Pint-sized Ferrell plays big for IU

Published: Friday, March 22, 2013 @ 9:06 PM
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 @ 9:06 PM

He looks like he should be the ball boy or maybe one of the young kids who waits eagerly behind the basket and then hops out to mop the floor during timeouts.

“When he first came here I called him Little Michael Jackson,” said Indiana’s 6-foot-5 guard Victor Oladipo. “But really he’s nothing like that. … There’s nothing little about him … or his game.”

Everybody thought top-seeded Indiana would use its size advantage to overwhelm 16th-seeded James Madison in its NCAA tournament opener Friday afternoon at UD Arena. Instead, the smallest guy on the court — Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, the fresh-faced, teenage point guard of the Hoosiers — was the guy who delivered the knockout blow to the Dukes right after the opening tip.

The 6-foot freshman — and that height is probably inflated — put on the most impressive five-minute display so far in this tournament. He scored the first nine points and 14 of IU’s first 16. By then James Madison was down 16-3 and the Dukes never recovered in what would be an easy 82-63 Hoosier victory.

“He was awesome,” James Madison coach Matt Brady said of the 19-year-old Ferrell. “We knew how fast he was. We knew he’s really talented. We knew he’s the guy who makes them go. But again, like with the rest of their team, until you are on the court with them, you don’t REALLY know. My guys couldn’t really catch up to the speed of the game.”

Andre Nation, the Dukes’ freshman guard who was impressive himself with 24 points, agreed with his coach: “They ran faster than any team we ever played. They threw the first punch and they threw another punch and they kept throwing them and we weren’t throwing back.”

Ferrell finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

“The way he went off like he did at the start was fun to watch,” said Indiana’s backup big man, the tattooed Derek Elston. “I don’t know about junior-high sized, but yeah he’s small. But the dude is also quick as lightning. He really put his mark on this game.”

Ferrell has been an over-sized presence since grammar school.

As skewered as it sounds, a scouting publication called The Hoop Scoop once rated him the No. 1 fourth-grade basketball talent in the nation. That prompted a front-page story in The Indianapolis Star.

As heady as that is, it could easily derail a youngster, and Ferrell’s father recognized that and pulled him out of AAU ball during his seventh- and eighth-grade years. He wanted his boy to get back to just being a regular kid.

At Park Tudor High School in Indianapolis, Ferrell fell under the tutorial wing of former Wright State coach Ed Schilling, who took over the prep duties at the Class 2A school when Yogi was a sophomore.

Schilling mentored the young prodigy in all aspects of the game and their union produced instant success. Park Tudor made it to the state title game when Ferrell was a sophomore and then won the state crown the next two years.

“Ed Schilling is my longtime friend,” Ferrell said after Friday’s game. “He taught me to be coachable, to be a winner and to just go out there and never take a possession off. And everything he taught me I’m using right now.”

Ferrell said the only other time he’s started a game like he did Friday was the first year he played for Schilling: “One time I scored the first 16 points of a game. But today, this was different. It was my first NCAA tournament game and I just wanted to make sure I did whatever it took to make my team win.

“I had a lot of energy before the game, but I wasn’t nervous or anything. I know I’m small and I know they always say little guys can’t do anything, but I was out there to prove they were wrong. And I think I did a pretty good job of that.”

President Trump won't fill out NCAA brackets on ESPN

Published: Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 12:02 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 12:02 AM

            President Trump won't fill out NCAA brackets on ESPN

President Donald Trump will be skipping March Madness this year.

>> Read more trending news

The White House said Wednesday that the president will not pick brackets for the 2017 men's and women's tournaments, ESPN reported.

"We expressed our interest to the White House in continuing the presidential bracket,” ESPN said in a statement. “They have respectfully declined."

In an email to the Washington Post, White House spokesman Hope Hicks said: "We look forward to working with ESPN on another opportunity in the near future."

Former President Barack Obama, a big basketball fan, had agreed in previous years to fill out brackets for the men’s and women’s tournaments and discuss his choices on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

Oregon basketball player flops at flopping attempt

Published: Friday, January 27, 2017 @ 6:30 AM
Updated: Friday, January 27, 2017 @ 6:30 AM

            Oregon basketball player flops at flopping attempt

This flop simply flopped.

>> Read more trending news

Dillon Brooks was back in the lineup Thursday night for No. 10 Oregon against Utah. Brooks had missed the previous game with a sprained left foot, but his second-half sprawl showed he had gotten his legs back.

Utah guard Sedrick Barefield was driving to the basket and brushed against the junior forward, USA Today reported. After a full second, Brooks, who was called for a foul on the play, toppled backward in an unconvincing flop.

The game wasn’t a total flop for Brooks, however. He led the Ducks (19-2, 8-0 Pac-12) with 19 points as Oregon won 73-67 against Utah (14-6, 5-3). It was the Ducks' 17th straight victory.

Brawl breaks out during college basketball game in Memphis

Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 @ 4:19 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 @ 4:19 PM

            Brawl breaks out during college basketball game in Memphis

A brawl broke out during the Lemoyne-Owen College vs. Lane College basketball game on Saturday, January 14th in Memphis, Tennessee. 

>> Read more trending stories  

 Police said no ambulances were called to the scene nor was a police report filed. 

No one was taken into custody. 

Both colleges are investigating. 

Baylor women set Division I record in 140-32 rout

Published: Friday, December 16, 2016 @ 3:40 AM
Updated: Friday, December 16, 2016 @ 3:40 AM

            Baylor women set Division I record in 140-32 rout

In the biggest rout in women’s Division I basketball history, third-ranked Baylor crushed Winthrop 140-32 on Thursday.

>> Read more trending stories

The Lady Bears (11-1) scored the first 21 points, led 77-18 at halftime and shut out Winthrop 29-0 in the fourth quarter, The Associated Press reported.

The 108-point margin of victory broke the record of 102 set by Grambling when it defeated Jarvis Christian College 139-37 in 1986. Baylor's point total was the second highest in women's Division I history, topped only by the 149 scored by Long Beach State in 1987.

The biggest rout between two Division I teams in women's basketball had been in 1989, when Louisiana Tech topped Texas-Pan American 126-25.

Thursday, Baylor set school single-game records for points, rebounds (75) assists (42) and blocked shots (17).

Erica Williams led Winthrop (1-9) with 15 points.

"I tried and played tons of people, in and out of the lineup, called timeouts, trying to get people off the floor," Mulkey told the AP.

"What do you say after a game like that?" Winthrop coach Kevin Cook told the AP. "We've played some highly ranked teams this season. And by far, Baylor is right at the top. You saw the game, you see the stats. They hurt us inside, they hurt us with 3-pointers. They're awfully good.”

Baylor’s leading scorer Alexis Jones, plagued with knee trouble, missed her second straight game. The Bears were led by Khadijiah Cave’s career-high 25 points.

Erica Williams led Winthrop (1-9) with 15 points.

Last month, in an exhibition game, Maryland beat Division II Bluefield State 146-17.