Catching up with Austin Etherington

  • 04/12/2010 7:51 am in

Bleary-eyed reporters covering seemingly-endless hours of basketball with the Final Four 51 weeks away can only mean one thing: AAU season is officially on rock-and-roll.

Our good friends at the H-T, being both intrepid and equipped with constitutions of steel, were all over the IndyBall.com Shootout this weekend at North Central High School, where they got a look at plenty of prospects, including Bloomington South’s T.J. Bell, Muncie Central’s Jeremiah Davis and Hamilton Heights wing Austin Etherington.

Now IU’s lone commitment in the class of 2011, Etherington made an impression with 12 points against a Spiece team that Indiana Elite defeated 73-72. (By the way, I’m getting these stats from the venerable Hugh Kellenberger, via the above-linked post. I was covering Notre Dame baseball all Sunday.)

A busy summer lies ahead of Etherington, who said he’s pretty much willing to go wherever his Indiana Elite program wants him to, and he’ll do so in good company. Sunday at IndyBall, he plied his trade with many of the usual premiere Elite players, including Matt Carlino, Davis and Cody Zeller.

Despite the long layoff since his high school season ended on March 5 , Etherington said everyone felt good playing together pretty quickly.

“It didn’t take long for us to start playing together and get used to each other,” he said, noting that his Elite squad won the Shootout championship in overtime of the title game.

There’s going to be plenty of focus on the Elite program (not that there wasn’t before) this summer from all over the country. IU fans in particular have cast many a hopeful eye over players like Davis and Zeller, hoping that Tom Crean can lock in some of the state’s best recruits, closing off the proverbial border and bringing some of Indiana’s best talent back to the big state school.

Butler’s run to the national title game, predictably enough, has led to plenty of speculation that the Bulldogs are poised to reap their share of the spoils as well, perhaps at the expense of the rebuilding Hoosiers. Etherington has been the target of some such rumors, in no small part because his father, Brett, played there. But that’s not a factor, according to the player.

“People try to say that just because my dad went there,” he told Inside the Hall of the Butler rumors. “I want to go to IU.”

Carlino’s decommitment, another hot-button issue among the IU faithful of late, hasn’t had any effect on Etherington’s status with Indiana either.

“I’m still 100 percent with IU,” he said.

Etherington’s Hamilton Heights squad finished the season 12-8, a record he admits was below their expectations. Still, the player was able to notch the personal goal of making the junior all-star team, and he said he hopes to use this summer and his senior year to improve his versatility, so that he can “have an impact right away” when he comes to IU next year.

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  • Bob

    Does anyone know if Nic Moore played this weekend? Is he on the same team with Etherington, Davis, Zeller?

  • marcusgresham

    Hope Etherington is vocal and bends some ears (Zeller, Davis) this summer.

  • tg1438

    I agree. I'd love for him to be in their ears. I still think that JDavis is just waiting for a Teague decision though. Once he hears where Teague will go he will decide, and as long as Teague has IU as an option he (JDavis) is leaving his other options open.

  • garyindiana

    i'd love for that to be true. either one of those guys would be great.

  • Hardwood Wizard

    Again, Teague and JDavis are really not competing for the same position, nor are they the same type of player. JDavis should be more worried about Creek. I am sure JDavis wants to be the guy, but JDavis is not a one and done kind of player. Creek could leave after his jr season and leave JDavis with 3 years at the #2 guard position.

    Teague is highly rated and may not spend more than a year or two at IU. Davis could have a run at pg for a couple of years too.

    Teague is going to end up at Louisville or Kentucky anyway, IU is at best his #3 option right now.

  • I keep seeing people comment with this on JDavis, but didn't Teague already eliminate IU? Teague had a quote last week about UK, UofL and Cinncy being his final 3. So, not sure what the holdup with JDavis would be if he really is just waiting on Teague.

  • Kelin Blab

    BGleas….according to inside sources (teague's facebook) he is still interested in IU. Now my question is, JD could just commit and show teague I want this spot a little more than you, if he is actually waiting to see what he does. But I have heard he is going to wait until teague commits to make his decision. Kinda makes sense, they are the same type of player….

