Indiana among top three schools for Raymond Spalding

  • 07/10/2014 2:24 pm in

INDIANAPOLIS — If it wasn’t clear going into July what kind of priority Louisville Trinity (Ky.) forward Raymond Spalding is for Indiana in its class of 2015 recruiting efforts, the start of the first July evaluation period is putting things into focus.

With high profile events like the Reebok Classic, LeBron James Skills Academy and adidas Unrivaled going on at other venues across the country, Indiana coach Tom Crean was at North Central high school on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning to watch Spalding in the adidas Invitational.

The fact that Crean was in attendance for Spalding’s first two games, the only head coach in his top three schools to earn that distinction, wasn’t lost on the rising senior.

“It really tells a lot about him and his program,” Spalding told Inside the Hall. “He takes basketball to heart over there. He’s a great coach. For him to come to my games, the head coach, the head guy, that means a lot. I talk to coach Crean every day. He’s becoming one of my best friends. We talk every day about basketball and our families in general. He’s a great guy, great coach.”

On Wednesday evening, Spalding poured in 34 points and 11 rebounds as The Ville beat UA Grind, 76-67 and he followed that up with 14 points as The Ville beat St. Louis Gateway, 64-43, on Thursday morning.

Crean, along with Xavier coach Chris Mack and assistants from Clemson and Tennessee, watched Spalding on Thursday morning. After the comfortable win over St. Louis Gateway, Spalding talked more in-depth about his relationship with Crean.

“We talk every day about basketball, our families. He has a son that plays baseball,” he said. “He’s a great guy and he tells me every thing. Besides being a great basketball coach at Indiana University, he’s a great father, mentor and leader.”

The contact with Indiana is frequent — Spalding says he and Crean exchange text messages at least three times per day — and his message is often centered on just how big of a priority he is for the program.

But the Hoosiers are not alone in their pursuit of Spalding, who is on the rise nationally. He listed Xavier and Louisville, along with IU, as his top three schools, in no particular order. Both schools received unofficial visits from Spalding in June and Louisville offered a scholarship on his visit there.

Standing just a few feet from a group of coaches that included Mack, Spalding broke down what he likes about that program as well as Louisville.

“Xavier University, it’s a great school,” he said. “Besides basketball, it’s a great academic school. I got to talk to their academic services person. He’s a great guy, great person. Xavier basketball, it’s big over there in Cincinnati. There’s not much besides basketball over there. Coach (Chris) Mack and coach Travis Steele, those guys are great over there. They really control the players and they have a wonderful facility and they’re starting to build more to it.

“I love the academics (at Louisville) and it’s home town. Coach (Rick) Pitino, he really gets guys to the next level, the pro level. And that’s what I love about it.”

Spalding says he remains open to new schools who may begin recruiting him this month and he’s already hearing from one new school that began contact about a week ago.

“I’m starting to talk to Duke a little bit more than I have before,” Spalding said. “Coach (Nate) James. Talking to Duke, it’s a great university, academics and just a crazy atmosphere over there. They want to get me up sometime to take a visit, but I don’t know when I’m going to take a visit yet.”

At close to 6-foot-10, Spalding may still be growing, but he said all of the schools are recruiting him to play a stretch floor that can also play away from the basket at times.

“It’s a huge focus for me, being a stretch four,” he said. “In my development I need to learn how to shoot the ball better. Today I didn’t shoot the ball that great, but last night I shot it pretty well and I’m just getting in that daily effort and it really comes along.”

The next step for Spalding in the process will likely be to cut his list and look at where he might like to take official visits this fall. In previous interviews, he’s mentioned signing in the fall, but that’s no longer a certainty at this point.

“It’ll be tough to come to a decision because those are three great schools,” Spalding said. “The head coaches there are tremendous guys. When it comes down to making a decision, it’ll be pretty tough.

“I may wait it out until spring some time.”

Filed to:

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Using quotes for “interesting,” was my backhanded way of saying “terrible” or “haphazard” or “ill-conceived” or “nonsensical.”

  • Gregory Spera

    Speak for yourself. These recruits are always wondering “What does Spera think?” Or WDST in internet shorthand.

  • Rie

    Which further supports the notion that you are just “pissin’ in the wind” with your predictions.

  • Senor


  • Alford Bailey

    Yea, but anyone off “The Simpsons” demands more attention.

  • Alford Bailey

    “plumb crazy” as they say in southern Indiana.

  • myrddin

    “… because Spalding reads ITH?”
    We know from player quotes that players and families read articles about them and are exposed to what’s trending about them in social media. For all you know he could be reading your comments right now. So not just that you posted something critical, but for crying out loud it’s like a dog with a bone you’re just going to grind this criticism out until it’s the longest thread on here. Who could miss it if they came to this page?

  • Gregory Spera

    Alas, my small role as “Azel the Snake Charmer” in the season four episode “Wacking Day” was left on the cutting room floor.

  • Alford Bailey

    Lets see, Lee, Thompson and Giddens are three names that come to mind that Crean was interested in but Matta landed in the last three months.

  • Alford Bailey

    So close yet so far….

  • Brad

    Well, it’s obviously Crean’s fault. There can’t possibly be any other reasons that they didn’t want to play here. It has to be because they don’t like Crean and they think he’s a horrible coach.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Where did I ever say that Crean has a “lack of development”? I never said that. Playing people out of position and not developing them are two separate things.

    Did you read what I wrote about Matta and bigs? Here it is again, this time in all caps: “YOU’RE RIGHT, MATTA DOESN’T HAVE A HISTORY OF DEVELOPING BIGS.”

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I edited my original comment in case Mr. Spalding decides to base his college decision on what an idiot from Purdue says. 🙂

  • Gregory Spera

    I like can enjoy sarcasm and agree with it literally, also!

  • Kyl470

    Watford was listed as a small forward by all the recruiting services coming out of high school. Also by his measurements he 6’8″ not 6’10”.

  • Rie

    What is your point, that you think he would have been better suited as a three? What basketball related things do you have to support that?

    (Also, Watford is listed at 6’9″; I put the 6’10” to account for height in shoes.)

  • Kyl470

    Completely agree. No one wants to be a back to the basket player. Even the elite bigs in this class like Myles Turner all want to be 3 point shooters. Where is Marco Killingsworth when you need him? Just a big body who stays down low and can finish lay ups through contact.

  • JerryCT

    PHD :

    My burning question for YOU is ……………. is Buckley squirreling away nuts in his cheeks or what ? Looks a bit puffy

    I hope it is cash for Spalding

  • N71

    I late bloomer who is 6’9″ and still growing, just scores 30+ in an AAU opener, lives close to Bloomington, is a good student, God fearing, well spoken…mmm, kind of like him.

  • I really don’t remember either player expressing a desire to play a specific position.

  • jmac

    I’d say we finish second to UL. Not to worried about Duke. I hope I’m wrong, but we seem to finish runner up a lot

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I did a brief search but couldn’t rummage up anything. At least neither of us remember them saying, “We want to play center.”

    I think, however, from some of Vonleh’s post-Bloomington comments that it’s clear that he wasn’t entirely pleased with playing center.

  • Except that LF was hurt the first part of the year and just when he got healthy and started to show up in games, he decided he was home sick..

  • So I guess your advanced degree, gives you the insight and inclination to suggest to Pitino, KJ, Chris Mack and Coach K what their recruiting pitch is, or should be?

  • CreanFaithful

    Ugh, Gary Harris was 3 inches shorter than listed. Why do people insist on acting as if this is an IU thing? Typically it is height in shoes and rounded up to the next even number…

  • You’re absolutely right they read this.. Remember the incident where Troy’s mother was so upset about something that was said about Troy on ITH?

  • Yes CreanFaithful, makes you wonder why these supposed IU fans always take the first opportunity to bash IU, the school they supposedly love so much… Strange, huh?

  • PDXHoosier

    I don’t even text my wife more than 3 times a day. recruiting must be exhausting- especially for the recruits

  • Michael

    this. this. this.

    and this.

