Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Is Jurkin The Real Deal, Adidas Invite Battle and Overton Thrives

Are you dying to find out if Peter Jurkin is the real basketball deal, a 6-11 stud center who will help solve Indiana’s inside problems for the foreseeable future?

Well, take a deep breath and be patient. It ain’t happening this week in Indianapolis. In fact, nobody will see him in action the entire month of July.

Why? Because Jurkin is still recovering from the stress fracture in his left leg that cost him much of his high school junior season and all of the spring (except for a brief appearance in the ESPN tourney) and early summer travel ball action.

The official word from Indiana Elite, the team Jurkin plays for, is that while his leg is improving, doctors think “it’s best to continue rehab and prepare for his senior season since he’s already committed.”

Jurkin, by the way, started the Tom Crean recruiting juggernaut last summer when he became the first Class of 2012 player to commit.

It’s hard to know how good Jurkin is. Because of the injury, he’s fallen off the recruiting ranking charts. He plays for United Faith Christian Academy in North Carolina.

Jurkin needs to get bigger and stronger. That much is obvious. He’s listed at around 215 pounds, which is fine if you’re, say, 6-1, but not so fine when you’re pushing 7 feet. But he can jump (when healthy) and with a 7-2 wingspan is an imposing shot blocker.

National recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons, whose All-Star Report recruiting service is based out of North Carolina, has seen Jurkin play.

“He didn’t get to play a lot down here and he’s still somewhat of a mystery player,” Gibbons said. “He has a lot of talent. A lot of upside. He’s long and can block shots. He’s still a work in progress as far as his offensive game. But with his long arms, towering length and excellent wing span, he will be a force in the middle for Indiana. He’ll be an intimidator. When Tom Crean and his staff teach him some low-post scoring skills, he’ll be a real factor.”

Because of all the time Jurkin has missed, it’s possible he might go to prep school for a year and join the Class of 2013. That would free up a 2012 scholarship for Gary Harris or Mitch McGary.

Possible, but not definite. It's part of the intrigue that follows Indiana recruiting.


We’re about to get an idea of how good Hanner Perea and Jeremy Hollowell really are. The Indiana basketball commits for the Class of 2012 will get a chance to play against the nation’s top two players during the adidas Invitational.

Perea and Hollowell also play for Indiana Elite/Team Indiana. It’s in a tourney pool that includes Dream Vision and Connecticut Basketball Club. Dream Vision is led by 6-6 forward Shabazz Muhammad, who is ranked No. 1 by Rivals.com. Connecticut is led by 6-9 center Andre Drummond, who is ranked No. 2.

Assuming everybody brings the necessary intensity -- and you’d figure they would considering the national reputation stakes plus the fact a ton of high-profile college coaches are likely to be watching –- it will be perfect preparation for what lies ahead in college.


Have you noticed how well former IU golfer Jeff Overton is playing these days?

He just finished tied for third in the AT&T National in Pennsylvania which was worth $322,400. It was his third top-10 finish of the season.

That means Overton has made $1,039,570 this year, which ranks 51st on the PGA list.

Not to give away our age, but there was a time when that six-month total would have made you the PGA CAREER money record holder.

In six years on the PGA Tour, Overton has made just over $8 million. That just happens to be just over $8 million more than we’ve made on golf, not that we’re bitter.

Anyway, last Sunday’s winnings was his biggest paycheck of the season, topping the $184,000 he won at the Honda Classic and the $169,000 he won at HP Byron Nelson Championship.

Overton tied for 63rd at the U.S. Open and 44th at The Masters. He basically won a combined $47,000 for those two majors.

Oh, Overton is dating a gorgeous opera singer (she went to IU) and made the Ryder Cup team.

Yeah, it’s pretty good being Jeff Overton these days.


Yes, we had a brain dead moment in our previous blog. Stud quarterback Gunner Kiel is from Columbus East and not Columbus North. We have a very good excuse for getting those schools confused. Very, very good. And when we think of it, we’ll let you know.

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