Hoosier Hysteria is on the horizon and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2009-2010 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Bawa Muniru.
Finding a potentially dominant big man at any level of basketball is not an easy thing to do. And even though he’d only been playing organized basketball for roughly five years, that’s exactly why high-major programs were lining up to recruit 7-0 Ghana native Bawa Muniru.
Muniru, who is awaiting word from the NCAA on his eligibility for the upcoming season, comes to Bloomington as somewhat of a mystery. He’s a solid 260 pounds with a physique that resembles a body builder more than it does a basketball player. At Madison Academy in Alabama, Muniru helped lead his school to three straight state titles before finishing his prep career at Mt. Zion Academy.
The key to Muniru’s development will be patience, hard work and persistence. Offensively, he appears to be very raw. The limited film available on him suggests he’s most comfortable receiving an entry pass deep enough where he can gather himself and go straight up for a dunk. On defense, he has the tools (a 7-3 wingspan) to become an excellent shot blocker and more importantly, a presence capable of locking down the lane.
The ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia is out this week and tucked on page 1196 is a computer based ranking of the top programs of all-time. The formula, composed by Jeff Sagarin, looks at wins and losses, scoring margin and an additional ranking that combines the first two factors.
The Big Ten placed five programs in the top ten: Indiana (5), Illinois (6), Purdue (8), Ohio State (9) and Iowa (10). And the four programs ahead of IU are, in order: Kentucky, UCLA, Kansas and North Carolina.
It’s hard to justify this formula as the best way to determine all-time greatness, but they did accurately peg what I perceive to be the top five. After that, Illinois ahead of Duke seems to throw up a red flag as does having Michigan State all the way down at No. 15.
From what I’ve been told, the book, which is 1,232 pages, is a must-have for college basketball fans. It’s packed with just about every pertinent fact from the game’s history: tournament brackets, polls, team histories and of course, these rankings. Update your Christmas lists accordingly.
Hoosier Hysteria is on the horizon and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2009-2010 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Christian Watford.
If Maurice Creek is the freshman most ready to contribute, Christian Watford is not far behind. A consensus top 50 recruit nationally, Watford chose the Hoosiers over Alabama, Kentucky, Memphis and Louisville. Both Tom Crean and Bennie Seltzer put a great deal of effort into his recruitment and were able to sell the Indiana as the place where Watford can best prepare his game for the next level. His commitment in early September of last year lifted Indiana’s class into the top ten nationally.
At 6-8 and 215, Watford is a versatile wing that can score from the perimeter and also finish on the block. His handle on the perimeter is solid enough to utilize a pull-up jump shot that he’s able to knock down consistently. Although he’ll need to bulk up to compete on the block in the Big Ten, his ability to finish in traffic with contact is already a strong suit of his game.
Naadir Tharpe, Scout.com’s No. 12 point guard nationally in the 2011 class, has a new school expressing interest: Indiana.
Assistant coach Tim Buckley watched the 5-11 point guard work out a couple of weeks ago at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire and Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports tweeted last week that the Hoosiers were coming on strong.
“It seems like we’re going to start building a relationship together,” Tharpe said. “I haven’t spoken to Coach Crean yet, but I was talking to one of the assistant coaches and he said that Coach Crean was going to come back up to Brewster to see me. So we’ll just see how that goes.”
Tharpe, who listed Arizona as his top school over the summer, appears to be wide open and is looking forward to learning more about the IU program.
“I really don’t know a lot about the program, but something I do know is that usually it’s a really good, winning program,” he said. “I know that Coach Crean is a really tough coach and he works his players hard to strive to be the best. I want to know more about Indiana, that’s why I’m going to keep on talking to the coaches.”
If you’re following us on Twitter, you may have noticed an update from Fox Sports writer Jeff Goodman regarding Indiana coming on strong for 2011 point guard Naadir Tharpe.
Tharpe is a 5-11 point guard at Brewster Academy (NH) and is rated No. 62 nationally by Scout.com and No. 80 by Rivals.com. In April, Tharpe told WildcatSportsReport.com that he could potentially re-classify to 2010: “It’s like this – I am at Brewster Academy right now and a 2011 player. I was looking things over with my Coach and if my grades are right and the college is perfect for me next year then I could possibly become a 2010 player.”
Here’s an interview with Tharpe, which was filmed in July at the adidas Super 64:
Hoosier Hysteria is on the horizon and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2009-2010 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Bobby Capobianco.
The least heralded by analysts of Indiana’s 2009 recruiting class, Bobby Capobianco won’t be the first name you come across when browsing the various preseason magazines beginning to hit newsstands.
Capobianco, a 6-8 bruiser from Loveland (OH), is the son of a former Vanderbilt basketball standout, Barbara and a former Vanderbilt football player, Bob. Tom Crean began recruiting him while at Marquette and just 15 days after landing in Bloomington, Capobianco became Crean’s first commitment. He led Loveland to a 17-4 record last season and averaged 18 points and eight rebounds per game.
The trademark of his game lies in the paint and his impact will be felt primarily on the boards. He’s capable of putting up points on the block using either hand and has a nice stroke from 15-17 feet. It’s doubtful that he’ll block a ton of shots, but he won’t stand for getting beat by defenders, either. Capobianco’s effort on defense is the trademark of his game. What he lacks in foot speed and athleticism, he makes up for with a willingness to work hard on every possession.
That, in a nutshell, is how the National Letter of Intent will be enforced at NCAA member schools moving forward according to a report by The Sporting News:
The National Letter of Intent Policy and Review Committee sent a memo to member schools Thursday announcing that “institutions should be aware they are prohibited from establishing any additional conditions associated with the NLI agreement in advance of a prospective student-athlete signing the NLI.”
A copy of the memo was provided to Sporting News by a Division I basketball coach. The memo declares that if any institution or its employees “offer additional conditions, the prospective student-athlete’s NLI is subject to being declared null and void along with possible institutional penalties.” The memo does not state what sort of penalties might be enforced.
Obtaining a release from a Letter of Intent has become commonplace following coaching changes: both Devin Ebanks and Terrell Holloway were released from IU after Kelvin Sampson was fired. This past spring, Xavier Henry invoked a clause in his LOI with Memphis after John Calipari left the school and bolted for Kansas.