One of the top rising juniors in Michigan made a trip to Bloomington on Monday for an unofficial visit and left with a very favorable impression of the Indiana program, according to his high school coach.
Austin Davis, a 6-foot-10, 240 pound center from Onsted, got his first look at the Indiana program along with his parents and coach, Brad Maska.
“We were blown away. It was very impressive. The whole college package (is there) with Indiana,” Maska told Inside the Hall. “Obviously with the tradition in basketball, that speaks for itself. The beauty of the campus itself was amazing, the dedication to academics that they showed right from the start was very impressive, the strength and conditioning, it was just a great opportunity.
“I know Austin and both of his parents were very impressed with everything. The coaches were great, it was a family atmosphere.”
As a sophomore at Onsted, Davis averaged 21.6 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks per game. He was named first team all-state by the basketball coaches of Michigan and The Detroit Free Press. At just 15 years old with a 7-foot wingspan, Davis has grown six inches since his eighth grade year and it’s often a challenge for big men to continue making adjustments while growing rapidly.
Maska believes his big man, who has early scholarship offers from Central Michigan and Toledo, is meeting that challenge head on.
One of the top class of 2016 prospects from Kentucky took an unofficial visit to Indiana on Tuesday and left campus with a scholarship offer.
Eli Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard from Owensboro Apollo, picked up a scholarship yesterday during a visit with the Indiana coaching staff in Bloomington.
His guardian, Ben Moss, accompanied him on the visit.
“It was a good visit,” Wright told Inside the Hall via text message on Tuesday evening. “They have a great facility, it’s beautiful. They showed me around and I had a chance to play with the players.”
The Hoosiers join Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, UAB and Western Kentucky as the schools who have offered so far, according to Wright.
Unranked by the four major national recruiting services, Wright is ranked the No. 36 prospect overall by Future150.com for the class of 2016.
Only 15 days remain until coaches can hit the road recruiting in July, but the final days of June are typically a good time for schools to bring visitors to campus before the biggest evaluation periods of the year.
This year is no different in Bloomington as the Indiana coaching staff hosted a pair of class of 2016 visitors on Monday and will welcome another today.
On Monday, the Hoosier staff welcomed 6-foot-10 Onsted (Mi.) center Austin Davis to campus along with Merrillville’s D.J. Wilkins. And today, Owensboro Apollo (Ky.) guard Eli Wright (pictured) is expected to be in Bloomington.
Davis, who has early offers from Central Michigan and Toledo, is being evaluated by several Big Ten programs, including Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State. Wilkins, who plays for Indiana Elite, is believed to be a major target for Purdue in its 2016 recruiting efforts.
One of the summer’s top events, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Top 100 camp took place from Tuesday through Saturday last week and here’s a rundown of how many of the prospects Indiana is recruiting performed in Charlottesville, Virginia:
· Alex Illikainen (Brewster Academy, N.H.): News that Illikainen would move east for his senior season broke recently after several weeks of speculation that he would leave Grand Rapids (Minn.), where he’s dominated his entire career. Illikainen and his Suns team reached the finals of the Top 100 camp and he averaged 5.1 and 3.2 rebounds in 22.1 minutes per game. He did struggle a bit from beyond the 3-point line (30.4 percent), but drew the praise of John Lucas.
· Chris Clarke (Cape Henry Collegiate Schoo, Va.): A teammate of Illikainen on the Suns, Clarke listed Indiana as a school he’d like to visit and had, by most accounts, an outstanding camp. The 6-foot-6 wing plays AAU for Boo Williams and in Charlottsville, he averaged 9.1 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 50.8 percent from the field. ESPN’s Paul Biancardi called him the best athlete in camp ($) in his day two recap:
Clarke owns eye-popping athletic ability. He has speed, vertical and a quick second jump. He fills the lane with speed to beat a defense down the floor and will finish with alley-oop dunks. A great example of his high-level athletic ability is when he caught a pass behind his head on a fast break, gathered himself and scored.
