Just how much do you really get out of a spring signee?

In recent weeks, we have spent considerable time discussing Jamari Traylor. There have been other names of interest, namely James Farr and Ibrahim Djimde, as we wonder what big man will finish out the class of 2011 for the Indiana Hoosiers.

But just how much should we expect from whomever it is that ends up signing with Indiana? Judging by last season, not much.

During a wild and crazy spring of 2010, Indiana was attached to nine post prospects. One, Guy-Marc Michel, signed with Indiana. Some were only briefly involved with Indiana. Some kept us up late into the night, waiting for a possible 2 a.m. commitment.

But when they did arrive on various campuses, the nine struggled to make an impact. Just two made a real impression on their new team, and they played at Central Florida and Illinois State.

The lesson? If you’re a big man that is best described as a “project,” wait until the spring. College coaches get desperate to fill holes, and they end up looking at what you are and forget what you’re not.

If you’re a fan hoping someone available right now will easily push aside incumbents like Tom Pritchard and Derek Elston for playing time inside, go ahead and hope – but do not count on it.

After the jump are the nine prospects and their 2010-11 numbers.

Moses Abraham, Georgetown
6 games, 4.3 minutes, 1.7 points, 0.5 rebounds

Kevin Noreen, West Virginia
7 games, 5.6 minutes, 2.6 points, 1.7 rebounds

Will Yeguete, Florida
31 games, 7.1 minutes, 1.3 points, 2.6 rebounds

Cody Larson, Florida
Did not play (also recently arrested)

Dwight McCombs, Central Florida
32 games (19 starts), 12.1 minutes, 3.1 points, 2.7 rebounds

Guy-Marc Michel, Indiana
Did not play (started taking college classes too soon and also played with club team)

Walter Offutt, Ohio
Did not play (transfer)

John Wilkins, Illinois State
26 games (17 starts), 22.5 minutes, 7.4 points, 3.9 rebounds

Emmanuel Negedu, New Mexico
10 games, 14.4 minutes, 4.7 points, 5.4 rebounds (sat out remainder of season and will not play again due to complications from heart condition)


  1. Although a lot of their numbers are not very impressive. Neither are Pritchard, Copobianco, or Elston’s. I think it is safe to say that one or more of these guys would have faired much better this season had they made the Hoosiers thier school of choice. They would have been counted on more at IU last year and therefore their numbers might have been much improved.

    Just my thoughts!

  2. Good article, and you make some very valid points. I still want Jamari Traylor, as he seems the most ready to contribute and he has the best offer list. I hope the staff sees the spring signing period as “Traylor or bust.”

    Stay tuned.

  3. IU really needs a legit big man to go along with Zeller because it is asking a lot for a freshman to hold down the post on both ends of the floor. Unless you think Pritch and Elston will turnb the corner this season they need another big body. But if they do add someone they absolutely have to be able to defend and rebound in the post.

  4. I wish people would understand that if we take on another player this year, then that is one less scholarship available for 2012 class. We already don’t have enough scholarships for that class and people are wanting Gary Harris. We don’t have a scholarship for him and we don’t even have one available for Hollowell. Lets just get through this next year. Zeller will obviously help inside. We cannot afford to sign someone this Spring. End of story.

  5. Well I do not think that Pritch, Capo or Elston have numbers that are much better. Going into next season with the same three guys I just mentioned is just more of the same.

  6. Steve, maybe I am being to positive but I happen to think that Zeller and Wat on the blocks playing and stretching D’s with Hulls in his third year not sharing with Rivers and Oladipo and Sheehey a little smarter and thicker…that with the Big 10 being a little veteran and talent down…I think IU could do ok with what they have. I say pocket the scholly! If Creek is healthy, big IF, and Elston shows up every game…the sky is the limit. From all the stuff I read, Harris is a hard IU lean, especially lately…that 2012 class would be amazing with the addition of Harris…save the scholly!

  7. J Pat, I half agree with you. Save the scholly for sure. However, you must not have watched Wat play defense. He is terrible on D, he gets lost half of the time. Also, we are trying to push him more to a 3. With that said, I think you will see Pritch look a lot better playing alongside Zeller. People get caught up in the numbers, but we don’t need a guy to score 20 points (We’d take it) but that would take shots away from somewhere else and between Verdell, Wat, Zeller, Creek, and Hulls there won’t be a ton of shots to go around when they are in.

