Monday was a busy day for visitors on Indiana’s campus as the staff hosted three visitors who were in the state for the adidas Gauntlet in Fishers and a fourth visitor from just outside Fort Wayne who got his first up close look at IU basketball.
Brachen Hazen, a 6-foot-7 class of 2016 forward from Columbia City, made the three hour drive south to Bloomington with his parents after the Hoosiers recently expressed interest.
As a sophomore at Columbia City, Hazen averaged close to 12 points and eight rebounds per game, but has flown under the radar in part because he missed his freshman season due to a back injury.
“It was just awesome,” Hazen told Inside the Hall of the Indiana visit. “That was my first time ever being down there. It was just really fun. We enjoyed it.”
Hazen’s younger brother, Parker, was a freshman starter at Columbia City this past season and his older sister, Gabrielle, has signed to play volleyball at Northwestern.
To this point, Hazen said Indiana is the first major school to express significant interest. Hazen said the Indiana coaching staff requested film from his high school coach, Chris Benedict, and then invited him down to tour the campus.
“What Tom Crean said a couple of times is that he liked how I have a lot of upside,” he said. “He liked my athleticism, my quickness to defend smaller post players. And he liked how I attack the rim and how I could shoot outside a little bit.”
Playing alongside some of the top in-state prospects in the class of 2016 on Spiece Indy Heat, Hazen, who can play either forward spot, will have the chance to impress college coaches over three July evaluation periods.
“I like to be a leader out on the court,” Hazen said. “I like to be vocal on the defensive end. I kind of pride myself in how I talk and communicate a lot on the defensive end to make sure we get the stops necessary to win ballgames.”
Filed to: Brachen Hazen