If Indiana fans were surprised yesterday to learn of the offer made to 2014 three star PF Ray Kasongo, they are shocked today to learn of yet another offer made to 2014 three star forward Emmitt Holt. It has been well documented that the Hoosiers have one scholarship left open on the 2014 roster and Coach Crean now seems absolutely determined to fill it. Holt is listed as 6'6" 225 pounds, but has been rumored to now be 6'7" and still growing.
Holt is technically still part of the 2015 class and is being recruited for that class by the likes of Drexel, Duquesne, Fairfield, Hofstra, Towson, and Vermont. These are not typically schools you find associated with an Indiana recruit, but this may be a different era of Indiana hoops. Holt has stated if he goes to Indiana, he will reclassify to the 2014 class as that is the class Coach Crean is recruiting him for.
Why is this offer surprising? Besides the obvious surprise in timing (one week before school starts), the Hoosiers seem destined to land PF Ray Kasongo who will be visiting Indiana on Monday. Kasongo is down to just LSU and Indiana and may visit LSU sometime later this week. He is ranked #222 in the 247Sports Composite compared to Holt who is not ranked at all. Kasongo is also 6'9" 245 pounds and would add the height Indiana needs down low. Kasongo has come out and said that Indiana is the team to beat and as long as no red flags come up on his visit, it seems almost certain he will be a Hoosier by Monday evening.
So why hand out an additional offer and schedule an additional visit with Holt on Tuesday next week? Holt isn't as tall and isn't as bulky as Kasongo and clearly does not have interest from high major schools whereas Kasongo had interest from Kansas and Michigan State as well. Unless Coach Crean isn't telling us something about someone on the current roster, I think this is more of an insurance policy if something on the Kasongo visit doesn't go well. Rumors have started to circulate that Kansas was not impressed on Kasongo's visit last weekend with his play. Also keep in mind that Kasongo's "mentor", Brandon Bender, has been associated with some bad situations in recent years including this one. All of this could have Coach Crean worried a bit which could have led to the offer of Holt. Or Coach Crean may simply just like both players.
Even considering the above points, it is still puzzling to offer a 6'6" forward in the 2014 class. The current roster is lacking depth at point guard and down low. It certainly is not lacking depth at the wing position which is exactly where Holt would fit in. In addition to filling 2014, it would also technically fill the 2015 roster which still wouldn't have a sure fire big man on the roster. Here is some video of Holt's game which might help us figure out the offer:
Holt does show a lot of athleticism in this video and certainly compares to Kasongo in that regard. Given the height differential though, I would like to see if Holt can step back and hit a jumper which is not part of this video at all. At 6'6" or 6'7" in the B1G - you aren't going to be dunking the ball every time down the court.
I think most Indiana fans see more potential in Kasongo and would likely be happy with his commitment pending any issues he might bring with him both academically and with his association with Brandon Bender. I'm not sure that same feeling would exist with Holt. Most fans would likely want to see that scholarship held for the 2015 class where the Hoosiers are involved with several top players. This isn't the fans decision though - it is Coach Crean's - and he has consistently shown that he wants a full roster of 13 scholarship players. What are your thoughts? Should the Hoosiers take Kasongo, Holt, or hold the scholarship?