Recruiting notebook: IU staff visits Lyle, Hoetzel

  • 10/23/2013 10:28 am in

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The Indiana coaching staff was on the road Tuesday, making stops at Huntington Prep in West Virginia and at Wilbraham and Monson Academy in Massachusetts.

At Huntington Prep, the staff stopped in to see 2014 guard JaQuan Lyle, the former Evansville Bosse guard who will finish his high school career against an aggressive national schedule. Huntington Prep is also home to other top prospects like Miles Bridges (2016), Thomas Bryant (2015) and Montaque Gill-Caesar (2015).

Lyle, the No. 22 prospect nationally in the 247Composite, told Inside the Hall recently that Indiana is a school he’s considering in the aftermath of his decision to de-commit from Louisville. He’s taken unofficial visits to Connecticut and Memphis this fall, but won’t be able to take any official visits until taking the SAT next month.

On his Twitter account, Lyle posted the following late Tuesday afternoon: “Shoutout to Coach Crean for coming in after school today.”

The staff also saw Max Hoetzel on Tuesday, who is originally from Calabasas (Calif.), transferred to Wilbraham and Monson this fall and his recruitment has taken off as a result.

The 6-foot-7 shooter has offers from St. John’s, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania and interest from Florida, Kansas, Indiana, Iowa State and Harvard.

Crean and assistant coach Kenny Johnson stopped in to see Hoetzel, who has reclassified to 2015, but could also opt to return to the 2014 class if the fit is right.

Hoetzel told Inside the Hall’s Jordan Littman that he could potentially visit Bloomington the weekend of Nov. 3.

All quiet on Devin Robinson front

Despite wrapping up his official visits more than a week ago, class of 2014 Christchurch (Va.) forward Devin Robinson has yet to set an announcement date.

Robinson took official visits to Florida, Indiana, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State and his high school coach, Ben Thompson, told Inside the Hall on Tuesday that he’s still considering all four finalists.

The 6-foot-8 wing is the No. 21 recruit nationally according to the 247Composite.

Blackmon Jr. closing in on decision?

Class of 2014 Marion guard James Blackmon Jr., who was committed to Indiana for almost three years, took an official visit to Kentucky last weekend and is expected to make an announcement before the early signing period begins on Nov. 13.

Blackmon Jr. also took an official visit to Michigan earlier this fall and an unofficial visit to Bloomington in late August.

According to Reggie Rankin of, Blackmon Jr. is now moving into the decision making phase of his recruitment.

“My mom and dad along with my brothers (16-year-old Vijay and 11-year-old Jalen) is who I will talk to and will help me with my decision,” Blackmon told

(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

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  • WhatsUpKnight

    wow, talk about a recruiting soap opera! lots of dramatic twists and turns, plot twists, heroes becoming the villains (and vice versa). And hopefully a happy ending when it all wraps up in a couple weeks, where DR, JBJR, JL ride off into the sunset (toward bloomington) wearing candy stripe pants. man, do i hate cliffhangers!

  • N71

    Does anyone have insights into the probabilities we’ll land these guys? Based on my limited research its seems like:

    Robinson @ 60%
    Lyle @ 20%
    Blackmon @ 10%

  • dtfreed

    I would say DR 60%
    JL 50%
    JBJ 30%
    just guessing like the rest, but any more than one and adjustments to current spots start coming.

  • Caleb Moore

    Just generally I would say Robinson 50-50 at best. Borzello likes him to Florida and he is usually tied in pretty well. DR keeping it close to the vest as he should. Lyle I would go higher than 20%. Maybe above 50% if he gets his grades together. Blackmon is a pipe dream in my opinion at this point. He’s going to UK.

  • HoosierTrav

    I agree. This may sound crazy but I think we may have the best shot at landing Jaquan Lyle out of these three. I know a ton of people don’t care for the kid but maybe a guy like Coach Crean is exactly what this kid needs to improve as a person. His basketball skill is phenomenal. No better places in the country to get better as a man and a ball player than @ Duke and Indiana University right now. I’d gladly welcome him.

    and I’d put the odds at landing Blackmon @ 0.01%…

  • SCHoosier

    If Lyle is now at a prep school..why would he commit to anyone until he see’s how the national competition and exposure helps him become more desirable to whomever. Of course if he waits too long, the schools he’s interested in (changes by the day) might not have a slot. Then again..for a kid with his ranking…somebody will “find a spot.” I have to wonder of Hoetzel’s recruitment is designed as pressure and/or backup for DR since he apparently is still undecided. I think Crean has said IU could take 3 kids in ’14..we have RJ..two athletic good shooting bigs sound good to me.

