Hoosiers making strong impression on 2014 forward LeRon Black

061613jdcCHARLOTTSVILLE, Va. — Indiana didn’t make contact with 2014 forward LeRon Black until late in May, but once the coaching staff started talking to him, they haven’t stopped.

“They said they’ve been trying to get in touch with me for awhile but I changed my number recently and they hadn’t got in touch with me,” Black said at National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp last week.

Indiana’s recruitment of Black seems remarkably similar to that of Troy Williams, who reopened his recruitment after trimming his list to Kentucky and North Carolina and then signed with the Hoosiers signed in the 2013 class.

Black decommitted from Baylor in January, and like they did with Williams, the Hoosiers are making a late push. But that doesn’t seem to have hurt them.

Indiana extended a scholarship offer to Black on June 3, and he said he’s talked to either Kenny Johnson or Tom Crean every day since then.

“[Me and Johnson] were texting and he was telling me how hype he was about me,” Black said. “And so I was like, ‘Do I have an offer?’ He was like, ‘I don’t know.’

“So coach Crean texted me and we texted for awhile. And he was like, ‘I want you to know that you have a scholarship offer from Indiana.’”

Indiana is hardly the only school coming hard at Black, ranked 36th in the 2014 class by ESPN.com. When asked what schools were recruiting him the hardest at this point, the 6-foot-8 Black said: “Indiana, Illinois, Florida, UCONN and Ohio State.”

But Johnson and Crean seem to have made a strong impact on Black, who followed the Hoosiers closely last season and picked them to win the national championship on his bracket.

“I like the program, I like the way they play,” Black said. “They’ve got good Christian values, I love that. I like the development they’ve got going over there, the development of Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller. It makes you think you can go in there and get better too.”

Black excels in the mid-range, an area he said he spends the majority of his time working on. He scored repeatedly on mid-range jump shots and turnarounds during the Top 100 Camp last week on his way to averaging 11.2 points per game.

“A lot of times now people don’t really work on mid range they just wanna dunk or shoot 3s,” Black said. “But mid-range game is very helpful, it’s easy to score around there.”

As far as what position he plans to play at the collegiate level, Black said he’s versatile and can probably play at multiple spots.

“I can play the 4 and help teams stretch out the floor or I can play the 3 and take it from the wing or post up a smaller guy,” he said.

The key for the Hoosiers will be getting Black on campus for an official or unofficial visit. When a reporter asked Black where he would take his official visits, he declined to answer, saying he hadn’t yet decided.

But when Inside The Hall asked him later if he thought there was a good chance Indiana gets one of his officials, and he said: “Most likely, yeah.”

(Note: You can watch close to three minutes of high quality scouting video of Black from Charlottesville in the premium forum.)

(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

  • N71

    Seems like a great prospect that’s apparently a very high priority for our staff. The more time passes the more befuddled I become why Jaquan and Trevon sit idle. Spots on teams like IU, UK, UNC, Duke, and Kansas are difficult to come by and they’ve both had offers for a long time. Why wait and then get pinched into a “second choice”. There must be an unspoken dynamic to this that’s not obvious to me. It’s as though an offer is made but a staff communicates that it cannot be acted on until a checklist of issues are addressed, be it a test score, a skill…hell, I don’t know. But take Trevon for example, who could possibly be a better fit and yet he waits for an offer from…North Carolina State or some other hypothetical “second choice”. This is a head scratcher to me.

  • Kenneth234

    I think it is better for Lyle and Bluett to wait until they are sure. Just look at this young mans path, he had committed to Baylor, then de-committed and now is going right back through all of the recruiting again, and still doesn’t seem sure of where he wants to be. They should all take their time, unless there is an absolute first choice and the other offers are not places they would really want to go.

  • Shawn Congo

    But WE fans all want to know NOW!!! Lol

  • BTownJosh

    For all of those who criticize Tom Crean for his Christian/faith related tweets, as you can see his Christianity resonates with a lot of these young men and their families considering IU.

  • Mooks

    Im surprised he de-committed though because Baylor is a private christian school or baptist, whatever its called.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    ““They’ve got good Christian values, I love that.”

    Yeah, other schools can call IU square and lame all they want. But things about the program seem to make an impression on the ones who matter the most: The good, well behaved prospects.

  • TorontoHoosierFan

    Not a fan at all of Crean’s faith-based tweets, but if it gets top recruits to Bloomington, then tweet away!

  • IUMIKE1

    With Drew at the helm of the bball program, and what came out during Hanner’s recruitment along with other stuff that has been revealed before and since that, I’d say that they are a private christian school or whatever in name only.

  • Rantool

    Coach Crean’s faith and Christian example will equate in young men of integrity wanting to play at I.U. and to me that’s a win/win. It’s a win for the school because these kinds of kids are low maintenance compared to many of the egotistical pre-madonna kids who have skills and the attitude to go with it! No thanks, give me a kid who is grounded and humble any day! And the kids win because they don’t have to play with these showboats who think they have already arrived! That is why so many Hoosiers love homegrown kids on the team! Most Hoosiers still have what many would describe as traditional old school values, and that includes being brought up in the ways of the Lord! Call me old fashioned but I like Hoosier values!

  • notfargj

    lest we forget, trey lyles verbally committed to IU early on, only to de-commit and subsequently disappoint a lot of hoosier fans. i’d rather a player be ready to commit to a school and hold to his promise than make a hasty decision. if a long list of offers are made to a stable of thoroughbreds, the chances of landing a few are good. like Mooks noted, “these things work themselves out in the end anyway.” i couldn’t agree more. not that anyone is interested in reading a diatribe on the fast-food nature of our culture i’ll stop here. the right kids will come to IU. victor was certainly under the radar but proved to be a diamond in the rough.

  • IU Mostly

    It will equate, huh?

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