Friday roundup: Morgan the “warrior”, more list trims, Williams decides

Indiana has been naming a “warrior of the week” all summer for offseason workouts. This morning, the program announced via Twitter that sophomore forward Juwan Morgan is the “warrior of the summer.”

As a freshman, the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game. He’s expected to take on a much bigger role in his second season following the departure of Troy Williams and graduation of Max Bielfeldt.

Morgan underwent offseason surgery to repair a left shoulder injury and said earlier in the summer that he feels like a “brand new person.”

Indiana in top five for west coast point guard

Alex Barcello, a class of 2017 point guard from Tempe (Ariz.), announced his list of five finalists on Thursday and included Indiana on the list.

The 6-foot-2 point guard is ranked the No. 82 prospect nationally by the 247Composite.

Joining Indiana in Barcello’s top five are Arizona, Butler, Stanford and Virginia. The Hoosier coaching staff watched Barcello frequently in July.

Four finalists coming for four-star guard

Another Indiana class of 2017 recruiting target, Chaundee Brown, is expected to announce his top four schools on Saturday afternoon.

Brown, a 6-foot-5 guard from the First Academy in Florida, received a scholarship offer from the Hoosiers last month.

Florida and Kansas are two schools who are reportedly firmly in the mix for Brown, who averaged averaged 22 points, six rebounds and 1.4 assists last month in the Nike EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam.

Four-star Williams picks Louisville

Class of 2017 Fort Wayne Snider forward Malik Williams, a four-star prospect, committed to Louisville on Thursday afternoon.

The 6-foot-11 Williams also considered Georgetown, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, NC State, Purdue and UCLA.

He’s one of four prospects from the state of Indiana in the class of 2017 ranked in the top 32 of the 247Composite rankings.

Anunoby now top ranked Big Ten player on two early draft boards

OG Anunoby, once ranked the No. 280 player nationally in his high school class, is the highest ranked Big Ten player on two notable NBA draft boards entering his sophomore season at Indiana.

Anunoby, who attended last week’s adidas Nations as a college counselor but did not participate in scrimmages due to a groin injury, is ranked the No. 16 draft prospect for 2017 by ESPN’s Chad Ford and DraftExpress.com.

Ford’s top 100 for 2017 also includes Thomas Bryant, who is ranked the No. 25 prospect. Bryant is ranked just behind Michigan State freshman Miles Bridges, who came in at No. 24.

Over at DraftExpress, Anunoby also came in at No. 16 overall in an updated mock draft for 2017 with Bryant at No. 19 overall.

Anunoby averaged just 4.9 points and 2.6 rebounds as a freshman, but emerged on the national radar in conference play and the NCAA tournament. In IU’s NCAA tournament win over Kentucky, he had seven points, three rebounds and three blocks in 26 minutes.

The Jefferson City (Mo.) product is expected to take on a much larger role in the Indiana rotation as a sophomore with the departure of Troy Williams, who left early for the NBA.

A recently published list by The Big Lead of the top 50 players in college basketball for the 2016-17 season had Bryant at No. 6 overall and Anunoby at No. 27.

Other Big Ten players in Ford’s top 100 for 2017 include Miles Bridges (24), Isaac Haas (53), Nigel Hayes (63), Keita Bates-Diop (67), Melo Trimble (78), Zak Irvin (80), Josh Langford (83) and Malcolm Hill (88).

The Inside the Hall Mailbag: August 3

The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), via email, submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

CampHoosier in the premium forum writes: What kind of defenders are the incoming Freshmen and McSwain? Obviously we can only go on tape from high school and AAU but are there any takeaways you have for the guys?

The two players I expect to standout defensively in terms of the incoming players, just based on what I’ve seen and from conversations with their coaches, are Devonte Green and De’Ron Davis. Obviously, Davis still has to make his way to campus, but that’s expected to happen before classes begin on August 22.

With Davis, he’s not an elite athlete or overly explosive, but he understands positioning pretty well and blocked a ton of shots at the high school and AAU level. His high school coach, Danny Fisher, told me he’s the best big man to ever come out of Colorado and reiterated multiple times the importance of De’Ron’s defense as a reason Overland won back-to-back state championships.

