Q & A: 2011 IMG Academy forward Jamari Traylor

  • 03/15/2011 7:17 pm in

Tom Crean said on Monday night that he wouldn’t mind adding another recruit to the Hoosiers’ 2011 class “if it’s the right player,” and perhaps IMG Academy (FL) forward Jamari Traylor fits that description.

Inside the Hall caught up with the 6-7 Chicago native on Tuesday evening for his thoughts on the Indiana program, what he’ll bring at the next level, where his recruitment currently stands and more. Our Q & A with Traylor, the No. 36 power forward nationally according to ESPN.com, follows:

On the recent interest from Indiana and how it came about:

“I think I was in a tournament around Atlanta. I think I played well. I don’t know how the word got out. Tom Crean sent one of his assistants to look at me. They came to one of my games and they had a thing for me, so that was it.”

On the scholarship offer from Indiana:

“One of the assistants came down and saw me, Tim Buckley, and he went and told Tom Crean. Tom Crean came down and saw me. But before he saw me, we talked on the phone and he offered me a scholarship through the phone.”

On the schools currently involved in his recruitment:

“I’m looking at Kansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, St. John’s also has offered me a scholarship. Mississippi State.”

On whether he’s open to new schools getting involved:

“I wouldn’t say I’m completely closed, but if a good school comes and they’ve got the right fit for me, I wouldn’t turn them down.”

On why he decided to transfer from Chicago Julian to IMG Academy:

“It was going to be a good opportunity for me. I knew I was going to get a lot of exposure, much more than I would get in Chicago because we travel the country and play some of the top teams. I knew we were going to play a lot of top teams. I also found out about the facilities. They’ve got one of the best weight rooms in the country and I knew it was going to be a good place for me.”

On how his game has improved since moving to IMG Academy:

“When I got down there, people really just called me a dunker. Now I think I’ve gotten much better on the offensive end. I think I can dribble much better, I can shoot way better. Really I’ve just got my all-around game way better.”

On what he could bring to the post and how Indiana could potentially use him:

“They’ve just said they need a guy to bring some toughness. Really I know I can bring some toughness, get offensive rebounds, get defensive rebounds, blocks. I know I can get some of the hustle plays and also knock down some shots so I can bring a lot to the table.”

On Indiana’s recent struggles and how he views the rebuilding state of the program:

“I look at it as something I could probably turn around. I know they’ve got a couple of guys coming in. I know they’ve got big Zeller coming in and I know he’s going to contribute, so I could do the same. I feel if we both come in at Indiana, I think we could turn it around quick.”

On what he knew of the Indiana program growing up in Chicago:

“I know a little about Indiana. I know they always have a couple of guys from Chicago on their team. I used to watch a couple games now and then, but I’m really catching up on Indiana as far as this year because they’re recruiting me more than they were before.”

On whether he’ll take a visit to Bloomington:

“I’m working on scheduling a visit right now. But I didn’t officially set up a visit, but they want me to visit and I’m probably going to visit.”

On whether he’s taken any official visits and if he’s set up any other visits:

“I haven’t taken any. I haven’t set up any, we’ve just been talking about it.”

On the strengths and weaknesses of his game:

“I know overall I’m an all-around good player, but I think the thing I need to work on the most still would be my jump shot and my ball handling skills. Defensively, I’m solid. I know I can stick with anybody. I don’t feel I have a problem defensively.”

Here’s some video of Traylor, courtesy of CLHTV:

Filed to:

  • JerryCT

    Alright wise guy. In our best games of the year in the B10 ( UM, MSU, Minn, IL ) CW and VJ3 played in some of those. Fans try to argue that we played better w/o VJ or CW . Tis a weak case

    All of you overlook the fact that in each game TP played over 25min and in 2 games over 30min and bigs did not beat us. This is actually the major common denominator in our good games.

