What to watch for: July evaluation period

  • 07/08/2014 12:08 pm in

The first of three five-day July evaluation periods begins Wednesday at 5 p.m. and Inside the Hall takes you through five things we’ll be watching for as college coaches hit the trail to evaluate prospects:

· Who will emerge as the top 2015 targets? With a little over four months until the start of the early signing period in November, Indiana has no players committed for its 2015 recruiting class. It’s a unique position as Indiana has had at least one, if not two or more, commitments going into July dating back to the beginning of Tom Crean’s tenure in Bloomington. The lone exception was in the summer of 2009 when the Hoosiers had yet to secure a commitment from Victor Oladipo or Will Sheehey, who would both commit in the fall and sign in November.

Last year, Indiana went into July with a commitment from James Blackmon Jr., who then opted to reopen his recruitment in August and then recommitted in late October. Indiana’s top 2015 recruiting targets are outlined on the recruiting board and familiar names like Raymond Spalding, Shake Milton, Juwan Morgan, Kenny Williams and Jalen Coleman are all sure to be tracked heavily this month. But will a name lower on the board rise up or a new name totally off the radar, like Robert Johnson last July, emerge? That question will be answered soon enough.

· 2016 comes into greater focus: Indiana has already established itself very well with several class of 2016 prospects like T.J. Leaf, De’Ron Davis, Braxton Blackwell, Kyle Guy, Payton Pritchard, Quentin Goodin, Eli Wright and Nick Rakocevic. Each of those players have already visited Bloomington, which indicates there’s legitimate mutual interest between the prospect and the program.

But recruiting for a specific class evolves over time based on a variety of factors and 2016 will be no different as program needs change as do the pursuits of certain guys based on how they develop. Not only should July introduce some new names in the 2016 class, but it should also tell us where those names mentioned above stands with the program.

· What impact will Chuck Martin have? This month will mark the first time that Martin, IU’s new assistant, will be out on the road for the program evaluating prospects. Martin’s ties are to the east coast, but Tom Crean said in his introductory press conference that he expects Martin to be able to help recruit in a variety of areas across the country.

Recruiting is a team effort, but it’s often an assistant coach that lays a foundation for pursuing a prospect before the head coach or other assistants become involved as well. Which prospects will have the eye of Martin this month?

· Don’t forget about the young guys: Crean has already started to lay the groundwork for in-state recruiting for the class of 2017, which is setting up to be a strong group led by Southport’s Paul Scruggs, North Central’s Kris Wilkes, Hamilton Southeastern’s Zach Gunn and others.

Expect to see a strong IU presence at July games for the UA Grind Indy Hoosiers team, which includes all three players along with Justin Roberts of Pike and Gary Trent Jr., who is from Minnesota.

· Pay attention to who actually visits rather than who says they’re going to visit: Recruiting coverage continues to grow each year which is great for fans who enjoy consuming the non-stop information that July can often bring. But with the growth in coverage and variety of outlets reporting from events, the amount of inaccurate information also rises.

Besides offers that get reported that aren’t really scholarship offers, there are also plenty of prospects who say they’re going to visit a school and never end up doing so. While it’s certainly notable if a prospect expresses a desire to visit a particular school, actually getting a visit is a better sign that a recruitment has evolved into something more serious. Since visits aren’t prohibited in July, keep an eye on who talks about visiting Indiana when interviewed this month and then actually follows through in August and the months that follow.

Filed to:

  • Gregory Spera

    I’m confused by your last sentence. Are visits allowed in July or do they have to wait until “August and the months that follow?”

  • Speed

    Mr. Spera….obviously you are a follower of Hoosier basketball. I did not see this signing but I assume that this is needed depth. Do we have anybody for this year that can fill the center position? Hard to compete at Big Ten level without some type of presence in the paint.

  • Alford Bailey

    No players committed for 2015. Am I correct we have one scholly to offer for 2015? Yes, 2016 looks promising but that is still a long ways down the road. 2015 looked promising at one time too.

  • Gregory Spera

    OK. I am still confused, but I’m just going to roll with this… I am, indeed, a follower of Hoosier Basketball, but then everyone on this forum is. Sorry, but I do not know which “signing” you are referring to. None of the prospects mentioned in this article have yet been signed. As far as filling our center position this year, we have Hanner Perea and Jeremiah April (panicked speculation about Devin Davis and Troy Williams not withstanding.) That’s it. And yes, many here do feel that it will be “hard to compete at the Big ten level” with our current situation.

  • Speed

    Sorry…..I was referring to the transfer from Illinois State, I’m down in Southern In and it gets a little noxious down with so much UK jargon floating across the state line. According to their talk shows they are already cutting down the nets. What an unfortunate time for IU basketball to be struggling. GROAN

  • Gregory Spera

    No problem. Keep up the good fight.

  • We need a center. It’s never been a more obvious situation. If they can land an instant impact big and JBJ stays two years we are in the position to compete for championships. Yogi as a senior point, JBJ as a 2 and done, Troy Williams as a more polished junior, Hanner as a senior with playing time experience, and a real center would be a legitimate team. A guard or wing will not help much. There is no doubt that we will have more schollys open for this class, but if a center isn’t a priority we are in big trouble.

  • Kyl470

    Right now there is only one scholly available. However, given our recent history we are likely to have a couple guys transfer. Outside chance Yogi, Troy, or JBJ goes pro, but I don’t see that happening. Hopefully April or Priller can develop into a serviceable big man and CTC can land a solid player with our one opening.

  • ForeverIU

    I think Thon Maker has until January to reclassify to 2015? I’m hoping he’ll reclassify and pick IU, but we might be waiting a while, so I’m not holding my breath.

  • IUDan

    I completely agree … I was wondering if picking up Nick z is a sign that we may forgo a guard in the ’15 class and go “all in” for a big … We certainly need it. That said, I would’ve loved to pick up a top PG for 2015 … I guess just because we’re full doesn’t mean we won’t … But maybe the staff likes our prospects in ’16 class better at that spot

  • Kyl470

    Instant impact big like a Cody or Noah is a must for IU in the 2015 class.

  • Gregory Spera

    Where are we with the best big man in the state of Indiana for 2015, Caleb Swanigan? Have we already lost him to Izzo or is he still in play?

  • Miamihoosier

    If we don’t sign a center we shouldn’t even play next season. If we don’t sign a center Tom Crean should be fired, and Fred Glass too, for allowing him to not sign a center…oh and it can’t be any center it has to be a one and done talent, and it has to be his life long dream to come to a school who hasn’t won a championship in 28 years. Finally, even though he is a one and done talent, if we don’t win the championship his freshman year, he has to play 2 seasons or he will be a traitor….Does that cover it? Maybe I forgot one, I don’t think it would be too much to ask, if on this Center’s signing day coach Crean personally apologized to all ITH fans for signing the Zeisloft kid. Then and only then we will be capable of winning a game.

  • Michael

    Love this lol

  • Nick z is just a roster spot filler. If he pans out he will get more attention and pt. Same deal with priller, April, and max to an extent. These guys were headed to low d1 or maybe high d2 schools. I’m sure it is said one way or another that we have spots open and a need at a big ten school and if you want an opportunity here it is…if you don’t pan out don’t expect to be back. I’m sure the staff recruits according to that. It’s not like we will have a line up of Priller, April, and nick z in a starting 5 situation at any point in their careers.

  • I haven’t looked into it much yet personally.

  • SCHoosier

    Probably going to take in a few games from the Peach Jam in North Augusta next week. I think Shake Milton’s team is playing but don’t remember the team name??Anybody remember..or know of other IU targets who might be playing in the upcoming Peach Jam?

  • Michael

    2015 “looked” promising?

    lol you have got to be trolling now…

    check the number of commits in the top 150 please

  • Gregory Spera

    I know you are being sarcastic and over the top, but I’m sure there are actually more than a few people on this forum reading that and nodding their heads in agreement. (They are probably going to be a least half of your “likes.”)

  • Shawn Congo

    We make the Final Four, 4 guys go to the nba and we start over and people complain about where IU is in year 8 under Crean.

  • Gregory Spera

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but if we do make the Final Four in 2016, I personally promise to keep my bitching to an absolute minimum in 2017.

  • Well you gotta put solid recruiting classes together on a regular basis. That’s what he gets paid millions of dollars to.

  • I personally hope he loads up on 6-4 wings that he wants to be point guards and power forwards, so he we can all move forward from this nightmare that is eerily similar to buying a used car.

  • JMAC

    We will have transfers. We always do

  • MoKan Elite.

  • Miamihoosier

    I think you are right GS, that is what got me frustrated enough to write something. We know for a fact, that at a minimum, these kid’s families read these posts if not the kids themselves. The first 2 articles introducing Zeisloft as member of our team, are flooded with comments basically calling him garbage. There is no excuse for that. He is a part of the team, and whether it be in games or just practice he will make us better. And this nonsense about needing a 5-star big to win, is not only wrong, I think there is evidence a big might make our team worse. Last 5 national champions, Only 1 had a great big man…1, and oh yeah that’s the one we actually beat in the regular season.

