Five story lines from the first July evaluation period

(Photo credit: Jamie Owens of J. Scott Sports)

With the first of two live evaluation periods in the books, Inside the Hall takes a look at five Indiana basketball recruiting story lines from the opening ten days of July recruiting:

– Tom Crean earns frequent flier miles: Even with nine verbal commitments lined up for the Hoosiers’ next three recruiting classes and the current No. 1 class nationally in 2012, Crean blazed a trail across the country in the first ten-day period. Confirmed stops included the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, the NY2LA Sports Next Level Invitational in Mequon (WI), the LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron, the Kentucky Hoopfest in Louisville, the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta (SC), the adidas College Coaches Classic in Indianapolis, the NY2LA Sports Summer Jam in Mequon (WI), the Best Buy Summer Classic in Minneapolis and the Best of the Midwest in Indianapolis. Crean is often described as relentless on the recruiting trail and that was certainly the case as Indiana’s head coach worked from sun up until sun down scouting IU’s current commitments and top targets.

– Elite goes deep at adidas Invitational, Best Buy Classic: The Indiana Elite team that features Hanner Perea, Jeremy Hollowell and Yogi Ferrell was questioned by some for failing to win a tournament in the spring, but the trio of Indiana commits led Team Indiana into the semifinals of the loaded adidas event at North Central. After dropping their opening super pool contest to Shabazz Muhammad and Dream Vision, Elite bounced back to knock off the Andre Drummond-led Connecticut Basketball Club and the Atlanta Celtics. In tournament play, the hot hand of Hollowell (more on him in a bit) led Elite to three straight wins before falling 60-58 in the event’s semifinals on Saturday to New Heights. In Minneapolis at the Best Buy Classic, Elite advanced to the championship game and finished 5-1. For a group that’s playing together for the first time and possesses limited depth, Team Indiana’s play in the first evaluation period was impressive.

– Hollowell catches fire in Indianapolis: If there was any doubt that the Lawrence Central senior deserves to mentioned among the nation’s elite high school players, it was erased during the four-day period in Indianapolis. The 6-foot-7 Indiana-bound wing averaged over 22 points in the adidas Invitational and he did so in a variety of ways. Hollowell knocked down contested shots from beyond the 3-point line. He connected on pull-up mid-range jump shots. He backed down defenders and either finished or made his way to the foul line. And he did it against elite competition. Hollowell’s laid back personality has been viewed by some as a negative, but it’s time to start recognizing him for what he is: a competitive player that wants to win.

– Wisconsin big man emerges as big priority in 2013: Our first mention of Luke Fischer was on June 15, the first day college coaches could call prospects in the class of 2013. Indiana’s pursuit of the 6-foot-9, 210-pound junior from Germantown has accelerated quickly in the past month. Crean made a trip to the NY2LA Next Level Invitational in Wisconsin on the second day of the evaluation period to see Fischer, a trip to Louisville to watch him in the Kentucky Hoopfest and another trip to Wisconsin just days later to see him again. Fischer isn’t highly regarded by national scouts, but he’s a rapidly improving prospect with a knack for being in position to make a play. Indiana offered Fischer right before the evaluation period and while Wisconsin also tracked him closely, this appears to be a recruiting battle in which the Hoosiers currently have the upper hand.

– The first 2015 scholarship offer is extended: Jalen Coleman has yet to play in a high school game. But the Indiana staff already thinks highly enough of the 2015 Indianapolis Cathedral prospect to offer him a spot in Bloomington. Indiana’s early attention to Trey Lyles and James Blackmon Jr. last July paid dividends when the duo both gave verbal pledges last September. Coleman played up one year with the Eric Gordon 15-and-under team at the adidas Invitational and Best of the Midwest. In both events, the 6-foot-2, 155-pound guard excelled as a facilitator and a scorer off the dribble. While there’s a risk in offering a kid that’s yet to log a minute of high school basketball, there’s also a risk in letting another school like Michigan State or Purdue get a leg up on one of the state’s premier talents.

