Around the Hall: Maurice Creek returns to the court

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall crew. So go ahead, get your read on.

+ Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times chats with Maurice Creek about his return to pickup games. The Indiana sophomore guard says he’s feeling 70 to 75 percent healthy.

+ Dylan Burkhardt of UM Hoops breaks down the returning minutes for each Big Ten team for the upcoming season.

+ Jarrod Uthoff, a 2011 forward that had an offer from Indiana, committed to Wisconsin on Monday.

+ Purdue coach Matt Painter can leave West Lafayette without financial penalty after July 1, 2011 according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier.

+ Michigan State center Derrick Nix is confident Chris Allen will return to the Spartans.

+ Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! writes that a Final Four run hasn’t changed Butler’s approach to recruiting.

Tharpe picking up offers, IU still keeping tabs on him

The summer is winding down for Naadir Tharpe, though you wouldn’t know it by the recent flurry of activity that’s marked his recruitment.

After Tharpe’s New England Playaz took home top honors at the West Virginia Hoop Group Jam Fest last week, Tharpe revealed to Inside the Hall that he’s picked up a trio of recent offers.

Virginia, Marquette and Minnesota have all now extended a scholarship to the Class of 2011 point guard, who backed out of his verbal commitment to Providence earlier this year and has started to tally an impressive list of suitors.

Thus far, however, Indiana has not decided to write its name on that list, though Tharpe said the Hoosiers are keeping the lines of communication open.

“Coach (Tim) Buckley and I, we communicate a lot,” Tharpe said by phone Sunday night, adding, “I just know basically offensively, they get up and down pretty fast, and that’s the game that I play.”

Indiana is paying close attention, according to Tharpe, who said he feels his best basketball has come recently, coinciding with his team’s improved play.

“What got us going was our defense,” Tharpe said of his squad’s performance in the Jam Fest event. He said he’s worked hard to improve defensively and involve his teammates whenever possible.

“I’ve been playing a lot better.”

Tharpe’s whirlwind summer is nearly over. The Playaz will go to the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas and then stop in Phoenix for the Desert Duel. The second July evaluation period starts this week, putting the ball in IU’s court once more regarding Tharpe. The 5-foot-11 floor general certainly has plenty of respect to send the other way.

“I know that they have a great program,” he said.

Related:

+ Naadir Tharpe confirms IU interest, keeping options open
+ Naadir Tharpe picks up interest from Indiana
+ Meet Brewster Academy point guard Naadir Tharpe

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

Indiana leading for B.J. Young?

Matt Norlander, the editor of College Hoops Journal and a contributor to the Dagger at Yahoo Sports, reported earlier today via Twitter that Indiana is the top school for 2011 point guard B.J. Young.

Here are Norlander’s tweets:

PG BJ Young, the No. 21 Scout.com ’11 recruit, just told me his top five, in order, are: Indiana, Ark, Baylor, Marquette, Illinois State

He also said Prov, Purdue, Iowa have offered scholarships within the past 2 weeks, and Va. Tech has shown interest but not pulled trigger

This report by Norlander, coupled with our story last week on Young, support our decision to move him ahead of Jeremiah Davis into the second spot on the 2011 Recruiting Board heading into the second 10-day July evaluation period.

Young said last week that Indiana is “probably one of the top schools I would like to go to.”

Scout.com ranks Young, who has yet to play a full high school season, the No. 4 point guard nationally in the 2011 class.

Related:

+ Indiana near the top of the list for B.J. Young
+
B.J. Young talks IU, Elite Camp, NBA Top 100 Camp

July evaluation period: 2012 class (part two)

Inside the Hall hit the recruiting trail for the start of the July evaluation period and made stops at the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis and the Kentucky Hoopfest in Louisville. Here are our notes on prospects in the 2012 class with IU recruiting ties:

(Editor’s Note: The 2011 Recruiting Board, updated on 7/17/10, can be accessed here.)

+ Matt Costello, Bay City Western (MI), Dorian’s Pride (pictured): Costello, a high-energy prospect that rarely takes a play off, is a versatile forward that can knock down shots from the perimeter and also finish in the post. His mid-range game is solid, too, and he doesn’t shy away from taking the open look. Costello excels at doing the little things it takes to win — like setting hard screens and diving for loose balls. He’s listed at 6-8 or 6-9, but looked to be closer to 6-7 based on observing a game and then standing next to him for an interview. It’s tough to imagine Costello leaving his home state with offers from Michigan and Michigan State already in-hand.

