As expected, Indiana received its first 2012 commitment on Monday night as Peter Jurkin gave a verbal pledge to the Hoosiers during halftime of the adidas Nations Global Challenge championship game in Chicago.
“I have decided to commit to Indiana University. It’s a good college. Good coach. I like it,” Jurkin said on the broadcast.
Jurkin, a 7-0, 200-pound native of Sudan, plays at United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina and for Indiana Elite Team Indiana. He is not ranked by Rivals.com and is listed as a three-star prospect by Scout.com, but that is expected to change based on his play during the July evaluation period.
Here’s Inside the Hall’s scouting report on Jurkin from the adidas Invitational and the Kentucky Hoopfest:
There are a lot of things to like about Jurkin’s size. He’s a legit 7-footer and does a stellar job defending the lane. His length is such that he can often block shots by simply standing his ground with his arms up. He also runs the floor extremely well and shows a pretty nice touch from the foul line. A bit concerning, however, is his lack of upper body strength. It’s no fault of Jurkin’s, but he’ll need to improve in that area to become a real difference maker at the next level. Offensively, he’s still pretty raw and will need to continue developing a go-to post move or two. Still, his ceiling is high enough that it’s a bit surprising he’s not held in a higher regard by the national scouts.
We’ll have more on Jurkin’s commitment later as Ryan was in attendance tonight in Chicago.
(Photo credit: Rivals.com)
The state of Indiana is known for producing a plethora of Division 1 talent and the class of 2012 is no exception. This class features at least 10 high-major players and plenty of other players who could make an impact for mid-majors and low-majors. Direct any questions to the comment section and I’ll be glad to answer all of them.
15. Harry Wills 6’3 PG (Ben Davis) – Wills is a sleeper in this loaded class. He’s very quick, has good vision, and good passing ability, making him a strong floor general. He’s a tough defender who won’t give up any easy buckets or plays to his man. Wills is a good athlete and can finish against bigger opponents at the rim. He needs to develop his jump shot and could be a big steal if he improves his shooting.
14. Nick Osborne 6’8 PF (Muncie Central) – An extremely athletic big man with a great nose for the ball, Osborne excels at fighting for tough rebounds and earning points on the offensive glass. Osborne is very strong and is able to out-muscle and out-hustle opponents for loose balls and rebounds. He needs to expand his offensive game some, but he can knock down the open jumper if tested.
13. Ronnie Johnson 5’9 PG (North Central) – Ronnie is an ultra quick left-handed lead guard with great vision and supreme passing skills. He’s not a great shooter, but has a knack for hitting the mid-range floater and can score buckets at the rim. He’s the kind of player who can impact a game without scoring a single point. He needs to get stronger and improve his shooting, but he could be a big time coup for a mid-major program.
12. Kellen Dunham 6’4 SG (Pendleton Heights) – He’s arguably the best shooter in the state. He can knock down shots off the dribble, catch and shoot, or in transition. His ball-handling is improving and he’s showing increased ability to get to the rim and score. Dunham’s also one of the best free throw shooters in the state, converting at a rate of 89 percent during the high school season. He needs to get stronger and quicker to help transition to the college game, but he’s the kind of player you can see excelling at Butler.
According to a report by the Washington Times-Herald, 2011 Washington (IN) forward Cody Zeller has trimmed his list of schools to three.
And as expected, there are no surprises: Zeller’s final three are Indiana, Butler and North Carolina:
“It was a hard decision, but those three were in front by a lot. I have five official visits I could take, but I didn’t want to lead anyone on,” Zeller said.
“There is all the tradition at Carolina and that is special. Coach (Tom) Crean has done a great job turning things around at Indiana and Butler is such a good team year-in-and-year-out. They have one of the best young coaches in the country. All three coaches are great people,” Zeller added.
Not much to add here beyond the obvious, but despite what has been written elsewhere, IU’s chances to land Zeller are certainly as legitimate as UNC’s or Butler’s. The next step, if Zeller sticks to his original plan, will be to set up official visits in the fall before signing a National Letter of Intent in November.
Joe Eberhardt, the editor and creator of Indy Hoops Blog, was in attendance this past weekend at the ChicagoHoops.com End of Season Showdown in Merrillville, Indiana. Also in attendance: A trio of Indiana coaches: Tom Crean, Bennie Seltzer and Steve McClain.
Joe’s thoughts and observations on several 2012 and 2013 prospects with IU interest are included in the report below. Follow Joe on Twitter by clicking here.
