Boncore: “I know (Crean) is upset and thinks something else is going on. It’s not.”

Joe Boncore sounds exhausted. Moses Abraham’s guardian’s phone has been blowing up for the last 24 hours, and some of the voices he’s heard on the other end of the phone have apparently been explosive.

But Boncore says that many of the conclusions of impropriety that some may have drawn from Abraham’s commitment to Georgetown are incorrect. Abraham simply made a difficult decision, he said, and it was one that even surprised him.

“As soon as he got off the plane we went and had Chinese food,” Boncore said. “He told me he had great time, it’s  fantastic, it’s the best place he’s seen. I said, ‘Well, are you going to commit to Indiana?’ He said, ‘No, I’m gonna go with Georgetown.’  I said, ‘well why?’ He said ‘It’s a smaller school. I’ve only been here four months, and the only people I know are here. … I want you to call the Indiana coaches. I don’t want to let them down.'”

Boncore said he asked Abraham, a 6-foot-9, 237-pound forward from Nigeria playing at Progressive Christian Academy in Temple Hills, Md., if he was sure he wanted to commit right away, or if he wanted to take his time.

“He said, ‘No, I don’t want to hurt the people there,’ ” Boncore said. ” ‘They treated me unbelievable. I don’t want them to think . . . ‘ this and that. Basically, he wanted it over with. He didn’t like the recruiting process. He said, ‘I just want to get it over with so I can concentrate on getting better at basketball.’ ”

Indiana coach Tom Crean was apparently less than thrilled with this development. According to Bloomington-based sources, Abraham gave the impression before he left that he was going to speak to members of his family and tell them he was committing to Indiana.

Boncore said Crean believed Boncore had been in contact with Georgetown coach John Thompson III and his father, former Georgetown coach John Thompson II while Abraham was on his visit and that Boncore was trying to deliver Abraham to Georgetown.

“I know coach is upset and thinks that there is something else going on,” Boncore said. “It’s not. … He was thinking I was talking to the Thompsons when (Moses) was in Indiana. I said, ‘You had him there for two days. I haven’t talked to Moses since Sunday.’ I’m just letting him do his thing. My thing is to train the kid. I’m not an adviser, I’m not a scout.”

Boncore said a report from the Washington Post that Abraham had met with the Thompsons immediately after he landed was “2,000 percent false.” Though he did meet with them at some point, he said the reporter apparently misunderstood the timing.

“He didn’t meet with the Thompsons at all (Thursday),” Boncore said. “… He met with them before he went to Indiana.”

Boncore also addressed the role of Abraham’s uncle in the decision. Boncore said Abraham’s uncle has been his father figure since his Moses was born because his father died while his mother was pregnant. His uncle still lives in Nigeria and doesn’t know much about college basketball, Boncore said, but does know about Georgetown’s academic reputation. Boncore said he’s never met or spoken with Abraham’s uncle. He said that the uncle must have spoken with Abraham between the time he left Bloomington and the time he landed in Washington, D.C.

“Moses just calls him and asks him for advice,” Boncore said.

Boncore stressed that Abraham has been mentally ravaged by the decision.

“He’s really torn up,” Boncore said. “The kid doesn’t want to disappoint people.”

Boncore, who said he’s been hearing it from both sides for weeks, sounded just as torn up.

“I didn’t think he was going to make a mistake either way,” he said. “But one of the groups of people are going to be sad. Last week, Georgetown was calling me and hating me and stuff like that. This week, it’s Indiana.”

52 comments

  1. Interesting. Makes you wonder why he didn’t say he report from the Washington Post was 2001% false. Ah ha!

  2. someone close to the decision thinks something is fishy (Crean)….I think our speculation is right…

  3. Good job on the interview. We have no way of knowing what happened for sure and likely never will.

  4. Dude to hell with this deal. I am over it. He seemed like a very nice kid. We just didnt have his ear at the right time. We should have flown anyone who needed to see the university in his family (his uncle) to IU to see the campus if that is what we needed to do. GT just had time to build the relationship and knew who to convince. Thats just the way the chips fall at times when you jump in late.

    One thing was for sure, though, the buzz all these sites saw was unreal for a week. Good luck to the kid. He would have looked good in candystripes.

