Indiana “at the top” of 2014 guard Ahmed Hill’s list

043013nbcsIndiana was the first school to visit 2014 combo guard Ahmed Hill at Aquinas high school in Augusta, Ga. last September, and the coaching staff has developed a good relationship with Hill ever since then.

The Hoosiers offered the 6-foot-4 guard a scholarship after watching him at last April’s Boo Williams Invitational in Hampton, Va., and Indiana remains high on Hill’s list because of his relationship with Tom Crean.

“They are definitely somewhere at the top,” Hill told Inside the Hall on Monday night. “We talk probably twice or three times a week, just texting coach [Steve] McClain, coach Crean and coach [Kenny] Johnson. My interest level in them is very high because me and [Crean] have got a great relationship.”

Hill, who is the No. 25 player in the 2014 class according to ESPN.com, said his conversations with Crean are rarely about basketball but more often about life. He said that’s important to him going forward because he wants to go to a school where the coach serves as a father figure.

“I love the bond that me and coach Crean have,” he said.

Hill has a long list of schools still after him — Kansas, Connecticut, Florida and Marquette are among them — and he said his recruitment is still “wide open” at this point. Hill has not yet taken a visit to Indiana, but he said he’s “planning to.”

“I don’t know any dates yet, though,” Hill said.

Hill’s Southern Stampede AAU team struggled this past weekend at the EYBL event in Hampton, but he did average 14.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. When asked what he’d like to improve the most this summer, Hill listed his defense, ball handling and aggressiveness.

At this point, Hill doesn’t know when he’ll make his college decision. And with the AAU season just beginning, it’s hard to imagine it will come anytime soon.

“I used to say early, but I don’t really know right now, just at the right now,” Hill said. “I don’t really have a date right now.”

  • iudawg

    I love that most of our recruits have us at or near the top of their list. Props to all my fellow Hoosier fans who stuck with the program through the dark times.

  • CreamandCrimson

    It’s going to be fascinating to see how this 2014 class plays out. Several very good guards have us “at the top” or “very high” on their list. I’m not ranking these guys, just listing players I believe we have a realistic shot at:
    1. James Blackmon – he’s committed so I’ll start with him.
    2. Dante Exum – really interesting player. Does he go to college at all? Does he go for one semester (coming for second semester this season)?
    3. Ahmed Hill – from what I can gather, Hill is a multi-positional player that can play the point, 2-guard or play in a 3-guard lineup at the “3”. He does a lot of things well, but nothing great at this point. I don’t really know too much about him though.
    4. Theo Pinson – seems like we are the team to beat for him.
    5. Phil Booth – another Baltimore/Maryland prospect.
    6. Jaquan Lyle – I think he’s going to Louisville but he says IU is high on his list.
    7. Brandone Francis – late riser, I’d be surprised if he left the state of Florida but we’ll see.

    I would assume we would be taking at least one big guy in this class (Goodluck Okonoboh). That leaves us with quite a few guys that are intriguing and relatively few spots. Great job by Tom Crean and his staff thus far with this class (again). Again, it’s going to be interesting.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Another wing?

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the high level of players getting recruited. It’s awesome to see. That said, we can practically joke now about how future teams will look: One big man, one little guard, and 10 wings. :D

  • http://profiles.google.com/jmchiejr Jim McHie

    Exum is likely going to be 2013 (second half of season), not 2014, if reports are to be believed. He could even be gone after the 2013 season as a projected 1st round pick in the 2014 NBA draft.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Yep…that’s why I asked if he will go to college at all and if so, would he only be a one-semester player. As of now though, he’s classified in the 2014 class.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jmchiejr Jim McHie

    Is there a PG in this list?

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    Love all the recruiting news. This seems like the 100th profile of a 2014 player that IU is going after. It’s great that Indiana is in on so many Top 100 guys for 2014, but this year’s team has ONE senior!

  • CreamandCrimson

    The guys I put on this list are taken directly from the “2014 Recruiting” board here on ITH so there could be other guys IU is pursuing that we just don’t know about quite yet. Most of these guys are combo guards that are capable of playing point guard. From my secondhand knowledge on these guys, I would say Jaquan Lyle is the only one who has primarily played point guard. Exum is certainly capable of playing point and I think the same thing could be said for Booth. Pinson is a tremendous passer and apparently has great court vision so I suppose he could as well. I don’t think there are any true point guards on this list and I’m okay with that. Yogi will be a junior and Stanford Robinson will be a sophomore. I think they can handle the point guard position. Bringing an elite point guard in in the 2015 class would appear to be a priority.

  • Daburns0

    Throw in a couple beers, and it sounds like a good time

  • calbert40

    I think Exum will either go to IU for the 2nd semester this coming season, or bypass college altogether and go to the NBA Draft in ’14. I don’t know of any other high majors that have an opening right now, especially that have been recruiting him as hard as CTC and staff, so I think we are in the driver’s seat.

    My pitch to him would be to come to IU and play against great competition and gain a ton of coverage before declaring. He won’t get anywhere near the competition or coverage if he bypasses college. This would help his draft stock…and we need an SG!!

  • kewaynes

    And next year we’l probly have none…I could care less actually. Just saying.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I still feel like this class is only 4. And I think Crean, as he always does, has multiple backup plans. Pinson and Exum are top priority… He wants them to decide quick so if he doesn’t get them (or Exum isn’t 2014), the secondary options are still there. If one or both don’t commit, we start going harder after another highly ranked player in Hill, and Booth is always a possibility. I think Crean has a lot of faith we will get Okonoboh, because I haven’t heard about us watching Enechionyia lately as a backup there. Regardless, as many have said, this will be fun to watch play out and I think this class will be very, very talented.

