IU targeting California point guard

St. Louis guard B.J. Young’s recent commitment to Arkansas has left Indiana fans wondering who else the Hoosiers will now pursue for the 2011 class along with Cody Zeller.

The Hoosiers have gone a long way for one of their targets. Though they haven’t yet offered a scholarship, they have been after Cezar Guerrero, a 6-foot, 175-pound guard from Bellflower, Calif.

Guerrero drew Indiana’s attention with a stellar performance for the Latin America team at Adidas Nations in Chicago — a televised event in early August that included several Indiana recruits and even an Indiana player in Christian Watford — and the Hoosiers have stayed in touch.

“They’re really involved right now to tell you the truth,” Guerrero said. “They’ve been using all their calls to call me. And I’m pretty interested in Indiana with their history.”

Guerrero is also considering Western Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State. UNLV, Colorado, Miami, LSU, Illinois. UC-Irvine, Auburn, Fresno State, Washington State, Washington and UCLA with the list growing after his Adidas Nations performance. He said he has an official visit scheduled for Western Kentucky, and he is working on figuring out where he will take the rest of his visits. He said he will likely wait until after basketball season to make a commitment, but wouldn’t rule out committing during a visit.

Guerrero is considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and the No. 61 player in the Class of 2011. Attention has come to him slowly, however, because of a variety of snafus.

Guerrero missed last July, his AAU coach Dinos Trigonis said, because of a broken collarbone. He then missed his junior high school season because of a transfer rule that kept him from changing schools and playing sports without moving residences.

Trigonis said teams are finding out now that Guerrero has all the tools.

“If he’s 6-2, he’s an NBA player,” Trigonis said. “And he could still be an NBA player. He’s got a great pull-up jump shot. He got to the basket this summer better than I ever thought he would. … He’s like a magician with the ball in his hand.”

Trigonis said one concern college coaches had early in his career, though, was that he was too slick with the ball in his hand. He played too loose and tried to be too flashy. Plus, he usually had to carry the scoring load on his teams growing up, and hadn’t shown he could get the rest of his teammates involved.

But Trigonis said he’s seen a lot more maturity from him this year.

“He’s more of a scoring guard, but the last year or so he’s really come along with involving his teammates,” Trigonis said. “He’s passed the ball this summer as well as he’s ever passed the ball. He’s a very, very good shooter, but his outside shots were down this summer. That’s not because he wasn’t confident in making them, but he didn’t have to settle for the long outside shot. He got to the basket about as well as ever. He didn’t settle for the three. He found open teammates and was doing a much better overall job. He’s a creator off the dribble and he learned to use his speed and create off the dribble not just for himself but for others.”

46 comments

  1. This is intriguing. Sounds like a quality player we’d be happy to scoop up.

    On another note, I saw that Crean’s in Kansas today looking at Goff. I’m honestly a little bit curious as to why he’s not in Indiana today watching any one of the many prospects IU is targeting. I understand Goff would be a solid, game-ready addition, but come on — all the way to Kansas to see one JUCO player?

    I trust Crean, and I know he has his reasons. This just struck me as a little suspect upon first hearing it. Maybe he views Goff as more of an immediate priority. Maybe he feels he’s put in enough face time with the in-state kids lately that he knows they won’t feel snubbed if he’s not there on the first day of the contact period. Maybe Buckley is attending some Indiana games today. Maybe I’m over-analyzing the hell out of this and it’s not a big deal.

  2. Buckley is apparently attending at least one Indiana open gym. He’ll be up at Hamilton Heights to see Austin Etherington, per Etherington’s tweet. Crean is reportedly scheduled to be at open gym in Washington later.

  3. Before all the pessimist trolls start feeding on this bit of news lets just keep things in perspective…..when plan A fall through you always need a plan B….then a plan C. It’s good to know this coach never stops looking for new opportunities. With that being said this Guerrero kid was a stud during that Addidas Nations game against Africa. Plus he was playing with Hanner Perea, so it couldn’t hurt to make that connection.

  4. Thanks, Dustin. I figured Crean would get back to the state and make his rounds during the contact period. I guess it just surprised me a bit that the first day he’s able to go evaluate again, he immediately hops a plane to Kansas. For all I know, it could’ve been a simple matter of scheduling and availability, and Crean wanting to watch him play at least once during this time.

    Just curious — what’s your take on Goff? What does he bring to the table?

  5. I saw this kid play in a couple of those Adidas Nations games mentioned in the post and he was very, very good. The TV announcers at that event (who were admittedly terrible: see the Jurkin/Ohio State comments…what a disgrace) were expressing amazement he wasn’t being targeted by more big-time programs. I think he would be a very solid addition, especially since we need a PG.

