IU targets strong at end of season showdown

  • 08/02/2010 3:41 pm in

Joe Eberhardt, the editor and creator of Indy Hoops Blog, was in attendance this past weekend at the ChicagoHoops.com End of Season Showdown in Merrillville, Indiana. Also in attendance: A trio of Indiana coaches: Tom Crean, Bennie Seltzer and Steve McClain.

Joe’s thoughts and observations on several 2012 and 2013 prospects with IU interest are included in the report below. Follow Joe on Twitter by clicking here.

Class of 2012

Gary Harris, Hamilton Southeastern (IN): Gary showed a complete game this weekend, knocking down jump shots when given space, but going to the rim for buckets too. In a game against Mac Irvin Fire he hit five 3-pointers, and knocked down several mid-range jumpers on his way to a 28-point performance. In a game against the Rockford Ambassadors, Harris attacked the defense primarily off the dribble, scoring 22 points. Perhaps what was most impressive about Gary was his willingness to get after it on the defensive end of the court. He racked up several steals in all his games, and used his length to impact the glass and block a couple shots. There really wasn’t much Gary didn’t do in Merrillville, showing off athleticism, ball-handling, smooth shooting touch, and game changing defense. Something to keep in mind is that he’s doing this all while still recovering from an ankle injury.

Hanner Perea, LaPorte La Lumiere (IN): Perea (pictured) appears to be close to regular form after suffering a nasty ankle injury at the Adidas Invitational in early July. He’s still an athletic freak, blocking any shot in his vicinity on defense, and throwing down any possible dunk on offense. His athleticism is so elite that he makes very difficult plays look easy. This weekend he did a great job drawing contact on plays and getting to the foul line. He’s got a great free throw stroke for being considered a relatively raw offensive player. Perea did show a few nice flashes of an expanded offensive game this weekend, looking comfortable shooting the mid-range jumper and playing with his back to the basket some. He did knock down a nice hook shot from 7′ out, and while I’m not ready to declare him the most skilled big man of all time, it’s encouraging to see him put an emphasis on expanding his game.

Jeremy Hollowell, Lawrence Central (IN): The talented wing player is continuing his strong summer playing with the Eric Gordon 16u AAU team. I’d be lying if I said he was the most productive player on the circuit, but he just has so many tools to impact the game. He’s a legitimate 6’7, can handle the ball like a guard, and has the length to impact the glass as well. This weekend he was very aggressive off the dribble, taking opponents to the rim first and knocking down his shot second. He also showed off great athleticism, catching a couple ally-oop dunks and finishing some acrobatic lay ups.

Yogi Ferrell, Park Tudor (IN): This weekend Yogi showed how dominant he can be when his game is firing on all cylinders. He shot the ball well from all over the court, knocking down pull-up jumpers, mid-range shots, and tough floaters in the paint. When the defense creeps up on him he’s able to blow by defenders off the dribble and score at the rim. There wasn’t much he didn’t do this weekend as he scored off the dribble, shot the ball consistently, and pestered opponents on defense. He carried Indiana Elite to victory in one game, scoring four straight baskets and grabbing two steals from his opposition.

Class of 2013

Basil Smotherman, Heritage Christian (IN): Basil’s known as a great long range shooter, but he’s beginning to show improvement in other parts of his game. He can take opponents off the dribble and score, and is beginning to perfect the left-handed floater in traffic. Several times this weekend he drove the ball left, and instead of ramming into a violent defender, he pushed in a nice floater anywhere from 4′-7′. His increased willingness to drive the lane also led to plenty of free throw opportunities, where he knocks them down with a pure stroke. As he continues to be more aggressive driving the ball, he’ll only increase the productivity of his game.

Devin Davis, Warren Central (IN): This weekend Davis showed off versatility and the ability to do a little bit of everything. He’s usually one of his team’s primary scorers, but isn’t afraid to mix it up as a rebounder and shot blocker. With Smotherman and Zak Irvin doing the scoring against MBA Select, Davis handled the glass, pulling down 10 rebounds. People familiar with Devin’s game know he is a tenacious rebounder, but he’s been improving and expanding his game all sumer long. This weekend he showed the ability to knock down perimeter jumpers, score off the bounce, and mix it up inside in a physical game. He’s one of the best athletes in Indiana’s 2013 class, and he uses that to his advantage on the boards as well as on offense. It will be interesting to see how he continues to develop his game between now and the high school season.

V.J. Beachem, Ft. Wayne Harding (IN): Beachem joined up with the Eric Gordon 15u team this weekend. Beachem is well known for having a boatload of potential, and this weekend he showed off many of his versatile skills. At 6’6 he’s got good size for a wing, and also has the length that lets him play big down low. He’s got so many ways to impact the game, and showed off a little bit of everything this weekend. He’s got feathery touch on his shot, good control of the ball off the bounce, great athleticism, length, and nice lateral quickness. This weekend he knocked down some jumpers, threw down acrobatic dunks, made his presence felt on the glass, and disrupted opponents on defense. He definitely needs to get stronger and play with more overall consistency, but there is no denying his talent and upside.

Zak Irvin, Hamilton Southeastern (IN): What impresses me about Zak isn’t how many points he scores, but rather the way he scores them. He does the things young players often forget, like using the glass and shooting the mid-range well. He shot the ball well this weekend and showed toughness attacking the basket off the bounce, just one week after fully recovering from a concussion. Zak is a really smooth player, and often makes things look easy on the court. His coaches have raved about how he has improved throughout the AAU season, and it is definitely showing in his play.

