Indiana Class of 2012 Rankings

Joe Eberhardt is a high school sports blogger and writer in Indiana. He created Indy Hoops Blog and contributes to the Hoosier Hoops Report. You can follow him on twitter at @IndyHoopsBlog.

The state of Indiana is known for producing a plethora of Division 1 talent and the class of 2012 is no exception. This class features at least 10 high-major players and plenty of other players who could make an impact for mid-majors and low-majors. Direct any questions to the comment section and I’ll be glad to answer all of them.

15. Harry Wills 6’3 PG (Ben Davis) - Wills is a sleeper in this loaded class. He’s very quick, has good vision, and good passing ability, making him a strong floor general. He’s a tough defender who won’t give up any easy buckets or plays to his man. Wills is a good athlete and can finish against bigger opponents at the rim. He needs to develop his jump shot and could be a big steal if he improves his shooting.

14. Nick Osborne 6’8 PF (Muncie Central)
– An extremely athletic big man with a great nose for the ball, Osborne excels at fighting for tough rebounds and earning points on the offensive glass. Osborne is very strong and is able to out-muscle and out-hustle opponents for loose balls and rebounds. He needs to expand his offensive game some, but he can knock down the open jumper if tested.

13. Ronnie Johnson 5’9 PG (North Central) – Ronnie is an ultra quick left-handed lead guard with great vision and supreme passing skills. He’s not a great shooter, but has a knack for hitting the mid-range floater and can score buckets at the rim. He’s the kind of player who can impact a game without scoring a single point. He needs to get stronger and improve his shooting, but he could be a big time coup for a mid-major program.

12. Kellen Dunham 6’4 SG (Pendleton Heights) – He’s arguably the best shooter in the state. He can knock down shots off the dribble, catch and shoot, or in transition. His ball-handling is improving and he’s showing increased ability to get to the rim and score. Dunham’s also one of the best free throw shooters in the state, converting at a rate of 89 percent during the high school season. He needs to get stronger and quicker to help transition to the college game, but he’s the kind of player you can see excelling at Butler.

11. Dejuan Marrero 6’5 SF/PF (Bowman Academy) – Plain and simple, there may not be a more tenacious rebounder in the nation than Marrero. He’s a good athlete, has a strong frame and has a great nose for the ball. He can crash the boards on either end of the floor and score efficiently on the offensive glass. His game dictates that he’d likely play power forward in college, but his size makes you think he’d have to play small forward. He needs to improve his ball-handling and shooting to be an effective wing in college, but there’s no denying his tenacity on the boards.

10. Glenn Robinson Jr. 6’5 SG/SF (Lake Central) - Glenn is an explosive athlete with great length. He can get to the rim very easily, where he can finish above the rim over bigger defenders. He’s still improving his shooting, but does have good form on his shot. He rebounds well for his position and uses his length and athleticism to beat out bigger players for boards. He has great upside, and as he continues to improve his skills, he’ll become a more productive player. If you watched his dad play in high school or college, you’ll notice Glenn Jr’s mannerisms are almost identical to his father. From the way he walks to the way he runs down the floor, Glenn Jr. resembles Glenn Sr. in many ways.

9. Austin Burgett 6’8 PF (Avon) – Burgett is skilled power forward who excels facing the basket. He has the skills to take slower opponents off the dribble and shooting range out to the 3-point line. Austin also has nice athleticism and has great touch around the rim. Right now he hangs on the perimeter at times and I’d like to see him establish himself in the paint more often. He does need to get stronger for college, but the versatile skills are definitely there.

8. RJ Hunter 6’5 SG (Pike) – Hunter is the player who benefitted most from a strong AAU season. Before the summer started he was mainly viewed as a shooter, but Hunter has really rounded out his game and now holds five high-major offers. Along with Dunham, he’s one of the best shooters in the state. RJ has expanded his game by getting to the rim with ease off the bounce and rebounding well from the guard spot. He’s got great length which also helps him as a defender on the wing. RJ needs to get stronger, which will benefit him on both sides of the ball.

7. Rapheal Davis 6’5 SG/SF (Ft. Wayne South)
– Davis is a good 3-point shooter with the ability to get hot and really stroke the ball. His strength helps him get to the rim and finish after contact. He could tighten up his ball-handling a little bit to improve his driving ability. Although he’s not as explosive as some of the other guards in his class, Davis is a capable athlete and is able to finish some plays above the rim.

