South Dakota Roosevelt forward Cody Larson, who received a visit from the IU coaching staff shortly after opening up the recruiting process, has given a verbal pledge to play at Florida.
Stu Whitney of The Sioux Falls Argus Leader talked to Larson on Tuesday evening about his decision:
“It’s still hard to grasp that I’m a Gator. I look forward to getting back down here and starting my college career.”
“Everything about Gainesville wowed me, especially the (players) and coaches. Coach Donovan is going to push me to get better, and the whole experience is going to be a good challenge for me.”
Not a surprising development at all, given the obstacles Larson would have needed to clear to play at another Big Ten school. The success of Mike Miller, another South Dakota kid from the same AAU program, was likely a factor in the Gators standing out above the other schools in pursuit of Larson.
Rumors began circulating on Monday that 2011 Muncie Central guard Jeremiah Davis would make an announcement this week on where he’ll play in college.
But Davis, who has maintained throughout the process that a decision would come once the right fit is found, is staying the course with that philosophy.
“My pops says he wants me to wait off for a little bit,” Davis told Inside the Hall on Monday evening. “Once I feel I’m ready to make the right decision, I’ll make the decision.”
Davis, the No. 54 player nationally in the 2011 class according to Scout.com, said he wasn’t sure where the rumors of a Wednesday announcement originated and added that his decision is not dependent on any of his peers.
“I’m not waiting for anybody,” Davis said. “Whenever I feel I’m mature enough and everything is in the right spot, that’s when I’ll make my decision.”
On April 16, Davis received a visit from one head coach on the first morning of the NCAA contact period. The visit was from Tom Crean and it gave Davis the impression that he’s a top priority for Indiana.
According to a report by Steve Batterson in Sunday’s Quad City Times, former Iowa recruit Cody Larson, who received a visit from the Indiana coaching staff last Sunday, may be unable to receive a scholarship from another Big Ten school.
The same could also be the case for Ben Brust, another Iowa signee who was granted a release from his Letter of Intent and is now receiving interest from Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Both players have learned since being released by Iowa from the national letters of intent they signed in November that they still are bound by a transfer rule which would preclude either from receiving a scholarship from another Big Ten institution.
The Big Ten rule, which has been on the books for decades, took affect when the players signed letters of intent. Because neither has attended a class at Iowa, both are attempting to appeal their eligibility for a scholarship with the Big Ten.
If the appeal by Brust and Larson is unsuccessful, both still could enroll at another Big Ten school but would be required to pay their own way and compete as walk-ons as former Hawkeye Luke Recker did after leaving Indiana and eventually enrolling at Iowa.
If Larson is unable to to attend another Big Ten school on scholarship, I’d say the chances of him coming to IU or any other school in the league are close to zero.
2011 Lawrence North big man Michael Chandler is back on the board.
Chandler, the No. 13 player in his class according to Scout.com, committed to Louisville in January of 2009 but has decided to re-open the process. Evan Daniels broke the story and offered up this insight from Chandler:
“I mean I feel as though I’m still committed to Louisville. But I’m open for other schools to recruit me. Sort of like the Austin Rivers situation.”
It’ll be interesting to see if Indiana can get into the discussion for Chandler. At 6-11, 210, he would obviously go a long way in helping the Hoosiers improve their frontcourt situation.
Just a couple of rather noteworthy things to report regarding recent recruiting developments (brought to you in alliterative form).
First, a source familiar with the situation confirmed to Inside the Hall that IU coach Tom Crean was up north today visiting with 2011 guard Jeremiah Davis. The Indiana Elite player is one of a number of talented Indiana prospects in the ’11 class prominently registering on IU’s radar, but I didn’t really need to tell you that.
We’ll try and get ahold of Davis some time this weekend and chat about this and other pertinent issues regarding his present and future.
Second, Evan Daniels of Scout is reporting via Twitter — or at least, that’s where I first saw it — that Marquis Teague will announce his college decision next Thursday, April 22.
So some wheels might start turning here soon.
Regarded as one of the best shooters in class of 2012, Pendleton Heights guard Kellen Dunham averaged 22.5 points in his sophomore campaign and led the Arabians to an 18-6 record. Inside the Hall caught up with the 6-5 junior-to-be, who is suiting up for Indiana Elite One this spring and summer, for a Q & A:
On his sophomore season at Pendleton Heights:
“I had a lot of fun this season. I think we could have been a little bit more successful in the sectional, we got to the championship game and lost to Muncie Central. I really feel like we all improved as players and our defense got a lot better.”
On the opening weekend of AAU at the IndyBall.com Shootout:
“There was some pretty good competition at IndyBall and hopefully there will be some good competition this weekend. We’re headed to Iowa.”
On his game extending beyond just being known as a shooter:
“I feel like I’m trying to set people up on the offensive end. And also working on my defense. It’s getting a little better. I’m not just a spot up shooter. I can take people off the dribble now, finish at the rim and pull up.”
On the progression of improving his jump shot:
“When I was little, I shot pretty well, but I definitely worked on my shot for a long time. I spent a lot of hours working on it.”
On his visits to Bloomington this past season and what he likes about the program:
“I went and saw the Purdue and Minnesota games at Assembly Hall and they’re showing some pretty good interest. I really like Coach Crean. He’s really fun to talk to, very knowledgeable about the game. Coach Buckley also is a very nice guy. I like the program.”
On the other schools showing interest:
“Xavier, Purdue, Butler, Michigan and Ball State.”
Schools looking for a big-time scorer in the 2011 class are beginning to take notice of Cincinnati Aiken’s Aaron Thomas.
Thomas, a 6-4, 185-pound wing, was named the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a junior as he averaged 22.1 points per game.
He shot over 56 percent from the field, 82 percent from the foul line and had four games with more than 30 points. Aiken finished the season 14-8.
“My high school season went well,” Thomas told Inside the Hall. “I was second in the city in scoring, but we lost in the second round and didn’t go as far as we did last year.”
The Indiana coaching staff began to take interest in Thomas last summer as he suited up for the Queen City Prophets and the interest has continued to blossom from both sides.
While Thomas didn’t get a chance to visit Assembly Hall last season, he did visit Bloomington last fall for a football game.
“I’m pretty high on them,” he said of Indiana. “Coach Tom Crean has history. He taught Dwyane Wade. And basketball’s the biggest sport in Indiana. I’d like to be a part of that.”
Thomas noted that he hears mostly from Crean himself and is also being recruited by West Virginia, Michigan, Cincinnati, Louisville and Ohio State.
He does not, however, have a timetable for a decision.
Indiana fans will have several opportunities to watch Thomas this spring and summer as the Queen City Prophets are expected to participate in the adidas May Classic (Bloomington), adidas Invitational (Indianapolis) and the Kentucky Hoopfest (Louisville).
(Photo credit: Rivals.com)