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So, what’s the plan for 2011?

With Austin Etherington committed and just one scholarship remaining (two if you count the over-sign), the construction of the 2011 recruiting class will be a prime storyline to follow this offseason. Let’s take a deeper dive into whom Indiana is recruiting for this pivotal class:

Cody Zeller: IU’s need for a versatile big man who can play could be filled by a prospect who resides just 62 miles southwest of Bloomington. The 6-11 Zeller, who led Washington to a 3A state championship with a dominating 20-point, 26-rebound performance, is blossoming into a legitimate five-star prospect. Zeller continues to keep a tight lid on his recruitment and will likely take several official visits in the fall before reaching a decision. Indiana, along with Butler and North Carolina, are considered the schools to beat. If there’s a 2011 recruit Indiana can’t afford to miss out on, it’s the prohibitive favorite for 2011 Mr. Basketball: Cody Zeller.

- Jeremiah Davis: Landing Davis, a powerful 6-3 guard who can play on or off the ball, could actually be better long term for a program trying to establish stability than a one-and-done talent like Marquis Teague. The Muncie Central guard was once considered a Michigan State lean, but Indiana has turned up the heat on Davis and might be the school to beat along with Cincinnati. Davis has talked about rooming with Etherington in college, but is staying the course with his pledge to hold off on a decision until he, in his words, “finds the right fit.” If Zeller is priority No. 1 for IU, Davis is 1A.

- Aaron Thomas: Thomas, a 6-5 scorer from Cincinnati, was named the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a junior as he averaged 22.1 points per game. He’s yet to receive a scholarship offer from Indiana, but told us last month that he was “pretty high” on the Hoosiers. West Virginia, Michigan, Cincinnati, Louisville and Ohio State are also recruiting Thomas.

- Nic Moore: The 5-9 point guard from Warsaw has yet to receive an offer from a high major school, but that could change quickly if he performs well come July with Spiece Indy Heat. He can flat out score, but needs to work on getting into the lane and dishing off to complete his game. Indiana continues to evaluate Moore, but whether or not that interest blossoms into an offer remains to be seen.

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Video: Northern Idaho College’s Guy-Marc Michel

Indiana’s quest to add a big man to its 2010 recruiting class continues and the latest name to surface is 7-1 Northern Idaho College big man Guy-Marc Michel.

Michel, who will have two years of college eligibility, is originally from Sainte Marie, Martinique. He reportedly visited the IU campus this past weekend and once played for the Under-20 French National Team.

As a sophomore, Michel averaged seven points, seven rebounds and three blocks and was named first team All-Scenic West Athletic Conference. Detailed scouting reports of Michel are available here and here.

Or if you’d prefer to get a look at Michel, check out the video Kelin passed along earlier this evening (he’s wearing No. 42 in blue):

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Report: Former IU guard Armon Bassett arrested

As many an IU fan watched the NCAA Tournament in March, it was only natural to ponder what might have been. As former Hoosiers like Armon Bassett and Jordan Crawford had their one shining moment, Indiana missed the tournament for the second consecutive season.

And then, you hear of a story like the one below from The Post in Athens and are once again reminded that cleaning house and starting over was absolutely the way to go:

Athens police arrested an Ohio University basketball player for assaulting a doorman last night. According to a report from the Athens Police Department, Armon Dante Bassett assaulted a doorman at Courtside Pizza and Bar, 85 North Court Street, then fled on foot.

It appeared that the doorman had a broken nose, according to the report. Police arrested Bassett, a junior and guard for OU’s team, in the Verizon parking lot on North Court Street after 11 p.m.

This news surely won’t help Bassett’s standing in the NBA Draft, where he was already considering a long shot to be selected. And while we’re in police blotter mode, Xavier Keeling was arrested last week in Bloomington on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, according to The Herald-Times.