  5. Unbelievable, I knew something was up. Sorry guys but Indiana would not release information that he was going to meet with friends and family to tell them he was going to come to Indiana to all of a sudden his decision is swung not more than just a few hours after he got off the plane in DC. So once again the report for the Washington Post had it wrong that Boncore meet with John Thompson and his dad while he was gone. This was bad as soon as I read that. Read it to my wife and she said it sounded fishy about him meeting with their coaches. He was going to send him to GTown no matter what. I guess what interesting is that Boncore thinks that it would be a surprise for him to choose Indiana. WHY??? This was the place he was suppose to go the entire time, so why would this be a surprise. The surprise would be if he would have chose Indiana. I feel bad for this kid

  6. This whole recruiting process is sooooo wrong, especially for kids like this who have no chance to basically make the calls for themselves. I had a bad feeling about this Boncore guy from day one. He’s not interested in the recruiting process or where MA goes, but he was all about announcing deadline after deadline just so he could keep his “boy” in the limelight. I think Boncore wants the limelight and I think he knew where he wanted this kid to go the entire time. I hope MA wanted to go to GTown and I hope that he wasnt forced to make this decision. What a shame that would be.

  7. It is what it is and if that is where the kid wants to go fine! If not things probably wont work out . Anyway we go on and Crean is the coach and I still believe he will turn the program around! Life goes on! Next guy up and as far as Im concerned it a loss for Abrahams! Not ours

  8. Last week, Georgetown was calling me and hating me and stuff like that. This week, it’s Indiana.” So your going to tell me that GTown had been calling Boncore and yelling at him cause Indiana was recruiting MA??? Really, isnt that kind of weird??? The kid was simple visiting and this upset the coaches even though he hadnt committed anywhere yet? This whole thing has been a mess.

  9. who cares, crean cant give his side of things so youll only get the spiel from boncore and others that can talk. its a non story now. i loved following it, would have loved to have MA but its time to move on now

  10. He steps off the plane and says we are the BEST he has seen and we are WONDERFUL, but then commits to Georgetown. Hmmm. Fishy. Feel bad for this young man and hope that he just moves forward and can get a great education. This Boncore dude just sounds really fishy too me. Sad situation all around for this young man. Best of Luck Moses!

  11. I agree the whole thing sounds kinda weird, but what I think is pretty plain to see is that this appears to be a good kid who is undoubtedly overwhelmed by this whole process. Hopefully people will leave the kid alone and let him play basketball. I wish him the best as I am sure most of the good folks in Indiana do…. as long as it doesn’t come at our expense.

  12. This recruitment has left a very bad taste in my mouth. Abraham sounds like a nice kid who has been duped by some unsavory advisors. I feel bad for him because he so obviously made a poor decision. He would have started at IU from day and one and played in front of a great fan base, with great facilities, the best campus in the country, and a perfect fit for him in every way. The poor kid needed an advisor who had his best interests at heart.

    I am sure someone will follow the trail on Boncore and we’ll see exactly what turns up. You know what they say about payback.

  13. The “handler” handled it to his benefit. IU was simply used because we are in a timeline that made us vulnerable and available to be part of his scheme. Next year we will be pimped less and the year after even less. Someone needs to feel the weight of the bus. The guardian talks and acts dirty.

  14. You are all correct, the best thing to do is to just move on. Mentally I really had until this article pops up and got me going again. I agree with some of you about MA. I feel for the kid and I hope the best for him. He seems like a great kid and I only hope he improves. Regardless he now has plenty of fans in the Midwest that will be following his career. Move on, lets move on……

  15. Ok, another swing and a miss. Fine. MA wasn’t “the answer” but certainly would have been a nice part of the team package. The MAIN point is – CTC has not shown the ability to land TOP TIER talent. He said when he came that with IU’s long and storied tradition that it would only further enhance his ability to recruit. That having the IU name behind him would be the edge he would need. He has not delivered in the recruiting arena. At this point, you have to believe that it is time to start CASUALLY looking at other options. With what is coming in next year (recruit-wise) and what we have on the roster now… there is no reasonable expectation that this will be a .500 team. IF the roster included 4-star talent then you might be able to argue that 2 more years is warranted. But with the 2 and 3-star players littering on this roster… this team has LIMITED upside.

    I LOVE CTC’s enthusiasm ! But alas, Cinderella – I believe I see the pumpkin carriage in his near future. Enthusiasm makes for a wonderful press conference. But WINS make for a wonderful program. I only hope the NEXT coach is a proven, elite coach. Yes, they are rare. But there are enough out there that with IU’s financial resources, luring one here should not be an issue. I would have NO PROBLEM paying a coach 3, 4 or 5 million a year for a program consistently in the top 15 rankings and an Elite 8 trip once every 2-3 years. And that level of success requires talent on the roster. If your stock broker showed you your returns were in the 40-50th percentile of all investors, you would find another broker. If your attorney showed you half (or more) of his cases lost – you’d find another lawyer. And in both instances, you would definately pay more money to have the best money could buy.

