Hoosier Notebook

Could the possible commitment of Jeremy Hollowell this week signal even better things to come on the recruting trail? Will Coach Kevin Wilson's football team find a rude awakening awaiting them this week? Was the Seymour semi-state just the latest example of why Indiana high school basketball still can't be topped? We cover this and more in this edition of the Hoosier Notebook.

Hollowell Ready to Commit

Reports indicate that five-star forward Jeremy Hollowell will make his decision on where he will attend college this Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at Lawrence Central High School. The 6-foot-5 Indianapolis product has had just four schools in mind for some time now. The Indianapolis Star's Kyle Neddenriep recently reported that he will make his decision between Indiana, Ohio State, Purdue, and Cincinnati on Thursday.

Many believe that Hollowell has had his mind made up for some time now and for those trying to read the tea leaves there are plenty of indications that the Hoosiers will be adding another big piece to their puzzle. Scout.com lists Hollowell as the nation's third best small forward in the class of 2012. His addition would give the Hoosiers three five-star players in the recruiting class (Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea, Hollowell), their biggest haul of talent in quite some time. It would also make the class five members strong (Peter Jurkin and Ron Patterson are the other two members) with four players coming from inside the state. It would certainly be the best in-state recruiting job in recent history as the Hoosiers haven't had three in-state players commit in the same class since Robert Vaden, A.J. Ratliff, and James Hardy joined up in 2004.

Of course, the speculation is just that at this point as no one will truly know what Hollowell has in store until he goes public later this week. But that doesn't stop Hoosier fans from dreaming. In fact, there has been plenty of talk that Hollowell's close ties to Fishers' Gary Harris could lead him to IU as well. Harris, the highest ranked player in Indiana in 2012 and yet another five-star standout, would without a doubt make the Hoosiers' 2012 class the best in the nation and arguably their best in the last 30 years. At this point the Hoosiers are just crossing their fingers that Hollowell doesn't surprise them this week by going elsewhere, but once his recruitment ends the limelight will quickly and exclusively turn to Harris. A six player class would be stretching the limits of creative roster management, but both in-state players are the type of guys you make room for by any means necessary.

Wilson's Hoosiers Return to Gridiron

The football Hoosiers return to the gridiron today after a nice Spring Break week away from the grind of practices. There's little doubt, though, that Coach Kevin Wilson will quickly get to work to find out who came back ready to compete and who needs a wake-up call that vacation is over. Wilson's approach to spring practices, and offseason workouts in general, has been relentless. The emphasis has been on effort, speed, and attitude as all three have been identified as areas in need of major improvement within the program. Asked which he thought was most important, Wilson quickly answered.

"If it's not speed, it's our attitude or perception and the way we kind of expect things to happen or carry ourselves, self-limiting ourselves with low expectations and a lot of limits," Wilson recently said on the Dan Dakich Show on 1070 AM. "Outside of team speed I'd say our team attitude. We can talk about outside perceptions and outside attitudes, but that's not going to change until we change our performance."

The Hoosiers have done plenty of work already to become a quicker team and this week might go a long way in teaching a few players what it means to carry themselves and behave like winners…even on spring break.

Zeller, Ferrell advance to State Championship

The demise of single-class basketball in Indiana has long been a sore subject in the state as heated arguments can be made on both sides. However, everyone would have to agree that Indiana high school basketball is still alive and well. I'm an admitted supporter of the single-class tournament as far too much nostalgia and memories remain to ever forget that era, but I was recently convinced that state tournament won't be going on life-support any time soon.

I arrived a half hour early to the Seymour semi-state this weekend to quickly determine that I would be lucky to still get in the door. I was able to buy two tickets out of the 400 or so still remaining, but upon entering the gym it was hard to tell where the next 400 people were supposed to sit. A capacity crowd was already in full-throat as I took my seat atop the 8,000 seat gym and scarcely an empty seat could be seen. The action on the court, though, quickly validated the decision of everyone to attend.

In the opener IU commit Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell proved why he may be the best point guard recruit to come through the state since Mike Conley. When his team needed him to score he did so, but setting up his teammates was also clearly something that comes natural to him. Ferrell teamed with Tudor Park teammate Trevon Bluiett, one of the most polished freshmen you will find anywhere, to quickly pull away from a previously undefeated Forest Park team and eventually advance to next week's title game against another undefeated team in Hammond Bishop Noll (26-0).

The nightcap took all of five seconds for everyone to see why Cody Zeller is a McDonald's All-American. Upon receiving his first entry pass into the post, the 6-foot-11 senior spun around his smaller and presumably more agile defender for an emphatic dunk before his opponent had fully turned his head. In 15 years of watching America's best and brightest big men come through the AAU ranks I can clearly state that I don't remember any seven-footers lighter on their feet than Zeller. Most guys with his height look like they are playing basketball in flip flops, but not Zeller. The ease with which he runs the court, operates in the post, and even handles the ball, quickly lets you know that he is indeed a true talent. Add an easily apparent high basketball IQ and it makes him one special player. There wasn't much to suggest that Zeller would bully Big Ten post players next year in his dismantling of an undersized Batesville team, but there was plenty to suggest that he will make an immediate impact in other ways next season.


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