Are you like us? Were you so worried about an asteroid the size of a tour bus hitting the earth that you forgot, for just a second, about what’s really important:
How is Cody Zeller doing at IU so far?
Perfectly fine, as far as we can tell.
Anyway, there is more to Hoosier basketball than Zeller. So you know, Felisha Legette-Jack is determined to get the women’s basketball program to Big Ten title contention. The Hoosiers coach is bringing in a solid recruiting class to get that done, but she isn’t stopping there. She wants the best teachers and recruiters she can get.
She had some coaching staff holes to fill and with one of them she brought in Charlene Thomas-Swinson. This is significant because Thomas-Swinson is a former head coach. She ran the St. John’s program from 1998-99 and the Tulsa program for the last six years. She also was an assistant coach at Florida and Auburn.
Thomas-Swinson also was an assistant coach in the WNBA for four years.
“We’re excited to have someone of Charlene Thomas-Swinson’s caliber,” Legette-Jack said in a university release. She played and coached at the highest level, coached in the SEC, coached in the Big East and Conference USA. She’s a perfect addition to our basketball family.”
There’s a reason why Thomas-Swinson was available and it has to do a 5-20 record at Tulsa last year. That wiped out what was left of the momentum from her 26-6 Tulsa debut season in 2006 that included Conference USA championships and a first-round NCAA tourney win over fifth-seeded North Carolina State.
No matter. Every coach, if you stay in the profession long enough, endures tough times –- including getting fired. Her experience and success (she also was a stanout player for Auburn and has appeared in seven NCAA tourneys and one WNBA playoff) suggest that she will have a major impact for the Hoosiers. That’s why Legette-Jack called the hiring a “slam dunk.”
Oh, in case you were wondering, the asteroid missed the earth.
IU coach Kevin Wilson's 2012 commitment list reached nine with Ohio tight end Tanner Kearns chosing the Hoosiers.
Kearns is a multi-sport athlete, which is becoming a rarity in this age of specialization. He also plays basketball and track. He was a high jumper (he has a 36-inch vertical jump at 6-5 and 225 pounds) and ran the 400 meters.
You can do an awful lot with a guy that big and mobile, and Wilson has. He had three of his Oklahoma tight ends make it to the NFL, including first-round pick Jermaine Greshman, who earned All-America honors after catching 66 passes for 950 yards and 14 TDS in his last college season.
Cincinnati, Air Force, Kent State, Temple, Buffalo, Central Michigan and Toledo also had offered Kearns. He picked IU after going to two Hoosier camps this month.
Can Christian Watford kick Kevin Durant’s you-know-what on a basketball court? Will the Indiana junior get a chance? How does he stack up with standouts such as North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, Kentucky’s Darius Miller, Terrance Jones and Doron Lamb? And is Duke stud freshman Austin Rivers -- yes, that’s Jeremiah River’s younger brother and Doc Rivers’ son -- as good as advertised?
Some of those questions might get answered during the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Chicago.
You have to be invited to the three-day camp and Watford was along with those other acclaimed college players.
Only two of those players were measured with wingspans of at least 7 feet. Watford was one at 7-foot even. Kentucky’s Jones was the other at 7-foot-2.
Gary Harris of Hamilton Southeastern is at the camp as well. Perhaps Watford will get a chance to convince him that Indiana is the perfect school for him.
No matter what happens, the best of this camp get invited to next month’s LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio.