Bryant looking ahead to future in Bloomington

  • 04/27/2015 11:03 am in

With his high school career over and his National Letter of Intent signed and delivered to Indiana University, Thomas Bryant is looking ahead to his future.

Bryant had been vocal since his commitment that he wanted to play with Troy Williams, James Blackmon Jr. and Yogi Ferrell and all three players opted to return to Bloomington in recent weeks. The addition of Bryant plus the return of IU’s top eight scorers sets the Hoosiers up for a preseason top 15 ranking and a viable contender in the Big Ten.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Bryant as he participated in the McDonald’s All-American Game, the DICK’s National Tournament, the Derby Festival Basketball Classic and most recently, the Jordan Brand Classic, which put a wrap on his prep career.

“It was a real good experience just going out there and knowing it was the last event of my high school career,” Bryant said Friday in Louisville at the Under Armour Association event. “I just wanted to try to go out with a bang.”

Bryant finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in the Jordan Brand Classic.

Now the focus for Bryant shifts to getting prepared for his arrival in Bloomington. He’ll graduate in late May with a plan of arriving on campus in June. Last week, he received a visit from Tom Crean and Chuck Martin at Huntington Prep.

“(The visit) was real good. He just talked to me about how I was getting better and also pointed out some key things that I should work on, which I appreciate,” Bryant explained.  “The next step is just improving my game each and every day, figuring out what I need to work on before I get there in June and just taking it from there.”

The adjustment for Bryant being in a new place should be easier for him than the typical college freshman as he spent the final two years of his high school career away from home at Huntington Prep.

A native of Rochester, New York, Bryant was recruited to Huntington Prep after starring for Bishop Kearney as a freshman and sophomore. It was a decision that Bryant says will help him right away in college.

“I think it helped me a lot,” Bryant said. “No offense to Bishop Kearney, but I know that if I would have stayed, I wouldn’t be ready for the collegiate level. I wouldn’t be the man I am today.”

In his press conference to announce the Bryant signing to the media last week, Crean called his future big man “the pied piper” of Huntington and also noted his “infectious attitude and infectious energy.”

The process of bonding with two of his new teammates – Juwan Morgan and O.G. Anunoby – is already well underway as the trio spent considerable time together at the Derby Festival Basketball Classic.

“Those guys are great. Juwan, he’s real fundamentally sound and he’s real down to earth,” Bryant said with a smile. “O.G. is real down to earth, too, with some serious bounce that I didn’t even know of and it just popped out of nowhere.

“We all grew together real quick, good chemistry and we became friends right off the bat.”

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  • Gregory Spera

    Love this kid, already. I’m not even talking basketball.

  • What a charismatic and genuine guy! I’m glad to have him on many levels.

  • Robert Golden

    Bryant scares pretty boys and champions. New York kid and plays like one.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • marcusgresham

    I could be totally wrong, as I haven’t seen him in person or even heard him speak yet, but from this picture OG looks like he could have a Victor Oladipo-type personality. That kid just looks like he’s ready to cut loose.

    One thing to consider. Bryant and Holt could well become natural supports for one another as their hometowns are only about 15 or 20 miles apart.

  • Caleb Moore

    Kid was making the rounds in Kentucky this weekend recruiting future studs for IU. Albers and others noted his interaction with Alkins talking to him about coming to IU. Alkins my top want for the ’16 class along with DD and some Indiana kids. Would think we will take at least 4 in that class as Yogi and NZ are gone/JB and Troy probably looking at a jump to the NBA. Will need at least 3 guards and Alkins could be a very solid kid right away.

  • ForeverIU

    It’s refreshing that our main topic of discussion will soon be (in fact is on the paid forum) 2016 recruiting. A sign that we are slowly but surely working our way back to elite Hoosier basketball.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • Bk39

    Great addition to IU’s front line. Bryant , Juwan and OG with HMP, EH, DD, (JA or TP) plus TW, CH, things are looking very good in Btown.

