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WRITER: Tom Davis

TOM DAVIS: Losing Justin Kenny will hurt News-Sentinel.com, but it'll hurt me more

“Two days from now, I have no idea who in the Hell I’ll call with this question.” Those were my first words to fellow News-Sentinel.com employee Justin Kenny when I called him with a journalistic dilemma Tuesday, and they capture my feelings as I deal with the fact that as of today I won’t have Kenny on speed-dial as I have for over a decade. Kenny announced recently that he was departing ...

Notre Dame football coach wants to 'play a lot of guys,' not redshirt them

College football coaches across the country received an early gift when the rule regarding redshirt players was altered this off-season. After wrestling with the dilemma of whether or not to put a young player in for a single play under the old rule, thus using an entire year of eligibility, coaches can now watch an athlete play 300-plus reps in up to four games, yet still have him retain four seasons of ...

Indiana forward Justin Smith has the ability to be a 'game-changer,' according to his coach

If fans of the Indiana University men’s basketball program wanted something positive to cling to throughout this off-season, then Hoosier forward Justin Smith gave them just that at the end of his freshman season. The 6-foot-7 leaping athlete played his best basketball to close the 2017-18 campaign, which can only make the Hoosier Nation anxiously await as to what the talented player can do as a sophomore. ...

Defending state champion Culver Academies basketball is embracing the 'privilege' of pressure

When you return all but a couple of points per game from a state championship squad a lot of opponents are going to zero in on you once the upcoming season gets underway. In the case of veteran Culver Academies boy’s basketball coach Mark Galloway, he is perfectly fine with that. “Pressure is a privilege,” Galloway told News-Sentinel.com recently. “When you get that pressure, embrace it, enjoy it, ...

Purdue Fort Wayne 'blessed' to have landed versatile, talented Georgia prep standout, Jarred Godfrey

The Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball staff wasn’t looking to add a freshman perimeter player this spring. In a perfect world, they were really in search of an older athlete. However, when three Mastodons surprisingly transferring out of the program following the 2017-18 season, it opened an opportunity for someone else. “On the first stage,” fifth-year Purdue Fort Wayne coach Jon Coffman explained ...

Notre Dame defensive force Jerry Tillery has followed a 'journey' to greatness

It is not as if Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly would like for all of his players to endure growing pains on and off of the field. In a perfect world, all of the Fighting Irish student-athletes would come in as polished as a Corey Robinson and exit as two-time Irish captain Drue Tranquill will next winter. However, the world isn’t perfect so for every Joe Schmidt or Jaylon Smith, there is a story such ...

Indiana basketball coach Archie Miller to hit the road again in pursuit of Hoosier State talent

Wednesday afternoon will mark the start of the second of three prospect evaluation periods in this oh-so-critical month for college basketball coaches to construct the future of their programs. Second-year Indiana University coach Archie Miller has already laid a strong foundation with the retaining of the 2017 class that was signed under former Hoosier coach Tom Crean, as well as securing the ...

Notre Dame has one linebacker position still in flux as training camp nears

First-year Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea can enjoy the comfort of having worked with the Fighting Irish linebacker corps last season, before his promotion to a coordinator, so figuring out the right pieces to have on the field when Michigan visits Sept. 1 to open the 2018 season won’t be that difficult for him. In addition, Lea has the luxury of being able to rely on veterans Te’Von Coney ...

Lost in the euphoria of the Indiana basketball recruits is the continued growth of Hoosier sophomore Al Durham

The buzz around Bloomington this off-season has been centered on Indiana University freshman guard Romeo Langford and what exactly he will bring to the Hoosiers this coming season. There is validity in that curiosity, as the 2018 Indiana Mr. Basketball appears to be the real deal and should have a significant impact on the emerging Hoosiers. However, what hasn’t gotten a lot of publicity is the ...

Indiana coach Archie Miller found (a lot of) time for Zach McRoberts in the past, but what about the future?

In Archie Miller’s initial season of leading the Indiana University men’s basketball program, he essentially went with a nine-man rotation. If that philosophy continues into the 2018-19 season it creates a tremendous amount of competition for that final spot, particularly when it comes to the playing time doled out to fifth-year wing Zach McRoberts. “He plays incredibly hard,” Miller said of ...

