North Central, the Indy Star reported that, yes, the junior guard is bolting for the benefits of high-profile Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.

Smith-Rivera apparently surprised his high school coach, Doug Mitchell, who didn’t have a clue he was leaving. Smith-Rivera was a three-year starter who orginally committed to Xavier, then backed out. He averaged 25.1 points and 4.0 rebounds this past season for a high school squad that went 22-3. He is ranked No. 23 in the Class of 2012 by Scout.com.

North Central could have used another year with Smith-Rivera, but in this instant-gratification era, high school opportunity is often superceded by individual goals. Still, Smith-Rivera remains an IU target. And who knows? Like it was for McGary, the move might be the best things to happen to Smith-Rivera.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

IU Still A Huge Basketball Draw; Superstar Softball Suprise

Does the thought of Indiana’s impressive Class of 2012 doing its AAU basketball thing in Fort Wayne this weekend get you excited about what’s going to happen when those guys show up in Bloomington?

Are you buzzed just thinking about next season, when Cody Zeller makes his heralded Hoosier debut?

Of course you are. Forget IU’s three straight 20-loss seasons. The Tom Crean era really begins this year and look for a NIT appearance at least.

Yes, there’s a lot of work to be done, but consider the Big Ten won’t be the top-to-bottom powerhouse it’s been the past few seasons and the Hoosiers should finally, finally, field a veteran team that will look like a Crean-coached squad.

People are pumped, which means IU home games at Assembly Hall just might regain must-have-ticket status.

Despite the recent struggles, the Hoosiers ranked third in the Big Ten and No. 12 nationally by averaging 15,259 a game last season. Wisconsin was No. 1 in the league and No. 7 overall at 17,230. Illinois was second in the league and No. 10 overall at 15,851.

In case you’re wondering, Ohio State was No. 13 nationally at 15,125 followed by No. 15 Michigan State (14,797), No. 17 Purdue (13,916) and No. 24 Minnesota (13,241).

Overall the Big Ten led the nation for the 35th straight season, averaging 12,826 a game.


People like to badmouth the NCAA, and have compelling reasons for doing so, but the latest basketball rule isn’t one of them. The NCAA men’s basketball rules committee has recommended a restricted area arc three feet from the center of the basket where a defender can’t legally take a charge. The rule would go into effect next season if it’s approved by an oversight panel. That panel will meet in June.

The goal is to limit the number of collisions near the basket on charge/blocking plays and make it safer for players. The arc will be painted on the court to make it clearly visible.

“We feel this is a rule that can help offensive players get to the basket and limit physical play,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. He’s chairman of the basketball rules committee.


Homesickness can be a wonderful thing sometimes. Take Morgan Melloh, a Fresno State softball pitching superstar who suddenly has Indiana with championship visions.

Yes, that’s right. The Hoosiers’ Big Ten patsy days are over. They have won 15 straight games, the nation’s longest streak, behind Morgan. She pitched IU past Northwestern 1-0 on Saturday to give the Hoosiers’ a 14-game conference winning streak. They are 35-15 overall, 15-2 in the Big Ten.

None of this would be possible without Melloh, who is 30-14 in what will be her only year in Bloomington. The former Hamilton Southeastern standout has dominated like no other Hoosier pitcher before.

She struck out 13 against Northwestern while recording her 12th shutout of the seaon. She has nation-leading 454 strikeouts this season. She’s just the fifth pitcher in NCAA history to have three or more seasons with 450 strikeouts. She’s won four Big Ten pitcher of the year awards, the most in school history.

Melloh’s success isn’t unexpected. She was 90-35 in three years at Fresno State with 1,138 strikeouts. But she got homesick and transferred to IU and her impact has been impressive. The Hoosiers were just 22-74 in the previous two years.

Now, they lead the Big Ten and, amazing as this sounds, might even be darkhorse national title contenders.

It’s all because Melloh was homesick and wanted to pitch one season where her parents could watch every home game.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Michael Lewis Heading to Butler? IU’s Basketball Future Showcased

Could Mike Lewis, the feisty former Indiana guard who once got into a mini sideline confrontation with Bob Knight, be headed to Butler as an assistant coach?

