Monday, April 25, 2011

Don’t You Love it -- More IU Basketball Recruiting Intrigue

Hey, there’s more perceived Indiana basketball recruiting drama. Why? First, because there’s always Hoosier basketball recruiting drama. It’s been that way since Branch McCracken began coaching in the pre-World War II era.

This time it’s because guard Remy Abell from Louisville’s Eastern High School has apparently been offered a scholarship.

Remy is a 6-4 guard who was recently released from his national letter of intent at Bradley. He’s a three-star prospect who also is getting hard looks from Penn State, Western Kentucky, Xavier and Butler. He would be a freshman next season.

Abell has a strong upside, which is good. What produces Hoosier drama is that IU already has plenty of guards.

There is Jordan Hulls, Maurice Creek, Verdell Jones, Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, Matt Roth and Austin Etherington at guard for next year. And 6-9 Christian Watford is a small forward who sometimes has a shooting guard role.

That’s a lot of guys even if you play a four-guard lineup. If Abell was the next Eric Gordon, there would be no drama. It would be a slam-dunk no-brainer. Sign him, play him and sit whoever else you have to.

But Abell is, by all accounts, a good but not great player. He won’t rock the Big Ten world the moment he steps onto the court. Do the Hoosiers need another guy like that?

What IU could really use is a powerful inside presence to help reduce some of the burden from super recruit Cody Zeller, but most of those guys already have been gobbled up.

That’s most, but not all, which is where Ibrahim Djimide comes in. He’s a 6-9, 240-pound center from Huntington (West Virginia) Prep who can rebound, block shots, run the floor and defend. He might not be a super polished player, but he could be just the guy the Hoosiers need. He’s set to visit IU next month. He’ll also visit Illinois and Old Dominion.

The one guy who could clear all this up is coach Tom Crean, but NCAA rules prohibit him from commenting about any player until he signs an official national letter of intent. All we know is that in the last nine months or so Crean has been on a recruiting hot streak of near biblical proportions, and if that seems an exaggeration, you don’t understand the passion that is Hoosier basketball, especially after three straight futile seasons.

Besides, if Crean did talk, that would spoil all the drama, and where’s the fun in that?


Okay, maybe it doesn’t rate as the biggest football signing in college history, but IU did get a long snapper when Matt Dooley signed an official letter of intent.

The 6-4, 250-pounder played at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Christian Academy in 2009 year and earned all-state honors. He lettered three times in football and twice in basketball. He’s currently enrolled at Paradise Valley (Ariz.) Community College.

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