2015 McDonald’s All-American Thomas Bryant recaps IU visit, talks recruitment

  • 03/11/2015 10:34 am in

This past Saturday, 2015 four-star center Thomas Bryant made his second trip to Bloomington this school year in time for Indiana’s regular season finale against Michigan State.

Bryant on Monday night told Inside the Hall that he enjoyed his weekend visit to Bloomington, and that the Hoosiers remain “one of my final schools.”

“I thought it was great,” Bryant said. “Great atmosphere, the people treated you like their own. Great people there.”

Indiana has long made the 6-foot-10, 240 pound Bryant a priority in the 2015 recruiting class, offering him a scholarship this past summer and hosting him for an official visit in October. The Hoosiers almost had him on campus just a week later for Hoosier Hysteria, but he was ill and could not attend.

But following his senior season at Huntington Prep (W.V.) in which he averaged 17.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and 2.5 steals per game and received invitations to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic, Bryant chose to come back to Bloomington for an unofficial visit for the Hoosiers’ last home game of the season.

Wearing a grey Indiana shirt, Bryant received multiple ovations from fans in attendance on Saturday. And as he walked off Branch McCracken Court after the game, Bryant raised his hand to acknowledge the Hoosiers fans cheering him on.

“It was great,” he said. “It makes you feel wanted and feel great about things and that school.”

Bryant said the Hoosiers stand out in his recruitment on many levels — stemming from the fact that “they need a player like me and I could have a major impact as well.”

He also mentioned that he “loves” the players and coaches at Indiana, especially the message that Hoosiers coach Tom Crean has echoed to him throughout his recruitment.

“Coach Crean told me he would utilize me as soon as possible and that he won’t have me long and that I’ll have to work,” Bryant said. “But I love hard work. It makes it that much better and sweeter.”

Although a college decision is not imminent, Bryant said one will come “hopefully soon” and that playing immediately will be a factor. He also confirmed that his final four is Indiana, Syracuse, Kentucky and Missouri.

But when it comes to when he makes his decision, he said the Hoosiers will be right there in contention.

“I see myself fitting in there really well,” he said. “They’re of course one of my final schools.”

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  • hoosier93

    That’s just where they’re projected. I don’t have him going first round in my mock draft but he’s close.

  • He plays with some attitude, that’s for sure. Mostly I see a lot of intensity, although in a few shots he was getting in some guys’ faces. Might have been the same guy though, maybe a little back and forth. Not sure. He seems to have a little range as well.

  • dwdkc

    First, Kman if a guy has a title and 900 wins, you don’t make fun of him for it. Second, Page, if you come here and say Crean is a great coach, you will get even more pushback. (irony)

  • dwdkc

    Come on, the only mention of Crean was a compliment. We have to have better things to complain about around here than that. Except the very many around here that disagree with complimenting Crean 🙂

  • BobbyBeGoodKnight

    According to ESPN100 UK already has a commitment from the highest ranked center in the 2015 class.

  • Hoosier1158

    Smart takes the shot, oh what a shot!

  • beer30

    Yes. I believe that the first time was in ’92.

  • hardly

    man…i wish we had the scholarships to sign this guy!!

  • Bill Graham

    Alright so we are already over-signed which means that someones gotta go. I highly doubt we lose anyone because Yogi James and Troy will all have higher draft stock next year JBJ is projected in the 40’s right now (my guess is he’ll wait a year and take a bigger check). So that leaves transfers…unfortunately… so I’ve narrowed it down to possibly Stan (lack of minutes), Max (a long way from home for only 5-8 minutes a game and incoming competition), and Jeremiah (I mean look at the dude…he could prob start at some tiny D-1 or good D-2 school.
    As sad as it sounds I kinda hope Luke Fischer or some other ex-hoosier becomes a beast. I’m sick of this terrible player retention and CTC has to learn to invest in his younger guys more… I mean we all know a simple Able-Hulls switch could have helped (notice not prevented just helped) the Syracuse disaster (we lost Remy and Creek and they went on to have great seasons elsewhere). Now I’m worried that we’re going to lose Max who has some serious potential.
    And ya I realize the rebuttal comments are going to be about Creek pursuing a masters program, Remy’s behavioral and chemistry issues, and the possibility of striping April and Priller’s scholarships…but oh well.

  • Mr. Mitchell

    The bumper sticker situation is one I can’t let go.

  • alwaysiufan

    He is kind of famous for that isn’t he

  • Rie

    I guess a backhanded compliment is still a compliment.

