There’s a full house in Bloomington this weekend, according to the Indianapolis Star.
It seems several of Tom Crean’s top recruiting targets are in town this weekend, taking “unofficial” visits. As informal as these visits might be, they are super-meaningful for the program. Some of the school’s biggest potential future stars will be wandering campus this weekend, according to the newspaper’s site.
The Hoosiers will try to re-recruit James Blackmon, Jr. this weekend, and Blackmon is said to be on an unofficial visit today. Five-star guard Isaiah Whitehead is unofficially dropping by (short jaunt on the subway from New York to Indiana, don’t you know) on Sunday. Indiana expects to host wing player Malachi Richardson over the next couple of days as well.
Per the Star, only one player is “officially” visiting Bloomington this weekend.
The Hoosiers are also hosting four-star Virginia combo guard Robert Johnson this weekend on an official visit that has been scheduled for weeks.It’s the only official trip he’s scheduled. Johnson is ranked No. 54 nationally by Scout.
Look at that list and you’ll see plenty of guards. I’d love to be a fly on the wall to see how Crean and his staff juggle all of these players who nominally would share the same backourt if they were all to sign. The psychological gamesmanship must really be something.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.