Welcome to another weekly edition of Recruiting Round-Up. This week has been extremely quiet compared to last week's 21 plus offers. Iowa offered 2018 Power Forward Carte'Are Gordon, Rutgers offered 2017 Small Forward Andre Rafus, and Ohio State offered 2018 Small Forward Giir Ring. And we will preview the Indiana Hoosiers and its 2015 Class, more player profiles, interviews, video action, and recruitment updates.
To put into perspective the lack of interactive recruiting this week by the Big Ten (3 offers), let's compare what some of the other conferences have done this week. The Big XII has posted 10 offers, the ACC has extended nine offers, the SEC seven offers, the Big East six offers, and the PAC 12 garnered one committment and made four offers. Overall though, the Big Ten Conference has been interactive, dishing out 298 offers (18 Commits) for the 2016 and 2017 classes combined. Indiana heads the pack with 44 offers followed by Penn State's 34 offers, and Maryland's 30 offers.
It's currently the final Evaluation Period (July 22-26) and the headline event this weekend is the AAU Boys' Basketball National Championships and Super Showcases in Louisville, Kentucky (July 23-27) at the Kentucky Expo Center. Nearly 800 college coaches are expected to be in attendance to watch the Nation's top prospects pitted against each other. Talk about thoroughbreds.
Breaking Down Indiana
Over the next several weeks, BT Powerhouse will break down and shake down each Big Ten school in order of their rankings per 247/Sports. Last week was #3 Michigan State, this week it's #4 Indiana, and #5 Nebraska is on deck next Friday.
"A Season on the Brink". Sound familiar? The 2015-16 season may determine Tom Crean's fate in Bloomington. Having to deal with off-court player transgressions, his own secondary recruiting violations, and a mediocre 121-111 record the past seven seasons, this 2015 class may be his savior.
Indiana has four starters returning in PG Kevin Ferrell, SF Troy Williams, SG James Blackmon Jr, and SG Robert Johnson. Crean was forced to go with a smaller, three-guard starting lineup most of last season. Newcomers Thomas Bryant, Juwan Morgan, and Ogugua Anunoby will provide much needed size and depth.
After landing Bryant, Indiana's class rank jumped 31 spots to #26 in the overall rankings per 247Sports. Clearly, Bryant will have an immediate impact on the team, especially in the critical areas of rebounding and defense. Add to the mix Morgan and Anunoby and the Hoosiers will gain a front-court presence. Also, Michigan transfer Max Bielfeldt will add plenty of depth at the power forward position. He averaged 5.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game last season for the Wolverines.
This season Crean will have the flexibility to go small ball or utilize a bigger lineup based around the situation or pace of the game. He has all the key pieces for multiple lineups with a strong 10-player rotation. In addition, Crean has four non-scholarship walk-ons in Harrison Niego, Ryan Burton, Jordan Fuchs, and Nate Ritchie.
Indiana's high-powered offense ranked 18th in the country at 77.5 points per game. Scoring wasn't the problem with Ferrell (16.3 ppg), Blackmon Jr (15.7 ppg), Williams (13.0 ppg), and Johnson (8.9 ppg). It was defense and rebounding due to lack of size. Indiana ranked 299th overall in points allowed at 71 and near the bottom in rebounding.
Indiana finished 20-14 (9-9), including a dismal 3-10 record to conclude the season. Expectations are high with the nucleus of last year's starting lineup in tact and the addition of this 2015 recruiting class. The incoming class should give the Hoosiers a shot at challenging Maryland, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. It's an IU team that figures to start the season ranked somewhere in the Top 25.
Indiana's 2015-2016 Depth Chart
|PG||Kevin Ferrell||Harrison Niego|
|Nate Ritchie||Ogugua Anunoby|
|PF||Max Bielfeldt||Jordan Fuchs||Emmitt Holt||
Meet the New Hoosiers
5-Star Power Forward Thomas Bryant 6-10/225
4-Star Power Forward Juwan Morgan 6-8/210
Morgan committed to Indiana September 10, 2014, choosing the Hoosiers over Iowa, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Creighton, Stanford, and Washington. He was ranked #22 in the country (2015 Class) at his power forward position by 247/Sports. Morgan averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds per game at Waynesville Senior (MO). Playing for MoKan Elite on the Nike EYBL circuit, Morgan averaged 11.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
At 6' 8", Morgan projects as a #4 rather than a #5 player. He hopes to add some range to his offensive game. He has a high ceiling for development, but needs to develop more physical strength. Regardless, I'm sure he will earn his share of playing time.
Listen to the crowd reaction when he made his verbal commitment last fall. An exciting time in this youngster's life.
3-Star Small Forward Ogugua Anunoby 6-8/215
Perhaps one of the most underrated players in the 2015 Class, "O.G." is another Missouri native from Jefferson City High School. He was ranked #4 in the state per 247Sports. He received seven offers, including Iowa, Georgia, Ole Miss, and Wichita State before committing to the Hoosiers October 14, 2014. He played AAU ball for Team Thad (Memphis, TN) on the Under Armour Association circuit where he averaged a modest 7.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
A raw athletic wing player, Anunoby gets off the floor quickly with explosive leg drive. He has long arms and is versatile enough to play the #3, 4, or 5 spots. He has a nice looking shot, good court awareness, shot-blocking capabilities, an excellent passer, and decent handles.
Check out this athletic dunk.
Big Ten, Big Offers, Big Names, Big News
7/21/2015: 2018 PF Carte'Are Gordon receives offer from Iowa.
— Scott Burgess (@scottybscout) July 21, 2015
Gordon holds offers from Illinois, Kansas State, and Missouri. Purdue has shown interest. He is listed at 6' 8" and 235 lbs. He is ranked #15 in the nation per 247Sports. He attends St. John's Vianney in St. Louis, MO. Gordon is a low post prospect who is an excellent finisher around the rim. He can score using both hands and runs the floor.
7/20/2015: 2017 SF Andre Rafus receives offer from Rutgers.
The 4-Star is a combo forward out of Baltimore, MD. He is listed at a long and lean 6' 9" and 190 lbs. He has received 18 offers and counting, including UConn, Dayton, Georgetown, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Check out his most recent mixtape.
And so sportsrockers, thus ends another weekly Recruiting Round-Up which saw limited recruitment activity. Next Friday BT Powerhouse will preview Nebraska's 2015 Class plus more "Boys of Summer" action as the AAU circuit keeps getting awesummer.
Follow Tim Langevin on Twitter@Sports Rockers