An updated look at Indiana’s 2014 guard targets

  • 08/14/2013 12:05 pm in

With the recent decommitment of James Blackmon Jr., the list of guards on IU’s radar has undergone a bit of a shakeup. Here’s an updated look at all of Indiana’s 2014 guard targets.

071513ax1. Robert Johnson, 6-3, 180 pounds

· Primary position: Shooting Guard
· From: Benedictine High School, Richmond, VA
· Ranking: No. 2 player in Virginia according to ESPN.com
· Considering: Florida State, Georgetown, Indiana, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia
· Planned visits: Indiana, August 23
· Analysis: “He can really play now. He can play the 1, he can play the 2. He can really shoot. He just knows how to play. He’s got great footwork.” — AAU coach Boo Williams

081413v2. Isaiah Whitehead, 6-4, 195 pounds

· Primary position: Shooting Guard
· From: Lincoln High School, Brooklyn, NY
· Ranking: No. 35 nationally according to ESPN.com
· Considering: Arizona, Indiana, Syracuse, Miami (FL), Minnesota, UCLA
· Planned visits: Indiana, Syracuse, Arizona, UCLA, Miami (all in September or October)
· Analysis: “He’s willing to do whatever it takes to win. His shooting has gotten a lot better. He’s consistently hitting a jumper from NBA range. And he’s strong, he’s strong getting to the basket. That’s always been a strength of his.” — Assistant coach James Barrett

042613ws3. Dante Exum, 6-6, 188 pounds

· Primary position: Point Guard
· From: Australia Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia
· Ranking: Unranked by ESPN.com (international prospect)
· Considering: Boise State, Colorado, Duke, Georgetown, Indiana, Louisville, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Southern Methodist, UCLA, Vanderbilt
· Planned visits: None (has already visited Indiana)
· Analysis: The best player available of the guards listed, Exum is low on this list because of his NBA draft stock. If Exum enters the 2014 Draft, he’s likely to be a top five pick. But if he does opt to go to college for a year, Indiana would likely be his choice, given it is the only school he has visited at this point.

hill0616134. Ahmed Hill, 6-4, 185 pounds

· Primary position: Shooting Guard
· From: Aquinas High School, Augusta, GA
· Ranking: No. 33 nationally according to ESPN.com
· Considering: Alabama, Clemson, UCONN, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas, Marquette, Miami, N.C. State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Villanova, VCU, Kansas, Missouri
· Planned visits: None
· Analysis: Hill told Inside the Hall he received a text from Tom Crean after James Blackmon Jr. decommitted to ask if he was serious about Indiana. Hill’s response: “Of course. Since day 1.” It’s not unlikely that Indiana could land him, but he’s the only one on this list who hasn’t visited IU or is planning a visit there.

nairn5. LouRawls Nairn, 5-10, 170 pounds

· Primary position: Point Guard
· From: Sunrise Christian Academy, Bel Aire, Kansas
· Ranking: No. 1 player in Kansas according to ESPN.com
· Considering: Indiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma
· Planned visits: Oklahoma (Aug. 23-25), Minnesota (Aug. 29-31), Indiana (Sept. 20-21)
· Analysis: “Tum tum” Nairn is down to his final three and will take visits before making his decision. He’s small, but can shoot the ball from the perimeter. Nairn could be a solid backup option for Yogi Ferrell.

081413ncnx6. Quentin Snider, 6-1, 150 pounds

· Primary position: Point Guard
· From: Ballard High School, Louisville, Kentucky (previously committed to Louisville)
· Ranking: No. 28 nationally according to ESPN.com
· Considering: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Loyola, Marquette, Memphis, Minnesota, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Oklahoma State
· Planned visits: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Illinois, Memphis, UCLA
· Analysis: Snider has set up five visits — officials to Connecticut and UCLA — and unofficials to Cincinnati, Illinois and Memphis. He had planned to visit Indiana later this month, but nothing has been scheduled yet.

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  • Evansville Hoosier

    Gonna have to trust coach Crean on ole LouRawls.

  • sniderdoug

    No offer yet for Snider?? WHY NOT ??

  • Ole Man

    Hope Rawls signs elsewhere. Just my personal opinion.

  • Tj21

    Any 2 of the first 4 or Snider is a win….

  • drewheck

    What are the odds of truly getting exum to come to IU over the draft

  • Dee McDonald

    Can u say Dominic James =LouRawls…pretty similar look.

  • BC

    Depends how talent laden the next draft is. And it should be loaded with talent. They are predicting top five for Exum. But we haven’t played a game of college ball yet. Anyone see VO as number two at this time last year? Yeah a lot of basketball to be played, a lot of jockeying for position. I’m not as positive Exum is a lock for top five as a lot of people. Way too much basketball to be played still. And if he isn’t top five, should he wait till next year with a less talented class?

  • Joe B

    I just thought of how amazing this potential lineup could be…
    Fischer
    Vonleh
    Hollowell/Williams
    Exum
    Ferrell
    Granted, that’s without seeing 60% of this lineup play one game of college ball but, that would be on par(or above) the 12-13 group…
    However, even if Exum doesn’t work out, I have a feeling Crean will get the right pieces to fill out this class..

