Recruiting notebook: Indiana watches T.J. Leaf, visits Ryan Anderson

  • 04/21/2014 10:08 am in

Indiana’s recruiting efforts on the west coast over the weekend started in Arizona, but they didn’t end there.

After landing a commitment from 2014 center Jeremiah April of Westwind Prep on Friday night, Tom Crean made his way to El Cajon, California to watch one of the program’s top class of 2016 targets, T.J. Leaf.

Rated the No. 19 player nationally in the 247Composite, Leaf has already been on three unofficial visits to Bloomington and his father, Brad, was a standout at the University of Evansville.

Leaf averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds as a sophomore at Foothills Christian and has scholarship offers from Arizona, Gonzaga, Indiana, UCLA and several others.

Following his unofficial visit to Bloomington in September, Leaf spoke to Inside the Hall about that experience and how he could see himself fitting in at IU.

“It seems like I would fit really well in their system,” he said. “I like coach Crean and I like all of the coaches and what they’re doing there. I was just really impressed.”

Leaf’s other visits to Bloomington came in November for IU’s season opener against Chicago State and in January for IU’s Big Ten home opener against Michigan State.

On Saturday, Crean continued his west coast trip and made an in-home visit to Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson, who is from Lakewood, California.

The 6-foot-9, 216 pound forward, who averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game as a junior, has one year of eligibility remaining, but is expected to sit out the 2014-2015 season and play his final year in 2015-2016.

Anderson recently had shoulder surgery and is expected to be out four to six months. He has official visits scheduled to Iowa State (May 2), Indiana (May 5) and Arizona (May 8).

Anderson told Inside the Hall’s Jordan Littman on Saturday evening via text that his meeting with Crean was very productive.

“Coach Crean came to my house and we had a great talk today,” Anderson said. “He talked about his plans to help me become a better player and how he thinks I will help the program win games.”

Indiana being mentioned as a suitor for USC transfer

USC transfer Byron Wesley, who averaged 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists for the Trojans last season, has been mentioned as a potential addition to IU’s 2014 recruiting class according to multiple media reports.

Both the LA Daily News and Yahoo Sports have listed Indiana among the schools who are courting Wesley, who is graduating and will be eligible next season.

According to the LA Daily News, the 6-foot-5 Wesley is leaving USC because “he did not know if he would fit in with transfer Katin Reinhardt and star recruit Jordan McLaughlin joining the team next season.”

A report on Monday morning by Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports mentioned Indiana as a possible destination for Wesley along with Baylor, Cincinnati, Gonzaga, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh and Providence.

Indiana has two scholarships available for the 2014 class.

(Photo credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports)

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  • JJ

    I grew up outside of Boston and follow BC nearly as much as IU. Anderson is a legit pro prospect and a proven commodity. Anyone saying he wouldn’t be a good fit at IU needs their head examined…

  • Miamihoosier

    I really need to stop being lazy and get in the forum..

  • Rie

    Figuring out the exact lineups last year makes solving a Rubik’s Cube look easy. I fully agree Troy would be best suited at the three, but as you say, the quality of our wing depth is going to force a guy like Troy to play the four frequently. That could also be a blessing in disguise though, because his lateral movement on defense was abysmal and he frequently got lost when defending the perimeter. Either way, I expect a big jump in Troy’s play and think he will adapt to wherever he is placed just fine.

  • MillaRed

    It creates a mismatch on both sides of the floor really. Maybe it’s a wash. Let’s just say those guards have to score. If not it could be a problem.

    Who knows, we may look at Troy in 5 months and see he has gained 12 pounds. Different story.

  • MillaRed

    I watched his father Brad many times in Evansville when The Purple Aces were a regular tourney team. He had a great stroke. Overall good, solid player and great character.

    Would be awesome for me if IU got his boy. Really surprised how much taller he is than dad.

  • hardly

    It is tough to see Leaf choosing IU when UCLA is in the mix. I lived in LA and came back to midwest…I miss it every day. His family is there, his friends are there – really no reason to leave. At UCLA you play pick up with all the pros..which is why you see many of their guys that don’t get drafted get shots in the NBA.

  • MillaRed

    Brad Leaf on if IU is one of the leaders, at this point:

    “Oh, heck yeah. Yeah, definitely. They’ll always be seen as one of
    the leaders. This is 40 years of roots, for me and my wife. That’s all
    T.J. has heard since he’s been able to watch basketball.”

  • hardly

    Not saying it won’t happen – he’s the right type of kid for the program. And I love IU..don’t get me wrong. But spending a little time in Westwood would tempt even the most die-hard Hoosier fans.

  • ForeverIU

    Maybe Tom Crean gets to pull a Thad Matta on Sean Miller, lol! Anderson will commit to IU on the spot and cancel his trip to Arizona.

  • oldiugymnast

    Westwood is nice and all, but I like Bloomington better. And I live in CA on the coast!

  • William Hagenmaier

    where’s HeyKnight when we need him

  • Shaggy_C

    My old man loved him some smooth jazz music. It’s all we would listen to in the car when I was growing up. 30 years of history for him – he’d be a smooth jazz guy since he was in college.

    Want to venture a guess what kind of music I listened to when I was 18? Hint: it was pretty much the exact opposite of smooth jazz.

    I like to think family legacy means something, but you have to take dad’s comments with a bit of a grain of salt – he’s not the one making the decision!

  • SCHoosier

    Troy might actually guard an opposing 4 better than a quick three. TW’s first step on D is..well shall we say “lacking.” Hope he’s working on lateral quickness..needs too.

  • Corey Schroyer

    I’m reading a lot of line-ups with Stan or th at the 3 but I’m just not seeing it. Nobody will know until next year but I think

    PG – Yogi. RJ.
    SG – JBJ. Stan (Stan and RJ interchangeable in both pg/sg rotation)
    SF – Troy. Stan. Hartman
    PF – DD. Hoetzel
    C – HMP. April. (Lord willing if one day healthy maybe jurkin gets some small time here too)

    This isn’t to say JBJ won’t handle the ball more some games. I think DD will merit the starting PF on defense and intensity alone. Like I said well never know, I can also see troy at the 4 and rotating to a 4 guard kind of rotation. Might all depend on the team we’re playing

  • 323SGrant

    Xavier did it to IU with Jordan Crawford.

  • FinEndNow

    I dont see PJ or Hartman playing next season.

  • FinEndNow

    Health issues not talent issues.

  • MillaRed

    Comparing jazz to basketball is some kind of blasphemy I’m sure of it.

  • Shaggy_C

    I fully expect a “5 by committee” with HMP and DD splitting minutes. The 4 will be Troy and Hoetzel, with a sprinkling of Hartman when he returns from injury. I can almost guarantee we’ll have three guards running the floor the rest of the time between Yogi/RJ/Stan/JBJ. I think the guards will be pretty interchangeable though – they’ve all commented about they were recruited to play point, so there should be some blurring between 1 and 2.

  • sd chuck

    Agree with 3 guard lineup, two things we need, one: someone to finish around the hole through contact, Stan was by far and away our best, second: a big body on the block that can catch the ball and make the right choices of shoot or pass without turnovers! A big guy that could pass back out to our shooters would make a world of difference on this team, have to say April looked like he could catch and pass. might be too much to ask for as a frosh. Hoping HP will improve more.

  • just think of the logistics. if he’s flying commercial air it’s 7-8 hours campus to campus. will each visit just be 1-2 hours?


    More complicated than Greg may ever really know. In fact it is probably in his best interest to be able to truthfully say he doesn’t really know.