Class of 2015 big man Raymond Spalding “a big priority” for Indiana

  • 06/19/2014 11:17 am in

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While it was only a summer league game played in front of less than 100 people on a Wednesday night in June, Louisville Trinity (Ky.) coach Mike Szabo was still working the sidelines and coaching his top player, rising senior Raymond Spalding.

Trinity reached the final four of the Kentucky state tournament last year, falling to Scott County 62-56 at Rupp Arena.

To get back there again in 2015, the Shamrocks need a big summer of improvement out of Spalding. Adding strength, becoming more aggressive on the glass and continuing to become more comfortable shooting away from the basket are just a few of the areas where Spalding can continue to grow.

“As a player, I need a coach like that to develop and be after me every minute of the game,” Spalding told Inside the Hall on Wednesday. “I think he does a great job in practice, workouts and in games to push me.”

A 6-foot-10, 210 pound post player, Spalding is a priority recruit for Indiana, which offered him a scholarship in March after scouting him frequently during his junior season.

Spalding took an unofficial visit to Bloomington last season for for IU’s win over Michigan in early February.

“I’m a big priority to those guys. It’s great, I love hearing stuff like that,” he said. “In that program I feel like I can fit in well. Coach (Tom) Crean, he’s a great guy. Coach (Tim) Buckley does a great job. They’ve done a great job recruiting me.”

The Hoosiers, however, have plenty of company in their pursuit of the No. 82 player nationally, according to the 247Composite.

He recently took unofficial visits to Louisville, where he picked up a scholarship offer, as well as Xavier, another school making a strong push.

“I picked up the offer from Louisville last week when I went to visit with coach (Rick) Pitino,” Spalding said. “I talked with those guys and it was great. Being a hometown kid, it’s very exciting to get that (offer) from your backyard school, but I don’t think it changes anything in my recruitment.

“I went up and visited Xavier two days ago. I talked to coach (Chris) Mack, got to see the campus. It’s a great place up there. They do it big. They’re great guys, the players are great guys. Remy Abell, I followed him around a lot on my visit. He’s a very funny guy.”

Spalding also mentioned Clemson and Vanderbilt as schools he’s interested in, but he’s yet to visit either of those campuses.

He played part of the spring with the Kentucky Travelers on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit, but has since moved back to his former AAU team, The Ville, for the remainder of the summer.

After battling an ankle injury for part of his junior season at Trinity, Spalding appeared to be moving fine on Wednesday night as he ran the floor, challenged shots, finished around the basket and showed off an improved midrange game.

“I’ve had a few injuries, but the only challenge is just getting back out there and playing hard,” he said. “Here at Trinity, they do a great job of getting us healthy and getting us ready for AAU and for school ball. I think they’ve really done a great job with me.”

One area where Spalding knows he must improve to be able to contribute right away in college is with his aggression.

“Coaches tell me that all the time,” he said. “I’m a nice guy off the court and sometimes I’m a nice on the court. Sometimes that needs to change over. The only way I think that’s going to change is on me and based upon the coach who is coaching me.”

As far as a timeline for a decision, the Trinity senior said he’s beginning to think more seriously about recruiting, but hasn’t finalized any plans for official visits or when he wants to make a decision.

“I’ve thought about it,” Spalding said. “But I haven’t really sat down to talk to my parents about any official visits yet.”

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  • OhioHoosier

    That Remy comment hurt.

  • David Macer

    Remember, Remy had second thoughts about leaving. Won’t worry too much about that. Kids come for the coach as much as the players at this level. Seems to be a good kid, but a little on the thin side for a 5.

  • inLinE6

    I’m curious to hear what Remy Abell would tell him about Indiana. I hope it didn’t hurt any of our chances. I know Remy came back for some open gym pickup games since he left IU. My impression was Remy was happy about the 2 years he was here.

  • There has to be a big out there that appreciates he’s the missing piece to our puzzle especially if we have JBJ for 2 years.

  • ForeverIU

    I liked the Remy comment. I’m glad he found him “funny” and not “intense, stoic and bitter” lol.

  • iubase

    he’s got length and a decent midrange stroke. Like the left handed hook shot. Needs work on his strength, handle and foul shooting but these are fixable issues.

  • OhioHoosier

    I meant it just hurts to know Remy didn’t finish at IU, I always loved the passion he played with.

  • JMAC

    I think he ends up at UL. Hometown

  • David Macer

    I wish he had stayed too !!! Could have used him instead of Gordon. Better defender and better going to the basket.

  • Dee McDonald

    Do you think they’re banking on him being a late bloomer guy like a Joel Embiid? I mean, yes, there is potential, clearly, but he’s really weak, has a decent stroke, and blocks shots from tiny guys. Can he be unbelieveable…YES! But it seems like he hasn’t really gotten a TON of interest to this point. Wow, is he long though. Don’t mean to take anything away from the young man by my statements, it just doesn’t look like everything is working together yet. Which is not uncommon for kids his size at his age…HUGE potential!!