  • TomJameson

    Well, since I was one of the ‘likes’ let me go on record that I gave you the up-arrow because I liked your sarcasm. I really, really honor the fact that everybody has their opinion and can express it here. In the same breath I’ll say there are a few hard-core pessimists who I find it hard to believe are IU fans because their comments get so horrible and not so far off your sarcastic remarks. Been pretty bummed about it considering we haven’t played a game yet this year. And yes, I am optimistic about this years team. IMO it will fun to watch and we’ll win a lot of games.

  • IUBizmark

    I would guess this to be the longest long shots.

  • SCHoosier

    Thanks..will see I can catch one of those games.Mogan the 6-8 forward is also on that team I think.

  • Miamihoosier

    Thanks Tom….I think we will win a lot of games as well. Kaminsky is the only big guy in our league who could really punish IU on the block….Crean is right there with Izzo as the best rebounding coach in the conference…..not having a scoring center is just not going to hurt like people think. We’ll lose a couple of games we shouldn’t due to just some all around bad shooting nights, but for the most part, I think the team we put on the floor at spots 1-3 is just going to be so much better than everyone else, we win 22 or more games

  • Alford Bailey

    Up vote. Wait…….. are you being sarcastic??

  • CreamandCrimson

    We currently have one scholarship available for this upcoming season. I would expect that scholarship would be given to a walk-on who earns it in practice/workouts. We have no seniors this coming season and with the addition of Nick Zeisloft we have one scholarship remaining for the 2015 recruiting class. For a really clear look at the scholarship situation over the next few years: go to the top of the page – look under the category “Popular” – click on “Scholarship Numbers”.

    Of course, there could be more scholarships available if guys leave for the NBA Draft or transfer and many believe that if we need a scholarship, space will be created…but as it currently stands, we have one left.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    I’ll be there as well, SC. Definitely planning to watch Mokan. If you happen to see another Indiana shirt, don’t be afraid to say hey…..

  • SCHoosier

    ill do..visiting friends..not sure what schedule we’ll be able to folo.

  • David Macer

    And Kaminsky plays inside out. Can make the 3. That makes him even more dangerous.

  • David Macer

    Ben, you might want to read IU’s Student Athlete Bill of Rights. Most likely everyone will stay. No more speculation that someone got kicked out by CTC. Should players want to transfer so be it. This new scholly went to a player that can certainly fill it up. Hope he turns out to be another Matty Roth…3 pt specialist. You do remember Roth lighting up OSU for 30+ when he was a freshman.
    BTW, RMK had his share of transfers during his tenure. The list is quite long but some include Delray Brooks, Bob Bender, Mike Miday, Mark Haymore, Rich Valivious, Luke Recker and so on. We just don’t remember them all. RMK also kicked some players off…Baker, Cox and Roberson in 1977 or 1978.

  • ForeverIU

    (Sorry, a bit off-topic). Why are all my teams getting ruined this year? First IU, then Brazil. I don’t feel so bad now about the US loss to Germany. Go Argentina.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I hope Zeisloft can, as you say, “certainly fill it up”. However, there is really nothing in his collegiate career to suggest that is the case. He has a career high of 18 and that came in a 104-98 OT shootout against Evansville. In his career, he’s played against Northwestern twice (0 and 3 points), Louisville (3 points), Creighton twice (8 and 3), VCU (0), Wichita State twice last year (0 and 9) and Texas A&M (8)…those are the only major conference (or high-quality opponents) he’s faced.

    He might end up being a really good bench option. He might be a great influence in the locker room and be a great “chemistry” guy. I have no idea. But I do know that his career history don’t suggest that saying “he can certainly fill it up” is accurate.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Nice to know I’m not the only soccer fan on here. Lol!

  • ForeverIU

    I bet there are a few closet soccer fans, lol!

  • ForeverIU

    The Hoosier Manifesto, LOL!

  • Alford Bailey

    Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllll! I prefer to call it futbol.

  • ForeverIU

    Bravo!

  • CreanFaithful

    If by “in play” you mean uncommitted, then yes. Otherwise, everything I have read says he is a Spartan.

  • Alford Bailey

    Wow. Kenny Johnson gets a big raise, gets to work for a HOF coach and loses 65 pounds. Things are looking good for him post IU.

  • Alford Bailey

    Yea, me too. At least my Reds are starting to come around. Thank goodness for the Cubs.