Day 5: Indiana | Traveling Violations
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A.J. Moye is is 6 feet 3 inches tall.
But there were times last year, due to some roster deficiencies, that Moye had to play power forward for Indiana. He actually held his own, averaging a more-than-respectable 4.1 rebounds a game in Big Ten play.
Now Moye wants to do more. His goal for his senior season is simple.
"I want to lead the country in rebounding," Moye said. "It'd be funny to see a 6-3 guy do that. But I'm capable of doing that."
He is if you believe 90 percent of rebounding is determination, because Moye has plenty of determination. Plus, he isn't under any delusions of grandeur about his role on the Hoosiers this season.
It isn't to lead the team in scoring. It isn't to win a spot in the first round of the NBA draft.
"I just want to win," he said. "That's it, win. I know I can be one of the better players in the Big Ten and one of the best leaders in the country. So that is what I am going to do, lead and win."
Moye even has his recent role models to follow.
"I want to go out like [Mateen] Cleaves and [Shane] Battier," said Moye of the Michigan State and Duke stars who won it all as seniors. "They overachieved by what God gave them."
If a 6-3 guard can lead the nation in rebounding, then Moye will have done the same.
• For the first time since he was fired by Indiana, Bob Knight actually is acknowledged in the IU media guide this season. Pages 188-189 ("The History") make note of the Hall of Fame coach's numerous accomplishments and his five Final Four teams.
Hey, it's a start.
• Speaking of Bob Knight, we called Lubbock Wednesday to get a report on how his new team is looking. With All-America candidate Andre Emmitt back and another good recruiting class in the fold, things sound positive.
• "This is the most talent Coach has had to work with in years," Tech assistant Pat Knight said. "We are having fun with it right now."
• We found out that on Tuesday, the same night that we held our fan event in Indianapolis, Shania Twain was performing just around the corner at Conseco Fieldhouse. We are absolutely stunned she didn't stop by to say hello.
• There actually were some disappointing reports filed from the Shania Twain show. Apparently she left her racier music video outfits back in Canada and spent most of the show crooning in an oversized Peyton Manning jersey and later a Reggie Miller jersey.
"I was in the eighth row," said one attendee we spoke with. "And I expected so much more."
That kind of disappointment ought be worth some kind of refund.
• Valued Reader email of the day (on Illinois freshman Warren Carter and the struggles he overcame to get to college):
I'm Josh Carter (Warren's little brother). I just wanted to say I enjoyed the writing, and I think you did a good job. That did make us stronger, and we are closer as a family now that it has happened. Thanks for supporting Warren.
Joshua Carter Dallas, Texas
• Indiana may have missed last fall on high-profile recruits Luol Deng (Duke) and Charlie Villanueva (Connecticut), but it didn't strike out completely. Pat Ewing, Jr. – yes, the son of that Pat Ewing – looks terrific and should solve some of IU's problems at the four spot.
The 6 foot 8 inch native of Marietta, Ga. is strong, athletic and has a knack for scoring. Now just imagine how good he'd be if he only had good genes.
• Meanwhile, Bracey Wright – whom Davis calls the best player in the Big Ten – looks fully recovered from last spring's back surgery. The sophomore is moving and shooting as fluidly as ever.
• We had dinner Wednesday at Davis' home outside of Bloomington. There was a small crowd of people so take out was ordered and a ton of buffalo wings arrived. This, it turned out, already was the fourth time on the trip that we've had Buffalo wings. That's a lot of wings.
"I could take flight at any moment," wheelman Bret Bearup said.
• Soon after the food arrived Davis' wife, Tamilya, instructed Bearup to help himself to anything in the fridge and to make himself "at home."
"If I was at home," Bearup said, "I would walk into the living room and take off my pants."
• Mike Crowley runs a pretty good radio show down in Evansville, Ind. but he has proven most useful to the Tour for recommending (along with many emailers) that we dine at the Dinosaur BBQ when we hit his alma mater, Syracuse. We've actually been there before and it is about as good as it gets north of the Mason-Dixon.
• On Thursday in Lexington we will be on WLXG Radio around 5 p.m. The show, hosted by Drew Deener, will originate from the Hunan Restaurant on Southland Dr., just south of the UK campus. If you are in the area come on by.
Then from 6 to 8 p.m. we will be at Lexington's tremendous Two Keys Tavern for an official fan event that we encourage all readers to attend.
"Tabmaster" Bearup, during his playing days at UK, darkened the door of the Two Keys more times than Joe B. Hall would like to know and should be in effect on Thursday. And while the event is fairly low-key it is a good chance to talk some hoops and have some fun.
We don't have a sign or anything. Just keep a look-out for us; we are the two good-looking white guys.
• For the record, while we will be in Lexington on Thursday our report from Kentucky will not run until Saturday. So don't start complaining Friday morning when the only column up there is about Rick Pitino. We know where he works now.
• Mileage thus far: 698.1 miles.
• Next stops: Louisville and Lexington, Ky.