  • Rie

    What I still find interesting is that the four great players on the Indy Spice Heat are all deciding where to go, after once already being committed to a team. I doubt they all end up at the same place, because that would just be way too suspicious, but I guess what I am getting at is that they have all done similar things with their recruitment. I know the details differ, but still, they all were once committed and are now not committed.

    That being said, how good is their relationship with one another? Will Lyle have any bearing on where Blackmon ends up, or Lyles have any bearing on where Blackmon ends up? I feel like since these guys have played together for so long and have done similar things, that they may have some impact on each others decisions.

    I bring this all up because I have no idea and was wondering if anyone knew the extent of the relationship between these four teammates, of which two were committed here at one point and the rest on Indiana’s radar as serious possibilities. Thanks.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    well, based on what cliff alexander tweeted, he and JL are supposedly gonna end up at the same school. and i think JBJR and TL have a good relationship (not to mention they already chose the same school once).

  • Dee McDonald

    If we don’t get DR, then I think we need to pitch the idea of JaQuaun Lyle and Cliff Alexander coming to IU together. They said they wanted to go to a school together and I think instead of settling for the Hoetzel (since we don’t need another stretch 3/4 with Etherington & Hartman already). That way we still fill our 3-man class, but make a HUGE upgrade in talent and that combined with all of this year’s players coming back (except Sheehey unfortunately) would make us potential national championship favorites next year. Could you imagine Cliff Alexander & Noah Vonleh together on the same team…WOW! JaQuan Lyle and Yogi in the backcourt…WOW! Troy Williams, Jeremy Hollowell, & Stan Robinson slashing to the basket…WOW! And then Robert Johnson canning wide-open 3’s! And that’s assuming that Perea & Fisher are back-ups…with another year of development, they could be studs too! Maybe I’m living a pipe-dream, but it sure is a good one and honestly, who would want to wake up from that one!??!?!? Just my thoughts…

  • Rie

    Just the prospect of getting Cliff should make the IU fan base go nuts. He is a stud, but I see him at either Kansas or Illinois, with MSU being a pipe dream. I do know if they still plan on playing together, but I do know we were on Cliff’s radar for a good portion of his recruitment.

  • RoscoD73

    Cliff Alexander has already taken IU off his list. And CA and JL are planning on going to school together. I don’t think Crean could work enough magic to get them to Bloomington, but it’s a nice scenario to think about. I would guess CA and JL are leaning towards MSU and Kansas.

  • colinbb10

    do we check out Hoetzel if the staff feels very good about Robinson?

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I agree – here are my guessed percentages:
    50% DR —- I think he is tossing back and forth between IU and FL
    75% JL — I think it is down in his mind to IU and Kansas — but I think he likes that IU has stuck with him in recruitment
    5% JBJ — He’s going to get sucked into the Kentucky blah blah blah…. I will say, if he isn’t going to IU, then I’d rather him go to Michigan and get dominated by others who choose IU 🙂
    All in All — If we land any of the 3, it’s a good class in my opinion

  • Dee McDonald

    If they really want to play together and Crean is comfortable with the situation (assuming JaQuan gets things in order a little bit academically and personally) I think we could swoop in at the end and steal them. The chance to play together is not going to get easier at any of those schools, since other dominoes will fall before either of them makes a decision. I don’t hear anything about Alexander making a decision and I see both of them as late Spring commits. We could wait long enough to offer both of them a chance to win a national title and be worshiped in their home state and very close to home for Cliff. I’m just saying it could be epic!

  • ScoopGeoff

    Ummm, there’s not a shot in hell we accept 4 LOI’s…

  • ScoopGeoff

    I think you always keep options open, and look for diamonds in the rough. Plus, a LOT of high-calibre recruits come out of WMA, so if their coach says, “I think you should check this guy out” the very least you do is appease him and deepen the relationship.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    For what it’s worth, I hope we end up with Robinson out of the whole group…….