  6. Hey Casey,
    I’m a little surprised by that too. But like you said, there’s a lot of things that go into it. They can’t talk about this stuff publicly, so for the most part, we can only guess. I’m not sure Crean needs to do anything more for Zeller to know he really, really, really wants him, so I’m not sure that not being in Washington today is a problem. Maybe it will be an issue with some other guys. Maybe it won’t. Who knows.
    As for Goff, I wasn’t around to see him when he was at Broad Ripple, but what I hear is that he’s a strong power forward who’s improving his face-up skills. It would seem sort of redundant to take him and Zeller with Elston, Watford and Capobianco already in the program and Perea as the top target for next season. Plus, it adds another player to an already large 2009 class which wouldn’t make sense with Crean’s desire to balance the classes.
    But again, I haven’t seen him to say. He’s had a strong couple of years in JUCO, and Crean might think he’s just that good. The players gave me the impression that Guy-Marc Michel is a lot better than I probably gave him credit for, so I’m not looking to make that mistake again.

  7. Dustin,

    That’s the thing — he sounds like a really solid player who could make a positive impact, but why pursue him this hard when you’ve got two or three good players at the position already, and are recruiting two more excellent power forwards for the near future? That’s the question. In this instance, it seems to me like we’d be getting a good guy, but the cons may make it not worth it. Bigger 2009 class, a bigger mess to sort out at PF, the potential for chemistry issues or an unjustified sense of seniority and superiority (see Dumes firing up threes from ten miles away whenever he felt like it), etc.

    I’m guessing Guy-Marc is probably better than you gave him credit for, and not quite as good as the players are giving him credit for.

  8. ^^^Wow, what an Honest Abe. Thank you. Thank you for being so true to your feelings and not letting positive thoughts interfere with your noble, strait-shootin’ vision. You know, you remind me of good ol’ Sarah Palin – “Just callin’ it like I see it!” Like Sarah, you must see Russia from where you are sitting – that’s how strait and honest you are.

  9. Is 4guards in the hospital?

    Usually he would have had 10 posts by now saying what an idiot Crean is for going after this point guard.

  10. For some reason I now feel like popping in that old movie Above The Rim.
    It would be wiser to save the scholarship for 12 than waste it on this kid, but we all know scholarships are like hot cakes around here nowadays.
    How about on day 1 Crean spends his time in IN instead of KS. That would be smart. This is the kind of bonehead moves that has earned his repuation of snubbing the IN kids.

  11. Well, I wasn’t too comfortable about this kid but now I’m sold. He must be a cross between Quinn Buckner and Isiah Thomas.

  12. It seems to me Coach Crean has many offers to Indiana HS ballers and that if any of them pull the trigger it might neutralize trips outside the state for look sees. Could be these visible out of state trips is subtle massage to get your decisions made because the program is prepared to move on.

  13. While there are some great HS players in Indiana they are not the only players who may or may not be good for IU. If you have watched any of the world games lately you know Indiana and the rest of the USA are not the only places that have good players. I don’t think there is a thing wrong for coach to look for good player in other locations. Some of the best NCAA Div 1 basketball schools are not just filled with in state players. Last year Duke had 1 player from NC, New Mexico had 1 NM player, Kentucky had 3 KY players, and Kansas had 4 Kansas players. I want Indiana players like the rest of you. I was an Indiana kid many years ago but I also want Coach to look for the best players for his system so that IU can be an elite program again.
    Usually mid major schools have a high number of in state players and it can make them hard to beat. Example Butler last year had 10 Indiana kids on it’s roster.

  14. Find a kid with the skills of Russell Westbrook and then it’s worth a trip to California. Guerrero’s cute looks and bubbly hop in his step(and just the fact he’s from Katy Perry land) would likely be popular with the cheerleaders, but I honestly don’t think this could make the Pike High School team in one of their talent-thin years. He looks like he would be a perfect fit for the Washington Huskies.

  15. KP: throw another log on the fire.

    He may very well end up at Washington, which means he’ll be playing postseason ball with NBA-bound talent during his college years. Not a bad future.

  16. Hoosier Clarion, you are probably pretty close. I’m sure they are honestly interested in the kid but it doesn’t hurt to send a message. A little interpersonal psychology simplified. In any relationship, the person who cares the least holds all the power. If a kid knows that you are living and dying on him he’s unlikely to pull the trigger any time soon. If he thinks you are very interested but have plenty of other iron in the fire he is less likely to take a lot of chances with an offer. Down here in ACC land I see Roy and Coach K seemingly recruiting 20 kids apiece every year. Those kids know that the Heels or the Devils will move on in a heartbeat. They seem to know what they are doing.