Around the Hall: Offutt, Noreen, Crean on expansion, more

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

+ Dustin Dopirak reports that Walter Offutt will attend IU if his financial aid package works. (The Hoosier Scoop)

+ Dopirak also reports that Kevin Noreen, a 6-10 forward from Minneapolis who originally signed with Boston College, will take an official visit to IU on May 7-8. (The Hoosier Scoop)

+ The NCAA has approved a 68-team NCAA Tournament beginning next season. (Associated Press)

+ Tom Crean and other coaches weigh-in on tournament expansion to Dana O’Neil. (ESPN.com)

+ Terry Hutchens writes that Guy Marc Michel, a 7-1 junior college center, will visit IU this weekend. (Indianapolis Star)

+ Kyle Neddenriep reports that Matt Carlino will not play for the Indiana Junior All-Stars. (Indianapolis Star)

+ Both Will Sheehey and Victor Oladipo fell slightly in the final Rivals 150 for 2010. (Rivalshoops.com)

+ IU Athletic Director Fred Glass will receive the Trevor R. Brown Award. (IUHoosiers.com)

Q & A: Walter Offutt

NCAA First Round: Siena Saints v Ohio State BuckeyesIndiana could get a major boost in the coming weeks as former Ohio State and Wright State guard Walter Offutt will choose between walking-on in Bloomington or playing for John Groce at Ohio University. Offutt was a four-star recruit in the 2008 class, but played in just 21 games as a freshman at Ohio State and in two games last fall as a sophomore before transferring to Wright State.

He averaged 17.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals as a junior at Warren Central before missing his senior season due to injury. Inside the Hall caught up with Offutt on Wednesday night for a Q & A:

On his decision to leave Wright State:

“One of the main reasons was (Brad) Brownell leaving to go to Clemson. Brownell was a good coach and I thought I could do really well under him. I really liked his system and wanted to do well under him. Obviously, he left and took on a bigger job at Clemson which is respectable. I’m not mad at him for that. I don’t know how it will be at Wright State. I don’t have the best relationship with Billy Donlon and the way he does things. I just don’t see myself playing with them, so I chose to leave.”

On how the interest in Indiana began:

“My former AAU team, Indiana Elite, the head of that team, Mark Adams and Mike Barnett, Kory Barnett’s Dad, they really like IU’s program and really looked after me during the recruiting process. Obviously I was recruited and went to Ohio State and committed there at an early age so I really didn’t have a chance to be recruited by many schools. They really had a good relationship with Coach Crean and I’ve been thinking about IU for a while. Even though I left the first time, I couldn’t go inter-conference, but now I have the opportunity to walk-on. I talked to Coach Crean already and actually, it’s kind of funny because he wanted to recruit me right after I committed to Ohio State when he was at Marquette. We kind talked about that and that’s how it all kind of started.”

On his interest in Ohio University:

“John Groce, he was the associate head coach at Ohio State and pretty much recruited me all throughout high school and I’ve got a very good relationship with him as well. So obviously, that’s why Ohio is in the mix. He’s showing some interest and has offered me a full ride, so that’s where it stands with that.”

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Matt Carlino to UCLA … in the 2010 class

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Bloomington South guard Matt Carlino will graduate high school a year early and attend UCLA next fall as a member of the 2010 class.

Carlino, who originally committed to IU back in August of 2008 following an Elite Camp, re-opened the process on March 25. And now, Carlino will enroll as a Bruin next fall. Here’s what he told Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times about his decision:

“It has great tradition. It’s close to home and they’ve got a great coach in coach (Ben) Howland. There are great players coming in there and there currently. I just feel like it’s a great situation for me to come in and help out.”

The Carlino situation is an interesting one with many dynamics. First, he committed very early to Indiana, so it’s not surprising that he would end up changing his mind. It happens quite often.

But beyond that, Carlino and his father, Mark, moved from the Phoenix area to Bloomington last spring to get a closer look at the IU program. And now, he’ll leave Bloomington South, graduate high school a year early, move across the country again and re-classify to 2010. While it would be easy to question the decision making here, the better route is to wish Carlino the best and move along.

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