Visiting recruits on visits to Bloomington often are amazed at how many students and other fanss that they encounter know exactly who they are. Players who actually enroll enjoy celebrity status on campus and throughout the state. Given that usual level of recognition, this season is going to be odd. A few weeks ago, I saw a photo of several IU players and didn't know who any of them were. So, as tonight's Hoosier Hysteria approaches (yeah, it's now past, I started this last night), here's a guide:
Kyle Taber, #44. This guy you know. The former walk-on from Evansville and only senior on the 2008-09 squad saw his only meaningful minutes during last season, and knew his role better than anyone on the team. He scored 1.3 points and pulled down 2.5 rebounds per game.
Devan Dumes, #33. Dumes is from Decatur Central in Indianapolis. He played at Eastern Michigan as a freshman and average 8.1 points per game. He then transferred to Vincennes JC.
Tijan Jobe, #40. As I noted last spring, Jobe, who is a 7 footer, is a project. He averaged only 3 points and 3 rebounds per game last year for Olney Central CC.
Steven Gambles, #24. Even on this year's team, Gambles seems likely to be relegated to towel-waving. Gambles is the most recently added walk-on, and he's in his fourth year since high school. He redshirted as a freshman at IUPUI in 2005-06, transfered to Lambuth (a division II school I had never heard of until previewing the WKU football game earlier) for 2006-07, where he averaged 3.7 points per game, and was a non-athlete student at IU last year. He played high school ball for North Central in Indianapolis (and would have been Eric Gordon's teammate for a couple of years) and averaged 8.9 points pere game as a senior.
Brett Finkelmeier, #4. IU has no scholarship sophomores, and so walk-on Finkelmeier, from Carmel, who scored 2 points in 11 minutes of play last year, is it.
Verdell Jones, III, #12. Jones, from Champaign, Illinois, is a recruit added by Crean last spring. He has soem size (6-5) and averaged 17.6 points and 6.5 assists last year. He shot 46 percent from the field but only 31 percent from three point range. He was ranked #127 nationally by Scout, and was widely expected to commit to Minnesots until the last minute.
Tom Prtichard, #5. Prtichard, a 6-9 240 big man from near Cleveland, is, along with Matt Roth, one of only two scholarship players recruited by Kelvin Sampson. Unlike Devin Ebanks and Terrelle Holloway, Prtichard and Roth elected to come to IU after Sampson left.
Matt Roth, #2. Roth, another downstate Illinoisan, is a 6-3 guard and reportedly a great shooter. As a senior, he averaged 21 points per game and shot 48 percent from behind the arc. As mentioned above, Roth was a Sampson recruit.
Malik Story, #34. Story, from Los Angeles, is a 6-5 wing who led Artisia High to two state championships before spending his senior year at a prep school. He was a Crean recruit.
Nick Williams, #20. Williams, who originally committed to Marquette conditioned on Crean being the coach, probably is the class of the class. A top 50 recruit according to most sources, he scored 21 points per game on a team from Mobile, Alabama that spent most of the season in the national rankings. A 6-4 guard, he is the best bet to lead IU in scoring this season.
Kory Barnett, #30. A freshman walk-on from Rochester, Indiana, Barnett is a skinny 6-6 forward.
Daniel Moore, #3. Moore, a 5-11 guard from Carmel, seems mostly likely of all the walk-ons to contribute. He originally intended to play at Division I Boston University before deciding to walk-on at IU. He avereaged 13 points and nearly 8 assists a game and was an Indiana All-Star.
Broderick Lewis, #32. As if this season couldn't be any stranger, IU has players from West Lafayette and Champaign on the roster. Lewis, who played at Lafayette Jeff, is 6-6 and a great athlete (state finalist in the long jump), but reportedly isn't terribly skilled as a basketball player. Still, perhaps there is room for improvement.
Jeremiah Rivers, #5. Rivers, the son of NBA great and Celtics coach Doc Rivers, is a transfer from Georgetown, so he's the player to be named later in the Patrick Ewing trade. Rivers isn't much of a scorer but is considered a defensive specialist. He has two years of eligibility remaining, and so he likely will be the only scholarship player in the class of 2011.