In any perspective, losing in-state 2014 star Trey Lyles, a decommit on Tuesday from Indiana, is a tough blow for the Hoosiers. Lyles was a lesser-known quantity as a high school freshmen when he pledged, but he has shown on the hardwood for two years that he is a top-10 player nationally.
The re-opened recruitment could be the start of some cracks, recruiting-wise, in a program that was extremely strong on the surface. In the first place, losing Lyles in the 2014 class could be just the start. Top-50 shooting guard James Blackmon is Lyles’ longtime club teammate on the Nike grassroots team Spiece Indy Heat, and it will be telling to see if the Hoosiers keep him in the fray, given Lyles’ decision.
Beyond the Lyles-Blackmon class that is still two years out, it’s safe to say that Indiana, which was chief among the primarily Big Ten push to accept early verbal pledges, has not seen its 2013 class develop as expected. Of the four pledges currently committed, only wing Stanford Robinson is a lock top-100 player, though Luke Fischer is a skilled center. In-state forwards Colin Hartman and Devin Davis were touted early on, but don’t fit the track record coach Tom Crean established with a top-10 national recruiting class in 2012. It remains to be seen if Hartman and Davis pan out the way their promising freshman seasons of high school would have indicated.
Certainly, Indiana’s class can jump right back into the picture if they land center Beejay Anya, who is among the country’s top post players, a teammate of Robinson on the AAU circuit, and formerly in the Team Takeover program associated with new assistant Kenny Johnson. Also, if Hartman and Davis pan out, that will increase the profile.
Still, with a program that has seen a rapid rise back to the hearts and minds of the national college basketball scene after a deep decline and revitalization, there are still question marks in the lifeblood of the program, the future recruiting classes. The top-10 national group of five players headed in as freshmen indicate that depth is at an all time high, but then again, college hoops is a what have you done for me lately scene.