Indiana makes Bryant signing official #iubb

Once the ink on the documents dried and Indiana could clear Thomas Bryant’s National Letter of Intent, Tom Crean needed only one word to desribe his latest signing: transformative.

That’s because Crean knows he finally has the kind of rim protector that will allow his team to bring more consistent pressure on defense. He has a willing and athletic offensive big man who runs the court better than any Hoosier since Cody Zeller.

And he has the missing piece that could very likely propel the Hoosiers into Big Ten title contenders.

“We need the presence of an inside player, that’s obvious,” Crean said. “But he’s so much more than that, and I think that’s what has been exciting since we started recruiting him, and then really picking it up like we did in the fall, and continuing to recruit him throughout the year. There’s some tremendous qualities about him.”

The 6-foot-10 center from Rochester, N.Y. is ranked the No. 27 player in the 2015 class by 247 Sports, while Scout slots him at No. 33. In his senior season at Huntington Prep (W.Va.), Bryant averaged 17.3 points, 11.6 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game, while earning invites to the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic.

Bryant’s signing officially marks the fifth consecutive year that IU has signed a McDonald’s All-American.

He joins Missouri forwards O.G. Anunoby and Juwan Morgan in Indiana’s 2015 class. The Hoosiers are currently oversigned by one, but are waiting on future announcements from James Blackmon Jr. and Yogi Ferrell.

Crean said Wednesday that Blackmon’s future at IU will be revealed in the next few days, while Ferrell will announce his intentions to either remain at Indiana or go pro on Saturday night in Indianapolis.

“This class could continue to grow,” Crean said.

9 comments

  1. ESPN now has him at #19. I’ve seen some or all of each of the three all-star games he has played in lately, and he is for real. Allowing for the nature of such games, he appears to be pretty clearly better than guys like Raymond Spaulding (#55, headed to Louisville) and Daniel Giddens (#57, Ohio State), and at least comparable to guys like Diamond Stone (#6 overall, Maryland) and Caleb Swanigan (#8, MSU). CTC was after all of those guys at one point or another, and I think Bryant may well be the best of them for IU. He brings great energy and activity, and a rugged, physical style of play that we desperately need. He runs the court amazingly well — I lost count of how many times he was first or second up the court — and can shoot from outside. With him at the 5, Perea, Holt, Williams, and Hartman can all play their natural positions, so his impact will go well beyond whatever numbers he himself puts up.

    As for Blackmon and Yogi, it’s strange and disheartening that either has any thought of leaving. Yogi would be entering a draft deep in PG’s, and Blackmon is simply not ready.Maybe not even for international ball. If the goal is simply to get out of school and make a little money playing overseas, I suppose it make sense to at least think about it. But if the goal is to develop and get closer to the NBA, staying under the care of coaches, trainers, nutritionists, and other professionals paid to help them maximize their abilities probably makes more more sense. Blackmon needs to develop physically, technically, and otherwise (they really do play defense in the NBA…), and Yogi could benefit from a strong showing in the tournament. Easy for me to say, I know, but given the number of players who declare early and never see the court for an NBA team, it’s not exactly a stretch to think they have more to gain by staying than by leaving.

  2. The problem with today’s NBA is that they no longer draft for immediate need. Most teams will draft on potential knowing that they can work with the player and develop them faster than they can in college that only has 20 hours a week to work with them. So some teams might look at Blackmon ‘ s potential and draft him knowing he would be ready in a couple of years not necessarily this year. That is the way the NBA is going and that will make these younger kids take a chance.

  3. If Yogi is projected as a second round pick, it is unlikely that Blackmon would get drafted at all. Maybe he’d be signed as an un-drafted free agent and assigned to the D league, but I don’t see him being on an NBA roster next season. I hope he is a) getting good counsel, and b) listening to it. Otherwise, he could end up like another talented IU underclassmen, Jay Edwards, who, after two seasons at IU, was drafted 33rd (by the Clippers) and played in a total of four NBA games. And Edwards was arguably a better shooter than Blackmon.

  4. The problem the NBA had with Edwards was his use of drugs,not his shooting ability. Lets get the facts right and not use a false argument to make a point.

  5. Be careful accusing others of using “a false argument.”

    “If I had to do it again, I would have stayed (at IU) another year. My body wasn’t ready.” Jay Edwards, June 28, 1992, from an article titled “Trouble-shooter For Hire,” written by Woody Anderson and published in the Hartford Courant on June 28, 1992. Yes, drug use got him suspended during his rookie season with the Clippers, as it had when he was with IU. Then knee surgery delayed his return to the court, but Edwards had been clean for a while before he was cut from the Clippers. And he had remained clean for the two years he played in CBA and USBL, passing every weekly administered drug test.

    The bottom line is that he was not mature enough, physically or otherwise, to leave college and enter the NBA when he did. As a result, his enormous potential for a great career in the NBA was wasted.

    And for those whose selective memories allow them to conclude that Bob Knight never had any players with discipline problems, or tolerated any that did, and therefore use that false narrative to justify criticizing Tom Crean for the tolerance he has displayed over the last year, I encourage you to get the facts about Jay Edwards’ two years at IU under Knight.

  6. Podunker I have to ask you.Are you a personal injury lawyer? You remind me of one those ambulance chasers I see on television commercials late at night.

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