Recruiting roundup: NBPA Top 100 camp

  • 06/23/2014 9:32 am in

One of the summer’s top events, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Top 100 camp took place from Tuesday through Saturday last week and here’s a rundown of how many of the prospects Indiana is recruiting performed in Charlottesville, Virginia:

· Alex Illikainen (Brewster Academy, N.H.): News that Illikainen would move east for his senior season broke recently after several weeks of speculation that he would leave Grand Rapids (Minn.), where he’s dominated his entire career. Illikainen and his Suns team reached the finals of the Top 100 camp and he averaged 5.1 and 3.2 rebounds in 22.1 minutes per game. He did struggle a bit from beyond the 3-point line (30.4 percent), but drew the praise of John Lucas.

· Chris Clarke (Cape Henry Collegiate Schoo, Va.): A teammate of Illikainen on the Suns, Clarke listed Indiana as a school he’d like to visit and had, by most accounts, an outstanding camp. The 6-foot-6 wing plays AAU for Boo Williams and in Charlottsville, he averaged 9.1 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 50.8 percent from the field. ESPN’s Paul Biancardi called him the best athlete in camp ($) in his day two recap:

Clarke owns eye-popping athletic ability. He has speed, vertical and a quick second jump. He fills the lane with speed to beat a defense down the floor and will finish with alley-oop dunks. A great example of his high-level athletic ability is when he caught a pass behind his head on a fast break, gathered himself and scored.

· Jalen Coleman (La Lumiere School, Ind.): A name that Indiana fans have been familiar with dating back to his time as a teammate of Collin Hartman at Cathedral, Coleman listed Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina State, UNLV and Notre Dame as five schools he’d like to visit. As far as his production goes, Coleman averaged 9.1 and hit 40.7 percent of his 3s, proving once again that he’s one of the better scorers in the country in the class of 2015.

· Kenny Williams (L.C. Bird, Va.): Indiana offered Williams a scholarship recently and the Virginia native scored 8.6 points per game in eight contests for the Spurs, which finished 5-3. Here’s a look at Williams, who also plays for Boo Williams, from the camp:

· Braxton Blackwell (Christ Presbyterian Academy, Tenn.): One of Indiana’s top targets in the class of 2016, Blackwell received an invite to camp as a rising junior, a distinction that is only given to a select group of prospects. In eight games for the Rockets, the Nashville native averaged 6.3 points and 2.9 rebounds. Of note recruiting wise for Blackwell is that his father, Thomas, told Inside the Hall that Indiana was the first school to contact him on June 15, the first day schools were allowed unlimited contact with class of 2016 prospects.

Here’s what had to say about Blackwell:

Blackwell has a smooth offensive game, pulling up in the mid-range or taking it to the rim. He also showed some toughness on the defensive end.

· Daniel Giddens (Wheeler, Ga.): The 6-foot-10 center from the Atlanta area has Indiana in his final six schools, but all signs have him heading to Columbus to play for Ohio State. In Charlottesville, Giddens averaged 7.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and close to two blocks per game.

· Jimmy Whitt (Hickman, Mo.): Whitt, a class of 2015 guard, is on the rise nationally after a strong spring and Indiana hosted him last fall for an unofficial visit, but hasn’t offered a scholarship to this point. He struggled from the perimeter at NBPA camp (33.3 percent on 3s), but played primarily at the point, according to

At NBPA Camp he has been playing almost exclusively as a point guard. Running his team has cut down on his shots so he hasn’t been a huge scorer, but he has been very effective utilizing the high ball screen and he has proven himself as one of the premier pull-up jump shooters in the country.

· Payton Pritchard (West Linn, Ore.): Indiana jumped into the mix with Pritchard in April and hosted him for an unofficial visit following the adidas Gauntlet event in Fishers. The Hoosiers offered a scholarship on that visit and have remained in close contact with the 2016 point guard since that time. Pritchard played well at NBPA Camp with averages of 9.5 points and close to four assists per game. was also impressed by Pritchard:

Payton Pritchard does not lack for confidence. The four-star point guard from the class of 2016 is a guy that can easily run your team and he is a very good passer. At his core, though, Pritchard is also a scoring floor general who will take some risky shots to see if he is hot. When Pritchard heats up from deep, he really puts defenders on their heels because of his ability to bury 22-footers or attack off the dribble.

