July evaluation period: 2011 class

  • 07/13/2010 9:19 pm in

Inside the Hall hit the recruiting trail for the start of the July evaluation period and made stops at the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis and the Kentucky Hoopfest in Louisville. Here are our notes on prospects in the 2011 class with IU recruiting ties:

+ Cody Zeller, Washington (IN), Indiana Elite: If this wasn’t best Zeller has played to-date in an AAU event, it would have to be a close second. In the first high-profile game of the adidas Invitational against Dream Vision, Zeller came out firing on all cylinders. He knocked down shots from the perimeter. He found open teammates for easy buckets. He dunked. He finished with contact in the lane. He showed excellent footwork and agility for his size. If there was any doubt that Zeller is a five-star talent, it was erased. One interesting observation from Zeller’s interview that hasn’t been publicized much was his answer to the question of what’s changed since his brothers went through the recruiting process. He made a point to mention that certain schools have built new facilities in recent years, which is a good indication that Cook Hall is at least on his mind.

+ Austin Etherington, Hamilton Heights (IN), Indiana Elite: Etherington struggled in his first game at the adidas Invitational, but picked up the pace in his second game Tuesday and first game on Wednesday. Although he’s declared himself 100 percent publicly, he’s still wearing a brace on his back when he plays and said on Wednesday that he’ll likely continue wearing the brace for the foreseeable future. He struggled with his outside shot, but found other ways to stand out as a valuable contributor. In a game against the Dallas Mustangs and five-star power forward Le’Bryan Nash, Etherington stood his ground and played gritty defense against one of the nation’s best players. His ball handling still needs work, but he’s an underrated passer and probably doesn’t get enough credit for how well he defends.

+ Jeremiah Davis, Muncie Central (IN), Indiana Elite: Davis has taken a tumble in the national rankings and his play in Indianapolis probably won’t help the cause. One observation that stood out: Many of the strengths Davis previously used to separate himself from opponents no longer appear to exist. Defenders don’t allow him to bully his way to the basket by using his strength. His first step is adequate, but it’s not a sure thing he’ll get past his defender. He’s still a very good prospect that excels in transition, is a solid passer and a great kid. Michigan State, once considered the school to beat, was noticeably absent from both of his games on Tuesday.

+ Naadir Tharpe, Brewster Academy (NH), NE Playaz: Playing alongside Kaleb Tarczewski and Alex Murphy, Tharpe gets the chance to embrace the role of a pure point guard. He took a couple of ill-advised shots from the perimeter, but he’s quick with the ball and reeled off several nice passes. He also seemed to excel using the pick and roll. It’s sometimes tough to gauge defense in the up-and-down nature of an AAU event, but Tharpe showed nothing to suggest that he would be unable to keep up in the Big Ten in terms of quickness. His size (5-10), however, makes him relatively easy to shoot over. Indiana continues to evaluate Tharpe and will decide, presumably by the end of the summer, whether to extend a scholarship offer.

+ Chane Behanan, Bowling Green (KY), Ohio Basketball Club: Behanan didn’t play particularly well on Tuesday, but it’s easy to see why he’s a hot commodity. His listed height is 6-6 or 6-7, but he’s actually closer to 6-5 which makes him a bit undersized for a power forward. His post game is very polished, his body (at least 250 pounds and mostly lean) is college ready and he showed an ability to finish with either hand. He seemed to get a bit frustrated in his first game on Tuesday as his teammates either forgot about him or just refused to feed him the ball. After his meeting with the media, it was obvious that Louisville and West Virginia are in the best shape and he sounded as if he’d be thrilled with an offer from Kentucky. He did, however, say he hopes to visit Bloomington.

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  • marcusgresham

    Yeah, that's why I was saying it could increase the possibility that both of them could end up at IU (depending on other guys leaving in the next year. Here we go again with “potential transfers” before the season even begins. Sorry to start that mess all over again.)

  • BaseballBuc

    With McGary going to 2012 and the talent that is already in that class, I would say that he probably isn't really on IU's radar anymore unless he absolutely breaks out. But thats just my opinion.

  • Taskmaster75

    According to Rivals, Indiana is not on Randle's list (but Indiana is there on ESPN, weird). Anyway, he is ranked as the #63 guy nationally. I guess it's just the fact that we already have offered a few combo guards and the like that they seem infinitely more interesting than a guy that Indiana isn't even in on.

    Although, if we don't get anyone we recruit, along with me crying on my computer desk, Crean may scramble in Randle's direction.

  • Bucky

    Thanks. Good to hear about AE.

  • Diesel

    Actually, a stress fracture in the back takes about 3-4 months to heal, and it's not a given that these things do heal which means he could end up with a fracture in his back that leads to recurrent back pain. This is why he is still wearing a back brace even though he is playing.

