Plenty of mutual interest between Michael Humphrey and Indiana

071813xMichael Humphrey has flown under the radar for some time now because of a thumb injury he suffered last year. It set the class of 2014 recruit back a bit and kept some of the major college programs from being able to watch him.

Humphrey isn’t under the radar anymore.

The 6-foot-10 big man from Phoenix, Ariz. impressed at last weekend’s Reebok Breakout Classic in Philadelphia and has picked up new interest from several schools.

“I’ve really been talking to some of the bigger schools for awhile but they haven’t really had a chance to see me play just because in the spring I had an injury,” Humphrey told Inside the Hall on Wednesday. “Reebok was really the first chance they had a chance to see me and after that, it has really picked up.”

Indiana coach Tom Crean was in Philadelphia to see Humphrey for the first time, and all indications are that he left impressed. The Hoosiers have not yet offered Humphrey a scholarship, but they plan to send a member of their coaching staff to see him play at a Dallas AAU event this weekend and an offer could be coming soon.

“There’s a lot of interest from both sides,” Humphrey said.

Indiana actually showed interest in Humphrey months ago. Associate head coach Tim Buckley regularly sent him handwritten letters, but the Hoosiers’  pursuit of Humphrey has increased significantly since Crean watched him last weekend.

“I thought I played pretty well at the Reebok camp and then I started talking a little bit to coach Crean so it’s been a great experience,” Humphrey said. “I’ve had really great conversations with him just telling me that I definitely need to keep improving but they really like the way I play.”

Humphrey, also a high school quarterback, has grown about three inches in the last year, and his AAU coaches said he isn’t finished growing yet.

“He’s gonna be close to 7-feet, if not more than 7-feet,” Arizona Magic coach Gino Crump told Inside the Hall. “He’s still got a baby face. Go look at videos of him, he still looks like a baby. Those growth plates are open.”


HD Video: Goodluck Okonoboh at the 2013 adidas Invitational

INDIANAPOLIS — Class of 2014 Wilbraham and Monson Academy (Ma.) forward Goodluck Okonoboh is a top recruiting target for programs like Duke, Indiana, Louisville and Syracuse and was one of the standouts of last week’s adidas Invitational in Indianapolis.

Inside the Hall has compiled more than six minutes of footage of Okonoboh, who was dominant at times for his Mass Rivals team, in the embedded media player below:


· Goodluck Okonoboh’s recruitment following similar path to that of Noah Vonleh
· Goodluck Okonoboh on shot blocking: “It’s an art”

Notebook: Vonleh adjusts to life as a Hoosier

NV001Ever since Noah Vonleh arrived on campus on May 29, the Indiana coaching staff has raved about the incoming freshman’s work ethic. Assistant coach Kenny Johnson went as far as to say Vonleh would move a cot into Cook Hall and sleep there if he could.

On Tuesday afternoon, Vonleh addressed the media for the first time as a Hoosier. The 6-foot-9 forward said he’s gained 20 pounds in the month and a half he’s been in Bloomington because of the team’s intense weight lifting workouts.

“I wasn’t used to that at prep school, so that was a big adjustment,” Vonleh said of the weight lifting. “I put on a lot of weight and am getting stronger.

“I just like to be in the gym all the time, getting better, getting my shot better because I’m going to be playing against a lot of guys that are a lot older than me next year.”

Vonleh recently participated in the LeBron James Skills Academy camp in Las Vegas as a college counselor. He was the youngest college player there (he’s 17 years old), but he managed to hold his own against some of the nation’s top talent.

“I went in there and worked hard,” Vonleh said. “I was talking a lot because a lot of the guys there weren’t really talking. [ESPN’s] Jay Bilas came up to me. He said, ‘Your leadership and talking can become a great strength if you keep working on it.'”

Vonleh and Bilas had an extended conversation in which Bilas told Vonleh to continue to work on staying low in the post, making his moves quick, and becoming more decisive when making a move.