  • TomJameson

    Wow, the 3rd comment in told Spalding to “Don’t come to IU”. A little cover-up with the edit, but the discontent came through. That really stirred up a hornets nest about where everybody in the last 2 years coulda, shoulda, played. Wow!

  • 323SGrant

    Would be great to get Spaulding. I hope the coaching staff can reel him in.

  • ForeverIU

    In an interview earlier this summer he said he was 6-8 and probably growing.

  • ForeverIU

    I don’t know why Anthony Lee has been portrayed as such a great player. I would have to think Crean told him he would probably be backup to Hanner. Not worth investing too much in a player who would only be here for a year, unless he was going to be an instant star. Getting two players (Priller and April) who would likely be with us for four years was much smarter. I’m not one of those who think we got these two out of desperation. And Trevor Thompson would not have been eligible to play next year, so I don’t Crean went after him too aggressively either. That’s just my educated guess, nothing concrete to prove it.

  • NateMH

    I’d sure like to land this guy, but very very unlikely since he is from Kentucky. Calipari will offer him just to keep Crean from landing him


    Pretty sure I remember Lee saying something to the effect that he didn’t want to go to a program where he would end up having to play the 5 all of the time or even the majority of the time.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    We may claim stretch 4, but Cody n Noah saw that reality @ CTC world! Welcome to IU spalding , DO NOT LEAVE THE POST! LOL

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Um, Cody won IU’s 3 pt contest & can run like a gazelle. But hey IU has an in-game coach that is 2nd to none, he is like Cpt Kirk as he can handle any situation and be a hero. You want some of this ayahuasca, cures what ails you if’n you are an IU fan!

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    I Guess that is why IU destroyed all teams last year . . .

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    We need a new coach! There I said it. So let it be typed, so let it manifest, so let it be done!

  • Hoosier Hall

    He won’t get a UK offer unless he cracks the top 20. Our biggest competitor for Spalding is Louisville and Kenny Johnson.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I know it was hypothetical but your comment prompted me to find out…”where is Marco Killingsworth?”. Killingsworth has played for teams in Ukraine, Israel and Puerto Rico and is currently on a team in Bulgaria.

  • SCHoosier

    And u were also asking for a tougher schedule right? Let’s see…tough schedule..very young established 4 or 5 position players. You’ll be “toxic” if IU loses more than 2-3 games in preseason? I’d suggest..that you start looking for antidotes right now. If that’s a positive outlook for the season..I’d hate to read a post from somebody with a negative one!

  • Michael Crawley

    From our office desk we can say all the stupid things we want but telling a kid or not to go to IU if he wants to play a position is ridiculous. It does not represent us as well as fans of Indiana basketball. I doubt if many recruits read our posts but I bet the parents and coaches do. Critical reasoning and debate is always appreciated but trolling from a passionate fan not good.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Are you?

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    If people’s comments on the internet truly kept recruits away from IU, then James Blackmon, Jr. would have *never* recommitted to IU after “fans” on this site, other websites, and every social media network said they wished that he would re-injure his knee. That’s about the worst thing that could be said about / to a young athlete … yet he chose IU anyway. I am in no way supporting the idiots that wished JBJ harm (and I never said anything negative about him), but I’m pointing out a prime example of people’s comments on the internet not swaying a recruit.

    If Spalding doesn’t come to IU because of something I said, I’ll burn every piece of Hoosier gear I own, wear sackcloth for a month, and become a Purdue fan. Book it.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    And then Troy immediately transferred, proving once and for all that comments on the internet — especially ITH — are the most important thing to a recruit / player.

    I said nothing negative about Spalding — I like the kid and want him to come to IU! — but I can point out a string of folks who never expressed their desire to play center but ended up playing center.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    It doesn’t even take a GED to figure out what other coaches would say about CTC if they wanted to go negative. I LIKE CTC and I LOVE IU, but we don’t have to pretend that everything is [crimson] roses all of the time everywhere.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    You found me out! I’ve been commenting on ITH for 3+ years because of my elaborate plan to sabotage the recruiting of Spalding.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Alex changed the picture! COVER UP, COVER UP!

  • ForeverIU

    Funny how we work our magic, ha ha …