· Jalen Coleman (La Lumiere School, Ind.): A name that Indiana fans have been familiar with dating back to his time as a teammate of Collin Hartman at Cathedral, Coleman listed Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina State, UNLV and Notre Dame as five schools he’d like to visit. As far as his production goes, Coleman averaged 9.1 and hit 40.7 percent of his 3s, proving once again that he’s one of the better scorers in the country in the class of 2015.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While it was only a summer league game played in front of less than 100 people on a Wednesday night in June, Louisville Trinity (Ky.) coach Mike Szabo was still working the sidelines and coaching his top player, rising senior Raymond Spalding.
Trinity reached the final four of the Kentucky state tournament last year, falling to Scott County 62-56 at Rupp Arena.
To get back there again in 2015, the Shamrocks need a big summer of improvement out of Spalding. Adding strength, becoming more aggressive on the glass and continuing to become more comfortable shooting away from the basket are just a few of the areas where Spalding can continue to grow.
“As a player, I need a coach like that to develop and be after me every minute of the game,” Spalding told Inside the Hall on Wednesday. “I think he does a great job in practice, workouts and in games to push me.”
A 6-foot-10, 210 pound post player, Spalding is a priority recruit for Indiana, which offered him a scholarship in March after scouting him frequently during his junior season.
Spalding took an unofficial visit to Bloomington last season for for IU’s win over Michigan in early February.
“I’m a big priority to those guys. It’s great, I love hearing stuff like that,” he said. “In that program I feel like I can fit in well. Coach (Tom) Crean, he’s a great guy. Coach (Tim) Buckley does a great job. They’ve done a great job recruiting me.”
The Hoosiers, however, have plenty of company in their pursuit of the No. 82 player nationally, according to the 247Composite.
Class of 2015 center Stephen Zimmerman is one of 12 players who was selected last week for USA Basketball’s U18 team that will compete beginning tomorrow in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
The 7-foot, 241 pound big man from Las Vegas, Nevada, who is rated as one of the top five players in the country, is viewing the experience as an opportunity to represent his country and grow his game.
“It’s a huge honor to be noticed for my play,” Zimmerman told Inside the Hall. “I’m very happy to be here with all of these great players and be able to push myself and compare myself to the other bigs that are here and the other players.”
The U18 team roster, which was finalized last week, includes a mix of incoming college freshman and rising high school seniors. The group is being coached by Florida’s Billy Donovan, Arizona’s Sean Miller and Ed Cooley of Providence.
“There are great coaches here as well,” Zimmerman said. “They help us out and coach us through this. I don’t think you’ll find any better competition than being here.”
Joining Zimmerman in the frontcourt on the U18 roster are his high school teammate at Bishop Gorman, Chase Jeter, as well as Texas signee Myles Turner.
Battling in workouts and scrimmages with Turner, one of the top players in the class of 2014, is a chance for Zimmerman to measure himself against a player who is expected to be one of the top freshmen in college basketball next season.
Class of 2015 Waynesville (Mo.) forward Juwan Morgan wasn’t expecting to see a fanbase that has an uncommon passion for its basketball program when he arrived in Bloomington.
When his visit was over, it was clear the support he saw for Indiana basketball over a two-day unofficial visit surpassed his expectations.
“Yes (it met them) and more, actually,” he told Inside the Hall on Tuesday evening. “At first I thought the fanbase was just like any other fanbase. But after seeing videos and things like that of games and the fans going crazy, it’s like you could feel it while you’re sitting there watching it on the screen.
“The whole place was nice and the people who were around the campus love the basketball team. Even just riding around the campus, there were people walking past the (golf) cart saying, ‘Go Hoosiers,’ and things like that. It was just a great experience.”
Rated the No. 98 prospect nationally by the 247Composite, the 6-foot-8, 210 pound Morgan has become a major priority for the Hoosiers in recent weeks.
Indiana scouted him with his MoKan Elite team in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) session in late April in Sacramento and in late May, began making a strong push in his recruitment.