  17. That aint no log. You can put that sugary soft marshmallow guard on your ‘never get past the Sweet Sixteen’ stick. If you only had some Graham crackers you could get to a Final S’more.

    Hey, would you help me distribute some buttons around Bloomington?

  18. Sweet Sixteens sure look pretty good right now if you are a Hoosier fan. A lot better than this.

    Yes, I will help you with the buttons.

  19. Chet,

    Of that I am absolutely certain. On the coaches end it is about business. Goff may be the backup plan if Zeller chooses elsewhere. But until CZ’s decision Goff is leverage.

  20. HT,

    I think I feel where Chet is coming from. Even though a S/S would be very nice right now; because we have tasted both, many S/S and a NC’s, the NC of course is the image maker and tradition builder. Personally I still have a bad taste in my mouth from 2002 and a S/S will not remove it.

  21. Personally I think Goff could play the 5 at IU. He’s 6’9 or 6’10 and listed at 240 lbs. Thats plenty big enough to play the 5. While at BR he was very much a rebounder, defender, dunker, with basically no face up game. I think he would be a good compliment to Cody and Crean might be selling that to Cody, especially if Cody is more comfortable at the 4 spot. We would potentially have GMM and Goff at the 5 in 2011, Goff and Jurkin in 2012, and then who knows what by 2013, but at least for the first two years Cody wouldnt have to play the 5 much, if at all. I don’t know. Speculation obviously, but I think that may be one reason we are looking so closely at Goff.

  22. Fun Fact: The coach to take the Huskies to their only Final Four(William Henry Harrison “Tippy” Dye in 1953)was nicknamed after the famous campaign slogan of a Hoosier president that fought Indians near West Lafayette. Who would have figured? Tecumseh returned as a Boilermaker and put a scalping on a Husky.

    Dye was a natural leader, as his name would indicate. He was christened after the country’s ninth president, a man who also served as Indiana governor and Ohio senator. He was nicknamed after Harrison’s popular campaign slogan “Tippacanoe and Tyler, too.”

  23. Clarion-

    I didn’t make my point very well. Undoubtedly one NC is better than 50 S/S’s. What I was trying to communicate was that right now, at this very moment, having a competitive program that plays in tournaments, wins league titles, and sends good players to the NBA nothing to be ashamed of, and feels quite nice.

    IMO, it’s a more soothing feeling than harking back to titles that nobody was alive to remember, before black people and three pointers came along (I am of course talking of the pre-Knight years). But that’s just me; most people would beg to differ.

    By the way, I like your take on the 2002 year. Most people here on the blog count it as another national championship, a further example of the ongoing brilliance of a great dynasty. In reality, 2002 only brings IU closer to Butler status, as far as the last decade is concerned. Closer, but not equal.

  24. To all those who are all worked up about Crean going to Kansas yesterday. Do you think he drove or something? You do realize he has access to a charter jet, right? In the 21st century it is possible to fly to Kansas in the morning, see a workout, and then be back in Indy to see High School recruits during their open gyms which typically are after school hours. I know it’s hard to wrap your mind around but it’s pretty common these days to be in two maybe even three locations in the same 24 hour span.

  25. No HT, you are wrong. 2002 takes us closer to IU’s image and tradition. I’ve held the feeling I stated for the 2002 NC game long before Butler ever saddled up for one. I being an IU fan long before Bob Knight entered HS in Orrville feel the tradition differently. Unless fans are close to my age they cannot taste it and if they were not here during all of RMK’s tenure they only get a whiff of it. Husky fans have a similar tradition in football and then Don James hoisted the star higher. How many Pac10 titles, appearances in the Rose Bowl and # of wins, NC’s and wasn’t there a consecutive winning streak in there of 60 or 70? All high accomplishments I do not have the sensation of sense that allow me to enjoy the tradition. But you do proudly.
    By the way there was a brilliance to the 2002 NC run. It was four tough guys by the name of Fife, Odle, Moye and Coverdale who willed that team into opportunity. I do believe the 4 were just more mentally tough than opponents vs. more physically talented. They were toughened by what they had been through, they were brilliant.

