Q & A: Brad Leaf discusses his son’s visit to Indiana

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Following 2016 Foothills Christian (Calif.) power forward T.J. Leaf’s unofficial visit to Indiana on Wednesday, Leaf’s father, Brad, spoke with Inside the Hall on Thursday afternoon regarding the family’s trip to Bloomington.

During the visit, Indiana offered the No. 42 prospect and No. 8 power forward in the 2016 class according to the 247Composite, joining UCLA and San Diego State as other schools that have extended scholarship opportunities.

Brad Leaf, who also is T.J.’s high school coach, grew up in Indianapolis and played basketball at Evansville from 1979 to 1982. The family now lives in the San Diego area, and Wednesday’s visit was T.J.’s first-ever to Bloomington.

On how the visit went:

“It went as well as I was hoping it would go, from T.J.’s standpoint. He wasn’t really sure what to expect. He’d been hearing it for so many years at home that the was so excited to see all the facilities and the academic portion of it and the coaching staff. It couldn’t have gone any better.”

On being in the room when Indiana offered T.J.:

“Being a Hoosier fan since I was 12, probably for more than 40 years, it obviously was a very special moment for me as a father and his coach. And then, I was talking to him as the day went on, and he was just elated by the end of the day.”

On making a potential return visit:

“Well, we’re coming back. I just talked to one of the coaches this morning, Coach Buckley, who’s been recruiting T.J., and we’re going to come back for a Nov. 15 game at Assembly Hall, because he’s never been there to see a game there. That’s going to be a huge selling point, also. Once you walk into that place, it’s nuts. I don’t think you get the full effect until you actually go to a home game.”

On if IU is one of the leaders, at this point:

“Oh, heck yeah. Yeah, definitely. They’ll always be seen as one of the leaders. This is 40 years of roots, for me and my wife. That’s all T.J. has heard since he’s been able to watch basketball.”

On what T.J. has to improve on at this point:

“T.J. knows how much better he still has to get. These offers don’t stay unless you continue to get better and develop your game. We do things that we’re starting to do today, already, from the standpoint of certain exercises that he’s going to be doing now from the strength and conditioning coach (Je’Ney Jackson). We’ve already starting implementing them, today. These are the best in the business, and if you don’t follow what they say, you’re ignorant.”

  • cybergates

    I like his dad’s attitude. TJ sounds like he was born to be a Hoosier.

  • HoosierInChapelHill

    Love this. This reminds me of the joke where a father is at the inauguration dinner for his daughter, who has just become President of the United States. Someone says to him, “You must be so proud!” The father says, “I am, but do you see my son sitting over there? He plays basketball for the Indiana Hoosiers.”

  • Jordan

    Leaf’s almost a for sure lock and Gordon is very close to the lock status. Future’s looking bright!

  • WisconHoosier

    Great interview. This caught my attention:

    “These offers don’t stay unless you continue to get better.”

    It would be great to interview a coach at any level (high school, AAU, college) who would explain in detail how offers work.

  • SCHoosier

    Nice kid..IU well positioned…but there is no such thing as a “lock” as this year proved.

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    i love the vicarious enthusiasm to be a hoosier

  • marcusgresham

    I could see his dad on the bench at IU with him. I don’t know where TJ’s head stands on IU, but if they offered Brad he’d sign!

  • hoosierof_99bbjunkie

    Being from Evansville, IN where his Dad played, I’ve asked a few questions. Apparently Brad was a pretty darn good player. He must have come to Evansville to a program that had lost the entire team to the plane crash in ’77. He must have had some serious determination. Hoosier fan all his life is understandable being from Indy. Hope he doesn’t push his son too hard early on, but it’s great to see the advise from Bloomington is being put to use. This could be a fantastic opportunity for our beloved program. Only time will tell.

  • hoosierof_99bbjunkie

    advice that is

  • hoosierof_99bbjunkie

    Sure sounds like his Dad is on board with the Hoosiers.

  • hoosierof_99bbjunkie

    I wonder if he’s still growing. 6’8 as a sophomore is awesome. And coming from PF background, if he’s still growing, should be a real feather in his cap.

  • r

    So, Hoosier Nation needs only show up Nov 15th and, in unison, chant “T.J.Leaf”. That may be all it takes. I really like some of these father figures we have been introduced to lately on ITH. I appreciate the tight family knitting these young recruits seem to be accustomed to.

  • Ole Man

    Hope you’re right.
    But don’t count your “Chickens” until they sign.

  • Kelin Blab

    Agreed!

  • Kelin Blab

    Jordan…great post, good to hear from the parents sometimes. I think interviews with kids are a little glossy at times cause they know their audience and saying the wrong thing could affect their twitter followers….

    Brad Leaf….seems to have a good hold of his sons ability and where he needs to go. He also seems very well familiar with IU and holding on to those Indiana roots.

    Now will it spill over to TJ?

  • ufo3

    TJ need to be a guest at Hoosier Hysteria!

  • hoosierof_99bbjunkie

    How about scheduling the visit on the Nov 26th meeting of Evansville and IU. Would make a lot of sense.

  • chris

    Brad was a senior my freshman year at UE…he was a class guy and a really steady ballplayer-hope it runs in the family

  • Hardwood83

    I agree, that would be a very interesting “expose'”.

  • Tyeblaize

    Brad was a great player for the Purple Aces. He scored over 1600 points and is a UE Hall of famer and made the UE top 15 players of all time. He is a blurb about him from the UE site. I am sure he will do all he can to develop TJ’s full potential. Brad Leaf – ’79-82 – AP & Sporting News Honorable Mention All-American – first team all-MCC three times – 6th all-time scoring (1605) – 4th field goals – 6th FG Pct – 4th FT Pct – 9th Assists – inducted into UE Hall of Fame in 88-89

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Love the attitude…I say sign him now and not worried about it because Dad probably wouldn’t let him back out.

  • JGregory

    Leaf was a great player at Evansville. He was the go to guy and fans knew that if he got the ball in a clutch spot, he was money in the bank. He was a VERY hard worker and a lot of fans believed he was going to make it in the NBA.

  • JGregory

    Leaf was a great player at Evansville. He was the go to guy and fans
    knew that if he got the ball in a clutch spot, he was money in the bank.
    He was a VERY hard worker and a lot of fans believed he was going to
    make it in the NBA. There is no reason to believe that his kid will not carry on that kind of personality.

  • NWI Hoosier

    San Diego and a Leaf. I just hope they are not related to Ryan- LOL

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