Indiana makes a push for 2014 guard Phil Booth

  • 06/13/2012 8:13 am in

The hiring of assistant coach Kenny Johnson has further ramped up Indiana’s aggressive recruiting efforts in the D.C., Baltimore and Virginia area, one of the current hotbeds for high major programs.

One of the latest names to emerge on the Hoosier radar is Phil Booth, a class of 2014 guard who plays at Mount St. Joseph’s in Baltimore and with Team Takeover, the AAU program formerly headed up by Johnson.

Indiana scouted Booth at Boo Williams in Hampton, Virginia in late April and started recruiting him heavily shortly after Johnson joined the staff on May 1, according to Booth’s father, Phil Sr.

“(Kenny is a) great guy who loves the game,” Booth Sr. told Inside the Hall. “We feel very comfortable with him from meeting him a couple of years ago.┬áKenny has seen Phil play quite a bit. They’ve got a pretty good relationship. I think Kenny likes the way Phil plays.”

Booth helped lead Mount St. Joseph’s to the Baltimore Catholic League (BCL) Championship as a sophomore and was named to the BCL All-Conference first team and second team All-Metro by The Baltimore Sun.

Booth Sr., one of the top players in Coppin State history, said his son, who is rated the No. 38 player nationally by ESPN.com, can play both guard spots.

“His biggest assets are that he can shoot it from deep, get to the rack, play above the rim. He’s extremely unselfish,” Booth Sr said. “And he defends. I think now, with the Internet, a kid scores 20 and everyone goes crazy. But I’ve seen him have 12 points and be the best player on the court. He kind of has the ability to be a scorer, but also do other things like pass, rebound and at 6-3, that’s probably his biggest asset.”

Indiana is among the early offers for Booth, who hasn’t been on campus, but hopes to make a visit to Bloomington either later this month or in August.

Booth’s recent schedule included a trip to the Richmond high school team camp and the Nike Elite 100 in St. Louis. He’ll attend the Villanova team camp this weekend.

“My wife and I, we really want to get out there (to Indiana),” Booth Sr. said. “We were supposed to get out there last week, but my schedule didn’t permit. So hopefully either in late June or August we can get out there. We look forward to seeing the campus, meeting the academic advisors and seeing how things are socially and diversity (wise) is important. Of course athletics is going to be a big part, but those things are important to us also.

“Coach (Tom) Crean has a great reputation for graduating players and building young men, so that’s something that we want to be able to see first hand.”

Indiana’s success recruiting the area known as the DMV under Crean includes landing current IU guard Maurice Creek and Victor Oladipo, who are both Team Takeover alums.

Stanford Robinson, who committed to the Hoosiers in early May, is also in the Takeover program and is someone Booth is very familiar with.

“He plays against Stan every day with Team Takeover, so he knows what a great player he is,” Booth Sr. said. “He’s had to defend him and vice versa, so that’s always a good matchup for him.”

(Photo credit: The Baltimore Sun)

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  • hoosierdaddy3

    It’s great being back in the picture nationally for some of the top recruits, but I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Every time I start to get excited about one prospect another two pop up and there just aren’t enough scholarships for everyone. This team is going to be stacked if Crean can keep bringing in classes like the next two, I just hope they figure out the scholarship situation in a way that a player doesn’t get burnt and hurts Crean’s ability to recruit.

  • CreamandCrimson

    The recruiting strategy is very clear: lock down the top talent in the state of Indiana as much as possible and then poach some of the best players in the DMV.

    If we are able to continue following and executing this plan, there is absolutely no reason we can’t compete for a Big Ten title every year. I love the strategy from Crean. Recruit talented players who compete in talent-rich areas.

  • millzy32

    Does anyone else think this guy looks like a dead ringer for VJIII in this particular picture. Same mannerisms and everything with similar facial features.
    I guess the Hoosiers were Indiana Elite part deux and now they’ll be Team Takeover part deux. Any other coaches we could hire to get us in another AAU pipeline? It would seem the Johnson hire was strictly a play for AAU pipeline right wrong or indifferent.

  • N71

    Agree, like the strategy. I have no problem with DC, big market, good players. Why not Chicago though? I hear little bits here and there about Chicago having unwritten rules but I have no idea what that means other than it comes across as a little shady. Nobody really seems to recruit Chicago well, I’m sure I’m wrong but it sure seems that way.

