College notes of interest

Posted by RRR on Apr 02, 2011 at 11:18am | Page Views: 1,539

A compilation of newsworthy notes from various sources about Indiana-related college basketball:

Andrean’s Zurek headed to Indiana State
Senior Natasha Zurek was offered and accepted a late offer to play at Indiana State, according to The Times. The 5’7 guard averaged 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 steals per game for her 14-9 team.  Says Andrean head coach Ken Markfull, “This is a second-year coach at Indiana State, so this is her first real recruiting class. She’s picked five players, and she’s trying to change the culture of the program.” Zurek suffers from a condition called Vocal Chord Dysfunction, which makes it difficult for her to breath and talk sometimes. The Times featured Zurek in one of its Off the Court episodes. Zurek is the third Division I recruit to come out of the Fifty-Niners program in the past ten years. Kim McClosky (’04) played at Monmouth and Jamie Gutowski (’02) played close to home at Valparaiso.

Other college signings/commitments:

UIndy names long-time assistant Popa as new head coach
It didn’t take but a day for the UIndy athletic directory to make up his mind. On Tuesday of last week, former head coach LeAnn Freeland announced that she was taking a job in Floriday. On Wednesday, assistant coach Constantin Popa was named the new head coach. The 7’3 Romanian native has been with the Greyhounds for the past four years as the lead assistant. He graduated college from Miami University in Florida in 1995, where he was a two-time All-Big East performer.

IUPUI on the hunt
The athletic department is interviewing candidates for the women’s head coaching job at IUPUI. Interim coach Austin Parkinson, who stepped into the job after former head coach Shann Hart was fired last fall, will most likely be in the mix of interview candidates, as well as former Wisconsin assistant Oties Epps, who is scheduled for an interview on Monday. Having the Final Four in Indianapolis this weekend will give the IUPUI athletic department a lot of opportunity to discreetly interview a number of candidates who might have an interest in the post.

Jernigan picking up the pieces
If you were watching the 2010 NCAA women’s basketball tournament with any interest last season, you would have been aware of the heart-wrenching ending of Dee Dee Jernigan‘s (’06 East Chicago Central) college career in the Xavier-Stanford Elite Eight game last season. Jernigan had the opportunity to win the game for the Musketeers and send them to the school’s first-ever Final Four on two extremely wide open layups. But she missed both, and then watched as Stanford made a full-court, buzzer-beating drive to score the winning points of the game. ESPN interviewed Jernigan last week in their Outside the Lines program about that ending and how she has fared since that point. For a young lady who has endured a life of blows from the left and the right, this might have been the knockout punch to send her reeling into oblivion. But we are happy to find out that Jernigan is on the mend from what has become her defining college basketball moment. After not picking up a basketball for months, Jernigan has slowly worked her way back to the game she loves.  She will be trying out for the WNBA this spring.

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