It hasn’t taken new Indiana coach Tom Crean long to hit the recruiting trail.
According to various reports via recruiting hubs Rivals.com and Scout.com, IU’s new head man is making headway at filling in some of the vacant spots on the Hoosiers’ roster.
Firstly, it appears that Crean made quite an impression on a 6-4, 200-pound shooting guard from Mobile, AL named Nick Williams. Williams, who was released from his letter of intent with Marquette after Crean left for Indiana, told Scout’s John Decker he is very interested in the Hoosiers.
“Coach Crean is a great coach, he has great passion,” Williams said. “One thing I really admire about him is he loves to win, and heâ€™s a great player developer. Thatâ€™s maybe the biggest reason Iâ€™d want to play for Coach Crean.”
According to Decker, Williams also likely developed a very close relationship with likely Indiana assistants Tim Buckley and Bennie Seltzer. Indiana’s top competitor for Williams is the ever-familiar Arkansas Razorbacks and coach John Pelphrey, who bounced IU from the NCAA Tournament’s first round last month.
I gave Williams a call Wednesday evening, but haven’t gotten a call back yet. When I do, I’ll keep you guys posted on what he says.
Another prospect Crean is eying is the highly-touted Verdell Jones, one of the top-ranked players in the class of ’08 who is still unsigned. Jones, a 6-4, 160-pound point guard from Champaign, Ill. (Yes, Illini country) is rated as the 123rd best player in the nation by Rivals and is currently a hot commodity in the recruiting world.
According to a story by Jeff Drummond of the Rivals network, Kentucky, Minnesota, Southern Illinois, Arizona, and Oklahoma are all in the running along with Indiana for the talented Jones. It appears that Minnesota and Kentucky are among the leaders.
He said that a recent home visit from Tubby Smith puts the Golden Gophers in a good position.
“I like him a lot. He’s a class act, and you have to be impressed with how he turned their program around in only one year. I feel like they’re going in the right direction.”
I left a message with Jones’ father Wednesday night as well, and still haven’t received a call back.
Also, Daniel Moore from Carmel told the Indy Star’s Kristen Leigh Porter Tuesday that he has turned down a scholarship offer from Boston University to walk-on at Indiana.
He had originally planned on coming to IU as a walk-on under Kelvin Sampson, but after Sampson’s resignation and the scholarship offer from the Terriers, Moore weighed his options.
But in the end, Moore says he always wanted to be a Hoosier.
“The plan had always been to go to IU and the Boston thing came up within the last couple months,” he said. “It was a real intriguing offer but when it came down to it, I always wanted to go to IU. I had dreamed of playing there since I was a little kid. I’m really thankful I don’t have to accept a scholarship and can go to a place I really want to go to.”
Moore averaged 13.5 points per contest last season for the 22-3 Greyhounds.