Class of 2012
Gary Harris, Hamilton Southeastern (IN): Gary showed a complete game this weekend, knocking down jump shots when given space, but going to the rim for buckets too. In a game against Mac Irvin Fire he hit five 3-pointers, and knocked down several mid-range jumpers on his way to a 28-point performance. In a game against the Rockford Ambassadors, Harris attacked the defense primarily off the dribble, scoring 22 points. Perhaps what was most impressive about Gary was his willingness to get after it on the defensive end of the court. He racked up several steals in all his games, and used his length to impact the glass and block a couple shots. There really wasn’t much Gary didn’t do in Merrillville, showing off athleticism, ball-handling, smooth shooting touch, and game changing defense. Something to keep in mind is that he’s doing this all while still recovering from an ankle injury.
Hanner Perea, LaPorte La Lumiere (IN): Perea (pictured) appears to be close to regular form after suffering a nasty ankle injury at the Adidas Invitational in early July. He’s still an athletic freak, blocking any shot in his vicinity on defense, and throwing down any possible dunk on offense. His athleticism is so elite that he makes very difficult plays look easy. This weekend he did a great job drawing contact on plays and getting to the foul line. He’s got a great free throw stroke for being considered a relatively raw offensive player. Perea did show a few nice flashes of an expanded offensive game this weekend, looking comfortable shooting the mid-range jumper and playing with his back to the basket some. He did knock down a nice hook shot from 7′ out, and while I’m not ready to declare him the most skilled big man of all time, it’s encouraging to see him put an emphasis on expanding his game.
Jeremy Hollowell, Lawrence Central (IN): The talented wing player is continuing his strong summer playing with the Eric Gordon 16u AAU team. I’d be lying if I said he was the most productive player on the circuit, but he just has so many tools to impact the game. He’s a legitimate 6’7, can handle the ball like a guard, and has the length to impact the glass as well. This weekend he was very aggressive off the dribble, taking opponents to the rim first and knocking down his shot second. He also showed off great athleticism, catching a couple ally-oop dunks and finishing some acrobatic lay ups.
If Austin Etherington moved out of the national rankings as a result of missing significant time this past spring, perhaps his performances in July will prove his name belongs amongst the country’s elite high school players.
The 6-6, 190-pound Hamilton Heights guard returned from a stress fracture in his back at the end of May and by the time he reached Las Vegas in late July for the adidas Super 64, his game was clicking on all cylinders.
“I feel like I’m back to normal and playing well,” Etherington told Inside the Hall. “But I can always get better. I felt like I proved myself in Vegas and other times in July, so we’ll just see what happens.”
Playing on a loaded Indiana Elite roster with several high-major prospects, Etherington said lessons in teamwork were the major takeaway from the spring and summer.
“Relying on your teammates is one thing you gotta learn when you get to this level,” he said. “Everyone is capable of making plays so it’s something you have to get used to and not do it all yourself.”
The end of AAU means less time for Etherington with two friends he’s drawn closer to over the summer — Washington’s Cody Zeller and Park Tudor’s Yogi Ferrell.
Although the IU commit says he’ll touch base periodically with several of his teammates over the fall and winter, he’ll make it a point to continue regular dialogue with Zeller and Ferrell.
“I try to stay in contact with most of them, but Yogi and Cody, I stay closest to them because I’m trying to get them to go to school with me. That’s a big thing.”
The pitch to join him at IU, Etherington says, is the same for both players. The delivery of his message, however, is different.
The speculation that has been building for weeks was correct: Medina (OH) forward Kenny Kaminski will take his game to East Lansing.
Evan Daniels of Scout.com reports, via a source, that Kaminski has given a verbal commitment to Tom Izzo and Michigan State.
The 6-7, 180-pound forward helped lead Medina to a 20-3 record as a sophomore and averaged close to 17 points and seven rebounds per game.
Kaminski chose Michigan State over Indiana, Ohio State and Wisconsin.
It was not long ago that Cincinnati Aiken’s Aaron Thomas spoke as if he might be the next piece to Indiana’s 2011 recruiting class.
But in a story published today by Brian Snow of Rivals.com, Indiana was not mentioned among the schools actively recruiting Thomas:
Aaron Thomas entered the tournament with offers from Clemson, Duquesne, Detroit, and Iowa. Purdue, Louisville, Miami, and Cincinnati have also been active in his recruitment.
After reading the story and thinking the Indiana omission might have been a misprint, we spoke with a source who indicated that contact between Thomas and IU has slowed down in recent weeks.
Another source indicated that Indiana plans to watch Thomas during the current July evaluation period, but has not offered a scholarship.
Our friend Jody Demling of The Courier-Journal tweeted tonight that he expects Louisville to “try and jump into the mix.”
Thomas, by the way, scored 38 points in a pool play game on Saturday against the New York Gauchos at the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando (FL).
(Photo credit: Jody Demling)