Muniru’s letter of intent arrives

IU has received the letter of intent for 6-10 Bawa Muniru, making its six-man 2009 recruiting class official.

Here’s the release from IU announcing the class:

Bloomington — Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that six student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to attend IU and play basketball for the Hoosiers. With just seven months on the recruiting trail, along with NCAA restrictions, the Hoosier staff has hauled in one of the top recruiting classes in the country. The Hoosiers are ranked fifth nationally by and seventh nationally by The Hoosier class is the highest rated among Big Ten schools.

Bobby Capobianco, 6-8, 225, Forward, Loveland, Ohio, Loveland High School
Maurice Creek, 6-5, 195, Guard, Chatham, Va., Hargrave Military Academy
Derek Elston, 6-8, 212, Forward, Tipton, Ind., Tipton High School
Jordan Hulls, 6-0, 170, Guard, Bloomington, Ind., Bloomington South
Bawa Muniru (bah-wah muh-nee-roo), 6-11, 250, Center, Mt. Zion Academy, Durham, N.C.
Christian Watford , 6-7, 215 lbs, Forward, Birmingham, Ala., Shades Valley High School

“Our coaching staff of Tim Buckley and Bennie Seltzer and the recent addition of Roshown McLeod, along with the rest of our staff, show what can happen when you believe in something and are not afraid to work hard to make it better even when you are hamstrung with restrictions. Our coaches worked extremely hard to build on relationships that we already had and to build new ones and continue to show people why Indiana was a perennial power year-in and year-out. The tradition of Indiana and the opportunity to play right away, the Big Ten conference, the national television schedule we have is only replaced by the fact that young students can come in here and get a world-class education. Our coaches did a tremendous job of showing that and we wouldn’t be anywhere near having this kind of class without the hard work of these gentlemen that represent Indiana.”

Bobby Capobianco, 6-8, 225, Forward, Loveland, Ohio, Loveland High School
Rated as the #100 prospect in the 2009 class by as well as the #33 power forward in the class … averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds as a junior at Loveland High School after putting up averages of 18 points and 11 rebounds as a sophomore … coached by Tim Partin … played AAU basketball for Indiana Elite One for Coach Kenny Blackwell… son of Bob and Barbara Capobianco.

“Bobby is someone that we’ve know for some time. We saw him in the Indiana Elite program and then saw him at Loveland (Ohio) High School and it became clear to us, even back at Marquette that we wanted to offer him a scholarship. He personifies toughness. He can rebound the basketball and score inside. I love the fact that he has developed into a guy that is a reliable jump shooter from the perimeter and loves to play. One of the things that really stands out about Bobby is how much he loves Indiana and we are excited to have him.”

Maurice Creek, 6-5, 195, Guard, Chatham, Va., Hargrave Military Academy ranks Creek as the #9 shooting guard in the 2009 class and #45 in the class overall … has Creek ranked as the 59th best prospect in the 2009 class overall and the #16 shooting guard in the class … ranks Creek as the #15 shooting guard in his class and #61 in the class overall … averaged 21.5 points, four rebounds and five assists as a junior at South Kent Prep School … also played at Oxen Hill High School in Maryland before transferring to South Kent before his junior season … played for Triple Threat on the AAU circuit for Coach Keith Stevens … son of Michael and Pammy Morgan.

“With Maurice Creek we were very fortunate to get on him at an early age. (Assistant Coach) Bennie Seltzer was the first one to see him back when we were at Marquette and we offered him a scholarship as a 10th grader. We recruited him like he was a senior the last few years. He was someone that, when we got to Indiana, he showed great faith in us as coaches and in our style of play. He chose to commit to Indiana with us before he had ever seen the campus. He’s a prolific shooter and he can get to the rim. He’s developing a pull-up game and as his ball-handling catches up with his ability to shoot the basketball, he will be an outstanding guard. He’s a long and athletic guard and we feel he will be able to create a lot of havoc defensively. He is someone that loves the game and has been well schooled and well taught and we feel excited to have him.”

