Indiana’s recruiting efforts in the area known as the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) in the Tom Crean era have yielded talents like Victor Oladipo, Maurice Creek and Stanford Robinson over the last five years.
As arguably the most talent rich pocket of the country, it’s no surprise that the Hoosier staff continues to recruit the area hard. One of the rising players in the area with strong IU interest is Marcus Derrickson, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound forward with a versatile skill set.
Playing against elite competition in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, Derrickson averaged a double-double as a sophomore — 13 points and 10 rebounds — and shot 84.3 percent from the free throw line. He was first team All-WCAC.
This spring and summer, he’s playing up one year with Team Takeover in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL). Takeover also produced Oladipo, Creek and Robinson and is currently the only unbeaten EYBL team at 13-0.
“We set the tone of the game,” Derrickson told Inside the Hall of his team at EYBL Dallas last weekend. “We start out by playing defense and our offense comes through after that. We all take pride in our defense. We work hard and will always continue to look to get better and improve different aspects of our game.”
Indiana was one of the first schools to offer Derrickson a scholarship, but the Hoosiers aren’t alone in pursuing him.
He’s already got more than 15 scholarship offers and the list includes Maryland, Georgetown, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami (FL), Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Villanova and others.
Derrickson took an unofficial visit with his high school coach at Paul VI Catholic (Va.), Glenn Farello, for IU’s final home game with Ohio State and has been impressed with the player development that’s taking place in Bloomington.
“It’s big for me. I’m always looking to get better,” he said. “That’s what I do. I play games and look at things I can get better at and make my weaknesses my strength. Coach (Tom) Crean does a great job of developing players and getting the max potential out of them.”
Indiana’s recruiting prowess in the DMV area has been well-established for much of Tom Crean’s tenure in Bloomington. Crean’s second recruiting class included Maurice Creek and his third included Victor Oladipo.
But more recently, IU’s efforts in the area have ramped up to a higher level with the addition of assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Kenny Johnson, a native of Oxon Hill, Maryland and formerly a high school coach (Paul VI Catholic), college assistant (Towson) and AAU director (Team Takeover) in the area.
Shortly after Johnson’s hiring in Bloomington, the Hoosiers added Stanford Robinson, another DMV area recruit, to the fold and several recruiting targets in the 2014 and 2015 classes have emerged from the area.
Two of the early 2015 targets are Paul VI Catholic duo Marcus Derrickson (pictured) and Franklin Howard. The Hoosier staff has already watched Paul VI Catholic, which is off to a 4-1 start, twice this fall.
Despite losing Robinson, who transferred to Findlay Prep in Las Vegas for his senior season, Paul VI already owns a win over Oak Hill Academy and the Panthers are up to No. 17 in the latest USA Today Super 25.
A big reason for their ascent is the play of Derrickson, a 6-foot-7, 250-pound forward with an IU offer and Howard, a versatile 6-foot-4 guard who has drawn interest from IU.
“They’re basketball junkies. There’s no question about that,” Paul VI Catholic coach Glenn Farello told Inside the Hall this week. “One of the hallmarks of the kids we have here at Paul VI is they love the game and they love to work at the game. They both kind of epitomize that, no question.”
Derrickson, who Farello says has some similarities to Kevin Love in his style of play, is averaging a team-high 15.7 points and is the No. 9 prospect nationally in his class according to ESPN.com.
“He’s willing to bang and do the dirty work down low, but also step out and shoot,” Farello said. “He’s got great range out to 23, 24 feet. He’s a tough, physical player. He was part of our team last year, a big time contributor for us last year as a freshman on a team that finished 35-3 and won a championship. He’s just a winner.”
With a week between games, the Indiana staff has used the off-time to hit the east coast for several recruiting stops.
Here’s a look at where travels have taken the staff on Monday and Tuesday and also a look at where they’re expected to be on Wednesday evening:
· Monday: An early season WCAC showdown between Gonzaga Prep and Paul VI Catholic in Fairfax, Virginia drew a strong contingent of college coaches, including Tom Crean and Kenny Johnson.
The presumptive targets in this game were Bryant Crawford (pictured), a 2015 point guard at Gonzaga Prep and Marcus Derrickson, a 2015 forward at Paul VI Catholic.
Gonzaga Prep produced somewhat of a statement win on the road and did so without Villanova signee Kris Jenkins. Crawford, who has an IU offer and has already visited Bloomington twice, was a major factor.
The sophomore point finished with 17 points and four rebounds. Crawford hit four 3-pointers and made all three of his free throw attempts.
Derrickson, regarded as one of the top sophomores nationally, finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. Paul VI Catholic is the former home of IU signee Stanford Robinson, who transferred to Findlay Prep in Las Vegas for his senior season.
· Tuesday: Crean and Johnson were once again on the east coast, but this time the stop was Wesleyan Christian in High Point, North Carolina to see 2014 wing Theo Pinson, the No. 7 prospect in his class according to ESPN.com.
The Hoosiers have already hosted Pinson for an unofficial visit and he’s got offers from Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State, among many others.
Wesleyan Christian beat New Hope Christian 75-60 as Pinson scored 14 points.