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.

Sunday, August 26

Allen To Visit St. Mary's

Contrary to what you might have read on another blog, Ben Allen’s interest in St. Mary’s of California is not a rumor. The former Indiana forward (IU announced he was transferring on Thursday) is set to visit St. Mary’s on Tuesday. If everything goes well, he will receive a scholarship and join Australian national team teammates Carlin Hughes and Lucas Walker, who already play for St. Mary’s. He will have to redshirt a season, but then, he was looking at having to redshirt at IU anyway.

Of course, the visit might not go well and Allen will have to go elsewhere, but at this stage, that doesn’t look likely. Figure he’s California bound.

Saturday, August 25

Academics Cost Ratliff First Semester

The rumors are true. Indiana senior guard A.J. Ratliff will miss the first semester –- nine games in all –- because of academic ineligibility.

Ratliff also had right wrist surgery over the summer (he broke it during a pickup game), but that has healed to the point where he participated in today’s first practice in preparation for next weekend’s trip to the Bahamas. He can work out with the team during this semester, but he can't play in any games.

Coach Kelvin Sampson said that he has stressed to Ratliff the importance of graduating.

"I told him if he graduates from IU, he has a chance to have a productive life," Sampson said. "That's our goal for him. That's his goal."

If Ratliff meets his academic requirements, he’ll be eligible to play starting with the Dec. 15 Western Carolina game. Games missed include Georgia Tech, Southern Illinois and Kentucky.

Ratliff's problems stemmed from the second semester. He passed a pair of summer classes.

Ratliff, a former Indiana Mr. Basketball, has averaged 6.3 points and 2.3 rebounds during his career.

Also, senior forward Lance Stemler is fully recovered from last spring’s ankle surgery. He and D.J. White are co-captains.

Finally, the Hoosiers have added a walk-on. He is sophomore guard Brett Finkelmeier from Carmel. He tried out as a wak-on last year. He didn't make it, but impressed the coaches enough to get an opportunity this season.

Thursday, August 23

It's Official -- Ben Allen Is Transferring

It’s now official. Ben Allen is transferring.

Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson made the announcement this afternoon in a brief university statement:

“We appreciate Ben’s efforts at Indiana and we wish him nothing but the best in the future,” Sampson said.

The 6-11 Allen played in 24 games last season. He averaged 0.8 points and 1.5 rebounds. As a freshman, he played in all 31 games and averaged 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds.

Allen, a native of Australia, recently returned from playing for the Australian national team in the Universiade Games in Thailand. The Australian team finished 3-3.

Allen is likely to transfer to St. Mary’s in California. If so, he would join Australian teammates Carlin Hughes and Lucas Walker. Both play for St. Mary’s. Allen will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Allen To Transfer?, Part II

Well, it’s good to know that some people are reading my blog, even though I haven’t exactly been Mr. Regular in posting lately.

If you want more insight into the Ben Allen will-he-or-won’t-he-transfer saga, brace yourself because I’m about to reveal more, once I get over the shock -- because somebody left the TV on while I'm writing this -- of hearing Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas” song twisted into some sick, evil rendition to promote Viagra.

Sorry. Sometimes, I get distracted. Back to Ben Allen.

First, if you want etched-in-stone certainty, turn to Tom Brady’s fatherhood status (yes, he and his ex girlfriend, actress Bridget Moynahan, are the proud parents of a boy!). This is Indiana basketball, which means intrigue is everywhere and the only sure thing is that you want to know more.

Allen is set to arrive in Bloomington today (Thursday) where, in all likelihood, he’ll gather his belongings, say his goodbyes and leave by the end of the weekend for a California future that will include more three-pointers and less dunks.

Of course, along the way Allen will talk to his Indiana teammates and coaches, including coach Kelvin Sampson. And by the end of those discussions, it’s possible everybody will agree he will stay.

Just don’t bet the house on it. Sampson prefers his 6-11 guys to be inside factors. Allen's perimeter preference is not a good fit, although he's tried to change his game.

In the meantime, consider all the possibilities of a D.J. White-Eric Gordon inside-outside combination.

Wednesday, August 22

Allen To Transfer?

It looks like Ben Allen has played his last basketball game for Indiana.

All signs point that Allen, a native of Australia, will not return and join the Hoosiers. Instead, he's expected to transfer, perhaps to St. Mary's in California.

Allen, who had spent part of the summer playing for the Australian national team, was set to return to Bloomington later this week. Classes will begin on Monday.

Allen, who has two years of eligibility remaining, seemed headed for a redshirt season considering the depth IU has inside, including seniors D.J. White, Mike White and Lance Stemler, plus newcomers DeAndre Thomas, Brandon McGee and Eli Holman.

Allen averaged less than one point and two rebounds a game last season while adapting to coach Kelvin Sampson's system. The 6-11 Allen was more of a perimeter player. Sampson wanted him to be more of a strong inside presence.

There has been no official IU announcement.