· Omari Spellman (North Royalton, Oh.): Another class of 2016 prospect who was invited to Charlottesville, Spellman is a new name on the IU radar after the Hoosiers jumped in with a scholarship offer last week. At 6-foot-9 and close to 270 pounds, Spellman had a strong showing with 5.8 points and 5.9 rebounds in about 27.9 minutes per game.

· Matur Maker (Carlisle School, Va.): Indiana was the first school to offer Matur, the younger brother of five-star center Thon Maker. The class of 2017 prospect was one of the youngest players in camp and averaged 2.4 points and 2.0 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game for the Mavericks, which finished 3-5.

· Derrick Jones (Archbishop John Carroll, Pa.): A four-star wing from the Philadelphia area, Jones holds an IU offer and listed the Hoosiers as a school he’d like to visit in the camp’s media guide. Jones shot a ridiculous 64.3 percent from the field against the nation’s top talent and averaged 9.4 points as his team, the Knicks, won the camp’s championship.

· Thon Maker (Carlisle School, Va.): The 7-foot-2 Maker is arguably the best big man prospect in the country and there’s been a lot of speculation that he’ll move into the class of 2015, although nothing has been confirmed to this point. Maker averaged 9.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in Charlottesville. Here’s a look at Maker’s battle with Skal Labissiere:

· De’Ron Davis (Aurora, Colo.): Another class of 2016 prospect that Indiana is heavily involved with, Davis was very good in Charlottesville with averages of 9.4 points (56.6 percent shooting) and 3.9 rebounds per game. Davis, who visited Indiana recently and has the Hoosiers as one of his top schools, also drew praise from in their Friday recap:

Davis is a big and strong post player who uses a game that is based on skill with a little power. He gets good position, has a good command of ball fakes and can stick a 15-foot jumper.

· Eron Gordon (Cathedral): The younger brother of former Indiana guards Evan and Eric Gordon, Eron didn’t shoot it well from the perimeter in camp (12.5 percent), but the biggest news was that following camp, he took an unofficial visit to Duke, where he met with coach Mike Krzyzewski. Gordon is also scheduled to visit Michigan this week.

· Bryant Crawford (Gonzaga Prep, D.C.): Crawford is a class of 2015 point guard who has fallen a bit nationally in recent months, but is still considered as one of the better options for a pass-first point in the country. Crawford averaged close to eight points in Charlottesville, but shot poorly (39.2 percent). Still, he turned in one of the more impressive finishes in the camp:

· P.J. Dozier (Spring Valley, S.C.): Dozier also listed Indiana as a school he’d like to visit and he was one of the better shooters in camp. Dozier averaged 9.9 points per game on 51.5 percent shooting.

(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

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  • SCHoosier

    Is Clark even on the ITH board? Sounds like a VO type. Maybe Vic could call him first about an IU visit with TC following up:) Third summer report from an event where Gordon “didn’t shoot well from the perimeter.” Maybe that’s telling us something? I think IU is solid with a couple of these guys (Davis and Blackwell) Hard not to think about Maker being one and done at IU with both Yogi and James still in the program. I know..I know its probably a pipe dream..but if those counseling Maker want him to have a one year experience with tough competition..a lot of playing time..great guards and a shot at the Final four…call Bloomington quickly!:)

  • Will probably be on the next update.

  • HoosierGrampy

    I hope in the days ahead CTC pays serious attention to Daniel Giddens to the point at which he comes to B’town and gets a glimpse of Hoosier Hysteria. I truly hope he doesn’t become a Suckeye…

  • calbert40

    Lots of excellent options on that list. Thanks for the update, Alex!

    I’d happily take any of them, but if I could only have one on the list, it’s Maker. The move he makes at around the 1:16 mark is fantastic. Posts up his defender. Faces up, gets doubled, but aggressively attacks his primary defender. Makes the bucket and gets fouled.

    7’2″ and looks like he wouldn’t be project. Sign me up…or him up.