  • Diesel

    Saw that Randle is officially down to Purdue, Illinois, and Stanford.

  • Kelin Blab

    And I am so tired of those emails they send me hoping it is for a basketball commit only to find out….it's football again.

  • MillaRed

    Kelin's man-crush on Cody is in full bloom. I cannot let him go on like this on his own. I officially have joined the bandwagon. Why not darn it? I have been stood up on the IU doorstep before.

    Someone give us a verbal or I'm gonna start getting mad. You won't like me when I'm mad.

  • BaseballBuc

    I think he goes to stanford because he fits their mold perfectly. He is the number 1 student academically in his class.

  • kristheboss

    Very true, not at all an easy injury to overcome. I developed it during track and cross country by running 60-80 mile weeks. Once you get a stress fracture in your back it will never 100% heal just get better. Hopefully he is able to manage rehabilitation with continued improvement better than I could. But wearing a back brace has got to help, I only could during school so each time I ran it got progressively worse.


    Or number 3 might be, not winning with five first round draft choices AND having a coach that thinks that that is more important than winning it all.

    Calipayoff and pUKe soooo soooo deserve each other.

  • eph521

    I think what people are saying is that with 5 NBA picks on your team, it's not an accomplishment to win your conference and/or 35 games – one would hope a team with that type of talent would achieve those goals. It's the fact that Calapari can't win the big one despite all that talent, that's where he gets the criticism. Furthermore, many believe that he's a 'shady' character who possibly 'cheats' which is easy to believe given his past issues with the NCAA – not sure IU or any other school wants that embarassment… we had our taste of cheating with Sampson and we didn't like it at all. Winning isn't everything.

    (no offense, but I hit the Like button by accident)

  • Outoftheloop

    Wrong! Coach Cal has NEVER officially been to a Final Four, has never won an NCAA title, has never officially won an NCAA Regional title, has never won an NIT title, has never been a national team coach, and has presided over programs at the bottom in academic performance throughout his college career. Many in Lexington already know, and someday the NCAA probably will know about the grade, class attendance scandal at KY. I want no part of that type of embarrassment at IU. I think that we just got rid of that model for our basketball team, and it really hurt us, in March of 2008..

  • Outoftheloop

    What a credit to the kid, a great student and a great young basketball player. Where does he go to HS?

  • MillaRed

    Nice post but I'll have to disagree. IU “dabbled” with the idea of having a UK philosophy with Sampson and it was the biggest dissappointment I've ever had as a sports fan. So not only will I not “kill for that kind of embarrassment” I downright refuse to be a part of it ever again.

    At the end of the day, there is a right way and a wrong way of doing things. Calipari has been caught twice as a head coach, he is routinely connected with World Wide Wes who is an individual that represents everything that is wrong with collegiate athletics, he already has two pending investigations from last years Elite Eight team, he flaunted his stuff at the NBA draft like a fool.

    Uhhh, yeah. Kentucky deserves plenty of criticism and then some as long as this guy is on the payroll. It's only a matter of time before he demonstrates his patented hit and run.

  • BaseballBuc

    He goes to HS at Rock Island and his AAU team is the Illinois Wolves.

  • Outoftheloop


  • stonaroni

    AE's father reportedly had a similar situation with a stress fracture around the same age as AE. For those who may not know, AE's dad was an Indiana All Star and went on to star at Butler. Hopefully AE heals up the same way. I heard AE went to see IU doctors, who released him to play after a short rest. I seriously doubt AE is out playing under his own accord and not following the doctor's orders. He is bouncing back quickly which is obvious based upon his performances in July.

  • Marsh21

    Alex tweeted and wanted to know what facts back up that Cody Zeller's favorite would be UNC. If you're a 5 star prospect with two older brothers going through the routine the last thing you need is to go into a program which working its way back from the bottom. I guess there are no facts however just putting myself in his position I would think both Butler and UNC would be ahead of IU.

    Butler would be my first choice. – A proven system, coach and success plus good recruiting to surround me with another potential run. Plus he's not going up agains the best in the Big Ten or ACC ever night which might expose some weaknesses he needs some time to work on. Playing in a lower conference has no impact on going pro either which was just proven.

    UNC – The best talent in the country every year which enables them to make deep runs possible on any given year. His chances of getting to a final four are very high going to this program. His brother loves it and it will be very difficult to say no to his older brother across the dinner table.

    All in all I believe Crean needs to work on obtaining another big for the 11 class which I believe he is. he must recruit Zeller and try but in the end I give IU a less than 30% chance of landing becasue there are two other schools already in play with programs several years ahead of IU.

    I love IU and hope I'm wrong!