tom crean

2013 recruit Noah Vonleh commits to Indiana

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Cody Zeller and top-ranked Indiana breezed past Bryant 97-54 on Friday night.

For Tom Crean, that was one of two wins on the weekend, as IU landed a commitment from 2013 forward Noah Vonleh (New Hampton Prep/Haverhill, MA), who was on campus this weekend on an official visit.

The news was broke by ESPN late Saturday night, when Vonleh announced his decision.

“As soon as I walked out near the court they started chanting ‘We want Noah,'” Vonleh told ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein.

Vonleh, who had decided to reclassify to the Class of 2013 in September, picked Indiana over North Carolina, Connecticut, Ohio State, Georgetown, and Syracuse.

The 6-foot-8 Vonleh was Crean’s most sought after recruit and now Vonleh headlines the Indiana recruiting class along with small forward Troy Williams (Oak Hill/Hampton, VA).

The newest commitment for IU just keeps the good times rolling. Zeller, the preseason player of the year, will likely jump to the NBA following this season and Vonleh adds a player that can step in and make an immediate impact in the Hoosier frontcourt.

Vonleh has a unique skill set. He has the size and strength to play inside, but he has also been able to develop more of a small forward game. He has stretched his offensive skills outside the three-point line, consistently knocking down shots. Vonleh can also take his man of the dribble and rebounds at a high level.

“From day one, Indiana has been recruiting me the hardest,” Vonleh told Finkelstein. “They were just letting me know how they could develop me into the player I want to be at the next level. Their academics are good, they’re the No. 1 team in the country, and they’ve got another great class coming in next year.”

Vonleh was a consensus top-10 player and a USA Today preseason All-American . He’s the sixth player to give Crean his verbal commitment.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

BUBBLE BANTER: Key Atlantic 10, Big East bubble games

Kelan Martin, Kyle Alexander
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This post will be updated throughout the night.

Butler (KenPom: 41, RPI; 67) at Seton Hall (KenPom: 31, RPI: 37), 6:30 p.m.
LSU (KenPom: 53, RPI: 76) at South Carolina (KenPom: 45, RPI: 28), 7:00 p.m.
Nebraska at Wisconsin (KenPom: 51, RPI: 62), 7:00 p.m.
Saint Joseph’s (KenPom: 48, RPI: 30) at George Washington (KenPom: 71, RPI: 34), 7:00 p.m.
Missouri at Vanderbilt (KenPom: 35, RPI: 58), 9:00 p.m.
No. 14 Iowa State at Texas Tech (KenPom: 59, RPI: 51), 9:00 p.m.
Michigan (KenPom: 46, RPI: 56) at Minnesota, 9:00 p.m.
Washington (KenPom: 80, RPI: 57) at Utah (KenPom: 44, RPI: 16), 9:00 p.m.
San Diego State (KenPom: 65, RPI: 47) at Fresno State, 11:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Ben Simmons, LSU get tested at South Carolina; more important bubble matchups

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2015, file photo, LSU forward Ben Simmons (25) drives downcourt as teammate Antonio Blakeney (2) follows in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina State in New York. For all of his gaudy numbers, Simmons is still trying to figure out the best way to put the Tigers in position to win. And now the schedule gets harder, starting with Tuesday night's, Dec. 29, 2015, tilt against Wake Forest, followed by the opening of Southeastern Conference play against Vanderbilt and No. 10 Kentucky. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: LSU at South Carolina, 7:00 p.m.

LSU attempts to stay atop the SEC standings when they travel on the road to face South Carolina. The Gamecocks have been very tough at home this season and they’re trying to form a potential four-way tie in the conference standings if they’re able to win this one (and Texas A&M wins tonight). It will be intriguing to see how Ben Simmons fares against South Carolina’s stingy defense.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: Saint Joseph’s at George Washington, 7:00 p.m.

An important game in the Atlantic 10 as Saint Joseph’s heads to the Smith Center to play surging George Washington. The Colonels have won three straight games as they try to stay with VCU and Dayton and make a move to tie the Hawks in the league standings. CBT’s Rob Dauster will be in the building for this one, so make sure to follow him on Twitter for updates.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. No. 21 Baylor will have a tough one in the Big 12 when they go on the road at Kansas State. The Wildcats just knocked off Oklahoma and the Octagon of Doom is a very tough place to play, even if Kansas State is struggling in the standings.
  2. No. 16 SMU will try to stay in the lead in the American as they host Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane could really use a road win like this for its postseason chances.
  3. An intriguing Pac-12 contest tips as Washington heads to Utah. The Pac-12 standings are a mess right now, but these two teams still have a chance to make one final move for the regular season title if they start building momentum now.
  4. In the SEC, Alabama hosts No. 15 Texas A&M, a team that has lost three of its last four games. The Aggies will be favored in this road contest, but this one could be interesting because of Avery Johnson’s unique connection to Texas A&M. Avery Johnson Jr., a transfer guard sitting out this season at Alabama, played for the Aggies last season, so he could have some useful tips for his dad on slowing down Texas A&M’s potent offense.
  5. No. 20 Providence will be looking for revenge when they head to Milwaukee to face Marquette. The Golden Eagles currently sit eighth in the Big East standings, but they did win on the road by a point over the Friars earlier this season.