  • CreamandCrimson

    This is really comprehensive and informative…thanks Alex!
    And for my unnecessary and probably unwanted opinion on a few of these guys (and their potential fit with IU).
    -Chris Clarke: Intriguing late-riser (I looked him up and he’s listed as a 6’5″ small forward). I have no idea if he is anything more than a really good athlete at this point in his development but I imagine we’ll hear more of him.
    -Jalen Coleman: I really liked him when he was at Cathedral and it seems like his offensive game has been polished. He’s a bigger PG and unless Robert Johnson can become a primary PG when Yogi leaves, that is a position of need.
    -Kenny Williams: Seems like a good offensive player but I will continue to ask…where does he get playing time with our expected 2015 roster?
    -Thon Maker: He’s really good. I would say he’s a long shot but there’s no reason not to pursue him very, very enthusiastically (not that TC knows any other way).
    -De’Ron Davis: I think he’d be a really good get and I also I have a feeling he ends up in Bloomington.
    -Eron Gordon: I’ve seen him multiple times over the past two years and I’ve yet to be impressed. If his last name wasn’t Gordon, I’m not sure I would’ve known he was a prospect.

  • ForeverIU

    Would sure be nice to get him in 2015.

  • N71

    Agree…reminds me of KG, a ridiculous talent.

  • Gregory Spera

    Best case scenario… Thon Maker moves to 2015, Crean lands him and we just drop him into the middle of this same team next season. One five star big. That’s it. Not greedy, like Kentucky. Just one.

  • SCHoosier

    Just read some of Davis’ comments about Louisville and in particular Kenny Johnson. “Kenny had been hitting me 3 times a week before he got to Louisville…it will probably be more now. We have a great relationship and I trust him.” Also wants to visit a couple schools in Texas. This kid will be one of the top 10 sought after players in his class. IU will have its hands full to get him..but TC did start early..

  • SCHoosier

    Maker would be a lottery pick right now if eligible..IMO.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Yeah, he’ll definitely be a tough get and there’s a ton of competition for him (understandably so). I have to believe we’ll get at least one 2015 PF/C that is highly coveted and I kind of have a feeling it will be him. I have absolutely no reason to believe it and I certainly have no inside information. It’ll be a long recruitment and one that TC and staff will have to fight tooth and nail for…we’ll see if my feeling is luckily correct!

  • Gregory Spera

    No kidding. We are lucky that the current NBA rules force kids like Maker to play even ONE season of college ball.

  • ForeverIU

    Did you mean 2016? Davis is in the 2016 class.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Fixed…thanks for catching that.

  • ForeverIU

    I have the same feeling about Zimmerman for 2015.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Yup – sounds like his reclassifing and his agent, I mean parent, are prepping him for a fast track to the NBA. I’d really rather have Zimmerman

  • ForeverIU

    I promised myself I wouldn’t take the 247 “expert” predictions seriously, but I couldn’t help taking a peak: Thon Maker’s last three predictions (including one from today) are for IU. Does this mean he is re-classifying to 2015 and sees the perfect fit in IU?

  • OhioHoosier

    I thought he was supposed to make a decision around July 4th

  • ForeverIU

    I like your pitch-a-Thon, lol.

  • SCHoosier

    I just want to meet my Maker (In b-town:)

  • calbert40

    The choice between Maker and Zimmerman would be like choosing between Brazilian super models: there is no wrong choice.

    I think we have a better shot at Maker than Zimmerman, so much like the Brazilian supermodels, I’ll take whichever one is willing to take us.

  • IUJeff

    Not so sure about that Roy. Think if IU got this kid, we’d have as good a chance as anyone to win it all.

  • ForeverIU

    I don’t know how you navigated to that particular page, but if you go to the Basketball 247 from the main page and go to 2014, you see the correct information for Goodluck. In any case, I’ve been following 247 for quite a while now and have developed a sense for how to rely on it for recruiting info. I usually look for “current” trends in predictions (nothing more than one or two weeks old). The fact that three experts are all of a sudden predicting IU in the last three days indicates something worth watching. My hopes are not high, but I am confident that IU would be a great place for Thon Maker and have no reason to think that anyone else has a better chance than we do.

  • ForeverIU

    I hope you’re right, because Jerry Meyer is one of the three predicting Thon to IU!

  • He’s pretty much a Buckeye lock man. He has already listed a decision date (soon) and has not visited B-Town.

  • Zimmerman is a great talent but he is no Thon Maker. TM can do everything SZ does but better. He also has much more to his game than SZ. Thon has a whole lot of Kevin Durant to his game.

  • My most wanted from this list:
    1. Thon Maker (I believe he’s a transcendent type of player)
    2. Jalen Coleman (Best shooter and from Indiana)
    3. Payton Pritchard (best PG on our list IMO)
    4. Da’Ron Davis
    5. Kenny Williams (Kid can really score it)

  • vanpastorman

    On the Maker video, the other kid Skai looked real good too. Where is he going?