On Wednesday afternoon, Florida, Indiana, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State will learn where class of 2014 wing Devin Robinson will play in college. Johnson, a senior at the Christchurch School in Christchurch, Va., will announce his intentions at 3:30 p.m. ET in his school’s boardroom.
Here’s our primer for the announcement with everything you need to know:
Forward, 6-8, 178 pounds, Christchurch (VA.), Richmond Squires
247Composite: 5-star (21); ESPN: 4-star (28); Rivals: 5-star (20); Scout: 4-star (24)
Schools: Florida, Indiana, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State
Official visits (in order): Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Indiana, Florida
The Primary Contenders
Robinson has four finalists and he’s taken official visits to each school this fall. He initially had Connecticut on his final list but canceled his trip to Storrs a couple of weeks ago. Robinson hasn’t done any interviews since August, which has made it extremely difficult to get an idea on the direction he’s leaning. His high school coach, Ben Thompson and AAU program, the Richmond Squires, have handled the majority of the media requests for interviews.
Class of 2014 Marion guard James Blackmon Jr., a four-star prospect and the No. 31 player nationally according to the 247Composite, will announce his college decision on Thursday evening per multiple media reports.
The announcement is expected to come at halftime of the Louisiana-Monroe and Troy game, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
Earlier this fall, Blackmon Jr. narrowed his list of schools to Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan and Michigan State.
He’s expected to choose between Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan. His father, James Blackmon Sr., played at Kentucky in the 1980′s.
The 6-foot-2 guard originally committed to Indiana in September of 2010, but re-opened his recruitment in August of this year.
Indiana has two commitments in the class of 2014 – Richmond Benedictine (Va.) guard Robert Johnson and Wilbraham and Monson Academy (Mass.) forward Max Hoetzel.
When Los Angeles Times high schools beat reporter Eric Sondheimer first saw Max Hoetzel play as a junior at Calabasas (Calif.) High School, something about his game immediately stuck out. It was something that made Sondheimer believe Hoetzel could be a high-major player, eventually.
“He was 6-7 and could shoot from long range; he had such a great 3-point shot,” Sondheimer told Inside the Hall on Monday. “And you could see the potential he had. I saw him again in the offseason here in the summer, and he was continuing to improve. It was just quite interesting to watch to see who would become interested in him.”
A lightly-recruited prospect that had offers from Utah, Pepperdine, Davidson and Boise State, among others, Hoetzel transferred to Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) Academy this past August, perhaps to evolve his game and perhaps to get more exposure. The result, Hoetzel calls, was “one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Within two months of choosing WMA, Hoetzel had received interest from Florida, St. John’s and Iowa State, among others. Indiana, who had watched Hoetzel during a recruiting trip to Massachusetts targeting Goodluck Okonoboh, had even entered the mix.
Sunday afternoon, Indiana received its second commitment of the 2014 recruiting class from Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) forward Max Hoetzel during his official visit to Bloomington.
Later Sunday evening, Inside the Hall spoke to the Hoosiers’ newest commit on what led to his decision to choose Indiana:
On what led him to choose IU:
“Coach (Tom) Crean, what he said to me, he really believes in me and thinks I can have an instant impact as a shooter. He really thinks I can shoot the ball and not just shoot the ball, but you know, play basketball and he thinks that I have high-level basketball IQ. And you know, I can do a lot of things that I don’t really get credited for. And honestly, just taking that first shot in Assembly Hall was a magical feeling. And it was really something I couldn’t say no to.”
On what Crean told him when he offered a scholarship on Tuesday:
“He said that I’m all in for you and we want to get you down as soon as possible and we need you as a shooter. We need you as a player for us and all that, and you know, we want to offer you, we want to sign you.”
On what it meant for his parents to fly in from California for the official visit:
“Seeing them on those terms, it was everything I could’ve ever asked for. I hadn’t seen them in a couple of months, and it was great to see them especially in that context. They were really proud of me. It was a wonderful weekend.”
When 2014 forward Max Hoetzel made the decision to transfer from Calabasas (Calif.) High School this past August, he wanted to get more exposure heading into his senior year of high school. So, he chose to attend Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) Academy, where he could be a starter from day one.
Almost three months later, before he played a single game for the Titans, he added an offer from Indiana, and only five days after that, while on his official visit to Bloomington, he committed.
Sunday evening, the 6-foot-8 shooter made the decision to attend Indiana University and became the second member of the Hoosiers’ 2014 recruiting class, joining shooting guard Robert Johnson.
“There’s no other place I’d rather spend my four years at than Indiana,” Hoetzel told Inside the Hall late Sunday evening. “Stepping out on Assembly Hall, I knew it right away.”
“Discussions with (Indiana coach Tom) Crean during his visits at Wilbraham were so productive that only severe red flags during the official could have steered him in another direction,” Hoetzel’s father, Holger, said. “There were none. We all loved this school and this program.”
In the weeks after Hoetzel arrived in Massachusetts, more schools started showing interest than the schools that had previously offered him — including Utah, Davidson, Utah State and Boise State, among others. St. John’s, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island extended offers. Connecticut, Florida, Harvard, Iowa State and Maryland showed interest.
“I always thought Max could be a high major college player,” Calabasas coach Jon Palarz said.
But when Crean and Indiana assistant coach Kenny Johnson came to WMA one day in late September to watch recruiting target and teammate Goodluck Okonoboh, WMA coach Chris Sparks convinced them to watch Hoetzel, as well. They liked what they saw.
In our first extended look at the 2013-2014 Indiana Hoosiers, the outcome was a 83-68 win over Division II Southern Indiana at Assembly Hall on Saturday night.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from Indiana’s exhibition win:
· Yogi Ferrell’s jump shot looks improved: It’s only one game against a Division II opponent, but Yogi Ferrell looks ready to show off an improved perimeter game. As a freshman, Ferrell was inconsistent from behind the 3-point arc, but in his 2013-2014 debut, his elevation off the floor and confidence were both on display. Ferrell finished with a team-high 20 points and hit six 3-pointers, most of which came in the flow of the offense. Tom Crean was pleased with Ferrell’s shot selection and scoring production. “I think the whole key is take what the game is giving you, and Yogi is good enough where that’s got to be the key,” Crean said. “The shooting was excellent, the way that he got them.”
· Troy Williams is oozing with potential: Go back and watch some of the plays Williams made on Saturday night and you’ll understand why he was once considered a top ten prospect nationally in the 2013 class. He’s explosive off the dribble and fearless going to the rim. Williams even knocked down a 3-pointer in his Indiana debut, which is a part of his game that he’ll need to continue developing to keep defenses honest. When the lights went down for the night, Williams had amassed 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. “I felt like he played with high energy,” Yogi Ferrell said of the freshman wing. “The thing that I really like that he does is attack the offensive rim. We got 21 offensive rebounds tonight, a lot on his end.”
· Vonleh will play multiple positions: If you thought Indiana would slot Noah Vonleh into one position, think again. The Hoosier staff is going to move Vonleh around, which should only help to expand the versatility that is already present in his game. When Indiana goes small, Vonleh will log minutes at the five, but he can also slide to the four or the three and play alongside Luke Fischer or Hanner Mosquera-Perea. Vonleh was relentless on the glass Saturday night as he finished with nine points, 12 rebounds, two steals and a block.