Scratch 6-9 forward Ibrahima Djimde from the list of possible Indiana big men for the Class of 2011. His Huntington (West Virginia) Prep coach, Rob Fulford, tweeted that Djimde will sign will Illinois.
That leaves 6-9 Yemi Makoanjuola, 6-8 Percy Gibson and 6-7 Jamari Traylor as possible future Hoosiers. Nothing is etched in stone. IU doesn’t have a scholarship available for next season, but that can still change. If it doesn’t, the Hoosiers will have to make do with Cody Zeller, Tom Pritchard, Derek Elston, Bobby Capobianco and Christian Watford.
That can be enough if Watford can turn himself into an 8-to-10-rebound-a-game guy, Pritchard can stay out of foul trouble long enough to average around 28 minutes a game, Elston and Capobianco can develop the necessary inside ferocity and Zeller can play up to his potential.
If all that happens, IU could have a heck of a run next year. If not, well, let’s not go there. After three straight miserable seasons, it’s time for Hoosier winning to return.
It looks like Mitch McGary has turned himself into a top-notch recruit. He’s gotten control of his attention deficit disorder, boosted his academics and picked up his play.
When you’re 6-10 and ranked No. 15 in the Class of 2012 by Scout.com, that’s staying something.
How do we know this? Credit a column by the Gary Post Tribune’s Mike Hutton. It is, as expected, excellent. If you haven’t seen it, check out, http://posttrib.suntimes.com/sports/5232787-556/hutton-mcgary-makes-the-right-move.html.
McGary left his Chesteron hometown for Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. It wasn’t what his parents wanted, but he finally convinced them it was in his best interests.
The Hoosiers and Purdue were among the schools once interested in him, but academics made him a risk. Now, it seems, he’s matured to the point that isn’t a problem. He’s become a YouTube video star. Kansas, Florida, Texas, Arizona and Maryland are pushing hard. North Carolina and Duke are in the picture. And Indiana, forever in need of more inside muscle, still has him in sight. Still, the Hoosiers have to be careful in these academic accountability times when it comes to a player who might be an academic risk.
McGary is in no hurry to commit. He still has time to consider other schools while those schools consider him.
Just when you figured there was no way D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera was leaving North Central, the Indy Star reported that, yes, the junior guard is bolting for the benefits of high-profile Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.
Smith-Rivera apparently surprised his high school coach, Doug Mitchell, who didn’t have a clue he was leaving. Smith-Rivera was a three-year starter who orginally committed to Xavier, then backed out. He averaged 25.1 points and 4.0 rebounds this past season for a high school squad that went 22-3. He is ranked No. 23 in the Class of 2012 by Scout.com.
North Central could have used another year with Smith-Rivera, but in this instant-gratification era, high school opportunity is often superceded by individual goals. Still, Smith-Rivera remains an IU target. And who knows? Like it was for McGary, the move might be the best things to happen to Smith-Rivera.