So I talked to Joe Boncore tonight …

  • 03/27/2010 1:49 am in

I got ahold of Joe Boncore, Moses Abraham’s adviser, this evening and we chatted for a good 15 minutes on Moses’ recruitment and eventual decision to commit to Georgetown. Essentially, what it boils down to, according to Boncore, is this:

Abraham loved Indiana. He loved everything about it — facilities, players, coaches, tradition, the works. And when Abraham talked to Boncore about it, Boncore said he essentially asked Abraham, “So you want to commit to Indiana, then?”

But Abraham chose Georgetown because, Boncore said, the player simply felt more comfortable staying in D.C., the only place in America he’s ever lived and closer to the few friends he’s made while he’s lived here.

“It’s a smaller school,” Boncore said, “and he doesn’t know a lot of people.”

Boncore also admitted that Abraham’s uncle, who essentially raised the player after his father died, “had the biggest influence” in the four-star forward’s decision.

“He’s more upset than anybody,” Boncore said of Abraham, who, his adviser said, felt terrible having to tell Tom Crean no. “But the kid can’t play two places.”

Boncore also refuted a Washington Post report saying that he met with both John Thompson III, Georgetown’s current coach, and his father, John Thompson II, Georgetown’s former coach, (confusing much?) after Abraham returned from Indiana but before the player made his decision. Boncore said the last time he spoke with anyone from Georgetown was before Abraham left for his visit to Bloomington, although it should also be pointed out, in fairness to the Post report, that Boncore is quoted.

Boncore said that Moses’ interest in Indiana at all had brought on “a whole lot of (stuff) from Georgetown.”

To Indiana’s credit, Boncore said Abraham was ready to commit to Georgetown when Tom Crean offered the 2010 prospect. Crean’s hard work and Abraham’s rapid interest in Indiana ballooned such that the Hoosiers made up ground rapidly on a player some believed Georgetown had all but closed.

Getting him to visit the campus, Boncore said, was a huge win for Indiana, because Abraham “doesn’t like to visit schools.”

Questions have also been raised about the legality of Abraham’s recruitment, at least in the eyes of the NCAA. For his part, Boncore was adamant that he was not involved in any wrongdoing.

“All I do is train the kids,” he said by phone. “I’m not going to defend myself.”

My guess is that this saga is finally winding down. I haven’t yet talked to Abraham — he called me back tonight, but I didn’t get the chance to answer. I’ll work on touching base with him tomorrow, the one thing I haven’t actually been able to do yet in this whole dance.

Boncore said knew the IU coaches were disappointed not to get Abraham after such a strong impression during his visit. Still, he hoped there were no hard feelings or burned bridges, and he would have no problem recommending Indiana to any future players.

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  • BaseballBuc

    I understand that he is new to the country and all. He wants to stay closer to home. But this is where getting those indiana guys or just guys familiar with indiana is big. Someone who knows IU well and knows the tradtition. With IU's tradition, it is almost like whoever they recruit, they should have a leg up on the competition because of those 5 banners. Even though it has dropped off considerably in the last decade. If I was the coach at IU, I would go out and get all the jordan hulls and derek elstons of the world and bring them to indiana. These are the players that make your program great. I don't care if we ever get a 5 star big man from nigeria, as long as we are locking up guys like Jeremiah Davis, Teague, Zeller, Plumlee, Marerro, I won't ever have a problem. I know you can't have them all, but give me guys like Davis, Zeller, Hammons and I will forget about any slip up in recruiting a kid from nigeria or ghana or whatever.

  • sour grapes

  • IU really needs this local guy, Rickey Roe, great shooter, we may have to buy his dad a tractor and give him a bag of cash, but I think he is a real catch for IU

  • marchus

    FWIW i am hearing that Ron Patterson is a very strong Tennessee lean at this point. Good news is that we are in strong with Arron Thomas and Jeremiah Davis both of which i believe are much better than Carlino. Had a chance to watch some video on Thomas and came away extremely impressed. Also I would like to see a John Wilkins signing. I think his size, athleticism, and great shooting ability make him worth a gamble. Which at this point, we have no choice but to take some gambles.

  • BigRed3588

    I hope coach crean is 1st baptist

  • Don't worry, Larry Bird is going to set up a meet and greet.