Notre Dame has some worries but its kicking game isn't among them

Notre Dame special teams coach Brian Polian has been in this business long enough to know what he doesn’t want to experience, which is to have to figure out his team’s kicking game on the fly during a season. The Fighting Irish are in the enviable position of going on their fourth straight season of not having to worry (aside from injury) about such a thing and no one is more thankful about that than ...

TOM DAVIS: High school basketball in Indiana — as it was — has left and it isn't coming back

“I would have given anything to be an Indiana All-Star.” INDIANAPOLIS – The above quote sounds as if it were stated by some old-codger sitting on hardwood bleachers in a gym somewhere amidst the unfolding fields of this state. However, in actuality, it was made recently by a guy who isn’t even out of his 20s. Former Muncie Central High School standout John Peckinpaugh achieved about all you could on ...

Questions loom over the Notre Dame run game as 2018 season nears

Facing Michigan in a season-opening football game will be challenging enough for Notre Dame when the two rivals battle in just over seven weeks. However, doing so without its most experienced runner – against a very, very good Wolverine defense – will make the task of making a statement nationally that night (Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m., NBC) even more difficult. If you believe the rumors circulating around ...

Notre Dame is projected to be special and the play of defender Julian Love is a key reason why

For all of its luster, the fact remains that the Notre Dame football program hasn’t been truly special but one time in the last 24 seasons and even that was six years ago. However, the possibility of that ignominious stretch ending may be near and if it does, the play of veteran cornerback Julian Love will be a key reason for such. There has been just one season (2012) in which the Fighting Irish have ...

Purdue Fort Wayne hoops wastes no time in finding, landing versatile Canadian

Today marks the opening of the critical July recruiting period for college basketball coaches throughout the country and the Purdue Fort Wayne staff is no exception to that. The Mastodon staff will be scouring the country in search of talent and in some cases initiating relationships that may be years in the making before a prospect ends up with the program. That is how some recruiting stories unfold but ...

TOM DAVIS: Former Valparaiso High School hoop star Brandon Newman doesn't need a prep school to flourish

INDIANAPOLIS – Valparaiso High School boys basketball coach Barak Coolman spent his Monday afternoon watching the future of IHSAA basketball as over 100 of the top underclassmen throughout the state took part in the annual IBCA-IHSAA Underclassmen Showcase at Ben Davis High School. His focus was on the future because in light of his recently losing his best returning player, there really is no reason to ...

Indiana Tech hoops is already good but coach Ted Albert is striving for more

INDIANAPOLIS – Second-year Indiana Tech men’s basketball coach Ted Albert won an NAIA Division II National Championship as a player at Cornerstone (2011) and later served as an assistant coach on the 2015 Eagles’ title-winning squad, which goes a long way in explaining his perspective on Indiana Tech’s performance last season. “We had the skill-set to win a lot of games,” Albert told ...

Saint Mary's transfer Evan Fitzner is a skilled and capable 'added weapon' for Indiana basketball next season

Second-year Indiana University men’s basketball coach Archie Miller doesn’t have the definitive answers to some questions that will face him this coming season, particularly when it comes to assessing the frontcourt play of his team. Will junior center De’Ron Davis be effective early this season following his Achilles’ injury suffered last January? “That is a difficult surgery for anyone to come ...

Indiana basketball alums having mixed results in NBA Summer League

Indiana has six players competing in the 2018 NBA Summer League. The Las Vegas portion of the competition concludes Tuesday evening with five games (three of which former Hoosiers will be playing). Here is a rundown of how the Indiana players have fared this summer. ROBERT JOHNSON Atlanta Hawks, 6-4 guard, last played for Indiana in 2018 Game 1: DNP in 103-88 loss vs. Memphis Game 2: Johnson played ...

Notre Dame recruit Cam Hart, like all young Irish athletes, will get his opportunity early

Second-year Notre Dame wide receiver coach Del Alexander has a brutally honest mantra that he preaches within his wide receivers’ room that has to resonate with some in a negative manner but others in a positive sense. “There is a saying in my room,” Alexander said this spring, “and the players may not like it but everyone in that room will be replaced one day. They decide how soon.” For a veteran ...