Recruiting Archive

Recruiting notebook: Indiana watches T.J. Leaf, visits Ryan Anderson


Indiana’s recruiting efforts on the west coast over the weekend started in Arizona, but they didn’t end there.

After landing a commitment from 2014 center Jeremiah April of Westwind Prep on Friday night, Tom Crean made his way to El Cajon, California to watch one of the program’s top class of 2016 targets, T.J. Leaf.

Rated the No. 19 player nationally in the 247Composite, Leaf has already been on three unofficial visits to Bloomington and his father, Brad, was a standout at the University of Evansville.

Leaf averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds as a sophomore at Foothills Christian and has scholarship offers from Arizona, Gonzaga, Indiana, UCLA and several others.

Following his unofficial visit to Bloomington in September, Leaf spoke to Inside the Hall about that experience and how he could see himself fitting in at IU.

“It seems like I would fit really well in their system,” he said. “I like coach Crean and I like all of the coaches and what they’re doing there. I was just really impressed.”

Leaf’s other visits to Bloomington came in November for IU’s season opener against Chicago State and in January for IU’s Big Ten home opener against Michigan State.

On Saturday, Crean continued his west coast trip and made an in-home visit to Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson, who is from Lakewood, California.

The 6-foot-9, 216 pound forward, who averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game as a junior, has one year of eligibility remaining, but is expected to sit out the 2014-2015 season and play his final year in 2015-2016.


Class of 2014 center Jeremiah April commits to IU


Indiana added a fourth member to its 2014 recruiting class on Friday night as Westwind Prep (Ariz.) Jeremiah April announced a commitment to the Hoosiers.

April, who also had offers from Arizona State, Marquette and Washington State, according to his high school coach, chose the Hoosiers after meeting with Tom Crean and associate head coach Steve McClain on Friday. He said the coaching staff played a major role in his decision to commit to Indiana.

“I got a good vibe from them and the goals they want to achieve,” April told Inside the Hall by phone.

A native of Joliet, Illinois, April said being closer to home also played a role in his decision as well as the program’s tradition. Westwind Prep Jai Steadman said April’s recruitment had picked up in recent weeks. He was originally a member of the 2013 class at Sunrise Joy Christian in Arizona, but returned for a postgrad season at Westwind Prep.

“Steve McClain did a great job with Jeremiah,” Steadman told Inside the Hall. “Their tradition, developing players, the conference, coach McClain did a great job of selling everything. Crean came in and finished the deal.”

Unranked by most of the national recruiting services, Steadman said April has improved offensively this season, but noted that his strength and conditioning will be key upon his arrival in Bloomington.


Video: Hoetzel, Johnson at Night of the Future Stars


FLOYDS KNOBS, Ind. — Indiana class of 2014 signees Max Hoetzel and Robert Johnson participated in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic Night of the Future Stars on Thursday evening at Floyd Central High School.

Hoetzel and Johnson were teammates in the 2-on-2 contest and fell 12-7 in the opening round to Jared Nickens (Maryland) and Jonah Bolden (UCLA).

In the 3-point shootout, both players advanced to the finals, which will be held at halftime of Friday’s Derby Festival Basketball Classic at Freedom Hall.

Hoetzel’s 15 points led all four finalists while Robert Johnson and Louisville signee Quentin Snider (13 points each) won a tiebreaker with Chris Chiozza (Florida) to advance to the finals. Florida signee Brandone Francis is the other 3-point shootout finalist.

Video of both Hoetzel and Johnson in the 3-point shootout is available after the jump.


Q & A: Class of 2016 guard Kyle Guy talks recruiting


INDIANAPOLIS — 6-foot-2 guard Kyle Guy isn’t hesitant to challenge himself.

As a sophomore at Lawrence Central, he dealt with double teams and face-guarding all season. Just two weeks ago, it was revealed he would be leaving his former AAU team to join Indiana Elite 2015 and play a more competitive, national schedule.

