I apologize, again, for the lengthy absence. If I told you about everything that has kept me away, I would blow my cover, but suffice it to say that it has all been good stuff, but I've been without a home internet connection for a while. The month or two after the end of the basketball season can be tough even when I'm not insanely busy. I expect to create some non-link-driven content in the near future. Meanwhile, what haven’t we discussed?
Basketball recruiting: When last I posted, or actually promoted a post to the front page, Guy Marc Michel had signed with IU. While the summer recruiting season is under way, the biggest IU stories have related to near-misses.
Ohio, not IU, lands ex-Warren star Offutt (The Indianapolis Star)
Offutt would have been a nice get as a walk-on, but this isn't a fatal blow by any stretch.
Andy Katz: Emmanuel Negedu moves on to New Mexico after brush with death (ESPN)
Yet another topic that I didn’t geta chance to weigh in on while it was ongoing. I’m glad that Negedu found a chance to play major college basketball. Apparently the physicians who have reviewed his matter don’t think he has an appreciably greater risk of death on the court than anyone else. There is no such thing as elimination of risk, something that many who were strongly opposed to IU signing Negedu failed to grasp. There is some small risk of death for any athlete, or for any person who drives a car or crosses the street or goes under anesthesia. Still, as much as I was turned off by the “any risk is too great” crowd, and intrigued as I was by Negedu, I have to concede that from a PR perspective, IU’s abundance of caution probably was the right decision. Even if Negedu were healthy for his entire career, signing him after Tennessee refused to let him play would have made IU look desperate. It’s a shame, but that’s how the narrative would have gone.
Crean: Practice facility creates a buzz : College Sports - (Evansville Courier & Press)
“It’s getting a lot of exposure right now,” said Crean. “I want our former players to see it and we want our fans to see it. I love it when anybody from the age of 14 to 18, preferably 6-foot-5 and above, comes in to see it.”
Expansion could hurt Indiana | RANDY BEARD COLUMN (Evansville Courier & Press)
"If done purely geographically, Indiana could find itself grouped in a division that includes Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan and Michigan State." There is zero chance that the "big three" will be in the same division. I tend to think that a divisional setup, because it will increase schedule inequity, could be to IU's slight advantage.
Whose seat is hot (or not) in the Big Ten? (Big Ten Blog - ESPN)
Get ready to hear lots of "hot seat" speculation about Bill Lynch this season. As Rittenberg notes, it will be surprising if the Big Ten coaching roster is the same in 2011 as in 2010.
Big Ten expansion: If goal is better football and basketball, a good place to start is Texas, Pittsburgh and others | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star
Unfortunately, I have missed the chance to comment on much of the expansion talk, which typically is one of my favorite topics. Here is a take from Terry Hutchens, but there are many more out there.
Garcia belongs on early list of top rookies (STLtoday.com)
"Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean, visiting Cardinals manager Tony La Russa in Cincinnati, was delighted when his son Riley received some batting-stance advice from Pujols before Friday's game." Enlisting Bob Knight's good friend LaMullett in an effort to further the thaw between Knight and IU? Maybe.
Big Ten Baseball Tournament Bracket (.pdf)
The defending BTT champion Hoosiers weren't as tough as they were last year, thanks to the loss of three high draft picks. Still, IU qualified for the Big Ten Tournament (only the top six make it). This is only the eighth time that IU has qualified for the Tournament in its 30-year history. 6th-seeded IU beat #3 Northwestern 5-0 and plays #1 Minnesota at 7 p.m. tonight on the Big Ten Network.