When college coaches watched the Albany City Rocks in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League, Emmitt Holt wasn’t the first player who jumped out in the layup line.
He’s not flashy, he’s not as tall as some of his AAU teammates and coming from a small suburban high school near Rochester (N.Y.), wasn’t a household name in recruiting circles.
But if you examined a statsheet at the end of an EYBL contest, it’s hard to dispute Holt’s production.
Through three EYBL sessions, he led the league in shot blocking and his final numbers suggest he belongs at the highest level of college basketball: 11.6 points (60.2 FG%), 7.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.
“He was our most important player,” Jimmy Hart, the director of the Albany City Rocks, told Inside the Hall. “At the end of every game, if someone asked our guys who the MVP of the team was, everyone would vote for Emmitt.”
That type of endorsement stands out, especially when you consider that the City Rocks feature several guys who are already committed to high-major programs like 2015 forwards Tyler Lydon (Syracuse) and Elijah Burns (Notre Dame).
Indiana’s 2014 recruiting class has a sixth member.
Emmitt Holt, a 6-foot-7, 225 pound forward from Webster (N.Y.), is coming to Bloomington as a member of IU’s 2014 class rather than moving to the class of 2015 and attending Vermont Academy, Inside the Hall has learned.
Holt confirmed the commitment on his Twitter account along with the following message:
“My parents always told me that the worst feeling in life is to look back and say “I wonder” because once doors close it’s rare they are reopened,” he wrote.
“Today I would like to announce that I have committed to Indiana University. I want to take the time out to thank God for giving me this opportunity along with my family, coaches, friends and everyone that has supported me along the way. #NewBeginnings #GoHoosiers.”
Holt, who reportedly wears a size 18 shoe and has a 7-foot-3 wingspan, is expected to add depth, rebounding and toughness around the rim.
In his senior season at Webster Schroeder, Holt averaged 19.8 points, 14.6 rebounds and five blocks and was a finalist for the Mr. Basketball award in New York.
He also had a highly successful AAU season, which culminated at the AAU Nationals in July in Louisville where he averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in nine games as his Albany City Rocks team finished second in the event.
Indiana is still actively recruiting for the class of 2014, but at least one of the names who was being mentioned as a potential addition will not join the program.
As first reported by Mike Miller of The Herald-Times, Inside the Hall has confirmed that Indiana will no longer host forward Ray Kasongo for a visit.
The 6-foot-9 Kasongo, who is from just outside of Toronto, Canada, was denied admission to Oregon, where he originally signed, in late June despite being a NCAA qualifier.
Several schools have expressed interest in Kasongo in recent weeks, including Kansas, Indiana and LSU.
He had planned to visit Bloomington this week, but was not admitted to the university, according to sources.
Indiana is still pursuing forward Emmitt Holt, who had reclassified to 2015, but is being pursued by the Hoosier staff as a 2014 recruit. Holt is expected to take an official visit to Bloomington beginning on Monday.
When Emmitt Holt chose to attend Vermont Academy for a postgraduate year after his senior season at Webster Schroeder (N.Y.). High, Holt had little hesitation in becoming a class of 2015 recruit.
“I felt for playing and academically in college, it will help me get my head on straight,” Holt told the Democrat and Chronicle when he made the decision in July.
After the 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward averaged 19.8 points, 14.6 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game in his final high school year, over the summer, Holt worked on his game, picked up multiple mid-major offers and even trimmed his list to 10 schools as recently as a couple of weeks ago.
Even though classes start in less than two weeks, Indiana is still not done recruiting the 2014 class.
6-foot-9 Ray Kasongo, who the NCAA has declared eligible but was denied admission into Oregon, has very high interest in Indiana, he told Inside the Hall, and will take an official visit to Bloomington with his parents beginning either Sunday or Monday. Indiana still has an open scholarship for this upcoming season.
The former Ducks signee is down to Indiana and LSU, his mentor, Brandon Bender, confirmed to Inside the Hall on Monday evening.
“This about opportunity, to learn and get better,” Bender said. “At the end of the day, I’ve known coach (Tom) Crean for years, since when he was at Marquette, and I trust him wholeheartedly. And I feel like he can get the best out of the kid. He’s going to push the kid, but that’s just him.”
Kasongo, who is rated the No. 222 prospect overall in the 2014 class, had received interest from schools including Memphis, Michigan State, USC and Kansas from the time it was revealed he would not be attending Oregon. He even visited Lawrence this past weekend, though it became clear that it would not be his final destination.
Admission to the university wasn’t the issue at Kansas, Bender said, rather, there was no opportunity for playing time right away. Kasongo said playing time is one of the biggest factors in his upcoming decision.
Indiana hasn’t been recruiting class of 2015 wing Terance Mann for very long, but the Hoosiers have already made up a lot of ground with the four-star prospect.
The 6-foot-5, 180 pound standout from the Tilton School (N.H.) announced a list of six finalists on Sunday night and many were surprised to see Indiana among the list.
“I started hearing from them right after the Peach Jam,” Mann told Inside the Hall on Wednesday. “I like how hard coach (Tom) Crean makes his guys work and the fanbase.”
Playing with the Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) finals at the Peach Jam, Mann averaged 9.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in 29.2 minutes per game.
The Hoosiers join Arizona State, Boston College, Florida State, Marquette and Rhode Island as Mann’s finalists. Mann said Wednesday he doesn’t plan to trim his list any further and intends to pick from the six remaining schools.
His mom, Daynia La-Force, is the women’s basketball coach at Rhode Island.
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — It has been a long summer for class of 2016 shooting guard Rawle Alkins, and it was made clear on Saturday morning at adidas Nations.
As his team was partaking in a game against Latin America, the No. 34 prospect in the 2016 class was shuffling in and out of the action, dealing with back issues.
Despite the health concerns, though, Alkins scored a team-high 22 points in that game and ranked third overall during the course of adidas Nations with 18.2 points per game for Team Wall.
And the roller-coaster summer will continue for him this upcoming Saturday, too, when he plays in the Big Strick Classic in his hometown of New York City.
“Every day, something is new,” Alkins said. “Every day, I’m getting calls, invitations to everything. Just getting to travel everywhere, it’s amazing.
“It’s like every weekend I’m going somewhere. I’m never in town, but I’m always repping New York.”
Alkins has raised the eyebrows of the many scouts and college coaches who have watched him breeze past competition on the court, earning scholarship offers from Louisville, NC State, Miami and most recently, Kansas, among others.