6. Ron Patterson 6’2 SG (Broad Ripple) – Patterson (pictured) is an explosive athlete with a good outside shot. He has at times been streaky from the perimeter, but recently has been shooting at a more consistent level. Another great quality about Patterson is his ability to rebound well for his position. Patterson has a 6’10 wingspan, a trait that also allows him to be a disruptive wing defender and formidable shot blocker for his position. He needs to improve his ball-handling, but does a great job cutting to the rim without the ball.

5. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera 6’3 PG/SG (North Central) – DSR is a powerful combo guard with a knack for knocking down tough shots. He excels with the ball going to the rim, where he can draw the foul and score from the line. His jumper is improving, making him a threat to score from all over the court. Smith-Rivera isn’t the most explosive vertical athlete, but he has the strength to be a disruptive defender on the perimeter. He needs to improve his shooting consistency, because there’s a chance he may have to play off the ball in college.

4. Yogi Ferrell 5’11 PG (Park Tudor)
- Ferrell, a super quick point guard, is the ideal player you’d want running a team. He’s an unbelievable ball-handler, a gifted passer and an efficient player who doesn’t make many mistakes. He can blow by nearly any defender and score at the rim. On top of that he’s establishing himself as a reliable shooter off the pull-up jumper. Defensively he’s quick and can keep up with any player, but he does need to get a little stronger to handle larger guards. Ferrell just needs to get a little stronger and continue to shoot the ball consistently.

3. Jeremy Hollowell 6’7 SF (Lawrence Central) – Hollowell’s the most versatile player in this class. He’s got the strength and length to mix it up down low as a rebounder, but the touch and skill to play on the perimeter. Jeremy’s also a big-time athlete and can block shots. He’s got a great feathery stroke on his jump shot and the ability to fill it up from deep. He’s often been knocked for his laid back demeanor, but is beginning to assert himself off the bounce and on the defensive end. His length makes him a very versatile defender, one who may be able to defend the 2, 3, or 4 in college.

2. Hanner Perea 6’8 PF (LaLumiere) – Indiana high school basketball’s new resident is a super, long, athletic freak. Plain and simple, Perea will thrown down dunks that make you think the backboard could break. He brings that same intensity defensively with his ability to block shots and pull down rebounds with his elite athleticism. His offensive game is pretty raw, but he does possess a nice stroke from the foul line. He needs to improve his offensive game if he wants to become a more versatile threat, but there’s no denying his length, athleticism and ability to run the floor.

1. Gary Harris 6’4 SG (Hamilton Southeastern) – Harris can do anything on the court. He’s improved his shooting consistency to a great level, shooting 50 percent from the 3-point line at a recent AAU tournament. He can attack the rim off the bounce and is a phenomenal athlete. He’s really undersold as a passer and makes smart plays with the ball in his hands. Defensively his length and quickness lets him disrupt plays and lock down opponents on the wing. There’s really not a gaping hole in Harris’ game, as he can score in so many ways and always plays hard. The one area of his game that does need a little work is his ball-handling. He’s a sufficient ball-handler, but tightening it up a little bit would further improve his ability to get to the rim and score.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I’m with BGleas here . . . Jurkin and CZ don’t resemble each other at all in their games and won’t play the same position in college. Actually, having a guy like Jurkin who can guard the 5, rebound, block shots, and clean up balls around the rim makes it easier for a guy like Cody to use his game which is floating away from the basket and knocking down open shots and capitalizing on lanes created by the offense (which would obviously be there because the opponent would have to put emphasis on guarding the 7 footer).

  • Anonymous

    I’m talking about Perea potentially coming over with him and how that might affect CZ. I would assume Perea would play the 4. It might be similar to what UNC has going on, but Butler would then be able to offer him the most playing time.

  • MileHighHoosier

    I highly disagree with Patterson being ahead of Hollowell, DSR and, especially, Perea.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Alright!!!! Break out the beer and let’s celebrate gentlemen! This is an enormous recruit and like we’ve all said before should open the floodgates and start the dominoes falling!

    PJ has been probably a top three priority for me since I saw he was on IU’s radar a few months back for several reasons:

    1. He’s a legit center and 7 footer
    2. He’s way more skilled than what you read because he’s improved in the last half year.
    3. He’s going to most likely play with Hanner Perea!
    4. He’s also a buddy of Yogi and seems to hang with him a lot so it makes Yogi more likely.
    5. He blocks shots, cleans up put back dunks, and runs the floor well.
    6. He has really good hands for a big man and I’ve seen him snag some really tough passes!
    7. He looks like he could easily add another 20-30 pounds and has definitely gotten bigger in the last six months!

    This is great news and I hope it’s legit!!!

