Recruiting notebook: Okonoboh gets first look at IU

  • 09/13/2013 9:51 am in


Several class of 2014 prospects being recruited by Indiana will be making official visits this weekend and our latest recruiting notebook takes a look at those campus trips as well as other notes from the first week of the fall recruiting period:

· Goodluck Okonoboh, one of IU’s top targets in the 2014 class, will make his first official visit this weekend and Bloomington is the destination. The Hoosiers have long been considered one of the favorites to land Okonoboh and getting him on campus is the next logical step in making that happen. It’s been well documented, but the relationship between Okonoboh and current IU freshman Noah Vonleh is a very good one and this weekend provides Okonoboh the opportunity for his first up close look at the Indiana campus.

· Lourawls Nairn hosted Tom Crean for an in-home visit earlier in the weekend, but the major development for Nairn this week was the addition of Michigan State to his list of three finalists. Nairn had been considering a final three of Indiana, Minnesota and Oklahoma, but the Spartans are making a late push with Tyler Ulis seemingly headed to Kentucky. Nairn will be in East Lansing this weekend and then Indiana will host him for an official visit next weekend.

· Devin Robinson begins his official visits this weekend with a trip to Oklahoma State, the first of five scheduled trips. Robinson hosted Oklahoma State for an in-home visit on Monday and Crean and Kenny Johnson were in on Tuesday. His other three finalists are expected in next week. Indiana landed the most ideal timing for an official visit of any of the finalists as Robinson will be on campus for Hoosier Hysteria weekend.

· The Robert Johnson recruitment is nearing an end as his decision is set for next Friday and he completes his official visit schedule this weekend with a trip to Florida State. Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia are the other three finalists for Johnson, but most of the talk is centered around the Hoosiers and Tar Heels to land Johnson. Indiana was in Richmond to visit Johnson and his family last Monday, which was the first day college coaches could be on the road.

· Indiana continues to recruit James Blackmon Jr. as Tom Crean was at his open gym on Thursday in Marion and also had an in-home visit. Michigan State had an in-home with Blackmon Jr. on Wednesday and North Carolina and Kentucky are expected in this weekend. The Wildcats have already scheduled an official visit with Blackmon Jr. for the weekend of Oct. 18. What’s not clear is how a commitment from Devin Booker, who is strongly considering playing with Ulis in college, could affect Blackmon’s interest in Kentucky. Michigan is another school that is making a strong push for Blackmon Jr. as he was recently offered by the Wolverines on an unofficial visit.

· Northwest Florida College big man Stephen Hurt will take his third official visit this weekend and Wichita State is the destination. The Shockers are believed to be in great shape with Hurt as assistant coach Steve Forbes recruited Hurt to Northwest Florida before leaving this summer for Wichita State. Hurt has already taken official visits to Kansas State and Miami (FL) and is scheduled for an official visit to Indiana next weekend.

· The recruitment of Isaiah Whitehead, a five-star shooting guard who made an unofficial visit to Bloomington a couple of weeks ago, remains somewhat of a mystery. Whitehead recently took an unofficial visit to Seton Hall and had Pittsburgh and Minnesota stop in this week to see him. Some tweets in recent weeks about not being able to peg down where schools stand with Whitehead have been retweeted by the player with the following commentary: “Just The Way I Want It.”

(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/adidas)

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  • ScoopGeoff

    Yes. I know what “Guard Plan Z” is:

    It’s, “who gives a crap if any of these guys sign.”

    I love recruiting… I’m a junky when it comes to this stuff. But what is the big deal if we don’t get 2 of these guys this year? Worst case scenario is we get zero big time recruits… So what!? We only will lose Sheehey and Gordon off the roster… We will return Yogi, Stan, Williams, Vonleh, Hollowell, Perea, Fischer, Davis, Etherington, and Hartman. And 8 of those 10 will probably be back the following year as well….

    While I don’t think we will lose out on every recruit on our board right now, I also am convinced its no big deal if we do.

