Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On IU Quarterback Debate, Basketball Exhibition and Jim Delany

Are you like us? Are you struggling to sleep this week wondering who will start on the offensive line for the Indiana Hoosiers?

Wait. We meant quarterback. Now comes what figures to be the weekly twists of the Ed-and-Dusty debate. Should Edward Wright-Baker return to the starter’s role he had before hurting his ankle? Did Dusty Kiel do enough against Penn State to stay No. 1? And is it time for true freshman Tre Roberson to show what his hyper athleticism can do?

Quarterbacks coach/co-offensive coordinator Rod Smith said the quarterbacks are getting enough practice reps to be read to play, if not start, each week.

Head coach Kevin Wilson said Wright-Baker, who got hurt in the second half against North Texas, looks close to full health.

“I think as we go though the week,” Wilson said, “he looks good. Looks like he’ll have a shot. That being said, Dusty’s played. I don’t know if it’s so much a controversy as it is that one guy’s a little more healthy. They’re both capable of playing well. We’ll see how it plays out as it goes forward.”

Against Penn State, in his first ever college start, Kiel was 22-for-45 for 184 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and that was with receivers dropping seven passes.

“I thought Dusty competed,” Wilson said. “I don’t think he hurt us, but I think we could have been better from an overall execution standpoint.”

As far as Roberson, he hasn’t thrown a pass yet, but he has run three times for seven yards. Wilson and Smith said they have packages to use him every game, but haven’t gotten him in much because of the closeness of the games. All four of IU’s losses have been by seven or fewer points.

“We’ve got to do a better job of getting him involved,” Smith said. “He might not have the entirety of the playbook that Dusty and Ed have, but he’s got a lot and it’s enough. We’ve got to say, ‘The hell with it, we’re going with him,’ and get him more reps.”

Is No. 19 and unbeaten Illinois, Saturday’s opponent at Memorial Stadium, the best time to do that?

We’ll have to see.


Are you ready for some basketball? Of course you are. And after we get through the pomp and fun of Hoosier Hysteria, the real basketball begins. A preview will come on Saturday, Nov. 5, when IU faces the University of Indianapolis in an exhibition game.

The Greyhounds, a NCAA Division II program, were 19-9 last year and return three starters.

IU has twice before played Indianapolis in exhibition games. In 2006, the Hoosiers won 83-46. In 2005, they won 96-49.

“Our goal in scheduling our exhibition games is to find programs that will best prepare us for the season,” coach Tom Crean said in a university release. “Having the opportunity to schedule a team with strong local ties is an added bonus. (Coach) Stan Gouard and his staff have done a great job in a short period of time, which is evident by their win at Tennessee last year.”

Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at Assembly Hall. The game will be streamed via the Internet at

IU opens the regular season Friday, Nov. 11, against Stony Brook.


Do you want to grill Jim Delany on when he’ll see the light about a national football playoff, what’s up with paying players or just give the Big Ten commissioner a hug?

Well, we don’t know if you can do all that, but you can hear Delany speak when he comes to an IU Varsity Club Speaker Series luncheon on Oct. 26 at Memorial Stadium’s Henke Hall of Champions.

Delany is only the fifth Big Ten commissioner since its founding in 1896. Does that mean he’s really old? It depends on your perspective. Thirty once seemed old and now …

Sorry. Delany has had the job for 22 years. Among his many accomplishments is helping guide the addition of Penn State and Nebraska to the conference. He helped create the Big Ten Network and aided in the expansion of women’s sports. He’s a national leader on all the major issues facing college sports.

“We’re thrilled that Jim Delany -- one of today’s most influential leaders in college athletics -- is kicking off our series,” IU deputy athletic director Scott Dolson said in a university release.

Advanced tickets are available to Varsity Club donors and a guest for $15 a person. Donors can register by contacting the Varsity Club no later than Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 812-855-0866 or

“(Jim) is a leading voice in intercollegiate athletics,” IU athletic director Fred Glass said in a university release. “The Big Ten is extremely fortunate to have him as its commissioner and we are fortunate to have him as our speaker.”

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