Notebook: Hoosiers host trio of unofficial visitors

  • 06/24/2014 12:41 pm in

Only 15 days remain until coaches can hit the road recruiting in July, but the final days of June are typically a good time for schools to bring visitors to campus before the biggest evaluation periods of the year.

This year is no different in Bloomington as the Indiana coaching staff hosted a pair of class of 2016 visitors on Monday and will welcome another today.

On Monday, the Hoosier staff welcomed 6-foot-10 Onsted (Mi.) center Austin Davis to campus along with Merrillville’s D.J. Wilkins. And today, Owensboro Apollo (Ky.) guard Eli Wright (pictured) is expected to be in Bloomington.

Davis, who has early offers from Central Michigan and Toledo, is being evaluated by several Big Ten programs, including Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State. Wilkins, who plays for Indiana Elite, is believed to be a major target for Purdue in its 2016 recruiting efforts.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, was included in the top 40 of’s rankings for the class of 2016 and has offers from Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Purdue and Western Kentucky. He’s also visited Louisville.

Per NCAA recruiting rules, visits can continue through Saturday, July 5. The first July evaluation period begins on Wednesday, July 9.

Exum says he would have played for Indiana

Australian phenom Dante Exum, who is expected to be a top five pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, only took one official visit when he was going through the recruiting process.

That trip was to Indiana back in January of 2013 for IU’s win over Minnesota. At the time, Exum had planned to attend college in the United States, but after breakout performances in the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit and the FIBA U19 World Championships, the Aussie emerged as a sure fire lottery pick on NBA draft boards.

Exum officially declared for the NBA draft back in January, but in a column published Wednesday on, it was revealed that he would have attended IU had he chosen to go to college:

Exum finished his high school career in Australia, graduating in December while weighing his options: to realize his dream of playing college basketball or to go directly to the NBA. He trimmed his list to five schools: Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan and Oregon. Cecil says that Kentucky’s John Calipari even threw out the possibility of Dante joining Kentucky for the second semester of the season and jumping right into the fire.

“He would have been at a major disadvantage,” Cecil said. “Behind the eight-ball. I shot that down and told the other schools that was not an option.”

Dante maintains that he would have chosen to play for Tom Crean at Indiana, the lone school he actually visited, if he had opted to go the college route.

Vonleh among four Big Ten players invited to Thursday’s draft

Indiana’s Noah Vonleh was among four Big Ten players invited to attend Thursday’s draft at the Barclays Center, the NBA announced on Monday.

Vonleh, the Big Ten freshman of the year, was invited to attend along with Big Ten player of the year Nik Stauksas of Michigan and Adreian Payne and Gary Harris of Michigan State.

Other prospects invited to attend include: Aaron Gordon (Arizona), Andrew Wiggins (Kansas), Dante Exum (Australia), Dario Saric (Croatia), Doug McDermott (Creighton), Elfrid Payton (Louisiana-Lafayette), Jabari Parker (Duke), James Young (Kentucky), Julius Randle (Kentucky), Jusuf Nurkic (Bosnia), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Rodney Hood (Duke), TJ Warren (North Carolina State), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse), Zach LaVine (UCLA) and Shabazz Napier (Connecticut).

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  • MillaRed

    We can feel how we feel about ESPN in the friendly confines of ITH, but these kids are glued to it all day long. I see no way in H it helps a 16-17 year old kid impress positively on his recruitment.

  • TomJameson

    Didn’t know who that was, had to “google” him. Have to say I wasn’t very impressed. Pretty sure that was your point? lol

  • HoosierGrampy

    ESPN Class Rankings and their Top 50 Coaches Poll are good for engendering lively discussions (like ours) and fan interest, but they are totally subjective and largely bogus. UK had a Top class 2 yrs ago and couldn’t make the Dance. Butler has never made the list, but during Brad Stevens time there, well, they were just a bit successful with less-than-stellar talent. I included Jay Wright in the list of “possible” elite recruiters simply based upon what he has done @ Villanova…taking ballers who can fill roles he deems to be necessary to achieve–and sustain success on the court. CBS Sports article on Jay Wright dtd June 15th would lead a reader to think ‘Nova once again a prominent force on the national level. IU could be, but the roller coaster ride we’ve experienced in being Good, Very Good and Not Relevant are hardly the results of which an “elite” recruiter would be proud.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I certainly don’t view ESPN rankings or articles as gospel but Jay Wright has been to the same number of Final Four’s as Tom Crean and hasn’t been past the second round of the tournament since 2008. In the watered down Big East, I don’t think they are a nationally prominent force. I think he’s perfectly fine but I wouldn’t put him on a level above Tom Crean as a recruiter. Reasonable people can agree to disagree on that though.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Success in the NCAAs is partly attributable to the luck of the draw…I loved RMK but recall a couple times our Hoosiers stumbled getting out of the gate…same as UNC, Duke…it happens. We agree to disagree– 🙂