Cody Larson, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward from Sioux Falls, S.D., was visited by the entire Indiana coaching staff on Sunday night according to a source close to Larson who asked to be neither quoted nor identified. Larson signed a letter of intent to play at Iowa, but is reconsidering after the Hawkeyes fired former coach Todd Lickliter. New coach Fran McCaffery released Larson from his scholarship last week.
The source said that Larson has already been offered scholarships by Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, Arizona State and Wake Forest. Florida is set to visit Larson in South Dakota on Friday. Ohio State and Arizona are coming in on Sunday and New Mexico will visit next Wednesday.
Lee Taylor, Larson’s coach at Roosevelt High School, said he could not confirm Indiana’s involvement, but that he’s handled calls from dozens of schools who want to get involved.
“Everyone’s calling just to make sure he is in fact release and that he’s still open,” Taylor said. “He’s keeping his options open. He definitely could go back to Iowa. He just feels like he needs to dot all the “I”s and cross all the “T’s” with the new coaching staff. But he’s getting calls from the ACC, the Pac-10, the SEC. It’s really been all over the map.”
It’s been a strange process for Larson, Taylor said, but it’s also been exciting.
“He didn’t foresee this coming,” Taylor said. “Even as Iowa was struggling, he thought for sure Lickliter would be there. Now’ he’s listening to people again to see if he did make the right decision. The schools calling all have been definitely flattering and he’s humbled about that.”
Taylor said Larson has the skill to play anything from point guard to center at the high school level, but that in college he fits best as a combination small and power forward. As a senior, Larson helped Roosevelt to a fifth-place finish in the state, averaging 19.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and about six assists and two blocks per game, according to Taylor.
“He’s a big-time level player,” Taylor said. “He”s 6-9 and he does everything really, really well. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor. He’s an unbelievable finisher. He’s a great passer. He has an off-the-chart basketball IQ. He has great court awareness. He can step out and shoot from beyond the arc. He was our second-best ball handler. … He’s an unbelievable talent. He has the tools and the body to step in as a freshman and make an impact for a top level program.”
Here is a short video of 2012 prospect Michael Ramey. He is a 6-foot-5 guard out of Southport that has exploded. I remember seeing him as a freshman and he was probably 6-foot, tops. Had a great shot, but the size wasn’t there. Obviously, it is now (he told Peegs he had a 35-inch vertical). Tim Buckley has been up to Southport to watch Ramey and teammate Kellon Thomas.
There is a large crop of prospects in the state of Indiana for Tom Crean and other college head coaches to go after. David Snodgress | Herald-Times
Here’s a video of 2012 prospect T.J. Bell from this weekend’s IndyBall.com Shootout. He’s a Bloomington South kid that is playing this summer for the 16U Meanstreets team.
UPDATED: Uploaded it again in a better quality format.
I finally got myself in a position where I could actually hear Lawrence Central coach Jayson West to learn more about quarterback Tre Roberson, the recent Indiana commit. My story for tomorrow’s paper follows.
Tre Roberson’s list of interested schools was getting interesting and he still had a lot of time to make it grow. Purdue and Toledo had both offered scholarships, and Oregon, Ohio State, Tennessee, Illinois and Ball State were sending letters.
But when Indiana offered the Lawrence Central junior quarterback a scholarship, he didn’t need any more time to think about it. He committed to the Hoosiers on Saturday after he and several other members of his team watched a controlled scrimmage at Memorial Stadium. He became the fourth member of Indiana’s Class of 2011.
“I always wanted to be a Hoosier,” Roberson said. “Ever since I started playing football.”
Roberson and his family’s connection to IU go back well before his birth. His grandfather, Larry Highbaugh, lettered with the Hoosiers in 1968. Because of that, Roberson said he became a Hoosier fan at 7 years old when he started playing football.
When he was being recruited, his vision of the program only improved.
“It was a perfect fit,” Roberson said. “I really like being around the team. It’s fun. Practices and everything are fun. That’s a perfect fit for me. You want to work hard, but you want to be having fun.”
The Hoosiers apparently think he fits their system well enough to play quarterback. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder ran for almost as many yards as he passed for last season with 984 on the ground to 1,008 in the air, but Roberson said the Hoosiers recruited him as a quarterback, not an athlete.
“They said they could use me freshman year in the wildcat package,” Roberson said. “They run the same system right now that I run in high school.”
Well, according to Jayson West it’s not exactly the same. Lawrence Central runs a spread option with some elements of the Wing-T, but according to Roberson, they do use the pistol formation on occasion.
Regardless, West said that if Roberson puts some weight on, he will have the tools to play under center.
“He has a very live arm,” West said. “But if he has a bad day at the office throwing the ball, he can run. A lot of quarterbacks, if they’re having a bad day at the office throwing, they’re in trouble. But he does have a very live and accurate arm.”
If the Hoosiers decide to move him elsewhere later, Roberson said, he doesn’t have a problem with it.
“I just want to play football,” he said.