Derek Elston, 6-8, 212, Forward, Tipton, Ind., Tipton High School ranks Elston as the 90th best overall recruit in the 2009 class and 24th best power forward in the class … has him rated as the 32nd best power forward in his class … underwent knee surgery at the end of May and did not play over the summer … has Elston rated as the #34 power forward in the 2009 class … averaged 19.8 points and 11.2 rebounds per game as a junior … as a sophomore at Tipton, Elston led his team to a 12-10 record while scoring 14.9 points per game and grabbing 12 rebounds per game… coached by Travis Daugherty… played AAU basketball for the Spiece Rising Stars… coached by David Hamilton.

“Derek deserves a lot of credit because he stayed loyal to Indiana through all the turmoil. As everyone knows, he committed to the previous staff and shortly after we got the job he came up to see us. He’s the unsung hero of this class because people around the country have forgotten how good he is because they haven’t had a chance to see him. We fully believe that if he had been on the summer circuit his rankings would have gone through the roof like Maurice (Creek) and Jordan (Hulls) did. He is tough and can rebound the basketball in addition to playing multiple positions on the front line. He has developed range and as he returns to full strength from the injury he should have an outstanding year during his senior year.”

Jordan Hulls, 6-0, 170, Guard, Bloomington, Ind., Bloomington South
Ranks as the #9 point guard in the 2009 class by and #80 in the class as a whole … averaged 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a junior at Bloomington South High School for Coach J.R. Holmes… ranks as the #106 recruit overall in the class of 2009 and the #17 point guard in the class by … ranks Hulls as the #31 point guard in the class … AAU team is Indiana Elite One and was coached by Kenny Blackwell… son of J.C. and Joni Hulls … his grandfather, John, was a member of Bob Knight’s staff at IU in the early 1970’s.

“Jordan is someone that has taken the steps necessary to make himself, not only a Division I player but a high-major player. It was a no-brainer there and (assistant coach) Tim Buckley deserves the credit for seeing him in Pittsburgh and coming back and being adamant. And after the way he felt about players at Marquette like Dwayne Wade and Travis Diener, there was no doubt that I wasn’t going to doubt anything Tim said about Jordan. We brought him over for an unofficial before I had ever had a chance to see him play. But after seeing him once and seeing numerous tapes, there was no question that we wanted to have him in the program. He can shoot the ball with deep range and he understands the game at a very high level as well as making everyone else around him better. We feel he will be very good in the pick and roll and he comes from a great program, not only at Bloomington South High School and J.R. Holmes, but the Indiana Elite program as well.”

Bawa Muniru (bah-wah muh-nee-roo), 6-11, 250, Center, Mt. Zion Academy, Durham, N.C. has Muniru rated as the #111 player in the 2009 class and the #14 center in the class … has him ranked as the #32 center in the 2009 recruiting class … ranks Muniru as the #32 center in the 2009 recruiting class … averaged 16.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.8 blocks as a senior at Madison (Ala.) Academy for Andy Blackston, before moving on to Mt. Zion Academy this season … is a native of Ghana… guardians are Brian and Melinda Privett… played for AAU basketball for Kerry Johnson.

“Bawa is someone that brings great size and presence to our front line right off the bat. We are impressed with his work ethic and desire to get better. And what stands out when you meet him is his great personality. He is a fun-loving young man who, when he gets on the court, plays to win. His upside is a huge plus for us, and all Indiana fans, because they are going to get a chance to watch him grow and develop as time goes on.”

Christian Watford , 6-7, 215 lbs, Forward, Birmingham, Ala., Shades Valley High School
Ranked #34 by in class of 2009 … ranked as the #9 small forward in the class of 2009 by … ranked by as the #15 small forward in the class of 2009 and #72 in the class overall … is ranked #26 in the ESPNU 100 and as the #4 small forward in his class … played AAU basketball for M33M … averaged 22 points and 14 rebounds during his junior year at Shades Vally High School for Coach Mike Burrus … son of Ernest and Belinda Watford.