  • It’s tough to argue Chicago over the DMV currently given the success recruiting the area under Crean which should only improve with Kenny Johnson on the staff.

    Had Creek not gotten hurt, you’d be looking at two of the four best players on the current roster being from the DMV area with another top 50 type player on the way in Stanford Robinson. It’s already a very good pipeline for Indiana and it’s clearly one area where they’d like to continue making inroads.

    As far as Chicago goes, they’re also involved there with some guys like Cliff Alexander, Malek Harris and Jordan Ash, to name a few.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I agree Alex. We have been after Cliff Alexander for a while and Jordan Ash was in for a visit recently (Purdue fans over at Hammer and Rails seem to think they have him locked up). I think it’s clear Crean loves the attitude and work ethic of Victor (how could you not) and he trusts Coach Johnson to point him towards similar players from the same area. The DMV always has at least a couple top-100 players every class so having a pipeline there is a great asset to the program.

    Question for you, with the continued emphasis on recruiting the DMV and the need/desire for a new home and home series with an “elite” program, do you think adding someone like Georgetown or Maryland as a replacement for Kentucky is a possibility? Thanks for the continued great work!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Good comparison millzy. He does look a whole lot like VJIII. He appears much stronger than VJIII was (stronger than even Verdell as a freshman at IU) but the height and body type are strikingly similar.

  • Even without Roth, there are 14 players for 13 spots:

    http://www.insidethehall.com/scholarship-numbers/

  • IU1987

    This is why IMO we don’t need Blueitt. Can’t play the 2 and 3 we are loaded. Not enough schollies. Take Booth

  • inLinE6

    Great idea for new rivalry with Georgetown. but Maryland maybe not. I’d rather see Louisville or Kansas.

  • Outoftheloop

    If only VJIII had had the opportunity to grow up playing in the tough high school and AAU programs of the DMV area. Can you imagine VJIII with the grit and toughness of Victor?

  • Outoftheloop

    If only VJIII had had the opportunity to grow up playing in the tough high school and AAU programs of the DMV area. Can you imagine VJIII with the grit and toughness of Victor?

  • N71

    Georgetown seems to be out of alignment, it’s a small Jesuit school. I like the idea of going big with Kansas, Maryland, UCLA, Stanford, or Texas. It could be interesting to borrow an idea and create a super weekend where there’s a basketball game, football, and some other sport or two that would be in season. Playing Texas in Football could be a little ugly but other than that…could be a really fun campus centric event. Need a big school to partner with though, Georgetown in very small. Having 10,000 Hoosiers swarm Austin, Texas (non 120 degree weather) would be quite a sight.

  • HoosierRyno

    I stand corrected, thanks for the link Alex.

  • Miamihoosier

    Guys consider this: So far, CTC has not had one player end up being “a bust”. I would say to a man every player has come in and at least lived up to if not greatly exceeded expectations (Will and Vic). Meanwhile UNC, UCLA, Uconn, Georgetown, etc…get these top 50 guys every year, that end up being nobodies. To me someone like Harrison Barnes never played to more than 60 or 70% of his potential. I think Crean could have made him the next D-Wade, because he would of forced him to combine his God given talent with a relentless work ethic…..that is the secret recipe of D-Wade. Starting with this season, recruits will be able to see a constant stream of players headed to the draft, some of whom probably wouldn’t of even made the Euro league had they gone anywhere else. This will be CTC’s legacy at IU, and it will be the reason why we will be the favorites to win the Big Ten year in and year out..

  • NaplesHoosier

    Miami, I think your dead on! CTC has this gift of looking at a young man and sees what talent he can develop. Plus its the intelligent, hard working, athlete that he seeks. Case in point…2014 Blackmon and Lyles. Very well spoken hard working young men. Not to slight any of the others but just to many to mention. CTC’s quote on the lounge wall in Cook says it all…..

  • SCHoosier

    It was Danny Moore who took the Eili Lilly job in Mo.

  • SCHoosier

    Like this kid’s size..two position support and partenal involvement. I think the E-ville kid wants to go elsewhere..so Booth is a good target…get him on campus and he’s ours.

  • iufan4life10

    I would add a little to that recruiting pitch – you will also have your degree in three years. I have started to read about IU’s ability to push recruits in the classroom. I think this is an excellent model of true college athletes, play three years at the highest level and graduate early to play at the next level.

