Friday, July 14, 2006

Midconfans News 7/13/2006

--The Indy Star

MEN’S BASKETBALL: VU’s Miles suspended for cell scam--The Post-Tribune

July 14, 2006

By Tom Wyatt / Post-Tribune staff writer

VALPARAISO — The way Valparaiso police figure it, Jimmie Miles simply got mixed up with the wrong people.

Nevertheless, the senior guard for the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team has been charged with misdemeanor theft for his role in a cell phone scam.

Miles was formally arrested Tuesday after a police investigation revealed him to be a delivery person in a scam masterminded by Jason Smith of Chicago Heights, Ill.

Miles, 22, of Country Club Hills, Ill., has been suspended indefinitely from the Crusaders and will meet with coach Homer Drew when Drew returns from a recruiting trip.

“I’ve been really proud of Jimmie for being helpful to police and working very closely with them in the investigation and trying to correct this,” Drew said.

Valparaiso police Detective Lt. Tom Horn said a warrant has been issued for Smith’s arrest.

Smith, Horn said, headed up a scam in which Sprint Nextel customers’ account numbers were obtained, allowing suspects to fraudulently order batches of cell phones and have them sent to various locations.

Those cell phones, high-end types and camera phones, then are sold on the street for about half the price of what they’re sold for in stores, Horn said. Users can remove their SIM cards from their existing phones and plug them into the new, stolen phones.

In May, Horn was acting on a tip and waiting outside the Best Western hotel on U.S. 30 for a suspect to come and pick up a package of cell phones. That suspect turned out to be Miles.

Horn stopped and questioned Miles, who admitted he was there to pick up the package, Horn said.

Horn said Miles had picked a package of cell phones on one other occasion and delivered it to Smith in Chicago Heights. Horn said he didn’t believe Miles had been paid for the work, but was supposedly promised gas money, in the range of $100.

“He was very cooperative,” Horn said of Miles. “He was able to assist me in making identification of Smith and figuring how this thing worked. He had what you would call a low-key role in the scam.”

Drew wouldn’t take a guess at whether Miles would be with the team once the season starts.

The 6-foot-2 Miles played in 19 games last season, starting 11. He was hampered by injury and illness, averaging 4.9 points.

“We’ve really enjoyed working with him both on the floor and off the floor,” Drew said of Miles.

Contact Tom Wyatt at 477-6017 or

Allegations against Miles leaves VU guarded--The NWI Times

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Midconfans News 7/13/2006

IPFW looks like a lock to join Mid-Con--The Oakland Press

OU’s Piggott is top Mid-Con scholar-athlete--The Oakland Press


Oakland University senior Nicole Piggott was selected as a Mid-Continent Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Wednesday.
A forward on the women’s basketball team, Piggott is OU’s first female and third overall athlete selected for the top award.
IUPUI’s Justin Wegner was the male award winner.
It is the top individual honor given by the league and is voted on by the conference faculty athletic representatives.
Piggott helped lead OU to a conference title with 5.6 rebounds and 12.8 points per game while maintaining a 3.94 grade point average as a laboratory sciences major.
The three-time letterwinner has made the dean’s list at OU every semester and has twice been named Mid-Con Academic All-Conference.
Piggott has also been active in the OU student-athlete advisory committee, along with volunteering at St. Joseph Hospital, the United Way’s Thanksgiving Drive and the Oakland County Older Persons Commission.
Piggott joins past Oakland Mid-Con Scholar-Athlete of the Year winners Ryan Rzepka (2005, 2003) and Myke Thom (2000).

Jimmie Miles accused of picking up friend's order of fraudulently obtained cell phones--The NWI Times

Piggott Claims Mid-Con’s Top

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Midconfans News 7/11/2006

IUPUI women add guard--The Indy Star

MENS BASKETBALL:'Local guy’ returns to VU--The Post-Tribune

July 12, 2006

By Mark Lazerus / Post-Tribune staff writer

The day he was announced as the new assistant coach at one alma mater, Jason Hawkins spent the evening playing ball at his other one.

The newest member of the Valparaiso University coaching staff was at Bishop Noll High School on Tuesday evening, just getting in some open-gym time with area high schoolers.