This past Saturday, Inside the Hall caught up with Guy, the No. 76 player nationally in his class according to the 247Composite, at the Indyball Shootout after his first two games with his new team. Guy spoke about his new AAU team, his recruitment and one part of his game not many people know about:

With it being your first couple of games with Indiana Elite, how do you think they went?

I thought we played really, really well, especially the first game. We looked really good together, offense was looking really smooth. Second game we got a little out of sorts with the other team playing really aggressive, but I thought we handled it really well.

Why did you decide to move to Indiana Elite?

I always try to play with the best and against the best, especially against the best. And this team plays a hell of a schedule, and they’re one of the best teams in the country, so I just felt like this was right spot for me.

Having just finished your sophomore season at Lawrence Central, how do you feel that went?

I’m probably never satisfied just because I know I can always get better. I’m always working to improve and I played really well because I felt there’s a target on my back this year — I had a lot of double-teams and face-guarding and whatnot. But I thought I handled it pretty well.

How has your recruitment been going, as well?


Paul Scruggs brings energy to loaded Indy Hoosiers


INDIANAPOLIS — During a game this past Saturday at the Indyball Shootout, 2017 guard Paul Scruggs slowly brought the ball up the court, then suddenly burst into a sprint toward the hoop, catching the defense off-guard and assisting to an open player for the lay-up. It’s a common occurrence.

Scruggs is a big part of the 2017 Indy Hoosiers squad that has won AAU National Championships and is back playing with them after finishing his freshman season at Southport. And before he even started his first high school season, the 6-foot-3 freshman had an offer from Indiana.

“All I can really say is I’m just blessed,” Scruggs said.

Scruggs has made his mark alongside AAU teammates and fellow IU offer recipients Kris Wilkes and Zach Gunn. While Wilkes brings athleticism to the table and Gunn specializes in shooting, Scruggs said he is proud of his on-court energy.

“When I come into the game, I just bring the hypeness, bring the energy,” he said. “Try to get people going, get a couple steals and points and stuff like that.”

In his first season at Southport, Scruggs tried to do just that. After a rocky start to the season, the Cardinals won seven of their final eight games before losing to Pike in the Ben Davis sectional final, finishing the season 15-8 after going 1-19 just a year ago. But the result still left Scruggs unsatisfied.


Q & A: 2017 Hamilton Southeastern wing Zach Gunn


INDIANAPOLIS — In a class that has played only one season of high school basketball, Zach Gunn is one of the few that already has high-major schools interested in him.

The class of 2017 6-foot-6 Hamilton Southeastern wing, who was the only freshman on his school’s varsity roster, already has an offer from Indiana and is receiving interest from multiple schools.

This past Saturday, Inside the Hall caught up with Gunn, a member of the 2017 GRIND Indy Hoosiers team, at the Indyball Shootout, following their first two games of the 2014 season.

You guys played your first couple games of the AAU season today. How do you think you guys looked out there?

“I think we looked good. We looked really fluid. We’ve got to work on some things. We didn’t shoot the ball great, didn’t box out, but it’s going good. I think it’s going to be a well-oiled machine.”

What are you most looking forward to during this AAU season?

“Just winning. We’ve all been together since second or third grade. We’ve all been together. We’ve had times at Nationals where we’ve lost and we’ve had times where we’ve won. And I think all these guys enjoy being around each other and I enjoy being around them.”

How’d you feel out on the court?

“I felt good. I need to get in shape a little more. The shot was falling on and off. And once I hit one I felt good. Once I missed one I hesitated. But I think it’s going to go good. Keep on shooting, and I’m going to be fine.”


Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson to visit Indiana


Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson will visit Indiana on May 5, he announced today on Twitter.

The 6-foot-9, 216 pound forward, who averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game as a junior, has one year of eligibility remaining, but is expected to sit out the 2014-2015 season and play his final year in 2015-2016.

Per reports, Anderson is expected to have right shoulder surgery on Tuesday and then be out for four to six months.

“For everybody asking, I’m sitting out a year to get healthy and stronger then I will play the following year,” Anderson said April 8 on Twitter.

Anderson is also expected to visit Iowa State (May 2) and Arizona (May 8). He is a native of Lakewood, California.

(Photo credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports)

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