Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hoosier Hitman an All-America Hit: Playin' The Pros

It's good to be Alex Dickerson these days. He just made All-America baseball honors for the season straight season, courtesy of the American Baseball Coaches Association, which followed his third-round selection by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

That’s the CONTENDING Pittsburgh Pirates, by the way. The organization that hasn’t won since the first George Bush was president has a winning record and a shot at a division title.

Anyway, Dickerson is reaping the benefits of a junior season in which he led the Hoosiers in hitting (.367), home runs (9), runs batted in (49), slugging percentage (.540) and on-base percentage (.440). That follows a sophomore year in which he won the Big Ten triple crown for average, home runs and RBIs.

Dickerson made the team as a designated hitter. He’s one of only two Big Ten players to make it. The other was Michigan State first baseman Jeff Holm.

Dickerson gives IU four straight years with at least one All-America. Josh Phegley was honored in 2008 and 2009. Eric Arnett made it in 2009.

Dickerson, by the way, is giving up his final year at IU to turn pro and join the Pirates.


Kevin Wilson has a lot going on these days without worrying about whether college athletes should be paid.

Wilson is trying to produce a Hoosier football winner in his Cream 'n Crimson debut coaching season, which will start in a couple of months. Yeah, the season really is that close.

Anyway, Wilson has enough challenges on his plate so when Hoosier Hoopla showed up to ask him, in our best “A Few Good Men” impression, if he’d ordered the Code Red –- sorry -– if he had any thoughts on paying athletes, he passed.

“I’m a first-year head coach trying to figure out who to play and who to recruit and what we need to do to win,” he said. “I’m not politically cued into those things. I don’t want to be. I don’t have a voice worth listening to. That’s for the administrators and the presidents.

“There’s a lot of money going into college athletics, but there are so many athlete departments that are financially strapped. I don’t have an answer. I don’t have a strong opinion for or against.”


How good is it that IU basketball players get to play with pros this summer?

Yes, the Hoosiers' development gets a boost thanks to the Indy Pro-Am Summer League. What is that? Basically, it’s a six-week league that allows college players from Indiana to play against pros, both from overseas and the NBA. For instance, the Indiana Pacers’ Lance Stephenson is in the league.

Will Sheehey, Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo, Tom Pritchard and Matt Roth are participating for Indiana. Christian Watford will play, but he’s tied up with the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Chicago.

The league runs every Tuesday and Thursday night at IUPUI.

In theory, the better the competition, the better and faster the improvement. That's exactly what the Hoosiers need, because after three straight 20-loss seasons, it's time to put the victory -- and the fun -- back in the program.


Former IU track standout Danielle Carruthers is going to South Korea. Why is that noteworthy? Because that’s the site of the world track championships.

Carruthers made it to the world championships in the 100-meter hurdles by finishing second at the USA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. She had the fastest semifinal time with a wind-aided 12.37 seconds, then took second in the finals in 12.59. That was .09 behind winner Kellie Wells.

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