Huntington Prep coach confirms IU watching Aniefiok

Huntington (W.Va.) prep coach Rob Fulford confirmed that Indiana coach Tom Crean was at the school today, primarily recruiting 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior combo guard Maurice Aniefiok.

Fulford said there has not been a formal scholarship, however, because Indiana is still evaluating his game.

“The indication I got was they’re just looking for the best available player,” Fulford said. “I think that would be Maurice. But they’re just looking now. Bennie Seltzer was at a game last week. Coach Crean said he wants to see a game, but Maurice played really well in practice today.”

Fulford said the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Aniefiok is averaging around 13 points per game for Huntington Prep and has averaged over 20 in the last three games. The independent prep squad, which was once home to NBA players O.J. Mayo and Patrick Patterson, is 21-3 this season.

He’s solid, he makes shots, he rebounds, he defends,” Fulford said. “He’s got great size for a wing. Literally he’s built like a linebacker. He’s athletic he’s just a big kid. At the high school level, he’s physically imposing on other guards even at our level.”

Fulford said Aniefiok can defend any position from 1-4. He could use some work on ball-handling, however.

“I’d say right now, the biggest thing is  just tightening up his handle,” Fulford said. “He has to be able to get creative getting his shot off the dribble. He’s a really good catch and shoot guy. But after that first dribble, he has to get better at putting it on the floor getting to the basket. He’s a rip-through, one dribble to the basket guy right now. In college, it’s not quite as easy. He has to have a good counter move on top of that.”

Aniefiok came to the United States from Nigeria in August, Fulford said. Joe Boncore, guardian to former Indiana target Moses Abraham, had a hand in bringing Aniefiok over from the U.S.

According to Rivals.com, Aniefiok has an offer from Mississippi and interest from Southern California and West Virginia.

12 comments

  1. We need another wing because hopefully Crean will kick one of ours off the team or one will transfer. Couldn’t be any worse than a couple that aren’t producing now for us.

  2. Crap he isn’t even looking at the 6’9″ forward — you must be kidding me? What am I missing here? There are a limited number of scholarships available and the Hoosiers are desperate for a forward or center who can defend and there is a recruiting trip for another wing. The one area where IU has some talent is at the wing. Help me to understand.

  3. I guess Crean is tired of wings who can’t guard. We need athletes. More of them. Can’t rely on Verdell, Creek, Watford becoming defensive stoppers.

  4. I’d be a bit nervous given the previous dealings of the gaurdian/mentor… If I were recruiting him, I’d need a lot more info about where he is from and about Boncore… But that’s just me.

  5. And deep breath …

    I grew up in Illinois and my friends always wondered why I rooted for and chose Indiana above any other school, especially their Illini.

    I always told them it came from the many Saturdays in front of the television watching CBS and the Indiana Hoosiers take on — and most often beat — the Big Ten’s and country’s best.

    After I graduated high school there was only once choice for me: the beautiful limestone of Bloomington, the academics and the basketball were too attractive. I guess I’ve always been a Hoosier, even if not kin to the state.

    I arrived on campus the same year as Kelvin Sampson. I questioned the hire as many did. He had disciplinary issues and did IU honestly want to take the chance on the former Oklahoma coach?

    There was no denying that Sampson, at the time, was one of the top coaches in the country. His resume was one of very, very few fitting of taking the Indiana job.

    Obviously, his transgressions at Oklahoma followed and the rest is certainly well known.

    I really want to enforce to people how big of a crater the Sampson implosion left on the face of IU athletics. It has been — it’s late, so correct me if I am wrong — about four years since Sampson’s departure, the hiring of Dan Dakich, the exodus of players, leaving the Indiana roster decimated, and the hiring of Tom Crean.

    Crean inherited a program in shambles, and the point of this extremely long comment is to remind people of such.

    Kyle Taber was the Hoosiers’ best player when Crean inked to be the next Hoosier coach.

    To say times have been hard since is an understatement. But to say they have been unexpected or unworthy is foolhardy.

    Look, it IS Indiana and Hoosier fans should only expect the best. I grew up telling my orange-clad parents they were rooting for the wrong team, candy stripes were the only way to go.

    That said, understanding and, as difficult as it is, patience is needed.

    Believe me, I’ve been asking the last couple of days, ‘How often does a Tom Crean defense need to see a Princeton offense before it knows how to cut off a pass?’

    But this is not the Indiana I grew up with, and that’s recognizing I am of the first IU graduating class in a long, long while where the majority of its body was not alive when the last banner was won.

    So at the same time, I temper myself.

    I do believe that right now the program is in one of the best places it could be after looking back at the decimation our program put itself in for with the hiring and subsequent firing of Kelvin Sampson.

    Yes, we are Indiana. We are one of the best basketball programs in the country, and the state of Indiana does basketball better than anyone else.

    But …

    But we must realize what our program has been through and that there will not, and never will be, a three-year remedy for the complete destruction of a program like the one we witnessed after my freshman year.

    Give it time. Losses hurt. Just like wins breathe hope like pure oxygen, equally, losses deflate the lungs.

    It’s not lacking accountability for the Indiana University basketball program to say, ‘Wait for next year.’

    Rather it’s a statement of: another year wiser, another year healthier, another year with new (highly-rated) recruits, and another year in the REBUILDING process.

    That’s what Indiana is doing. THAT is Indiana basketball currently.

    It’s sort of dirty to even consider — ‘Indiana, rebuilding? That’s insane’ — but that’s where the program is.

    To my fellow Hoosier faithful, I say never excuse mistakes.

    But that means even our own. We are paying the price for a poor hire and lax oversight, and when our time is served, which I believe is currently ending, we will rise again. It won’t be easy and certainly won’t be fast. That’s why I encourage patience.

    Critique and over-analyze all you want, it’s what IU fans do so well.

    But have faith in the program, it’s what IU fans do best.

    Go Hoosiers!

  6. Clarion has been quite the astronomer lately. The sky is safely in it’s place, according to his numerous reports. Knowing Clarion keeps an eye on it (perhaps as part of some community watch program) is such a relief for the rest of us. Just thought I’d make that clear here.

    Otherwise I found entirely laughable his statement that Crean has pushed Hulls over the top andholes whole other level of strength and abilities. Throughout this whole season it was Hulls that consistently tried to help Crean progress as coach, but “the agitated one” has so far resisted adamantly and persists in his misguided ways. That’s probably the most frustrating part of this season and the most disturbing concern about the ones that follow.

  7. another JUCO big on the map possibly? Karron Johnson 6’8 PF no longer headed to OK St. Wonder if IU would make a push at him? a true banger down low.

  8. get on him, we need a true banger down low, physical, plays with emotion and wants to dominate. Go get em Coach

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