I needed a few days to gather my thoughts on this topic, but since it seems be a frequent point of discussion in the comments, I figured it was worth addressing.
On paper, the signing of Guy-Marc Michel has left Indiana without any additional scholarships for the 2011 class. (Scholarship numbers are available here.) At this past weekend’s adidas May Classic in Bloomington, Herald-Times beat reporter Dustin Dopirak asked several 2011 recruits, including Aaron Thomas, Austin Etherington, Jeremiah Davis and Cody Zeller, for their thoughts on the scholarship crunch.
While I felt the question was fair, I’ve steered clear of asking recruits about it because my point of view is that it’s the job of the coaching staff to figure out how to best allocate scholarships. It’s safe to assume that if Zeller or Davis decide they want to play at IU, they won’t be paying their own way, right?
If you flash back to March of 2009, the scholarship numbers would have indicated that Indiana only had one scholarship to give for 2010. Malik Story and Nick Williams then transferred, freeing up two additional grants.
It’s not inconceivable a player could become homesick or unhappy with their role and leave the program. It happens every year at a lot of programs across the country. ESPN’s Outside the Lines ran a story last January where it looked at the roster turnover in college basketball with a specific focus on John Calipari and Kentucky. And the fact is scholarships are renewable each year.
“I have to sit here and look ahead into the future and figure out OK, how are we going to have to not do this again. That’s what’s hard because there’s a lot of good young players that we’re recruiting that we want and we’ve gotta make sure that we get those and we’ve gotta make sure we have the ability to sign them when they’re ready to come.”
After a big summer for Team Southern Indiana in 2009, Jeffersonville guard Darryl Baker was regarded as one of the top incoming freshman in the state. But a broken leg sidelined Baker for the entire 2009-2010 season and the 6-1 guard could only watch as his teammates knocked off No. 1 Bloomington South in the Seymour regional. Inside the Hall caught up with Baker at the adidas May Classic to get an update on his injury and his recruitment:
The state of Indiana continues to produce top-level talent and the class of 2013 is no different. Watch what a trio of sophomores-to-be — Warren Central’s Devin Davis Jr., Hamilton Southeastern’s Zak Irvin and Ft. Wayne Northrop’s Bryson Scott — had to say at this past weekend’s adidas May Classic in the embedded media players below:
Negedu told The Associated Press he has signed a scholarship offer to play with the Lobos and coach Steve Alford, has been cleared by New Mexico doctors. He is waiting to find out if he will receive an NCAA waiver that will allow him to play in the 2010-11 season.
“I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do,” the 21-year-old Negedu said. “I want to chase my dreams to play basketball. I want to do what makes me happy, and that’s what makes me so happy.”
Meanwhile, Offutt chose a full ride at Ohio University, where he’ll play for John Groce, over the opportunity to walk-on at Indiana. Groce recruited Offutt as an assistant coach at Ohio State.
Notes and observations from Saturday of the adidas May Classic:
+ You’d be hard pressed to find a better 2013 AAU trio than Basil Smotherman, Devin Davis Jr. and Zak Irvin. All three suit up for the Eric Gordon All-Stars and each player is loaded with potential. Irvin, who hit a game-winning shot Friday night to knock off Collin Hartman and the Indiana Elite Stars, continued his stellar play with 19 points in Cook Hall in a 62-47 win over the Ohio Basketball Club early Saturday morning. Irvin played junior varsity last season at Hamilton Southeastern and will surely join Gary Harris on the varsity next winter. He said the main reason he played JV was his strength and he’s working to improve that this summer. Davis Jr., who has a high motor and is a top-level athlete, was equally impressive and will be a sophomore at Warren Central. Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star reported on Thursday that IU offered Davis Jr. a scholarship. The 6-5 Smotherman scored just four points in the Saturday morning game I watched, but is already claiming offers from Purdue and Xavier.
+ Twins Brenton and Bryson Scott of Ft. Wayne Northrop, also members of the 2013 class, turned in solid efforts in an early Saturday win, 75-48, over the Michigan Mustangs. Bryson, the better prospect of the two, had 25 points for the Spiece Indy Heat 15’s and Brent added 14. Afterwards, Bryson said he wasn’t sure whether he’d like to play with his brother in college.
+ Cincinnati Aiken guard Aaron Thomas continues to talk about a heavy interest in Indiana. Thomas said Indiana has offered a scholarship as have DePaul, Xavier and Cincinnati. Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan and Michigan State are also interested. Thomas said he hopes to make a decision by the end of July. (Click here for video.)
+Austin Etherington did not play Saturday and is expected to miss a few weeks due to a stress fracture in his lower back. He could return for the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, which takes place the final weekend of May.
+Kenny Kaminski said he plans to make a decision on July 31 and Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State appear to be the schools to beat for the 6-8 shooter from Medina (OH). Kaminski hopes to visit Wisconsin, Arizona State and Florida before making a decision. (Click here for video.)
Cody Zeller, who led Washington to a 3A state title in March, was in Assembly Hall on Saturday afternoon with Indiana Elite for the adidas May Classic. Zeller talked to reporters about where North Carolina stands in his recruitment, his timetable for a decision, his thoughts on Indiana and more. Watch what Zeller had to say in the embedded media player below: