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Christian Watford and other basketball discussion.

While football season is just recently underway, IU is in its bye week, and for that reason I'll be writing about basketball a bit this week. In the breaking news category, however, IU added the fifth prospect to its 2009 recruiting class today with a verbal commitment from 6-7 small forward Christian Watford of Birmingham, Alabama (per Peegs and other sources). Watford is ranked #34 in the Rivals rankings and joins #59 Maurice Creek, #98 Derek Elston, #106 Jordan Hulls, and unranked Bobby Capobianco. Despite the threat of NCAA sanctions, Tom Crean has assembled a strong first recruiting class that should improve IU's team immediately.
Also, IU released the basketball schedule last week. Among the highlights:
  • As noted earlier, IU opens the Maui classic with its first game since 2004 against traditional rival Notre Dame.
  • IU plays at Wake Forest in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
  • IU plays Gonzaga at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 6 as part of a doubleheader that also features Ohio State and Notre Dame.
  • For the third consecutive year, the IU-Kentucky game is at a campus venue, this time at Rupp.
  • This is the second year of a Big Ten scheduling cycle and the second year of the return to an 18 game conference schedule. IU plays Michigan only at home and Purdue only on the road. While it may be to IU's benefit this year, let me again note the absurdity of the Big Ten's stubborn refusal to protect basketball rivalries.

Again, I hope to add some more basketball discussion as the week progresses.