Hoosiers hosting Brown, and other notes from media day

One of the top players on Indiana’s 2016 recruiting board will be in Bloomington for homecoming weekend.

The Hoosiers will host an official visit for Bruce Brown, a combo guard from Vermont Academy who is considered one of the top 50 players in the current recruiting cycle. Brown, a four-star prospect, is ranked as the No. 40 overall player in the 247 Sports recruiting composite, and the No. 6 shooting guard in his class.

Alex Popp, Brown’s coach at Vermont Academy, told The Herald-Times that the 6-foot-4 recruit’s aggresive style of offensive and defensive play makes him stand out.

According to Inside The Hall, Brown averaged 15.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, two steals, 1.8 assists and 1.4 blocks per game while playing for Boston Amateur Basketball Club at this summer’s Peach Jam AAU event.

“(He’s) Russell Westbrook 2.0,” Popp said in a text message. “That’s who he is. (He’s) always on attack mode at both ends

Brown is weighing additional offers from Purdue, Massachusetts and Miami, and Popp said the chance to win games at the Big Ten level is part of his attraction to IU.

“Bruce values winning over everything,” Popp said.

IU already has two recruits in its 2016 class, which is expected to include between four-to-six players by the start of next season. Crown Point shooter Grant Gelon was the first to commit, and Huntington (W. Va.) Prep four-star combo guard Curtis Jones committed in late September.

Hoosiers move on from emotional off-season

Indiana players were disappointed by Emmitt Holt’s dismissal in August, but Yogi Ferrell says the team has moved on from an emotional off-season of departures.

Speaking with reporters at Big Ten Basketball Media Day for the first time since Holt’s dismissal, Ferrell described an emotional locker room scene after the team learned that the sophomore forward had been kicked off the team in late August following his citation for alcohol possession.

“That was a very sad day,” Ferrell said. “I cried. Losing another teammate, another brother and just watching him walk out the door like that and now knowing if you’re ever going to see him again, that was a very sad day.”

Holt was the third IU player dismissed from the program since the end of last season. Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Devin Davis were also booted from the team after Davis was cited in May for marijuana possession by Indiana University Police. Mosquera-Perea was not cited, but was with Davis in the campus dorm room when he was cited.

The charge against Davis was dropped in September.

Speaking specifically about Holt’s dismissal on Thursday, Ferrell said he and his teammates wouldn’t let the departure divide the locker room.

“At the end of the day, we all wanted Emmitt here,” Ferrell said. “But the decision that they made, we’re going to be behind it. If they thought that was best for the university, then that’s OK.”

Elston like an older brother

At Thursday’s Big Ten Basketball Media Day in Chicago, Tom Crean called Derek Elston one of the greatest leaders he’s ever encountered in college basketball. Now, Crean hopes Elston’s approach to basketball and life can rub off on his current players this season and beyond.

Elston was officially introduced as IU’s director of player development on Oct. 5, taking on a mentoring role inside the IU basketball program.

“The prerequisite to me was getting a former player and somebody that was still close enough (in age) that it could almost fill a big brother role,” Crean said. “I just love his personality. He’s one of the great leaders I’ve been around. He was the unsung leader of our team at Indiana when we were No. 1 in the country because he could make everybody laugh, he could play hard (and) he was a study in dealing with adversity with all the injuries he had to deal with. He constantly got better. He’s great with everybody.”

If Elston decides to return to Europe and resume his professional basketball career after the upcoming season, Crean said he would like to continue adding former players to his staff. In the current role, Elston can help with day-to-day administrative work, community outreach and be a presence in the locker room, but he’s not allowed to coach or work out with players.

“He can be with them constantly, and he will be,” Crean said. “He can be involved in on-campus recruiting. He can be involved in coaches meetings. He just can’t coach them, per se, in basketball. But just having Derek around with the life skills he can provide, that’s enough.”

3 comments

  1. I wouldn’t mind seeing a guard with that level of tenacity and athleticism play on both ends. I doubt he has Westbrook’s poor attitude though, that is a rare thing to behold. Go Hoosiers!!

  2. As I’ve said for months now, Brown would be my top priority at guard for this class… I admit that I’m biased because I know his assistant coach, but that guy was so high on Brown, not only his current skills, but future potential, and above all his desire and attitude, that I am convinced he will be hugely impactful at the B1G level.

  3. I do not get much IU news in NC … What is the update on the Bryant / Hartman Injuries? Will they be good to go for the beginning of the season ?

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