    Pritch understands defense, and is great at jumping to the help side to help others. If he gets beat though there is no one. Only now instead of getting beat and not having help or having help from basically a guard or very small forward, he is going to have help from a 6’10” legitimate power forward. It takes off some of the pressure and should cut down on some of the stupid fouls. It will take gaining trust, but he wont have to reach or go for a block from behind if another big is stepping over to help.This should limit or help out with some of the stupid fouls he gets covering for others. Zeller should also help everyones rebounding by virtue of other teams having to worry and contend with more size in general. We just need someone to board, understand help side D, set good screens, and score the occasional put back or dump off. Pritch can do all of those things. A JUCO ‘project’ is not guaranteed to do half of them.

  8. Hoag, Prich may understand defense but my gosh…he is awful at it. I admit Wat is not a great defender but I like my chances with Wat and Zeller down low. I know Wat would be a better 3 but we have others that can play the position…his height will have him on the block I assume. Maybe seniority will get Pritch on the court but I don’t trust him to play hard 100% of the time. We can just half agree. Happy Weekend!

  9. I just put Wat at the 3 because that is where the coaching staff said they would like to play him. Spring Game Tomorrow! Happy Weekend.

  10. I agree with Hoagland, C-Wat is not a 4. Putting him down low would only cause us to have the same problems we have had these past few seasons when we have had him there before. It doesn’t matter if you put another guy who is 6’11” next to him, it’s about size not height. With Wat at the 3, Zeller at the 4, and Pritch at the 5, we will have a solid lineup with size and should have good rebounding. Pritch will be the one to gain the most by having Zeller around as help on defense and rebounding. Also, this allows C-Wat to create a mismatch on the offensive side of the ball. Unless we can add a post like GMM (who would’ve helped tremendously this year), we should bank the scholly and use it for 2012.

  11. Cannon, I ask you this. Would you rather have 1. Hulls 2. Creek (if healthy) 3. Oladipo/Sheehey 4. Wat 5. Zeller or 1. Hulls 2. Creek 3. Wat 4. Zeller 5. Pritch???

    If Wat plays the 3, it will be tough to get Shee and Vic on the floor.

    I would take the 1st lineup I did. That is just me though. Pritch as a sophmore avg 4.2 pts a game and this year was down to 2.5. His rebounding and minutes played were almost the same. He is a liability on both the offensive and defensive end where at least Wat can score as he avg 16 pts a game. Pritch should ride the pine…

    sidenote: I don’t factor Jones in anymore, just me.

  12. Am I the only one who’s getting concerned with Crean’s SEC style over signing? We’re already in a scholarship pinch with the 2012 class, and as much as I’d love to see Elston, Moore, and Capobianco not on the court because I think they’re very mediocre players and don’t belong in the Big Ten, where are these scholarships going to come from? You either have to hope a few guys bolt for the NBA (which none of our players right now are first round picks), or you’ve gotta decide not to renew a scholarship. Either way, its a HUGE gamble and taking a scholarship away is not only a bad practice and borderline unethical, but is bound to scare some recruits. I understand the desire to have a great 2011 class as well, but we can’t put ourselves in this position. We already have enough bad press to last us a lifetime with Knight’s issues with Neil Reid and the Harvey kid who shouldn’t even be named and Kelvin Sampson, so why face this issue? Crean needs to leave the 2011 class as it is so we don’t end up 2-3 scholarships over our limit next season. At least that’s how I see it.

  13. Andy K…you are not the only one who wonders about the recruiting practice that does not border on unethical…it IS unethical because it puts Indiana in a position of putting ‘a price on the beef’ it has hired (the player)…I only wished you’d continued along your reasoning and not gone over the top with ingratitude towards Elston, Moore and Capobianco…three men who have done everything to make us proud of their wearing the candy stripes.

    If anything, read Stans’ excellent comment recalling days when IU fans simply took pride in Hoosiers like Rivers, Moore, Capbianco and Elston who honor us with their effort and grit. Instead, we have to read the crap that speculates about who can be run out of the program (they won’t say it, but it is what it is), how IU can and should manipulate presently team players so they vacate their scholarships, etc…etc as these wannabe coaches or ‘experts’ waste their lives ‘playing make-believe coach’, drawing their lineups and exaggerating their own ‘experience’. Pitiful isn’t it?

    We Hoosier need to move forward… by looking backward at what being a Hoosier use to mean and include it in what we expect from real fans today.

  14. Give it a rest with the concern trolling. Transfers happen all over the place. IU needs to win NOW and if that means less talented players get pushed aside for better ones so be it.

  15. Nobody’s taking anything away. Scholarships are renewed on a yearly basis. My kids had to earn any money they got every season. The kids that didn’t make the cut didn’t get any money. That’s just how it is. No one is entitled to keep a scholarship. If you were on an academic scholarship and you made bad grades would you expect to keep your scholarship?

  16. Any chance we look at Uchebo? He was just released from NC State and top 100 recruit.

  17. Chet…your analogy to academic scholarships not renewed when the grades fall below minimum predefined expectations is a very good argument.

