2013 guard Demarcus Croaker hearing from Indiana

Demarcus Croaker’s strong weekend at the adidas VIP Exclusive Run in Las Vegas has Indiana showing interest.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard plays alongside a trio of five-star prospects (Kasey Hill, Chris Walker and Brannen Greene) for the Florida Rams, who won the tournament’s 17-and-under division championship this past weekend.

According to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, Croaker was a breakout performer at the event, one in which IU assistant coach Tim Buckley attended.

“They’ve told me they like how aggressive I play, my style of play and that I know the game of basketball real well,” Croaker told Inside the Hall on Wednesday night. “They let me know that they’re going to be recruiting me from now on.”

Croaker, a member of the 2013 class who plays at Jones High School in Orlando, has a lengthy list of schools showing interest — Florida, Florida State, Miami, Central Florida, Tennessee, Central Michigan, Virginia Tech, Georgia and Oklahoma.

While the interest from Indiana is recent, Croaker hopes to get up to speed on the Hoosiers quickly.

“I know Indiana has a really good basketball program, but I really don’t know much about the school,” Croaker said. ”I told Coach Buckley I’m interested in learning more about the school and maybe even taking a visit during the summer.”

At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Tom Crean said the program’s recruiting strategy for the 2013 and 2014 classes has been revamped after returning from Atlanta following the Sweet 16 loss.

Crean mentioned awareness, shooting ability, length, quick feet and versatility as some of the attributes the staff would be looking for while evaluating players.

“My biggest strength is in transition,” Croaker said. “That’s when I’m at my best. I’m athletic, long and can jump out of the gym. I’m very quick. One thing I’m working on a lot that college coaches saw last weekend is my jump shot and also my ability to handle the ball and just my overall basketball IQ.”

Ultimately, Croaker said his college decision will come down to a combination of academics, potential for development and the relationship he builds with a coaching staff.

“Education must come first,” Croaker said. “I want a school that will fit my style of play and that I know will develop me as a one or two or a combo guard. Just a school that has great coaches that I can get along with.”

Here’s a look at Croaker from a game this past season at Jones:

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshobie Josh O’Brien

    Seriously, this kid could be Russ Smith’s little brother. They look a LOT alike. Nice game, incredible athleticism.

  • SeattleHoosier

    “Education must come first.”  Winner!

  • Kelin Blab

    Quick observation….
    + A little Jordan Crawford
    + Education first…is always nice
    + I can jump out the gym….love the confidence, not to many kids can say this

    I Likey! Who said 2013 would be boring?

  • cheeseman18

    I thought Jordan Crawford as soon as I saw him too. Lol

  • stevetodd73

    This may sound stupid but I see D Wade!!!!!

  • 323SGrant

    He reminds me, in some ways, of D. Wade when he was in High School.

  • N71

    “Tom Crean said the program’s recruiting strategy for the 2013 and 2014 classes has been revamped…”
    I missed this point previously.  I can’t say I agree or disagree with the direction, just surprised and intrigued, I thought we were fairly far in with the 2013 class to “revamp”.  I like the guys we have in Davis, Hartman, Fischer, Trey, and Blackmon.  Perhaps his point applies to the additions that will be made.  

    If Demarcus is evidence of a new strategy then what from his game reflects a change in what we’re looking for.  I’m not saying there isn’t evidence, it’s just not obvious to me what it is.  Perhaps a more complete type of guard with size?  He’s 6′ 3″, can handle, shoot, and get into the lane.  If we take inventory of who we were recruiting before the tournament, is a big offensively disruptive guard the new ingredient?  

  • Jam

    I saw that comment as well bu thought it was reflected in the Mckie and lee offers.

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

    Here’s the quotes on 2013 and 2014 recruiting from Crean’s Tuesday presser:

    “We’ve revamped it. Since we got back from Atlanta, we’ve really turned it up more in the 2013 class for somewhat obvious reasons but also to plan ahead a bit. I don’t think there’s any question about that. I think it’s the same thing with the younger classes. We want to continue to make this program one of the strongest in the country. When you’re at Indiana, the pool shrinks anyways as far as who is going to have the talent, the toughness and all those things to play at this level and be at this level. …. Inside of that, there are still a lot of intangibles you want to study and pay attention to. There are things we don’t want to get away from. We don’t want to get away from versatility, we don’t want to get away from people that have already pretty good skills but can continue to improve them. There’s no question that the biggest offensive attribute to me is what’s their shooting ability. The biggest defensive things to me are their awareness, their length and how quick their feet are, no matter what position. Awareness is probably more important than the length and the feet, and length and feet are huge, but awareness is even better. …. With what we’re trying to do with switching and what we’re trying to do with rotating, getting out and guarding people, you have to have great awareness, especially on the weak side. You’ve got be able to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. Awareness is a huge part of that. To be a great rebounder, you have to have awareness. So those are all attributes that we are really starting to at the forefront with and kind of building from there. I don’t think there has been a day where we haven’t been locked into recruiting or strongly conscious of it. But, there’s no question it’s picked up in our minds in the past month for what he have to prepare for.”

  • SCHoosier

    Ah…so many talented players..so few places to put them. This kid’s size, athleticism and attitude requires IU to make its best effort.

  • SCHoosier

    Really..was there the smell of gunpowder? Mr. Crawford liked to put it up..whenever where ever.