  • Kelin Blab

    I think it is a great move personally. What is he playing for at this point? Scholarship offers, exposure….. I think Hanner should join him and work individually on his game and continue to improve. Can’t do that playing against the Greene County All Stars AAU team.

  • Kelin Blab

    I think it is a great move personally. What is he playing for at this point? Scholarship offers, exposure….. I think Hanner should join him and work individually on his game and continue to improve. Can’t do that playing against the Greene County All Stars AAU team.

  • Kelin Blab

    I think it is a great move personally. What is he playing for at this point? Scholarship offers, exposure….. I think Hanner should join him and work individually on his game and continue to improve. Can’t do that playing against the Greene County All Stars AAU team.

  • jgongora86

    You know Kelin you bring up a good point and bring good perspective.  I retract my statement.  I just don’t want him to back down when we come back to glory, when we have a need the state of Indiana can’t supply on a given year.  I just really miss IU winning again.  I want to competitive again so bad.  

  • Anonymous

    So, you, as a complete outsider, want Crean to keep recruiting certain players just so you feel like he’s trying more.  Isn’t it more likely that Crean recognizes when he has a chance with a kid and when he doesn’t, and that he’d probably know that with a whole lot more certainty than you?  You’d prefer him to waste his time/resources on lost causes, so then when he doesn’t get the player in the end (and maybe misses on another kid because he didn’t back off when he knew he didn’t have a chance) you can rip him for not landing the player you wanted him to keep recruiting for no reason?  (For example, you referred to two recruits he lost as “fiascoes”.)

    Just making sure I understand your point.

  • Anonymous

    He wouldn’t have to be a full-time PG though, with Ferrell.  I know what you’re saying, but Abell will be a junior by that season.  I’d think Abell could handle the 1, along with Patterson, if necessary.

    I’m not against adding a PG, either, by any means.  I just like thinking about good problems IU will have in upcoming seasons.  It’s a nice change.

  • Anonymous

    agree but damn I’m from Greene County

  • Anonymous

    We all do!

  • Kelin Blab

    and might I add you are the pride of greene county….

    That comment actually stems from I went to watch Indiana Elite earlier this year and they played some team called the something county all stars and it was over before it started….

  • Anonymous

    i think it was Kelin Blab who said, “hello. I’m a twisted ankle. Protect yourself from mayhem like me.” or something like that.

  • Gustin

    Your interpretation of his post(s) is different than mine.  Like you, I don’t necessarily agree with  his point;however, I don’t see where he prefers CTC to waste his time/resources on lost causes,  or where he would jump at the opportunity to rip coach for not getting the player he wanted.  Kelin laid out his counter thought/belief in a much more fan friendly manner.  We are all IU fans, and should respect other viewpoints even if/when we disagree.  That is one of aspects of ITH that I really enjoy.  I am sure you do too…

  • MillaRed

    Agreed

  • Anonymous

    I think he went down the road of big swings on national-outof state players, and realized that they are going to have to win first to really get those players.  Even though we know Yogi, Hollowell and Perea, other kids don’t necessarily.  I think your thinking is where Mike Davis got himself in trouble.  He was busy chasing Villenueva and the sort, and let Oden and Conley get out of the state.

  • Anonymous

    I heard that Pol Pot Jr. is a gunner.

  • Anonymous

    I heard that Pol Pot Jr. is a gunner.

  • jgongora86

    I guess where I’m going at that yes Davis’s methods  were costly, but it doesn’t mean we can’t focus on one big get especially when we already have Yogi, Perea, and Hollowell.  I think luke Fischer would be ok but I think Anya is a lot better.  In this case scenario, I think we can be allowed to focus a lot more resources to get Anya.  Or at the very least try  to find the other big programs for Anya’s services without losing focus on our in state athletes.  

  • Anonymous

    I know what you mean, but we also don’t know what the players and their “handlers” are saying.  They may have told Crean that IU has no chance.  ITH gets their list mostly from what the players say, and who they say offered and are contacting them.  I don’t believe any of this comes from the coaching staff.  As Alex said, Mitch says IU hasn’t contacted him, but they have.  So who really knows what is going on.

