In an interview with Michael Rothstein of The Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette, Bishop Luers junior and Ohio State commit DeShaun Thomas says he’ll honor his commitment and play for the Buckeyes. This, according to Thomas, is despite pressure from teachers, friends, strangers and students to attend IU:
“It’s an every-day thing. It’s ‘Are you going to transfer? Are you going to go to IU? Why Ohio State?’ I told everybody it’s what’s best for me. It’s a lot of pressure, but I stay in my books, not worry about it too much. I’m only a junior, I got one more year and then just worry about it next year.”
Call me a blind optimist or call me crazy, but I still refuse to count Tom Crean out of this race. Thomas made his commitment to Ohio State long before Crean arrived in Bloomington and the 2010-2011 season should be big for the program. The practice facility will have opened and the Hoosiers should be in the thick of the Big Ten race. In other words, like Crean told Marquis Teague, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that kind of environment?
(Photo Credit: ESPN Rise)
The notion it’s a foregone conclusion that Marquis Teague will play for Rick Pitino at Louisville is all but gone. Several weeks ago, I had numerous people tell me it was a lock for Teague to be a Cardinal. But as his high school season ended and the Pike sophomore didn’t make an announcement, the window of opportunity for other schools to get back in the mix opened. And Indiana is one of the schools that has done just that.
Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star talked to Teague about the six schools still in contention: IU, Louisville, Cincinnati, Purdue, Ohio State and Wake Forest. Here are Teague’s comments about the Indiana program:
“(Tom Crean) is a great coach. When I went to the games, he was almost recruiting me during the game. He would say, ‘You want to be part of this environment, don’t you?’ He’s great. I love him. I went to three or four games and went down another time to visit around the campus.”
If you don’t check out the entire piece by Neddenriep, there’s one thing that stands out: Teague only used the word “love” when talking about Coach Crean. And his comments about Louisville don’t suggest that he’s dead set on the Cardinals like some have suggested. If you’re unfamiliar with Teague’s game, you can watch this video I shot back in January when Pike played Jordan Hulls and Bloomington South.
(Thanks for ITH reader Kelin for the tip.)
Photo credit: Indianapolis Star
According to a tip we received early this evening, Lawrence North junior Dominique Ferguson has de-committed from the University of Kentucky. It was speculated after the coaching change in Lexington that Ferguson would re-open his recruiting process and a tipster tells Inside the Hall that Ferguson has done just that.
8:30 PM Update: Ferguson has confirmed to Inside the Hall that he has re-opened the recruiting process.
8:15 PM Update: Our friend Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier-Journal has confirmed that the five-star forward has re-opened the recruiting process with Ferguson’s father, Deon. The report says that IU is “no doubt” one of the schools Ferguson will consider.
Darius Smith, a 6-2 point guard from Marshall high school in Chicago, has committed to Jim Calhoun and the Connecticut Huskies. Indiana hoped to add Smith during the spring signing period, but the opening at point guard created by the departure of A.J. Price was the selling point for the Huskies.
Here’s what Smith told The Chicago Tribune about the decision:
“UConn’s style of play is my style of play–up and down the court. With A.J. Price a senior, this was a good fit for them and for me. I pride myself on doing it at both ends of the court, just like him. I like the program and get along real well with the coaching staff. I will be a true point guard there.”
Indiana won’t be affected much, if at all, by this decision because the Hoosiers have three solid point guards on next year’s roster. And barring an unforeseen development, Smith’s commitment likely signals the end of IU’s recruiting for the 2009 class.
I just got a call from a friend at the morning session of the state finals at Conseco Fieldhouse and Tom Crean is there taking in the action between Bishop Luers and Brownstown. Crean is signing autographs for IU fans and is also getting a chance to see DeShaun Thomas, one of the top juniors in the country from Bishop Luers in Ft. Wayne
Thomas verbally committed to Thad Matta and Ohio State in June of 2007, but the long standing speculation has been that the commitment may not be firm.
Last night, Crean attended the Sweet 16 games of the Midwest Regional at Lucas Oil Stadium and will likely watch Jordan Hulls and Bloomington South try to complete their perfect season against Ft. Wayne Snider later today.
You remember Dominique Ferguson, right? IU was hot on his trail until the whole Kelvin Sampson fiasco. And then out of the blue last April, he verbally committed to Billy Gillispie and Kentucky.
But with today’s firing of Gillispie, it’s looking like a strong possibility that the 6-9 Ferguson may soon be back on the board. Jody Demling of The Louisville Courier-Journal has the scoop:
Deon Ferguson, the father of the University of Kentucky’s most prized recruit in any class, said there’s a “strong possibility” his son might re-open the recruiting process.
“Right now, he’s thinking about the possibility of decommitting. I would say there’s a strong possibility that he re-opens the process.”
It’s hard to say at this point what level of interest, if any, Ferguson would have in the Indiana program. But if a top 10 player nationally gets back on the open market just 50 miles up the road, you’d better believe Tom Crean will be finding out.
Alex has been slurping Bloomington South’s Jordan Hulls the last few months, and deservedly so: He’s been having quite the impressive season and has his team on the verge of a state title.
Alex has not been the only one noticing the play of Hulls, though. Gatorade has named him the Indiana Player of the Year. He joins some pretty good company the last few years as Tyler Zeller was your winner last year, Eric Gordon grabbed it two years back, Greg Oden snatched it the previous two years, and um, A.J. Ratliff won it the year before that.
As the Basketblog notes, Mr. Basketball isn’t announced for another two weeks, but one could assume Hulls has a good shot at that one, too.