+ Kenny Kaminski, Medina (OH), Indiana Elite Team Indiana: Kaminski will announce his decision on July 31 and four schools remain in the mix: Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. Speculation has him leaning towards MSU and he admitted in an interview that his preferred destination is beginning to come into focus. Kaminski is an elite shooter with an improving game in the paint. He’s a better athlete than he’s given credit for, but his ball handling and rebounding are two areas he’s working to improve upon. In a meeting with the Birmingham Storm at The Kentucky Hoopfest, it was Kaminski’s leadership that helped pull together IE Team Indiana for a second half rally in front of Tom Izzo, Bo Ryan and Tim Buckley.

+ Peter Jurkin, United Faith Christian Academy (NC), Indiana Elite Team Indiana: There are a lot of things to like about Jurkin’s size. He’s a legit 7-footer and does a stellar job defending the lane. His length is such that he can often block shots by simply standing his ground with his arms up. He also runs the floor extremely well and shows a pretty nice touch from the foul line. A bit concerning, however, is his lack of upper body strength. It’s no fault of Jurkin’s, but he’ll need to improve in that area to become a real difference maker at the next level. Offensively, he’s still pretty raw and will need to continue developing a go-to post move or two. Still, his ceiling is high enough that it’s a bit surprising he’s not held in a higher regard by the national scouts.

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Leary pleads guilty

The Associated Press reports on Friday that Todd Leary has plead guilty to charges associated with the mortgage fraud scheme he was charged in.

Thirty-nine-year-old Leary of Carmel pleaded guilty in court Thursday to a felony charge of misappropriating title insurance escrow funds. His agreement with Allen County prosecutors calls for him to face up to three years in prison, with that cut in half if he pays nearly $295,000 in restitution before his October sentencing hearing.

If Leary faces jail time in the coming months, it stands to reason he won’t return as a radio analyst for IU next season, if that decision hasn’t already been made.

Related:

+ Leary enters plea of not guilty, surrenders passport
+ IU releases statement regarding Leary matter
+ Leary faces 17 felony charges in real estate scheme

Indiana near the top of the list for B.J. Young

The first 10-day July evaluation period has come and gone for Florissant (MO) point guard B.J. Young.

The 6-4, 175-pound St. Louis Gameface floor general took part in the Buckeye Hoopfest in Columbus, Ohio and the Best Buy Basketball Challenge Series Summer Classic in Bloomington, MN.

At both events, he noticed faces in the crowd representing the Indiana program.

“It’s been going good,” Young said of his time on the summer AAU circuit. “I’ve been seeing Indiana at a lot of my games. My team’s been playing good, we haven’t gotten a championship yet, but we got pretty close.”

It’s no secret that Indiana’s interest in Young has been on the rise since the Elite Camp in early June. And Tom Crean and assistant coach Steve McClain have made it a point to follow him closely this summer.

That approach seems to be paying off as Young is listing the Hoosiers near the top of his list.

“Indiana, I really love them a lot,” he told Inside the Hall on Thursday evening. “I like Coach Tom Crean and Coach McClain a lot. They’re probably one of the top schools I would like to go to.”

Young said Marquette, Baylor, Southern Illinois and Illinois State are also recruiting him hard and added that a perennial Big East power is the latest school to show interest.

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July evaluation period: 2012 class (part one)

Inside the Hall hit the recruiting trail for the start of the July evaluation period and made stops at the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis and the Kentucky Hoopfest in Louisville. Here are our notes on prospects in the 2012 class with IU recruiting ties:

+ Ron Patterson, Broad Ripple (IN), Indiana Elite One: It’s not difficult to become a fan of Patterson once you observe all of the intangibles he brings to the table. While others are focused on scoring as much as possible or attempting to throw down ridiculous dunks, Patterson sticks to the basics: hard-nosed defense, finding the open man, finishing in traffic and crashing the boards. His shot from the perimeter is also continuing to improve. He’s not the most highly sought after recruit Indiana is pursuing for the 2012 class, but he’s probably the best fit in terms of filling a need. And if he can develop the handle to run the point, that’ll make him even more valuable at the next level. There’s been a lot of buzz that Indiana could be the school to beat, but Patterson has yet to declare that sentiment publicly.

+ Yogi Ferrell, Park Tudor (IN), Indiana Elite: It was a bit surprising to see Ge-Lawn Guyn start over Ferrell in the adidas Invitational, but the Park Tudor guard proved he’s worth the accolades he’s received once he got on the court. Ferrell is a competitor that can create for others, make shots from the perimeter and also knock down shots off the dribble. His ball handling is outstanding. There’s been some debate in the comments on who’s the better prospect: Ferrell or Warsaw’s Nic Moore. Having watched both players, it’s tough not to go with Yogi for his size (two inches taller) and his ability to dish off to teammates in the lane. As far as his recruitment goes, Ferrell’s frequent trips to Cook Hall have been well-documented on his Twitter feed, but Michigan is reportedly the school pursuing him the hardest.

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