Friday, May 13, 2011

IU Basketball Future Boost – May Classic Showcases Prep Prospects

So there was Drake Harris lighting up Indiana Elite 1 in Friday night’s opening round of the adidas May Classic. As it turned out, his Meanstreets team (out of Grand Rapids, Michigan) needed all of his 23 points in a 63-60 victory at Assembly Hall.

Drake is a highly regarded 6-3 point guard in the Class of 2014. IU already has offered a scholarship which, according to our estimates, is the 212th offer coach Tom Crean has made.

Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but Crean has offered a lot of players at early ages in a bid to land the best-possible talent. He’s not the only college coach doing this, of course, but he’s been one of the most successful at it. His Class of 2012, which is set to play today in the May Classic for Indiana Elite Team Indiana, will rank among the nation’s best.

It will include, in case you've forgotten, Yogi Ferell, Ron Patterson, Hanner Perea, Jeremy Hollowell and Peter Jurkin.

Anyway, Harris hasn’t committed to the Hoosiers and isn’t likely to do so in the near future with Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Ohio State in the picture.

If you like inside size, and if you’ve watched the Hoosiers the last few years you know they can’t get enough of them, you’ll like Tyler Wideman. He’s a 6-7, 240-pound bigman also with the Meanstreets team. He had 13 inside points in Friday night’s victory.

Purdue likes him enough to have offered him this past week. It’s his first offer. IU is pushing him hard to make an unofficial visit, so we’ll see what happens.

A rising guard out of Mishawaka Marion in the Class of 2013 is 6-foot point guard Demetrius Jackson. He totaled 17 points in MBA 2013’s 69-57 loss to Indiana Elite Stars, and played like the best guy on the Assembly Hall court.

Crean wants him to make an unofficial visit and Jackson just added IU to his long list. It also includes Purdue, Notre Dame, Louisiana State, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Butler and Xavier also are looking at him. No one has offered a scholarship. That seems likely to change –- fast.

So what do you know about Perry Poindexter? Well, we know he was a standout in his Eric Gordon All-Star team’s 58-56 win over Indiana Elite Hoopmatics. He’s listed at 6-6 and 190 pounds, and plays high school ball for Indianapolis North Central. Indiana, Purdue and Xavier are recruiting him.

He has potential, and if he gets stronger and gains weight, look out.

Here are a few other observations from Friday night from watching the action at Assembly Hall and, to a lesser extent, Cook Hall.

Jaquan Lyle was late and, yes, his coach, Brian Keeton, noticed. So did Eric Gordon, the team sponsor and Assembly Hall visitor, fresh off his third season with the L.A. Clippers (he averaged 24.5 points a game). Gordon was an All-America in his one year at IU before becoming a NBA lottery pick. Gordon was there to watch younger brother Eron, a member of the Class of 2016 playing up a couple of years.

Mitch McGary was late, too, but he had a better excuse than Lyle, who drove up from Evansville. McGary flew in from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. The 6-10 power forward quickly showed the dominant game that has made him a prime-time recruit drawing major interest from Indiana, Kansas, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Maryland North Carolina and Duke.

We’ll have more thoughts in future blogs.

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