  • SCHoosier

    Great prospect..needs more strength and a little big of “nasty” in his game.

  • Outoftheloop

    Offers from Indiana and Louisville pretty much say all that is required about this kid’s attention from top recruiters!

  • Danny

    How many basketball players from the state of Kentucky ever played for IU? I think Remy Abell was the second.

  • HoosierGrampy

    I’m not sure if Daniel Giddens or Doral Moore see themselves as missing pieces to the IU puzzle, but we’re on each baller’s short list. Need to get them on campus and show ’em some love.

  • HoosierGrampy

    The young man does a great job of playing well below the rim for someone who stands 6’10”. Watching him play reminded me of a young Tom Pritchard. Not saying he lacks what it takes to compete at the D1 level, but at this juncture, Doral Moore or Daniel Giddens bring sooooo much more to the table…

  • PocketHoosier

    Being as generous as possible, Algebra II is a math class for a high school sophomore. The content is really more tuned to the level of an 8th grader but some adolescents want to goof around through middle school, so you can give a bit of a pass and say that they can be up to 2 years behind.

    Anyone that attends an accredited university without a math requirement of at least that level, if not higher into at least basic differential calculus, is a discredit to humanity and that institution should be stripped of its accreditation.

  • PocketHoosier

    Totally random:

    I read the first sentence and the first thought that came to mind was the SNL Celebrity Jeopardy episode with Jimmie Fallon playing French Stewart.

    French Stewart: “I’m a late bloomer, Alex and in Double Jeopardy *I’m gonna BLOOM*”
    Alex Trebek: “*Sure* you will.”

  • Tonio

    He’s not a 5. He plays 4 in high school ball and some 3 in AAU.

  • hoosier1158

    UK will offer, just so he doesn’t go to IU.

  • marcusgresham

    Shouldn’t that depend on your major? I wasn’t an athlete, but I only took one algebra class in college because it wasn’t required for my major.

  • PocketHoosier

    What you’re touching on are requirements for a degree; I was mentioning baseline requirements for admission. Once admitted, the rules for which classes you should be required to take for a degree are quite a bit looser. Some curricula will be more rigorous than others and some programs and institutes will consider that rigor to be superfluous to the field of choice. An evaluation of those criteria is a market choice by the student to determine if their chosen institute and field will result in a suitable return on investment.

    If we were discussing “baseline criteria for a B.S.” it would be easy for a scientist to say “Everyone should have to take organic chemistry” or for an economist to say “Everyone should have to take a course on International Monetary Theory” or an engineer to say “…at least Physics with Reimann tensors” …etc, etc.

    But I would trust that everyone at least graduated high school. If I had made a self-referential requirement and said “everyone must have taken IU freshman chemistry, AP Biology, IU freshman english, and AP calculus” in order to gain admittance, I would consider that outlandish. But I don’t consider it unreasonable at all to require everyone that stands up to say “I can hack it as a college student” to have a demonstrated grasp of the fundamentals through their high school transcript. As I said earlier, Algebra II is middle/high school level content and at the collegiate level, is a remedial math course.

    (tangent)
    To touch on contemporary politics and a major pet peeve of mine a bit: I think a big part of the “higher education crisis” that millennial graduates are facing is that (rough, unscientific guesstimate) half of them didn’t belong in college in the first place. They should have gone to vocational school or straight into the work force. But “a college education” is how you make it in this world -so they say- and a bunch of unqualified 18 year olds that have no flipping clue what they want to do with their lives take out exorbitant loans and eventually internalize “well, it’s almost time for me to find a job.” Probability and simple market forces dictate that the majority of those people will struggle.

    …Then you have the people that major in underwater basket weaving and wonder why their degree doesn’t get them a high paying job but I won’t go into that.

  • Dee McDonald

    I think the offers speak to his potential, more than his reality. Sometimes those kids gain more explosiveness as they become men too…weightroom helps and they just continue to grow into their body. PocketHoosier, that’s hilarious!I’m definitely on the boat of Doral Moore or Giddens as well. But with Zimmerman & Stone (both probably longshots) it’s nice ot have a contingency plan.

  • marcusgresham

    Ah, gotcha. Didn’t realize you were talking about admissions. That is a different story.

  • marcusgresham

    I know Remy was the first since ’69, but I don’t know how many there were before that—–remember the statement up the page about admission requirements. lol
    Bud Mackey would have been one to add to the list if he wouldn’t have been a drug dealer.

  • Outoftheloop

    Gordon was only for 1 year, and he came to IU only AFTER Remy transferred!

  • Outoftheloop

    Coaches get fired if they don’t recruit “real potential”! That is reality. What you are talking about is “current skill level” which should be far less today than in August 2015!

  • David Macer

    My point was I would have rather had Remy stay. Would have been a stronger player than Gordon.

  • inLinE6

    I guess Kenny Johnson convinced Louisville to offer. He must know something Coach Crean saw but other coaches didn’t. LOL.

  • deebo

    Anybody over the height of 6’7 should be a “big”priority