Wednesday, October 17, 2012

IU Basketball No. 1; Is IU Football On Verge of Recruiting Coup?

If you’re a stud high school defensive player and you want to play right away, you’ve gotta love what you see at Indiana.

The Hoosiers play defense like nobody wants to see it, which is bad for the present, but promising for the future if Kevin Wilson and his staff can get talent to come.

It sure seems like it will come.

As you almost certainly know by now, a couple of really, really good Indiana high school prospects, four-star defensive tackle Darius Latham from Indianapolis North Central and four-star defensive end David Kenney from Indy Pike, have de-committed from Big Ten schools and are taking strong looks at Indiana.

Already committed is four-star safety Antonio Allen of Indianapolis Ben Davis. Another four-star in-state player, defensive end Elijah Daniel from Avon, also is strongly considering the Hoosiers. So is four-star defensive back Rashard Fant from Georgia.

Daniel is considered the state’s No. 2 player for the Class of 2013 by, a national Internet recruiting service. Clemson has already offered him.

Latham, who just de-committed from Wisconsin, is a very intriguing prospect. He’s 6-5 and 291 pounds, yet athletic enough to play for an elite AAU basketball team, one of the Eric Gordon squads.

To emphasize, from time to time you’ll get defensive linemen who also play basketball. Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short, for instance, did at East Chicago Central. He’s now projected as at least a third-round NFL pick.

But Latham was a starter for a powerhouse travel ball program, good enough that Tom Crean reportedly gave him the option to also play basketball if he comes to IU. He can run, jump and display the kind of athleticism that could translate well at the highest levels. He’s also a very big, powerful guy. He’s rated as the state’s No. 6 football player and the nation’s No. 16 defensive tackle.

Yes, it isn’t fair.

Kenney just de-committed from Iowa. He’s a 6-2, 250-pound defensive end who is rated as the state’s No. 7 player and the No. 10 player nationally at his position.

Kenney and Latham reportedly were at the IU-Ohio State game, which the Hoosiers lost by a basketball score, 52-49. They have a huge need for defensive guys, especially if they can stuff the run and sack the quarterback.

Antonio Allen, by the way, is acting as a quasi-recruiter and trying to get Latham and Kenney to join him in Bloomington.

If he does, it would be a strong sign that coach Kevin Wilson is poised to turn this program around.

IU has 10 commitments in the Class of 2013. Allen, who is ranked No. 20 at his safety position, is the highest rated recruit. Brownsburg athlete Chase Dutra is No. 41 at his position and the state’s No. 9 player.


Indiana’s basketball expectations, already off the charts, just got another positive jolt with its preseason No. 1 ranking courtesy of USA Today’s coaches poll.

The Hoosiers received 21 of a possible 31 first-place votes. Second-ranked Louisville and third-ranked Kentucky each got five votes.

IU also got a seal of approval from William Hill Race & Sports Books, which released its odds to win the national title. It lists Indiana, Kentucky and Louisville as its top favorites to win it all.


Here is an IU release of some more details involving Saturday’s Hoosier Hysteria at Assembly Hall. Doors will open at 4 p.m., with an autograph session running from 5 to 6.

Based on previous autograph sessions, which drew a TON of people and produced Disney World-caliber lines, you’d better get there early. If they stick to their schedule and end it at an hour, a lot of people are going to go home empty handed.

Anyway, here is the release:

The IU Varsity Shop will be selling the famous IU basketball poster calendar’s in the north and south lobby’s.  The large calendar is $5 and the small calendar is $3.

Fans may bring one item to be signed.  To keep the lines moving and to accommodate as many fans as possible, players are limited to one signature per person and the setup does not allow for fans to pose with players for photos.  Fans will have an opportunity to take picture with players at another fan event.

The IU/Navy football game is expected to be on the video board in Assembly Hall and on the TV’s by the concession stands.  Other big screen TV’s are being set up on the concourse and will feature highlights from the 2011-2012 men’s basketball season.

The women’s basketball team will have a shootaround on the Assembly Hall floor from 5 to 6 p.m.

At 6 p.m., students may register for a Big Head contest and Craziest Fan contest. Those selected by the Crimson Guard will be brought on the Assembly Hall floor as the list will be pared down for the finals which will take place in between the Hoosiers dunk and three-point contests.  Winners will receive gift certificates from the Varsity Shop.

Introductions of the teams will begin at 7.  Women’s Coach Curt Miller and men’s coach Tom Crean will both address the crowd.

There will be a dunk contest, three-point contest and men’s scrimmage following introductions.  Final participants are yet to be determined.

Two students will have an opportunity to win free textbooks from the bookstore if they can sink a shot from half court in between the skills contests.

Tickets remain on sale for the general public for four Holiday Break men’s basketball games.  Tickets are available for Ball State (Nov. 25), Mt. Saint Mary’s (Dec. 19), Florida Atlantic (Dec. 21), and Jacksonville, Dec. 28. The mini series prices for four games are $139 for main level seats and $60 for IU students.  Single game prices for Ball State are $40 (main level), $26 (balcony) and $15 (IU student).  For the other three games they are $33 (main level), $25 (balcony) and $15 (IU student).   The ticket office will be open at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Though admission is free, fans are encouraged to bring a canned food item which benefits the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

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