2015 forward Carlton Bragg “very excited” by IU offer

050513sbcxCarlton Bragg was one of the top prospects at last October’s John Lucas Midwest Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky and at the time, he had just started to hear from Indiana.

That interest, which had been building through the high school season, culminated in an offer last week after Tom Crean watched Bragg, a 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward, at the adidas Hoop Classic in Wadsworth, Ohio.

At this weekend’s Bill Hensley Spiece Run-N-Slam Classic, Bragg reacted to his latest offer.

“I was kind of glad. I was very excited,” he said in an interview at SportOne in Fort Wayne. “It was another offer. They like my style of play, how I run back on defense and my motor.”

The Hoosiers joined Cleveland State, West Virginia, Illinois and Ohio State as early offers for Bragg, who is ranked the No. 24 prospect in the 2015 class according to ESPN.com. His ESPN profile also lists offers from Cincinnati, Missouri and Texas.

Kentucky, Duke, DePaul and Wisconsin have also expressed interest.

At the Lucas Camp, Bragg was primarily a mid-range and in player, but he added the 3-point shot to repertoire during the high school season at Cleveland Villa Angela St. Joseph.

“I’ve always been an inside player,” Bragg said. “Towards the middle of the (high school) season, that’s when I started. I made two threes in practice, and (my coach) said I should start shooting threes, and that’s when I really focused on it.”

He’s still relatively early in the process, but Bragg said he’s got an idea of what he’s looking for in a school.

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Emerging 2016 big man Caleb Swanigan talks development, recruiting

050513ncsStanding 6-foot-8 and weighing 260 pounds at 16 years old, it’s hard for Caleb Swanigan to blend in on the basketball court.

Swanigan, who plays at Homestead in Fort Wayne and for two Spiece AAU teams, is putting together a fantastic spring. At the 15-and-under level, he’s virtually unstoppable at his size. And at the 17-and-under level, he’s a valuable contributor on one of the top Elite Youth Basketball teams (EYBL) in the country.

This weekend at the Bill Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam Classic at Spiece Fieldhouse, Swanigan pulled double duty and ran with both clubs.

“Just playing with both teams makes sure I’m in shape,” Swanigan told Inside the Hall. “Cardio is a really important thing. I’m always running, wearing weight vests. It simulates playing more than one game back to back so I’m ready to play.”

Swanigan also plays offensive tackle for Homestead’s football team and has already had inquires from SEC powers like Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Mississippi.

His preference in college, however, is to suit up on the hardwood.

“I’m supposed to keep growing. The cutoff is 6-foot-8,” he said. “If I get any taller, I’m not playing football my sophomore year, I’m just going to play basketball. I’m getting recruited for football, but I don’t know how it’s going to go. I prefer basketball.”

His play at the first two EYBL sessions in Los Angeles and Hampton turned heads and his recruiting picture for basketball is beginning to take shape. He said Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue and Georgetown have all expressed interest and Indiana has been in touch via questionnaires.

Swanigan said playing up this summer should help keep his development steady as he matches up against the nation’s elite in the EYBL.

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Notebook: Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam Day 1

050413ancxFORT WAYNE, Ind. — The 20th annual Bill Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam Classic tipped off Friday night at Spiece Fieldhouse and Inside the Hall was there to get a look at several prospects, including 2014 commit James Blackmon Jr., Trevon Bluiett, JaQuan Lyle, Eron Gordon, Vijay Blackmon, Caleb Swanigan and Carlton Bragg.

Here are our notes and observations from the first night of Spiece:

Spiece Indy Heat 17’s coast: Based on the teams this group has faced over the past two weekends in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, tonight’s opener for Blackmon Jr., Lyle, Bluiett, Trey Lyles and company probably felt like a scrimmage.

Led by 20 points from Bluiett, Spiece crushed the Michigan Titans, 91-45. Lyle added 18 and Blackmon Jr., who looks noticeable stronger in his upper body and more explosive in transition, had 13.

Lyle said postgame that he plans to take all five official visits and make a decision this fall and Bluiett also mentioned the possibility of five officials, but also noted that he’s been so busy, he hasn’t had time to talk much about recruiting with his father and AAU coach, Reynardo.

