We’re just a little more than 24 hours away from the 2014 NBA draft and also from learning where Indiana’s Noah Vonleh will play at the next level.
Vonleh is already in New York for the draft, which takes place tomorrow at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In our final edition of draft watch, we’ll take a look at the latest mock draft projections, where Vonleh thinks he may land and more:
Current projections (as of 6/25/14, 12:30 p.m. ET)
· ESPN’s Chad Ford: No. 4 to Orlando
· ESPN’s Jeff Goodman: No. 3 to Philadelphia
· Yahoo! Sports Marc Spears: No. 5 to Utah
· Sports Illustrated’s composite: No. 5 to Utah
· Draft Express: No. 5 to Utah
· NBADraft.net: No. 5 to Utah
The injury news regarding Joel Embiid has caused a shake up at the top of the draft, with both Ford and Goodman moving Vonleh into the top four picks.
The latest scenario laid out by Goodman has Vonleh moving up to No. 3 to Philadelphia and Ford has Embiid sliding all the way down to No. 6 with Dante Exum moving up to No. 3 and Vonleh at No. 4.
In an interview with Andy Katz of ESPN.com on Wednesday afternoon, Vonleh said he believes he’ll be picked in the top four. Considering Vonleh only worked out for six teams that we know of — Philadelphia, Orlando, Utah, Boston, the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento — he appears to be a lock to be drafted in the No. 3 to No. 8 range.
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.
While keeping steadfast in their stance that college athletes should not be paid to play, the Big Ten presidents and chancellors issued a statement on Thursday voicing support to work “within the NCAA to provide greater academic security and success for our student-athletes.”
The statement, which is signed by either the president or chancellor at each Big Ten institution, outlined four reforms the conference supports:
• We must guarantee the four-year scholarships that we offer. If a student-athlete is no longer able to compete, for whatever reason, there should be zero impact on our commitment as universities to deliver an undergraduate education. We want our students to graduate.
• If a student-athlete leaves for a pro career before graduating, the guarantee of a scholarship remains firm. Whether a professional career materializes, and regardless of its length, we will honor a student’s scholarship when his or her playing days are over. Again, we want students to graduate.
• We must review our rules and provide improved, consistent medical insurance for student-athletes. We have an obligation to protect their health and well-being in return for the physical demands placed upon them.
• We must do whatever it takes to ensure that student-athlete scholarships cover the full cost of a college education, as defined by the federal government. That definition is intended to cover what it actually costs to attend college.
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.
Welcome to offseason storylines, a look into some of the biggest storylines surrounding the 2014-2015 Indiana Hoosiers. Next up, a detailed look at sophomore Troy Williams and whether he can make a major leap in production as a sophomore. (Previously: A look at Indiana’s youth and how it got here.)
As one of two returning players who started each of Indiana’s 32 games last season, much will be expected of Troy Williams as he enters his sophomore season in Bloomington. Williams is back on campus now, but spent time last month working out in Texas under John Lucas.
There’s little doubt that Williams arrived on campus possessing the athleticism necessary to make plays right away in the Big Ten, but the nuances of the games like reading defenses and making the simple play rather than trying to do too much were slower to come along. He admitted as much in an interview earlier this month with IUHoosiers.com, while also noting that the physicality was a major adjustment:
“I also had a lot to learn about the game itself, things like different ways to play pick-and-roll defense or how to defend other screening situations,” he said. “That was the biggest adjustment for me.”
With one season under his belt, a healthy amount of minutes played and a roster packed with youth, Indiana is going to rely on Williams to take a significant jump forward in order to reach its goal of returning to the NCAA tournament. In terms of career minutes logged, Williams will be Indiana’s second most experienced player entering the 2014-2015 season.
So what does Indiana need out of Williams as a sophomore? Improved shooting, much better decision making and a bigger presence on the glass would be near the top of the checklist.
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.