  • james

    I honestly think he is going pro and will be top 5, maybe even 2nd after Wiggins. You just don’t see guys that tall and quick with his skill set and Fran Fraschilla and others have him going that high. Plus the draft is largely about potential so not playing college won’t hurt Dante that much. It might hurt more if he goes to college and somehow gets exposed.

  • N71

    Forecast:

    Johnson: Indiana
    Whitehead: Syracuse
    Exum: NBA
    Hill: Indiana
    Nairn: Oklahoma
    Snider: Memphis

    Note: <15%+/- guaranteed accuracy

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    If immediate playing time [at PG] is one of his main concerns, then IU isn’t the best place for him; Yogi has PG on lock-down until he graduates.

  • bluesy

    Indiana won’t get Hill. He’s not even planning a visit. If IU gets two of the five, it will be Johnson & Whitehead–but likely only one.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    If we end up with Johnson & a quality big, I think the 2014 class will be fine. Icing on the cake would be if Exum decided to be a Hoosier for a year. Unlikely, but never know until mom starts singing.

  • Tucson Hoosier

    Snider is my favorite player in this class (sans Exum).

  • san

    IU develops players. These are talented young men already. At IU they will reach their potential. I hope JB finds his way back after IU stayed with him during his injury and rehab. You think Cal would have done the same? No way.

  • James Foster

    Trevon Bluiett?!?!!

  • N71

    We’ve been talking to Hill for over 3 years. I can’t say for certain but I think JB’s commitment to IU made us less attractive to Ahmed, suddenly things are different.

  • BC

    It is about potential, so much so I think it hurts the NBA, And I’m sure he is leaning towards the pros, if he is a guaranteed top 5 he should go. But what I’m saying is we haven’t seen 90% of the rest of the class. It is kind of hard to slot guys when the rest of the top 20 still has to round itself out. Look at the mocks for last year’s draft before the season, then look at them a few weeks before the actual draft. A lot happens in that amount of time, Guys will fall, guys will rise. And although Exum’s size is great, Big men are still the premium in the draft b/c of their scarcity.

  • BC

    Don’t think he is interested. Plus his list is still huge. When is he going to cut it down?

  • SCHoosier

    Stick the NBA fork in Exum…he’s done.

  • BrianS

    Bluiett is a Forward. This is an update on the Guards.

  • WisconHoosier

    I’ve never sensed anything but polite indifference from him. Could be wrong.

    I think he would have been terrific at IU, but not necessarily a 22 points a game scorer to showcase NBA skills. Could be wrong about that, too.

  • I hope it is Johnson and Whitehead.. I would love to see those two in Candy Stripes. I also agree we won’t get Hill. At one time I thought we might have the inside track to him, but if he’s not interested enough to schedule a visit… even at this point where there is room for him and renewed interest from the Hoosiers.. I would agree with you. Don’t think we’ll be seeing him in Bloomington. Just don’t believe his expression of interest, if he wont schedule a visit.

  • hgdownunder

    Last night I watched Exum play for Australia against New Zealand here in Auckland. He was the backup to Patrick Mills ex-St Marys and the game MVP, and as such, was in the game sparingly.

    Naturally, he seemed quick and good, but ready for the NBA? Hmmmm.

  • IUoptometry

    none of these kids are from Indiana…..lock down our state’s best talent first.

  • sghoosier

    Agree…. all about potential but if he is the size that he is today, he will be snapped like a twig in the Big Show or sit on the bench for a year before he bulks up.

  • sghoosier

    Almost pornographic!

  • PV Mike

    I read he only played about 5 minutes in the game. I think a year in college (preferably IU) would allow him to mature physically and to mentally adjust to living full time in USA. Will it happen? Starting to look less likely.

  • PV Mike

    Yep. A lot of Kentucky players really fell as projected NBA players before last season.

  • Alan H

    This priority list raises a simple, but important question; how do offers really work? Are they first come first serve? Are some or all conditional on other players? For example, does CTC say to Ahmed Hill, “if Exum signs with IU, we’re sorry, but there won’t be a scholarship for you.” What if Hill commits tomorrow and then next week Whitehead also commits, does CTC pull the offer from Hill?

    One other note on Blackmon. I think it’s clear that IU was fine as long as he was ranked outside the top 50, but after his improved rankings, UK came calling and it was bye bye IU. Sad really. While the kid must do what’s best for him, but I think he is doing himself a disservice going to a one and done factory like UK.

  • IUMIKE1

    Sniff…sniff, yea and that just broke my heart I felt so bad for them after that happened.

    IUMIKE1 wipes away tears and blows nose.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Ummmm, there are only 3 guards in-state worthy of offers from IU… All 3 received them… Lyle declined, Blueitt doesn’t seem to care, and Blackmon de-committed…

    What the hell is your point?

  • Tucson Hoosier

    Great question.

