Vaden Will Be A Hoosier

Is there anything that can make IU fans happier than seeing Indiana's best high school basketball player switch commitments from Purdue to IU? Pike's Robert Vaden made this dream a reality by committing to the Hoosiers only three weeks after revoking his commitment to Purdue.

Pike senior center Justin Cage is Indiana's Mr. Basketball, but he is not the best player on his team. That honor is reserved for junior Robert Vaden, who is considered one of the ten best players in the country for the class of 2004.

Vaden committed to Purdue as a freshman at Cathedral. Then he transferred to Pike, making the Red Devils one of the best high school teams in the nation as a sophomore and this year as a junior. Vaden led Pike to a 29-0 record, a 4A state championship and the #2 ranking in the country behind Lebron James' squad. He scored 21 points on 9-for-16 shooting in the state title game.

After winning the state title, Vaden decided to weigh his options and look at other schools. He claims he still likes Purdue a lot, but in the end Mike Davis and his staff convinced Vaden to attend IU.

Pike Coach Larry Bullington said Vaden is the best player he has ever coached. Considering he coached this year's Mr. Basketball and won the state championship three out of the past four years, that is quite a compliment.

Vaden displayed his skills recently at the Memorial Day Classic. Vaden dominated the first half, nailing several, NBA-range 3-pointers and running the offense like a point guard. His passing ability caught the attention of scouts in the audience as he dished out 5 assists in the game's first eight minutes. With his basketball IQ and natural talent, Vaden can be a real star at IU.

Hoosier fans only have one thing to fear with Vaden: he might get too good and head straight for the NBA. Vaden has not thought about the NBA yet, but if he continues to improve, it could be an option for him.

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