    I’m not comfortable with the idea that the NCAA lives in a marginally gray area where its new President recently (on PBS’ Frontline) attempted to justify profits over a billion dollars; salaries for coaches in the millions while arguing that student-athletes are not employees and ought not to be paid beyond their scholarships because they are getting “incredible opportunities” to “get a great education”.

    However, this concern is separate from the issue you raise. You argument is thoughtful and sound; the logic follows. Sadly, I also fear the entire issue of ‘amateurism’ and ‘intercollegiate athletics’ is pretty corrupted today. I really would like to believe that at Indiana we reflect higher values and, for that reason, would like to believe that the legitimately acceptable performance by the three players warrants their scholarship renewal. But, that is just my opinion.

  18. Yearly. Scholarships. Enough. Said. Elston, Capobianco, Pritchard will all pay thousands of dollars less for their education than I ever will. Do I feel anger towards them? No, they were great at a sport, and they earned it. Should they continually earn it because they are not as good at that sport as others are who want that same $? No. Seems simple enough to me.

  19. As others have posted,IU’s bigs other than Christian Watford just have not produced and to be totally honest are just not that athletic. If Coach Crean can sign a more mobile & athletic “big” who can defend and score some points I sure as **** hope that he does ! A juco point guard would not hurt either. Furthermore, a poster at peegs.com(hoopsnut5) reported that he met Coach Crean at the Circle K Carwash on E.3rd. Street on March 21,2011,here in Bloomington and that Crean told him “some” Current IU Roster players would not be back in 2011-2012! I believe Hoopsy was telling the truth. Only time will tell,I guess??

  20. Here’s a brutal one for you. The school where one of my boys competed just dropped the sport. No advanced warning. New (female) AD. Six freshmen on the team and four recruits planning on competing next year. Another victim of Title IX. They sport getting dropped is one year removed from a conference title and finished 2nd this season. The basketball team she wants to put the money into won 6 games this year.

  21. I’ve been down on Pritchard the last two years for stupid fouls. I knew why he was fouling, I just wished he would see it and not try to do too much. You can’t block or stop every shot. I just wanted him to stay in the game, we needed him! That said, I think Hoagland is right. TP was our best big for defense. Has hops for big heavy guy.
    I also championed the length and help D that Guy would have provided to take some pressure off of our smaller centers(cheap put backs, rebounds, shot altering ability). I think CZ will fill that roll a whole lot better. Plus he can score and knows basketball. TP should benefit from that.
    Q. Why did TP have to bail out perimeter players.
    A. They were getting beat, thats why.
    I’ll say again, IU does not have the ball handlers that can break people down and penetrate. Nor the quickness to stay in front of thier assingment. Resulting in too many fouls on TP and, Will Sheehey for that matter. I say bank the scholly. Unless a no brainer becomes available. Looking forward to a faster, stronger and more experienced Oladipo and Sheehey. They will be the difference makers in my opinion.

  22. I am 90+% on board with Mass.Hoosier. The majority of us thought GMM would be positive for the overall success of this past season. We will never know. The addition of a higher caliber talent named Zeller even though used at PF should boost that positive into optimism for a successful 2011-12. With CZ and CW on each side and decreased exposure to the ever deficient D of Jones, created by less playing time, will make Pritchard’s Senior season in the middle more satisfying to watch.

  23. You are a great supporter of Big Tom. You may be exactly right. But how can we put him on the court until he can hit 60% of his FT’s, play 25 minutes before he gets his 4th foul, and develops some reasonable shot from 8-15′ out (off of the glass is the easiest) to present an offensive threat? How can he learn this between now and November when he has not gotten it in 3 years? I am hopeful that he can. What do you think that he needs to do right now to get there? He needs arch on his FT’s. I remember in the old days a sort of “hurdle” like metal pole that could be raised to different heights and placed between the FT line and the basket. You raise it up where you want it and you have to shoot over the bar and have the ball come down into the basket. It might work. But as it stands right now with Pritchard on the floor it is 4 on offense versus 5 on defense-you lose most of those games. Even if Tom drives to the bucket and gets a good pass, the defense just wraps him up before he can dunk, and at most we get 1 FT made.

  24. The guards and wings drive a Coach Crean offense. TP’s responsibilities are to only contribute what he can adequately control; play D, rebound and add tips and put-backs. He needs to try very little else. The success of the team will not rise or fall on TP being All B10.

  25. Very good Clarion.Now run down to the convenience store and get me some more Diet Coke.

  26. I appreciate the vote of confidence but I suspect your a big enough boy to run your own damn errands. If not remain parched.

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