A look at some of the remaining 2014 recruiting options

  • 04/14/2014 10:20 am in

As of today, Indiana will add a trio of recruits, James Blackmon Jr., Max Hoetzel and Robert Johnson, to next season’s roster.

But with the recent decisions of Austin Etherington and Jeremy Hollowell to transfer, along with the departure of Noah Vonleh to the NBA and the midseason transfer of Luke Fischer, the Hoosiers still have three open scholarships for next season.

With the spring signing period beginning on Wednesday, here’s a look at some of the names that remain on the board. Please note that school lists aren’t necessarily all-inclusive, do not denote offers and that this list is in no particular order:

Josh Cunningham, Morgan Park (Ill.), 6-foot-7 forward

· Schools: Bradley, Creighton, DePaul, Indiana, Iowa State, Minnesota, South Carolina
· Notes: Cunningham took his fifth and final official visit to South Carolina over the weekend and is scheduled to announce his decision on Friday, April 18. Per a report over the weekend by Adam Zagoria, St. John’s has come in with a late scholarship offer to Cunningham.

Marial Shayok, Blair Academy (N.J.), 6-foot-7 wing

· Schools: Indiana, La Salle, Marquette, Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Rutgers, West Virginia
· Notes: Shayok, who was signed with Marquette, received his release from his National Letter of Intent and is back on the market. According to reports, Shayok was offered by Indiana after receiving his release from the Golden Eagles.

Deng Deng, Lee College (Tx.), 6-foot-8 forward

· Schools: Arizona State, Baylor, Gonzaga, Houston, Indiana, LSU, Nebraska, Texas Tech
· Notes: All we know at this point regarding IU’s interest in Deng is that the Hoosiers were reportedly in to visit him last week. Deng had surgery recently to repair a broken ankle, but is rated a four-star prospect and the fourth best junior college prospect by the 247Composite.

Ryan Anderson, Boston College transfer, 6-foot-9 forward

· Schools: Arizona, Indiana, Iowa State, New Mexico, San Diego State, Washington
· Notes: Anderson, who averaged 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds, won’t be eligible until the 2015-2016 season due to NCAA transfer rules and is going to use the time off to have shoulder surgery. Indiana was mentioned as a school involved in this update from the Washington 247Sports site.

Moses Ayegba, Georgetown transfer, 6-foot-9 center

· Schools: Indiana, Indiana State, LIU, Nebraska, Pepperdine, Rhode Island, Towson, Wichita State.
· Notes: As a graduate transfer, Ayegba, will be eligible immediately. He averaged 1.9 points and 2.8 rebounds last season at Georgetown. Over the weekend, Ayegba took an official visit to Nebraska.

Link Kabadyundi, Alma Academy (Montreal Quebec, Canada), 7-foot-1 center

· Schools: Buffalo, Fresno State, Georgia, Indiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico State, SMU, TCU, UNLV
· Notes: There’s little out there on Kabadyundi, who was once committed to Albany. Hoops Hype Canada mentioned IU has expressed interest in a story last week.

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

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  • CreamandCrimson

    Deng Deng! I know nothing about him but he is being recruited by some good programs and he’s the fourth best JUCO prospect (which means he can play). Plus, his name is Deng Deng! I don’t know if he’d be a good solution to our problems but I would love to have him on the roster. I think, ideally, we would take one of these guys that will have multiple years of eligibility remaining and keep the other scholarships for the 2015 season (and hitting a couple of home runs with that class is VERY important). My very uneducated opinion/ranking would be:
    1. Deng Deng (I imagine he is physically ready to contribute and has two years left)
    2. Josh Cunningham (I really like his game but he is not exactly a positional need)
    3. Ryan Anderson (good player with previous high-major production)
    4. Marial Shayok (multi-faceted defender could be a useful long-term player)
    5. Link Kabadyundi (I know it’s a huge need but this guy is really raw and I’d rather play a 6’7″ guy with skill than a 7’1″ guy who can’t cut it)
    6. Moses Ayegba – (He was barely useful at Georgetown and I have no desire to see him at IU. It’s a one-year commitment but I don’t think he adds anything)

  • marcusgresham

    Show us your Deng Deng and your Peter Jurkin!

  • JBishop0425

    Are we not showing any interest in the Michigan transfer?

  • N71

    I’d agree, Deng would appear to be a nice fit. Give him some time to recoup from the surgery and ease him into the rotation come Big Ten season. It seems like a long-shot though drawing someone from Texas when it looks like he’s being recruited by a number of schools closer.

  • CreamandCrimson

    The way the past several months have gone for IU basketball…I fully expect to lose him to a certain denim-wearing snake who is now employed by the University of Houston.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Lmao!! I knew someone would go there!