  • http://www.prinsportsblog.com BGleas

    Agree on their styles being different. That’s the beauty of Zeller-Jurkin-Perea coming to IU, if we’re so lucky, they could compliment each other so well, and between the center and power forward there’s 80 mpg to go around.

    If you want a big lineup, you can play all three as Perea could slide to small forward for some time, if you want a smaller/fast lineup with a little more skill, then you go Zeller-Perea, you want a freak-athlete/defensive lineup, you go Jurkin-Perea.

    The options Crean would have would be endless.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    CBS College Sports (CSTV). Check your television provider channel lineup.

  • Anonymous
  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Oh man, I gotta calm down. I’ve been waiting and anticipating one of these recruiting commitments for so long that I may blow a gasket due to excitement. This is one of the better ones too. I was thinking we’d get a commit from a BJ Young or Buss, which would also be great, but this is a legit 7-foot center who can run and has skills!

  • http://twitter.com/IndyHoopsBlog Joe Eberhardt

    I think you want to take Yogi and Patterson. Yogi is the best distributor and shooter of the group, and Patterson is the best defender. DSR is good, but I don’t think a combo guard is a bit need right now. I think right now the most glaring need is a top shelf PG. B.J. Young and Yogi would both fit the billing. Next up for defense, Patterson would be a great defensive stopper on the wing.

  • http://twitter.com/IndyHoopsBlog Joe Eberhardt

    Let me say that I’m not knocking DSR, but rather that IU probably doesn’t want another combo guard right now. I think you want a clear cut PG like Ferrell who can run a team, not a combo guard who may be a score first guy.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Thanks for the link! This is excellent news. I saw a poster on HoosierNation say “good player but not a great player and IU is trying to rebuild.” Went on to say PJ wasn’t that athletic?

    Wow, what a terrible misstatement. PJ is incredibly athletic and will just get better. Let’s just hope IU lands some more of these guys and he doesn’t change his mind in two years when he’s a top 5 national recruit because, mark my words, he will be!

  • Scott

    Your points are all right on target. Bring in PJ and Perea will follow, maybe very soon is the buzz too. I can’t imagine him going to Baylor over IU now that he knows his friends are Hoosiers. Same thing with Yogi I believe. This commits will sway him in the right direction which lastly will be enough for Zeller to decide this situation is an easy call. Beyond that any other recruits are just icing on the cake. Maybe it is nothing more than speculation past PJ tonight but I feel like a kid on Christmas morning!

  • Andrew

    Michael Chandler goes to Lawrence North. Lawrence North players don’t go to IU. Ever.

  • Deananderson

    Is there a chance (if and when PJ Commits) other 2012 guys worry about the amount of schollies and start to follow PJ ?

  • Gustin

    I believe PJ is committing first and he knows HP will follow. PJ wants to make sure one of the available 2012 slots is available for him. Now, let’s get BJY and CZ to commit for 2011. Then, Harris and Yogi. Dominoes anyone?

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Guys . . . Cody Zeller looks good! He plays a nice controlled, smart game and does the little things. He’s going to lead any team he plays for in rebounds because he is always in the right spot. The last two times I’ve seen him (this game included) he has impressed me more and more and he’s climbing the list of importance in other areas besides getting the big name guy from instate. He can play!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments, and for the post in general, which was very informative.

  • Scout Nba

    RJ Hunter #8, ahead of Dunham, Marrero, Robinson Jr. Now that is a stretch. I saw him play all summer and yeah he is a good prospect but has nowhere near the talent of Dunham, Marrero or Robinson Jr.

    Do you guys really go out and watch therse guys or just go by what you hear, i would be intereested to hear what you say.

  • http://twitter.com/IndyHoopsBlog Joe Eberhardt

    Not only did Hunter have a very good summer, but he scored 5 high major offers. Something Dunham and Robinson have not done. Dunham may have scored a few high major offers, but I don’t see ACC schools offering him. With Marrero, you could argue either way, but I see Hunter transitioning better to the college level.

  • Grdouglas

    This reply is a little lazy. Dunham commited early to a nationally ranked top program and now its easy to say you don’t know if he would score high majors so he’s lower on the list? Hmmm….

  • http://twitter.com/IndyHoopsBlog Joe Eberhardt

    I was just using that as a measuring stick, but if you compare their games I think you would see Hunter gets the edge. Shooting the ball they are equal or you can give the slight edge either way depending on the night. However, Hunter’s more athletic, a better rebounder, defender, and ball-handler. Dunham is improving his game, but he’s not as well rounded as RJ. Those things would be my true reasoning for having Hunter higher.

  • BB

    Rankings are just opinions…all these players vary day to day.

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