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.
After a rough start to the Las Vegas NBA Summer League (an 0-of-13 performance against the Golden State Warriors), Charlotte Hornets rookie Noah Vonleh rebounded vs. the Sacramento Kings with 10 points and 18 boards. Against the New York Knicks on Monday, Vonleh chipped in 13 points and five boards in a loss, as the Hornets fell to 0-3.
Highlights of his performances against the Kings and Knicks are available in the embedded media player below:
As part of his press conference on Tuesday afternoon at Assembly Hall, Tom Crean broke down the 2014-2015 Indiana roster on a player-by-player basis.
We’ve organized his quotes on each player below:
Yogi is getting a lot better. He’s getting a lot stronger. He’s benching 245 right now which is phenomenal. He’s always been a strong young man but nobody really lifts in high school like they did in college, and that wasn’t a big part of his day. I mean, he is a force in that weight room right now; and he’s not only a force with what he’s doing and the way that he’s lifting but in the way that he’s talking and leading.
What I really like about him, and I’m going to put him in front of you here pretty soon so you get a chance to see, he’s starting to grasp what he’s capable of. And I don’t think he’s even grasped what he’s capable of on the court yet and I know he’s showing flashes of it.
I had a gentleman in this league tell me that his team they had polled their team on some different questions about the season, and he said, when it came down to the hardest matchup in the league, to a man, everybody said the hardest matchup for them to deal with was with Yogi. I haven’t even told him that yet.
We want people across the country saying that when they run into him. And he’s working towards that. The keys right now, that he become as great of a lead guard in the sense of, do multiple things but make others better constantly.
Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media on Tuesday afternoon at Assembly Hall for a lengthy offseason update.
In his comments, Crean addressed the roster, player-by-player, and also took questions from the media on topics like the upcoming foreign tour in Montreal, Yogi Ferrell‘s growth, team leadership, the health of Collin Hartman, how he envisions next season’s team coming together and much more.
Watch the complete press conference in the media player below:
A full transcript is available after the jump.
When 2015 prospect Shake Milton found out at the Nike Guards Academy in late June that he was invited to the LeBron James Skills Academy, his reaction was instant excitement.
“There was so much excitement,” he recalled on Monday. “Not a lot of people got to do it, so just being able to have that opportunity and to learn from some of the guys, it’s really helpful.”
Little did the 6-foot-4 Owasso (Okla.) guard expect, though, that he would actually play alongside James at the camp. Doing so this past week in Las Vegas, Milton took note of what made James such a successful player after his up-close examination of the “best basketball player in the world.”
“Just the way he leads, it doesn’t matter who he’s playing with,” Milton said. “The way he puts in effort, he always tries to be the leader of the team.”
Milton said he could take and apply those lessons to his own game. Especially as his recruitment has picked up, he valued his experience at the LeBron camp — in front of several college coaches — not just for on-the-court improvement, but also for off-the-court values.
LAS VEGAS — The summer of 2014 has been a bit of a whirlwind for class of 2015 L.C. Bird (Va.) guard and Indiana recruiting target Kenny Williams. Traveling across the country, Williams spent last week in Las Vegas as a participant in the LeBron James Skills Academy.
On Saturday morning, Inside the Hall sat down with the 6-foot-4 Williams to discuss his experience this summer and his overall recruitment. Our conversation with Williams is posted below:
What has the experience of being at the LeBron James Skills Academy been like, for you?
“It’s been great. All of the top competition in the country, and then you have LeBron playing with us a couple times, it’s always good to see how you match up against the top players in the class. You know you can’t take a day off, and you know how you stack up with them. And I think I stack up well with most two guards in the country.”
Was that something you expected coming in or was it something you learned through your experience?
“I really expected it just because I had confidence in myself. I know what I can do and I know I can stack up with the best in the country.”
What has your summer been like, for you? And when did you find out you would be heading out to Las Vegas?
“It’s been real busy, but I’ve just been learning as much as I can in the camps and using it outside of them. They gave me the invitation at the (Nike) point guard camp (from June 23-25). It was all really exciting.”
What has it meant to you to be at the LeBron James Skills Academy?
“This is my first time out in Vegas. It just means a lot to know that I’m getting some recognition as one of the top players in my class.”
With the end to your recruitment in sight going into your senior year, how often do you think about what your commitment will be like?
Welcome to offseason storylines, a look into some of the biggest storylines surrounding the 2014-2015 Indiana Hoosiers. Next up, a look at where Yogi Ferrell could improve as a junior in Bloomington. (Previously: A look at Indiana’s youth and how it got here, Is Troy Williams ready to make a leap?)
Before the book was definitively closed on the 2013-2014 season, Yogi Ferrell sat in front of his locker at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis following IU’s loss to Illinois in the Big Ten tournament and reflected on a year that had been, in a word, disappointing.
While many of his teammates didn’t offer much in terms of an explanation of what had just transpired over the last 32 games, Ferrell was speaking like a player who already knew he needed to do more.
“Maybe we just don’t know how to overcome adversity,” he said, bluntly. “Next year, we’ve got to hold guys more accountable, make some guys angry, get in some guys faces sometimes. I didn’t do that enough this year not knowing how they’d respond to it. Next year is going to be a different story.”
Ferrell’s offseason, of course, didn’t get off to a great start as he was arrested in late April during Little 500 week, but all has been quiet since then for IU’s junior point guard.
He’s no longer tweeting publicly and in early June at Huber Winery, Tom Crean outlined the shift he is hoping to see internally with his team as it enters the 2014-2015 season.
“Our guys last year spent too much time being buddies, than being absolute comrades,” Crean explained. “Comrades and even friends, they don’t let you make mistakes. It is not just what goes on, on the floor, it is what it is off the floor. Buddies are afraid sometimes of telling each other what needs to be done and we have to outgrow that and Yogi is a key component of that.”