  • FinEndNow

    I want Link, Shayok and Anderson.

  • ForeverIU

    What about Chris Obekpa? Is he not transferring from St. John’s. BTW, I read somewhere that St. John’s is trying to get Josh Cunningham?

  • CreamandCrimson

    Obekpa is transferring but IU has apparently shown no interest (which is why he doesn’t appear on this article). Yes, St. John’s offered Josh Cunningham this past weekend.

  • FinEndNow

    They are going after him. Obekpa wouldnt get to play til the 15-16 season though.

  • He can’t transfer to a Big Ten school and receive a scholarship immediately, so no.

  • Gregory Spera

    I don’t care if we already have four them. Give me a another talented 6′-7″ wing (Cunningham) over another 7 foot tall foreign “project” (Ayegba, Kabadyundi) any day.

  • ForeverIU

    Yikes, Steve Lavin is one coach on a mission.

  • Shaggy_C

    For better or worse, I think Moses Ayegba sounds most like a Crean type of project.

  • IUGRADUATE

    Although Big Ten recently altered its transfer rule within the conference, it is highly unlikely that schools would allow that to happen.

  • FinEndNow

    We can add him with Troy, DD, Hoetz, and Hartman. Maybe we can have 5 6-7 SF’s on the floor at one time… But I’d rather have a 7-1 project. Link is in much better health than PJ ever was. I doubt Cunningham wants to play the 5 in college. Same with Hoetz and DD.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I believe he had a change of heart and wants to stay at St. Johns.

  • Dagwoods

    I believe Moses Ayegba is Moses Abraham. I would have thought that ship has sailed ling ago considering the rumors of that recruitment (first one).

  • RMK

    I’d disagree with you about Cunningham not being at a position of need. With the departure of AE and JH IU only has Williams, Hartman (likely out for season), and Hoetzel. I consider Davis more of a post player than a wing.

    I would take Ayegba at this point. I doubt IU gets 3 quality players and there is no reason to not give a spot to a grad transfer if you aren’t going to use it anyway.

  • SCHoosier

    Geez..broken ankles.& shoulders…foreign imports with no record of production and several plain “mysteries.” Is the smoke I’m smelling from burning recruit rating reports, self-exploding expectations..of just an end of the b-ball seasons fire sale?

  • Dee McDonald

    Yeah, Crean recruited him hard the first time around. Wonder if there’s even any interest there since he missed the ship the first time?

  • CreamandCrimson

    That’s a fair point but I think we’ll see a whole lot of three (and at times, four guard lineups). I just don’t see how Robert Johnson, James Blackmon Jr. and Stan Robinson all don’t spend significant time on the court. So that leaves Josh Cunningham being a backup or third string player to Troy Williams and Devin Davis. I’m not saying he wouldn’t have a role to play and again, I really like his game but if you are asking what position does this team need? “Wing” player isn’t the first thing that comes to mind…interior help is.

  • Gregory Spera

    I will always take talent over size. Even at 5′-11″ tall, Yogi Ferrell is a thousand times better player than all 21 feet of Tijan Jobe, Maniru Bawa, and Peter Jurkin combined. Now if we could land some TALENTED size…

  • RMK

    Hartman is most likely not going to play this year (I’ve always heard ACL’s are 9-12 months) and I would consider DD as a post player, so I would say another 6’7″ would be a great fit. I would also be more than happy to take Ayegba. He’s another big body that will basically reserve a spot for the ’15 class. Better than taking a long term spot for a long shot player or just having it go to waste.

  • FinEndNow

    But you’re also comparing Yogi Ferrell to those players. Indiana isnt going to get another Cody Zeller. He was one of a kind. We need to take bigs that dont care about scoring and just want to rebound, block shots and be a big, long body down low.

  • Ole Man

    Love DD, but he is not a post player.
    Too small wt wise and ht wise for constant banging in the Big Ten.

  • Shaggy_C

    Ah, didn’t realize it was the same guy. Based on what I’m reading, we were in his final two – it came down to IU vs Georgetown, and the local school won the battle. Have to think if IU was his second choice the first time around that there’s still some mutual interest there. From a 2010 ITH article:

    “Abraham loved Indiana. He loved everything about it — facilities, players, coaches, tradition, the works. And when Abraham talked to Boncore about it, Boncore said he essentially asked Abraham, “So you want to commit to Indiana, then?”

    But Abraham chose Georgetown because, Boncore said, the player simply felt more comfortable staying in D.C., the only place in America he’s ever lived and closer to the few friends he’s made while he’s lived here.”

  • Ole Man

    Good insight, Shaggy. Thanks.

  • RMK

    I disagree. I’m not saying he’s a 5, but I definitely think he is more of a 4 than anything.

