Crean watches pair of 2014 prospects advance in state tournament

  • 03/19/2014 9:04 am in

Less than a week removed from a disappointing end to the 2013-2014 season, Indiana coach Tom Crean is hitting the recruiting trail hard.

On Tuesday, Crean pulled double duty and watched two highly contested state playoff games in different states.

His first stop was Detroit where he watched class of 2014 forward Yante Maten and Bloomfield Hills move past Warren Mott, 74-68, in the Michigan Class A quarterfinals on the University of Detroit campus.

Maten, a 6-foot-8 forward, scored 31 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the win. The victory means Bloomfield Hills will play in the Class A semifinals on Friday at the Breslin Center against Detroit U-D Jesuit.

It’s the second time Indiana scouted Maten this week as associate head coach Tim Buckley watched him on Monday.

Maten, ranked the No. 290 prospect nationally in the 247Composite, has also drawn attention this spring from Michigan State.

After leaving Detroit, Crean boarded a plane and moved on to the Chicago suburb of Joliet for a look at Morgan Park forward Josh Cunningham.

Cunningham, who visited Indiana for the Ohio State game on Mar. 2, finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds as the Mustangs beat Bogan, 68-67 in the Class 3A Joliet Central supersectional.

The win advances Morgan Park to a state semifinal on Friday against Orr at Carver Arena in Peoria.

Rated No. 107 by the 247Composite, Cunningham received a scholarship offer from Indiana in early February and may be the most likely of IU’s current 2014 targets to land in Bloomington.

He’s also considering offers from Bradley, Creighton and DePaul, among others. The spring signing period begins on Apr. 16 and concludes on May 21.

Recent video of both Maten and Cunningham is available below.

(Photo credit: Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times Media)

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  • Maten can make layups and finish through light contact … something we struggled with at times this year. Anyone know if he has a face-up game to speak of? Can he hit short jumpers?

    I like Cunningham’s aggressiveness and his ability to step out and make shots. Looks like he could be what we all hoped Jeremy Hollowell might become. Hopefully he becomes that in an IU uniform. 🙂

  • plane1972

    I like Cunningham, particularly after a summer with Coach Jackson. He needs 15-20 more lbs., but 10-15 lbs. would help him a lot. I like his fire. Maten looked sluggish against smaller talent.

  • Disco_Briscoe

    I know we can’t go off of highlight videos but Maten seems to lack explosion. At 6-8, there should more dunks than soft layups against smaller competition.

    I’m surprised Cunningham doesn’t have more suitors but again this is off all highlights.

    I really like the Lee, 5th yr transfer scenario. Nice having the scholarship freed up for the yr after.

  • inLinE6

    I no longer trust the highlight mix after watching Hanner’s tape versus his live performance.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    LOVE Cunningham’s little baby hook……those kind of things are developed by guys who just have a feel for the game…..

  • calbert40

    I find it interesting that the #290 recruit is being recruited by IU and MSU, but the #107 recruit is being recruited by the likes of DePaul and Bradley.

    I wonder if there is anything to that. Is it simply the location of both recruits?

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    It’s probably the difference between 6’8″ and 6’6″

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I think I’d rather have Hollowell become the Hollowell that we hoped he’d be than spend a 2014 scholarship on a 6’6″ wing that doesn’t have a reputation for outside shooting. That begs the rather obvious question of if Hollowell can become that player (as opposed to when he’ll become that player).

    (I thought Cunningham looked more like Troy [scores of alley oops & dunks ] than Jeremy [long-range shooting] based on high school mix tapes.)

  • Johnny

    I really hope if Crean signs another player for the 2014 class, he is 6’8″ or taller. Cunningham looks like a solid, athletic player, but doesn’t fill a void for the 2014-2015 season.

  • HoosierGrampy

    I could name a couple others whose tapes far exceeded what they’ve shown so far, but in fairness to all these young men, there’s a world of difference between HS and D1 talent…experience and maturity come to mind. I’ve got a feeling that HMP is going to be a very pleasant surprise to a lot of IU’s Fan base this coming season.

  • CreamCrimson

    We should definitely make a strong push for Cunningham. It is ironic that one of the potential “transfer targets” would be at the same position as Cunningham.

    Very intrigued by the Anthony Lee rumors as well. Lee plays more of a true forward while it appears Cunningham is more of a wing forward.

    The gloves are off this year, I would not be upset by the transfer of 1 or 2 players.

    Adding Lee and Cunningham to Blackmon and Johnson would be a solid influx of players. The jury is going to be out on Max for awhile. He just doesn’t appear to be anywhere near an “immediate impact” type unless his shot can carry him.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I’ve seen Josh Cunningham play two games on TV and I like his game. I don’t think he solves the interior problems we look highly likely to have next season but I do think he can be a good Big Ten player. Here’s what I saw in the two games I watched him (which isn’t enough of a sample size to determine anything definitively but I have somewhat of an idea of what he can do at this point):
    -He played really hard and with a high level of energy.
    -He can really jump and he flies around the rim whenever possible.
    -I thought he looked like a pretty good rebounder because of his willingness to get down low and because of his jumping ability.
    -His shot looked okay (not good but okay) but I certainly wouldn’t call him a good shooter.
    -Ball handling was just okay. He wasn’t careless with the ball so I guess it’s a positive that he knew not to force something he wasn’t great at.

    Overall, Morgan Park plays a high-level of competition as does the AAU program he was a part of so I don’t think he was just beating up on inferior competition. If his description sounds like Troy Williams, I think the comparison is apt. He’s not quite that level of athlete but he has a similar build and I think he is a bit further along fundamentally than Troy was at this time. I’d be happy if we picked him up but I don’t think he will be an answer to our hole in the middle.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Good point! I seem to want to recall that a baller named Kareem made a nice living w/a baby hook…an almost forgotten shot which is nearly impossible to block. Sweet!

  • CreanFaithful

    Let em loose! Not sure if CTC will have a choice, but there is plenty of off season to go. Who knows what the roster will end up looking like…

  • HoosierGrampy

    Good points on JC. I’d sooner have an aggressive 6’6/7″ baller with serious hops than a passive 6′-8/9″ who can barely jump over the Bloomington phone book.

  • Shawn Congo

    While I would be okay with a particular one or two transfers. (Jurkin/Hartman/Hollowell) It’s inconsistency and newness to the program that contributed mightily to the program this year. Too many new players, as we’ve seen, is not a good thing either. That being said, we NEED multiple legitimate PF or C, especially if NV goes which is very likely, fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.

  • CreamCrimson

    Anthony Lee is really the only option that has emerged at this point that could fill in as a PF-ish player. 9 boards a game is key. He’s not a shut down big, but he is a mobile forward that is big enough given the all of a sudden uh-oh situation we find ourselves in now (THANKS LUKE FISCHER). Hanner just hasn’t proven that he can score so we literally don’t have a single scoring post player next year. We went from Trey Lyles to Vonleh/Fischer to umm, uhh, hmm nothing on tap for next year.

    Jurkin is a waste of a scholarship. Probably a humble, nice kid but seriously WTF are we doing there after the Muniru / Jobe experimental disasters.

    Even as an LC grad who pulled big time for Hollowell to succeed, he just clearly doesn’t have his head in the game. The fan base’s fuse is about as short as it can get with Hollowell going into next year (if he remains on roster).

    The other option I wouldn’t sleep on is recruits that are committed to programs that may see their coaches leave (for another program or firing). Aside from Graduate Transfers, Scholly Releases can help IU find a big.

    Lastly, Vonleh isn’t close to NBA ready. While he may bolt, an NBA GM already spoke out and said “He’ll be a lottery pick, but he better prepare for a long stint in the NBDL.”

  • Kyl470

    I think rankings for the most part are pretty good, but there are always a few who slip through the cracks and some who are overrated. Like you though I always look more at other schools who are recruiting the player vs. their rank.