It looks like it. Lewis is apparently the guy who will replace ace recruiter Micah Shrewsberry, who left the Bulldogs for an assistant coaching position with IU.

Lewis had just taken an assistant coaching job at Loyola of Chicago after a six-year assistant-coaching run at Eastern Illinois. But the Butler job was, apparently too good to pass up. At least, that’s the word from the Indianapolis Star’s David Woods, who sets the reporting gold standard when it comes to Butler.

Lewis was a high school scoring phenom at Jasper High School in southern Indiana, but he became a point guard for the Hoosiers. His 545 career assists remains the school record.

The 33-year-old Lewis is known as a strong recruiter. He’ll have to be to effectively replace Shrewsberry, whose strong recruiting ability is why Purdue’s Matt Painter hired him.

Lewis was a very solid guard for IU in the late 1990s. But he played during Knight’s final years in Bloomington, when the championships stopped coming and national relevance slowed amidst six straight NCAA tourney first-weekend flameouts.

Anyway, back to the good stuff, which is that confrontation. It happened years ago when IU was hosting Michigan. The Wolverines had an outstanding shooting guard, whose name escapes us. A cynic would say it’s because we’re getting old, but who pays attention to cynics.

So let’s call him Michael Jordan and he was a three-point shooting killer.

Lewis’ job was to guard Jordan. No matter what happened, Lewis was not to leave Jordan. Do you understand, Knight told Lewis. Of course, Lewis said.

The game was a nail biter going into the final minutes. Michigan had the ball and another Wolverine guard whose name also escapes us -- we’ll call him Jerry West -- drove to the basket. Only one Hoosier could challenge West and prevent a layup. Yep, it was Lewis. But he had a problem. Jordan had slipped beyond the three-point line. If Lewis moved to stop the layup, going against Knight’s direct order not to leave Jordan, West would pass to an open Jordan, who would probably bury a decisive three.

If Lewis stayed on Jordan, West would drive for an uncontested and equally decisive layup.

Now the real villain here was the IU guard who lost his man and allowed West to drive, but that misses the point, which is Lewis was in a no-win situation. Either way, Knight was going to be ticked. Lewis had about an eighth of a second to decide.

So what did Lewis do? What should he have done? What would you have done if facing a similar situation?

He chose to stay on Jordan. West drove for a layup and Knight went ballistic. He called a timeout and tore into Lewis on the sidelines. The gist was you never leave the basket unprotected like that. You see the ball and stop it, especially in crunch time. The fact he had told Lewis to not leave Jordan did not matter.

Most Hoosiers would just take a Knight tirade. Lewis did most of the time. But on this night, he started shouting back at Knight. Knight got even hotter. Guard Charlie Miller had to get in between them and pull Lewis away.

They quickly patched things up. Lewis eventually spent two years with Knight as a graduate assistant. He also coached at Stephen F. Austin for a year before heading to Eastern Illinois.

Now he’ll be a Bulldog and get to face the Hoosiers next season when the teams meet in Indianapolis in December as part of the Crossroads Classic that also features Purdue and Notre Dame.

Figure Lewis and Butler coach Brad Stevens won’t get into it. Also figure Lewis will make his recruiting mark with the Bulldogs.


It seems like junior college forward Robert Goff will pass on Indiana in favor of Marshall. Yes, Marshall. At least, that’s what FoxSports.com’s Jeff Goodman has reported via a tweet.

However, it’s not certain how strongly IU has been recruiting Goff lately, although they were previously. It's part of the intrigue that makes recruiting so fascinating.

That leaves 6-9 Yemi Makoanjuola, 6-9 Ibrahima Djimde, 6-8 Percy Gibson and 6-7 Jamari Traylor as possible future Hoosiers. The key here is whoever the guy is, he can't be a project. He has to provide instant impact. IU has tried inside projects twice in recent years and it didn't go well.


Do you like to see the future in basketball gyms as opposed to, say, Donald Trump’s hair?

If so, Fort Wayne’s Bill Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam All-Star Classic is for you. The centerpiece of the three-day event is the Spiece Fieldhouse, which has become the northeastern Indiana mecca for youth basketball.

