HIGHLIGHTS: Etherington and pals at Adidas

Hollowell likes OSU, IU; is keeping options open

INDIANAPOLIS — Jeremy Hollowell may very well be one of the smoothest prospects in the class of 2012.

The 6-foot-7 wing seems to glide on the court and from position to position — anywhere from the one to the four.

That’s a big reason why he likes Ohio State, Hollowell said during the adidas Invitational.

“I like Evan Turner,” Hollowell said.

Turner, of course, used his multi-position ability to lead Ohio State last season, was named national player of the year and was selected second overall in the NBA Draft.

Plus, Hollowell has family in Cleveland.

Indiana is also in on Hollowell.

“It’s just the home town,” Hollowell said. “I like the tradition. It’s a known program that is trying to get back to where it was at.”

His options are still open. Florida recently expressed interest, as well.

Marrero focused on transition to outside

INDIANAPOLIS — DeJuan Marrero is a classic case of what is good for his high school team may not be the best for his future.

For Gary’s Bowman Academy, the team Marrero pushed to a 1A state title as a sophomore, the 6-foot-5 Marrero has to play inside. But 6-foot-5 is awfully small for a college forward, even if Marrero is hoping he has another growth spurt left in him.

That’s why Marrero is playing the two-guard position for Spiece Indy Heat during the Hoosier Shootout. He did the same thing for Puerto Rico’s U18 national team in a recent tournament.

“I just work the ball over,” Marrero said. “Just run off picks and get jump shots.”

Marrero is playing up a year for Spiece and two for Puerto Rico. The experience, he said, can only help.

“It was amazing,” Marrero said of the experience with Puerto Rico. “It was different. How you work, how you play defense and just the whole rules. It was great competition. It was like EYBL. More passing, you have to play better defense and have to play hard on every play.”

Marrero has offers from Indiana, Purdue, Ohio State, Illinois and Cincinnati. He wants to schedule visits in August.

The pitch from Indiana to Marrero has been a similar one: keep the best prospects in the state of Indiana in Indiana. The Hoosiers have had difficulty over the years pulling in prospects from the Region, but Marrero insists Bloomington is a viable option.

“I told them my decision is open,” Marrero said.

Hammons says Oak Hill will push him

INDIANAPOLIS — The weakness in the game of A.J. Hammons is obvious. When you’re 6-foot-10, 7-foot with an ever-expanding afro, you can tend to coast.

Hammons admitted that Tuesday during the Hoosier Shootout. That’s why he said transferring from Carmel to Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, VA. is the best move for him.

“I like going against competition,” Hammons said. “If I don’t go up against competition, I’ll just sit there and have fun.”

The junior said he was at between 260-275 pounds now, but he seems to have trimmed up in the chest. He still struggles getting up and down the court in a high-pace game, indicating a team with a half-court offense might be the best route for Hammons.

For now, he said he remains open. He has offers from Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Xavier.

The move to Oak Hill, he said, would not affect Indiana’s chances of luring the prospect to Bloomington with the promise of playing close to home.

“I am still from Indiana, so that would be my home state,” Hammons said.

The focus for July, Hammons said, is helping Spiece Indy Heat to a title in the last leg of Nike’s EYBL.

“I am trying to win Peach Jam, to tell you the truth,” Hammons said.

Photos from day one

Hoosier Morning


Indiana target Naadir Tharpe drives the lane during the adidas Invitational. Ray Whitehouse | Herald-Times (more…)

On the road again

Much like Sal Paradise, we go no in search of the mad ones. Mad to live. Mad to dunk. Mad to show college coaches that they’ll help them win a National Title.

Beat writer Dustin Dopirak arrived back in Bloomington after a long trek from Akron late last night. He got a few hours of sleep, and now we’re headed back to Indianapolis to cover a couple of recruiting events — the adidas Invitational centered at North Central HS and the Hoosier Shootout on the south end of town — to find out how Indiana is faring with the task of putting together future teams.

We’ll be tweeting, of course. So follow Dustin, or follow me. Or follow both.

Intern Ray is also on his way to Indy, so look for pictures to be posted later today.

Finally, we’re going to get a chance to speak with Je’Ney Jackson at some point. He’s Indiana’s new basketball strength coach. Last job? Southern Miss secondary coach. Looking forward to hearing what he has to say about how he made the decision to come to Indiana.

Shamble on, dingledodies.

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