Tom Crean, Indiana Hoosier men's basketball head coach

Image Courtesy ESPN.com

The Indiana Hoosier men’s basketball team opened the 2012 regular season at home tonight against Bryant University. Some notable first half headlines include Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass announcing a 2-year contract extension for head coach Tom Crean, which means the coach will be under contract through 2020.

Freshman point guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, a Park Tudor grad, has displayed some heady passing, good man-to-man defense, and has rarely played like a freshman.

Another interesting point, senior forward Christian Watford is wearing number ’32’ as a gesture towards fellow senior Derek Elston, who is out with a meniscus tear and not expected to return until the Big Ten portion of the schedule begins. Watford, who normally wears number ‘2’, decided to wear his fellow senior’s jersey because Elston will miss his final season opener.

Peter Jurkin

Image Courtesy Inside the Hall

Just when the Hoosier faithful thought Tom Crean and his staff would clean up the program and return Indiana University to its glory days, the NCAA ruled today that freshmen Peter Jurkin and Hanner Mosquera-Perea must sit out nine games for receiving improper benefits.

Hanner Mosquera-Perea

Image Courtesy Inside the Hall

 

 

 

 

 

It appears Jurkin received $6,000 and Mosquera-Perea $8,000 while in high school from an Indiana University booster in the form of plane tickets, meals, housing, a laptop, cell phone and clothing, per this article from Inside the Hall.

Jurkin has been ordered to pay back $250 to the charity of his choice while Mosquera-Berea must do the same in the amount of $1,590. The improper benefits came from the boys’ non-scholastic basketball coach who is also an Indiana University booster.

While it is uncertain how these suspensions will affect the apparent Indiana University title run, it is worth pointing out that neither player registered significant minutes during the preseason. Peter Jurkin hails from South Sudan by way of the United Faith Christian Academy in North Carolina (coached by Muggsy Bogues) and is a 7’0″ center, presumably adding depth to the Hoosier frontcourt. Hanner Mosquera-Perea is an athletic 6’8″ forward hailing from Columbia by way of La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Indiana.

With the start of the Hoosier basketball season just 3 days away, it’s interesting the NCAA would wait until now to file the suspensions. Look for these two freshman to see the floor on December 19th against Mount St. Mary’s, well before the Big Ten schedule begins.

Looking at Indiana’s early season schedule, this may affect both the North Carolina game and who knows, maybe even the tilt at Assembly Hall against Butler.

Stay calm, Hoosier fans. Hopefully this slight inconvenience to the depth of this year’s Hoosier squad won’t affect the long-term capabilities of the team.
Cheers!

 

Former Indiana Hoosier basketball coach Bob Knight

Image Courtesy of IndyStar.com

Bring out that cream and crimson you’ve been hiding since the days of Bobby Knight, Hoosier fans.

According to both the Associated Press and the USA Today Coach’s Poll, the Indiana Hoosiers sit atop the preseason rankings. It may be a little early to say so, but given the strength of the returning roster and the addition of a strong recruiting class, Tom Crean’s squad appears set to win both a Big Ten Championship and make a serious run at a National Championship.¬†Congratulations (along with great expectations) are in order for Indiana center Cody Zeller, who nearly unanimously took Preseason All-American honors.

Indiana Hoosier Coach Tom Crean and All-American center Cody Zeller

Image courtesy sportsillustrated.cnn.com

 

 

It needs to be pointed out how intensely midwest the preseason rankings are. Take the top five, for example. Behind Indiana is Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State and Michigan; all are no more than about six hours from each other. Also in the top 25 are Michigan State, Missouri, Memphis, Notre Dame and Cincinnati.

The Big Ten Conference appears like it is going to be hotly contested. Five teams are ranked in the Top 25 and well-coached clubs like Purdue and Minnesota ensure that once the Big Ten schedule begins, every game has the potential for an upset.

I plan to cover Indiana-based teams this year including your Butler Bulldogs, Indiana Hoosiers, Notre Dame Irish,¬† and Purdue Boilermakers. Obviously, as the season progresses and the NCAA Tournament nears, we’ll talk about teams like IUPUI and Valparaiso should they get called on Selection Sunday.

Moving to the schedule.

Indiana opens play at home against Bryant University on Friday, November 9th at 8:00pm ET.

Purdue’s first game is at home against Bucknell on Friday, November 9th at 7:00pm ET.

Notre Dame begins its season at home against Evansville on Saturday, November 10th and a start time has yet to be announced.

Butler takes on Elon at home on Saturday, November 10th and starts at 2:00pm.

Are you ready for some hoops?

Cheers!