  16. ^Really Cinderella, you’re going to give up on the coach already. Get out of here then, we don’t need you. The Coach is getting his foot in doors that would be slammed on most by then. It is not a couple year fix here. I know that having PU and Butler playing so well makes this ten times worse, but IU needs to stay the course. Carlino saw that he may not get a chance at IU. Crean is never going to pull an offer, that is not how it works. They just get oral commits and give the scholarships to the guys they really want. Oh, I hate to break it to some of you, but some of the guys on the team now will not have their scholarships re-uped. That is just the nature of the deal. Coach Knight did it all the time.

  17. That’s right, I’m willing to say this guy is a mistake, whereas the rest of you want to give him 3 more years. Tell me how far this program has fallen.

  18. I am a man of constant sorrow. I bid farewell to old IU! For 6 long years I’ve been in trouble! No friends to help me now!

  19. I am damn glad I do not suffer from the same affliction as cinderella and TB. What a terrible death.

  20. Sigh.. I had a nice LONG response to Cinderella and Terry B wrote out right before internet explorer crashed… in summary, back off of Coach! The man is doing well with what he has had to work with and inherited a program in shambles!! Did you all forget the top 10 class he brought in not long ago??? Let him reopen the doors that have been closed!! Coach the VAST MAJORITY of us are still behind you and belive in you! Don’t waste your time reading these heckler’s posts. Until next time GO IU!!

  21. Terry, IU fans bid farewell to you and your sorry outlook. Yea, I am willing to give coach two or three more years as long as the wins continue to improve and he is able to land some kids from Indiana in ’11 and ’12. If he cant do that then maybe its time to start panicing, otherwise refrain from your lame one liners. You anti-Crean/anti-Indina people are starting to get really old. Move on then, no one is asking you to stay. There are other teams in Indiana, their wagons are big, big enough to fit far weathered fans like yourself. Good day!!

  22. I can’t take anyone with the name Terry seriously. But thank you, 4tards, for using a real name at least.

    Crean is a great recruiter and was impressive in getting Moses to delay his decision in the final hour. He’ll replace Carlino with someone better. My only advice would be for him to stop taking recruits to Cheeseburger in Paradise. That might have sealed the deal for Moses – all the good locally owned businesses in BTown and TC chooses a corporate chain restaurant in a stripmall. He might have earned some of his sausageyness there. Still, the guy will succeed. This ain’t the Mountain West- it will take some time.

  23. Oh well there are other big fish out there. Lets get Zeller and Plumlee.

    Go CTC and the Hoosiers.

  24. This is following the same time line as most stories of programs that have fallen on hard times. It took Dean Smith several years to regroup UNC and they weren’t that bad when he started. They used to hang Dean in effigy throughout Chapel Hill. Soon 4tards and his various noms de plume will be lumped into the group that will be referenced by , “It’s a good thing no one listened to…” Not that the tard has the ear of anyone. Seriously, guys, why do you engage a 14 year old who’s pissed off about his acne? Ignore him. His posts will increase for a while but if you never respond he’ll turn his attention back to world of whatever and internet porn.

  25. FatTom,
    Korman has already put you in your place twice now for false accusations against Engel and I. I guess you will never learn.
    I would never use 7 posts in a row to say Crean sucks with one liners. I agree with the guy, but come on now.

  26. If everyone would quit replying to the negative posts, they would probably go away. That’s what they feed off of. 4tards especially.

    Hopefully Crean can land a good recruit or two. Moses would have helped, but oh well, move on to the next opportunity. We need to gain our respect back, then it will be downhill from there. This has been a slow and painful process for all. IU fans expect success, which tends to make everyone impatient.

    I felt if we could land a good big, we could make an impact next year with the kids we do have. The kids have worked hard (some more than others), so this hard work will pay off. They need to stick together and work through it. With a couple of talented additions, we will be ok. We need help inside now. Crean needs to hit the junior college ranks for an immediate impact.

    Go IU!

  27. I have always believed that it depends on the progress of the guys you have in the off-season, and not the freshmen coming in that make a difference each season. I thought our success this year would rely on Pritch, Jones, Dumas and Roth progressing. I was right, because the only one who looked better than last year was Jones (I give Roth the pass). Next year we should improve even more, but it will depend on the guys here now getting better, not someone we bring in. Freshmen are too unreliable. Now we have about 10 players to rely on improving in the offseason. That should make a huge difference.

  28. Redx-

    The bare truth is that it is fun to make fun of 4tards, which is why everyone keeps doing it.

    By the way, 4tards, a grammar lesson for you:

    “…false accusations against Engel and I”

    An accusation against I? Who is I? Does that stand for Idiot, or did you mean to say “me,” which is the correct English pronoun to use in that sentence?

