This offseason has already done plenty for reviving that Ohio State-Indiana basketball rivalry.
Indiana coach Archie Miller snagged the most important recruit of his career Monday when five-star shooting guard Romeo Langford announced he will be a Hoosier.
Langford is the No. 6 recruit in the country and the top player in Indiana, ending a long streak of years of the best Hoosier State prospect not being a Hoosier.
Langford… is the first top-ranked in-state recruit to choose the Hoosiers in more than a decade. Jaren Jackson Jr., Kyle Guy, Caleb Swanigan, Trey Lyles, Zak Irvin, Glenn Robinson, Marquis Teague, Deshaun Thomas, D.J. Byrd and Tyler Zeller all opted to attend college elsewhere. Eric Gordon in 2007 was the last No. 1 recruit in the state to commit to Indiana. (Tom Crean did land 5-star prospects Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr., though, so he wasn’t exactly a slouch.)
His commitment bumped Miller’s first full-year recruiting class to No. 9 in the country in 247Sports composite rankings.
(The group also includes Pickerington North forward Jerome Hunter, a four-star forward who probably would have looked good in Scarlet and Gray.)
He showed he could coach ‘em up at UD, but with one notable exception (Kostas Antetokounmpo) he didn’t recruit a lot of big-name players out of high school for the Flyers.
You can win a lot of games in any conference with the ability to develop players (look at Michigan), but Indiana will never be INDIANA again without recruiting a whole bunch of big-name players.
Scratch that concern off the list as Langford is regarded as a definite program-changer — or in this case, a program reviver.
Meanwhile, second-year Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann snagged his version of Romeo Langford earlier in April when he received a commitment from Alonzo Gaffney, a five-star 2019 forward from Garfield Heights.
(Langford is a 2018 recruit so he’ll be a Hoosier this fall while Gaffney still has a year of high school left.)
That was a huge get for Holtmann because although he recruited at a higher level at Butler than Miller did at Dayton, he couldn’t say he had signed the type of player who could be considered a lottery pick.
Now that both have their big fish — along with multiple four-stars who will of course be important, too — the next step is doing it on the court.
Holtmann got a jump on Miller there, engineering a surprising 25-win season that netted him Big Ten Coach of the Year while Miller’s first team was a disappointing 16-15.
Whose long-term future would you rather bet on?
Should be fun watching it play out…
After their first winning week fo the season, the Reds started this one with a loss.
I searched their 6-5 setback against the Brewers Monday night for trends and narrative builders but couldn’t really find any.
Sometimes a loss is just a loss.
Brandon Finnegan had his best start of the season (three runs on five hits in five innings), but normally reliable reliever Wandy Peralta gave up the lead in the seventh inning.
The Reds offense continues to look worlds better, and Scott Schebler and Eugenio Suarez continue to be the driving forces. They combined to go 4 for 8 last night with four RBIs (all off the bat of Suarez).
Billy Hamilton got a hit, too, if you can believe it.
OK, if there is a worrying trend it would be the starters not going deep into games even when they have good outings.
Is that on them, or has interim manager Jim Riggleman shown too quick of a hook?
Probably a little bit of both...
Lastly here’s a shoutout to Andy Dalton.
Sometimes it’s not clear how much leadership the quarterback brings to the Bengals, but he appears to have taken some initiative to get to know his new center by taking Billy Price and his girlfriend out to dinner Saturday night.
Price won’t be able to physically take part in OTAs later this month because of his pec injury, but he can take mental reps and start to learn the offense.
“It’s an exciting time to be a first-round pick, know where you’re gonna be, and he’s got the right mindset,” Dalton said.