Indiana Basketball Recruiting: Latest Update on Hoosiers' Class of 2013
With the 2012-13 season in the books, Indiana basketball fans are forced to look ahead to the annual influx of new talent. For the second year in a row, IU will enroll a highly ranked class, although next season's group lacks a catchy nickname like "The Movement."
The difference between this year's class and next year's is that the 2013 freshmen will certainly need to step in and produce immediately. Several have ended their senior years in a strong enough fashion to lend hope that they can do just that.
So how are next year's baby Hoosiers looking as they prepare to enter college? Also, when can the fans get a live look at the incoming crew?
Read on to find out.
All photos courtesy of 247Sports.com
Noah Vonleh, a 5-star forward, was unable to carry his team to a dominant season, with the New Hampton (NH) Huskies ending with a 17-12 record.
New Hampton fell 71-53 to top seed St. Thomas More in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) semifinals, although Vonleh certainly did his part. ESPN's No. 8 prospect finished the game with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Vonleh earned NEPSAC Class AAA All-League honors, being joined on the first team by league Player of the Year and former IU commit Ron Patterson of Brewster Academy.
Next up for Vonleh will be a trip to Chicago for the McDonald's All-American Game on April 3. The game can be seen on ESPN.
He'll follow that up with an appearance at the Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn on April 13. Florida commit Kasey Hill and Kentucky recruit Dakari Johnson will be teammates at both games.
Indiana classmate Troy Williams will also be a teammate at the JBC.
Troy Williams' Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) Warriors finished their regular season with a 33-5 record, with the losses coming as far away as Honolulu and to talents as prodigious as Chicago Simeon Academy's Jabari Parker.
The 6'7" swingman stuffed the stat sheets in his final few games, carding 10 points, five rebounds and five assists in a win over Covenant Christian and going for 19 points and 17 boards against Greater Emmanuel Prep on senior night. Oak Hill won both games by approximately 40 points.
For the season, Williams averaged 16.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and four assists a game, numbers that were good enough to earn him the Gatorade Player of the Year honor for the state of Virginia.
ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep has tapped Williams as a potential replacement for the destructive transition ability of Victor Oladipo, with the only caveat being "whether Williams will do the little things and play a supporting role, which is how Oladipo laid the foundation for his career" (Insider subscription required).
Hoosier fans anxious to get a look at their new prospect will have plenty of chances in early April. Oak Hill will compete in the National High School Invitational in North Bethesda, Md., opening against Montverde Academy on April 4. That game will be televised on ESPNU. If the Warriors advance, the semifinals will be shown on ESPN2 and the final on ESPN itself.
Williams will then head to Brooklyn for the Jordan Brand Classic, where, as mentioned previously, he'll team with classmate Noah Vonleh. That game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
In the same ESPN Insider article where Dave Telep touted Troy Williams as a potential replacement for Victor Oladipo, fellow incoming Hoosier Luke Fischer got similar notice as a substitute for Cody Zeller.
The spindly 200-pound Fischer (Germantown, Wis.) is not as big as Zeller, and his listed height vacillates between 6'9" and 7'0", depending on who's telling the story. His similar quickness and agility will stir some echoes regardless.
Fischer has climbed to No. 67 on the ESPN 100, an appropriate reward for a senior season in which he averaged 21.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game and raked in nearly every honor available for a high school player in the state of Wisconsin.
Fischer won his second straight state title, took home the state's Gatorade Player of the Year award and was also named Wisconsin's Mr. Basketball. He finished his career with an 80-2 record, ending on a 56-game winning streak.
Three of Fischer's IU classmates—Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson and Devin Davis Jr.—will join him on the Black team at the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic on April 19 at Freedom Hall in Louisville. The Classic is in its 40th season, making it the nation's oldest high school all-star game.
Stanford Robinson's Findlay Prep (Las Vegas) team could fairly be described as "loaded." The 6'4" guard has a trio of teammates joining him in the ESPN 100, and they've committed to Washington (Nigel Williams-Goss), UCLA (Allerik Freeman) and UNLV (Christian Wood).
With all that talent, it's often difficult for Robinson to stand out, but he ended the regular season on a high note, racking up 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the Pilots' finale on Feb. 27.
Findlay will attempt to win its second consecutive National High School Invitational title, third in the event's five-year history, starting April 4 in North Bethesda, Md. The Pilots are the top seed and open with Montrose Christian of Maryland.
If both teams advance to the finals, Robinson could find himself guarding future IU teammate Troy Williams of Oak Hill Academy. As noted on Williams' slide, all NHSI games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks.
Two weeks later, Robinson will join most of his future Hoosier classmates at the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic.
Devin Davis Jr.
While 6'6" forward Devin Davis Jr. was unable to lead his Warren Central (Ind.) team deep into the postseason, his work may have been the only thing keeping them alive in the first place.
Davis ended his season with 16 points and 15 rebounds in the 44-43 loss to Lawrence Central, finishing a sensational career as a four-year starter. Such a game has been the norm for Davis over the course of his senior season.
Davis was named to the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association all-state senior team, joining fellow IU recruit Collin Hartman and future Big Ten players Zak Irvin (Michigan), Bryson Scott and Basil Smotherman (both Purdue).
Like several of his classmates, he can next be seen at the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic.
Compared to fellow in-state recruit Davis, Collin Hartman of Indianapolis Cathedral had a wildly successful postseason, at least from a team standpoint. His Irish fell to defending state champs Carmel in the Class 4A final, and the future Hoosier struggled through a rough 3-of-13 shooting night.
The 6'5", 200-pound forward missed time with a broken left wrist, and Cathedral lost only three games after his return en route to an overall 25-6 record. He averaged 18.5 points in Cathedral's two sectional games to open the state tournament and racked up a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) in the regional final victory over Indianapolis Pike.
While Hartman is not quite as in-demand as his classmates on the all-star circuit, he will participate in the Hoosier Basketball Magazine's Top 60 Senior Boys' Workout. The event takes place on April 7 on the campus of Marian University in Indianapolis.
Just in time for the Final Four, check out last season's ranking of a half-century's worth of NCAA championship games.