Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dangerous Info – Gary Harris, Dustin Bieber, Gunner Kiel and IU, Plus Bob Knight

So what’s up with Gary Harris in the aftermath of Hoosier Hysteria, the greatest spectacle in college basketball if you like rap, rock and romp?

Here’s what we know. Harris already has all the information he needs about the coaches, facilities, academics, academic support, talent level, tradition and fans. All four schools on his list -– Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State and Kentucky –- are top-notch in those areas.

What Harris is using his official visits for is to determine how he fits in with the players. Does he like them? Do they like him? Is there good chemistry, both athletically and socially, with the guys? You want to be around people you like, who you have things in common with.

And of course, can win with.

A diabolical schemer might suggest secretly implanting an imposter to Harris’ upcoming visits to Kentucky and Michigan State. The imposter would pretend to be a potential future basketball teammate for those teams and do really annoying things, like singing Justin Bieber songs for fun or have the Barney the Dinosaur theme song for his smart phone’s ring-and-text tone.

A realist would understand that Harris comes from a good family (his mother is a former Purdue basketball standout) with the kind of patient perspective rare in these make-a-decision-immediately times. He’ll make the best choice for him and no matter what it is, it will be well thought out.

You never know. Justin Beiber might some day sing a song about it.


Gunner Kiel, the all-world high school quarterback from Columbus, Ind., told Dustin Dopirak of the Bloomington Herald-Times that his commitment to IU is solid and that he still plans to enroll at IU for the winter semester, which means he’d be able to participate in spring practice and get a huge jump on next season.

Given the quarterback play the Hoosiers are getting lately, Kiel couldn’t join the program soon enough. He’s the nation’s No. 1 pro-style quarterback. If he’s as good as his buzz, he’ll provide instant impact.

That assumes, of course, the offensive line can block, there’s at least an average running game (tailback Stephen Houston is really coming on) and the receivers are productive.

In the last two weeks IU’s passing attack has been virtually non-existant. It hasn’t helped that Dusty Kiel (Gunner’s brother) is out with an ankle injury, or that Ed Wright-Baker has been hindered by his own bad ankle, but really, neither of these guys looks are long-term answers.

Trey Roberson is too young and hasn’t had enough playing time to know if he can do the job. It’s gotten so bad that IU coaches are experimenting more and more with receiver Kofi Hughes as a Wildcat formation quarterback. Hughes was a very good high school quarterback at Indianapolis Cathedral.

Coach Kevin Wilson was very critical of the receivers and veteran offensive linemen during Tuesday’s press conference. Co-defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler had equally strong words about the defensive effort demonstrated against Wisconsin.

What does this mean for Saturday’s game at Iowa? Probably more grim news, because if it hasn’t been fixed by now, it likely won’t be until next season, when new players join the program.

That starts, and certainly doesn’t end, with Gunner Kiel.


Did Bob Knight break NCAA rules by helping his son recruit a pair of Indianapolis basketball players?

Reports in the Indianapolis Star and Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise indicate Knight spoke with Manual’s Jason Smith and Northwest’s Donnell Minton on the phone for about five minutes regarding Lamar University, when Knight’s son, Pat, is the head coach. Smith and Minton have verbally committed to Lamar.

That is an apparent NCAA violation because only basketball coaches are allowed to contact and recruit players.

Apparently, neither Knight knew this was a violation.

Given the NCAA’s recent emphasis on focusing on major violations, such as paying recruits to attend a school or academic fraud to get a recruit eligible, this wouldn’t seem to be a big deal. It likely would be considered secondary violation.

But that’s up to the NCAA to decide.

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