The No. 21 recruit in the land may be making a decision soon on what school he will attend in the fall of 2010.
While his decision could come at any time and he has a number of options, something tells me Kyrie Irving will be donning the cream and crimson of Indiana University for his college career.
I saw him play at the adidas May Classic and had a chance to speak to him about his recruitment and where he thinks he'll wind up.
Here are the reasons I see him going to IU come fall 2010.
1) Coach Tom Crean
Irving has a love and deep respect for Tom Crean, IU's basketball coach. At one point in the conversation, he said, "If I were to come to IU..." and stopped himself. He followed up with, "I just love him as a coach."
Obviously, he was reluctant to say it, but his main reason for coming to IU would be his relationship with Crean. Given what he said, it might even be the deciding factor.
Irving is going to be more than just an athlete—he will be a student-athlete.
That fact gives IU a huge advantage.
The IU School of Journalism, one of the most prestigious in the nation, is a major draw for the young man.
Irving said he loves to write and is unsure of which type of journalism he wants to concentrate in. However, one thing is certain: He is interested in writing, and IU represents one of the best chances for him to grow on both the hardwood and in the classroom.
3) Fan Support
With nearly 2,000 people watching, Irving led his New Jersey Roadrunners, an AAU basketball team, to victory against 2011 IU commit Matt Carlino and the Indiana Elite One team during the adidas May Classic. He said he had never seen that many people come out for such a game.
He could be in for more of that—much more—should he come to IU.
Despite going 6-25 overall and 1-17 in conference matchups, four IU basketball games sold out in the 2008-2009 season. IU also boasted the 16th-highest attendance of any NCAA program, with 214,971 visitors during its 15 home games this year.
Indiana is a basketball state, and the vast majority of the state bleeds cream and crimson. IU basketball is full of history and has a rich tradition as a program. While that history has recently been tarnished, it is quickly making its way back and could become even stronger than it was before.
For Irving, the thought of playing in front of a packed house every time he steps into Assembly Hall on a game night must be at least a little enticing.
4) Playing Time
Crean has said having good guard play and having a floor general that can make plays and allow others to make plays is integral to the success of a program.
Irving can do both, and he said so when he spoke with me.
Because of the skills this young man possesses, it is quite possible that he would see major minutes as a freshman.
While playing time may not be the greatest draw for Irving—nor should it be—it may help make the decision of coming to IU versus a program like Duke or Connecticut, which are both on Irving's list, slant in IU's favor.
The Final Verdict
While there are many good programs out there for Irving to choose from, it is quite obvious from talking to him that IU is at the top of his list. Just listening to him talk about Crean, the school itself, the fans, and everything else made it seem undeniably certain he would don the cream and crimson in the future.
There was a lightness in his voice and a spark in his eye—and that spark may be just what IU needs to return to the spotlight and claim its rightful place in the upper echelon of college basketball programs once again.