2014 forward LeRon Black narrows list to four

  • 08/15/2013 7:57 am in

DD5D1762-LClass of 2014 Memphis White Station (Tenn.) forward LeRon Black took another step in his recruiting process on Wednesday by cutting his list down to four schools.

According to John Martin of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Black’s final four consists of Baylor, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee.

He had also been considering Memphis and Florida.

Black was previously committed to Baylor before reopening his recruitment in January. He has only two official visits scheduled at this point, one to Baylor the weekend of Sept. 6 and one to Indiana the weekend of Sept. 20.

The Hoosiers offered Black a scholarship in early June.

Black, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward who can finish well around the basket and also excels in the midrange game, is ranked 36th in the 2014 class by ESPN.com.

“I like the program, I like the way they play,” Black told Inside the Hall at NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this summer. “They’ve got good Christian values, I love that. I like the development they’ve got going over there, the development of Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller. It makes you think you can go in there and get better too.”

As far as what position he plans to play at the collegiate level, Black said he’s versatile and can probably play at multiple spots.

“I can play the 4 and help teams stretch out the floor or I can play the 3 and take it from the wing or post up a smaller guy,” he said.

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  • Rie

    He is also ranked 22 on Rivals as a five star recruit, higher than Blackmon and Goodluck (Whitehead is 17).

    I really hope he doesn’t sign with Baylor; Scott Drew is just as slimey as Calipari is to me. I still can’t get over their assistant coach threatening to have Hanner deported, and Scott Drew kept that coach around for a whole year. He knew about all the impermissible texts , and eventually the deportation one(s) as well. These players deserve a better man than him, and Crean is one of them.

    https://www.insidethehall.com/2010/10/12/baylor-in-hot-water-over-perea-recruitment/

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I like the feedback he gave about the values about the program at Indiana. That is about the highest compliment to receive. He seems like a great kid and would definitely fit the mold at Indiana.

  • N71

    People mention he’s an Illinois lean, why is that? I’m not saying I agree or disagree, just don’t understand. Illinois has a new coach which seems to be pretty good but everything else about them seems less appealing versus IU (i.e. proven player development, campus, town, weather, facilities, orange, women, unattractive women wearing orange, etc.) Is it playing time?

  • Katie M.

    Being from Illinois originally, I love that you mentioned orange. I always thought their jerseys were hideous. Not AS hideous as the neon yellow that Michigan wears, but still pretty bad.

  • HoosierTrav

    I dont put too much into someone saying they are leaning one way or the other. When he visits our campus its going to shake things up when comparing to Illinois. Once he witnesses the intensity of our practices, the facilities like Cook/Assembly, and gets to see the team comradery; he will be instantly impacted.

  • Caleb Moore

    I dont doubt that will be the case, but will it be enough to overcome the load of guys we have in front of him at the 3 and 4? Hard to see it. Illinois is selling him that he will be the centerpiece of their team for years to come. And they are probably accurate there. That’s hard to pass up to come to a loaded team and fight for PT just because your practice is intense and you have a pretty campus. If comes to IU I think it’s a lot because of Crean’s values and putting two guys in the lottery honestly. I give Baylor as much chance at getting him back as we have JB coming back……just about zero.

  • SCHoosier

    Groce is reshaping that program..lost some key players..and Black can walk into that starting line-up IMO. I agree that IU has a good shot if and when they get him on campus. Too bad it couldn’t be for H-Hysteria..but we need to get him locked up asap if possible. A bit surprised that Baylor is still in the mix given Black’s decommit.

  • slojoe

    This is an interesting recruitment. First, he commits to Baylor, but then decommits there which was a good move by Ron. Second, Florida becomes the favorite, but they don’t even make his final four. Third, Illini are considered the leader now. Fourth, IU is getting a visit. Hang on this recruitment changes quickly. It is far from over, yet.

  • HoosierTrav

    Good points. Lets hope we get some serious development out of our 3-4 position. This way we wont have to worry about losing this kid. I’m really hoping Hanner and Hollowell are our break out players this year.

