Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Indiana Basketball – Is JUCO Forward Best Recruiting Option?

So if you were Tom Crean and you believed you needed one more inside player for next year, and you would be right, what would you do?

The reported candidates right now are 6-9 Yemi Makanjuola, 6-9 Ibrahima Djimde, 6-9 Robert Goff, 6-8 Percy Gibson and 6-7 Jamari Traylor. None of these guys are the second coming of Jared Sullinger or Cody Zeller. Only Traylor, a 6-7, 215-pound power forward out of Florida, is nationally ranked and that’s at 141.

Still, they all have the potential to deliver what IU needs -– a strong under-the-basket presence who can rebound, play defense and, hopefully, score at least a little bit under the basket.

You could argue that Crean might be best served with Goff, who’s the only junior college player on the list. He’ll only tie up a scholarship for two years and given the numbers crunch Crean faces with potentially over-signing players, that might be a plus.

Also, Goff is a solid 240 pounds and is older and more physically mature than the others. The fact Alabama, Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Xavier, Wichita State and Houston also have offered suggests he’d be a good get.

Still, Traylor is drawing even more impressive interest. He has scholarship offers from Kansas, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, St. John’s and Texas Tech. Kansas and Oklahoma State are considered the favorites, but given Crean’s recent recruiting hot streak, don't count him out.

One last thing. Don’t worry about IU’s scholarship numbers and the fact Crean is going after more guys than he has scholarships for. It will work out.

Crean isn’t the only coach recruiting more players than he has scholarships for. Purdue’s Matt Painter is doing the same thing. He already has one commitment more than he has scholarships for starting with the Class of 2012-2013, and he’s still after more, including IU target Gary Harris.


Steve Alford has apparently made Drew Adams an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Who’s Drew Adams and why would Alford, thriving in New Mexico, make him an offer?

For a lot of reasons, and, yes, that includes recruiting.

Adams has been Indiana’s director of operations and the video coordinator, and has done a very good job there. He also has a lot of in-state recruiting connections with AAU programs, and this, in the win-or-else world of college coaching, is crucial.

Topping that list is Indiana Elite, the national powerhouse program that has produced Cody Zeller, Austin Etherington, Ron Patterson, Yogi Ferrell, Peter Jurkin, Jeremy Hollowell, Hanner Perea and Jordan Hulls. All those guys either play, have signed or have committed to the Hoosiers. Plus, Drew’s father, Mark Adams, is a coach with Indiana Elite.

To be clear, the No. 1 dominant factor in Indiana recruiting remains Crean. It’s his drive, vision and energy that has fueled the Hoosiers’ recent recruiting surge. But relationships help and the younger Adams had a role in helping the Hoosiers’ in-state success.

Alford has his own strong in-state recruiting connections, starting with his Indiana Mr. Basketball history. The former IU All-America -- a star on the 1987 national title team -- understands the quality of Indiana high school basketball. Getting Adams will help New Mexico in a lot of ways. Recruiting state of Indiana prep players is part of that.

Plus, Adams played for Alford for one year at Iowa. There’s a solid relationship there and that’s very important for a staff as well as for players.


IU men’s tennis has never had it so good. The No. 26 Hoosiers set school records for victories in a season (23) and Big Ten record (9-1). They have a pair of first-team All-Big Ten players in Jeremy Langer and Santiago Gruter, plus second-team Josh McTaggart.

Langer and Gruter make up a No. 1 doubles team that ranks No. 44 nationally with a 25-7 record. They also find time to handle the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots. McTaggart is 11-1 as a No. 3 singles player, and 24-8 overall.

Indiana has qualified for the 64-team NCAA tourney. It will open against No. 34 LSU on May 13 at College Station, Texas. It’s the Hoosiers’ sixth NCAA tourney appearance and first since 2008.

“Our guys have practiced and played at a high level all year,” coach Randy Bloemendaal said in a university release. “That work has paid off. We’ve accomplished one of our goals with a bid into the NCAA Tournament.”

1 comment:

  1. I put my vote in for Goff. He is big and athletic and has a couple of years of JuCo under his belt so he is hopefully more mature mentally and physically. He also played high school ball at Broad Ripple which would mean landing another player from Indiana which is always good. Based on what I know (which isn't much) his down side may be his academics or his character. Any idea on this Mr. DiPrimio?