  • Kenneth234

    I would put that class at #1 in the nation. However, I bet we land at the most 3 of them. Landing us in the lower half of the top 10, depending on which of them come in.

  • Ole Man

    Excellent post on the big men. Couldn’t agree more with all you said

  • Kenneth234

    I think there is something to be said about Johnson being a more natural combo guard, which tends to make him look as a suitable replacement for losing Yogi if he goes early and cannot get an immediate replacement. While JBJ is a full on shooting guard trapped in a point guards body. Mentally, I think he is 100% about getting the ball in the basket. Which is good for a 2, but not so much for a 1. But that is my thinking. I hate to speak for others.

  • Kenneth234

    That is where I am at too. I am happy with who we will have back next year, and if that means that we are set up in 2 years to have a roster like:
    Seniors: Yogi, Hollowell, Jurkin and Perea
    Juniors: Robinson, Fischer, Williams, Davis and Hartman
    Freshman: 4 top 25 players (bigs, wings, and guards).

    I will be happy, and the Hoosiers will be a dominate squad.

  • Ole Man

    Nice thoughts; but no way we get four top 25 players in one class.

  • baukev55

    Goodluck Alert!

    Where: Iu soccer game
    When: 8:15 this evening
    With whom: Noah and Kenny Johnson

    Hopefully they show him a good time and Hoosier soccer gets the win!

  • Kenneth234

    Such a pessimist. Why?

  • marcusgresham

    This class needs a first-class shooter. 6’8″ guys who can shoot are really hard to cover.

  • Tucson Hoosier

    Good timing with the Lyle de-committ. Ridiculous. This class is so entitled.

  • Tucson Hoosier

    Right after it was announced, Rob Johnson tweeted that he would never do that and chastised these “kids”.
    He has quickly become my favorite target. Come strong Rob!!

  • CorySoBro

    Took a picture and talked a little with Goodluck and Noah at the soccer game tonight. Both really nice guys! Okonoboh seemed to be having a good time. I have a good feeling about this one.

    Also talked to Victor and Cody for a couple minutes. Made my life, by the way.

  • WisconHoosier

    Snider de-committed from Louisville when Lyle committed there. Now Lyle de-commited.

    Does that mean Snider de-commits from Illinois and re-commits to Louisville, then de-commits AGAIN if Lyle re-commits?

    Ouch. My head hurts.

  • I guess I’m not following your reasoning. After RJ’s visit, it sounded like he had ‘one of the best experiences’ and I thought he was a shoo in to commit. So I was always kind of thinking the other way around.. that he was in for IU and someone else was pulling him to look at all of the alternatives..
    Just thought you may have read something I hadn’t… and that was behind your opinion.

  • Wow, Cory that would have been great. To talk with those guys. I hope you’re right in your intuition..

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Jaquan Lyle decomitted from Louisville

  • unclekerfuffle

    Where did you hear that?


    Hearing that just makes me want a player, that I already wanted in a big way, even more. Think he is a big time get if we can land him.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Never mind


    Something makes me feel like JBJ thought he had the bball world by the a$$ around the time that he seen that he had been able to regain most, if not all, of the abilities that he had before the knee injury and once he started playing AAU ball again. Think he is now starting to find out the harsh reality that maybe the grip he had isn’t quite as big and strong as he thought it was. It’s starting to come down to crunch time in the recruiting world and I think he is starting to see that he doesn’t tower over everyone else, player wise, to the extent he thought he did. His options are still well varied, many and will end up at a big time program but, I think he realizes now that he isn’t just going to waltz in and be an automatic starter anywhere he pleases.

    I would welcome him back into the IU fold but, IMHO there would be cause to always wonder if he would not be, ” looking at all his options “, if things weren’t going to his liking at IU.

  • Bill Lumbergh

    Stock positive and negative IU comment.

  • AKA Hoosier Daddy

    We are needing us some GOODLUCK this weekend….He Is smiling from ear to ear ..that’s a good sign.Put GOODLUCK in to block another HOOSIERS ARE LIFE

  • yimyames

    I agree. Six freshman this year, anything next year is a bonus IMO. 2015 will pick up and 2016 will be another big class. Seems people are falling into the “recruit a championship 5 every year” scenario.

  • Ole Man

    That kid always seems to be smiling ear to ear. I like that.

  • Ole Man

    Is it just me, or does anyone else not want the Nairn kid? Good kid, but not a need for us next year. He would take a scholy better used elsewhere.

  • Ole Man

    Can we jump back on this guy’s band wagon?

  • Ole Man

    We don’t cheat like pUKe does.

    Also, all kidding aside, one top 25 player a year would be an on-going blessing.

  • Ole Man

    Now I want Lyle and Whitehead and Goodluck!
    That gives us Brooklyn; an excellent defensive center; and closes the Indiana border to interlopers!
    Yes; I’m dreamin’.

  • HoosierTrav

    I think this class will have some major surprises mixed with some expected commitments.

  • semohoosier

    Kinda agree with u on the Nairn kid good kid good player but we need some taller players.And I know this has nothing to do with you or your post but I wonder if those people that kept saying Blackmon left because we didn’t go far enough in the NCAA tournament are still thinking the same after the Lyle de-commit thats two de-commits from a team that won it all.I really think Blackmon Lyle and Lyles just want to play together.

  • ADegenerate

    I’d rather him go to UNC so we have a better shot at JB anyway. If he commits it’s not the worst thing in the world either.

  • Ole Man

    Could be. Where is Lyles heading?

  • Steve Fischer

    LYLE just decommitted from Louisville. He had listed IU in his final three. Louisville fans are angry . Is he worth a shot? I would guess YES

  • Outoftheloop

    Let’s get J Lyle now that he is free!

  • Ole Man

    Tum-Tum reminds me of “Bootsie” White. Played for Bob Knight’s first team back in 71-72. Another short guard who was good, but constantly a bit overwhelmed by the B1G.

  • HoosierGym44

    Love everything you said about the kid. Sounds like he would be a very good get. I’m just hesitant on having too many 6′ or under guards on the roster. It’s probably just the lingering sting of watching Yogi and Jordy struggle against bigger guards against Cuse that’s haunting me.


    Lyle decommits and has talked with CTC. What’s up?

  • Kerry Smith

    Jaquan Lyle will ultimately commit to Kansas. Anyone who thinks otherwise is dreaming. Lyle and Cliff Alexander have been angling to play together and that is the most logical destination. His meeting with Crean is just a matter of finding out what teams want him. He left Louisville because of playing time. So he will want to sit behind Yogi for 2 years?

  • Kerry Smith

    Yes but we will still have CTC coaching the team. Until that changes we are perennial sweet 16

  • Kerry Smith

    I think us IU fans would be better off not calling UK cheaters unless something comes out to prove that they did. Instead we should be trying to mirror what they are doing because I don’t know if you know this or not, they win titles!

  • Rie

    Yeah because Crean never made it past the Sweet 16….

  • Rie

    He is going to Kansas w/ Cliff Alexander…

  • Rie


  • Kerry Smith

    He did. With Dwayne Wade. Check what he did after Wade.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    jerKS is definitely the team i’m hearing most, especially after what lyle said about them. but MSU may still have a shot. regardless, he ain’t gonna be wearin’ the candy stripes

  • Hoosier Hall

    Bingo. Couldn’t agree more.

  • Rie

    Although it is pretty obvious they are going to Kansas, both recruits do still have IU on their list, so there’s that.

  • Kerry Smith

    That is true. Although, Alexander has always been considered a long shot. So it seems IU is unlikely. If Alexander all the sudden starts showing some interest in IU, then I definitely think we have a shot to land them both. But until he does, Kansas is the place IMO.

  • Ole Man

    Thanks for letting me know they win titles. How thoughtful.

    Also, I guess you missed the “all kidding aside”, or your comprehension is a little slow.

    Lastly, I don’t want IU to be a basketball factory, which is exactly what UK has become under Calipari.
    Don’t care about winning enough to become a D league team rather than a college team.

  • Ole Man

    Yep. Another package deal.