Q & A: Elite 2017 point guard Matt Coleman talks Indiana
Class of 2017 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) and Boo Williams point guard Matt Coleman is one of the best in the country at his position.
Ranked the No. 32 prospect nationally according to the 247Composite, Coleman continues to add offers and interest. Through seven games on Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit this spring, Coleman is averaging 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. He’s shooting 52.9 percent from the field.
Inside the Hall sat down with Coleman on Saturday morning during the second EYBL session in Westfield for an update on his recruitment and much more. Our full Q & A is available below:
How much have you been hearing from Indiana recently? Have they kept up with you recruiting wise?
“Yes, they have. As a matter of fact, I got a text before we came out here from coach (Tim) Buckley saying ‘I’m looking forward to seeing you play and I want you to know we’re still interested in you and love your game and want you to come in and run the show.'”
Which schools, as you go into your senior year, are making you a priority?
“On a daily basis, who I hear from are Arizona, Texas, Virginia, Ohio State, Florida, Indiana, Seton Hall and N.C. State. Those I hear from on a daily basis. Every day I get a text.”
What stood out to you watching Indiana play this past season and the year that they had?
“They had a really good season. Started out 7-0 in conference play. They ended up winning the conference championship. Made a good run in the (NCAA) tournament. Yogi (Ferrell) ran the show, got others involved and he was able to get the job done with putting the ball in the basket. He was their guy and he had help with Troy Williams, (James) Blackmon and those guys. Plus the freshman, Thomas Bryant. They had a really good year.”
In terms of your game, where do you feel like you’ve made the most progress recently?
“Being more aggressive and being able to take a bump. I’ve been getting a little bit stronger and I’m shooting the ball with more confidence knowing that when I shoot, it’s going to go in.”
What’s going to be your process for narrowing down a list?
“Let the summer play out. Let my four (EYBL) sessions go by. And then cut my list right after Peach Jam (in July). I know most of our seniors at Oak Hill, they made their college decisions right before the season started in October or November. So I look forward to taking my visits during that time and commit before the season starts so I can focus on my senior year.”
Do you want to take all of your official visits?
“Yeah, I do.”
Is Indiana a school you’d like to visit?
“I do want to visit. I haven’t been there and haven’t seen the campus, but I hear great things. They say it’s a college town. So everything is based on and surrounded by the university.”
(Photo credit: Jon Lopez/Nike)
2017 wing Sidney Wilson continues to build relationship with IU staff
Indiana jumped into the recruitment of class of 2017 forward Sidney Wilson last April with a scholarship offer.
The Hoosiers continue to recruit Wilson as the coaching staff watched him over the weekend at the Under Armour Association circuit stop at Best Choice Fieldhouse in Fishers.
The 6-foot-7 Wilson, who is ranked the No. 139 player nationally in the 247Composite, plays at St. Raymond’s in the Bronx, the same school that Indiana assistant coach Chuck Martin attended.
One of the things that stands out early on about the Hoosiers for Wilson is his relationship with Martin.
“We’ve got a good relationship,” he told Inside the Hall. “He just tells me to stay aggressive and keep getting better, really. Even if I don’t go to Indiana, he’s still rooting for me as a kid because he and I went to the same high school. So he’s really rooting for me any way he can.
“He’s real close to my dad, too, they talk a lot. So it’s just a really good feeling with Indiana right now.”
Through eight games this spring for New Heights on the UA Association circuit, Wilson is averaging 14.6 points on 53.2 percent shooting from the field. He’s also averaging 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 assists per game.
New Heights is 5-3 in its division and on track to qualify for the Association’s finals in mid-July just outside of Atlanta.
Wilson has been working on adding muscle to his 180-pound frame, something he knows he’ll need once he arrives in college in the fall of 2017.
“I’ve been in the weight room a lot, trying to get better and take the hits so that I can finish through contact this summer,” Wilson said. “That’s really something I’ve been priding myself on.”
As far as his recruitment goes, Wilson mentioned IU, St. John’s, Texas, Georgetown, Maryland, Iona, Florida, Temple and Cincinnati as some of the schools showing the most interest right now.
