Here’s what we’ve been able to piece together from Saturday’s Elite Camp that took place at Assembly Hall:
+ Both of IU’s 2011 commitments, Austin Etherington (pictured) and Matt Carlino, played well. Carlino’s shot reportedly looked much better than it did over the summer.
+ 2011 Muncie Central guard Jeremiah Davis attended the camp and the buzz continues to be that IU is in great shape with him. Davis is an AAU teammate of Etherington on Indiana Elite Team Indiana.
+ Current NBA players Eric Gordon, Steve Novak and Jared Jeffries all attended the camp. Both Novak and Jeffries spoke to the campers and Novak was spotted in IU shorts.
+ 2012 campers: Lawrence Central’s Jeremy Hollowell, Southport’s Kellon Thomas, Bloomington South’s T.J. Bell and Menomonee Falls (WI)’s J.P. Tokoto. Ron Patterson did not attend and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera is spending the weekend taking unofficial visits.
+ 2013 campers: Jeffersonville’s Darryl Baker and North Oldham (KY)’s Darryl Hicks. I had a chance to see both players over the summer and they both have a chance to be special. Jody Demling of The Louisville-Courier-Journal is reporting that Indianapolis Cathedral’s Collin Hartman and Brent and Bryson Scott of Ft. Wayne Northup attended.
+ 2011 guard/forward Aaron Thomas from Cincinnati Aiken (OH) is in Bloomington this weekend, but we’re not sure if he played in the camp. The IU staff followed Thomas closely in July at the Kentucky Hoopfest.
+ Indianapolis Pike’s Marquis Teague did not make it to the camp and all signs continue to point toward Louisville for Teague.
+ 2011 Gary Lew Wallace standout Branden Dawson opted to attend Marquette’s ‘specialty’ camp according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Significant here is that Dawson is considered a Purdue lean and the Boilermakers also held a camp of their own on Saturday. The Journal Sentinel report also claims that Michael Cobbins, Vander Blue, Reggie Smith, Jeremy Lamb and DeJuan Marrero attended the Marquette camp.
The Kentucky Hoopfest kicked off Thursday in Louisville and Inside the Hall attended the evening session at Hoops and Basketball Academy.
+ Among the coaches in attendance: Tom Crean and Tim Buckley; Michigan State’s Tom Izzo; Butler’s Brad Stevens; Xavier’s Chris Mack and assistants from Ohio State, Tennessee, Iowa, Wisconsin and Purdue.
+ At Hoops, the Spiece Indy Stars crushed Indiana Swish Orange. This Spiece group was coming off a tournament win at the Hoosier Shootout and Broad Ripple’s Ron Patterson, Lawrence Central’s Jeremy Hollowell (pictured), Southport’s Kellon Thomas and Avon’s Austin Burgett were all impressive. You’d be hard pressed to find a stronger group of 15-year olds.
Hollowell confirmed that Indiana is ready to make an offer, but it won’t be official until his mother gets a chance to be there for the occasion. Iowa and Cincinnati have offered. Hollowell is 6-5 (and still growing) and said he enjoyed his time last month at the Indiana Elite Camp.
With roughly two and a half years to recruit before the early signing period in November of 2010, the fruits from the Indiana staff’s recruiting efforts for the 2011 class could be plentiful. The only catch? The uncertainty of the scholarship situation. A quick look at the scholarship numbers page shows the Hoosiers have two available scholarships for 2011 (three if they oversign by one.) But if the Hoosiers add to the 2010 class, the number of available scholarships will decrease accordingly.
That said, let’s take a look at the names being frequently mentioned in Indiana’s 2011 recruiting efforts:
— Marquis Teague – Depending on who you talk to, Indiana’s chances to land Teague range from coming on strong to a longshot. Where the Hoosiers actually stand is anybody’s guess. Teague’s talent is undeniable. He is an excellent ball handler and can both score and distribute from the point guard position. And he’s already ready physically for the rigors of the Big Ten. His only knocks? An attitude that sometimes doesn’t endear him to officials and a jumpshot that is still improving. In the end, Teague possesses the talent to be special.
— Cody Zeller – I’ve watched Zeller twice this spring and came away impressed after watching him in the adidas May Classic. He’s a legitimate 6-9 and still growing. And as is usually the case with big men, he’s tweaking his game to adjust to his changing physique. Zeller is a heady player who can be a little too unselfish at times, but his skills in the post are very good. If he can improve his strength over the next two years, he’ll be a difference maker.
If you’ve had a hard time keeping up with Tom Crean’s whereabouts the past couple of days, that’s because he’s been all over the country watching potential recruits workout.
Various reports have indicated that Crean has been to see Indianapolis Pike’s Marquis Teague, Lawrence North’s Dominique Ferguson, Muncie Central’s Jeremiah Davis, Will Barton (Baltimore) and Ge-Lawn Guyn (Scott County, KY). And that’s just a small sampling of the names that have surfaced to this point.
So you ask, what’s my point? Crean ‘gets it’. He realizes that the name Indiana by itself no longer sells recruits on the program. Sure, the prestige is still recognized around the country and can be leveraged in some situations. But Crean realizes that working hard around the clock is the way to bring the Indiana program back to national prominence. And he’s doing just that.
The spring contact period ends today.
Muncie Central’s Jeremiah Davis was thrust into the national spotlight when then Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie offered him a scholarship following his freshman season. With his sophomore season in the books, Davis is on the spring AAU circuit with Indiana Elite’s Team Indiana and is enjoying playing alongside a talented cast.
“We’ve got a real talented team. My teammates are great,” Davis said. “We play together. We’ve got a lot of heart.”
The 6-3 guard averaged 13 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists as a sophomore and has picked up offers from Indiana, Purdue, Ball State and Tennessee in addition to his UK offer. Xavier and Ohio State watched him work out last week at Muncie Central.
“I don’t know about Kentucky, but hopefully once everything settles down, we’ll go down there and visit the campus,” he added. “Right now I’m just surveying to see what’s going on. We’re going to have to see what the right fit for me is.”
As far as his interest in the Hoosiers, Davis likes what he’s been able to see of the campus so far and says he keeps in regular contact with Tom Crean.
“I talk to Coach Crean a lot. He’s a good guy. He’s very energetic,” Davis said. “I’ve been down to campus about three times already. It’s really nice, I like it a lot.”
Scouting report: Davis is a strong point guard that can hit the jump shot off the dribble and also get to the basket and finish. In games on Friday evening and Saturday morning, Davis showed the ability to distribute the ball and also score in bunches. He’ll need to improve on defense and with his agility. He’s definitely a prospect the Indiana staff will be keeping tabs on over the summer.
Tuesday was another whirlwind day for Indiana basketball as Tijan Jobe joined the 2008 class, Jordan Hulls pledged for 2009 and Emmanuel Negedu was released from Arizona and is listing IU as a possible destination. Here are some links to coverage of those stories, plus an update on Maurice Sutton and Muncie Central guard Jeremiah Davis, for your reading pleasure: