Former Indiana player Emmitt Holt has committed to join Ed Cooley’s program at Providence, according to multiple reports.
Holt spent last season at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Ia. He left the Hoosier program last August after a series of high-profile off-the-court incidents. During his freshman season, Holt was cited for illegal consumption of alcohol and operating under the influence of alcohol under the age of 21 after an incident in which the car he was driving hit teammate Devin Davis. Last August, he was cited for underage possession of alcohol and dismissed from the program. Davis, who suffered a serious head injury in the accident, recently committed to Houston after spending a year at junior college.
Holt averaged 11.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 69.5 percent shooting last year for Indian Hills, which finished the season ranked sixth in the NJCAA Division I poll.
The 6-foot-8 forward will give the Friars frontcourt depth, which will be especially important if Ben Bentil decides to remain in the NBA draft after entering his name and not initially signing with an agent. Otherwise, Providence is slated to return all but All-American Kris Dunn from last year’s 24-11 tournament team.
In the last eighteen months, Indiana head coach Tom Crean has been forced to discipline multiple players who have gotten into trouble away from the court. The most recent instance involved forward Emmitt Holt and center Thomas Bryant, with both being cited for illegal possession of alcohol earlier this week. The citation was Holt’s second off-court issue since joining the program last year, when he was suspended four games due to an incident in which the car he was driving struck former teammate Devin Davis after Davis got out of the car.
The incidents do Crean and his staff no favors as they look to return the Indiana program to prominence both within the Big Ten and nationally, and recent issues in the men’s basketball and football programs have caught the attention of school president Michael McRobbie as well. According to the Indianapolis Star, McRobbie let his displeasure be known at the annual all-staff meeting Wednesday, with the characterization being that McRobbie “read them the riot act.”
IU’s president since 2007, he has long taken a supportive, but passive, role with his athletics department. That he felt compelled to deliver such remarks at this week’s all-staff meeting suggest the issue is front and center in the offices of Bryan Hall, the central hub of the university’s administration.
“I expect all of you to ensure that my message is heard loud and clear by all student athletes,” he said according to the excerpts. “I have stressed repeatedly that our student-athletes are first and foremost students! Our ultimate goal is to help them obtain a degree that will prepare them for career and life success.
“We owe this to them.”
While coaches are expected to be mindful of what their athletes may be up to when they aren’t in practice or class, the fact of the matter is that they can’t be with them 24 hours out of the day. That’s where trust comes into play, and over the last eighteen months some Indiana players have made mistakes that have resulted in the program getting negative publicity.
With Wednesday’s developments many will look to Crean to step forward, but he’ll also need leaders within the team to step forward and keep everyone on track. Whether or not that happens will have an impact on the direction of the Indiana program in the upcoming 2015-16 season and beyond.
In 2014, Indiana’s offseason was plagued by off the court issues. On Monday, the first day of classes at IU, another incident reportedly occurred.
Freshman center Thomas Bryant and sophomore forward Emmitt Holt were cited for illegal possession of alcohol in the early hours of Friday morning. According to a report released by the Indiana State Excise Police on Monday, Holt and Bryant were both in a car with bottles of vodka when approached by police. Holt, in the back seat, tried to hide his bottle when he spotted the cops and alerted Bryant, in the front seat, who then tried to hide his. Both were released at the scene.
The Indiana athletic department issued the following statement: “We are aware that men’s basketball players Emmitt Holt and Thomas Bryant were each cited Friday for underage possession of alcohol. We take this matter very seriously and are continuing to gather information.”
The 6-foot-10 Bryant, a top-30 player in the Class of 2015, was a huge commitment for Tom Crean, adding a shot-blocking, rebounding big man to hold down the fort in the middle while returning the perimeter of Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr. and Troy Williams.
Holt averaged 3.6 points and 3.0 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per game as a freshman. Unfortunately, he’s best known for being the driver who struck teammate Devin Davis on Nov. 1. Davis was hospitalized and would miss the entire 2014-15 season. Holt was cited for illegal consumption and operating a vehicle with a BAC above 0.02.
Indiana is coming a 20-14 season.
Some media had the chance to speak to Indiana players like wing Nick Zeisloft and forward Emmitt Holt and the duo broke down how the Hoosiers are training this offseason. In a story from Justin Albers of AllHoosiers.com, Zeisloft and Holt talk of doing hot yoga and also using elevation masks to limit the amount of oxygen intake during workouts.
Holt has added 10 points and Zeisloft has also been at Indiana for his first full summer to try to improve his game. The duo is doing yoga for the first time to improve flexibility and they’re also lifting weights and working in a sandpit to train.
The story also speaks about Indiana coming together as most of the roster is there working together this offseason and the Hooisers are hoping to be a major contender in the Big Ten this season. While stars like James Blackmon and Yogi Ferrell are key, the role players like Zeisloft and Holt getting better would take some pressure off of freshman big man Thomas Bryant on the interior.
On Christmas Eve, Indiana sophomore forward Devin Davis worked out with teammates Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams in an empty high school gymnasium.
The video was captured by Davis’ father, Devin Davis Sr. The 15-second clip, showing the three going through dribbling and shooting drills serves as another step in Davis’ recovery after he was struck by a car — driven by teammate Emmitt Holt — in the early hours of Nov. 1.
Last week, Indiana head coach Tom Crean announced that Davis was scheduled to return to school next semester, and while he will be enrolled in classes, his return with the team remains unclear.
“What’s most important is that he heals properly, that he knows it’s here when he gets back and he can get back to being a student,” Crean said at the time, according to the Indianapolis Star. “We would certainly anticipate him being back in school (in the spring).
“We just want to be set for whatever the doctors feel is the best situation. We’re getting closer to that. …
“Every injury’s hard. This is completely different, because you’re dealing with the brain.”
Indiana returns to its non-conference schedule on Saturday at noon against Georgetown. The game will be played at Madison Square Garden.
[h/t Indy Star]
On Friday, Indiana head coach Tom Crean updating the status on injured forward Devin Davis. Crean confirmed that the sophomore will return to the university in the spring. While his academic career will resume shortly, his return to the court is still undetermined.
Davis was struck by a vehicle driven by teammate Emmitt Holt in the early hours of Nov. 1. It was a troublesome 72 hours for the program, as days later it was reported that Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson would be suspended after failing drug tests that summer.
The accident left Davis with a brain injury, though, the good news is that his recovery is progressing faster than expected, according to Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star. He is current going through outpatient therapy at his home.
“What’s most important is that he heals properly, that he knows it’s here when he gets back and he can get back to being a student,” Crean told reporters, via the Indy Star. “We would certainly anticipate him being back in school (in the spring).”
According to Crean, Davis’ doctors have yet to clear him to play. Davis has been away from the team and the school since the incident, but did make an appearance at Indiana’s game against Lamar on Nov. 23.
Indiana is currently 8-2 with a game against in-state rival No. 23 Butler on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.