Just 9 days ago, the Indiana Hoosiers appeared to be in great shape with PF Raymond Spalding of Louisville as I reported here. He talked about Coach Crean being one of his best friends and how they exchanged messages at least three times a day. One would imagine that relationship came to a screeching halt yesterday as Spalding surprised everyone and committed to the Louisville Cardinals. The fact that he committed to his hometown team is not surprising, but it was the timing of it that caught many off guard. Indiana seemed to be gaining a lot of steam in this one and Spalding had talked about waiting until the Spring to make a decision. Former Crean and Indiana assistant Kenny Johnson came in and pushed Spalding into an early commitment to the Cardinals and you have to give him a lot of credit for that. Duke was starting to get involved and Spalding was really starting to play well which would have only garnered further attention. This one stings for Indiana though as it continues a disturbing recent trend of players seemingly being hot on the Hoosiers only to eventually commit somewhere else only days or weeks later.
Coach Crean hasn't wasted any time though getting back onto the big man offer train this weekend. He made offers to 2015 big men Thomas Bryant and Nick Marshall. Here is some more detailed info on each of these players:
PF Thomas Bryant - 6'9.5" 217 pounds out of Rochester, NY
Bryant is currently rated 22nd in the 247Sports Composite Index which puts him at the 7th best Power Forward. He is currently playing at Huntington Prep and has a host of big time offers including Kansas, Syracuse, Villanova, Missouri, West Virginia, Florida State, St. John's, and Seton Hall. There is also heavy interest from Kentucky which should surprise no one given how highly rated Bryant is. It has also been reported that Bryant would like to visit Ohio State which seems to be where all big men are ending up these days. The latest Crystal Ball predictions have Bryant going to Syracuse at 38%, Missouri at 38%, and West Virginia at 25%. Given the Hoosiers are getting involved here pretty late in the game, it seems unlikely that they will be able to overcome the top flight programs that have been on him longer. In the case of Syracuse, the Hoosiers also have to overcome location which has been an issue recently for other Hoosier targets. There is no doubt that Bryant can play though, and he would be a tremendous addition to the currently bare 2015 class. Here is a video of some recent action:
C Nick Marshall - 6'10" 230 pounds out of Lexington, TN
Marshall is currently rated 123rd in the 247Sports Composite Index which puts him at the 13th best Center in the class. He has been playing great basketball this AAU season which has led to a lot of increased attention on the recruiting front. Before today, he held offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, and South Carolina. Today alone, he picked up offers from Florida, Alabama, and Indiana. There is no Crystal Ball prediction yet on which school will land Marshall's services, but it has to be concerning for Hoosier fans that Florida has now jumped in as well after Coach Donovan was able to watch him this past weekend. Location could also be a factor here as the Hoosiers are the only non SEC school on Marshall's offer list currently. However, this option seems much more plausible at this point than Bryant above. The one thing that Indiana can throw out to any post player that not all other schools can throw out is - playing time. Here is some video from YouTube on Marshall, although the competition here looks more than suspect.
The Hoosiers need to desperately land a quality big man in the 2015 class, so it will be interesting to continue and watch Coach Crean work towards that goal.
Coach Crean also worked a little on the 2016 class this weekend and handed out the 21st scholarship offer in that class to SF Lamar Stevens. Stevens is 6'6" 190 pounds out of Jenkintown, PA and has other offers from Penn State, Villanova, Temple, St. Joseph's, and La Salle. The Crystal Ball has three predictions currently and all three have Stevens wearing the Cream and Crimson. Stevens is a talented player which is evidenced by this current ranking of 50th in the 247Sports Composite Index which is good for the 9th best Small Forward in this class. It would not surprise me at all to see Maryland try to jump into this recruitment soon with an offer. It is still much too early to read anything into this recruitment, but the Hoosiers are in a good spot on the offer list right now. Here is some video of Stevens at work: