Sina’s father: “He’s a winner”

When Indiana first approached Jaren Sina about three weeks ago about the possibility of recruiting the point guard from Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, N.J., the Hoosiers were openly uncertain about whether or not they would even have space for him. Junior guard Victor Oladipo and sophomore center Cody Zeller hadn’t made their decisions to enter the NBA yet and sophomore guard Remy Abell hadn’t yet come to his decision to transfer.

“They weren’t sure in terms of guys leaving for the draft,” said Mergin Sina, Sina’s father and coach at Gill St. Bernard’s. “They didn’t mention anything about transfers at the time. It was a low-key type of recruitment. Coach (Tom Crean) pretty much said it was a situation where they might have some interest, that kind of thing. That’s how it started, then they had the transfer and those guys leaving for the draft and that opened some doors for Jaren. That’s where we’re at now.”

The next step, Mergin Sina says, is a visit to Bloomington. The family hasn’t settled on a date yet, but he says he believes it will be early next week.

That visit, he said will be Jaren’s final college visit before he sits down to make a decision. He is also considering Alabama, local school Seton Hall and Northwestern, the program to which he had been committed before coach Bill Carmody was fired.

Of those, Indiana is the latest to get involved, but Mergin Sina said the profile of the program is still a big enough draw.

“Obviously, Jaren has some interest,” Mergin said. “The program is one of the best in the country and he likes the challenge of that.”

Abell’s decision to transfer puts Indiana in need of backcourt depth and another ball-handler behind starting point guard Yogi Ferrell. The Hoosiers were already in need of perimeter shooting with the departure of all four of the Hoosiers who shot at least 40 percent from 3-point range last year and four of the seven who hit at least 10 3-pointers. Sina would appear to provide all of that.

In four years at Gill St. Bernard’s, Sina scored 2,146 points and delivered 861 assists and was part of teams that won 91 games against brutal schedules. This season, the 6-2, 190-pounder averaged 21.3 points and 9.1 assists per game and made 117 3-pointers. He finished his career as a 46 percent 3-point shooter.

“He can shoot and pass and he’s got a heavy, heavy basketball IQ,” Mergin Sina said of his son, the No. 121 ranked recruit in the Class of 2013. “… He just understands how to play. He’ll shock a lot of people in comparion to what his ranking is if that means anything. That stuff goes out the door with me. He just competes and hes a winner. He’s one of those kids on the floor who just seems to get it done. Shooting the ball wise, he’s close to 400 3’s in his career. He can realy shoot the ball deep from NBA range.”

Mergin Sina said the family will sit down sometime after his visit to Indiana to make a final decision.

“Obviously, the biggest factors are who’s going to coach him and wanting to be comfortable with a school in terms of wanting to live there,” the elder Sina said. “There’s also style of play and all that kind of stuff. Every athlete says they want to be at a place where they have an opportunity to get in there and have an opportunity to compete. We’re obviously not making a decision this week. There’s the opportunity for Indiana to bring him down, and after that, we’ll hopefully sit down as a family hopefully in the next few days after that.”


  1. Sounds like we have a chance since we are his last visit. Even though he is a point he can play along with Yogi like Jordy did. Nice size in being 6’2″. Hopefully the last visit wows him like other kids seeing Cook Hall, Assembly Hall and the banners. None of the other 3 schools has much of a bb reputation. If he is not scared off by competing for a spot I think we might get him.

  2. Thanks for that article and for all of your Hoosier BB coverage. I really hope this kid is wearing the Cream and Crimson next year. We badly need ball handlers and shooters, and he would give us both. Plus, he just sounds like a great kid from a great family.

  3. I’d rather bank the schollie. Stan and Yogi can handle the rock. Jeremy and Troy will surprise many with their outside shot.

  4. I saw this kid play last year against matei Dei of california down in wheeling. He put a beating on them. Had 20 something and I think 10-11 assists, His team won with less talent and size.This kid is the real deal! Wouldn’t be surprised if he comes and plays would eventually be a starter.

  5. Yeah, I’m actually really excited about this kid. Hopefully he joins us, he’d be a good fit, a good four year guy. Sina and Luke Fischer seem extremely underrated to me!

  6. I can’t see CTC ever banking a scholarship. He has the ‘here & now’ viewpoint. Probably somewhat enhanced from the issues of injury last season.

    May even keep Yogi a little ‘grounded’.

    And my Mom said “don’t worry, you have a nice personality – at times”.

  7. Of course, I’ll say one thing in one post and then turn right around and play the conspiracy game in another. I say this all in fun, but I wonder what Crean knows that we don’t. Didn’t we just get our scholarship crunch resolved with the Remy transfer? Why are we now going after someone new? This Sina kid looks like he could be a valuable get, but why go right back into the over-signing predicament unless there’s something else in the works. This stuff always fascinates me.

  8. Punjab, since we’ve offered Sina, there’s someone else leaving the program. Crean knows that, but it hasn’t been announced, yet. If you follow who he is recruiting, you can get a pretty good idea of what is happening and what he and his staff are thinking.

  9. I’m betting that Jurkin doesn’t suit up for us next year and that will open up another spot. I like this kid, i think he will be along the lines of Sheehey with a better shot. A solid 4 year player!

  10. Oh no. Yogi’s turning pro? YOGI’S TURNING PRO??? Please tell me Yogi’s not turning pro…

  11. Hey MadisonHoosierFan…

    And you’re comparing him to Sheehey because…. He’s white? I mean that’s the only similarity.

    He is 4-5″ shorter, plays a completely unrelated position, barely touched the backboard on a breakaway lay-up I saw in his highlights, his strengths are 3-point shooting and passing…

    So other than him being white I’d say there are just about zero similarities… Maybe you know something we don’t… Was he named most handsome ballet in NJ? Maybe he wants to become a lawyer… Does he have a twin sister? Did his uncle play for the St John’s and the Nets?

  12. If we want him we get him. Can’t think of a more pathetic basketball program than Northwestern. They even had a decent coach and got rid of him. Even he couldn’t win with players that go there.

  13. Ron, I agree with you. No reason CTC should ever want to bank a scholarship. Not in this highly dynamic environment. Injuries, transfers, grades, kids breaking team rules; these things can all cost a team a key player over night. You need depth to be a winner these days, not to mention internal competition to bring the best out in a group of players.

    Of course Crean knows that another player is going to leave the team. My guess is that either Jurkin or AE (or maybe both) will transfer, or our often injured fifth year senior shooting guard has decided it’s time to move on with his life (he’s now a Dad and may want to start making some money for his family). If any of those three players leave the program, I would not be the least bit surprised. Of course, when one of these players does announce his departure, a few of the Crean-haters will post inane comments expressing how cruel Crean is for running yet another great player off the team, blah, blah, blah.

  14. At this point, it isn’t technically banking a scholarship since we are at our limit. This freshman class is large enough without adding Sina. Admittedly I’ve never seen him play but from the looks of his picture, he doesn’t fit the mold of athletic team we’re trying to build.

    On a side note, I don’t think Ethrington will ever play a meaningful minute in an IU jersey based on his injury and influx of talent since he verballed.

  15. I would think ALL of you would remember the butt-beating we got at the hands of Syracuse and their guards.Yogi Still learning. Sheehy is a 2-3 position player ,this young man seems to fill the “combo-guard” role better and at 6ft 2 can get his shot over most guards..which we couldnt always do last year.I also agree that CTC is afraid of that “injury bug” and the thin bench;we will never know how much THAT contributed to the “tired-looking” play at end of season ..we can only speculate BUT it sure seems that CTC is trying to field a health team from top to bottom

  16. TJ, I believe the injury bug had a huge affect on IU this past season, especially with our bigs. Cody’s back-up got injured during midnight madness and was never the same.

  17. Great move by Crean.We NEED this kid,and he looks like he can really help.Even if we are lucky enough to get him,we are still playing 3 guards most of the time.Yogi gets 32 min,Stanford Robinson and Sina get 24 each.He will play and play plenty.Love this move by Coach Crean.

  18. Mojoworkin, this kid probably wont go pro, so picking a school for reasons other than basketball is probably just as or more important to him. Northwestern has great academics and a great campus. Most kids aren’t smart enough or don’t have the money to get into Northwestern, so maybe basketball was his way in.

  19. I can’t speak for Northwestern but I can address Ivy League schools. Everybody pretty much has 4.0 grade point averages and ridiculous SAT scores. If you were a high school ambassador to Paraguay or a world class French horn player, built a linear accelerator out of paper towels, or play an outstanding point guard, it might make the difference in gaining admittance.

    At least at those schools, they don’t make allowances. They just consider what else you can bring to the table.

  20. According to my sources Sina cut Alabama from his list and will be on campus the 24th. A 7 person Freshman class seems a bit much. Their senior night will be the longest of all time after 7 speeches…hopefully it will be a day game.

  21. Save the scholly for 2014 for higher rated players. IU can do better than sweet sixteens.

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