    I need to come back to Madison and drink some sense into you …..again

  • Uncle Joey

    Watching his video reminds me a bit of the Iowa post player Basabe, or maybe even an Mbakwe. Not super tall, but very athletic and explosive. He already has a chiseled enough physique to bang in the B1G Ten.

  • Uncle Joey

    One of the best rebounders in NBA history was on 6’6″…. that’s right; Dennis “The Worm” Rodman.

    …I think I still have his jersey stashed away somewhere at my parent’s house 😛

  • JerryCT

    Also, check out his minutes in other close contests vs the dogs and you will see the theme clear as day. If he plays 25min we are in good shape.

    Keeping him on the floor is the mystery.

    In all fairness however one thing we need that our bigs donot have is the offensive ability to clean up garbage. Traylor might be it.

  • Anonymous

    I’m looking at Traylor as not just a contributor for next year, but for four years! As it looks now he wouldn’t be competing with too many other people in his position.

    Seeing that he would be playing next year, shouldn’t he be making a decision rather quickly??? I wonder why he has waited this long — not even a visit anywhere yet?

    Again this seems like a perfect fit for both parties — where has this kid been?

  • RobD

    Guys, c’mon. DeJuan Blair? Dennis Rodman?

    I’d be happy if Jamari Traylor could only play like Robert Traylor did. This guy would be an upgrade over every big we have except Zeller. Pritchard is not athletic. Project Traylor forward two years, and you have a thick-bodied forward to complement Zeller and Perea. Plus he has big-school offers. It’s a no-brainer.

  • RobD

    CTC is expecting Capo and maybe even Elston to move on. There is also a chance Creek never plays again. Hate to say it.

  • eph521

    We have to get this kid. Then the IU band could play Mean Street by Van Halen during the games.

    “Turn you from hunted into the hunter, gonna hunt somebody down…”


  • MillaRed

    Oh I love the fight in you Jerry. Just wanted to make sure you were awake.

    Pritchard has to put some consistency together. To say you don’t quite know what to expect each game is an understatement.

    I don’t care about the scoring numbers, we need his defense and rebounding.

    The frequent foul trouble requires discipline and until he can figure that out we just cannot rely on him game in and game out.

    He improved this year, and he needs to improve more.

  • MillaRed

    It sounds like he just got more exposure when he transferred and started playing better competition. Maybe he was playing down to the competition in Chicago?

    He seems like a good fit to me. He’s got bounce and a little attitude.

  • Anonymous

    The only way Anderson is leaving Missouri is if one of the big boys comes knocking, and Arkansas isn’t it

  • Anonymous

    Could be a late bloomer who hasn’t been evaluated in a while. Could have had a bad game when scouts were around. Could be the issue Stonaroni mentions above. Could be anything.

    Personally, I think scholarship offers provide a lot of insight. The schools he listed, outside of Miss. St., are big-time offers.

  • Anonymous

    yeah – I always think people over exaggerate a little when they mention there is “no talent” left this late in the game. Seems like there are always a few gems out there that are overlooked early — and then transfers — and jc players. Traylor is a perfect example — it helps that we are IU though too; it gives us some leverage with what’s left.

  • Dannon Brown

    Again i haven’t been thru the system, but i have my ties to the community and the program and that just isn’t the sense i get. I am agreeing to disagree, maybe it is an insider thing, maybe it is more of an academic frame of mind not so much a student athlete frame of mind? Now that i think of it that chant came out VS Indy NW. for NC, Painter was in house with Stevens, Louis, Stanford…. no chants that game. You very well could be 100% on spot, i just have never sensed it.

  • Anonymous

    I agree he might leave for Kentucky or a Duke but he isn’t going back to Arky…..they are pretty much 2nd rate all around.
    Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

  • This kid is big and quick and I love the way he blocks shots….This is what I thought we would get from DE (the big disspointment for IU this year). ..This kid could fit in nicely with Yogi coming in since he can run and clean up the boards. We need a physical, tall, and athletic player to do the hard work CTC needs to win.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t necessarily believe WE are cooling to Harris. I think CTC would LOVE to have him. It just seems most news I hear about Harris has him leaning elsewhere. I may just be reading into it too much, but that is my hunch…FWIW.

