Nairn expected to make decision next week

Indiana finally put a commitment back up on the board for the Class of 2014 last week when Robert Johnson, a shooting guard from Benedictine High School in Richmond, Va., verbally pledged to join the Hoosiers. In about another week, Indiana will learn if it has found Johnson a backcourt mate.

Lourawls “Tum-Tum” Nairn, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound point guard from Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kan. and the No. 61 player in the Class of 2014, took an official visit to Indiana this past weekend and is now in decision mode. He has taken official visits to IU, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Michigan State. Kyle Linsted, his coach at Sunrise Christian, said he expects Nairn to announce his decision early next week.

Linsted said its likely that coaches from all four schools will be in Kansas to visit Nairn this week. Michigan State was there Monday night, Oklahoma will be there today and Minnesota is coming in Wednesday morning. Linsted said he had missed a call from IU coach Tom Crean and expected Indiana would set up a meeting as well. After those meetings, he said, Nairn will bunker down with his mother, Linsted and Matt Suther, his coach with the Mo-Kan Elite summer travel program to weigh his options.

“We’re going to talk to (the college coaches) and then take this weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and maybe Monday, and just isolate ourselves,” Linsted said. “Quit answering the coaches’ calls, quit answering the reporters’ calls. … The four of us will really just put our heads together and dig deep and see where we stand. Hopefully by Monday, he’ll know.”

Nairn’s visit to Bloomington this weekend apparently went well, and he saw most of what he was hoping to see from IU and the Hoosiers.

“He really enjoyed his time there,” Linsted said. “I think he’s got that personality that really fits in good with people, so he’d be comfortable anywhere, but I think he and Coach Crean believed it was someplace he would fit. … I think their skill development really impressed him. I think he considers that a strength in what they have to offer. They know how to get guys to the next level who aren’t exactly shoe-ins for the next level.”

Nairn saw an example of that in guard Victor Oladipo, who enrolled at Indiana as the No. 144 recruit in the Class of 2010 and left this summer as the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft. Nairn also sees a mirror image of himself on the current squad in 6-foot sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell, also a speedy ball-handler to whom Nairn could serve as an understudy early in his career.

Those qualities have kept Indiana in the game, but Linsted said each of Nairn’s four finalists have a unique draw.

“For Minnesota, he’s been their No. 1 guy,” Linsted said. “They pushed really hard since the day they laid eyes on him. He’s their No. 1 priority. Then OU, his best friend (guard Buddy Hield) goes there. Coach (Lon) Kruger has recruited him really well. They have a great relationship, and their campus is only three hours from Wichita. It’s family for lack of a better word. They push the ball and play his style. Michigan State is a great fit for his personality with his style and their toughness. The recruiting occurred late and both of them kind of split ways and came back together. Playing for Coach (Tom) Izzo and playing for one of the top programs in the country appeals to him and he’s got a chance to be the guy from Day 1 with the ball in his hands. Then Indiana, they recruited him for three yeas and they recruited him hard for three years. (Assistant coach Tim) Buckley has been great. Indiana, they’re as good as it gets right now in college basketball. The skill development is there.”

Linsted said he’s not certain whether or not Nairn would hold some form of press conference to make his announcement.

“We haven’t gotten that far yet,” he said.

The Hoosiers have two scholarships available with Johnson taking one of them, but they are likely to oversign. Along with Nairn, they are also in heavy pursuit of Marion guard and former commitment James Blackmon Jr., Virginia swingman Devin Robinson and Massachusetts center Goodluck Okonoboh.


  1. Hope he comes. He looks the real deal. Real quick..Real instincts…Real hunger.

    Tum Tum Remix!! His game looks heaven to me.

  2. Says a lot that MSU offered him a scholly this late in the game. Really wanted to see JBJ in the Crimson & Cream, but we want kids who really want to be in Bloomington…not Lexington. Nairn…if you like to dish, dip, run, and gun, this is the offense for you!

  3. This kid is way more like Yogi than Jordy. I don’t see him and Yogi on the floor together. He would be more like Yogi’s backup not his running mate unless the opposing team has small guards.

  4. I wonder if you have to roll the dice with your point guards…? Should you really recruit such equal talent to always be breathing down the neck of your floor orchestrator? Will Gordon(this year) and Tum-Tum(next year) cause Yogi to sit more? Can it hurt the chemistry to not have that one recognizable backcourt leader on the floor for the majority of the minutes?

    I like Nairn, but it sounds like MSU(at least according to the angle pitched above)can give him more the reins of his point guard positional leadership in an autonomous role.

    I’ve always sorta viewed post players and point guards as the stability positions that need experience and leadership…the anchors…the major hubs of electricity on the floor. Wings/forwards/shooting guards seem more interchangeable parts that can add options for better exploitation certain offensive scenarios/certain defenses.

  5. #3 Ron: remember Burke at MI? Last year he was the B1G MVP, a lottery draft pick, All-American, etc., all at 5’10. OSU passed on him due to height and MI grabbed him regardless. Height is just one of many, many factors to consider. Tum Tum will look great in candy-stripes and play even better! He will be a nightmare in Green and White or Purple and Gold for 4 years!

  6. I am a little concerned with his height for the NCAA tournament, but we need to get to that tourney before we plan for it. Therefore he would be a great asset playing in the BIG10. I would not mind IU letting some players go off scholarship in order to make room for players that have real potential to play. Many times a game is won during practice so let us make that practice squad stronger which then fights for PT. I am not that impressed with some of our subs.

  7. Southport, you’re exactly right…

    Harvard did you just flip flop in the matter of 5 posts? Personally, Nairn is way down the wish list… I like GO, DR, Exum (of course), definitely JBJ, and even Hill… I like the PG options in 2015 with Edwards and/or Coleman… Of course, there is very little chance he ends up in pinstripes. All 3 of the other options are better for him, either because of playing time or proximity to home, or both.

    But, if Nairn does come, I’m not the least bit worried about him taking Yogi’s minutes. When his time comes I’m fairly certain he’ll be an adequate starting PG, and until that day he’ll be a more than adequate back-up.

  8. No. I like him.
    But it’s the QB position of a basketball team…I just feel he’ll go where he’s likely to have the reins in running the show. And if the implication stated above is true, I couldn’t blame him for picking MSU if that were differentiating factor/case.

  9. They push the ball and play his style. Michigan State is a great fit for his personality with his style and their toughness. The recruiting occurred late and both of them kind of split ways and came back together. Playing for Coach (Tom) Izzo and playing for one of the top programs in the country appeals to him and he’s got a chance to be the guy from Day 1 with the ball in his hands.

    Does he have that with Yogi going into his junior year?

    Wouldn’t Yogi have to make a huge leap to have NBA scouts paying attention this season?

    And when is the youngest Gordon expected to enter college? Though he’s currently described as a shooting guard, do you think it’s likely his game evolves into a PG? And is there any amount of influence acting on Eron’s decision knowing we’re becoming a family affair with giving Evan one year in a Hoosier uniform?

    Nairn would be going into his junior year when the the huge hoopla surrounding Eron’s potential arrival comes to town.

    Backseat to Yogi in his freshman year..Potential backseat in his junior year to the youngest Gordon that may be hyped as the next “everything hinges” true NBA talent that can take us to the promise land(assuming the deep tournament runs and banner drought continues).

    So, if you can walk into MSU and be the “guy” now? That may be the problem with Crean…There’s so much over-recruiting and Captain Scholly Crunch that you’ll never feel you’re able to truly evolve in a ‘floor general’ capacity. And don’t throw Dipo at me.
    Most of these guards do not have the size/explosiveness/versatility that can keep them on the floor in any capacity. They are also arriving in a much more competitive/maturation process in a rebuilding environment than when Dipo first put on the candy stripes(“pinstripes” are worn by the Yankees, Cubs, etc).

    And Izzo is a more than a recruiter. He can at least get a team to a Final Four. He’s publicly praised in the national press as a coach with a high b-ball IQ and tough love disposition. Knowing they’re now in the mix makes it likely be a very tough battle even if Crean could make him feel more the “guy.”

  10. IU basketball and football recruiting has been kind o a dud this summer…..Basketball needs a couple high 4 star recruits not 4 stars bordering 3 stars….even though Robert Johnson was a good recruit to be a team asset. Plus 1 or 2 5 star recruits needed……Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, KY, Syracuse, and others are out recruiting IU….IU expectations should not be rebuilding but reloading….

  11. You’re the expert. But I don’t think you can ever predict the motivations. I find it interesting that he was named after the singer, Lou Rawls. Lou Rawls was a big gospel singer in his early years…

    Just for fun, I did a wiki search and found this interesting tidbit:

    In 1958, while touring the South with the Travelers and Sam Cooke, Rawls was in a serious car crash. Rawls was pronounced dead before arriving at the hospital, where he stayed in a coma for five and a half days. It took him months to regain his memory, and a year to fully recuperate. Rawls considered the event to be life-changing

    He was also raised solely by his mother in the projects of the South Side of Chicago. Quite a bio. He hung with Sam Cooke in the early years. One of the most beautiful songs ever

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