  • N71

    Ah…interesting.  Thanks for adding to our understanding, appreciate it.  With the exposure you have to what’s going on do you anticipate any new commitments anytime soon or are we looking at months down the road until there’s someone new that gives us a verbal.

  • 888

    The thing that I love about what CTC has brought to IU is work ethic in his players. If theyre not gym rats thay need not apply. If you  dont work on your game at Cook Hall you wont be showcasing it in Assembly Hall. That  is why this team got better this year and why the future looks bright. Our guys are pushing eachother to practice everyday because if you dont the other guy will and pass you up. Wewe  got a beautiful thing going and CTC is the main reason why. CTC is the real steal IMO.

  • 888

    The thing that I love about what CTC has brought to IU is work ethic in his players. If theyre not gym rats thay need not apply. If you  dont work on your game at Cook Hall you wont be showcasing it in Assembly Hall. That  is why this team got better this year and why the future looks bright. Our guys are pushing eachother to practice everyday because if you dont the other guy will and pass you up. Wewe  got a beautiful thing going and CTC is the main reason why. CTC is the real steal IMO.

  • Jdewitt82

    Very explosive player could replace VO when he goes pro.

  • Keep_it_in_Indiana

    I like this kid’s game a lot.  He has a good all-around game.  I like his shot, athleticism, ability to get to the rim, etc.  

    I too like his responses to the interview.  This guy seems solid.  

    The closest thing to a Vic 2.0 I have seen.  And, frankly, seems to have a better all-around game at this point in his career.  

    I am not sure I would say he can jump out of the gym, but hops isn’t a downfall either.

    I love his attitude on the court, reminds me of Vic and Will – who’s attitude I think has really helped the team.

  • http://www.mehpempobolt.hu/ Méhpemp? ára

    I think this man’s size, attitude and
    athleticism requires IU to make its best effort.

  • http://www.mehpempobolt.hu/ Méhpemp? ára

    I think this man’s size, attitude and
    athleticism requires IU to make its best effort.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    Regardless of the comments by CTC, there are now several offers out there for 2013 players and now IU is chasing this kid and a handful of others for 2013 where our scholly numbers already sit at 13.  This does not include a 5th year for Mo, that puts us at 14.  A commit from any of the new recruits puts us at 15.  If CZ leaves for the NBA that makes 14.  I believe he will stay through his JR season and graduate in 3 years then go to the NBA.

    Alex, please shed light on this recruiting situation at hand.  The word on the street I heard was that there is major concerns coming from the program about 2012 player eligibility of the incoming class.  Are you able to comment on this?  Have you heard the same?

    I really cannot see CTC forcing a transfer of a scholly player, but in time I think a team member or 2 could see the writing on the wall and leave for more playing time.  This may be tough though because IU is a national championship contender the next couple years.

    The only true first round talent on the team right now is CZ, so multiple jumps of underclassmen to the NBA doesn’t seem likely.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    Regardless of the comments by CTC, there are now several offers out there for 2013 players and now IU is chasing this kid and a handful of others for 2013 where our scholly numbers already sit at 13.  This does not include a 5th year for Mo, that puts us at 14.  A commit from any of the new recruits puts us at 15.  If CZ leaves for the NBA that makes 14.  I believe he will stay through his JR season and graduate in 3 years then go to the NBA.

    Alex, please shed light on this recruiting situation at hand.  The word on the street I heard was that there is major concerns coming from the program about 2012 player eligibility of the incoming class.  Are you able to comment on this?  Have you heard the same?

    I really cannot see CTC forcing a transfer of a scholly player, but in time I think a team member or 2 could see the writing on the wall and leave for more playing time.  This may be tough though because IU is a national championship contender the next couple years.

    The only true first round talent on the team right now is CZ, so multiple jumps of underclassmen to the NBA doesn’t seem likely.

  • IUJeff

    Joe. I think the best you’re gonna get on that is what CTC said himself. These things will work themselves out. Basically no comment.

    Let the PUke folks have those thoughts to help calm themselves while they’re lying awake at night thinking about IU and the beat downs that are coming for the foreseeable future.

  • IUJeff

    Joe. I think the best you’re gonna get on that is what CTC said himself. These things will work themselves out. Basically no comment.

    Let the PUke folks have those thoughts to help calm themselves while they’re lying awake at night thinking about IU and the beat downs that are coming for the foreseeable future.

  • Derbus

    Croaker is a BALLER!!!  Looking forward to pursuing more recruits with his skills and passion.  Go Hoosiers!

  • SCHoosier

    I think Perea still has to pass a NCAA close look re: his amatuer connections..if they treat IU like they did two years ago..the arrogant ones at the NCAA will not let us know till the last minute if there is a problem with Hanner’s eligiblity. Have heard nothing else about the 2012 people having academic poblems..but they haven’t taken finals or graduated yet either!!

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    This guy looks smooth as silk and makes it look easy .

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001495500592 Mark Spencer

    It’s April and we’re talking hoops. The World order has been restored.  Beautiful.

  • Mat

    I have have not been this excited for IU basketball since the Knight era.  Hoosiers Basketball has returned and it is here to stay!

    As for Croaker he does remind me of D Wade when he was in high school.  If he puts on some muscle he will transition to the next level great.  

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