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Lyle is only now taking his SATs, so he’s going to be a spring signee. Not that he couldn’t verbal right now, but even that seems unlikely.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    We probably only offer him a scholarship if Robinson goes elsewhere.

  • Big D

    Has anyone heard where Lyles is going. Has he made a decision?

  • ForeverIU

    I checked out Borzello. Fourteen of the seventeen predictions he links to have DR going to IU. Two had him going to UConn. Of the seventeen, only Borzello has him going to FL. I hope the fourteen are correct!

  • mk

    just curious but how do you know they “are” going to school together. Lyle hasnt mentioned that publicly in some time.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    i think i agree, considering he’s being billed as a ‘pure scorer’. we could sure use one of those.

  • jmac

    Well the thing you need to remember is that the Crystal ball pics from early on mean nothing and the ones as of late mean the most. See Pinson and Goodluck.

  • Ole Man

    Some good thoughts; but for my part, don’t want to have anything to do with JBJ at MI.

  • Dee McDonald

    They both mentioned it rigth after his decommitment. Of course, it’s not a guarantee, but if they want to and the possibility opens up, at a national title contender…I’ll let you do the math. Just saying it could be a very intriguing option and since a lot of other guys could go a lot of different places, it could be the best option at that time and point. Just my opinion.

  • cdog

    I agree. I am from Chicago and Cliff has not mentioned a Lyle combination in any of his more recent interviews. It is very difficult to bring all the variables together to make the combo deal happen. A lot of kids talk about it, but very few accomplish it. These kids are young and they speak from and act on emotion that can change from day to day.

  • Miamihoosier

    I think you are wrong there brother. If it is those 4 in particular, we accept them. I’d go so far as to say we’d accept 5 if a Cliff Alexander or Trey Lyles had a last minute change of heart. Crean has already shown he’ll force people out if it means making the team better. A lot of people may not like that, but it’s how big time college basketball works. We can think the other programs don’t do it, but Inside the Hall gives us more access to the comings and goings at IU than any other team site. We just hear about it more often, because ITH keeps us more connected.

  • Weaz

    Trey Lyles is KU or Louisville… I follow him and JBJ and Lyle on Instagram and they have stuff on there all of the time. Blackmon is from FW where I live. My buddy who does real estate in FW said 2 years ago that he was told by a big time source who knows Blackmon SR that they verbal to IU early to help get his name out there in HS. And planned that they could back out at any time… So once Trey did, it was just a matter of time. Book it, Trey and JBJ to KU. Blackmon Sr went the KU. Lyles is more interesting to me. Cliff Alexander and he are indeed very tight. Kansas wants CA. Not so sure they are dying for Jaquan as much. Kansas is loaded! Just beat out KU for a big time recruit in 14 last week. These kids are so close to one another thru Spiece Indy Heat that I think they tried to control everything and land together. But have realized it is not realistic. My scenario or guess is this… Trey Lyles and Blackmon to KU. Shocker. We land Devin Robinson, who I am stoked about. Quality kid who WANTS to be in stripes if he comes. Cliff to Kansas. But I think Lyle may stick close to home in Indiana. I think CTC recently has become a trusted figure in his life. Beyond bball. Ill gladly take Robert Johnson, Devin Robinson and Jaquan Lyle!!! In 15 I see Malachi Richardson arriving too and plenty of others..

  • Dave Carnes

    Ive seen him play. the things that look good about him are the same things that often look good about a high school player that doesn’t adjust to college ball. Remember Delray Brooks. Also he plays for his dad who has always made sure the ball rolls his way. He is no where near a sure bet.
    And I don’t belive he will ever be a pro yet he thinks he’s one and done.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    unrealistic that we’ll get all four, and no guarantee that we’ll get any, but i agree 100% that there will be more than enough room for all of them if it were to shake out that way.

  • Ole Man

    Could still be a heck of a player in the MI system. Agree that unless he learns to play point, don’t think he’s a pro prospect.

  • PDXHoosier

    just a btw… KU is Kansas. UK is Kentucky

  • Bfbog

    You mean UK. not Kansas.

