Trevon Bluiett walked calmly with his teammates into the press room of Conseco Fieldhouse. A smile beamed from ear to ear on the face of the heralded freshman.
As the media peppered Park Tudor coach Ed Schilling and junior Yogi Ferrell with five minutes of questions following the Panthers’ 2A state championship victory, Bluiett had yet to say a word.
“Trevon, keep it down over there,” Schilling joked.
Bluiett smiled at his head coach and then promptly answered a question on his 21-point performance against Hammond Bishop Noll as if he’d been there many times before.
Complete poise. No hesitation. Total confidence. These are usually not words used to describe a freshman, but they seem to fit Bluiett.
As Noll focused much of its attention on stopping Ferrell, the future IU point guard looked to Bluiett and the freshman delivered.
8-of-13 from the field. 4-of-6 from the foul line. Eight rebounds. Two steals. Two blocks.
But perhaps most impressive of all, a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
“He’s got a high IQ for the game,” Bluiett’s father Reynardo told Inside the Hall on Tuesday. “Just playing along with Yogi for a year, he reads him and his other teammates and knows tendencies pretty well. He studies the game and always seems to be a step ahead of everybody as far as knowing where to be.”
The 6-7 Hollowell played for the Eric Gordon All-Stars last year, but decided to make the move to Indiana Elite for the opportunity to play with fellow IU commits Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, Ron Patterson, Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin.
Inside the Hall caught up with Hollowell on Tuesday night for a brief Q & A:
On the decision to move to Indiana Elite:
“After I committed to IU pretty much I knew I was going to do it. It seemed only right to do it. I’m going to be going to college with those guys. So having a chance to play AAU with them, getting a feel for playing with them, just bonding over the summer, that can only help us prepare for the future and things like that. So I just thought it would be a good thing to do.”
On getting back on the court this weekend at the IndyBall.com Shootout:
“I’m excited to get back into the AAU season. My last AAU season. I’m just ready for a great summer, really.”
On the opportunity to play with future teammates this spring and summer:
“I think it’s pretty big. Knowing those four were playing with each other and them being on another team, it kind of seemed like, ‘why wouldn’t I be playing with them?’ I’m going to school with them, so I think that was a major part of it. Just knowing that we’re going to the same school, having the opportunity to play AAU with them. I still like my Eric Gordon team, though. This is just what I wanted to do, seemed like the right thing to do, so I’m going to go ahead and do it. Nothing against my team from last year, just preparing for my future.”
Joe Eberhardt is a high school sports blogger and recruiting analyst for Inside the Hall. You can follow him on Twitter at @IndyHSHoops and read his blog,IndyHSHoops.com.
An Indiana target since his freshman year of high school, Ron Patterson excited Hoosier fans by committing to the Hoosiers in August of 2010. The junior guard led his Broad Ripple team to a city championship this year, the school’s second consecutive crown. Patterson will be teaming up with fellow Indiana commitments Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, Peter Jurkin and Hanner Perea on an Indiana Elite team this summer.
The first thing that stands out about Patterson is his explosive athleticism. Also blessed with a great wingspan, the junior guard plays much bigger than his 6-3 frame. He’s a formidable shot blocker for his size and rebounds very well from the guard position. Patterson excels at finishing above the rim, and isn’t afraid to go up with the ball against bigger defenders.
Patterson has improved his shooting ability throughout his high school career. Patterson has grown to become a reliable 3-point shooter, both off the bounce, and in catch and shoot situations. He also is able to knock down the pull-up mid-range jumper, a weapon he’ll often use in transition. Patterson’s rugged and physical play helps him on the offensive end and he’s able to finish against opponents after contact and get to the foul line.
Defensively, Patterson is great on the perimeter, using his length, strength, quickness and great instincts to lock down opponents. One area where Patterson could improve is his ability to handle the ball. Tightening up his handle a little bit would help Patterson become more dangerous off the bounce, and increase his productivity. Once Patterson begins his career at Indiana, fans will quickly appreciate his hard working attitude.
Here’s some selected, scattered highlights from the inagural All-American Championship featuring IU recruiting target Gary Harris (No. 40 in red) and the uncommitted D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (No. 4 in red).
IU verbal commits Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (No. 8 in red) and Hanner Perea (No. 12 in red) are also featured.
The landscape of next season’s Big Ten should come into focus over the coming weeks as early entry NBA Draft candidates must make their intentions known before the April 24 deadline. (Prospects who have not hired an agent then have until May 8 to withdraw their names.)
While the conference only has one elite draft prospect (Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger), there are several fringe candidates that could potentially impact the standings next winter when the league shifts to 12 teams.
Here’s a breakdown of the top candidates and what we know of their draft prospects at this time:
Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, Status: Returning to school
The Ohio State freshman was a lock to be picked in the lottery, but quickly announced after the Buckeyes’ loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 that he would return to Columbus for his sophomore season. Sullinger should be the front runner for Big Ten player of the year and Ohio State will be the unanimous favorite to win the conference with him anchoring the post.
Darius Morris, Michigan, Status: Gathering feedback
The Michigan sophomore is mistakenly listed by many as having declared for the draft, but at this point, he’s only receiving advice from the NBA undergraduate advisory committee. He’s listed as an early second round pick on most mock draft boards, but has the potential to sneak into the last few picks of the first round. His return to Ann Arbor would likely solidify Michigan as one of the top four teams in the Big Ten next year.
To avoid hyperbole or unnecessary rambling: I’ve signed onto 247 Sports’ new venture with Inside Indiana. I will, unfortunately, be leaving this space, which has grown rather dear to me over the last year-plus.
I signed on with Alex and Ryan in January of last year, but the truth is, much like many of you, I had been reading Inside The Hall pretty much since its inception.
To be a part of the impressive growth the site has undertaken — even if just a small part — has been a real treat, and something I’ll probably treasure forever.
I guess this isn’t quite goodbye, as I’ll still be around. In fact if anything, my responsibilities will expand to covering football as well, so you’ll be hearing more from me than surely you could ever want to.
Again, I promised I would be brief — plus I’m awful at goodbyes — so let me please just say thank you to all of you for making my time on the site as fun and as wonderful as you have. It really was a treat.