With signing day on the horizon, Inside the Hall caught up with one of the best in the business, Dave Telep, for some national perspective on Indiana’s 2012 recruiting class.
Telep is a senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com and the former national director of recruiting for Scout.com. He’s covered recruiting since 1997. A transcript of our chat with Telep follows:
Alex Bozich: This is obviously the best collection of talent that Tom Crean and his staff have put together since arriving in Bloomington. What are your thoughts overall on the class and the impact it can make on Indiana over the next couple of years?
Dave Telep: I think the best part about this class is that it’s dynamic. There’s five different position players. I also think there are three guys that are going to eventually be starters. At least three who will be starters for Indiana at some point in their career. That’s a heck of a thing to get out of a recruiting class. Jeremy Hollowell, Kevin Ferrell, Hanner Perea should go in with expectation that those guys are going to have 12-to-15 years of starting experience between them.
AB: As far as the other two members of the class — Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin — they both committed early. They’ve kind of fallen down on some of the national ranking lists. What have you seen out of those two specifically? Peter hasn’t played, but where do they fit in?
DT: Well Peter unfortunately has been really injured. With his setbacks, it’s been a lot of physical stuff so he hasn’t been able to get on the floor. I think with Peter Jurkin defensively, you look at a guy like Baye Moussa Keita at Syracuse, who kind of carved out a role with his length and his ability to protect the rim. I think that’s what you want Peter Jurkin to do. He’s not a scoring threat unless he’s getting a rebound or a stick back or catching an alley-oop. But in terms of a rim protector, he can carve out a niche.
I think Ron Patterson, it’s really up to him. I think he’s a talented kid who can shoot the ball and be a good defensive player. It’s just about, again, carving out a role for himself. This class, going back to five different positions, there’s five different style guys. If Ron Patterson can carve out his role, there’s no question he can have a nice career at Indiana. But when you get to college, the reality sets in. And the reality is, for guys like Jurkin and Patterson, is the sooner they figure out who they are on Indiana’s team, the more likely they are to play bigger minutes.
AB: As far as Yogi Ferrell goes, I know you’ve seen him quite a bit. Talk a little bit about what adding Ferrell can do for the whole team and the impact of having a guy that can both score and distribute the ball.
DT: He’s very quick. He’s going to be a different look for some of the other point guards in the Big Ten because his speed and tenacity are his best attributes. He just wants to get into you. He’s a fearless kid. I think once he gets comfortable with using the weapons that are going to be at his disposal, and he will have a revamped lineup of weapons at his disposal, that’s when he’ll truly max out his ability. He’s difficult to guard, you can’t knock him down and he’s just got an edge to his game that has always been very helpful.
AB: Hanner Perea’s a player that a lot of people have labeled as a “potential” guy, but really hasn’t put it all together consistently as far as developing a midrange game or consistent moves around the basket. What have you seen out of his development from when you first saw him up to now? Where do you project him to end up as a player if he continues to improve?
DT: Athletically and physically, he’s in an upper tier of guys. There won’t be a whole lot of guys in the Big Ten who look like him. He’s at a little bit of a crossroads because from an evaluation standpoint, you’re asking yourself ‘is he a guy capable of being a frontline scoring threat or is he going to be a complimentary starter?’ As a rebounder and in transition, he’s a real big weapon. Can he develop a consistent offensive game where you know what kind of numbers he’s going to kick out every night? That would be my question with him.
A guy like Jeremy Hollowell, you know exactly what you’re getting. You’re getting a jack of all trades, junkyard dog kind of small forward. And with Hanner, you have a guy that’s still a little bit more prospect than he is consistent producer. So can he bridge that gap will ultimately define how successful he is at Indiana.
(Photo credit: Jamie Owens of J. Scott Sports.)