Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Adidas May Classic Set To Put On Classic Show … Plus Agatha Christie
Okay, you live in central Indiana and you want a good look at the Hoosiers’ Class of 2012, as well as a bunch of other Hoosier basketball commitments and overall studily prospects.
Then this weekend’s Adidas May Classic is for you. It’s the annual AAU event that thrives by showcasing future college standouts.
At Assembly Hall and Cook Hall you’ll get to see Yogi Ferrell, Ron Patterson, Jeremy Hollowell, Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin (assuming Hollowell and Jurkin are healthy) leading the 17-and-under Indiana Elite-Team Indiana juggernaut. All five are part of IU’s Class of 2012 that, at least on paper, suggests championship-producing potential. They open Saturday morning at 11:45 at Assembly Hall.
In the 2013 Class you have IU commitments Devin Harris and Collin Hartman playing for the 16-and-under Eric Gordon All Stars. They open Saturday morning at 9:15 at, you guessed it, Assembly Hall. They also play Saturday morning at 11:45 at Cook Hall (the men’s practice court). And if you’re fast on your feet, you can see Class of 2014 commitments James Blackmon Jr. and Trey Lyles at 11:45 Saturday morning at the women’s practice court at Cook Hall. They play for the 16-and-under Spiece Indy Heat team.
All these guys are set to play two games on Saturday, so there’s plenty of opportunity to see what future Hoosier teams will look like.
That’s a very good thing.
So Indiana’s basketball recruiting intrigue twists and turns, like an Agatha Christie plot. That leads to the obvious question for those born in the tweet-and-text age:
Who’s Agatha Chistie and what does she have to do with Hoosier recruiting?
First, Agatha is a famous dead British mystery writer who loved twists and surprise endings in her books. That describes the outside appearance of Hoosier recruiting, where what we think might clash with what coach Tom Crean knows, and since he ain’t saying (NCAA rules prevent it) all we have are signs.
Here’s where we’re at. IU could really use another inside player and, just a few days ago, the Hoosiers seemed to be in good position for four big guys even though they don’t have a scholarship available.
See what we mean about twists and turns.
Anyway, 6-9 forward Yemi Makanjuola has committed to Tennessee. Two days earlier, 6-9 forward Ibrahima Djimde committed to Illinois.
That means, if the reports are true, the Hoosiers are down to two inside prospects: 6-8 Percy Gibson and 6-7 Jamari Traylor. Neither is the second coming of Alan Henderson. They’re also not the second coming of Tijan Jobe.
Traylor is the higher rated of the two, but that doesn’t always mean much. What IU needs is somebody who can rebound, play decent defense and score garbage buckets. Okay, what it really needs is Wilt Chamberlain in his prime, but let’s be realistic.
The Hoosiers are in good inside shape with 6-11 freshman forward Cody Zeller, but they need at least one other guy. In an ideal world, veteran Tom Pritchard is that guy, and if he ever learns to stop fouling, he might be enough. But one more big man, even if he’s a hack machine, would at least mean five extra fouls to play with.
Returning veterans Derek Elston and Bobby Capobianco are not the inside answers, although a rigorouos off-season could close the gap.
All this needs to be resolved by the end of the month, and probably sooner. As for what’s going to happen, well, stay tuned.