“Christian, along with Maurice, showed the nation that Indiana never really went anywhere when it comes to getting national-level players from different parts of the country. Bennie Seltzer did a tremendous job of keeping up with Christian when we were at Marquette and we did feel like we had much of a chance (with him). And we all worked diligently to show Christian that he would be a very valuable part of our rebuilding process at Indiana. He has the ability to get to the rim and he can play on the perimeter. He is a matchup nightmare because if you go small on him he can take you down low and if you go big he can take you to the rim. He can be an excellent rebounder and what I feel, along with the other members of this class, is that he will be able to hold his own defensively for many years to come inside our program. We are really excited to have a player of Christian’s caliber coming into Indiana.”


  1. This is a great recruiting class and FINALLY a big front line. Hats off to Coach Crean and staff for their hard work in putting this class together.

    Hang #6

  2. Great write-up and encouraging news. But, let’s not take too much of a “wait till next year” approach. This year’s team has the potential to be an inspirational story – but only with overwhelming fan support. At worst, this year’s kids are going to be the “support system” for high-profile future players like the ones described above in the future. At best, they could pull off a decent season, maybe winning games they “shouldn’t.” Let’s not write these kids off as cannon fodder, just killing time until the “good” players get here – they just might surprise a lot of people.

  3. Before I respond to other posters, I’d just like to commend Coach Crean and his staff. The difficulty of putting together a recruiting class of this caliber in the situation they’ve been in, and are still in, is difficult to overstate.

    Also, I’d like to welcome the new recruits. Everyone is most pleased to have you coming in to the university. Anyone who’s gone to IU or spent any time in Bloomington or around the state knows that when IU basketball players do things right on and off the court, the support and adulation they’ll receive will be something they’ll remember their entire life. I’m tremendously confident each of these players will do their part, and the fans will as well.

    Kurk, I’m not writing this year’s team off. I don’t think their W-L record will be that great, but they’ve got some talent, enough to be more than a support system. I think IU will be really good in a couple of years, and these players will be a major part of that. And after the clustermess of the Sampson administration (D.J. and Gordon excluded), I’ll cheer full-blast for this team and staff if they’re getting beat 50 points–at least they’ll be doing things the right way.

    Go Hoosiers!!!!!

  4. Finally it’s good to see people revolting against Peegs and his “inside info”.

    That site is awful.

  5. The guy does get some good info, and I dont dislike him because of that. I dislike the notion that he charges for the information, when its the huge USER base that makes his site what it is. There is plenty of ad revenue that is generated from discussion forums such as him. To charge for this participation is backwards in my opinion. There are thousands of very successful and popular discussion forums that make plenty of $, yet NEVER charge for information. Users are basically being asked to pay for the content they generate and help attract users. Along with the rah rah censorship, those are my two beefs.

  6. I don’t know about his info really, I mean I had heard Zeller was a UNC lean for ever, and he is still coming out saying IU had a shot at him, and his coaching search which was a farce last year as well. He does provide a good look into what recruits IU is seeking with the help of Rivals.

    I agree with you on the censorship, that was my main reason for leaving that place. If I want to pay for info I’ll go to Scout way before Peegs anymore

  7. Who cares about the relative merits of Peegs and the other sites, who wants to talk about these recruits?? I mean, which is really more important to IU basketball???

  8. Good point eric. Besides, it’s not like there aren’t HUNDREDS of other rivals sites that do the EXACT same thing that peegs does. Some folks on here just crack me up.

    As for this recruiting class, spectacular. I mean if Crean can bring in this type of class with the restrictions he was facing, imagine the type of classes he’ll be able to bring in once the cloud of the Sampson debacle has completely cleared. I’m excited for the future of IU basketball.

  9. Cramer, yes!! Someone else who gets on this board to talk about IU sports rather than internet sites! How refreshing.

    Okay, enough sarcasm. I too am excited. Crean and his staff pulled this class practically out of thin air. Even my co-workers who are UK and Tennessee fans admit it’s impressive. (yes, I’ve mentioned to the UK contingent Crean’s undefeated mark against UK)He’s got every kind of player in the class–big center, rugged rebounding power forwards who can also score, lanky swingman who can score and defend, lanky guard who can score and defend and zippy point guard. Plus the recruits from this year are good in their own right. I’m fired up, if you can’t tell ……..