  • calbert40

    I heard that! Did any of you see the BTN The Journey episode that followed Brandon Paul? I thought that their training facilities were pretty lousy. And the other Assembly Hall is like a cave with little atmosphere. I think it would be a hard sell…unless it is PT that he wants.

    But I do think that Groce is a good coach, and if a recruit likes his style of play as well as the likelihood of PT, that can be a motivating pitch.

  • Caleb Moore

    Hearing a lot of good things about both……..I think Jeremy makes a huge step this year. He’s been in the gym as much as anyone this Summer. 365 guy now. Could be a 1st round NBA talent/college graduate after next season if he keeps pushing. Hanner should also be much better inside. Just wish PJ could get past his foot injury.

  • semohoosier

    I agree it is nice to see a youngsters that mentions our values if that and development are top priorities we have a good chance if its playing time i think we are out.

  • Lil Hoosier

    Based on that interview he sounds more like a lean Indiana! Best part is he didn’t know anything about Louisville or even the guy recruiting him!

  • Korematsu

    This article doesn’t mention that he is visiting Illinois first (Aug 31) and if he really is an Illinois lean, look for him to commit that weekend. Groce has made three recruits cancel their other visits after getting them to Champaign. If he’s not an Illinois lean, I think it’s wide open.

  • Lil Hoosier

    I have some insider information that tells me Hanner Perea is going to start next season. Apparently he has fixed some things and his physical tools are just too much to deny.

  • semohoosier

    I hope that info is right. And has anyone else noticed the smile on this young man LeRon?

  • Carl

    Most recruits praise the training facilities at Illinois. Yes, the State Farm Center (No longer Assembly Hall) is old school, but the $60+ million renovation plan is in effect and will be completed during Leron’s college career. The pitch is, come to Illinois and be a part of something that is up and coming. The “little atmosphere” that you speak of is actually one of the toughest places to play. The Hoosiers know that firsthand. With what I’ve mentioned, the PT, and the style of play that he has stated fits him well, it is one hell of a pitch.

  • Chance

    Something that everyone needs to realize about recruiting is, a recruit is going to like a lot of schools. When an interviewer asks him questions about a specific school that is on his list, he is going to say things that make it sound like he is leaning towards them. Then you’ll see in another interview that he is saying similar things about another school on his list. It is impossible to know where he is leaning based on interviews. Outdated ones especially.

  • SCHoosier

    Lil Hoosier..I hope that it wasn’y Lil Wayne who rapped that too you. Great thought though..the potential is there!

  • SCHoosier

    Yea I like it that he’s going there first…his mom is going to be a big influence if you read her tweets.

  • BC

    I wouldn’t underestimate Ill’s pitch. And there are a lot of factors in a commitment, winning this area or that doesn’t matter if they are not all that important to the recruit.

  • SCHoosier

    JH..first round NBA after next year?? Well…errrrr….uuuuumm..ok then!

  • BC

    They certainly won’t want to let him go without a commitment. If he leaves without committing, we should have a good shot.

  • calbert40

    I’m not underestimating them. I said I felt they had a good coach and can nearly guarantee something that we cannot: PT. If he likes Groce and his playing style, and is motivated by guaranteed PT, “that can be a motivating pitch.” But outside of that, I think Illinois won’t be beating IU out on a majority of recruits. They may get Black, we may get him, or neither of us may get him, but I would think Illinois would have some difficulty going heads-up against some other regional schools for blue chip recruits.

  • calbert40

    Do they? I’m not being a punk, but I’ve not heard that, and I do follow the recruiting stuff pretty closely. The renovation plan is just that…a plan. It isn’t complete, and while I’m sure Groce uses that in his recruiting pitch, I doubt it is as well received as CTC’s pitch about the brand new and completed Cook Hall. In a couple of years it will be a better pitch though.

    So far as the “little atmosphere,” any time IU plays anyone on the road, especially when they are the #1 team in the country, that place is thumping, but those schools don’t play IU at home every game. I watch a lot of B1G games, and when Illinois was playing most teams at home, the place sounded like a mortuary. The game vs OSU was awful. It sounded like a 7th grade girls game.

    If we ranked the atmosphere at all the B1G arenas, where do you think Illinois would fall? Personally, I’d put them in the middle of the pack in the 6-8 range.

  • Carl

    Yes, the Ubben Basketball Complex was built in 1998 and has been remodeled/upgraded multiple times since then. Each player receives a lot of their own space and high-tech gadgets and such (a big factor for this generation’s recruiting classes) and the floor is very nice and open. It is a combined basketball and academic building for the players, and they love it. No doubt. Cliff Alexander word-for-word “The practice facility…I’ve never seen anything like it” and then about the campus as a whole “It’s a great place. I love it”. I know this is one example, but here is a blue-chip recruit that is impressed with the facilities that many people write off without the knowing much about it.

    In terms of the renovation plan, it is a plan that has been approved. It is going to happen. It will affect the 2015 recruits a little more than Leron Black, but it is expected to be completed for the 16-17 season (Black’s Junior year).

    Addressing the Ohio State game, that was over Illinois’ winter break. The past two years that game has been over winter break and Illinois has won both of them. In terms of the stadium as a whole, the student section Orange Krush is literally 2 feet away from 50% of the floor. From someone who has been in that section many times, it is very loud. The team itself hasn’t been very good since 07, so it’s hard to find reason to be loud and there has definitely been some awful games at home, but calling a stadium that is consistently ranked as one of the toughest places to play a “mortuary” is absurd. Blame Bruce Weber’s players, not the dedicated fanbase. Recruits can definitely see the potential in the atmosphere when you have a #1 IU team come in and completely fold in the last 2 minutes.

    Looking at atmosphere relative to other B1G teams, I think it really depends on how well the team is doing. But with Illinois, it is undeniable that putting a good team out there will create quite an atmosphere. Last year? Yeah, 6-8 range. But just like IU was a few years back, Illinois is starting from scratch. Whether or not that includes Leron Black, we will find out.

  • Mooks

    If Jeremy gets stronger and adds 15 more pounds and becomes quicker on his feet, he will be too strong from college SF’s to guard and too quick for college PF’s to guard. He has the frame and its possible.

  • Jmac

    Those videos were from June so I don’t get to hyped. If they were yesterday it would be one thing. My gut says he stays home like Pinson.

  • Mooks

    His mom mentioned, that she wanted LeRon to get away from home. Indiana is the perfect distance away from Tennessee, so if he gets home-sick, his family won’t be to far.

  • PV Mike

    He and mom probably see CTS’s daily Bible verses on Twitter. As a sidenote, if they are a highly religious family, Baylor is the largest Baptist school in the world.
    Unfortunately, they also have a coach that has questionable recruiting practices.
    (PS. Just reporting and not a Bible thumper).

  • PV Mike

    meant CTC not CTS

  • N71

    I think Alexander was talking about the orange. Sounds like you’re an Illinois grad/fan, I think they have boards as well you can view, read, and respond to at your leisure.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I would wish you the best of luck but I hate lying and I wouldn’t mean it. Just kidding, best of luck against everyone but us.

  • Jay Davis

    There is something about this young man that tells me that he is a special person. I think he is the very type of person that Indiana looks for. I see him here at Indiana for sure. You can see that he must have great parents too. He carrys his self very well in front of a camera.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    agreed. this is a kid we can be excited about.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    yeah, it’s coach tom crean, not coach tom slick

  • Whattaya wanna bet, if Hollowell has a breakout year, he’ll be strongly considering heading to the NBA. I just think he’s the kind of guy, that’ll want to follow the money, if it looks like he can get drafted first round. Admittedly, he’d need a real BREAKOUT year, but he just may do it. He has the talent and if he’s working as hard as one hears, could happen. Hope we get this guy.. seems like he has a good head on his shoulders and would be a good fit.