  • Outoftheloop

    I humbly disagree. I love Mo Creek. He added a lot to his new team and performed well. I watched about 10 of his games. He simply could not play defense. But he understood the game well and was their best/only outside threat, and they had a very good season. Remy made a great mistake. Last season, if he had remained at IU, he would have been a STAR with our 3 point shooting woes. This year at Xavier he is just one of the 8 rotation players on a non-NCAA team. Hardly a “great” season!

  • Outoftheloop

    My memory is MUCH better than your reading skills! Actually read the NCAA findings on the Syracuse violations. Then re-read the findings on the Sampson violations. Apples are the red ones, oranges are…you get it?

  • Outoftheloop

    Did I say I can evaluate talent on video? No! Like any fan I can evaluate an entire season when I saw most of the play. In case you missed it that is what ITH and the other media do. Maybe they are better at it, maybe not.

  • chiv86

    I agree with your point about ability to recruit off-campus. Keep in mind that when IU was punished, Crean was limited in what type of recruiting he could do, ie off-campus visits and things of that nature. I’m not 100% familiar with what SU is doing on that end but I haven’t seen anyone talk about recruiting restrictions on Boeheim.


    Agree, I think you could say that there is a pretty good chance that we could finally realize some good things out of HMP, especially with him not having to guard someone almost always bigger and stronger than him and without us having to rely on him to be our one and only rim protector. If we factor in another round of summer workouts, a season of finally getting a good amount of meaningful playing time under his belt, him knowing it’s his last go around and last chance to impress someone enough to give him a chance to make some money playing bball and him knowing that when he gets on the floor he won’t have to play out of position, it could all add up to something good finally coming out of his time at IU.

    Disclaimer: When I typed, make some money playing bball, I was thinking that it’s more than likely going to be somewhere other than NBA if he tries that option.

    All this is also predicated on the assumption that Crean would play Bryant and another true big at the same time, which when looking back over his coaching philosophy, says there is a good chance that he won’t do it. Hate to play the ” if ” game, buttttt, if Crean is still here next year, and I fully expect him to be regardless of how this season plays out, and if Bryant signs with IU, and if HMP, EH and DD all are still on the team, and if both recruits still come to IU, and he STILL doesn’t play two OR three bigs at the same time then I have some major, and I mean major questions, to ask and so should the AD along with every IU bball fan.


    Remember that’s what almost everyone said about Noah Vonleh too.


    As much as I hate to admit it, that is probably exactly what he will do, and if he doesn’t plunge into the big blue cess pool than it comes down to us and SU, IMHO.


    Is that a whiff of a law degree that I just got or is it the aroma of someone having watched enough law themed TV shows to sound this way ? lol Regardless, you made a sound argument for your point of view.


    Excellent examples all, and yes Slick Jimmy got off pretty damn easy if you ask me, especially after most of the evidence is stacked by along side of these other examples.

    And like Mr. Mitchell so appropriately put it, the IU rebuttal to the SU commenter need be only three words, FREAKIN’ BUMPER STICKERS !! Hey SU fans, get the whole story on that one and then come talk to IU bball fans about fair ! Proportionally, if we get what we did for that then SU should have gotten something close to the death penalty for violating rules for nearly a decade.


    First off the biggest and truest definition of cesspool is that huge blue blob of foul smelling crap that resides in the Lexington KY. While SU may not be one of my favorite universities it pales greatly in comparison to pUKe when it comes to the discussion of cesspools.

    If his mother’s previous comments about her reasons for her concern about him signing with IU is to be taken seriously, and those are truthfully her concerns, failed drug tests regardless of what it was a test for, etc, it would stand to reason the she would have misgivings about him signing with SU if that is how and where she is sitting the bar when it comes to if a school is a good fit right now. Do you think that this was just her, at the time, rationalizing the fact that that’s where she would like him to go by putting that out there or do you think that she really had a problem with that happening at IU ? Not trying to be argumentative in any way just wondering what a SU fan’s take on is on that particular angle. By the way, cred to you for coming on here and not only putting out there that you’re a SU fan, but also for not going 100 % troll and acting like the typical pUKe fan when they troll on here.

  • Page Trimble

    Yeah man. I’m not a troll and don’t want to be. I hate pUKe and we can all agree on that particular situation. To tell you the truth I hate UNC and Dook more…I live in Chapel Hill (transplant from Rochester NY)

    I didn’t know his mother said that about IU. If that’s true chances are he’ll go to Mizzu. haha. I truthfully don’t think Cuse can free up a scholarship with him and still comply with the NCAA rulings and infractions. There’s a great chance ya’ll will get him and if that’s the case…I can’t wait to see you in next years tourney. haha.


