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2016 guard Kyle Guy earning plenty of new high-major attention

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REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — Since his freshman year of high school at Lawrence Central, 6-foot-2, class of 2016 guard Kyle Guy has noticed a shift in his game.

“I’ve become a lot more confident in the rest of my game,” he noted on Thursday to Inside the Hall. “My freshman year I just sort of shot a lot of threes, and now I’m trying to expand my game, be more of a point guard.”

On Thursday, at the Battle at the Beach, thousands of miles from Indianapolis, Guy was able to showcase his newfound confidence in front of many college coaches — including Indiana associate head coach Tim Buckley and coaches from California and Oregon State, among others — for Indiana Elite.

In their 61-59 win over Inland (CA), Guy scored eight points and recorded three assists and two rebounds. But Inland featured a rising 6-foot-1 guard, Derrick Bruce, who scored more than 30 points.

“I had actually never heard of him before this, but he can play,” Guy said. “It was surreal to be out there playing like that. It was great competition.”

It was in front of colleges who have shown significant interest, too.

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2016 forward De’Ron Davis remains high on IU

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REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — During an interview on Thursday following a game at Battle at the Beach, 2016 power forward Aurora (Colo.) De’Ron Davis was asked which schools are recruiting him the hardest at the moment.

His face lit up.

The 6-foot-9, No. 22 prospect in his class rattled off a list of high-major programs that included Arizona, Louisville, Indiana, Kansas, UCLA, Duke and California.

“It’s pretty much all I can ask for,” he said. “I’m just taking it all in and enjoying it right now.”

Davis and the Colorado Hawks flew into Las Vegas on Thursday and drove five hours to Redondo Beach, making it just in time for a late-evening game against the Las Vegas Knicks.

And utilizing his physical advantage, Davis scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds in front of Indiana associate head coach Tim Buckley and other college coaches for a 60-56 Hawks win.

“I’m always having a good time out there, but at the same time you’ve got to look at the big picture,” Davis said. “Like if I play a team without a big man, post up. But if I play a team bigger than me, I’ve got to show my outside game. It all depends, really.

“I just like helping my team and doing whatever I can to get the win.”

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2016 forward T.J. Leaf continuing his rise

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REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — 2016 forward and longtime Indiana target T.J. Leaf has recently seen an explosion in his recruitment. Just in the past week, the 6-foot-9 junior, the No. 18 prospect in the 2016 class according to the 247Composite, has received offers from Florida and Louisville.

On Thursday, Inside the Hall caught up with Leaf at Battle at the Beach after he recorded 31 points, five rebounds and three blocks in two evening games for Compton Magic Elite in front of multiple college coaches — including Indiana associate head coach Tim Buckley.

Our full conversation with the Foothills Christian (Calif.) forward is posted below:

Earlier this summer, you talked about hoping to become more of a wing player. How do you feel that adjustment has gone, so far?

“I think I’m definitely evolving my wing skills to be more of a 3-4 instead of a 4-3. So I think I’m doing a pretty good job of that.”

What other parts of your game have you been working on recently?

“Just continuing to get healthy, a consistent jump shot, those are pretty much the main things. And then just continuing my wing skills and dribbling.”

Your first game tonight, your team won by 20 points. How were you feeling out there?

“I felt pretty good. I mean all our guys got to play a lot, so it’s good for everyone to get looks out there in front of the college coaches.”

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Crean “cannot wait” for challenges that await in Canada

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Indiana’s trip to Montreal in three weeks won’t be the first foreign tour for Tom Crean as a head coach.

In the fall of 2003, Crean took his Marquette program that was coming off a Final Four appearance to Costa Rica for a five-game exhibition trip. That group played for the first time following the loss of Dwyane Wade to the NBA, but it still had a solid core of upperclassmen, including senior Scott Merritt and junior Travis Diener.

The Indiana team that will travel to Canada next month will be considerably younger, but Crean is viewing the five-game schedule as an opportunity to see how this group responds to adversity.

“I’m really anxious to see who is real up when we are playing well and who gets real down when we are not playing well,” Crean said earlier this week. “And then you’ve got to have guys that can impact the game on both ends of the floor.”

This will be the first foreign tour for Indiana basketball since it went to the Bahamas back in the fall of 2007. That Indiana team crushed its opposition by an average of 58 points over three games. The competition level in Canada is expected to be significantly better.

Indiana’s third opponent on the trip, Carleton University, beat Wisconsin last year and took Syracuse to overtime. After a conversation with Badgers coach Bo Ryan, Crean opted to move the game against Carleton, which will take place in Ottawa, to later in the trip to allow his team to get a few games under its belt to prepare for that challenge.

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Video: “On the hill” with IU basketball

Via the official IU Athletics YouTube channel, Indiana today released another video showing footage of an offseason workout with strength and conditioning coach Je’Ney Jackson:

(Previously: A look inside an offseason workout)

Confidence growing for class of 2015 guard Prince Ali

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LAS VEGAS — For class of 2015 Sagemont (Fla.) guard Prince Ali, the biggest lesson he learned from the LeBron James Skills Academy last week wasn’t from any particular move or on-court observance that he could add to his own game.

The biggest lesson the No. 38 prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite, is that confidence must come from within.

“It’s that I can withstand any type of adversity,” Ali told Inside the Hall on the final day of the camp on Saturday. “I can overcome it, because the first day, the first day and a half I wasn’t playing very well. But as I went on I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better.”

Ali said he viewed his inclusion in the camps as “a tremendous honor,” especially considering he was just one of 80 high school prospects in the entire country invited.

He wanted to learn from the best, and there he was playing amongst them.

“The competition is great, basically the best talent in the country,” he said. “So you know, the competition is great. We compete in every game and every drill, and that’s how you get better.”

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Class of 2016 Southport center Joey Brunk talks IU offer

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Finding a skilled big man on the recruiting trail is a difficult task, but Indiana is hoping that one of the top post players in the class of 2016 chooses to stay home.

On Tuesday, Tom Crean offered a scholarship to Southport’s Joey Brunk, a 6-foot-9 center who is on the rise nationally. In the latest 247Composite rankings, Brunk is slotted as the No. 68 player in the country and the No. 10 center in his class.

“I’ve had a little bit of contact with them, on and off, as the high school season went on,” Brunk said of the Hoosiers. “IU was one of the first schools to text me after June 15, during that period. And then coach Crean was at my game (in Indianapolis) and he’s been watching me and he’s been closer than what I think.

“He’s been watching film and that kind of stuff. And he watched my last game, said he was impressed with my work ethic and how much better I’ve gotten and thinks that I’d be a good fit.”

The last game that Brunk is referencing was last weekend in Indianapolis at the adidas Invitational during the first evaluation period.

Less than two days after his strong showing in that event with Grassroots Indiana, Brunk was having a conversation with Crean, who delivered a scholarship offer.

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