This weekend you’ll see Indiana Elite/Team Indiana, which features IU’s potential future starting lineup with Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, Hanner Perea, Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin. Hollowell might be back following an earlier injury. Jurkin is likely to join the team later this month. All of these guys are Hoosier commitments for the Class of 2012.

If you like the distant future, check out 2014 standouts James Blackmon and Trey Lyles, who have committed to IU. They play for Spiece Indy Heat 16s. Or, you can evaluate two more Hoosier commitments, this time from the Eric Gordon All-Stars 16s, with Collin Hartman and Devin Davis. They’re in the Class of 2013.

Action runs today through Sunday.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Indiana Basketball – Is JUCO Forward Best Recruiting Option?

So if you were Tom Crean and you believed you needed one more inside player for next year, and you would be right, what would you do?

The reported candidates right now are 6-9 Yemi Makanjuola, 6-9 Ibrahima Djimde, 6-9 Robert Goff, 6-8 Percy Gibson and 6-7 Jamari Traylor. None of these guys are the second coming of Jared Sullinger or Cody Zeller. Only Traylor, a 6-7, 215-pound power forward out of Florida, is nationally ranked and that’s at 141.

Still, they all have the potential to deliver what IU needs -– a strong under-the-basket presence who can rebound, play defense and, hopefully, score at least a little bit under the basket.

You could argue that Crean might be best served with Goff, who’s the only junior college player on the list. He’ll only tie up a scholarship for two years and given the numbers crunch Crean faces with potentially over-signing players, that might be a plus.

Also, Goff is a solid 240 pounds and is older and more physically mature than the others. The fact Alabama, Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Xavier, Wichita State and Houston also have offered suggests he’d be a good get.

Still, Traylor is drawing even more impressive interest. He has scholarship offers from Kansas, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, St. John’s and Texas Tech. Kansas and Oklahoma State are considered the favorites, but given Crean’s recent recruiting hot streak, don't count him out.

One last thing. Don’t worry about IU’s scholarship numbers and the fact Crean is going after more guys than he has scholarships for. It will work out.

Crean isn’t the only coach recruiting more players than he has scholarships for. Purdue’s Matt Painter is doing the same thing. He already has one commitment more than he has scholarships for starting with the Class of 2012-2013, and he’s still after more, including IU target Gary Harris.


Steve Alford has apparently made Drew Adams an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Who’s Drew Adams and why would Alford, thriving in New Mexico, make him an offer?

For a lot of reasons, and, yes, that includes recruiting.

Adams has been Indiana’s director of operations and the video coordinator, and has done a very good job there. He also has a lot of in-state recruiting connections with AAU programs, and this, in the win-or-else world of college coaching, is crucial.

Topping that list is Indiana Elite, the national powerhouse program that has produced Cody Zeller, Austin Etherington, Ron Patterson, Yogi Ferrell, Peter Jurkin, Jeremy Hollowell, Hanner Perea and Jordan Hulls. All those guys either play, have signed or have committed to the Hoosiers. Plus, Drew’s father, Mark Adams, is a coach with Indiana Elite.

To be clear, the No. 1 dominant factor in Indiana recruiting remains Crean. It’s his drive, vision and energy that has fueled the Hoosiers’ recent recruiting surge. But relationships help and the younger Adams had a role in helping the Hoosiers’ in-state success.

Alford has his own strong in-state recruiting connections, starting with his Indiana Mr. Basketball history. The former IU All-America -- a star on the 1987 national title team -- understands the quality of Indiana high school basketball. Getting Adams will help New Mexico in a lot of ways. Recruiting state of Indiana prep players is part of that.

Plus, Adams played for Alford for one year at Iowa. There’s a solid relationship there and that’s very important for a staff as well as for players.


IU men’s tennis has never had it so good. The No. 26 Hoosiers set school records for victories in a season (23) and Big Ten record (9-1). They have a pair of first-team All-Big Ten players in Jeremy Langer and Santiago Gruter, plus second-team Josh McTaggart.

Langer and Gruter make up a No. 1 doubles team that ranks No. 44 nationally with a 25-7 record. They also find time to handle the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots. McTaggart is 11-1 as a No. 3 singles player, and 24-8 overall.