In terms of Green, I haven’t seen him a ton in person, but his coach John Buck says his defense was his best asset during his senior season. And if Green wants to carve out a rotation role as a freshman, he’s going to have to bring it on that end as he competes with Josh Newkirk, Robert Johnson, James Blackmon Jr. and Curtis Jones for playing time. – Alex Bozich

GloryDazeIU in the premium forum writes: Do you see the Big Ten moving to 20 conference games like the ACC? If so, how do you think that affects IU’s non-conference schedule going forward?

Anything is possible, but I have no insight as to whether it’s something that is currently on the table or even being discussed at this point. Would I like to see it? Absolutely. The unbalanced schedule right now in the Big Ten is a bit of a joke. Trying to come up with an 18-game schedule with 14 teams is always going to lead to certain teams benefiting from an easier road. It’s obviously not realistic to have a full round-robin schedule with this many teams, but eight single plays is too many.

If it happens, I wouldn’t expect it to eliminate any of the “guarantee” or “buy” games that have become a staple of scheduling in college basketball. Athletic departments have home dates to fill and they will be filled. Losing two non-conference games would probably lessen the chances of Indiana (and other programs) playing in some of the non-conference marquee events that happen at neutral sites in the future. – Alex Bozich

twoturntables in the premium forum writes: How are are we looking after the July eval period? Has our position changed with any of the in-state recruits (Wilkes, Scruggs, Williams) and what new names have emerged that are high on IU?

IU is in a good position with several class of 2017 recruits, as we’ve outlined on our latest 2017 recruiting board. It’s still early for recruiting, but lists are beginning to get paired down and visits are also being scheduled.

In terms of position with the three names you mentioned, I’m not sure there have been any major developments to report. Wilkes has official visits coming up to UNC and UCLA and is expected to visit Indiana as well at some point. Scruggs recently took an unofficial visit to Bloomington and an official visit to Xavier is next. The Musketeers are considered the favorite by many to land Scruggs, but his Indiana visit also reportedly went very well. Ideally, Indiana would like to try to get him back on campus once again before any final decisions are made. With Williams, his latest visit was an unofficial trip to Louisville.

As far as other guys Indiana seems to be in good position with? I’d keep a close eye on these names: Tremont Waters, Jordan Tucker, Jermaine Samuels and Justin Smith. – Alex Bozich

MGDC in the premium forum writes: Since TC has been a head coach, both IU and before IU, how many of his assistants have moved on to be head coaches?

Here are the notable ones that I’m aware of: Darrin Horn, Bennie Seltzer, Tod Kowalczyk, Brian Wardle, Steve McClain and Buzz Williams. I wouldn’t really consider Williams a part of Crean’s coaching tree as he was an assistant for just one season under Crean at Marquette. Kyle Green also worked under Crean at Marquette and went on to become a head coach at Division II Lewis University and Division III Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Jon Harris, the coach at SIU Edwardsville, played for Crean at Marquette. – Alex Bozich

sknits nad in the premium forum writes: What are some changes/improvements you see that could help Hoosier Hysteria for both fans and recruits?

Overall, I think Hoosier Hysteria is a well-run, laid back event that fans and recruits enjoy every year. My only critique, and it’s a small one, is that the event sometimes tends to drag on a little longer than needed. Indiana always has a strong contingent of recruits in attendance and this year’s event should have a little extra buzz given all of the renovations to Assembly Hall. – Alex Bozich

cobussd in the premium forum writes: Since the number of scholarships available seems to be a big discussion point here and on the main site, to your knowledge have we lost a sought after recruit during Tom Crean’s coaching time because we haven’t had a scholarship available?

My stance on this, and it’s one that a lot of Indiana fans don’t and may never agree with is that the scholarship situation always works itself out. And until it doesn’t, it will remain my stance.

For some reason, there is a narrative advanced by some that this is an Indiana or a Tom Crean problem. It is not. The transfers and attrition are happening all over college basketball. Michigan had four guys transfer this offseason and there was no public outcry. But if it happened in Bloomington, you can be sure that the message boards would have been flooded with messages.

