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Basketball!

Anyone who has stumbled across this blog in the last couple of months might be forgiven for assuming that this blog focuses only on Hoosier football. While I haven't had much to say about the hoops program in the last few weeks, rest assured that there will be plenty of basketball talk here. Usually, the football Hoosiers are about 2-4 at this time of year, which makes basketball much more seductive. Last week, I was reading the Peegs forum, wondering why people were obsessing so much about the opening practice and the TV coverage and so forth, and finally realized...oh...that's next Friday. Next Friday is now tomorrow, and thanks to the Big Ten Network, those of us sitting at home will be able to watch coverage of IU's "Hoosier Hysteria" and other schools' opening events.
The Hoosiers seem to be a consensus preseason top 10 team and in Kelvin Sampson's second year, may be ready to regain what we all consider IU's rightful place at the top of the Big Ten standings. IU has not won an outright Big Ten title since 1993 (the 2002 team won a 1/5th share of the title in a really odd season) and is considered a legitimate NCAA contender for the first time since then. In the coming days and weeks, amongst the continuing football discussion, I plan to take a look back at the promising 2006-07 season and a look at the considerable number of newcomers on the Hoosier team. It strikes me as fairly unusual for a team to be as highly regarded as this IU team is with so many guys who have never played together.
I had lots to say about Bud Mackey, much more than I said when the story broke during my vacation, but all indications are that IU has withdrawn the scholarship offer, so there's not much to say. Hopefully he gets his life in order and has the opportunity to use his basketball talents somewhere down the road.
Eli Holman, who I followed pretty closely during the spring and summer, seems to be in some eligibility saga in which his high school, the NCAA, IU, or some combination thereof have not provided sufficient information to secure Eli's eligibility. Everyone seems to agree that Eli should be eligible, but for some reason his is not, as we sit here today, eligible. Not much time to digest it, but Inside the Hall has done some fantastic work on this issue lately, even if he did violate the blogger ethics code by conducting some actual journalism. He talked to sources! I know some have expressed concern about Holman's background (grazed in a drive-by shooting, suspended for making contact with an official), but the more I have read and listened to Holman in recent months, the more impressed I have been. As I have said many times before, if you don't believe me, read this post and follow the link to the audio of Mark Montieth's interview of Eli. By any standard, Holman comes across well, and in this and other sources, has shown, particularly for a teenager, amazing perspective and candor about life in rugged Richmond, California.