Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Hoosier basketball.

Tuesday, April 17

Look For White To Stay a Hoosier

If you believe coach Kelvin Sampson, and why wouldn’t you, D.J. White likely will be back with the Hoosiers next season.

Yes, that would be very, very good news for Indiana. Remember, the 6-9 White averaged 13.8 points last season without the benefit of another inside threat or the kind of perimeter playmaking IU expects to get from super recruit Eric Gordon.

According to the Indianapolis Star and ESPN, Sampson said that White has been at every workout and that he confirmed on Monday that he’s staying.

For those worried about a change of heart, White has until April 29 to declare for the NBA draft.

Sampson is also looking at taking the team on a foreign tour to the Bahamas in early September. That would give them 10 practice games, plus those games, a great way to help build team chemistry and cohesiveness given the fact six newcomers will be on the roster.

That’s not etched in stone yet, but the NCAA allows teams to take such foreign trips once every four years.

Finally, IU will host Georgia Tech in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 27. The Hoosiers also will host Kentucky and Connecticut.

What does all that mean? It’s looking more and more like the Hoosiers will be a preseason top-10 team.

Wednesday, April 4

Figure Thomas To Be a Hoosier Soon

So it looks like junior college forward DeAndre Thomas –- all 6-8 and 270 pounds of him -– will be a Hoosier starting next Wednesday. That’s when he can sign a national letter of intent had he figures to now that a scholarship has become available.

Freshman forward Xavier Keeling is set to transfer, which is not surprising considering much of the postseason speculation suggested as much (also on Joey Shaw, but nothing definitive on him yet). Keeling averaged 1.8 points and 8.2 minutes this past season.

It’s uncertain where he could end up, but he was recruited by Mike Davis, who is now the coach at Alabama-Birmingham.

Thomas will provide size and strength inside, attributes coach Kelvin Sampson likes in his inside players. Thomas averaged 15.2 points and 5.7 rebounds for Chipola College in Florida this past season. He’s the teammate of another incoming IU recruit, Jamarcus Ellis.

Thomas should ensure the Hoosiers have the inside muscle to complement their outside firepower. Other than D.J. White, they lacked that kind of balance last season.