Vonleh said he took those suggestions to heart and has worked on improving in those areas since he’s returned to the team.

“He’s a real good player,” sophomore forward Jeremy Hollowell said of Vonleh. “The biggest thing I’ve seen is that he’s willing to learn, he’s always wanting to improve his game, he’s coachable and just how hard he works day in and day out in practice. He’s always going to go hard and he’s always going to give it his best.”

Etherington not 100 percent, but close

Junior guard Austin Etherington isn’t yet back to full contact after fracturing his patella last December, but he continues to make progress in his rehabilitation.


HD Video: Returnees, Gordon, Vonleh address media

Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Evan Gordon, Austin Etherington, Jeremy Hollowell and Noah Vonleh met with the media on Tuesday afternoon at Assembly Hall to discuss leadership, offseason progress in the program and much more.

Watch and listen to the 15-minute Q & A session below:

2016 guard Tyus Battle planning return trip to Bloomington

071613jcxxcIndiana has had plenty of recent success in recruiting the northeast region of the country, and the Hoosiers continue to hit that area hard.

Indiana is the first Big Ten school to have offered 2016 New Jersey guard Tyus Battle, ranked No. 7 in his class by Battle, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, took an unofficial visit to Bloomington back in February for the game against Michigan.

“It was a great experience,” Battle said at this weekend’s Peach Jam event in North Augusta, South Carolina. “The fans are crazy. Just the atmosphere was great. I talked to coach [Tom] Crean a lot and coach Kenny Johnson. It was just about the future and basketball stuff, NBA stuff.”

Battle has learned a lot about Crean by watching him coach from afar.

“He’s an energetic guy. He likes to get after it. Sometimes I think he wants to be on the floor too,” Battle said, laughing. “He’s a great guy.”

Like many recruits, Battle is attracted to Indiana because of the way Crean and his staff have developed players in recent years. Battle specifically pointed to Victor Oladipo, who was selected second overall by the Orlando Magic in last month’s NBA Draft.

Battle said he likes to get to the basket and called himself a “pretty good” defender. He averaged 11 points per game as a freshman at Gill St. Bernard’s School last season. He was also selected for the  2013-14USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team roster.

Battle also has offers from Connecticut, Syracuse, Cincinnati and Miami (Fl.), among others. He has taken an unofficial visit to Connecticut. Battle said he was supposed to take a return visit to Indiana on June 20, but had to cancel it because “something came up.”

He said he plans to take another trip to Bloomington soon, possibly in August.


Malachi Richardson shines at Nike Peach Jam

DD5D1692-LClass of 2015 New Jersey wing Malachi Richardson, one of Indiana’s top recruiting targets, was one of the top players at last week’s EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam.

The 6-foot-6 Richardson, ranked the No. 11 prospect overall in his class by, averaged 15.9 points over seven games and helped lead Team Final to the event’s semifinals.

Indiana continued its strong pursuit of Richardson at the event as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Kenny Johnson and Tom Crean were courtside for several games.

The Hoosiers, along with schools like Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown, Miami (FL), Ohio State and Syracuse, are the schools recruiting Richardson the hardest. He’s expected to get his first look at Bloomington next month when he takes an unofficial visit with his family.

“It’ll probably be either the third or fourth week in August,” Richardson told Inside the Hall in North Augusta, South Carolina. “I just want to meet some of the players, talk to the players about coach Crean and the coaching staff, and see how the campus is.”

Crean and Johnson have continued to communicate consistently with Richardson, who is now able to receive unlimited phone and text contact with schools now that June 15 has passed for rising juniors.

“We talk probably three or four times a week,” he said. “We talk about different things: life, basketball, school. Everything.”

As a sophomore, Richardson helped lead Roselle Catholic to the NJSIAA Non-Public B championship and the 2013 NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title.

While he’s not naming any favorites at this point in the process, it’s clear Indiana continues to make a strong impression on the five-star wing.