Hoosiers In Sure Hands with Suhr

Errek Suhr delivered a message with his performance against Duke Tuesday night - he can be used for something more than delivering a message to another player on the IU roster.

Errek Suhr delivered a message with his performance against Duke Tuesday night.

He can be used for something more than delivering a message to another player on the IU roster.

More often than not during his IU career, the 5-8, 155-pound one-time walk-on has earned playing time as a result of the ineffectiveness of others on the IU roster. Whether that was point guards of the past or present, his insertion into the playing rotation was a way for an IU coach to make a point to someone else.

But after he spearheaded IU's second-half turnaround against Duke, one can argue that more often than not, the Hoosiers are better basketball team when Suhr is on the floor instead of sitting on the sidelines.

Offensively, Suhr twice penetrated into the lane and finished, beating Demarcus Nelson and Greg Paulus on those drives. He's added that to his ability to knock down 3-point shots, which he did at a 46.8 percent (22-of-47) clip a year ago. Defensively, he's the team's best at drawing charges either on the ball or by rotating over to help, and on Tuesday he also thwarted a pair of two-on-one opportunities for Duke as well.

I'm not here to suggest that Suhr should be playing 30 minutes/game or that he should even start (although I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the lineup Satuday against Charlotte). But there's no question the Bloomington North grad has developed to the point that he's much more than just a wake-up call to someone else on the IU roster.

Errek Suhr can help the Hoosiers win basketball games.

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Indiana's 2007 recruiting class – ranked sixth nationally according to Scout.com – has impressed in the early going of their respective senior campaigns.

In his season-opener, Eric Gordon scored 36 points as top-ranked North Central knocked off second-ranked Pike 77-73 in front of a sold out crowd of 2,700. Gordon was 5-of-5 from the field and 10-of-10 from the free-throw line while scoring 22 of his points in the second half. North Central plays again tomorrow night against Broad Ripple.

Chicago Crane's Brandon McGee, meanwhile, scored 26 points and pulled down 24 rebounds to lead his seventh-ranked team to a 67-60 win over Senn H.S. in overtime Wednesday night…Jamarcus Ellis' Chipola J.C. team is off to an 8-0 start and ranked No. 1 nationally in the National Junior College Athletic Association. Chipola received 15 of 16 first place votes to remain No. 1 for a second straight week…and Jordan Crawford's Hargrave Military Academy squad opens its season tonight.

There's still no word on the appeal of IU signee Eli Holman from Richmond (Cal.) H.S. and whether or not he'll be able to play this season.

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Jumping over to football, after a 13-year bowl drought Indiana finally SHOULD go to a bowl game in 2007. With just about every starter returning from this year's 5-6 team and a favorable schedule to boot, it's not a matter of they could go bowling, but rather they should.

First off, Indiana's schedule is favorable. The Hoosiers drop Michigan and Ohio State from the schedule next fall, adding Northwestern and Penn State. The non-conference slate (Indiana State, Western Kentucky, Central Michigan and at Akron) features four winnable games, and IU faces only one Big Ten team that had a winning record this season on the road – at Wisconsin.

Couple that with the loss of only five starters (safeties Will Meyers and Troy Grosfield; defensive end Kenny Kendal; offensive lineman Justin Frye and wide receiver Jahkeen Gilmore) and the Hoosiers appear to have the pieces in place to return to the postseason for the first time since 1993.

Anything less would be a disappointment.

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The IU football program is about to embark on a very important couple of weeks, as it begins to welcome in recruits for official visits. Indiana already has verbals from 11 players, and IU Coach Terry Hoeppner said he intends to sign between 18-20 in this year's class.

One of the more interesting developments will be how many junior college players IU decides to bring in this season. The best bet is that IU looks to the JUCO ranks for help in the secondary. IU returns Tracy Porter and Leslie Majors at cornerback, but depth at the position was a real concern this fall. IU also loses safeties Will Meyers and Troy Grosfield, which presents some opportunities at safety as well.

IU looked to California a year ago and nearly lured Diablo Valley J.C. teammates Namon West and Castine Bridges to Bloomington. Don't be surprised to see the Hoosiers try their luck again with some secondary help.

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