  • Brad Miller

    Zach – enjoying keeping up with Indiana and Big 10 basketball through your posts – nice work – brad miller

  • vslice

    Whatever, this is getting old already. Time to move on. Who's up next?? Wilkins, Yeguete, Vslice?? Things hopefully will start to turn around for the Hoosiers. Its all meant to be, at least thats what I keep telling myself.

  • iu77bu81

    Thanks for following up, the inconsistencies in Boncore statements are numerous and the actions of John Thompson II pursuing prospects and meeting them certainly seems to scream “Booster”.

    Credit CTC for having plan C, D, E and F. New recruiting targets keep popping up and past targets who are not sold on the plan are dropping to wayside.

    Improvement in number of victories and on the floor play will make closing on recruiting targets easier.

  • JerryCT

    I think actual signing is in April so anything can still happen……….like “buyers remorse “…ala Carlino. But his DC comfort level makes perfect sense to me.

    This shows however that CTC can be very effective recruiting when the program gets more stabilized.

  • Kelin Blab

    We will see what happens with Wilkins and Yeguette, I assume in the near future. Distance seems to be getting in the way these days with Carlino missing Arizona and Moses wanting to be close to D.C. Wilkins dad is in Gary maybe there is hope……….

  • Kelin Blab

    I have heard the opposite with Patterson and given his appearances at AH this year, I think we are ok.

  • IUDan

    Agree on both, and it's understandable. I thought it was funny that Carlino's dad made a point to mention that it was not an issue of “recruiting over him” . . . I have to think that's some of it. There really is a logjam at his position (I'm assuming he's a 2) – I also think there was something to do with Carlino wanting to play PG. But, that being said, I understand he would want to play closer to home.

    And I agree that if he's not 100% committed, we should move on – it's better for everyone that way. Good luck to Matt – seems like a good kid. Will be interesting to see where he ends up.

  • psvirsky

    Definitely have to appreciate how it seems like every time we lose a guy a new target comes up. Yeah, it sucks that we're losing out over and over, but it would be worse to lose Kyrie Irving and then never hear any more recruiting opportunities at all.

  • aceman07

    I'm available! Do we have any scholarships to throw at a 5'9″, balding, aging, fat point guard???

    I know one thing . . . I can shoot free throws like Steve Alford!!!

  • cooper

    Tell me about IU's tradition since these recruits have been alive. 3 fired coaches, and 1 final four. Sorry but this recruits could care less about what happened 25 years ago, and frankly I'm in the same boat.

    By your comments, you'd rather have lesser players as long as they live in Indiana because of those guys you mention only 1 or 2 are 5 stars.

    I'll take any 5 star recruit, no matter where they live, what color they are, or anything else. The point is to get great players, where they live doesn't matter.

    Time to live in the present and not the past. Tradition is a fall back for those with nothing in the present or future.

  • geometer

    Yes, it would be nice to land a big (figuratively and literally) recruit.

    However, I think a lot of people seem resigned to the fact that IU needs someone of immediate impact to compete next year. The way I see it, IU could be tremendous even with existing talent. Elston, Watford, and Hulls came on great this season. VJ3 was already great. If Creek and Roth can return at least at the level they were when they were injured and the others continue to develop in the off-season, I think this could be a formidable team without adding a recruit at all this year (though if a great one is out there I certainly have no problem with CTC adding them).

    The Big Ten's upper teams are definitely elite right now (MSU/OSU/Purdue/Wisconsin) and some of the others are better than they seem by stats (given that they have to play those four). But with a line-up composed as below (with off-season improvements assumed), I think IU could compete with anyone in the conference consistently. Keep in mind, IU was barely beaten by Purdue this year while missing two key players and relying on many freshmen.

    Watford/Elston starting at the 4/5 with Capo/Pritchard/Bawa off the bench
    Creek at 3 (If he has to come out at 3, Watford, Elston, Roth, or Rivers could give him a brief breather…)
    Jones/Hulls starting at the 1/2 with Rivers/Moore off the bench
    Roth as needed for outside shooting based on opponent/game situation

    A great true center (or other immediate impact player) would be nice, but counting out IU without one would be a mistake in my opinion.

  • Luke72

    Boncore and a host of others seem to be going out of their way to make IU look bad. Easy to kick dirt in the face when you find someone down. Way too many talent brokers in the recruiting game these days! Always with in the limits of the NCAA rules but self promoting never the less!

  • marchus

    I hope you right but I heard it from someone who claimed that they talked to Patterson about it. He apparently has a major man crush on Bruce Pearl.

