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Friday, October 18, 2019
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  • Thursday, June 6, 2019 5:19 PM

    Now that the New Orleans Pelicans have won the Zion Williamson lottery sweepstakes, NBA writers have begun revising their projected draft picks.
    In the next three weeks leading up to the June 20 draft, don’t be surprised if you see former Indiana guard Romeo Langford’s draft stock rise and fall like the sun. Opinions on him seem to change daily.

    Sam Vecenie of The Athletic sees Langford falling to Detroit at No. 15, citing anonymous NBA scouts noting that “Langford is far from a surefire lottery pick after his season at Indiana.” That’s because questions remain about his jump shot. Did his thumb injury cause Langford to shoot 27 percent from 3-point range for the Hoosiers?

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  • Saturday, May 25, 2019 4:00 AM
    The calendar reads May but it won’t be long until our local bookstores and department stores will be displaying college football magazines.
    Athlon Sports has begun to post some of its upcoming Big Ten Conference content on its website, athlonsports.com. For Purdue and Indiana fans, there’s just enough analysis to whet the appetite for the fall.
    Sophomore wide receiver Rondale Moore and senior linebacker Markus Bailey are first-team selections from Purdue. Moore also received second-team mention as a punt returner.
    Other Boilermakers honored by Athlon were tight end Brycen Hopkins (second team), offensive lineman Matt McCann (fourth team), defensive tackle Lorenzo Neal (fourth team) and linebacker Derrick Barnes (fourth team).
    Indiana placed five players on the Athlon preseason All-Big Ten teams, led by Lafayette Central Catholic graduate Coy Cronk, a second-team offensive lineman. Joining Cronk on the second team is kicker Logan Justus.
    Running back Stevie Scott is a third-team choice, while wide receiver Nick Westbrook and defensive back Marcelino Ball were selected to the fourth team.
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  • Friday, May 17, 2019 2:19 AM
    A NFL Draft streak that began with Brian Alford, Mark Fischer and Edwin Watson in 1998 came to an end for Purdue in 2019.
    The good news is that at least two national sports outlets are predicting a new streak for the Boilermakers will begin in 2020 with senior defensive tackle Lorenzo Neal.
    Neal, who hopes to follow the career path of his father – former NFL fullback Lorenzo Neal, was a projected first round choice to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 12 by ESPN.com writer Todd McShay.
    Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com has Neal ranked 72nd on his list of the top 100 NFL Draft prospects for 2020. These rankings assume that Neal will bounce back from a torn ACL he suffered in the regular season finale against Indiana.
    Neal heads a smaller than usual Purdue football senior class this fall, but he is not the only 2020 NFL prospect on the roster. Of the nine scholarship seniors, three are legitimate draft prospects.
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  • Friday, May 10, 2019 1:21 AM
    There are rules and then there are rules that are in the best interests of the athletes.
    The IHSAA’s decision to implement a mercy rule in high school football this fall qualifies as the latter.
    When the point differential reaches 35 points in the second half, the game clock will convert to a running clock over the final 24 minutes. The lone exceptions will be timeouts, scores and/or injuries. The running clock remains in place even if the margin drops below 35 points.
    This rule was in effect in Wisconsin several years ago when one of my nephews was playing high school football. Not only does it speed up the game, it also takes the decision out of coaches’ hands. Previously in Indiana, both coaches had to agree to a running clock before it would be implemented. 
    This vote brought back memories of the most lopsided game I have covered in my nearly 40-year reporting career.
    It was Oct. 17, 2008, and future five-time state champion coach Kevin O’Shea was in his first season at Central Catholic. With record-setting quarterback Chris Mills leading an offense that averaged nearly 48 points a game, the Knights were hosting overmatched Clinton Prairie in the regular season finale
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  • Trent Johnson making his mark at Purdue
    Friday, May 3, 2019 4:00 AM
    When Purdue baseball coach Mark Wasikowski first saw Trent Johnson pitch for Crawfordsville High School, he didn’t know what to expect.
    What he saw made a lasting impression.