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

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  • Awesome! That sounds great, and thanks for sharing I hadn't seen that. Hopefully we can make some noise with Harris.

  • Anonymous

    Delray Brooks was one of the few high school guys that tried out for the 84 Olympic Team. He was cut early.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Aceman 07,
    I don't think CTC is waiting on Zeller. Think about it… it he lands Jurkin there will be no need for Zeller. Not that I don't want Zeller but the the punch of not landing him won't be as hard if we land Jurkin. We will still have Guy to fill the void until his arrival. JMO.

  • millzy32

    I have to think the only thing holding some of these guys back is results on the court from our current IU squad. If they show the improvements that Sheehey and Oladipo were talking about in their video then it should translate into wins and better recruits.

    Also, the big time recruits seem to want to wait longer to announce these days. It's as if they are looking to see if a bigger better deal is going to jump out of nowhere and hit them in the face just before they are ready to sign.

    Seems like JD may have waited too long. His stock is actually falling and we may end up seeing him at BSU or a similar program instead of the KY or whatever programs he thinks he belongs at.

    I really hope we land Zeller but in all honesty unless he is going to be significantly better than his two older brothers I don't see him being much of a program changer at all. His oldest brother was a role player at ND and Tyler averaged 9 and 4 last year for an underachieving NC team. Christian Watford crushes those stats and he's already on our team.

    Looking forward to the 3 unheralded new guys this year being key pieces in a team that really turns the corner this year. Creek's return to health is so key.

    Get the wins & you'll get the recruits.

  • BaseballBuc

    If you read “Season on the Brink”, which I highly recommend. Its a great book. It explains what happened with Brooks. What Uncle says below is correct about the lateral quickness and defense.

  • BaseballBuc

    Tom Crean just offered 2013 prospect Bryson Scott and get this, he also offered 2014 prospect Trey Lyles a 6'8'' freshman.

  • Outoftheloop

    That makes good sense until you really think about it. You see that would mean that Coach Knight thought that Jim Crews, Randy Whitman, Butch Carter, Steve Alford, Pat Knight and many, many others HAD lateral quickness, which is ridiculous! Sounds to me like Knight put one over on Feinstein, Hammel et. al. Knight could be a very subjective jerk as well as a great leader and teacher. It sounds to me like at some point he challenged Delray and he did not like the way that Delray responded to his challenge. Then he just “made up” stuff to justify his unfair behavior towards a great kid. After all, Knight recruited Delray, surely Delray did not lose his “lateral quickness” on the drive to Bloomington. The proof is in the record book: Delray was one of the three stars on a Final Four team. Knight was wrong! Delray could and did perform at a high level as a major college basketball player. He just needed the right coach and system.

  • marcusgresham

    Not sure about that—I still think of Jurkin as a center and Zeller as more of a power forward.


    I might have my wires totally crossed here but it seems like I remember Knight being involved somehow with some kind of national team, Pan Am or something of that nature, and he arranged for Brooks to be on the try out team after he had just graduated. Seems like he was also the first non college player to be allowed to try out for this kind of team.

    Does anybody remember anything about this or am I completely out of whack on this thought.

  • Bucky

    I read that Knight offered Delray a scholarship without ever seeing him play. It was offered based on scoring average (around 30 ppg, I believe) and reputation.

  • Kelin Blab

    AWESOME they offered Lyles….he is deshaun thomas like. Will be a frosh and I think IU is the first to offer. I believe Crean has visited some of his 8th grade games and followed his AAU team that is loaded.

  • Outoftheloop

    He was “Mr Basketball” in Indiana and everyone saw him play on TV at least. You mean that Bobby was too lazy to drive up to Indy? Delray was not from Indy but he played there. Both of his parents were high school teachers and IU grads.

  • Outoftheloop

    I definitely remember that Bobby Knight was the USA Pan Am coach. The games were in Puerto Rico and Coach Knight “manhandled” a surly guard at the field house over practice times, there was a warrant out for Knight, and Governor Doc Bowen refused to extradite him to face trial. As far as I know Knight still can not go to Puerto Rico without being arrested. However, I never heard the Delray Brooks story. Delray graduated in 1987, Knight coached the USA team in the 1984 LA Olympics, and I am pretty sure that his Pan Am coaching was before, not after, the Olympics. So I doubt that the Delray part of the story is real.


    Maybe it was another player, but for some reason it is sticking in my brain that BK was involved in some way where a player that had committed to IU got on the try out list for some kind of team other than at IU. It may just be early 70's brain fog though.


    Maybe it was another player, but for some reason it is sticking in my brain that BK was involved in some way where a player that had committed to IU got on the try out list for some kind of team other than at IU. It may just be early 70's brain fog though.

  • hoosierinthailand

    It's great to see so many in-state targets on the radar for the Hoosiers.

    It's also interesting to see that Perea transferred to LaLumiere outside of my hometown of LaPorte. Hopefully, the brutal cold and piles of snow that accumulate in extreme Northern Indiana won't be a detractor in getting him to B-town!

  • Gustin

    I really enjoyed watching the Peter Jurkin video and I can definitely see the Jajuan Johnson comparisons. I too think he needs to be a high priority recruit. His form on his free throws was also pretty good with a high arch. Kelin, have you heard much about his free throw shooting percentage? Just curious, as I could see him getting to the line on a regular basis. It sure would be nice to see a high percentage in that category also!