It’s not often that a player with such limited high school action under his belt rises to a top 40 national ranking.
But that’s exactly the case with 2011 Florissant (MO) combo guard B.J. Young.
The 6-2 Young, who transferred to McCluer North after being dismissed from the team as a junior at Hazelwood Central for an undisclosed reason, was one of the top performers at the Elite Camp earlier this month. Scout.com ranks him as a four-star prospect and the No. 39 player nationally in the 2011 class.
His visit to Bloomington for the Elite Camp was such a positive experience that it prompted Young to tell Jody Demling of The Courier-Journal that IU is one of his frontrunners.
“I really, really like IU,” Young told Inside the Hall. “I like Coach McClain and Coach Crean a lot. They showed me a good time at the Elite Camp. The new facility, I love the 24/7 access to the gym. I just loved the whole Indiana experience. I might like to go there one day.”
Young, who is playing AAU with St. Louis Gameface, reeled off a list of schools that includes includes Marquette, Purdue, Baylor, Arizona, Southern Illinois, Missouri State, St. Louis, Illinois State and Virginia Tech. He said his ability to create his shot helped him stand out with the IU staff.
“They like the way I create my own shot and create for others,” he said. “I went hard through all the drills and picked up my intensity for the whole camp. I think they liked the energy I brought to the game and my slashing ability.”
It didn’t take long for Chane Behanan’s NBA Top 100 Camp performance to result in a new scholarship offer for the 6-8 forward from Bowling Green (KY).
The NBA Top 100 Camp MVP confirmed to Inside the Hall that Tom Crean called him on Sunday with an offer.
“They’ve been watching me and another scholarship has opened,” Behanan said. “They want to bring me up and show me around sometime this week or next week.”
The Cincinnati native, who moved to Bowling Green last summer, said that he hopes to set the visit up soon.
“I told Coach to give my Mom a call sometime this week and we’ll set it up and I’ll be on my way up there,” he said.
Behanan, a four-star player that could move up considerably in the rankings after his performance in Charlottesville, was the third leading scorer in the camp at 14.7 ppg. He originally committed to Cincinnati before opening up the process last August.
“It was a good experience for me going up there and playing in front of all of those scouts and being coached by Mo Evans of the Atlanta Hawks and Gary Trent,” Behanan said. “Just being coached by them and learning from them was really a good thing. I don’t think I ever took a break on offense or defense. I rebounded defensively and offensively, moved without the ball. I think that’s what that separated me.”
While Behanan’s list of schools includes Alabama, Cincinnati, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue, Texas and West Virginia, he said he doesn’t have a leader at this point.
“I’m open,” he said.
(Photo credit: Rivals.com)
Jeremy Hollowell, the versatile 6-7 wing in the 2012 class from Lawrence Central in Indianapolis, fielded numerous calls this week as June 15 marked the first day college coaches could call juniors-to-be per NCAA rules.
In addition to hearing from Tom Crean, Hollowell also heard from three new schools — Florida, Michigan and Southern Illinois — as well as Ohio State, Tennessee, Illinois, Xavier, Cincinnati, Indiana State and Miami (FL).
The message from Crean continues to stress the opportunity to be a part of something special in Bloomington.
“He just keeps telling me to keep working,” Hollowell said. “He’d like to use me as a 2-3-4, somebody he can interchange and play multiple positions and also guard multiple positions. He also talks about the tradition, how our class is real important and bringing it all back together.”
Hollowell, who plays for the Eric Gordon All-Stars, said that the chance for immediate minutes could help the Hoosiers.
“It can help a little in a certain way,” he said. “You get a chance to go in and play right away.”
Another school that figures to be a factor with Hollowell is Ohio State, where he’s visited several times and recently played pickup games with National Player of the Year Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger, who will be a freshman next season.
“I like Ohio State,” Hollowell said. “I’m from Ohio so I grew up watching them a lot. I used to like watching them when Mike Conley and Greg Oden were there. The coaches are pretty cool. They’re real good guys. I really like the school and the coaches.”
As the recruiting game continues to place an emphasis on identifying talent at an early age, the Indiana staff is hitting the ground running with the class of 2013.
A trio of AAU teammates — Hamilton Southeastern’s Zak Irvin, Heritage Christian’s Basil Smotherman and Warren Central’s Devin Davis (pictured) — have been offered scholarships by Indiana.