  • Why do you guys have to find some reason why we were wronged, the kid picked a school he liked more, get over it.

  • cooper

    Don't you know IU is entitled to everything and a kid would be nuts not to go to IU

  • I don't know if Boncore was shady in this process or not. Some things make it appear so, but he denies it, who knows? But, Boncore said a lot of great things about Indiana and CTC specifically, not sure how he went out of his way to make Indiana look bad.

  • lol

  • Luke72

    Nice response. You are entitled to your opinion! Maybe you should do your home work at take a closer look at this “trainer”

  • Why do that? What's it going to do other than add to this sad pity party? Oh, the world is out to get IU basketball, boo hoo! The kid went to GT, its a school that has a more established foundation than IU at this POINT IN TIME. It's going to take time, but IU can get back there one day, but this pitty-party isn't doing anything other than making us look pathetic. And if the kid was going to be swayed that easily by an outside source, then why would you have ever wanted him?

    MOVE ON! The past is gone.

  • marchus

    Hey i am apart of that board and I am a freshman at IU so don't be calling us bluehairs. I am proud to be a peegster

  • All I ever got from Peegs board was that Purdue is called PUke, and that all the players today are “thugs” and “cocky” The talkbacks on here are much better, except for the whiners we have on here today.


  • marchus

    thats it i am telling mike pegram on you! lol

  • hahah

  • Luke72

    Nice to have your expert opinion.

  • No problem, glad I could help you stop feeling sorry for yourself.

  • cooper

    What homework has anyone who commented on Boncore done on him? No one on here has a clue how it went down so commented on it is ridiculous. He isn't coming to IU, thats all that matters.

    Its time for IU fans to realize, the team isn't all that relevant right now, no one cares about 25 years ago and if IU is going to get back on top, time to look toward the future instead of the past all the time.

  • MillaRed

    I agree on the moving on philosophy. However, we are all on the same team, and this site is solid on communication, so let's please keep the sarcasm to a minimum. There are other blogs designed for that, not this one.

    Before I was keeping up ITH, I rarely knew who was visiting, where Crean was heading etc. I just heard we landed a recruit, got excited or not. And life was much simpler. Now that we all have this abundance of recruiting knowledge, and we keep missing out on these dudes, it's just depressing.

    Damn you ITH! Don't you know ignorance is bliss?

  • At this point, no one should be remotely surprised when we are turned down by any and every half way decent player out there. I am stunned at how much of a lousy recruiter Crean seems to be. Dwayne Wade was a looong time ago people. If this year does not show a drastic turnaround in the WINS column, it will be time to make a change. It's getting ridiculous.

  • hardwoodwizard

    Listen here Hoosier fans. I am an avid IU basketball fan. I want to see this program back in the Top 10 like all of you. But someting is going on here in Bloomington that is not positive. 2009 was not a Top 10 recruiting class, 2010 is pathetic and would barely crack the top 50, and now 2011 has become weak with only one top 100 recruit in Etherington.

    This program is not turning around people. Jordan Hulls is not a great point guard. He is hard working and serviceable but not an All Big Ten caliber. Elston will never be better than a 10 point, 6 reb guy. Crean continues to play Christian out of position, he was a highly recruited small forward. Creek is a true small forward/ shooting guard combo and very talented like Christian, but these guys will someday get us to 18 wins. That is it. The rest of the role players are brutal. 2010 recruiting class cannot carry the load and one good recruit in 2011 will not be the cornerstone to a Final Four run either. WE NEED RECRUITS!!!!

    Why is it that Painter is landing recruits and Crean is not? Butler is in the Final Four. Ohio State gets better recruits out of this state than Indiana does. So does Louisville. So does Xavier. Guess what, Tennessee is right behind these schools. Bruce Pearl is canvasing Indiana and has roots here from his day at Southern Indiana. All of the schools win too.

    Let's look at the class of 2011 in Indiana. There are 11 top 100 players from this state. Teague will end up in Louisville or UK or OSU. Chandler and Taylor are heading to Louisville. Plumlee wants to play high profile like his brothers at Duke. Zeller is really getting attention and IU is the worst school recruiting him. Carlino decommits. If you think it is from over recruiting certain positions than add Etherington to the mix in that logic. He is 6'6″ and can play the 2 or 3. And he is the same size and style of player that Crean brought in in 2009, and 2010. Dawson will end up at Purdue. Dee Davis is going to Xavier. Jeremiah Davis likes Tennessee, Kentucky, and Michigan State better than IU. Why would he go to IU and sit behind all the 2 and 3 guards?