  • Anonymous

    I know what you mean, but we also don’t know what the players and their “handlers” are saying.  They may have told Crean that IU has no chance.  ITH gets their list mostly from what the players say, and who they say offered and are contacting them.  I don’t believe any of this comes from the coaching staff.  As Alex said, Mitch says IU hasn’t contacted him, but they have.  So who really knows what is going on.

  • jgongora86

    If Anya has handlers than by all means move on.  But if we can afford to use our resources Anya but back off because the likes of UNC, Duke and Georgetown are after him, that makes me concerned.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’m going with you K-I-I-N!  I’ve seen Hollowell and was very impressed.  He’s a better athlete than I expected and is smooth.  He has some room to put on weight and if he does so without bulking up and losing his shot then he could turn out to be the steal of that class. 

    Yogi will still make the biggest impact though.  It seems every year you see a top notch PG or two on the team that ends up dancing the longest.  It seems to be such a guard dominated game anymore.  I’m still all for the biggest, baddest, center you can get but it does seem that guard play is the driving force behind winning in college basketball nowadays.  Sort of like how I can remember Mateen Cleaves and Mo Peterson from the MSU national championship team but I can’t remember who there big men were. 

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’m going with you K-I-I-N!  I’ve seen Hollowell and was very impressed.  He’s a better athlete than I expected and is smooth.  He has some room to put on weight and if he does so without bulking up and losing his shot then he could turn out to be the steal of that class. 

    Yogi will still make the biggest impact though.  It seems every year you see a top notch PG or two on the team that ends up dancing the longest.  It seems to be such a guard dominated game anymore.  I’m still all for the biggest, baddest, center you can get but it does seem that guard play is the driving force behind winning in college basketball nowadays.  Sort of like how I can remember Mateen Cleaves and Mo Peterson from the MSU national championship team but I can’t remember who there big men were. 

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I agree.  That’s what makes this site so great!  I would call IU basketball fans the most knowledgeable and savvy fans in the country and I’ve said that for years.  With that said, I can see both sides of the argument.  I love the fact that CTC is locking down the instate talent the way he is but I also don’t want to miss out on a guy like DJ White (maybe my favorite IU player) because we back off when in a dogfight with other top programs for out of state talent.  

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I agree.  That’s what makes this site so great!  I would call IU basketball fans the most knowledgeable and savvy fans in the country and I’ve said that for years.  With that said, I can see both sides of the argument.  I love the fact that CTC is locking down the instate talent the way he is but I also don’t want to miss out on a guy like DJ White (maybe my favorite IU player) because we back off when in a dogfight with other top programs for out of state talent.  

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    At this point I don’t think that’s what CTC is doing though.  I just think he sees the immediate talent in Indiana as the quickest way to rebuild and then he’ll start to expand the recruiting pool if he has too.  Only time will tell. 

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    At this point I don’t think that’s what CTC is doing though.  I just think he sees the immediate talent in Indiana as the quickest way to rebuild and then he’ll start to expand the recruiting pool if he has too.  Only time will tell. 

  • Anonymous

    Hmmmm. DJ over AJ??? man, i’m really torn. And if i hop into my waaaayback machine, Quinn Buckner? It’s too close to call. Many MANY favorites!!

  • Anonymous

    Moye was my first thought, but then Guyton popped into my head too.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’ve had a ton of favorites over the years but DJ worked his way into my top spot with his attitude and effort despite playing for a couple turd coaches!  Cheaney, Alford, Guyton, Moye.  Too many to name, especially my favorite named player of all time . . . Harris Mujezinovic!  HA – Harris was a bruiser man.  I still remember that mask.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’ve had a ton of favorites over the years but DJ worked his way into my top spot with his attitude and effort despite playing for a couple turd coaches!  Cheaney, Alford, Guyton, Moye.  Too many to name, especially my favorite named player of all time . . . Harris Mujezinovic!  HA – Harris was a bruiser man.  I still remember that mask.

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