Indiana Basketball: Prioritizing List of Hoosiers' Recruiting Targets
Summer for Indiana basketball's Tom Crean means leading practices and hitting the recruiting trail. After locking up a top-10 class for this season, Crean has his work cut out for him to repeat his success.
Currently, IU only has one verbal commitment, so the class has yet to take form.
The Hoosiers have needs for the 2014-15 season and are targeting a wide array of players. This slideshow will discuss the five players Crean needs to focus on most. The players were ranked based on how they will impact the success of the Hoosiers and fulfill the needs of Indiana's program.
5. Michael Humphrey
Michael Humphrey is relatively new to the Hoosiers recruiting scene and just received a scholarship offer last week. Humphrey is a 6'10" center, the type of player Indiana does not want to have a shortage of.
Currently, the Hoosiers are thin in the post. Sophomore Hanner Mosquera-Perea underwhelmed in his freshman year. Sophomore Peter Jurkin barely played in his first season, and freshman Luke Fischer has yet to play one minute in a college game. This group is teeming with inexperience.
If those three don't develop like Tom Crean envisions, he will have to go in a different direction for the 2014-15 season. Adding a big like Humphrey could prove to be a wise choice.
The major thing going against him is the fact that he is still a raw talent. Humphrey is just a 3-star recruit according to Rivals.com. His talent level lands him at No. 5 on this list.
4. James Blackmon Jr.
James Blackmon Jr. is the only commitment Indiana has in its 2014 class. It's a verbal one and if the past has proven anything it's that nothing is official until a player signs in ink.
Just because Blackmon Jr. says he is going to come to IU doesn't mean Tom Crean should relax in his recruitment of him.
Blackmon Jr. would be a great addition for the Hoosiers. He is a natural scorer who can play shooting guard and could develop into a point guard. He can score from anywhere on the floor with ease.
With Will Sheehey graduating at the end of the season, the Hoosiers will need another guard who can light up the scoreboard. Blackmon Jr. could be that type of player at the college level.
3. Trevon Bluiett
Trevon Bluiett is one of more hyped players IU is targeting. Ranked No. 41 in ESPN's 100, he is a legit scoring threat.
Bluiett would be another fresh weapon on offense. Much like how this year's team is counting on new players to replace the scoring of Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller, in 2014-15 Indiana will most likely need new faces to carry the scoring load because Will Sheehey is graduating and Noah Vonleh could possibly head for the NBA.
Another reason why Indiana should be hot for Bluiett is his familiarity with Yogi Ferrell. They were teammates at Park Tudor High School in Indianapolis. Assuming Ferrell doesn't declare for the NBA draft, Bluiett would mesh well with the program from day one.
2. Goodluck Okonoboh
Goodluck Okonoboh is a legitimate post threat the Hoosiers desire. The 5-star recruit is ranked No. 19 in ESPN's 100 and would be a great fit for IU.
He may only be 6'9", but he dominates the low post on defense. According to ESPN's scouting report (subscription required), Okonoboh is an elite shot-blocker. This is a defensive element the Hoosiers have been lacking. Cody Zeller could block shots, but his protection of the rim wasn't of the highest caliber.
Okonoboh has a lot to work on with his offense, but he will get better with time. His defense and rebounding are things Indiana could desperately need if the current bigs on the team don't pan out.
Tom Crean should be relentless in his pursuit of this defensive force.
1. Phil Booth
Phil Booth might be a surprise at the top of this list, but he fills a big need for the Hoosiers—point guard. Right now, Indiana only has two true point guards on its roster: Yogi Ferrell and Jonny Marlin.
Ferrell is a legitimate pro prospect. If he has a terrific sophomore season, it's very possible he will declare for the NBA draft. This season will be Marlin's first as a Hoosier, seeing as he is a transfer, making him relatively unproven.
Booth is a point guard that could start right away if Ferrell is gone, or serve as a quality backup if he decides to stay for his junior season.
The importance of having a capable point guard cannot be understated. This position should be the top priority for Tom Crean, and Booth would be an excellent addition to Indiana's program.