  • N71

    I swished your questions/comments around and it all led me to “when is the NCAA finally going to catch Calipari?” Our problems with the 2014 class started with the Trey Lyles issues and Kentucky. Kind of like, if you can match their offer, I’ll stay with IU, if not, I’m off to Lexington and will pull my buddies with me if they’re interested.

  • IUva

    Mad bro???

  • Cm230

    Blackmon is not a lost cause, we just have to hope Kentucky doesn’t offer him enough money.

  • Cm230

    We gotta get hill to hysteria.

  • Rie

    What about Jordan McLaughlin? I thought we were still on his radar. He is ranked higher than all of these guards on ESPN (Exum is international so he is not ranked) at one spot above Goodluck, and it shows we are still pursuing him.

  • Corey M

    Whitehead seems like the best fit (If Exum goes Pro) because of his size he could play some combo guard and wouldn’t be limited to strictly backing up Yogi his first 2 years.. As much as I love Jordy and Yogi, I really don’t want the Hoosiers to be rolling with a backcourt of 2 guys under 6’0 like we did last year. Any real(istic) IU fan knows that having a small pair in the backcourt last year was part of our demise in the tourney. Thankfully now our depth should be strong enough that no matter what the starting lineup is we have a guy like Stan or Troy with some real size to play the 2. Whitehead also seems like he could potentially be a lockdown defender and we know after having Victor how beneficial it is to have a guy like that. Johnson is definitely far from an elite athlete but has an old-school shoot the lights out and find a way to win type of game to him. He has the type of game that I could see fitting into IU’s roster, complementing the crazy athleticism we will have the next few years with a stable, consistent leader at the 1 or 2

  • ScoopGeoff

    Are you commenting at me? If so, it makes no sense… Thanks for your input tho…

    When someone says “lockdown the states best talent” it insinuates that Crean wasn’t paying attention to in-state talent. But that couldn’t be further from the truth since he gave early offers to every single IU-worthy native player in the class of 2014. He was the very first to offer Blueitt, Blackmon, and Lyles I believe. What more would/could someone expect him to do?

  • Rie

    I think a smaller back court is fine, it just depends who the player is. Obviously, Jordy was not good enough on defense to hold down the two spot, so it has tainted the way we see a small back court.

    There are plenty of teams that roll with two small guards and have been successful, last years championship team being one of them.

    I do prefer a lengthy duo, but it really just depends who the guys are.

  • Wil

    Wow….. Very upset with Crean… I trust his ability to recruit but he’s missed out on too much in state talent. We need to set up a boarder around our state. I want to to root for indiana kids!

  • r

    I wonder how Crean has planned this out too. Contrary to some recent posts on this site, IU has a lot of great prospects yet to shuffle through. I wonder what happens to Whitehead’s interest if Johnson commits before Whitehead even has made his visit, which I believe he will (and hope he does). I also wonder if Whitehead’s visit will be before or after Nairn’s, and how all that will play out if both want on board. If all three guards commit, then does IU’s staff assume there is still room in this class for a big (Humphrey, Black, or Okonoboh)? I only mention these recruits because I believe those are the only recruits that have enough interest. Hill lost interest when IU lost interest, and that is no fault of either party considering Blackmonn was already commited. Snider chose to decommit due to a guard heavy class and a desire for playing time. IU has an ample supply of “combo” guards and is recruiting more. I am fairly certain Exum will enter the NBA next season. I expect an accepted offer from Johnson before anyone else visits. If so, then the other guards will lose interest…with the possible exception of Exum (if he decides on a year of college) and Whitehead (if IU somehow wows him like they did with Williams). I think the bigger question/decision is between Black and Okonoboh (both of which would be excellent signings). I predict a class of either Black, Okonoboh, and Johnson or Johnson, Whitehead, and one of the two previously men

  • r

    tioned bigs. Either class would be outstanding…and maybe enough to hush the naysayers on here.

  • JJIUiNC2013

    I don’t think many of these kids wanted to play with Blackmon – he’s Allen Iverson(shot monster) without the lateral quickness AND toughness. Trey Lyles may have de-committed from IU for this reason. Ja’Quan Lyle may have been thinking the same thing when he signed with Pitino. I like Corey M.’s comments above. Johnson is a good fit with current personnel. The current IU team will lose some games they should win in November and December, but they are going to over-achieve from January thru April. If we get a bounce, I think this could be the year we get hot and win the B10 tourney(I know that sounds crazy in August). I’d love to see Exum at IU. I don’t think it is a long shot. He would really benefit from 12 months with Je’Nay Jackson.. I mean look at Vonleh. I think Exum has a good head on his shoulders and really likes Crean.
    My prediction 2014 Class:
    D. Exum.
    R. Johnson
    L. Black
    G. Okonoboh
    I wish Whitehead would sign with us but I see Syracuse defending NY pretty well this time. I we miss on some of these kids and end up with available scholarships that wouldn’t be the end of the world either. The time when IU had to offer super-early to kids has passed. We are back right now at an elite level, and can plan to offer scholarships only to juniors and seniors.
    Great forum here at ITH.