  • FinEndNow

    DD was a SF/SG in high school…. Which to Crean means you’re a PF in college. He did the same thing with Hollowell. Hollowell was a shooter and instead of using him as one tried making him into a post player. Its fine for a scorer to develop a post game but let a player be comfortable on the floor. Hollowell was not Christian Watford.

  • Ole Man

    A stretch at PF, maybe.
    But that is not a post player.

  • IUDan

    I agree Shaggy – I think he’s the most likely “get” given that he was strongly recruited by the program and staff before. I think he’s worth pursuing, especially for one year .. . with or without Cunningham or another.

  • Gregory Spera

    Obviously, I’m all for us landing a huge rebounding, shot blocking, defensive force in the middle for next season. But is he somewhere on that list above? I wish.

  • Ole Man

    Lee, the kid from Temple signing at OSU, would probably own him down low….Experience, ht, wt, etal.

  • ForeverIU

    I don’t blame him. You can’t compare the culture and diversity of DC to what we have here.

  • FinEndNow

    Link might be. PJ would have been but he has major health issues. PJ will never see the floor except for 30 seconds every now and then. Link would replace him and he’s bigger. We dont need crazy good and top ranked big men like Zeller and Vonleh. Crean doesnt know how to use them. He knows how to use perimeter players. So getting a player like Link that may not be very good on offense is just fine. If he can set a screen on offense then he’ll work.

  • RMK

    Agree to disagree. Brendan Dawson was the 4 for MSU all season. They have him listed at 6’6″ 225. I could see Davis bulking up to 235-45 in the next couple years and he has the athleticism and physicality to bang with most 4’s. Again, don’t want him for a 5, but a 4 is ok.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I feel like this exact same back-and-forth occurred multiple times on Friday. A commenter says they would rather have a 6’7″ guy with skill than a 7″ who can’t do anything other than be big. You come back with we need a big who can rebound, block shots and provide size down low (“anchor” the paint). Original commenter says they would love to have that guy but they aren’t available. You come back with how Link could do the job and develop and that Peter Jurkin will definitively, absolutely never play (which I see has now changed “30 seconds every now and then”).

    It’s two different philosophies. Neither one can be definitively right but I don’t see how having the same debates over and over again isn’t proving or disproving anything. (Please note: feel free to keep on embracing the debate…this was just my opinion and it’s worth absolutely nothing, just thought I’d mention that we’re going in circles here).

  • CreamandCrimson

    I absolutely agree with you. Davis hasn’t shown the ability to hit a shot outside of 8-feet so I don’t see how he can be expected to play anywhere close to the perimeter at this point. I think he can embrace the role of junkyard dog, clean up on the boards and get himself 8-10 points a game on put-backs, dunks and hustle points.

  • FinEndNow

    I actually havent seen DD attempt anything other than a layup. Seemed like everyone on the team other than Yogi, Will and Vonleh were scared to death to shoot the ball. Hopefully this year is different. If you’re wide open shoot the darned ball!

  • Gregory Spera

    Are we already repeating ourselves with our off-season banter? A broken record and it’s only April.

  • CreamandCrimson

    That’s a fair point and absolutely true. He was a pretty good mid-range shooter in high school (never a good 3-point shooter when I saw him and was always best when attacking the basket). Whether it was a lack of confidence or a lack of ability…he rarely pulled the trigger on anything that wasn’t a point-blank attempt.

  • FinEndNow

    Next year we need people to shoot the ball. It cant go in if you dont ever shoot. I want JBJ and RJ to come in shooting 3’s and pull up mid range jumpers right along with Yogi. I want Troy and Stan to shoot a 3 every now and then. You gotta hit for people to respect it and then that will open things up for them and everyone else. I hope Hoetz shoots the 3 ball unlike Austin who wouldnt ever pull the trigger. I trust Hanner to shoot a 15-17 foot jumper and same with DD. But if you dont shoot then it will never go in.

  • walton

    I guess Crean didn’t oversign enough players last year.

  • Hoosier Hall

    We’ve landed plenty the last few years (Zeller, Vonleh, Fischer). Getting them to stay is the trick!

  • KmanCRK

    Sounds like we might be further from locking him up than we hoped. Really bad sign for Crean if this kid goes elsewhere.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    yessir, not a whole lot in that list to get excited about. if i had my preference, i’d like to see them sign a juco or a transfer, and then continue to recruit big men for ’15 and ’16. to me, just seems like a waste of space to recruit yet another 6’7″ forward.

  • Alford Bailey

    With the exception of Cunningham this is some serious bottom of the barrel stuff. No way we should be back at this point in recruiting.

  • FinEndNow

    We have. But we dont need them. Crean doesnt know how to use a big like that. We dont need a big man that great on offense.