Q & A: 2013 DeMatha forward BeeJay Anya

  • 09/16/2011 2:21 pm in

DeMatha (MD) forward BeeJay Anya is one of the most coveted post players nationally in the junior class with scholarship offers from more than 15 schools, including Indiana.

Inside the Hall spoke to the 6-foot-9, 270-pound big man with a 7-foot-9 wingspan about his interest in the Hoosier program, his relationship with Victor Oladipo, the transformation of his physique over the last year and several other topics:

On where Indiana stands in his recruitment:

“I’m interested in IU. They’re the same as the rest of my schools because I’m completely wide open at this point.”

On his relationship with current IU guard Victor Oladipo:

“Me and Victor are very close. Our parents know each other very well. He’s like a brother to me.”

On how he transformed his body over the last 12 months, including weight loss of close to 40 pounds:

“Just eating better. Cutting out stuff from my diet. Eating better basically and working out every day and running. It’s helped me a lot. We’ve been having open gyms (at DeMatha) and I’ve been running better. I can jump better and I’m a lot stronger, too, because I’ve been lifting. I think it’s benefited me a lot.”

On the strengths of his game and what he’s looking to improve upon:

“I think my strengths are definitely attacking the rim and rebounding. And I want to get better at facing up and shooting the 16- to 17-footer and just being able to be more consistent with my jump shot. And get my ball handling better as well.”

On how the summer went playing with Team Takeover in the EYBL and what it was like playing in front of college coaches in July:

“It was great because our team did very well. It was great for coaches to come see us play at the Peach Jam, in Orlando and other events that we played in. It was a great experience for me and hopefully I’ll get to experience it again next year.”

On his contact with the Indiana coaching staff:

“Whenever they’re allowed to call me, that’s when they call me. They came down on Tuesday to open gym as well. I think I’ve talked to everyone on the coaching staff so far.”

On what he’s learned about the program from the coaching staff and their recruiting pitch:

“They’ve talked about how they have a trainer there that does wonders for the players, gets them stronger, more athletic. They think I could be a good fit and that I can come in and make an impact immediately.”

(Photo credit: Jody Demling)

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  • Anonymous

    Most important player of the 2013s? if VO blows up and plays like a freak… I think that will only help our chances for BeeJay

  • Anonymous

    we need a 6’9 270 guy patrolling the paint, lets hope VO can help

  • MillaRed

    Marco Killingsworth without the baggage

  • jaywiz

    Does baggage include FT%? If so, great!

  • Anonymous

    This guy has the Melsahn Besabe-type physique that has been beating the hell out of IU for the past 3 years.

  • MillaRed

    Did you see the 3 top 100 recruits Steve Lavin recruited at St Johns are ineligible.

    Once again Coach Crean, doing it the right way with the right kids.

    All 3 academically ineligible? Really? For shame.

  • a 7’9 wingspan?   holy snikes!

  • Anonymous

    Yeah but can he hedge on a screen like TP????

    Seriously though, go get him VO!!

  • Would be the first man ever to play at Indiana with a wingspan covering 2 zip codes.

  • I see more of a Sullinger.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Wow, somehow I missed that.  1 out of 3 might be expected, but 3/3?  Dude.  Rough.  Too bad those kids didn’t commit to pUKe — Criminalipari could’ve put the Derrick Rose / Eric Bledsoe strategy to use and all 3 would’ve been eligible.

  • I appreciate the athletcism and strength he has.  Recruiting is all about developing relationships unless you’re KU in which case you use  a box full cash.  CTC is doing it right and not only is he developing the relationship with BEEJAY but also with DeMatha.  VO is doing well here and can only help.  All we need is one of these bule chip power forwards to help CZ and we may get a new banner

  • InTheMtns

    Actually it is 3 out of 9. It was a 9-man class, ranked #3 in the nation by ESPN. I think 6 of the 9 players were ranked in ESPN’s top 100, so in the ranking sense then they are 3 out of 6. Still gotta hurt, especially since one of the ones ineligible includes the #1 ranked center. Still a chance they might be eligible by spring semester, but I much prefer CTC’s approach to recruiting academically eligible kids.