  • Weaz

    thank Lebron and Wade and bosh for this mentality… Kids today want to control everything and pull the same thing off on the college level. I think CA and JL are indeed tight. I think it is JL that wants to go where CA goes. And CA wants him to follow along. May be hard for JL to persuade CA to come to IU with him if he even wants to come to IU himself. But if JL pushes it, and CA puts IU back in play, then stranger things have happened certainly. Crean and JOhnson could work some magic. But i think it is a long shot

  • CreamandCrimson

    KU is Kansas, UK is Kentucky. Cliff Alexander and Jaquan Lyle (not Lyles) are close. I do find it kind of funny that you got info a buddy who does real estate who was told by a source who knows Blackmon Sr. We’ll see how it all shakes out, I’m just ready for actual basketball to get played so we can stop focusing on this 2014 circus.

  • Weaz

    U r correct, my bad, got confused talking about Kansas and Kentucky. This thing is a basketball soap opera. Imagine how CTC must feel. What a roller coaster. Pinson, Goodluck, Whitehead, now Robinson, and suddenly Lyle and the blindsided JBJ issue… Credit to Johnson and CTC for a job well done, they are on it, despite any outcome. A few years ago this caliber of talent would not have had IU on the radar, being in the final 2 or 3 for the above guys is a huge step… now its time to land some guys as we have with Robert Johnson!

  • Weaz

    yes, my buddy was showing commercial property to guess who, Zach Randolph about 1 1/2-2 years ago. Zebo played at Marion HS. The NEW coach at Marion is now James Blackmon SR and JBJr will play his Sr year there too. If they did verbal to simply gain attention nationally, it doesn’t sit well, but it is the unfortunate nature of the “business” today. I guess I get it, but there is little loyalty today after a verbal. Yes is not Yes anymore. See Trevon Bleuitt and UCLA as well… I think we could still make a run at him too, though he seems on the outskirts. But he
    de-commited saying he wanted to stay close to home. I see Butler here, but CTC and Yogi could maybe persuade him if we have a need or spot to fill.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Yes, I think we do. I have no more knowledge than anyone else on the issue, but I have this gut feeling that Hoetzel is going to be a special college basketball player (just from watching tape and reading everything I could find). Again, not really based on much other than a sneaky suspicion we may end up regretting it if we didn’t at least go through the process with him.

  • Rob Kimmell

    And I think Danté Exum is still in the conversation for the IU Class of 2014

  • PDXHoosier

    He is the best player out there, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to the NBA.

  • BC

    I don’t recall ITH ever alluding to anyone being forced out.Not saying it hasn’t happened, don’t know if it has or not. But I don’t recall it anywhere but in fan speculation in the comments.

  • BC

    I believe that the usual turnover is two per year. Don’t know if anyone will leave or go to the NBA. But the average is two I guess. So add that to the two schollys and we arrive at 4 positions opening up.

  • BC

    That’s a crapshoot, Our guesswork isn’t much better. When they all start changing at the last minute is when you need to worry. BC then word spread about an announcement.

  • BC

    I don’t see Cliff happening at all. I wouldn’t get your hopes up guys,

  • G-Rob

    I think Exum is a long shot and JL would be nice since he is from the state and a awesome talent but I really hope we get Robinson. Robinson would be my top wish list signee with JL second and JBJ third. Johnson and Robinson would be a really good class.

  • ForeverIU

    James Blackmon tweeted that he is visiting IU this weekend.

  • Snookafly

    I know. It’s the same thing I feel every time I see Gary Harris drain a three against us.

  • Andrew Walker

    Can someone please elaborate as to what advantage Blackman would have by not taking Indiana off his list if he wasn’t considering IU?
    It seems crazy that a kid wouldn’t just take IU off the list and allow himself some breathing room. It’s been over 2 months since he de-committed. I’ve read a lot of reasons why he doesn’t take IU off his list and none of them seem very reasonable.
    I feel like IU has a decent chance to land Blackmon. When considering pUKe Blackmon would need both Harrison twins and Young to go to the NBA in order to guarantee immediate high volume minutes at the 2. Secondly, I feel like Blackmon would have equal chances at IU and Michigan for playing time at the 1 and 2 spots.
    Just my 2 cents.

  • Chris

    My guess is it’s close to 100% that both Harrisons and Young go to the NBA after 1 year.