Now that this mini-rant is over: No, I am not aware of any recruit not coming to Indiana because there was no scholarship available. – Alex Bozich

@TroutyB on Twitter writes: If Tim Priller can grab a few rebounds and space the floor, could he crack the rotation? Maybe 5-10 minutes?

Highly doubtful. Tim Priller hasn’t shown us anything through his first two seasons that suggests he’ll be a part of the rotation. This season, Indiana’s frontcourt is going to be arguably more talented with Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, Juwan Morgan, De’Ron Davis, Collin Hartman and Freddie McSwain.

I don’t see Priller beating out any of those guys for minutes. And even if he did improve tremendously in the offseason, that still might not be enough to crack the rotation. – Alex Bozich

@BierUndTuba on Twitter writes: How have the workouts been this summer? Who’s dominating drills/workouts? Who’s been a surprise? Who has work to do?

If you’d like some insight into how the summer workouts have been going, I’d suggest doing a couple things. First, our podcast earlier in the offseason has some terrific insight.

Second, Indiana does a good job of posting updates on social media platforms, including Snapchat, that provide a small glimpse inside the program.

Beyond that, there’s not a ton to report because the workouts are not open and the coaches have not spoken to the media since the offseason workouts began in early June. – Alex Bozich

Recruiting roundup: Scruggs visits IU, more prospects trim lists

Class of 2017 Southport and Indy Hoosiers guard Paul Scruggs took an unofficial visit to Indiana on Monday, the first of five trips he has scheduled this fall.

Scruggs has scheduled officials visits to Xavier, Michigan State, UConn and Illinois.

A four-star prospect, Scruggs is ranked the No. 31 player nationally by the 247Composite.

Indiana a finalist for Smith, Gak

Two prospects announced their list of finalists on Monday evening and Indiana remains in the mix for both.

Class of 2017 Stevenson (Ill.) wing Justin Smith and Blair Academy (N.J.) Deng Gak both included the Hoosiers in their trimmed down lists.

Smith has been on multiple visits to Bloomington and is considering a list of seven schools: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Stanford, Villanova, Wisconsin, Xavier.

He’s ranked the No. 67 prospect in the 2017 class by the 247Composite.

Gak, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-11 center who is ranked No. 77 in the class by the 247Composite. He’s down to a list of five that includes Duke, Florida, Indiana, Kansas and Miami (FL).

A look at Thomas Bryant’s stats from adidas Nations

Indiana sophomore forward Thomas Bryant, along with teammate OG Anunoby, served as a college counselor over the weekend at adidas Nations in Garden Grove, California.

Anunoby didn’t play in the college counselor games, but did participate in some of the drills, per reports.

Bryant played in all five games for “Team Spurs” and here are his stats for all five games, along with cumulative numbers:

bryantnations

The only other Big Ten player to attend adidas Nations as a college counselor was Nebraska’s Tai Webster.

Among the other notable college players: Duke’s Frank Jackson, Louisville’s Deng Adel and Donovan Mitchell, Devonte Graham, Frank Mason and Carlton Bragg of Kansas, Butler’s Kelan Martin and North Carolina’s Justin Jackson.

Bryant, along with Troy Williams and Yogi Ferrell, served as college counselors at adidas Nations in 2015.

The finals of the high school portion of adidas Global Nations airs tonight on ESPNU beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

Five-star forward Kris Wilkes trims list to 11 schools

One of Indiana’s top recruiting targets in the class of 2017, North Central forward Kris Wilkes, has started to narrow the focus in his recruitment.

Wilkes, a five-star prospect nationally according to the 247Composite, announced that he’s down to 11 schools on Sunday.

The schools are, in no particular order: Indiana, Xavier, Butler, UCLA, Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Washington, Arizona and UConn.

Wilkes has already set dates for official visits to North Carolina (Aug. 26-28) and UCLA (Sept. 22-24).

Notable schools missing from his list are Kentucky, which didn’t offer a scholarship and in-state schools Purdue and Notre Dame.

Wilkes had a busy summer with the Indy Hoosiers, an Under Armour sponsored grassroots program. He also tried out for the USA Basketball U18 team, was a core Indiana Junior All-Star, attended Steph Curry’s camp in California and participated in the Under Armour All-America Camp in Charlotte.

