LEXINGTON, Ky. – With Yogi Ferrell entering his fourth and final season in Bloomington, Indiana has a need for a point guard in the class of 2016.
And it appears the Hoosiers are firmly in the mix for one of the standouts of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.
Bruce Brown, a 6-foot-3 point guard from Vermont Academy (Vt.), is averaging 17.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists in eight EYBL games this season for Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC).
Indiana was among many schools watching Brown closely at this past weekend’s EYBL session at the Kentucky Basketball Academy in Lexington, Kentucky. Assistant coach Chuck Martin was there on Saturday morning as Brown went for 29 points as BABC beat Seattle Rotary, 79-74.
Rated the No. 46 prospect nationally in the 2016 class by the 247Composite, Brown can play both guard spots, but is being recruited as a point guard. The Hoosiers extended a scholarship offer last August and have stayed diligent in his recruitment ever since.
The interest, according to Brown, is mutual.
The early entry deadline for the 2015 NBA draft has passed and Indiana appears to be one of the nation’s biggest winners as all three Hoosiers who were considering leaving early returned to school.
Along with Maryland and Michigan State, Indiana looks like, at least on paper, a viable contender in the Big Ten next season with its top eight scorers returning and the addition of McDonald’s All-American Thomas Bryant.
As a whole, the Big Ten is shaping up to be very deep as Michigan should return to the top 25 with a healthy Caris LeVert, Iowa and Purdue both return four of five starters, Wisconsin brings back Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig and Illinois and Ohio State both add talented recruiting classes.
On Monday, Inside the Hall reached out to three of the most well-respected national college basketball writers in the country for their thoughts on where IU could stack up not only in the Big Ten next season, but also nationally.
Pat Forde, Yahoo! Sports
“The wise decisions of several players to return, coupled with the addition of Thomas Bryant, should make Indiana a contender for the Big Ten title and a top 15 team nationally.
INDIANAPOLIS — On Saturday morning at the adidas Gauntlet Series, Rawle Alkins ran into a familiar face.
Thomas Bryant, Indiana’s newest commit, happened to be at Best Choice Fieldhouse to watch several AAU games with his high school coaches. He stopped Alkins in his tracks.
“He said we could take IU by storm,” Alkins said. “Me and him would just kill, together.”
With Alkins playing just over an hour from Indiana’s campus, the Hoosiers this past weekend took the opportunity to continue their prioritization of recruiting Alkins — a class of 2016 prospect and the Christ the King (N.Y.) guard ranked No. 29 in the class, according to the 247 Composite.
The Hoosiers chose to have a member of their staff at every game Alkins played in Indianapolis. They have had Jordan Fuchs — current walk-on and Alkins’ former high school teammate — and Bryant recruiting him, as well.
“I would say they’re probably recruiting me the hardest right now,” he said.
Throughout Alkins’ recruitment to Indiana, the two sides have shown reciprocated interest.
Indiana began with a scholarship offer last June and has made it a priority to load Alkins with mail and messages to show their high interest in the 6-foot-5 guard. “Oh yeah, I love their mail,” he said.
With his high school career over and his National Letter of Intent signed and delivered to Indiana University, Thomas Bryant is looking ahead to his future.
Bryant had been vocal since his commitment that he wanted to play with Troy Williams, James Blackmon Jr. and Yogi Ferrell and all three players opted to return to Bloomington in recent weeks. The addition of Bryant plus the return of IU’s top eight scorers sets the Hoosiers up for a preseason top 15 ranking and a viable contender in the Big Ten.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Bryant as he participated in the McDonald’s All-American Game, the DICK’s National Tournament, the Derby Festival Basketball Classic and most recently, the Jordan Brand Classic, which put a wrap on his prep career.
“It was a real good experience just going out there and knowing it was the last event of my high school career,” Bryant said Friday in Louisville at the Under Armour Association event. “I just wanted to try to go out with a bang.”
Bryant finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in the Jordan Brand Classic.
Now the focus for Bryant shifts to getting prepared for his arrival in Bloomington. He’ll graduate in late May with a plan of arriving on campus in June. Last week, he received a visit from Tom Crean and Chuck Martin at Huntington Prep.
Indiana point guard Yogi Ferrell has confirmed that he’ll return to Bloomington for his senior season. Gary Parrish of CBS Sports reported his return early Sunday morning.
Ferrell postponed a scheduled announcement on Saturday evening following the death of IU student Hannah N. Wilson.
Here’s the full release issued on his decision to return:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – All-Big Ten guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell has announced that he will return for his senior year at Indiana University.
“Like several other student-athletes in the game of basketball, I have considered the option of leaving college early to join the professional ranks,” said Ferrell. “I have considered many factors, including my family, my education, the game I love, and my goals in life. I would like to thank my family and friends, Coach Crean and his staff, my academic advisor, Marni Mooney, and my teammates for their contributions to my decision-making process.”
“At the end of the day, I have decided that it is in my best interests to continue my education, to build on my involvement in the community, and to improve my skills as a basketball player as a member of the 2015-16 IU Men’s Basketball Team,” Ferrell noted.
Indiana junior point guard Yogi Ferrell will return to Indiana for his senior season, according to a report from Gary Parrish of CBS Sports.
Ferrell has not commented on his plans for next season. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NBA draft is Sunday, April 26 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Ferrell’s return would be a big deal for the Hoosiers as he was a first team All-Big Ten selection for the 2014-2015 season. He was IU’s leading scorer at 16.3 points per game and also hit a team-high 82 3-pointers. He led the Big Ten in assists at 5.2 per game.
Ferrell currently ranks 22nd all-time on the Indiana scoring list with 1,379 points over three seasons. He has appeared in 102 games and has a streak of 65 consecutive games with a 3-pointer made, an IU record and the longest active streak in the NCAA.
Following the tragic death of IU student Hannah N. Wilson, Indiana junior guard Yogi Ferrell has postponed Saturday’s planned announcement regarding his future.
“In consideration of recent tragic events within the IU family, Kevin Ferrell Sr. has postponed the announcement of the future basketball plans of Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell,” a statement from the Kevin Ferrell Foundation said. “The Ferrell family sends out its condolences and prayers to the family of Hannah N. Wilson.”
The announcement was scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse on the north side of Indianapolis.
The NBA early entry deadline is Sunday at 11:59 p.m. ET.