  • CreamandCrimson

    That would be a very interesting addition to make in the middle of the season. He’s obviously very talented but that would be a really tough transition for both Exum and for IU.

    Exum would be coming into a foreign country and joining a group of guys who have been practicing and working together and bonding for months. Then how do you approach that if you are the coaching staff? The guys already on the team have been learning the offense and defense and busting their tails for playing time and then here comes Dante Exum who will be on campus for probably 3/4 months. If I were on the team, there would be a bit of resentment there. I don’t know how it’ll play out but it would be a delicate situation if he joined at midseason. Guess we’ll let the coaching staff worry about that if it comes to it.

  • calbert40

    I agree with your assessments. I think Lyle sees IU as a 3rd or 4th option at this point, and I think he ends up at UL. I’m not as high on Lyle as some of the other players on this list, but he does fit a need better than some of the others.

    Still, I think any class that includes Blackmon and Pinson (whom I think will eventually choose IU) will be a great class. Those two are great! I’d LOVE to add Goodluck, and then if we get any of the other solid 2/3 guards on your list, we will be set for ’14.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I think Exum goes 2014, and I think he chooses IU, making that class one of the best we’ve had in awhile (even though we keep saying that). Exum is a one and done, top ten talent at the combo guard. Pinson has one of the best skill/athleticism/vision combinations in his class on the wing. And multiple sources say Goodluck Okonoboh is the best shot blocker in 2014.

    Kenny Johnson basically asked on Twitter who the fans wanted. The staff knows who the fans want and, based on their game attendance, they want the same guys. Lets hope this class goes the way all or most Hoosier Nation hopes with Pinson, Exum, Okonoboh, and a guy I think will be a killer at IU his senior year, Blackmon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    Now that the dust has finally settled on the great scholarship quandary of 2013, I only mention it to be the first person to question where the scholarships for all these 2014 guys are coming from?

  • SCHoosier

    Surprised to hear IU/TC are that close to Hill who is being recruited by everybody.
    With only 4 slots..somebody has to start feeling the pressure for an earlier than planned commitment. Lot of pressure on these kids and the coaches…interesting to see how TC works all this. Could get 4 of our top five or lose them all except Blackmon. Kinda scary.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    LOL, awesome reply!

  • Kenneth234

    I see your point, however, 3 highly skilled wing sized players can do one heck of a job of making up for not having a prototypical point guard on future rosters. But I do think that they are more concerned with bringing in a true point guard in future classes to fill the void that will be when Yogi leaves. If this year is any indication, when we recruit a high level point guard, it is because Yogi is not expected to be back the following season.

  • Kenneth234

    Etherington, as it stands today will be our only Junior on next years team as well. But that in no way means that the team will not be good. I like the way that I envision next seasons squad fitting together. There are certainly question marks in certain places, but I feel comfortable that there will be good amount of individual development in the 2012 class that will make for a much stronger bench than last years turned out to be.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Now don’t go taking me too seriously; I was joking, after all. If we were to speak seriously, it’s completely understandable why Crean goes after so many wing players. It’s because his offense doesn’t need the archetypical shooting guard, small forward, power forward, etc. Rather, the requirements are that they all have to be good enough ball handlers who can drive from the perimeter and break down opponents by getting by that first defender and letting the lane penetration do the work of pulling in the others, thus setting up passing lanes or open shots.

    To be able to drive, dish, drive, dish, drive, etc. until a shot presents itself sort of events out the requirements. Therefore, Crean doesn’t need specific positions but rather a lineup of guys who can rotate around and attack, thus keeping up the attack until there’s a defensive breakdown.

    So yeah, in all seriousness, Crean recruits so many wing players because it’s what his offense needs.

    But who wants to be serious? I wanna joke! I feel like finding Crean’s car and sticking one of those corny stick-figure family stickers on it, except it’ll be a real tall one, a real short one, and 10 identical ones in-between. :D

    And then a sorta roundish one with a huge grin; that’ll be Coach Kenny Johnson. ;)

  • ScoopGeoff

    Why do you think it would help his draft stock? That’s a very assumptive statement. His stock is fairly solid right now. Coming here and playing for a semester or a year could just as easily expose him as help his stock.

  • Beard

    Exactly, AJ_IU and Daburns get posts of the year so far lol.

  • Beard

    Hilarious, I might put those next to my IU sticker and everyone on here will know thats IU’s team on my car. Honk at me when you see me lol.

  • Beard

    Everyone was so worried about the scholarship situation for the 13-14 class and now we have one extra scholarship left. Someone let Exum know, because I’m sure no one has let him know yet lol. I speculate that he will join the team this year simply because we have an open spot for him, he graduates in November (or so I read) and any basketball player wants to play if there is an opening. Pretty sure that would move us up to the #1 class in the country at 7 recruits. The question is how many stay for their second year as we chase a banner?

  • calbert40

    I think it would help his draft stock more than playing AAU ball in a foreign country against inferior competition. It is possible that he gets “exposed,” but if he comes to IU and plays well, his stock could go through the roof.

    Maybe a better way to state it is that if he comes to IU, there is more risk, but also the potential for a greater reward, than if he stays home and bypasses college altogether.

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

    What reports? Everything I’ve read, including from Alex, says that he’s coming to college, and most likely in the fall of 2014.

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