  10. If I want to choose to bash Peegs on here I will, that’s one reason I no longer post there.

    Anyways, this class is stacked but I think ’10 is going to be small, I’d like to see IU grab Donnie Hale

  11. PS, I wasn’t dismissing all discussion of Peegs, I was just saying that the primary reason this site exists is to talk about IU sports, not other sites. But here we are discussing that again.

    I think Watford will be a really reliable scorer during his career, how about everyone else?

  12. I never paid for Peegs, just looked at the free stuff. Anyway, the way I understand it, I.U. has only 2 scholership for both 2010 and 2011.
    I here that Asst.Coach McLeod is making a push to get Brandon Mobley, a 6-9 kid from Savannah, GA.
    Also Aaron Crosby (guard) from Louisville is highly interested. Plus Matt Carlino (guard) has already gave his verbal for the 2011 class.

  13. Creek’s gonna surprise people. He might end up being the best of the bunch from what I’ve read/seen. His stroke looks WET, and he can also drive to the basket and score.

  14. Oh, I forgot about Carlino. I figure McLeod will open some doors given his background.

    I haven’t seen any video of Creek, but when he committed, the things that were said were certainly really positive. That kind of lanky, long swingman type has been what has put teams over the top the last few years. Look at Kansas and Memphis last year, they had numerous 6-4 to 6-7 wing players that made plays for them.

  15. You know, I was going to reference Calbert as far as Watford having that general kind of game, but I didn’t want to be accused of being toooo optimistic about this class. But yes, he seems to be that kind of player style-wise. Now, if he scores 2600 points in his career, I think we’ll all be celebrating!!!

  16. Scott, I hate to bring it up, but Davis’ class with Wright/Strickland/Wilmont and a couple others was pretty good as well. It’s not their fault Davis let Bracey do whatever he wanted and couldn’t develop players. Based on talent, they were really good. Wilmont and Strickland did become really solid players. But I’d say this class has more balance between positions.

  17. Eric, Wilmont and Strickland were solid players, I give you that. If you remember the 89 class with P.Graham, G.Graham, Lawson,Cheaney, Leary, Reynolds and Funderburke. This is one of the best I.U. recruiting classes. Even though Lawson and Funderburke transfered, You add Anderson, Nover, and Bailey from other classes, this ended up being a great team.

  18. Scott, that’s true. The transfers and redshirts included with that class confused me. They were tremendous. They also overlapped with Alan Henderson and Brian Evans. Wow, now I’m getting all nostalgic. Does Todd Leary still call the games on the radio? I live out of state and never get to listen to the IU radio broadcasts.

  19. Eric, a couple months ago, I bought off ebay, Indiana University Basketball Encyclopedia for $5.00 a copy. It a good read. I don’t know if there are any still around on ebay, but it sure beats paying $50.00 though Inside Indiana.

  20. Scott, that’s an excellent idea. I think I can probably still get one on ebay.

    I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Todd Leary do a game, but Don Fischer is a classic. How long has he been doing IU broadcasts? Many years, I know that much.

    Back to the recruits–if Tijan Jobe develops even a little, platooning him with Muniru and Pritchard in the post, along with Capo and Elston, should give IU quite a frontline. So much for Crean only recruiting guards ……

  21. On another note, did anyone hear Tom Crean on the Dan Patrick radio show yesterday? It was a good interview. He talked about selling the tradition, the school and town, the chance to play, being on TV every game. It’s not hard for me to extrapolate his persona in an interview to his persona on a recruiting trip. I can see why he got this recruiting class. Apparently so can Dan Patrick; he closed the interview by saying ‘Indiana certainly got the right guy with the right energy for the situation.’ I think you can listen to past interviews on Patrick’s website; it’s worth checking out.

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