  • iufan4life10

    I would add a little to that recruiting pitch – you will also have your degree in three years. I have started to read about IU’s ability to push recruits in the classroom. I think this is an excellent model of true college athletes, play three years at the highest level and graduate early to play at the next level.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    Does anyone else feel like this is a preemptive move to prepare for not signing JaQuan or Trevon, or even D’Angelo Russell? I kind of feel like it might be… I still want Cliff Alexander more than I think any other recruit. His athleticism, considering his size (especially his weight) is scary to me.

  • stroot

    As a Hoosier currently living in Houston, I fully support this idea.

  • marcusgresham

    By that statement am I to assume that you don’t expect Creek to be able to return at a high level, or is it just cautious wording?

  • marcusgresham

    By that statement am I to assume that you don’t expect Creek to be able to return at a high level, or is it just cautious wording?

  • N71

    Where does Jaquan want to go? Why?

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I agree with SCHoosier. I was a high school student in Evansville this past year (IU next year) and JaQuan kind of gives an impression that he wants to be a national guy. Maybe a year of us at #1 will change his mind, but I wouldn’t bank on getting him.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I agree with SCHoosier. I was a high school student in Evansville this past year (IU next year) and JaQuan kind of gives an impression that he wants to be a national guy. Maybe a year of us at #1 will change his mind, but I wouldn’t bank on getting him.

  • Hoosierfan60

    stroot, I’m a Hoosier in Houston myself. Good to know there are others in the area.

  • SCHoosier

    Just a gut feeling..we have Blackmon committed as a point…and Yogi is likely to be there..so the chance to go to another excellent b-ball school and start may well be Jaquan’s priority. We can’t take them all.

  • hoosierdaddy3

    If that is the article I think it is (spotty connection down here in Arkansas, don’t want to open that and lose this thread) then the obvious answer is Creek sitting out another year. I wish it was as easy as one of the seniors giving up their scholarship and paying for a year. I know that is probably a pipe dream, but it sure would help the team out. For a while I thought Ron Patterson might spend a year at a prep school, but it looks like all 5 will be enrolling in the fall.

    Will Creek sit out the year? Will a guy like Remy Abel or Austin Etherington be a scholarship casualty? Will a senior give up their scholarship and pay their own way for a year? We will find out in a few months, but no matter what happens it’s going to stink for somebody.

  • ScoopGeoff

    So are you eliminating Georgetown because of football? Because most of those schools you just mentioned would eliminate IU because of football… If you want to base it on “size”, well G’town is bigger than Stanford, and far bigger than Duke.

    I just don’t see why Georgetown wouldn’t be a great fit. Perennial power, tradition-rich program, that plays in the Big East… Makes sense to me if we’re gonna recruit in their backyard. Gives guys like Anya, Robinson, etc a “home” game during their careers.

  • ScoopGeoff

    So are you eliminating Georgetown because of football? Because most of those schools you just mentioned would eliminate IU because of football… If you want to base it on “size”, well G’town is bigger than Stanford, and far bigger than Duke.

    I just don’t see why Georgetown wouldn’t be a great fit. Perennial power, tradition-rich program, that plays in the Big East… Makes sense to me if we’re gonna recruit in their backyard. Gives guys like Anya, Robinson, etc a “home” game during their careers.

  • ScoopGeoff

    I believe they have Blackmon slotted as a 2-guard. He is listed as a SG and definitely was a shoot-first guard this past year. He has also played along-side Lyle in the Spiece backcourt, so why wouldnt they play those same roles at IU?

  • CreamandCrimson

    Totally agree Scoop. I didn’t really understand N71’s objections to Georgetown. “Georgetown seems to be out of alignment.” Huh? We are clearly heavily recruiting the DMV (an area Georgetown is heavily recruiting as well) and having a home and home against the main power in that area makes a ton of sense to me. He likes the idea of going big and then mentions Stanford (a school that hasn’t been relevant in basketball for at least a decade and does nothing for our recruiting). Anyway, I think a series with the Hoyas would be a blast.

  • SirEric

    I really hope we can get Lyle regardless, because I think that he could be a star at IU. That being said, Hyron Edwards and Jalen Coleman are right there in 2015. Lets go get them.