Indiana has qualified for the 64-team NCAA tourney. It will open against No. 34 LSU on May 13 at College Station, Texas. It’s the Hoosiers’ sixth NCAA tourney appearance and first since 2008.

“Our guys have practiced and played at a high level all year,” coach Randy Bloemendaal said in a university release. “That work has paid off. We’ve accomplished one of our goals with a bid into the NCAA Tournament.”

Monday, May 2, 2011

IU Basketball Facts Lead To One Obvious Conclusion

So now that we’ve had time to digest IU basketball signing another guard, what does it mean?

Why would Tom Crean add another guard when he has so many? Specifically, if you’re going to do that, why not sign a point guard? The Hoosiers don’t really have one on the roster. They do have half a dozen shooting guards, off guards, whatever you want to call them. Why do they need another, which is what they got when they brought in Remy Abell?

So we have a basketball mystery.

What IU really needs is another inside guy. Somebody who can take the pressure off of incoming freshman Cody Zeller. In an ideal world, that would be veteran Tom Pritchard. At times, he is that guy, but he fouls too much.

Here’s a likely scenario. Zeller and Pritchard start and six minutes into the game Pritchard gets his second foul. Now you’ve got to bring in Derek Elston or Bobby Capobianco and neither is the kind of inside presence the Hoosiers need.

They need somebody like Dennis Rodman, without the wedding dress. Wait. The wedding dress might be negotiable if the guy goes to class, breaks no laws, defends, rebounds and doesn’t care about scoring. He’ll rebound your misses and get you the ball back so you can shoot again.

Yes, we know. Nobody is like that anymore.

Still …

Crean continues to recruit inside players -- reported candidates are 6-9 Yemi Makoanjuola, 6-9 Ibrahima Djimde, 6-9 Robert Goff, 6-8 Percy Gibson and 6-7 Jamari Traylor -- and if he gets one he’ll have more players than scholarships. Somebody will have to go.


We’ll get to that in another blog. Let’s get back to the guard mystery. The best way to figure it out is to ask Crean, but he’s not going to publicly talk about it. The second best way is to hypnotize him and make him talk without him actually knowing it, but our hypnosis skills are weak. We can’t even convince the dog to stop whining so we can finish this blog.

So we are going to go all Sherlock Holmes on the situation. We will deduce the facts and come up with the obvious answer.

Fact: Indiana fans really want to return to postseason opportunity.

Fact: Crean knows what he’s doing. He and his staff are the only ones who have the inside scoop on what’s going on.

Fact: The dog is whining again.

Fact: Verdell Jones, Jordan Hulls, Maurice Creek, Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, Austin Etherington, Remy Abell, Matt Roth and Daniel Moore are all guards. Christian Watford is basically a shooting guard. That’s about three too many.

Fact: Crean loves competition. Practices should be wars because if you’re not playing at a high enough level in the backcourt, you won’t play.

Fact: Jones has to cut down on his turnovers or he won’t play.

Fact: The most guards to play at one time will be four, and only because of major foul trouble. It could be as few as two with Zeller and Pritchard inside, and Watford doing his hybrid thing.

Fact: Jones should never play point guard again because he doesn’t create enough and commits too many turnovers.

Fact: The dog is whining again. We put her outside in the rain. The family is whining. We bring her back in. Now we are whining.

Fact: The only guy on the roster you could sort of call a point guard is Moore, and he’s not a Big Ten-caliber starter.

Fact: Nobody wants to sit the bench. Guys will get ticked and grumpy.

Fact: IU really needs Creek to return to full health from his two knee surgeries and regain his freshman dominance, when he was the nation’s leading freshman scorer.

Fact: Roth and Moore won’t play much this season. They are the two likeliest guys to either not play and spend an unhappy season as spectators, or move on.

Fact: Indiana won’t have a true point guard until Yogi Ferrell arrives in the fall of 2012.

Fact: IU is in finals week and no one has announced he’s transferring.

Fact: If somebody is leaving, it will have to happen soon.

Fact: All this leads to one inescapable conclusion:

The dog is whining again.