  • Thanks for the update Kelin. Did you see the actual quote from Teague last week where he said UK, UofL and Cincy? Whole thing seems odd.

    I think a more likely scenario is that CTC is holding JDavis off. If JDavis has an offer then there is no reason for him to wait for someone else. I think I've shared this story before, but I remember when I was being recruited there was a school I really wanted and then a school that really wanted me.

    I was a SF/SG in college and the school that I really wanted needed a point guard. The coach basically told me that they had 1 scholarship left and they were talking to a point guard, if he turned them down then it was mine. I waited and waited, until I finally had to commit to the school that really wanted me and had offered me early.

    I share this because is seems like CTC might have said to JDavis 'I have one point guard to bring in, we really like you and Teague, if Teague goes elsewhere, then it's all yours.”

  • He's playing with Spiece this year.

  • Uncle Joey

    I really don't think Crean is in a position to “withhold” J. Davis from committing until Teague makes a decision. Plus, if we know anything about Crean, its that he's eager to take players that really want to play for IU. If Jeremiah Davis came to Crean TODAY and said “I'm ready to commit, Coach” then I guarantee that Crean would bring him in; no questions asked.

  • You definitely bring up some good points, but my response then would be, what's the holdup? Why would JDavis care at all about where Teague is going, especially if Indiana is looking like an outsider anyways. Why wait if JDavis wants IU and IU wants JDavis?

    I agree that CTC isn't in a position to turn anyone down, but my only guess in the scenario I mentioned (which could be wrong anyways :), is that Teague is such a big recruit. It would be absolutely huge for CTC to land a top 5 nationally Indiana kid at this point. No matter how good Teague actually ends up being, keeping him in-state and winning a battle over UK and UofL could change the game completely for CTC.

  • tg1438

    With so many kids changing teams year to year could we get an update on where some of the IU recruits are playing this summer? I know that a lot of the 2012 class that was together last year split up and not sure where they all moved to.

  • Uncle Joey

    What do you mean, “what's the holdup?” Its for the class of 2011… only about a quarter of the top 150 recruits have committed to a school yet (check on the Rivals top 150). And I'm not sure where a lot of the talk has come from that says J. Davis is “waiting on Teague to make a decision”… if anyone could link me an interview or article where he says that, I would appreciate it… but to my knowledge, that's all hearsay.

    I mean, there's still quite a few players for the 2010 class who have yet to make a decision. The process takes time. I can understand why the kid hasn't pulled the trigger yet… he's 16 years old and a top 40 recruit. If he feels as though he needs time to make a decision, then so be it.

  • The holdup I'm referring too is that people seem to comment with confidence that JDavis is waiting on Teague, which my larger point is that it doesn't make sense that he'd be waiting for Teague.

    I don't think there's a link, as I doubt he'd publicly say it, but posters on a variety of boards seem to think this is the case and I'm trying to get clarification on why people think this, as I think the likelier case is that CTC is the one waiting on Teague.

    DId any of that make any sense at all? 🙂

  • hardwoodwizard

    BGleas, you make some good points as do some others about JDavis waiting for Teague. What everyone needs to realize is that Teague is also waiting to see what top PG's in the 2010 class are doing and where they are committing.

    Some other things that need to be considered is that IU is not the only school interested in JDavis, and JDavis is insteretsed in other schools as well. The Teague thing makes sense, but I think more than anything else, this is a huge summer for the class of 2011 players to see where the chips fall and which coaches have just been dating the players and which coaches are wanting the 4 year marriage.

    Austin Etherington is a good kid and a good talent who can drive and shoot from the perimeter and cause match up problems. If he can help sway Zoeller and JDavis to IU, than IU is in business with a solid 2009 and 2011 class. Zoeller is the youngest of the trilogy and probably the toughest and has learned a lot from watching his brothers play and experience college life. he will be a strong force inside at any program. JDavis could be the x factor in that class if IU lands him. I have seen him play many times. The kid can be downright explosive with the power to take it in amongst taller traffic and finish. And at times in AAU ball among top 100 players, he is the best player on the floor; he just needs consistecy.

