Sunday, April 29, 2012

Indiana Basketball – A Commitment Clash; Garl and the Truth

Tom Crean and his staff are working the recruiting hard this weekend. They are in Indianapolis (Adidas Spring Invitational) and in Virginia (Boo Williams) for travel ball events, and talent was everywhere.

There were the guys everybody knows (Devin Davis and Luke Fischer) and the guys everybody is starting to know (Hyron Edwards of East Chicago Central in the Class of 2015, Chandler White of Carroll from the Class of 2015, Aaron Brennan of Guerin Catholic from Class of 2014, Monte Morris from Flint, Mich., in the Class of 2013).

Davis and Fischer will clash this morning when Davis’ Eric Gordon All-Star squad takes on Fischer’s Wisconsin Swing group at the Fishers Fieldhouse. Both have already committed to Indiana as part of the Class of 2013.

The 6-6 Davis is healthy again after dealing with some back issues. He’s running the court well and imposing his will when necessary. His coach for the Eric Gordon All-Stars, Matt Green, said Davis' strengths include athleticism, stamina and rebounding.

“He plays hard. You’re always going to get that effort from him. He’s got to improve his shot and skill set.”

The 6-10 Fischer, who’s been compared to Cody Zeller at this stage (although similar, Fischer is not there yet) is a fan of protein shakes. He’s trying to get bigger and stronger (aren’t we all –- well, stronger at least), and certainly be a dominant inside force.

He was on Saturday. In one game he had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks. In another he had 32 points and 12 blocks.

The 5-10 Edwards already has been offered by IU and Purdue. Both Crean and Purdue coach Matt Painter watched him play on Saturday.

Brennan, for instance, is a 6-6 post player in high school, but that won’t happen in college. He’s got to develop quickness and guard skills. If he does, well, there’s a reason why Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Michigan and Iowa are among the schools interested in him.

The 6-1 Morris, who plays for the Michigan Mustangs, is set to visit Indiana next weekend. USC, Arizona State, Georgia Tech and Iowa State are among the schools who have offered him.

Oh, if you like to name drop, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, Ohio State’s Thad Matta and Butler’s Brad Stevens were among the many coaches in Fishers on Saturday.


Tim Garl is a softie if you like your softies as Marine drill sergeants. The veteran basketball trainer speaks a refreshing truth, and when you’ve been at Indiana for as long as he has (rumor has it Garl began working at IU under Branch McCracken in the late 1930s; we can officially say rumor is wrong – it’s only 31 years), he’s seen a lot of truth.

Let’s just say truth often depends on your perspective.

Anyway, Garl spoke during last Thursday’s celebration award ceremonies at Assembly Hall and put into perspective how rewarding this year’s 27-9, Sweet 16 team was. Remember, he’s seen the best and worst of the Bob Knight era and the arrogant disregard for the Hoosier tradition under Kelvin Sampson.

“What pleases me the most –- and the parents should be credited with this – is you don’t to work in the morning and wonder what knucklehead did something stupid last night and you’ve got to read it in the paper,” he said. “You don’t take kids and say, ‘Hey, there’s a drug test today,’ and worry about are they going to pass it. And if they don’t pass it, what are we going to have to put up with.

“Winning is not the only thing. It’s awfully important, but another factor is we have great kids. We have something we can be really proud of.”

Pride resulted in a number of team awards being announced in a very public ceremony that followed an autograph session as Crean had the fans share the experience with this return-to-glory team one last time. He used it to acknowledge that all good things must end.

“This is probably the last time we’ll ever all be together in this setting,” he said to crowd and then to the players. “I hope you guys take it in. This isn’t the last time you’re going to see each other, but it’s the last time we’re all going to be together like this.”

1 comment:

  1. OK Pete, love your work, but bball season has ended. When are you going to swallow hard and tell us the truth about the embarassing IU football program and its clueless head coach?