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On the road again, and basketball and recruiting(!) miscellany.

This isn't exactly breaking news, but it's worth noting that for the first time during his tenure at IU, Kelvin Sampson is on the road during the summer recruiting season. Keep in mind that Oklahoma's self-imposed sanctions kept Sampson at home before his last season there, so he hasn't been to the summer camps since 2004. He took some well-deserved jabs from Rick Barnes and Tubby Smith:
"Where have you been?" joked Barnes. "Call me sometime." "Still got the ankle bracelet?" added Smith.
Despite recruiting with one hand tied behind his back, Sampson certainly hasn't been hurting for recruits. He landed what Rivals ranks as the #9 recruiting class without leaving campus. Still, both for IU's recruiting advantage and for moving beyond the taint of NCAA-sanctioned misconduct, this is good news.
Other items:
  • Again, I'm not one for following whether we are on a prospect's top 5 list or his lukewarm eight. My interest in recruiting is sporadic. One thing I would like, however, is for IU to someday land a blue-chipper from Lawrence North (no offense, Todd Leary). Hopefully, Stephan Van Treese will be the one. Here's a nice Cincinnati Enquirer article about him.
  • The Bloomington Herald Times does a great job covering IU athletics, and I have previously noted my admiration for the Hoosier Scoop blog written by Doug Wilson, Chris Korman, and occasional others. Unfortunately, the H-T's excellent coverage is behind a subscription wall, but occasionally Doug and Chris let us take a look at what they are writing. Here's a well-done article about DJ White. This non-White-related item from the story was worth a chuckle:
    One of the new post players, DeAndre Thomas, has been working the hardest in the gym this summer, according to White. Thomas, who arrived from Chipola junior college weighing more than 350 pounds, is trying to shed at least 50 pounds. He and Sampson can often be seen walking from Assembly Hall to Sampson’s house and back. That’s an eight-mile trip.
  • The White article also mentions something I don't know that I have mentioned before, which is that NCAA rules allow IU ten full-fledged practices before the team heads to the Bahamas for a Labor Day weekend tournament. This is a perfect move for this team. Certainly, we have some fine experience players returning, but several newcomers (Eric Gordon, Jamarcus Ellis, possibly Eli Holman and/or Deandre Thomas) will have to play well if IU is to end its season in San Antonio. While the Final Four is not an unrealistic goal given the talent and experience (either at IU or at junior colleges) on this team, these guys have never really played together. The Bahamas trip should provide a great opportunity for these guys to begin to learn playing together, and it also gives the coaching staff a chance to put things in place for the season fairly early.