Why the hype?
IU received its fifth verbal commitment today for the class of '12 in the form of Indianapolis Lawrence Central product, Jeremy Hollowell. Hollowell said his final four were IU, Purdue, Cincinnati, and Ohio State. The only problem is, Purdue had never offered the highly-rated SF.
Many have prognosticated that Hollowell would push Gary Harris to Bloomington, but I don't see that happening for a couple of reasons. First off, a few sources close to Harris say he still doesn't have a preference. Second, it doesn't seem make a ton of sense for a player of his caliber to be a part of a class that large. That said, he'd be a crown jewel for about any class as he looks to become a McD's AA (based on ranking).
While I don't understand it, Harris has never shown much fondness for Purdue in spite of his Mom being a Purdue alum. If I were to bet (which I wouldn't) I'd guess he's going to Louisville or Ohio State. Hope I'm wrong and he ends up playing for Matty.
According to Painter, Purdue has room for one more player in the already solid class of '12. Another Indianapolis native, Smith-Rivera (#25 in the country) would bolster also bolster the class if he decided to head to West Lafayette.
The Class of '13 is already strong having verbals from Stephens, Smotherman & Scott. I think it'll be either Alex Foster or Zak Irvin who completes the class. Knowing what I know (which isn't a ton), I'm hoping for Foster to pull the trigger first as Painter seems to need a forward with all of the shooters and wings on their way into the program.
The more I hear and read, the more I think Barlow is going to be a Boiler next season. I think that's a good thing for everyone involved IF he comes back with his head on straight. A personality like his can be something to rally around as he quickly becomes the enemy in each arena he plays in...or, it can be a detriment as his angst can can piss off teammates especially when directed the wrong way.
If he decides to be great, he will be. If he continues to play dumb basketball (shooting to quickly, making lackadaisical passes and not giving consistent effort) he'll leave Purdue as nothing more than a shoulda, coulda, woulda player. It's really Barlow's choice as to how the rest of this story is written.
Rumors from Ass. Hall
On the Knucklehead Board, there's a term that has become popular- Creaning. Creaning is the act of pushing a player out of his scholarship when he's worn out his welcome for reasons of perception or reality. Capobianco, Roth and Elston have all been rumored among IU fans to be pondering a transfer or just heading out of Bloomington for one reason or another. But recently, Roth decided to apply to IU for grad school, and Elston said he has no desire to leave the Forehead's program. Who knows what will develop as Clappy decides to oversign...but someone or multiple someones might be exiting Ass. Hall for the final time in the next month or so.
Christian Watford is rumored to be unhappy in Bloomington. And while I don't know why that might happen, I can say that I'd love to see him go. Watford is a special player, and along with Hulls, Oladipo, Sheehy and Jones, he'd make a difference at about any program in the nation.
Let's all remember, talent is currently not an issue down there, coaching is.
That isn't stopping IU fans from talking trash...about what's coming two years from now. It's funny, it's been over 1,000 days since IU managed to beat Purdue in basketball, yet many of them manage to chirp like baby birds. No matter.
For those keeping score at home, Crean has now lured three 5-star players to come to IU in the '11 and '12 classes alone. Pretty astounding for any program...but it's especially amazing since Crean has had zero 5-star recruits (in his entire coaching career) prior to these three. I guess all of the recent winning has lured these players to Bloomington? One thing IU's coach can definitely sell right now is potential...things will only get better down there, that's a fact.
I'm not sure what the feeling is on campus right now, but the feeling and mood from alums regarding the football program isn't "up". Two assistant coaches have been hired and left in the last few months. Keith Smith was denied another year of eligibility. Marve and Bolden are both question marks coming off of major knee injuries (both are being held out of full contact this Spring). The last game in everyone's memory is a loss of the Bucket. The Den of Defensive Ends has no real prospect to fill the sizable shoes of #94, and the cradle of quarterbacks is coming off of a season in which the passing game was really just short of non-existent.
Football is a tough topic right now...but there are a few things to talk about.
The linebacking corps looks strong. Holland, Beckford, Higgs, Carlino and Lucas all return with significant experience. RS Freshman Mike Lee and Joe Gilliam both look strong in the two weeks of practice so far. Armstead Williams will only bolster this strong group...but if he's not needed he will be able to red shirt for development's sake. That said, I don't think he will.
Hope has decided to spread spring practice out, something I've never seen before. But the theory makes sense to me- give new guys a chance to take in all of the info they're given and become comfortable with it instead of just heaping a ton of stuff on their heads in one "dump". The fall will show if this experiment has paid off.
As we've said before, it's not only tough to talk about football because of the mood, but also because the information is all filtered through coaches as no media is allowed into practice with regularity.
What we do know is Justin Kitchens has played a number of positions...recently on offense and seems to be wanted by coaches on both sides as he's impressed. We'll keep an eye on where he lands.