  • The_Hall_Monitor

    He said people used to just call him a dunker isn’t that an upgrade over currennt bigs im not sure any of them can dunk in traffic

  • Anonymous

    I think I like the Dwight comp better. Amari is an almost purely offensive player with range. Whereas this kid, like howard, appears to be a beast on the defensive end, and raw on the offensive. This could be a great get for CTC. Seems like a player good enough to make immediate impact, raw enough to benefit from a few yrs at IU!

  • Anonymous

    those were the only games he played 30 mins without fouling out

  • DanTheMan

    Yeah, reminds me of Basabe too…not as “beast” as Mbakwe though IMO. Traylor seems springy with his thinner legs. May need to concentrate on that in the weight room if he’s gonna bang hard in the B1G paint.

    Unrelated to Joey’s post, but what’s the problem with this kid playing the 5? If he can defend and stick with anybody, then why not let TP and Traylor rotating at C depending on who’s more effective for a given opponent? Jurkin and Perea the following year in the rotation..i rather like the idea of those 3 defending in the paint. Maybe this kid can teach CWat how to play defense too.

  • DanTheMan

    BHF, i have to disagree with a fine (but important) point in your statement, “we are all looking for the “answer” in an incoming freshman.”

    Not all of us are looking to AN incoming freshman as being the “answer.” I think many of us are optimistic about the balance of players/positions that should help us compete more consistently. Sure, incoming talent is young, but sell me on why “the answer” has to be someone on the current roster. Hulls will emerge as a floor leader, and VJ will accept that he doesn’t command the floor well. He’s a fine player, but not a leader. VO and WS will continue to amaze us. Maybe this Traylor kid provides the same kind of spark. Wouldn’t that be nice?

    Ultimately, “the answer” is that we get players who don’t care about their personal stats as much as they care about executing the game plan as a TEAM that exploits each other’s individual talents. IMHO.

  • DanTheMan

    Not to be Debbie Downer here, but only 1 of your list (“We’re getting highly skilled NBA level players in Yogi, Buss, Hollowell, Harris, Cody”) has signed with IU. Two others have committed, but Harris and Hollowell are still on the board elsewhere at big time programs. I vote for signing Traylor to shore up some questionable aspects of our game. If that moves Hollowell out the door, oh well.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I saw the same thing. Yogi is going to get his share of shots blocked from challenging bigger players in the lane, but he’s also going to draw a lot of fouls on bigs and get teams in foul trouble!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    That’s why Mizzou is open now! Nice call clown!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    What was going on with you guys? Stop trying to make predictions you nothing about. Anderson is gone and now all these posts look very, very uninformed!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Judging by his size compared to the “Tractor” I think it would be version .50. Half the size, half the version.

  • Anonymous

    Well ma did a god job of fooling a lot of people with the “I plan to retire at Mizzou” and ” I plan to be at Missouri” for a long time crap less than 2 weeks before he tucks his tail between his legs and rides out of town under the cover of darkness. Good riddance and thanks for leaving!!! We are going to end up with a better coach anyway so I guess it all worked out fine 🙂
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  • Anonymous

    Some people like pig slop I guess????
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  • Dan Harden

    I also think that TP will be huge next year…but yes-Roth, Capo, Elston, and Moore will not see the floor.

  • Dan Harden

    I know this kid isn’t an elite talent right now, but with him…we can turn the page on IU’s Sampson era. Without him…we’re in for another lack-luster year, finishing around 500. This guy is a monster, and can be an instant impact player in the post!

  • Dannon Brown

    I miss something about this kids eligability? Keep seeing he only has 2 years?