NCAA notebook: Indiana's storied program regains its luster
Indiana athletic director Fred Glass must be ready for the game each time he goes out.
The minute he's recognized at the supermarket or the barbershop, he knows he'll be doing an impromptu news conference. He has learned to expect the sit-down interview if he shows up at his wife's optometrist's office. And when he sees that hand-written envelope from Libertyville, Ind., he realizes he better have a good answer for that 90-year-old retired school teacher, too.
In Indiana, seemingly everyone is a basketball expert, and talking about it has no boundaries.
“My favorite story is this little old lady who writes me in longhand and says, ‘I don't know much about basketball, but I really enjoy watching the boys play, and can you also explain to me why when we're playing a 1-3-1 zone, we don't push anyone out to the elbow?' ” Glass said with not even a hint of a chuckle. “She says all this after she says she doesn't know much about basketball.”
Here, basketball is treated like a king's sport. Stars are considered royalty and the Hoosiers still rule the state, especially now, just two wins away from their first Final Four trip since 2002 after one of the grandest comeback stories in its storied history.
Five years ago, coach Tom Crean took over a program that had just two returning players and had been sullied by scandal.
Over the next three years, the proud Hoosiers won just 28 games. Then came Cody Zeller's commitment, Christian Watford's buzzer-beating 3-pointer against then-No. 1 Kentucky, a trip to the round of the 16 — and suddenly the Hoosiers were back.
Miami center has surgery
Miami center Reggie Johnson had surgery Tuesday to repair a minor meniscus issue, said a person familiar with the situation.
Johnson did not accompany the Hurricanes to Washington on Tuesday night, though he could play in the Final Four if Miami wins the East Regional this weekend, the person told The Associated Press because the school did not publicly disclose the surgery.
Miami (29-6) plays Marquette (25-8) on Thursday in the East Regional semifinals. The winner of that game will meet either Indiana or Syracuse for a trip to Atlanta and the Final Four.
Throughout his years as an administrator, Norwood Teague has developed a strong network of connections in the college basketball community. Now it's time for the Minnesota athletic director to put that to good use.
Teague has started the process of making his first big hire since he came to Minnesota last year. He made a bold decision to fire men's basketball coach Tubby Smith, and now he is looking for a dynamic replacement to take the Golden Gophers into the upper echelon of the Big Ten.
Teague hasn't put a timetable on the decision, but the clock is ticking. Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart, Marquette's Buzz Williams and former Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders are among the names that have been floated as possible replacements.
Buffalo hires Hurley
The University at Buffalo hired Bobby Hurley to take over as its men's basketball coach.
Hurley, who was introduced at a news conference Tuesday, completed his first season as an associate coach at Rhode Island this month, working under his brother, Dan Hurley. He spent the previous two seasons as an assistant at Wagner, also with Dan serving as head coach.