  • Miamihoosier

    How many times over the 7 years of this site’s existence have we read a H.S. recruit describe a fellow recruit at an all star game as “real fundamentally sound” ? Im going to say never. This kid approaches basketball like a professional…he didnt tell us about how funny O.G. was, or how much he and Juwan have in common, he talked about their fundamentals and athleticism. If we’re going to make FF run, we need him to be one and done good. With his size, ability, and attitude, id say he’s got a chance.

  • O.G. is my pick for the big surprise on this team next season. I was impressed of what (very little) I’ve seen of him. He’s going to be a good one.

  • Drew

    We need him to be a defensive force. We need just about everyone to be one though haha

  • hoosier93

    I think it should be set by now.
    PG: Yogi, RJ
    SG: JBJ, Z
    SF: Troy, OG
    PF: Colin Hartman, Holt, Morgan
    C: Bryant, HMP

    I think the staff should still at least tickle the idea of starting HMP and Bryant together or at least play them together at some point. Just hope HMP with be pushed by the new depth to get better and not get discouraged. We have 1 actual PG and 3 SG’s but this year could be a good year for RJ to get some minutes with the 2nd team at PG. I also didn’t put DD up there because we still don’t know if he’ll get be able to go. And April, Priller and Ritchie don’t play… plus we’re still oversigned by 1… there are 3 names I can think of sadly. But just how it goes at IU now.

  • Hoosier Pride

    Ritchie is not on scholarship, someone besides him will either be gone or be moved to a walk on spot.

  • hoosier93

    I was thinking 3 others.

  • dssnyder1

    other than being concerned about the Hoosiers defensive struggles, I’m beyond stoked about next year’s squad. Ive been on and off the fence when it comes to CTC and how he runs this team, but there is reason for optimism. Right?

  • hoosier93

    The only way this team changes is if Crean does. I’d say hand the keys over to Yogi almost 100%. Gotta trust him to be our Kemba or Shabazz. Both of them had all the control. But I think it is time for Crean to see that and just hand it all over and see how Yogi leads it. If Yogi really wants to leave with a title then he’ll make sure this team works their butt off.

  • MrNobody

    If this kid is the team player and driven the way it is reported it is going to do wonders for Holt and JA over the next year or two (two because he was reported to have said two years himself).

  • MrNobody

    Also any news or rumors on the next asst. coach that anyone has heard?

  • hoosier93

    I would just say he is staying for 2 years. Still need to be recruiting a center for next year.

  • marcusgresham

    Not just guards. There will be a need for a big man, if not multiple big men if Bryant is only here a season. Even if he’s back that leaves him and April as the only two post players, and Priller as the only other guy over 6’7 (unless Morgan is a true 6’8. Either way, you don’t want to depend on Priller and Morgan as your main big men.)

  • marcusgresham

    Virtually everyone says “at least two years,” though, because saying you’ll be there one season makes you look like you’ve under-achieved if you stay for the sophomore year.

  • Absolutely. He seems like a great combination of on-court and off-court attitudes.

  • Brklynhoosier

    What I’ve gotten from the (very few) interviews I’ve managed to find, OG is soft-spoken, and maybe a little shy. Not a Vic-type personality at all. Does his talking on the court — which is fine by me. He is going to be very good.

  • Hardwood83

    That is exactly the starting line-up I’d like to see. Colin is a starter imo. Maybe not a natural 4, but his experience last season showed his versatility. Can shoot the 3, guard the post and plays smart.

  • dwdkc

    I really like this kid–his personality is as big as his wingspan. Guys like that can become really good teammates.

  • dwdkc

    Leaving everyone with the same question–what’s her vertical leap and how well does she shoot the 3?

  • marcusgresham

    No such luck. JV 1st baseman.

  • marcusgresham

    I’d be fine with that, too. He just had that look.

  • TomJameson

    That’s great, but don’t see bryant staying for four years. Glad to hear your daughter is a smart and determined cookie. Lol

  • TomJameson

    So, you’re saying Crean should take a vacation and let Yogi coach and lead the team? LOL


    He did say that, but then again so did Vonleh. It’s the standard answer given by just about any incoming freshman at almost any school. It also keeps everyone from saying that he never bought in and was only worried about himself and not the team, whether it was true or not. I, for one, will be surprised if he is here for a second year.