    Etherington and JDavis get a wrap about some poor defense, but get them on a college campus where they are competing for playing time and they will both reform their defensive game.

    I would look for JDavis to sign by the end of the summer. Everyone also needs to think about his skills, he is a combo guard, not a true point or shooting guard. However, put him in a system where he has the ability to push the tempo as a point or play beside a top point guard who pushes the tempo and he will flourish. His outside shooting will only get better too, but initially he is a good zone busting guard because he can penetrate on just about anyone.

    In 2012, we could have Watford at 6'9 slashing the floor, Creek jump shooting, Hulls running the point, Elston banging the blocks and stepping out to hit a j, Capo backing up Elston, Bawa using his athleticism to defend the paint, VO locking down theother team's best player, Sheehey coming off the bench to add depth, JDavis being able to run the point of #2, Etherington hitting threes and playing a good floor game, and Zeller being stong on both ends as well.

    This sounds like a team that can compete for a Big 10 title and regain a national swagger.

    Throw in a Ty Zeller transfer from UNC and look out!

  • tg1438

    I think the talk about JDavis waiting is that he wants to come in and be the man (as do many top kids), and playing with Teague would hold that back a bit. There aren't many guys like Eric Bledsoe that are top PG's that want to go in and try to play with another top PG (in the same class). Look at Jai Lucas at Texas. He went in around the same time as Calathes, didn't like the situation and transferred to Texas and now is having a hard time getting on the floor. He's playing behind other talented PG's. I could see a young man not wanting to be stuck in that situation. He wants to run it from day one as do many top 40 players. I have no backing from interviews (because he wouldn't come out and say that), but its just a hunch.

  • walton

    Great outlook on the Hoosiers future. I have to agree with most of your points, though had to laugh a little about the last statement. I have said once before that IU is really just missing one to two above average talented players and their shape will take place nicely. If you take that kind of view then you would have to say IU is in a pretty good rebuild situation. I would still feel better to see a couple players average or above join this summer to make next season more enjoyable as well.

  • walton

    Can anyone give a recap of prospective '10 possible recruits? Just names would be fine as well.

  • Uncle Joey

    Not to steal anything away from this site, but someone made an “IU Scholarship Grid” over on the scout.com forums that helps put things into perspective… and its nice to put a name to a face, as well. Also, scroll towards the bottom to check out the JuCo prospects.

    http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=170&f=2353&t=236

  • Kelin Blab

    Walton I think for 2010 the well is drying up but here are a few names…

    John Wilkins….still waiting, visited Ill St. after he visited IU. No one has heard anything
    Brandon Young….committed to depaul, coach got fired, now he is waiting to talk with that coach. Friend of VO and Mo Creek.
    Will Yeguette….has not decided, nothing new

  • Kelin Blab

    You tend to wonder what is teague waiting on given:

    + if it is KY, Cal has had some success with playing multiple guards so there is plenty of opportunity

    + If it is L'Ville or Cincy, why not pull the trigger? You know what you are getting there

    + Has IU/Crean help delay this decision further. My estimates is, the decision has been delayed about 4-5 times. IU may have made him think a little bit….

    Does his decision factor into JD, I think so as I thin they are similar strong combo guards, and not true pg. I think there is some chemistry with Etherington and other Indiana Elite guys that may be in IU's favor.

  • hooseyes

    Off topic… Peegs tweeted earlier tonight that there are 2 new big man prospects on IU's radar, but didn't link a story or give names… I'm guessing one was Cody Larson, but anyone know who the other may be? Alex, saw you're putting something up on Larson soon, looking forward to it.

  • Uncle Joey

    Yes, Cody Larson was one.

    I believe the other was JuCo standout Dwight McCombs (6'8″ 240 lbs). He'd have 2 years of eligibility, which would probably work out for the best considering the talent coming in future classes. He says its down to Indiana, Arizona State, Auburn, and Middle Tennessee State.

    http://midstatehoops.com/v5/?p=4809

  • marcusgresham

    Brandon Knight signed with Kentucky, so lets hope Teague is ready to make a decision now. I want him at IU, but at this point I'd just like a yea or nay so Davis can decide. One of the two, that's all I'm asking for!

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