  29. docdave

    I agree with your assessment. It is imperative for Hulls, Creek, Whatford, Jones, Elston, and Capobianco to progress over the summer. Pritchard was a big disappointment this year, so I am not sure he is going to do anything. The rest of the group did improve throughout the year. Roth, not sure where he is at in his development, but he has some work to do to. He needs to be more than a 3 point bomber. Hopefully Bawa will gain a few skills too. We’ll find out come this fall…….

  30. it’s most important to keep this core group together. Coach K said last night the most important thing was that this team has been together for 3 years, and thats why the are in the position they are in. And adding pieces here and there is what makes a team better.

    that said i know our talent level is not at theirs yet but give Wat,Capo,DE,Creek,Hulls and add a true point and some beef and in 2 more years we are making a run in the tourney!

  31. 42750Brent. That is very true. I’m forced to have Duke-amania down here I can’t help but notice the lack of athleticism on that team. Purdue was far more athletic but couldn’t knock down open shots. Duke just plugs away, slow but consistent. They are a quintessential team. I can’t see Plumlee ever dominating another big but Coach K will teach him to cut down his mistakes and he’ll always be tall.

  32. G’town is a class school. We don’t BUY recruits, unlike just about every major state school! Get real…..how did Indiana get in the picture at the last minute anyway? Do you think the Ho$$iers were up to something shady? Gee, I wonder. Crean never even talked to Moses until about 2 weeks ago, and the Thompsons have been recruiting him for 3+ months. So you tell me who you think was doing something underhanded! I know you can figure it out. Indiana is a great school, and you’ve got to have a lot of brains to get in there!

  33. OH! I forgot the Thompsons are holier than thou. Not in Indiana.

    We had one of them here a couple of years back at Ball State. It did not work out to good. Set that program back two tears. Always wondered if it was because his style required payola for success.

  34. win, it has never been about dollars at IU, it was phone calls. There have been shady things that the Thompsons have done that outweigh Sampson any day. The kid never made the decision, it was made for him. Sad to me and a loss for IU but he seems like a good kid so I wish him luck.

  35. He seems like a very nice, genuine kid from Nigeria who has been in the US 4-5 months, does not know much about the Midwest, only knows the East Coast, his family only knows the East Coast, a teammate is going to Georgetown, etc. He said he loved it at IU-but to he and his family there was more “unknown” about IU than Georgetown. Note to Coach Crean- when recruiting a kid with a foreign country background, utilize the entire university community to help. I bet there are dozens of people, professors, grad students, undergads, etc. with strong family and other ties to Nigeria that both could have and would have helped. Indiana U is a very strong international university, learn to use it. But I like the kid and think it is unseemly to suggest there is something “underhanded” going on when he simply picks another fine university. He gave us a fair shot. Good luck to Moses!

  36. Georgetown is a great university. No reason to think they had to offer the young man anything other than a great school.

  37. Why the hell are we late recruiting everybody? Were 2 going on 3 years into this and it seems every recruit we go after were late. Every recruit I hear about we just contacted in the last 2 months????? Thank God we have Butler, A class act. We ran Mike Davis out who was a good man, wrong color now were payin for it. What goes around comes around and its came around. My IU stuff is burning in the front yard as we speak. GO BULLDOGS

  38. Doug- I like your feistiness, although it’s a little dramatic. You are sure to fire up some dissent playing the race card. But you know what, the way that people around here froth at the mouth at any mention of a Zeller or a Plumberlee, as if they are only kids out there who can truly show that the IU program is back on track, it makes a compelling argument.

  39. Could the fact that two 7 footers much like Moses himself sit the bench all year while we struggled in the middle like a bunch of grade schoolers have anything to do with his decision? HHhmmm would mine!!!

  40. Doug I think Mike Davis sailed his own ship, and he could be purple and orange for all I care. And we are now just finishing up with year number two, so that is why we have been late to everything. Most coaches get 3-4 years to recruit these guys, so do the math. I hope you enjoy being a Butler fan. I hope you don’t start noticing the color of their players, you might make a racist comment (I mean racial observation).

  41. docdave, I know Selby,Moses and at least one other recruit in the last 6 months has reported that IU just got involved in recruiting them. Ok so been here 24 months just contacted moses in Febuary and lost out Selby a few months before that and lost out, I’m doing the math and it don’t add up to #1 I guarantee that. If you don’t think Mike’s color had anything to due with his lack of support. Hahaha lol u got to be kiddin neither did Tubby Smiths in Kentucky. Tubby was smart and said shove it. Go Bulldogs Go UAB

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