  26. Recruiting becomes very dicey when, as with the over-sign scholarship, you have to “lose” one player to “add” another player. If it is a sure NBA move then that is fine, but you never know until May about your NBA chances. So it is hard to offer a scholarship in November. That is why kids like Austin Etherington and James Blackmon and Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin are SO important (and Jordan Hulls and Derek Elston). They WANT INDIANA! They talk to other great players about joining them in Bloomington. They are not afraid to declare early! They don’t need the ego stroking. They want to wear the pinstripes and hang some banners! IU is very close, but we do need Cody in November and Yogi before November! I personally would like to wait until the spring signing period to offer the over-sign. Then you know your own team and the prospects of someone leaving much better, and, if you had a great or enthusiastic year, great recruits can see that “with me at PG (or any other position) IU can be in the Final Four”; instead of thinking of KY, Duke, NC, etc. “if X doesn’t leave early for the NBA, how can I start”?

  27. HC- Sadly, I don’t have any memories of the old Husky football tradition (I started school there in 94, a few year after the N.C.), but I know what you mean. It’s probably an age thing- if I were around longer, I’d have a much more mature appreciation of the past.

    The sweetest memories I have of UW football are the team beating down Big 10 teams year after year in the Rose Bowl, and of course the famous Damon Huard-led “Whammy in Miami” when they beat Miami after the two split a National Championship a few years earlier.

  28. I had all but forgot about Huard. I think he recently retired from the NFL. I wonder if he is coaching material?

  29. Every Pac 10 team represented at nearly every Rose Bowl has the bragging rights of beating down the embarrassed Big 10 school. And Washington’s last trip to the Rose Bowl? That event is two years more distant a memory than IU’s trip to the Final Four. They did have a Sun Bowl appearance in 2002(Purdue 34, Sled Dog 24)

    And let’s not forget, the Rose Bowl is a road game most often played against a California team. Bring a Pac 10 team to Columbus or Ann Arbor year after year and surmise what the results may look like.

  30. I watch the adidas nationals. He ran the show took what the D gave him got to the basket at will and found the open man. I enjoyed watching him. He is an impact player. just my opinion.

  31. Thanks for doing more Husky research.

    I realize UW football has suffered greatly of late. That is why I spout off no delusions about being one of the “elite programs” of now or any era.

    As far as your Rose Bowl excuse – what a joke. The Big 10 sends enough fans to each Rose Bowl that once every year, Pasadena turns into Madison, or Columbus, or Iowa City (but never Bloomington).

    Southern California loves football so much that neither of their major programs have their own stadium. They love football so much that there is no NFL team in a city of 10 million strong. Cal hasn’t been to a Rose Bowl since 1958. Stanford has one appearance in 40 years. UCLA has one appearance in 25 years.

    What a silly, silly excuse that is. What a dodo bird you are.

  32. Wow. You love to piss on IU, but someone does a little research to show the completely exaggerated perceptions your own glorious backyard, and you go ballistic. You’ve never been past a Sweet 16 in basketball and your dominant football program has only had one trip to Pasadena in nearly twenty years. 33 trips for USC compared to 14 for the dominant sled dogs of Seattle. Hate to see how bad those Trojans would look if they even liked the sport.

    “Old Husky football tradition?” That deserves a doodoo Dodo song.

  33. Hey, hoosier303, Western Kentucky is and has been a very good basketball school over the years. It has been much more successful the past 3-4 years than Indiana has. Is Indiana a better basketball school historically? Of course. But WKU is by no means a slouch when it comes to basketball. Tom Crean was @ WKU as an assistant coach some years ago. I am sure he would tell you the same thing.

  34. “UCLA has one appearance in 25 years.”

    I think you’re only looking at the win column(‘W’ in ’86, ‘L’ in ’94, ‘L’ in ’99).

  35. In the early 70s WKU was the toast of college basketball featuring Jim McDaniels in the post. Their ’71 Final Four appearance was vacated, along with Villanova’s, because McDaniels had signed a pro contract. In their NCAA run they beat Ohio State and crushed KY by 20 something. There are lots of basketball stories about WKU. It’s a solid program.

  36. Alright, I admit – one statistical oversight with the UCLA Rose Bowl. Yes, they had been to a few more than I thought in the last 25 years. Yet, in each of those instances, they lost to the Big 10 team, who was undeterred despite the harsh, unforgiving weather of Southern California and the mean, menacing UCLA fans.

  37. I think you’ve used your big stick on this topic enough. Frankly, you’re very off-target with your fire-building today. You have had multiple exchanges with a gender-confused Chicken of the Sea and you have molded its slimy scales and attached its adolescent thoughts far removed my own to a most sacred blogging name. I don’t bastardize the name Husky Tom and mold it to a wanting fish. Not appreciated, though I shall forgive you as always.

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