    So we should just roll over and give Calislimy and his crew exactly what they want for whatever bogus reasons they throw out there ? Why in the hell should we do that ? Crimianlapari wanted one thing, we wanted something different. We tried to meet them in the middle by telling them we will do a four year contract and play two on campus and play two in Indy and they can’t meet us in the middle on that deal, and basically say it’s totally our way or no way ? They can take that approach and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine as far as I’m concerned ! I would like to see the series revived as well, but just going along with whatever demands that they make to make it happen, nope, can’t roll with that !


    That’s assuming that Crean’s starters / major minute players will be Bryant AND another true big at just about any given time and game. It would appear that if Bryant was to sign Crean would just about have to start / play another big along with Bryant, but past history says that there is at least a good chance that he won’t. For the fun of it let’s just say that Bryant signs, and YF, JBJ, RJ and TW are all here next year, who becomes a player that goes from starting every game to someone that comes off the bench when we look at it with Crean’s coaching style in mind ? We know that Bryant and YF will be starters, but who out of those other three becomes someone that is ok with coming off the bench ? Instead of going into the case for each one of those 3 to be the one who starts coming off the bench I’ll just say that I think that a legit case can be made for any of the 3 to be the one to come off the bench. Hell I wouldn’t be opposed to playing three bigger players if Bryant would happen to sign, one of the two already committed turns out to be enough of a threat to shoot the 3 that he has to be guarded out there, and HMP, EH and DD are all still on board next year. That would more than enough bodies, with considerable experience, to be able to play 3 bigger bodies and not have to worry about foul trouble for the most part. Sure would be nice to not have to watch a dunk / layup fest every game for a change, not to mention us being a feared team when it comes to rebounding the ball.


    I’ll spare you the soap box rant I got on when I replied to INUnivHoosier right above this, but it’s me essentially saying what you did about the chances of Bryant playing at the same time as certain others.


    Yea, if he ends up at Mizzu somehow, it won’t be the first time that an 18 year old has done something that, most think is a bad decision, shocks most of us that aren’t close to that age anymore and makes most of us (including the Mizzu fans, only for a totally different reason), go WTF !! lol

  • Page Trimble

    The rules are stupid to begin with. You can talk to certain guys are certain times…blah blah blah. Let it be known that before the news about the infractions I hated the NCAA. This has nothing to do with Syracuse. It just happens to directly relate.

  • Dooteetime

    Any updates on Thon Maker?

  • INUnivHoosier

    No law background, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  • calbert40

    That is one penalty that a lot of people forget about and diminish. That was a big one.

  • Kev00

    I am an IU fan, but would have to think cuse is still where he really wants to go. After all of the recent violations being announced, if he is STiLL even considering going to cuse, it’s likley because he’s waiting for them to figure out a way to make it work before he rules them out. And because it makes mom happy, is an hour from how so family can easily go see him play, he grew up a fan, and one of his best friends is on the current roster. Just hope the NCAA doesn’t allow him to be offered a scholarship from the cuse…..

  • Kev00

    I am an IU fan, but would have to think cuse is still where he really wants to go. After all of the recent violations being announced, if he is STiLL even considering going to cuse, it’s likley because he’s waiting for them to figure out a way to make it work before he rules them out. And because it makes mom happy, is an hour from how so family can easily go see him play, he grew up a fan, and one of his best friends is on the current roster. Just hope the NCAA doesn’t allow him to be offered a scholarship from the cuse…..we will see

  • Outoftheloop



    LOL !

  • Outoftheloop

    We should grab the opportunity to BEAT KY on OUR neutral court in Indy (not Louisville)! It would be great for the Indiana national image (KY has THE national image now, in case you missed this season).


    I don’t care WHO has the national ” image “, it’s not about that, and in case you missed it, it’s about whether we will just let some a$$hole like Calislimy dictate to us what we need to do and how and when we need to do it or stand up to them and tell them, ” ok, you don’t wanna do what we want to, we’ll meet you in the middle, but you DON’T dictate to us what we do. We may not be on the same level as them right now, but we’re also not exactly South Western Coastal Technical College either and not allowing them to bully us into exactly what THEY want doesn’t make us that school either. I guess we’ll have to wait until The Emperor is leaving while the city burns, for their true “image” to be on display….AGAIN !