With the return of Lyles, Spiece Indy Heat looks like a serious contender to win July’s Peach Jam.

Bragg talks about Indiana offer: Cleveland Villa Angela St Joseph (Oh.) forward Carlton Bragg (pictured) received an Indiana offer on Thursday night and the No. 24 player in the 2015 class according to ESPN.com was productive on Friday, scoring 21 points in a comfortable win for the Ohio Basketball Club 16-and-under team.

Afterward, Bragg talked about his latest offer and what the IU staff likes about his game

“I was very excited,” he said. “They like my style of play, how I run back on defense and my motor.”

Bragg also has offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio State, Texas and others. He said he’s looking to show off his versatility this spring and summer, among other things.

“My shooting, dribbling, my defense and guarding guys that are smaller than me. Just playing defense, mostly.”

2016 big man emerging: Caleb Swanigan, a 6-foot-8, 265-pound forward who played both basketball and football at Homestead in Fort Wayne, looks like a legitimate high major post prospect.

Swanigan played with both the 15-and-under and 17-and-under Spiece Indy Heat teams on Friday and was impressive with his ability to make tough catches around the rim and finish plays. Swanigan said the interest he’s received thus far from Indiana has been in the form of questionnaires and also mentioned Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State and Georgetown. He’s also being recruited as a football prospect by Alabama, Auburn and LSU.

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Indiana offers 2015 four-star forward Carlton Bragg

050213bcnsIndiana began keeping an eye on 2015 Cleveland Villa Angela-Saint Joseph (Oh.) forward Carlton Bragg last fall and the Hoosiers have extended a scholarship offer to the rising junior, according to assistant coach Mike Graves.

The IU staff watched Bragg during his high school season and more recently, Tom Crean was at the adidas Hoop Classic in Wadsworth, Ohio during the second April evaluation to see Bragg play for his travel team, the Ohio Basketball Club.

The 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward is a long, versatile forward who excels in transition, can finish at the rim and also step out and shoot.

When Inside the Hall talked to Bragg last fall at the John Lucas Camp in Louisville, his lone scholarship offer was West Virginia.

Since then, he’s picked up offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio State, Texas and others.

Bragg scored 10 points in the Ohio Division 4 state championship game in March as Villa Angela St. Joseph beat Leipsic, 87-63.

He’s rated the No. 23 prospect overall in the 2015 class according to ESPN.com. Bragg and the Ohio Basketball Club will play this weekend in Ft. Wayne at the Bill Hensley Memorial Spiece Run-N-Slam Classic.

Video: Bryant Crawford sophomore season highlights

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Notebook: Fischer makes large leap in ESPN rankings

050213bcxAt last month’s Derby Festival Basketball Classic in Louisville, 2013 Germantown (Wis.) forward and Indiana signee Luke Fischer said he wasn’t concerned about where he fell in the national rankings.

“It doesn’t really bother me that much at all. I really don’t care about rankings,” he told Inside the Hall. “They don’t really mean much to me. I’ve just always gone out there and played and have done my own thing.”

Despite leading his high school to two straight undefeated state championships and winning Mr. Basketball, Fischer isn’t included in the Rivals.com or Scout.com top 100.

But one of the three major services, ESPN, took notice of Fischer’s production as a senior and gave him a major bump in its final 2013 rankings that were released on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-10, 210-pound big man jumped from No. 67 to No. 34 after averaging 21.3 and 9.5 rebounds as a senior.

Three other IU signees — Noah Vonleh (13), Troy Williams (54) and Stanford Robinson (99) — were also included in the ESPNU Top 100.

Indiana’s class ranks No. 4 nationally behind Kentucky, Kansas and Memphis.

Oladipo, Zeller hold steady in mock drafts

With the passing of the NBA’s early entry deadline for the draft on April 30, several publications have updated their mock drafts and Indiana junior Victor Oladipo and sophomore Cody Zeller are unanimously in the lottery.

The NBA will hold its annual combine later this month in Chicago and the event will air live on the following times and dates:  10 a.m. May 16, ESPNU;  2 p.m. May 16, ESPN2; 10 a.m. May 17, ESPNU; 2 p.m. May 17, ESPN2.

Here’s a look at where each player is currently projected:

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Video: Victor Oladipo 2013 NBA Draft workout

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