  • SUNY_RIT_IU_Grad

    I just retired from the U of I and had previously spent ten years in Bloomington working and earning MS and EdD degrees. Bloomington and the IU campus is a far nicer environment than Champaign and the U of I campus. And, the real Assembly Hall is a much better venue… Period!

  • WisconHoosier

    Hope you’re right, but I’m skeptical until I see it on the court against competition.

  • Earl Scheib

    LeRon seems like a gracious, humble, hard working person with integrity.
    In other words, an Indiana Hoosier.

  • Carl

    Nope, he was talking about the practice facility. Yup, Illinois grad/fan. I’m on those boards all the time. Sometimes you just gotta mix things up a bit. And when someone gives me an argument that is ill-informed, I’m going to respond. Glad I’m getting substantial rebuttals from all the IU fans.

  • Carl

    If we’re really just going to talk about the campuses/towns, yes IU/Bloomington is nicer. Anyone with eyes can see that. The real Assembly Hall was in Champaign (it came first, much like Illinois’ Memorial Stadium), but now it is the State Farm Center. Both U of I and IU venues are ridiculously old school. In terms of watching a basketball game, there is no bad seat in the house at U of I. Pleeeeeeenty of bad seats at IU. And then in a few years when the State Farm Center Renovations are done, U of I will be leagues ahead of IU in basketball facilities. Just using some logic here…

  • Carl

    I don’t think it’s even a question that U of I has a better venue to watch a basketball game. There’s not a bad seat in the house, much contrary to IU. Both venues are ridiculously old school, but the State Farm Center (originally the original or “real” Assembly Hall) renovations will put it leagues ahead of IU.

    In terms of campuses/towns, anyone with eyes can see that IU/Bloomington is much more visually appealing than U of I/Champaign. Both are very nice communities (I’ve spent a lot of time at IU), but I just don’t think Leron Black is going to see Bloomington as a “far nicer environment” and choose IU because of it. Congrats on earning your degrees and working on these campuses, but we’re talking about basketball recruiting. Much more than that goes into these kids’ decisions.

  • r

    That very well could be the case, and if so, I wouldn’t blame him. I would love an opportunity to get paid millions to do what I love. However, I believe of all the players on the roster, Hollowell may bleed crimson more than any other. I watched him in high school proudly wearing IU socks and other gear…at games and everywhere else. He was at every home game that didn’t interfere with his high school calendar…and didn’t just make the trips to Bloomington, but was seen in Champagne, East Lansing, Ann Arbour, Columbus, etc.

  • BTownJosh

    I am originally from Champaign so I like both venues tho IU Assembly Hall is superior. And since I know both schools well i will explain this. IU’s current venue (Assembly Hall) was opened in 1971, while Illinois’s Assembly Hall was opened in 1963. BUT Indiana started off in Old Assembly Hall back in 1900.

  • IUJeff

    I will agree that he will be a NBA player if he wants to be. A strong season then a good off season and it could happen. JH has All the tools – size, athletic ability, instincts, and just needs to get comfortable IMO.

  • colinbb10

    lol oh man if Hanner starts we are screwed

  • IUJeff

    Actually if Hanner is good enough to start on this team we might make a deep run.

  • CreanFaithful

    Where are the downvotes? Thanks for the expert opinion. We recruited him (along with others) for a reason. Being healthy, time in the system and practicing with high caliber players/coaching staff has me optimistic. I won’t come out and say he will be remarkably improved, but I certainly won’t bet against it, as you seem inclined to do.

  • IU 89

    Thank you for being the only realistic IU fan on the board. I’m not saying he can’t be good some day, but he has a long way to go. I really get tired of seeing these posts that say all the IU players are going to be the best in the country. Some might, but most won’t. I was at IU in ’87 when we won the Natnl. Champ. It doesn’t take the best in the country to do it. Just the right coach, and the right group of guys that are hungry… and a good streak. I believe we have the right coach, now the boys need to step up.