    Something else to think about….Carlino and his family relocate to Bloomington from Arizona. At this point, Matt is all in right? So lets start asking why or what is going on to cause a guy to change his mind after moving across country to Indiana. Bloomington mind you! We can't land a big guy. Can't land a stud in 2010. THERE ARE PROBLEMS!!!!!

    Go out on the recruiting websites and look at the Big Ten schools. Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan are all having success recruiting top 100 players. This puts IU about 7th in recruiting. Talent wins championships!!! So if all of you fans want to keep sugar coating the future at IU, I hope you are satisfied with middle of the pack teams in the Big Ten and random visits to the NCAA tournament and frequent invitations to the NIT.

    Mike Davis and Kelvin Sampson hurt us, but they are gone. This will be the third team under Crean next year and I would expect a 15 to 17 win season in 2011, but an injury will knock them back a few because the freshman they are bringing in add little depth.

    PS….Marquette hasn't really skipped a beat since Crean left.

  • snowboardman

    Well I would say to step back, chill out, and think a little before you make a post sounding like an angry mob with pitchforks headin to tom crean's office in assembly hall.

    Observation: creans first recruiting class was thrown together with mostly players that wouldn't start on a mid-major, second year we lose our best player up until that point and our 1st and 2nd best 3point shooters..

    As far as I'm concerned this will be creans 2nd year upcoming… the man knows what he wants to do and what personnel he needs to do that.. I would bet that he will save the scholarships for 2011/12

  • hardwoodwizard

    Just because he knows what he wants doesn't mean he is going to get it done. So far he hasn't. And looking into the future of the program and their 1 top 100 recruit left who has only made a verbal, things are not looking too promising.

    No one is suggesting pitchforks at the door of Assembly hall. All I am doing is challenging all of those fans who think he is doing a miraculous job and are full of blissful wishes to stop for a moment and lose the tunnel vision. I am not trying to be skeptical or negative, just voicing some obvious facts and concerns.

    We all have been burned by Mike Davis and Kelvin Sampson. They were not good fits. I think Crean can be, but he needs to get with it. Pound for pound, Indiana has been producing the best talent in the nation the past 10 years and we are not signing these in state top tier recruits. They are going to Ohio State, Duke, Michigan State, Purdue, Louisville, North Carolina. Notre Dame, Butler, and Xavier are landing more Indiana talent than the Hoosiers have been.

    On the current roster there isn't one Indiana born player that will be a star. No, don't say it, Hulls and Elston will not be stars. They will be good role players and the class of 2009 is on that you can build a program around. But with so many great players in Indiana who are going elsewhere, Deshaun Thomas, Terone Johnson, Dominique Ferguson, Michael Chandler, Ryan Taylor, Teague, Plumlee, Zoeller, Carlino, Dawson, Dee Davis, etc, (all of which are better than Hulls and Elston) Indiana fans need to be concerned that home grown talent is escaping. Let's face it, Indiana isn't even getting lucky and getting 3 of the aforementioned players from the state. It is sad.

    When you look at Watford and Creek, those are strong out of state recruits for the 2009 class, but the bench fillers we have coming in for 2010 leave a ton to be desired. Carlino's defection is an issue and the lack of commitments from the states best ever recruiting class (2011), fans need to wake up and be concerned.

    Our program is coming back, there is no doubt, but it will be at 17-15 and 18-14 clips. Winning seasons, yes, Big Ten contenders no, Top 20 program again, no way, national powers, NEVER AGAIN!

    If the 2011 class was Etherington, Zoeller, Plumlee and Teague. That is a crew that would solidify and improve the team greatly and restore the Hoosiers program.

    I would take Etherington, Carlino and a highly rated big guy, but we only have Etherington to date.

    Trying to go out a piece together that 2011 class after a 5 and 10 win season…..good luck. Especially when regional teams like Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan State, Tennessee, Kentucky,Butler and Xavier all made the Sweet 16. This doesn't include all of the following teams in the BIG Ten or region coming off far better seasons than IU's: Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Dayton, Louisville, Marquette, West Virginia, Pittsburg, and Ohio.

    We might have lost that zeal as a basketball program when the University let Miles Brand using Bob Knight as a stepping stone to his directorship of the NCAA.