Tom Crean has spent a lot of time at the beginning of the July evaluation period taking a look at 2015 Power Forward / Center Raymond Spalding. The 6'9" 200 pound four star didn't disappoint either as he dropped 36 points and grabbed 13 boards to go along with 5 assists in front of Coach Crean. Also not to be forgotten - he was 15-20 from the field.
While Spalding has not cut down the list of 11 schools who have offered, he did go ahead and name a Top 3 this week:
Based on this, it appears we could be set up for a Tom Crean vs. Kenny Johnson battle here. Louisville is in Spalding's backyard, and you would think the home town team would have quite the advantage at this point, but Tom Crean is clearly making progress with Spalding as evidenced by the following tweets:
That all sounds very positive for the Hoosiers. The main question at this point is whether Duke actually gets involved. If Spalding continues to put up numbers of 36, 13, and 5 - it probably won't be too long before Duke is a major player in this recruitment which will add some more major competition for Coach Crean to overcome. The crystal ball currently has him as 94% Louisville, but the last prediction was made in March of this year. A lot seems to have changed since then.
Right now Spalding is talking about a spring decision, but a lot of recruits say that only to commit somewhere before the early signing period. I am guessing this recruitment will be no different. Will it be hard for Coach Crean to overcome the home town Cardinals? Yes, probably so - but I wouldn't put it past him. He has clearly made progress here and really needs to land a big man to get this recruiting class off to a good start. As it stands right now, Indiana has 1 scholarship open for the 2015 class, but I would expect them to sign 2 or 3 players with the expectation of transfers or early entrants to the draft.