Dominique Ferguson headed to Florida International

In a move that he says will place him in a program that will build around him, former Lawrence North forward Dominique Ferguson is headed to Florida International. Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports and Evan Daniels of broke the news earlier this afternoon.

Ferguson, who recently announced plans to leave Jack Keefer’s program at Lawrence North, will play this fall at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham (VA) before playing at FIU for Isiah Thomas.

There’s no denying the talent of Ferguson, a consensus top 25 player in the 2010 class, but perceived academic and attitude issues led some of his more notable suitors to take a wait and see approach.

The 6-9 wing de-committed from Kentucky after Billy Gillispie was fired in early April. He attended Indiana’s Elite Camp in June, but did not participate due to an injury. The Indiana staff had expressed interest in Ferguson after he opened up his recruitment, but didn’t offer a scholarship.

Tom Crean updates the status of Maurice Creek and Bawa Muniru

With classes set to start at the end of the month, there are still two noticeable absences from IU’s 2009 recruiting class on campus: Maurice Creek and Bawa Muniru.

The details have been a little murky, but it’s believed Creek, due to bouncing around to several schools during his high school career, was finishing up course work this summer before being able to make the jump to college. Muniru similarly had work to do — or scores to acheive — before he could make the leap to college.

Just a few minutes ago, Tom Crean tweeted this about Creek:

I talked with Maurice Creek earlier today. He has finished up his work and now we will wait with cautious optimism for his clearance.

And about Muniru:

Bawa is finishing up all of his work this week too. He wants to get here as soon as he can. We want him here too.

So yes: neither has been cleared yet, but according to Crean, both will have their work done this week, and if all goes well, they’ll be joining their teammates this fall.

Crean added in another tweet that Creek told him he was shooting around with Kevin Durant today. Never a bad dude to be hanging around with on the basketball court.

Etherington makes the call: It’s Indiana

When Austin Etherington met with a small group of reporters following Indiana Elite Team Indiana’s opening game of the July evaluation period in Cincinnati, the 2011 wing had no timetable for making a decision on his college destination.

Indiana, Xavier and Butler were hot in pursuit and interest in the Hamilton Heights standout was quickly gaining momentum. Fast forward one month and Etherington is the second member of Indiana’s 2011 recruiting class.

Inside the Hall caught up with Etherington on Monday evening following his commitment for a Q & A:

On the decision to commit early to Indiana:

“I knew that I wanted to stay close because of my family. The only schools that I was really waiting on were out of state schools. I knew that I needed to go ahead and get it over with and I knew that I wanted to go to IU so I didn’t want to wait any longer.”

On the moment he realized he wanted to go to Indiana:

“When I went there for the visit, I loved the campus and the whole coaching staff. I just didn’t know how to react because the whole process was new. When I was in Las Vegas, I started telling myself I wanted to go to IU because I knew that’s what I wanted to do. When I got back I talked to my dad and my family and they felt like it was the right choice for me.”

On delivering the news of the commitment to Tom Crean:

“I called him today and just told him. He was real excited because he’s always been wanting to coach me. So now that he gets the chance to he was real happy and ready to coach me.”

On what he’ll need to work on the next two years and where he sees himself playing at the next level:

“I’m just going to work hard and get better at every aspect of my game. I’m going to prove myself that I’m capable of playing there and just become the best player I can be. I’ll probably play the two or the three. Hopefully, it’s the two but I need to work on my ball handling and be able to guard the two and work on that.”

Austin Etherington joins Indiana’s 2011 class

Tom Crean tweeted that he was ready for a commitment late on Friday night. He didn’t have to wait long.

6-6 wing Austin Etherington has joined Matt Carlino as the second member of Indiana’s 2011 recruiting class, according to our friend Chris Korman.

Etherington is the No. 57 player nationally in his class on New Mexico, Notre Dame, Xavier, Butler and Oklahoma State were among the other schools that had offered the Hamilton Heights junior-to-be.

We’ll have more on Etherington’s decision later today.


Kyrie Irving will trim list after Elite 24 Hoops Classic

According to a report by Adam Zagoria, 2010 Indiana target Kyrie Irving will cut his list of schools following the Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic later this month:

Some observers consider Indiana to be the unofficial leader for Irving because assistant coach Roshown McLeod has worked very hard to develop a relationship with Irving. Yet Duke, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, Notre Dame and others are also involved.

“Pretty soon I’m gonna narrow down the schools. After Elite 24,” Irving wrote by text.

It’s no secret that Indiana fans are anxiously awaiting a big-time commitment and Irving could be the guy. All indications still point to Irving taking official visits to his final five schools and then making a decision shortly thereafter.

An ideal weekend for Irving to visit Bloomington would likely be October 16-18. The Hoosiers first official practice, Hoosier Hysteria, will take place on Friday evening and the football team hosts Illinois for homecoming on Saturday.

The Elite Classic will take place on August 22 at Rucker Park in Harlem and will be televised live on ESPNU.

Open Thread: Which incoming freshman will make the biggest impact?

If you haven’t noticed, it’s a slow news time around these parts. The summer AAU evaluation periods wraps up at the end of this week, football is about to start and the countdown to Hoosier Hysteria is about to begin.

In the spirit of keeping the discussion fresh, it’s time for … wait for it … an open thread. Today’s topic: Which incoming freshman will make the biggest impact?

There are a lot of factors to consider here. Primarily, it’s going to be your call on how to define impact. If you’re going to define it by stats, you’re probably going with Christian Watford or Maurice Creek. If you’re going to define it by bringing a winning attitude to the program, you’re going with Jordan Hulls. If you’re going with toughness and grit, you’re going Derek Elston or Bobby Capobianco. Or if you’re going with the potential to morph into Hasheem Thabeet, you’re going Bawa Muniru.

Show your work, boys and girls. And remember, Jeremiah Rivers is not a freshman.

Around the Hall: Bloomington South, Irving and Vegas

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall crew.

+ It’s been viva, Las Vegas for Bloomington South basketball team. {The Louisville Courier-Journal}

+ According to John Calipari’s Twitter page, Tom Crean’s son, Riley, has challenged Calipari’s son, Brad, to a three-point shooting contest. {Twitpic}

+ 2010 IU target Kyrie Irving drops 37 on Team Final in Orlando. {Zagsblog}

+ Louisville Courier-Journal recruiting expert Jody Demling’s comprehensive reports from Las Vegas: Day 1; Day 2; Day 3; Day 4.

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