“I’m a local guy through and through,” Hawkins said. “The region’s been good to me.”

The Crusaders hope the region will continue to be good to their newest assistant coach. Valparaiso is always mining Northwest Indiana for talent, and head coach Homer Drew hopes having Hawkins — a 2000 Bishop Noll grad, a 2003 VU grad and the head coach at Calumet College the last two seasons — can help the Crusaders bring in some local standouts.

“I think he’ll help tremendously,” Drew said. “There are a lot of good players in Northwest Indiana, and with his background, he brings good experience in and knowledge all the way through the Chicago area and throughout Indiana.”

Hawkins and Luke Gore —

last year’s director of basketball operations — fill the gaps left by Ivan Vujic (graduate assistant at DePaul) and Matt Bowen (head coach at Bemidji State).

Hawkins was a walk-on guard for the Crusaders in 2000, and saw playing time in each of his last three seasons at VU. He spent a year as a graduate assistant and director of basketball operations for Drew before taking the top job at Calumet College, where he led the Crimson Wave to a 30-34 record.

Now he’s ready to get back into the upper echelon of college basketball.

“I had the opportunity to be a head coach at the college level, and I’m incredibly grateful for that,” Hawkins said. “My goals are to one day be a head coach at the Division I level. Coach Drew’s giving me another opportunity to get back to the D-I level. I’m really excited.”

Drew and Hawkins spent plenty of time on the phone the last two years. And Hawkins wasn’t the only one fishing for help.

“We picked each other’s brains,” Drew said. “No matter what age or how long you’ve been around, you can always learn something new.”

Said Hawkins: “Anytime I had any problems, I could ask Coach Drew. And for him to even ask my opinion sometimes, that makes me feel great — like, wow, I can shed a little light.”

Hawkins, who has a masters in secondary education from VU, has one main goal as he returns to his alma mater — to help restore the program’s winning ways.

“We won a conference championship, either regular season or tournament, every year I was in college,” he said. “We want to get back to that tradition that Coach Drew started.”

Hawkins back home again--The NWI Times


Jason Hawkins Joins Valpo Coaching

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Midconfans News 7/6/2006


Southern Utah

BASKETBALL: Southern Utah University has signed Swaney Cooper, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound forward from Highland (Ill.) Community College, to a national letter of intent, SUU head men's coach Bill Evans announced.
Cooper averaged 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Cougars, who finished the season ranked No. 4 in the nation (NJCAA Division I) after compiling a perfect 12-0 mark in Region IV play and a 34-2 overall record. Cooper was the team's third-leading rebounder and the sixth-rated shooter in the region after connecting on 110-of-183 shots, a success rate of .601.
"We're excited to sign Swaney," Evans said. "He is strong, fast and explosive; he's a good athlete who will help our team. He was a good player on a very good team last year; he's a winner and he knows how to help teams will basketball games."

Kangaroos To Face A Pair of Former National Champions In 2006-07--UMKC Kangaroos

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Midconfans News 7/4/2006

Basketball: Hummel down to IU, Purdue--The Post-Tribune

July 4, 2006

By Mike Hutton / Post-Tribune staff writer

Rob Hummel is going to play basketball in the state of Indiana.

It just won’t be at Valparaiso University.

Hummel, a 6-8 forward from Valparaiso High School, was one of the main targets for the Crusaders, along with his teammate Scott Martin. Hummel averaged 12.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game this year for the Vikings.

Hummel informed VU on Monday that he had narrowed his choices to Purdue and Indiana.

He said making phone calls to the schools that didn’t make the final cut was difficult. In all, he had offers from at least 12 schools, according to

“It was depressing,” he said.

Hummel said that he isn’t favoring either school at this time. He likes the direction that Indiana is heading with new coach Kelvin Sampson and he said the fact that Sampson can’t call or visit him this year because of sanctions that the NCAA imposed on him for making too many phone calls to recruits won’t affect his decision.

“They’re going to have a new facility there and it could be exciting,” he said.

He said the final decision will come down to “whatever I feel is right.”

He expects to make a decision in the next two weeks.

SUU signs Cooper to NLI--The Spectrum