Since transferring to Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) Academy from Calabasas (Calif.) High School this past summer, Max Hoetzel has seen his recruitment take off.
Well, it’s reached another level.
Indiana has offered the 6-foot-7 forward as part of its 2014 class, only weeks after discovering him while recruiting his WMA teammate, Goodluck Okonoboh. The offer also comes just after Indiana coach Tom Crean and assistant Kenny Johnson visited Hoetzel in Massachusetts this past Tuesday evening.
On Saturday, Hoetzel, along with his parents who will fly in from California, will make the trip to Bloomington for an official visit that will last through Monday.
“I would really, really consider it, especially since it’s Indiana,” Hoetzel told Inside the Hall on Oct. 14. “The past, the program, the coaching, I’d definitely really consider it.
“But it’s all about the fit. I want to come in somewhere where I can really play and exploit my strengths. If that does happen with IU, it will be wonderful.”
One of Indiana’s top recruiting targets in the class of 2014 will soon make an announcement on where he’ll play next season.
According to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, Christchurch (Va.) forward Devin Robinson will announce his decision on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 3:30 p.m. Robinson’s AAU coach, Tony Squire, confirmed the announcement plans in a text message to Inside the Hall.
Robinson, the No. 21 recruit nationally in the 247Composite, is considering four schools: Florida, Indiana, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State.
Each of his his finalists received an official visit.
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· Rising 2014 forward Devin Robinson on Indiana’s radar
The Indiana coaching staff was on the road Tuesday, making stops at Huntington Prep in West Virginia and at Wilbraham and Monson Academy in Massachusetts.
At Huntington Prep, the staff stopped in to see 2014 guard JaQuan Lyle, the former Evansville Bosse guard who will finish his high school career against an aggressive national schedule. Huntington Prep is also home to other top prospects like Miles Bridges (2016), Thomas Bryant (2015) and Montaque Gill-Caesar (2015).
Lyle, the No. 22 prospect nationally in the 247Composite, told Inside the Hall recently that Indiana is a school he’s considering in the aftermath of his decision to de-commit from Louisville. He’s taken unofficial visits to Connecticut and Memphis this fall, but won’t be able to take any official visits until taking the SAT next month.
On his Twitter account, Lyle posted the following late Tuesday afternoon: “Shoutout to Coach Crean for coming in after school today.”
The staff also saw Max Hoetzel on Tuesday, who is originally from Calabasas (Calif.), transferred to Wilbraham and Monson this fall and his recruitment has taken off as a result.
The 6-foot-7 shooter has offers from St. John’s, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania and interest from Florida, Kansas, Indiana, Iowa State and Harvard.
Crean and assistant coach Kenny Johnson stopped in to see Hoetzel, who has reclassified to 2015, but could also opt to return to the 2014 class if the fit is right.
Hoetzel told Inside the Hall’s Jordan Littman that he could potentially visit Bloomington the weekend of Nov. 3.
The recruiting process for class of 2014 guard JaQuan Lyle has had its share of twists and turns.
He’s been offered scholarships by elite schools. He’s switched AAU teams multiple times. He’s transferred from Evansville Bosse to Huntington Prep. He’s made a verbal commitment, only to rescind it months later. He’s drawn love and scorn from fans on social media.
For Lyle, it’s all been a learning process.
In an interview on Friday afternoon with Inside the Hall, the No. 22 prospect in the 247Composite reflected on what he’s learned over the last three years.
“A lot of kids get lied to or whatever or coaches tell you what you want to hear,” he said. “What I’ve learned from it is that you can only believe so much. Everything sounds so good, but when you get there, it could be the complete opposite.”
In late June, Lyle appeared set on attending Louisville. He gave a verbal commitment to the defending national champions after a lengthy recruiting process in which Indiana was involved.
And even though he’d been going through the process for three years, Lyle looks back on that decision and admits he made it too quickly. He re-opened his recruitment on Sept. 13.
A consensus top 10 player in the class of 2016, it’s no surprise that Bentonville (Ark.) guard Malik Monk was selected to participate in the USA Basketball developmental national team mini-camp in Colorado Springs earlier this month.
Monk, who is already attracting major recruiting attention, performed well on the first day of the camp before suffering a thumb injury that forced him to miss day two.
“The first day I kind of overextended my thumb,” he told Inside the Hall on Oct. 6 from Colorado Springs. “Before I got hurt, I was doing very well, but I’ve got to get a long stronger.”
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound guard averaged 22.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game as a freshman at East Poinsett County High, but moved to Bentonville for his sophomore season.
Monk’s older brother, Marcus, played at the University of Arkansas, which has already offered a scholarship. Baylor, Florida, Indiana, Memphis and Kansas have also offered.
More than a month has passed since Foothills Christian (Calif.) forward T.J. Leaf visited Indiana for the first time.
The class of 2016 prospect was in Bloomington in early September and received a scholarship offer from the Hoosiers on the visit. Now that Leaf has had more time to think about it, it’s clear the Indiana option continues to resonate with him.
Inside the Hall spoke with Leaf by phone from the USA Basketball national developmental team mini-camp in Colorado Springs earlier this month.
“It was a really good experience being able to go to a great program like that historically and recently,” he said. “It seems like I would fit really well in their system. I like coach Crean and I like all of the coaches and what they’re doing there. I was just really impressed.”
The No. 25 prospect in the 247Composite, Leaf averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds as a freshman last season. One of his primary goals during the offseason while playing with the Compton Magic was to make himself more perimeter oriented.
“(I’m trying to) keep moving my game to the wing where I can be a multi-dimensional player even more and more,” Leaf said. “That’s what I’m looking forward to (about the upcoming season).”
Leaf’s father, Brad, was a standout at Evansville from 1979-82 and according to T.J., has been a major supporter of looking hard at Indiana.
About three weeks ago, Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) Academy student Max Hoetzel was at study hall when his basketball coach, Chris Sparks, and Indiana assistant Kenny Johnson walked into the room.
They came with a simple message: Indiana head coach Tom Crean was on campus, and he wanted to see Hoetzel work out. Crean and Johnson were originally on campus to watch Goodluck Okonoboh before he travelled to Ohio State and UNLV, but Sparks had convinced Crean to watch Hoetzel.
After all, Sparks knew IU had needed a shooter for the 2014 class. And he had one in the 6-foot-7 Hoetzel.
Sparks and Johnson had cleared Hoetzel to practice with school administrators by the time they confronted him at study hall. He then left for the gym and practiced under Crean’s watchful eye. It was the first contact Hoetzel had with IU’s coaching staff.
“It was such a humbling experience, I mean, coach Crean is a big deal,” Hoetzel said. “But on the other hand, you can’t really think about it. You just gotta do what you do.”
Three months before then, though, Hoetzel had no idea he would soon be talking to one of the top programs in the nation.
An under-recruited forward, Hoetzel was going into his senior year at Calabasas (Calif.) High School with offers from Utah, Utah State, Pacific, Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, Boise State and Davidson, among others.