Indiana lands another local recruit

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The most important recruiting weekend in Tom Crean’s tenure at Indiana is already netting profits.

Just not how Hoosier fans expected.

Zeller, Tyler and Luke’s younger brother and a top 25 prospect in the
class of 2011, did not commit to the Hoosiers this weekend while on his official visit, but another
Indiana native did. Hanner Perea, a 6’8″ forward with all the
measureables that make scouts drool, committed to Indiana after visiting the campus over the weekend. Perea has a 7’4″ wing span, is very athletic,
and can run the floor. While he can knock down a mid-range jump shot,
Perea is quite raw offensively, but there is enough potential for
Rivals to rank him in the top 10 in the class of 2012.

the name Hanner Perea sounds familiar, it should, even if you aren’t a
recruitnik; Perea, who is originally from Colombia, was the player that
Baylor assistant coach Mark Morefield was recruiting when he sent impermissible text messages.
One of those texts, sent to Perea’s high school coach, said “I
guarantee u if he does [commit to another school] he will be in
Colombia for the spring and summer and next year. Don’t forget it.”

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that he picked the Hoosiers over Baylor. (To be fair, Perea seems like the only recruit Drew has actually missed on since taking over the Baylor program.)

But I digress.

point is that Tom Crean is making the in roads where he needs to in
order to build this Indiana program back to the level of prestige the
Hoosier faithful expect. Specifically, he’s doing what Josh Pastner has
done in Memphis — building a wall around Indiana for other programs
looking to recruit. He needs to ensure that the talent the Hoosier
State produces become Hoosiers.

Austin Etherington, an Indiana
native and an AAU teammate of Perea and Zeller, has already committed
to Indiana as a member of the class of 2011. Ron Patterson, a 6’3″
guard from Indianapolis, and (the unfortunately named) Peter Jurkin, a
seven-footer that attends high school in Charlotte but is a member of
that same Indiana Elite AAU team as Perea, are both top-100 commits in
the class of 2012. And if we are looking forward, Crean has already
earned two commitments from top Indianans in the class of 2014.

And to top it off, the general consensus seems to be that Zeller will wind up in Bloomington.

that future with the present of Mo Creek, Christian Watford, and
Verdell Jones, and things are looking bright for the Hoosiers.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)