“No one can say that Coach Crean isn’t putting the emphasis on Indiana kids now,” Matt Green, who coaches the group on the Eric Gordon All-Stars, told Inside the Hall. “He’s going after the top kids in that class.”
According to Green, Davis was offered on an unofficial visit to Bloomington last month while Irvin and Smotherman picked up offers at this past weekend’s Elite Camp.
The 6-6 Davis and 6-4 Smotherman both started varsity on their high school teams this past season, but Irvin, a 6-4 guard, has yet to log a minute above the junior varsity level. Still, the IU staff saw the potential to give Irvin the early offer, which was his first.
“With Irvin, it’s a little different because he didn’t play any varsity. He’s played good in the spring,” Green said. “Coach Crean puts his eyes on him at Elite Camp and likes what he sees. Some could say he pulled the trigger early with him never having varsity time and some could say he winds up being a legit, very-high profile kid and hey, he rolled the dice and got it right.”
After missing time earlier this spring with a stress fracture in his back, Austin Etherington returned to the court at last month’s Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. And while he’s not yet back to full strength, the 2011 Hamilton Heights guard is feeling better each day.
“I’m starting to feel back to my normal self,” Etherington told Inside the Hall on Sunday. “The doctor, the last time I saw him, he said I was only 70 percent, but I could still play. I feel like I’m better than 70 percent now, but I’m still a little slow on my first step. My back doesn’t bother me when I play, so that’s good.”
With some time off in June from AAU, the IU commit made the trip to Bloomington on Sunday for the Elite Camp and will also travel to Charlottesville next week for the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp on the campus of the University of Virginia.
Etherington said he enjoyed the opportunity on Sunday in Bloomington to get to know incoming recruit Victor Oladipo better and also picked up some advice from Tom Crean.
“Everytime I see Coach, he tells me to keep working on my ball handling and my shooting because you can never not need to improve on those kind of things,” Etherington said.
With his decision out of the way, Etherington’s month of July will be much different than many of his Indiana Elite teammates who will be looking to make an impression on college coaches.
Aaron Thomas, a 6-4, four-star guard from Aiken High School in Cincinnati, is one of the top prospects Indiana expects at this weekend’s Elite Camp in Bloomington.
The Elite Camp, which is closed to the media and the public, will take place on Saturday and Sunday.
Tim Johnson, one of Thomas’ coaches on the Queen City Prophets, told Inside the Hall on Thursday night that the Cincinnati native is looking forward to the weekend.
“He loves coming to Bloomington,” Johnson said. “He likes Coach Crean. He definitely loves the new facilities. He’s always looking forward to competition. He’s pretty excited.”
After Thomas told a group of assembled media at last month’s adidas May Classic that Indiana had offered a scholarship, there were later conflicting reports that an offer had not been officially extended by the IU staff.
Johnson, however, believes the offer is indeed on the table.
“It’s my understanding that he he has an offer from Indiana,” he said.
Thomas, who averaged 22.1 points per game as a junior at Aiken and was named the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference Player of the Year, does not appear to be any closer to a decision than he was a month ago.
“He’ll definitely wait until July,” Johnson said.
In case you missed it, here’s the video interview with Thomas from last month’s adidas May Classic:
The Essentials: 6-6, 195-lb forward for Lawrence Central and Eric Gordon Central Stars
The Schools: Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Tennessee and Xavier have offered scholarships. Florida, Louisville and Michigan have expressed interest.
The Numbers: 17.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg for Lawrence Central, which finished 8-13.
The Leaders: Hollowell told Mike Pegram of Peegs.com at the adidas May Classic that Indiana and Ohio State are two schools that stand out. Hollowell is originally from Ohio.
The Quote: “They (Ohio State) might have a little edge because I’m from Ohio. But it’s the same with Indiana, too. I’m still keeping it open.” – Hollowell to Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star.
The Scout Says: “Thanks to his performance in Bloomington, Hollowell’s stock is on the rise. A near 6-foot-6 wing with a pretty complete game, things seem to come easy to Hollowell. He handles well enough to create his own offense, has size to post up other wings and he can shoot the ball with range. He’s also a competitor who is willing to take a tough defensive challenge and help out on the glass.” – Rivals.com analyst Eric Bossi on Hollowell’s performance at the adidas May Classic.
The Video Interview (courtesy of Jody Demling):