IU offers 2017 prospects Paul Scruggs and Zach Gunn

072313Since taking the Indiana job in April of 2008, Tom Crean has taken a relentless approach in pursuing the top players in the state of Indiana at an early age.

James Blackmon Jr. committed to the program before his freshman season back in September of 2010. Eron Gordon, the younger brother of former Hoosier Eric Gordon and current IU guard Evan Gordon, received an offer before his freshman season.

Indiana’s aggressive approach has continued into the class of 2017 as the Hoosiers offered scholarships to Paul Scruggs (pictured) and Zach Gunn, a pair of AAU teammates for the Indy Hoosiers, on Monday.

Scruggs, a 6-foot-3 guard, will play next season at Southport for Kyle Simpson and Gunn, a 6-foot-6 forward, will enroll at Hamilton Southeastern to play for Brian Satterfield.

Both players took an unofficial visit to Indiana in June and the staff has tracked both players since last year.

“We kind of saw it and thought that something like this would happen early because of their size and their ability,” Mike Peterson, the coach for the Indy Hoosiers, told Inside the Hall on Tuesday. “You can sometimes look at a kid and see that they’re special and project them out to be pretty good. It wasn’t all that shocking to me.”

Peterson described Scruggs as “the ultimate slasher” who has continued to improve his perimeter shot and Gunn as “probably the best shooter in the country” who can also defend the post and drive the ball.

Indiana is the first school to offer both players, but the duo has also received interest from Xavier, Purdue, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Ohio State and Memphis.

“As far as offering, the No. 1 horse in the race is Tom Crean, it’s coach (Tim) Buckley,” Peterson said. “They’ve been there, they were the first to come (watch them). They stay in contact the most.

“As an AAU coach, I’ve have to do my due diligence and allow the kids to see other campuses and talk to other people and make sure that crimson and white is what they want.”

  • stroot

    “And make sure that crimson and white is what they want”

    I believe you mean red and cream, sir.

  • Caleb Moore

    Sounds extremely promising. Interested to see where these kids rank in the first lists. Not that I put too much on rankings, but always interesting to see where they place versus other kids by the scouts at the beginning of their HS years. Everyone has their recruiting strategy, I like that ours includes getting in early with prospects.

  • HoosierTrav

    They’re both special but Scruggs is REALLY special.

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    I believe that was satire.

  • Outoftheloop

    It is actually Cream and Crimson!

  • The_Bob_Michaels

    As a Southport graduate, it’s about time they produce a major D1 recruit (I think the last truly significant player was Louie Dampier who played NBA/ABA and minor league professionally at some place in Kentucky).

    Anyway, keep beating the bushes coaching staff!

  • stroot

    Whooooooosh.

  • WisconHoosier

    Shoutout from the neighborhood, ‘Scon. Hope no one gets us confused.

  • Gregory Spera

    I swear, if I was one of these eighth graders, I would accept that scholarship offer and commit to a school like Indiana immmediately. If I could already have that kind of commitment from a major program? Why risk something bad happening? Like, say… you kinda sucking in High School and IU changing their mind. I would take the scholarship and run!

  • HoosierGym44

    Hartman is gonna come in handy with his shooting, probably not this year but certainly by his soph or junior season at latest. Also, I believe Devin Davis is going to be a stud for us. Could be another Vic. Solid player in year 1, steady improvement in year 2 and by year 3 he will be a monster!

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I totally agree with many comments….I think CTC knows what he is doing. Beating out the competition earlier on and creating a relationship along the long and winding road. It’s best to get these kids when they are very impressionable esp. when IU is on High now. So let’s get these kids to commit now…remember Damon B committed when he was an 8th grader. We need to get these kids earlier on so that UK, Lville, and Big Ten Schools start stealing from our state. Just like Blackmon and hopefully Eron Gordon. Lock down the border and then get the best of the best.
    As far as Football, IU is the only B1G School with the most returning players. We could hold our own this year and make it to a bowl….finally.

  • Shawn Congo

    Although offered early, there is nothing binding until their NLOI, correct? That comes the end of junior year, correct?

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