Video: Ferrell discusses NBA future, next year’s Hoosiers at ProCamp

Former Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell met with the media on Saturday afternoon at his basketball ProCamp at the Twins Lakes Recreation Center in Bloomington.

Ferrell discussed his experience in the Samsung NBA Summer League, his future with the Brooklyn Nets, next year’s Indiana team and more. Watch the complete media availability below, via Alex McCarthy of Inside Indiana:

Three more Indiana non-conference games revealed

Indiana’s non-conference basketball schedule is nearly complete.

Inside the Hall has learned, via an open records request, three more non-conference home games for the 2016-2017 season.

According to signed contracts obtained by Inside the Hall, the Hoosiers will host Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Dec. 2, Houston Baptist University on Dec. 10 and Austin Peay on Dec. 22.

This brings the total of known non-conference games for next season to 12.

SIU Edwardsville finished last season 6-22, Houston Baptist was 17-17 and Austin Peay was 18-18. The Hoosiers played Austin Peay last season in Bloomington and won 102-76. The Governors went on to win the OVC tournament before losing to Kansas in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Here’s the full list of known non-conference games for next season:

· Armed Forces Classic: Nov. 11 vs. Kansas at Pearl Harbor
· vs. UMass Lowell on Nov. 16 (Indiana Classic)
· vs. Liberty on Nov. 19 (Indiana Classic)
· vs. IPFW at Fort Wayne Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 22 (Indiana Classic)
· vs. Mississippi Valley State (Date TBA, Indiana Classic, confirmed by MVSU)
· Big Ten-ACC Challenge: North Carolina at Assembly Hall on Nov. 30
· vs. SIU Edwardsville on Dec. 2
· vs. Southeast Missouri State on Dec. 4
· vs. Houston Baptist on Dec. 10
· Crossroads Classic: vs. Butler at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Dec. 17
· vs. Austin Peay on Dec. 22
· vs. Louisville at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Dec. 31

Friday roundup: Top 50 players in college basketball, recruiting visits, more

The Big Lead released its annual preseason list of the top 50 players in college basketball and two Hoosiers made the list.

Sophomore Thomas Bryant is the highest ranked Big Ten player on the list at No. 6. Sophomore OG Anunoby isn’t far behind in terms of Big Ten players on the list at No. 27 overall and the fourth highest from the league.

Other Big Ten players in the top 50: Ethan Happ (10), Melo Trimble (14), Caleb Swanigan (29), Miles Bridges (32), Nigel Hayes (41) and Peter Jok (45).

James Blackmon Jr., who suffered an ACL injury in December of 2015, was on the “just missed” portion of the rankings.

It’s worth noting that Bryant came to Indiana as the No. 20 player in the final 247Composite rankings for the 2015 class and Anunoby was No. 280 nationally in those same rankings. Indiana sells player development on the recruiting trail and Bryant and Anunoby are the two latest examples of guys outperforming their national ranking in Bloomington.

Wilkes sets pair of official visits

Class of 2017 North Central forward Kris Wilkes has set dates for two of his official visits, according to Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star.

Wilkes will visit North Carolina on Aug. 26-28 and UCLA on Sept. 22-24.

In addition, Wilkes is expect to announce a firm list of schools this weekend. He’s currently ranked the No. 14 prospect nationally in the 247Composite.

Scruggs sets visits

Paul Scruggs, an AAU teammate of Wilkes with the Indy Hoosiers and a guard for Southport, also has a plan for upcoming visits.

According to Indy Hoosiers AAU coach Mike Peterson, Scruggs will take an unofficial visit to Indiana next week followed by official visits to Xavier, Michigan State, UConn and Illinois.

Scruggs is ranked the No. 31 player nationally in the 247Composite.

McSwain completes summer school

Neosho County Community College forward and Indiana signee Freddie McSwain is finished with summer school and is expected to be in Bloomington next month.

McSwain tweeted on Thursday afternoon that his academic work is now complete:

McSwain, along with De’Ron Davis, have not been in Bloomington this summer for offseason workouts and summer school.