Hanner Perea joins Indiana’s 2012 recruiting class

UPDATED: 2:43 p.m.

Indiana’s 2012 recruiting class just became significantly better.

The news was broken by Evan Daniels of Scout.com: Five-star forward Hanner Perea has given a verbal pledge to the Hoosiers. Perea joins Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin in IU’s 2012 recruiting class.

The commitment followed a weekend during which IU hosted some of the state’s most talented prospects, including Perea, Cody Zeller, Austin Etherington and Yogi Ferrell. For Perea, it was time to pull the trigger.

In Perea, Indiana adds a player with solid NBA potential and the kind of measurables scouts drool over. A 6-foot-8 forward, Perea possesses great athleticism and enough talent for Rivals to tag him the No. 10 overall player in his class. He is the highest-ranked commitment Tom Crean has reeled in at Indiana, and it was the coach, Perea said, that made his final decision easy.

“That’s why I committed, because I know he’s going to help me make my dreams come true and is going to help me get to the next level,” Perea told Inside the Hall by phone shortly after leaving Bloomington Sunday. “He was really happy.”

Perea hit town Friday night and took in the Night of the Living Red scrimmage seated next to Zeller and Etherington. The trio was joined a day later by Indianapolis point guard prospect Yogi Ferrell at the IU-Northwestern football game. The four recruits, all part of the Indiana Elite program, took in the game from the east side of Memorial Stadium, seated with members of the team and sandwiched between Tim Buckley and Crean.

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Tyler Zeller talks Cody’s decision to Seth Davis

NEW YORK - MARCH 30: Tyler Zeller #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels dunks the ball against Rhode Island Rams at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2010 in New York, New York. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)In his North Carolina postcard, published yesterday on SI.com, Seth Davis has a bullet on the Cody Zeller decision with a little insight from his older brother, Tyler.

Behold:

Williams has already put together a fine recruiting class for next season, but it would be even better if Zeller’s younger brother, Cody, a 6-10 forward from Washington, Ind., would join Tyler in Chapel Hill.

Cody is also considering Indiana and Butler, and when I asked Tyler where he thought Cody was going to end up, he said he honestly did not know.

“I don’t think he knows, either,” Tyler told me. “Obviously I’d love for him to come here, but it’s his decision.”

I’m sure it’s a tough call, but I still think Cody’s gonna stay home and play for IU.

Add Davis, a studio host for CBS Sports, to the growing list of media members that are calling Cody to IU.

Night of the Living Red: Talking Points

BLOOMINGTON | So no column tonight. I am robbed — devoid, even — of meaningful candor with regard to Night of the Living Red. Or, more specifically, you and I would both probably prefer we just throw some info out there and hit Halloween weekend in force.

So that’s what we’ll do.

  • First off, yes, Cody Zeller was there. Hanner Perea was too, as was Austin Etherington. No Yogi Ferrell, but the weekend is young, and he’s shown a penchant for IU football games this fall.
  • Talking to Cody and Co. was off limits per NCAA recruiting rules (Which make no sense by the way. Thanks NCAA.) so we didn’t get to chat him up. Got a lot of chat questions trying to gauge Cody’s state of mind, level of enjoyment, etc. A pretty good crowd turned out, and the scrimmage was actually quite entertaining as scrimmages go, but Zeller has been in this process literally for years at this point. He wasn’t going to see something earth-shattering at Indiana he’s never seen before. He looked like a kid taking it in, enjoying himself and hanging out with friends. So in all honesty, I wouldn’t waste too many worry lines on his demeanor.
  • On to the scrimmage. Christian Watford led all scorers with 24 points, and looked really good in isolation when plays broke down. One problem with that was that the Crimson team, made up of more likely starters than the Cream, had some troubles offensively. Watford said afterward that the Cream guys were overplaying their Crimson brethren some, knowing their plays, but that they needed to be more careful offensively. The Crimson turned the ball over 17 times to the Cream’s 11.
  • Guy-Marc Michel is not Tijan Jobe, and he’s not Bawa Muniru. Big man is strong, can control his body at both ends of the floor and looked confident offensively. Both Crean and Michel said afterward that Michel’s level of conditioning has improved immensely since his arrival in Bloomington, and they were pleased it showed Friday. Michel should and will get minutes, and to be honest, in a rather weak Big Ten at the center position, I’m having a hard time coming up with too many guys who can match Michel physically if he plays like he did Friday. Dallas Lauderdale comes to mind, but the list is short. Not saying he’s a double-double average kind of guy, just that his pure size will be hard to match if he plays like that.
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Night of the Living Red: Tom Crean, Watford, Michel, Moore

Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media following Friday’s “Night of the Living Red” scrimmage at Assembly Hall:

As did Christian Watford, Guy-Marc Michel and Daniel Moore (Courtesy of IU Athletics):

Live Blog: Night of the Living Red

Banner recruiting weekend in Bloomington

The recruitment of Washington forward Cody Zeller began for Tom Crean shortly after Indiana’s third-year head coach arrived in Bloomington in April of 2008.

Just five months before Crean coined the now famous catch phrase, “It’s Indiana” in his introductory press conference, Cody’s older brother, Tyler, an Indiana Mr. Basketball and McDonald’s All-American, had announced his decision to play for Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Indiana was a viable option for Tyler until NCAA transgressions began to surface and his official visit, according to an account by former interim head coach Dan Dakich, went awry.

Tyler’s decision, at the time, didn’t seem so discouraging as Eric Gordon was preparing to join D.J. White on a team with Final Four aspirations. And Kelvin Sampson had reeled in another five-star recruit, Devin Ebanks, a few months earlier, easing the blow of losing Tyler to Williams and UNC.

But the IU program began to collapse in the months ahead. Tyler’s feelings that he didn’t want to spend four years of life under the characteristics of Sampson’s program were validated.

As Tyler prepared in the late spring of 2008 for his departure for Chapel Hill, Crean simultaneously began formulating his plan to ensure that Cody wouldn’t make that same choice.

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Big Ten Media Day: Verdell Jones and Maurice Creek

Here’s my two quick chats with Verdell Jones and Maurice Creek from Big Ten Media Day. Come for the latest on their injuries, stay for my stammering and finger being in front of the lens.

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