Hollowell Joins Forces With Friends At IU

In the end the pull was just too great for Jeremy Hollowell. The rising 6-foot-6 junior kept watching one domino fall after another. Something special was taking place at Indiana and Hollowell knew it. On Thursday he made Coach Tom Crean an even happier man by pledging his commitment to the Hoosiers to become the fifth member of a special class.

In the end the pull was just too great for Jeremy Hollowell. The rising 6-foot-6 junior kept watching one domino fall after another. Something special was taking place at Indiana and Hollowell knew it. While he could have let his recruitment play out a little longer, the national interest was certainly there, the five-star Indianapolis product decided that it was time. Not just so he could head into this summer's AAU season and his senior year with a clearer mind, but also so he didn't miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—the chance to play NCAA basketball at its highest levels with some of his good friends, who just happen to be impressive prep stars in their own right.

"I've been thinking about it, I always think about it," said Hollowell at a press conference Thursday afternoon. "This past week I've been thinking about it pretty hard and I just was going with my gut feeling.

"At Indiana I see something pretty amazing about to happen. And I wanted to make sure I was a part of that. I didn't want to regret it down the line. Playing with those guys should be pretty exciting. I was real happy about it. I've been knowing Yogi (Ferrell) since the third grade. I played with Ron (Patterson) a couple of summers ago. I think we can do something pretty special."

Hollowell now becomes the fifth member of a 2012 Indiana recruiting class that stands alone at the top right now. With three five-star talents (Hollowell, Ferrell, Hanner Perea), one rising four-star talent (Patterson), and a high-upside three star player (Peter Jurkin), the Hoosiers have put together a class that will help the moment they step on campus. Alone they comprise a formidable unit. Add them to the talent Indiana will already have on the roster in 2012 and the Hoosiers are primed for a return to national prominence…quickly. It's something that wasn't lost on Hollowell or his future teammates that encouraged him to join the fold.

"That helps a lot showing all the great players I would be surrounded by playing with, all the great players that's there can really turn a program around," said Hollowell.

"It really helped seeing the guys that were going there, knowing they were pretty good players. They're all high-major players and it was exciting for me seeing who I'd be able to play with and things we can accomplish."

Of course the mastermind of this plan, and the man that Hollowell chose to lead him, is Coach Tom Crean. When the tireless Crean took the Indiana job over three years ago, he immediately set out to repair damaged recruiting ties across the state. It was hard work done one high school gym at a time with several sleepless nights in between. Through sheer vision and hard work, though, Crean's efforts have paid off in spades. All five members of the 2012 class were born in or have their strongest stateside ties in Indiana. Hollowell marks the 11th straight in-state player to commit to Crean and he has regained control of the state by showing his steadfast dedication to each player.

"Just how hard he recruited me," Hollowell said of what sold him on Crean and his vision for the program. "How he said he would use me in different positions and things like that. He made me feel like a real priority to him. I think that was the biggest thing – how hard he recruited me and him being the head coach that was a big factor in showing that he really wanted me there."

It's clear that Crean's style of play has been as big a selling point to the Class of 2012 as the stable of talent he has collected. Players have been able to see themselves easily sliding into his system and making an impact.

"He compared me to Christian Watford," said Hollowell. "Playing multiple positions, guarding different positions, being able to fill in any spot that he would need me to. Helping out with all of the little things like rebounding, scoring, a little bit of everything."

Hollowell admits that the added bonus of being able to stay close to hom was also a major selling point. His family will be able to follow him just as closely as they do at Lawrence Central. Now he is using this selling point among others to try and grow the impressive 2012 class into something just a little bigger and a whole lot better.

"We all know that I'm going to go after Gary Harris pretty hard," Hollowell said of trying to recruit the state's top uncommitted player in 2012. "He knows that. We're good friends. I think if we get him we'll really be something special. He knows I'm going to come after him hard. We've been talking about it but it's still his decision and I'll leave it up to him but I want to get my two cents in and hope he makes the best decision."

If Harris joins the Hoosiers would have a six man class that would rival any in the program's proud history. Some wonder if that would leave too few basketballs on the court for too many hands, but Hollowell says it's the unselfish attitude of his future teammates that helped drive him to IU.

"I think it's a good group of guys, unselfish guys who just want to win, play basketball and do some great things," said Hollowell.

Peegs.com Top Stories