He’s already taken unofficial visits to local schools like Rutgers, St. John’s and Seton Hall, but is hoping to get a chance to see Bloomington soon.
“I was trying to visit sometime here (during this trip), but I’ve got to get back home,” he said. “I’m trying to get down here as fast as I can.”
Wilson also has a timetable for when he’ll start to get more serious about his recruitment.
“Probably at the end of the summer,” Wilson explained. “I’ll cut down my list and start taking more visits.”
(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)
POTB 126: McSwain’s impact and Blackmon Jr.’s decision to test NBA waters
In this edition of the show, Morris and Inside the Hall editor Alex Bozich are joined in the first segment by Neosho County Community College coach Jeremy Coombs to discuss Freddie McSwain. In the second segment, Inside the Hall editor Ryan Corazza joins Morris and Bozich to discuss James Blackmon Jr.’s decision to declare for the NBA draft without hiring an agent.
Among the topics discussed:
· McSwain’s skill set and how it can help Indiana
· The path McSwain took to get to junior college
· When McSwain’s recruitment took off
· Why Indiana was able to separate from other schools and earn his commitment
· What McSwain is like off the court
· Where he needs to improve to reach his ultimate goal of playing professionally
· The decision of Blackmon Jr. to enter the draft and whether it’s a good one
· How Blackmon Jr. will impact next year’s team if he returns to school
· Whether Blackmon Jr. is underrated now because of all the criticism his defense took last season
An early look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten
With the spring signing period underway and a few key NBA draft decisions out of the way (and several still to come in late May with the later deadline to withdraw), it’s time for our first look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten for the 2016-2017 season.
Illinois (15-19, 12th place tie)
· Returning: Malcolm Hill, Aaron Jordan, D.J. Williams, Jalen Coleman, Kendrick Nunn (currently suspended), Leron Black (currently suspended), Jaylon Tate (currently suspended), Maverick Morgan, Michael Finke, Mike Thorne (applying for medical hardship waiver), Jalen Coleman-Lands, Alex Austin
· Arriving: Tejon Lucas
· Departing: Khalid Lewis (graduation), Mike LaTulip (transfer)
Notes: Illinois has a lot up in the air as it enters the summer with three players suspended and Thorne attempting to get an additional year in Champaign due to injury. If John Groce hopes to survive beyond this next season, he’s going to need Nunn and Black to be reinstated.
Indiana (27-8, Big Ten champion, NCAA Sweet Sixteen)
· Returning: Thomas Bryant, Robert Johnson, OG Anunoby, Juwan Morgan, Collin Hartman, Josh Newkirk (Pittsburgh transfer becomes eligible)
· Declared for NBA draft: Troy Williams (no agent), James Blackmon Jr. (no agent)
· Arriving: De’Ron Davis (247Composite top 100), Curtis Jones (247Composite top 100), Devonte Green, Grant Gelon, Freddie McSwain
· Departing: Yogi Ferrell (graduation), Max Bielfeldt (graduation), Nick Zeisloft (graduation), Ryan Burton (graduation), Harrison Niego (transfer)
Notes: Blackmon Jr. is expected to return to school after testing the NBA waters, but there’s a good possibility Williams will opt to stay in the draft. Still, the Hoosiers have enough returning to make another run at a Big Ten championship.
Iowa (22-11, 3rd place tie, NCAA tournament round of 32)
· Returning: Ahmad Wagner, Nicolas Baer, Dom Uhl, Brady Ellingson, Christian Williams
· Declared for NBA draft: Peter Jok (no agent)
· Arriving: Tyler Cook (247Composite top 100), Cordell Pemsl, Ryan Kriener, Jordan Bohannon
· Departing: Brandon Hutton (transfer), Andrew Fleming (transfer), Jarrod Uthoff (graduation), Mike Gesell (graduation), Anthony Clemmons (graduation), Adam Woodbury (graduation)
Notes: The Hawkeyes figure to take a step back next season as they graduate four senior starters. Jok figures to return to school and if he does, he’ll be leaned on heavily for production.