I write this blog post while watching the IndyBall tournament at North Central High School. I got home from Louisville at 2 a.m. Ideally, I’d be maybe considering waking up right about now. I do not look conscious. One consolation, however, is I can look down press row and see that Mike Pegram, who made the same trip I did last night, looks just as far from awake as I do. For some strange reason, I take comfort in this.
Regardless, considering that my last live blog entry from the game came with about 5:30 to go in the third quarter, I presume that some of you may want a more detailed scouting report of Victor Oladipo and Moses Abraham. (more…)
The entire crew — yes, those fellows you see pictured in the top right corner — has journeyed to North Central H.S., where the IndyBall AAU tournament will concluded today.
You should follow on Twitter if you want instant updates and reaction.
We’ll also corral our thoughts here.
[UPDATE, 11:14 a.m., from Dustin Dopirak]
Austin Etherington has heard the same rumors you have, but the Hamilton Heights junior says none of them are true. His verbal commitment to Indiana is still firm, he said, and there is nothing to the rumors that he was thinking about going to Butler.
“They’re just saying that because my dad went there,” Etherington said. “I hear that all the time at school, people will be like ‘Hey, I heard you’re decommitting.’ But no, it’s 100 percent.”
Etherington said he wasn’t at all discouraged by Indiana’s disappointing 10-21 season.
“Losing (Maurice Creek) hurt really bad,” Etherington said. “I think once he gets back, and everyone’s working hard to get better, I think they’ll be a lot better next year.”
Etherington said he was surprised at the decommitment of Indiana Elite teammate Matt Carlino.
“I didn’t see it coming,” Etherington said. “But I don’t dislike him because of that. It’s what he wants to do.”
Etherington said he’s trying to recruit the rest of his Indiana Elite teammates to IU, especially forward Cody Zeller and guard Jeremiah Davis.
“I talk to Jeremiah and Cody a lot to try to get them to come play with me,” he said. “I think we could do some damage if we were all together.”
[1 p.m. UPDATE, from Chris Korman]
Hugh and I ventured off to parts unknown — OK, the middle school — to see a couple of kids.
Quick breakdowns follow.
T.J. Bell, Meanstreets
The Bloomington South junior-to-be looks very comfortable and confident right now. You could tell last summer that he was getting accustomed to new surroundings and that off-the-court issues were distracting him from focusing on basketball. He just wasn’t very sharp. Today, playing against an Indiana Elite entry, he played well defensively in the paint. He’ll need work with positioning on offense, but when he gets the ball he’s a dangerous scorer.
J.T. Yoho, Meanstreets
Yoho, an Eastern Greene junior-to-be, has an impressive skill set. At 6-foot-5, he was able to work in the paint effectively. But he also had success on the wing and seems to have a good feel for the game. Already a third-team all area selection, he’ll continue to blossom into one of the top players in our area.
Michael Ramey, Meanstreets
Ramey stands in about the 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5 range and has a nice all-around game. Clearly views himself as shooter, and has the nice stroke to prove he’s put up plenty of practice shots. The Southport junior-to-be compares nicely with Etherington and will be a player more and more coaches want to get a look at.
Jeremy Hollowell, Eric Gordon All-Stars
The lanky wing, who will be a junior at Lawrence Central, has wildly above average athleticism and is beginning to learn to use it on a consistent basis. Can get lost int he flow of the game if his teammates don’t include him, but can also take over when needed. His most impressive play of the day came when he drove down the middle of the lane and stopped before slipping a pass to an open player under the basket. Also hit a 3 from the wing and showed more gusto going for rebounds than I saw in other games.
[1:31 p.m. update, from Hugh Kellenberger]
Here is what I just finished writing about Bell:
Ever since his arrival in Bloomington last summer, few have doubted T.J. Bell’s athleticism. It’s what carried him to six scholarship offers, including one from Indiana.
But during a year spent on South’s junior varsity (he was declared by the IHSAA to only have limited eligibility after transferring from Charleston, Ill.), he struggled with consistency and effort.
But he was impressive during an open gym session on Thursday after Butler-bound Erik Fromm, and he continued his strong play through the weekend.
At 6-foot-7, Bell has all the athleticism and skill to play the power forward position in an uptempo-offense. For now, though, he said he is not focused on recruiting and instead is focused on his 16u Meanstreets team.
“I think it’s really important to have a good spring and a good summer,” Bell said.
Bell said he will begin attending more open gym workouts at Indiana. He was a frequent guest of the program this past season, sitting behind the team’s bench.
“It was great,” Bell said. “I like coach Crean. He’s a good guy.”
[3:05 p.m. update, from Hugh Kellenberger]
Team Indiana just picked up a 73-72 win that way too much work.
Cody Zeller had 26 points, Austin Etherington and Matt Carlino each had 12 and Jeremiah Davis had 10.
Playing against a Spiece team, the group struggled with turning the ball over and valuing every possession.
Davis was also hit with a technical late in the game. He was fouled going up for a rebound and, after both players fell to the floor, Davis kicked him. He got the technical foul call almost immediately and continued to argue with the refs.
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