    “In 20-some odd years of recruiting, that was probably . . . without a doubt I would say . . . the No. 1 recruiting experience of my life, going to Crawfordsville and leaving the field with the feeling I had,” Wasikowski said. “Whether the kid was going to be good enough, time would tell. But in terms of walking away from that field knowing that the person you were recruiting was clearly the right guy was the best experience.”
    Johnson had the credentials, leading the state in strikeouts as a junior and a senior with the Athenians. But it was more than that which appealed to Wasikowski.
    “When I first went down to scout him, I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw pregame, during the game and post-game,” he said. “The irony was the number of people who came up to me during the course of the day, without me even having to reach out to people, who were just offering their positive opinions on him, his family, his work ethic, the person he was.”
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  • Friday, April 26, 2019 4:00 AM
    I said this in 1997, when Hoosier Hysteria as many of us knew it, went away with the advent of class basketball.
    Now some are beating the drum for the addition of a shot clock for Indiana high school basketball. While class basketball was an attempt to bring parity to the sport, a shot clock will heavily favor the larger, more talented teams. 
    If there was a shot clock in 1954, Milan and Bobby Plump could not have held the ball for four minutes in the fourth quarter against Muncie Central. 
    I have yet to hear an explanation that makes sense to adopt this rule. Culver Academy coach Mark Galloway, whose son Trey is one of the state’s top players, told Kyle Neddenriep of the Indianapolis Star that a shot clock would help prepare players for college basketball.
    Indiana produced 141 NCAA Division I basketball players on 2018-19 rosters. While there also are opportunities available in NCAA Divisions II and III, as well as NAIA, the total number of Indiana high school graduates playing men’s college basketball still wouldn’t average two players from each of the 400 schools which participated in the 2019 state tournament.
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  • Friday, April 19, 2019 4:00 AM
    Romeo Langford has the former; Carsen Edwards the latter.
    While Langford was not the savior some Indiana basketball fans hoped for during his single season in Bloomington – not even winning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors – he is still listed in the top 15 of many NBA mock drafts.
    Edwards, coming off a record-setting NCAA tournament for Purdue, has cracked the lower part of the first round in those post-tourney mock drafts but is usually mentioned as a scoring spark off the bench for the right team.
    When I was growing up in the 1970s, the NBA wanted proven college players. There were exceptions, notably Moses Malone and Darryl Dawkins who entered the NBA out of high school. Even Larry Bird gave up a chance to enter the NBA a year early to return to Indiana State and lead the Sycamores to the 1979 NCAA championship game against Magic Johnson and Michigan State.
    Johnson gave up his final two years of eligibility to enter the NBA Draft and from then on, it became more common for college basketball’s best players to not complete their four years. Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas, Charles Barkley, etc.
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  • Friday, April 12, 2019 4:00 AM
    Purdue’s run through the NCAA tournament is one reason why college basketball is must-see TV every March.
    But by coincidence this tournament also showed the worst side of college basketball in prime time during the Sweet 16.
    Auburn. Kentucky. Houston. North Carolina. The field comprising the 2019 Midwest Regional has left a stench on the game in recent years, whether it was fake classes or coaches who have a habit of not following recruiting rules.
    The fact that Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, Kentucky’s John Calipari and Houston’s Kelvin Sampson are working, and thriving today, is shameful. Meanwhile, coaches who have good reputations like Tim Miles at Nebraska, Phil Martelli at Saint Joseph’s (Pa.) and Fran Dunphy at Temple are looking for work because they didn’t win enough.
    While there’s no evidence that Roy Williams knew about the fake classes that kept North Carolina athletes eligible, the mere fact that the Tar Heels got off scot-free two years ago because – to paraphrase the New York Times – the NCAA determined no rules were broken – may be why the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York are now attempting to police college basketball. 
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