Maryland (27-9, 3rd place tie, NCAA Sweet Sixteen)
· Returning: Jared Nickens, Dion Wiley, Jaylen Brantley, Michael Cekovsky, Damonte Dodd
· Declared for NBA draft: Melo Trimble (no agent), Robert Carter, Diamond Stone
· Arriving: Micah Thomas, Anthony Cowan (247Composite top 100), Kevin Huerter (247Composite top 100)
Notes: The key decision here is Trimble, who has the potential to rebound from a disappointing sophomore season and improve his NBA stock if he returns for one more season. Still, the Terps lose four starters and are likely to fall into the middle of the Big Ten standings.
Michigan (23-13, 8th place, NCAA tournament round of 32)
· Returning: Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, Kameron Chatman, Mark Donnal, Duncan Robinson, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Moritz Wagner, D.J. Wilson
· Arriving: Xavier Simpson (247Composite top 100), Jon Teske, Ibi Watson, Austin Davis
Notes: The Wolverines will also have to replace a pair of assistant coaches as Bacari Alexander is now the head coach at Detroit and Lavall Jordan took over at Milwaukee. The pieces are here, however, for Michigan to move up the Big Ten standings.
Michigan State (29-6, 2nd place, NCAA tournament round of 64)
· Returning: Eron Harris, Matt McQuaid, Gavin Schilling, Alvin Ellis, Lourawls Nairn, Kenny Goins, Kyle Ahrens
· Declared for NBA draft: Deyonta Davis
· Arriving: Miles Bridges (247Composite top 100), Cassius Winston (247Composite top 100), Josh Langford (247Composite top 100), Nick Ward (247Composite top 100)
· Departing: Denzel Valentine (graduation), Bryn Forbes (graduation), Matt Costello (graduation), Colby Wollenman (graduation), Javon Bess (transfer), Marvin Clark Jr. (transfer)
Notes: Michigan State’s ceiling isn’t as high with the news that Davis is in the draft for good, but the Big Ten’s best recruiting class arrives in East Lansing. That should be enough to make the Spartans conference contenders once again.
Minnesota (8-23, 13th place)
· Returning: Nate Mason, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBryer, Ahmad Gilbert, Bakary Konate, Charles Buggs, Stephon Sharp, Gaston Diedhiou, Davonte Fitzgerald (Texas A&M transfer becomes eligible), Reggie Lynch (Illinois State transfer becomes eligible)
· Arriving: Amir Coffey (247Composite top 100), Eric Curry, Michael Hurt, Akeem Springs (graduate transfer from Milwaukee)
· Departing: Joey King (graduation), Kevin Dorsey (transfer), Carlos Morris (dismissed/graduation)
Notes: Things should improve in Minneapolis with three transfers added to the mix and a top 50 guard in Amir Coffey arriving in the backcourt.
Nebraska (16-18, 11th place)
· Returning: Tai Webster, Glynn Watson, Jack McVeigh, Ed Morrow, Nick Fuller, Michael Jacobson, Anton Gill (Louisville transfer becomes eligible)
Notes: The Buckeyes were hit hard by transfers, but will return their top six players if Thompson comes back to school. Given how poorly Ohio State played last season, perhaps a roster shakeup will be beneficial.
Penn State (16-16, 10th place)
· Returning: Shep Garner, Josh Reaves, Payton Banks, Isaiah Washington, Julian Moore, Deividas Zemgulis, Mike Watkins, Terrence Samuel (Connecticut transfer becomes eligible)
· Arriving: Tony Carr (247Composite top 100), Lamar Stevens (247Composite top 100), Nazeer Bostick, Joe Hampton
· Departing: Brandon Taylor (graduation), Donovan Jack (graduation), Devin Foster (graduation), Jordan Dickerson (graduation)
Notes: Penn State might finally be ready to make a run at top eight in the Big Ten standings under Pat Chambers as it welcomes a strong recruiting class to State College headlined by Carr and Stevens.