  • Anonymous

    I like how the staff’s recruiting strategy has shifted to aggressively targeting strength and height down low.  I also like how we are targeting highly ranked players nationwide.  Grouping the best kids from Indiana with a couple high profile national recruits should pay off big time for a long time.

  • Anonymous

    I remember Crean saying in his press conference when hired that with recruiting he will start in Indiana and then start branching out and that appears to be exactly what he is doing.  He has already landed a class of Indiana bred high profile talent and now he is trying to pair them with high profile players outside the state.  The best part is that the Indiana class coming in should be that good that others nationwide will be very intrigued to play there.  The idea of playing along side Cody Zeller and Yogi along with everyone else should help in making a decision to play at IU.

  • Anonymous

    I like his approach.  Indiana is such a fertile recruiting ground that we really needed to get on more solid footing than we were under Davis and Sampson.  Still, not every year will Indiana have so many high end players like in ’11 and ’12.  Now is the time to branch out.  I like what I am seeing. 

    I think Anya would rock the candy stripes!  Go get him, VO!!

  • Kelin Blab

    I feel good about the possibilities here with Anya. The relationship with VO helps the full staff  visiting open gym is a plus as well. If he can on campus during Hoosier Hysteria will be nice.

  • MillaRed

    Somehow these coaches with a history of tomfoolery find these kids with issues. You are what you are at the end of the day.

  • Anonymous

    I feel like this is the kind of big that IU doesn’t have on the horizon, a big bruiser in the post.  Zeller’s a great rebounder, but not huge, Perea’s a freak, Jurkin has unreal length, but none of them are “space eaters.”  Anya would add that facet to the frountcourt

  • Anonymous

    This guy will be really good, but Derek Willis just set 2 visit dates with us, and has a more polished game.   I feel 2014 is our best chance to win a title, but to do so the 2013 class is critical. We need a highly touted big man to even it out, getting Anya seems like kind of a stretch with all the schools after him, Willis seems a little more interested in us right now..

  • MillaRed

    Win a title!?!

    I just got a tear in my eye.

  • kentuckyHOOSIER

    finally we are after the bigs , Anya or Randle would be unbeliveable

  • Anonymous

    I was just referring to the body size. Don’t know why I thought of Besabe instead of Sullinger, but they’re similar in build (not in ability necessarily, but both owned IU last year.)

  • JerryCT

    Can’t tell exactly from the photo but I think he just maybe ………… maybe has a purple tongue ……….. I think it is a sign

  • Anonymous

    Julius Randel reminded me of a Besabe or Harrison Barnes at UNC. I like our chances with BeeJay and the VO connection, but yeah anyone with that physique patrolling the paint will be a welcome addition to our roster.

  • Anonymous

    IMHO our chances of getting Randle are slim and none but I think we have a much better chance with Anya. If Vo would happen to have a break out year the coming season I think we have to be one of the top two or three with Anya if not the frontrunner. The longer Randle waits to make a decision the better our chances, and showing big improvement on the court could only help our chances, but even with that our chances are not greatly increased.The fact that we are even on his short list with the others he has listed shows that our ability to recruit is picking up steam and in the next year or two I look for us to be the clear frontrunner for a kid like Anya and make it into the final two or three with kids like Randle with a decent percentage of the time getting them to sign on.

  • Anonymous

    I think Willis and maybe others are starting to see the roster fill up as IU continues to gain national “pub.” Every top 20 school and the Big East Schools are going to be all over BeeJay…if he develops his face the basket jumper he is going to be awesome. Man I’d like to see this guy in an IU uniform. Looks like a Steve Downing without all the offensive moves yet.

  • Anonymous

    With Bruce Weber is does anyway:)