Indiana Basketball Recruiting: Best-Case Scenario for Hoosiers' 2014 Class
The summer came and went for Indiana basketball, and much to the dismay of Hoosier fans, a recruiting class has yet to take form. Tom Crean and his staff have a number of solid prospects they have offered scholarships to and are now just waiting for the pieces to fall into place.
According to one source, the size of Indiana's next recruiting class should be three or four. Assuming this is the case, out of the possible players, who would give Indiana its best class?
Let's take a look.
James Blackmon Jr.
Hoosier fans surely feel slighted by James Blackmon Jr. after his recent decision to back out of his commitment to Indiana, but they should give him another chance.
Blackmon Jr. is a highly ranked prospect Tom Crean would still like to have. He is No. 25 in ESPN's 100.
Blackmon Jr. is a natural shooting guard who's dynamic on offense. He can score inside and out and is the type of player who could lead the Hoosiers in scoring some day.
He is still considering Indiana, and Crean and IU faithful should hope he recommits.
Dante Exum is the best player you probably haven't heard about. He is a 6'6", 188-pound guard from Australia.
The 5-star recruit has scholarship offers from some of college basketball's elite programs besides Indiana, including Georgetown and Kentucky. Exum earned the attention because he has a diverse skill set and excels at getting in the lane.
Exum is accustomed to playing point guard, something IU could desperately need next season. There is a good chance current starter Yogi Ferrell will leave for the NBA. Exum would be a more than qualified replacement.
As far as Exum's future, it's up in the air. He could declare for the NBA draft and skip college altogether. Apparently, he is 50-50 on whether to play in college or head straight for the pros.
If the Hoosiers can lock down this potent point guard, it would be a huge victory for the program.
The current low-post situation for Indiana is a mystery. Tom Crean doesn't know how freshman Luke Fischer and sophomores Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin are going to pan out. Getting a player like Okonoboh would greatly improve IU's defense and give it a shot-blocking presence.
There is little doubt that he would be in the starting lineup from day one.
Okonoboh is still raw offensively, but he will get better under Crean's tutelage.
He recently cut his list of potential destinations down to five, and IU made the cut. Okonoboh is one of the country's premier post players, and Crean is hoping some good luck comes his way.
LeRon Black makes this list because of his size and position, but the 6'7", 215-pound power forward is a pretty good basketball player, too.
Most likely, IU is going to need a replacement for Noah Vonleh, who is currently slated to be the power forward. If he plays like he's supposed to, he will leave for the NBA.
Black is more of a traditional power forward than Vonleh, and will be an effective college player. His length and athleticism makes him a terror on both sides of the ball.
If there's one thing working against him, it's his size. Black is very lanky and definitely needs to add more bulk in order to battle down low with college post players.
In the end, he is a perfect fit for next year's roster and would round out the class nicely.