Purdue (26-9, 3rd place tie, NCAA tournament round of 64)
· Returning: Isaac Haas, Dakota Mathias, Ryan Cline, P.J. Thompson, Jacquil Taylor, Basil Smotherman
· Declared for NBA draft: Vince Edwards (no agent), Caleb Swanigan (no agent)
· Arriving: Carsen Edwards
· Departing: A.J. Hammons (graduation), Rapheal Davis (graduation), Grant Weatherford (transfer), Kendall Stephens (transfer), Johnny Hill (graduation)
Notes: Edwards and Swanigan are likely to return to West Lafayette, which should give Purdue one of the best frontcourts in the country once again.
Rutgers (7-25, 14th place)
· Returning: Mike Williams, Deshawn Freeman, Jonathan Laurent, Ibrahima Diallo, Shaquille Dorson, Nigel Johnson (Kansas State transfer becomes eligible)
· Declared for NBA draft: Corey Sanders (no agent)
Notes: The Steve Pikiell era will begin in Piscataway next winter and the roster won’t necessarily be conducive to winning in a power five league. Getting Sanders back for his sophomore season, which is expected, would be a major boost.
Wisconsin (22-13, 3rd place tie, NCAA Sweet Sixteen)
· Returning: Bronson Koenig, Ethan Happ, Zak Showalter, Vitto Brown, Brevin Pritzl, Charlie Thomas, Jordan Hill, Alex Illikainen, Khalil Iverson, Andy Van Vliet
· Declared for NBA draft: Nigel Hayes (no agent)
· Arriving: Aleem Ford, D’Mitrik Trice
· Departing: Riley Dearring (transfer), Jordan Smith (graduation)
Notes: The Badgers, assuming Hayes returns, look primed to make another run at the Big Ten title. Wisconsin hasn’t missed a beat under Greg Gard, who took over for Bo Ryan in December.
James Blackmon Jr. declares for NBA draft, won’t hire agent
In a Monday evening release, the Indiana men’s basketball program announced James Blackmon Jr. will declare for the NBA Draft, but won’t hire an agent.
From the release:
“James is going to test the waters and see where he stands in the eyes of the NBA at this time,” Tom Crean said. “He is going to go through the process with both eyes open with the goal of receiving the most complete and current evaluation possible.”
Blackmon Jr.’s decision to not hire an agent allows him the option to attend next month’s draft combine (if invited) in Chicago (May 11-15) and interview and work out for NBA teams while still being able to return to the Hoosiers next season.
The sophomore will get 10 days after the draft combine to make a decision on whether to stay in the draft or return for his junior season.
The Marion product played in just 13 games a sophomore before suffering a season-ending right knee ACL injury on the Monday before Indiana’s Big Ten opener at Rutgers.
Blackmon Jr. tore his left ACL while during his sophomore season at Fort Wayne Luers and also suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee this past offseason in Bloomington.
He averaged 15.8 points per game and shot 46.3 percent on 3-pointers in his second season.
Indiana junior forward Troy Williams has also declared for the NBA draft without hiring an agent while Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby both announced they will return to school next season.
Video: Freddie McSwain vs. Hutchinson Community College
On March 3, McSwain scored a game-high 17 points (7-of-13 shooting) as Neosho beat Hutchinson Community College, 66-58, to win the NJCAA Region VI championship. McSwain also added seven rebounds, two blocks, two turnovers, a steal, an assist and four fouls in 26 minutes.
Five-star Kris Wilkes remains a priority for Indiana in 2017
Indiana was one of the first schools to make Kris Wilkes a priority in the class of 2017 and the pursuit continues to be strong as the five-star forward concludes his junior season at North Central.
At 6-foot-8 and 195 pounds, Wilkes is a versatile player who has the ability to affect games with his length on defense and also score from both the perimeter and in the paint.
He’s once again starring this spring with the Indy Hoosiers, coached by Mike Peterson, on the Under Armour Association circuit. He was also recently named a core member of the Indiana junior all-stars that will scrimmage the seniors in two exhibitions in early June.