  • CreanFaithful

    After having to live through some of the frustration that has surrounded Hollowell to date, I hope we don’t miss out on the Hollowell that puts it all together… He was a highly sought after recruit, who experienced a lot of success at the highschool level and one who CTC thought would be one of our best contributors this year. While that did not come to fruition this year, I’m not willing to bet that he couldn’t be a stud as a JR/SR. He’s still 6’8″, rebounds the ball well and has some experience under his belt.

    We didn’t see CH play much this year and he is currently injured. If people dislike 1 and dones so much, you think they would embrace players that may take a year or two in order to contribute.

  • Brcturne

    Agree with the transfer assessment. Hollowell and Perea are both distinct possibilities, and the complete absence of Peter Jurkin for the past two seasons tells me he may leave as well. With Vonleh probably gone to the NBA, this team has the possibilty of having NO post players next year…A shaky proposition, in this league…

  • Kyl470

    I’m with you. I hope Hollowell stays. He has the tools and I hope he puts it all together. When he does I want it to be at IU and not somewhere else.

  • CreanFaithful

    Where did that NBA GM “quote” come from?

  • Brcturne

    Preach on, brother!

  • KmanCRK

    Cunningham is the one we want out of these two (probably pretty obvious). I wouldn’t be surprised if 2014 ends up being a 5 man class in the end with addition of a PF/C to go with Cunningham.

  • ForeverIU

    Do you mean we would oversign, or are there two scholarships available (including Noah’s if he leaves)?

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Great info and description….thanks!

  • Well sure, Hollowell become Hollowell would be great. Unfortunately, we have barely even seen flashes of what we saw in high school, especially when it comes to shooting. I’d love to see it happen, and maybe the light will turn on for him as an upperclassman.

  • CreamCrimson

    I tried to post the link and the article but it says “Hold on this is waiting to be approved by Inside the Hall”. I was under the impression you could cut-and-paste quotes if you also provided the link.

    It was from the B/R article that initially appeared when the Vonleh story broke. Wojnarowski passed along the quote from an anonymous GM. You can find the article with ease (Google: vonleh bleacher report nbdl – From March 15th). ITH may approve my previous comment and it would be posted there.

    The exact quote was “He’ll spend a lot of time in the D-League next year. He’s nowhere near ready to play”.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I honestly thought that this past season was going to be Jeremy’s “break out” year. He’s one of the rare members of our team that has a scorer’s mentality, so I thought he might even be at the top in scoring. Boy, was I wrong!

    However, we already have a number of wings! Hollowell = wing. Etherington = wing. Williams = wing. Hartman = wing. Hoetzel = wing. Stan Robinson doesn’t have the shot to be an SG or the handles to be a PG, so that makes him a wing in my mind. Devin Davis will probably be our PF next year, but at 6’6″, he’s a wing that plays in the post. Unless we’re losing folks via transfer, taking another 6’6″ kid seems odd to me.

  • PDXHoosier

    I just want a big dude who can defend and rebound at the college level

  • CreanFaithful

    Well GM’s must think their lower level leagues are able to develop talent better than college play (which I see people debate a lot). Otherwise, there wouldn’t be scouts saying that he will go in the top 6…

    As for the link… anything with a link has to be “approved” by the mods. I’m sure it will show up soon.

  • CreamCrimson

    I think the GM was just implying Vonleh is incredibly raw, but is so young that he’d be drafted on potential alone and eventually develop. He could only develop in the NBDL in that situation as no NBA team would give him the reigns at this point in his game.

    There is no question that college would be a better incubator for a player like Vonleh. Not nearly as friendly toward the checkbook obviously, but in terms of just basketball development another year of college would pay off.

    In my opinion, Vonleh should stick with the “Zeller Plan”. 2 years, be the centerpiece on a solidly improved team, develop your post/midrange game, bulk up, and reach for a Top 5 pick next year in a weaker draft.

  • MillaRed

    Hey, leave Tom Pritchard out of this. Kidding, kidding.

    Troy can jump out of the gym. Doesn’t always translate into high level rebounding. But I think he will figure it out.

    At this point I have no idea how to evaluate HMP. He certainly looked more aggressive. But his footwork on the offensive end is so bad. And sorry to say it, I don’t see any development from the staff in that particular area.

    But he did improve defensively.

  • MillaRed

    It’s probably “need” Calbert. Might be as simple as that. These rankings. I tell ya, I doubt there is little difference between 290 and 90. It’s impossible to foresee what these kids will be doing in 2-3 years.

  • MillaRed

    I will join you in the JH pre-season prediction. Guilty as charged.

  • Hard to get to excited about either of these

  • JJ

    It would be nice to still have Luke Fischer right about now…

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    I agree to many non-shooting wings as is.. need rebounding and ball-handling…Yogi and Blackmon are going to be jacking a lot of shots from distance…

  • Hardwood83

    I think (and hope) you are right about HMP. If nothing else this season showed he is capable. Will he do it consistently? Of course that is the question, but I saw enough from him this season to believe he has the tools already.

  • 5_Banners

    I’m conflicted about this. I think this team doesn’t need anymore transfers going into next year. Additionally, with Sheehey, Gordon graduated and Vonleh to the NBA, that only leaves three open scholarships for next year. I’m usually not worried about the scholarship situation because they tend to work themselves out, BUT, if Crean signs anymore…someone is either transferring or losing their scholarship.

    I think Lee would be a great addition to the team for next year, but I don’t want players to transfer. This team needs to gel with players they have and get better for next year. We’ll see …

  • Hardwood83

    Actually, no. Fischers departure opened a scholarship, along with Will & Gordons. There is a 3 man class coming so as of NOW there are no openings, if Vonleh leaves that opens one more. Additional transfers, of course, would change that situation.

  • JJ

    You don’t see Jurkin or even Hollowell transferring?

  • 5_Banners

    Ah yea, forgot about Fischer for some reason. Well, then I understand him trying to sign one more for the class.

  • 5_Banners

    I mean yea, I can see them both transferring. Jurkin wouldn’t really hurt the team if he left next year, but I really hope Hollowell doesn’t transfer. I think he can still be a big part of the team next year.

  • Disco_Briscoe

    Off topic…but has anyone seen BJ Anya of NC State. Can someone eat themselves out of a scholly? We were finalist in his recruitment. How would he have fit in our system?

  • Dee McDonald

    Tightly……:-)

  • MillaRed

    I’m not going to get into this whole transfer discussion in here but seriously, why is Peter Jurkin, his injury, his future, any viable information in the universe such a flipping secret from this staff? We need bigs. Is he a big? Does he play? Can he play?

    I don’t understand the complete lack of info from this staff.

    But yes, we need bigs. We always seem to have one. And we never seem to give them any help. Zero depth.

    Cody and Noah, PFs playing center. CWat, Hollowell SFs playing PF. We are always one man down on the totem pole.

  • Dee McDonald

    If you ask me, he’s almost a carbon copy of Devin Davis. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I think you need a good combination of work horses, a couple studs, and a few roll players…so maybe we need a couple of devin davis’s…for next year at least.

  • CreamandCrimson

    That’s not a bad comparison. I saw Devin Davis in person quite a bit in high school and I’m attempting to remember him as a high school senior as opposed to a college freshman (I have a 9-month old son and everything is basically muddled together in my brain)…if I remember correctly, Devin Davis was a much better rebounder than anything I saw from Josh Cunningham. He also had a better game around the basket when he had to do anything besides dunk. Davis also looked stronger than Cunningham does right now.

    It appears that Cunningham has more range on his shot than Davis did (or does), is a better leaper and I think it looks like he has more length than Davis does. I think Devin Davis can be a very effective interior player for us next season. Not a star but an effective option. I don’t think Josh Cunningham will be able to help us anywhere but on the wing (hence my Troy Williams comparison)…the Devin Davis comp isn’t a bad one though.

  • Snookafly

    Yeah, we dodged a bullet with that one.