IU Insider Blog: Who will be first commit?

Indiana has an impressive list of 2014 basketball targets even after losing Trey Lyles and James Blackmon Jr. I think the obvious thing here is that IU basketball will be just fine.

Goodluck Okonoboh, Robert Johnson, Quentin Snider?

What about the recently offered Isaiah Whitehead?

I think all are potential candidates for the prize of being Indiana's first recruit in the class of 2014.

This isn't going to mask the pain of losing first Trey Lyles and last week, James Blackmon Jr. No, those losses were real and they were painful to the Indiana program. They were in-state talent and the best of the best in Indiana. It won't be easy to find their replacements.

Still, I believe the one thing you can be sure of in the aftermath of Blackmon Jr.'s decision last week is that Indiana basketball will be fine.

The Hoosier coaching staff will focus their attention in another direction and they'll pick up quality recruits.

Why am I so sure? "It's Indiana. It's Indiana.''

OK, that's corny. I get that. But there's some truth in those words, too. I think Whitehead's quick level of interest after the Indiana offer late last week tells a lot. Syracuse has been recruiting him forever. Indiana offered him days ago. And yet Indiana is going to get a Whitehead official visit. When Indiana comes calling, people listen. E.F. Hutton had nothing on the Hoosiers.

See, recruits pay attention to a lot of things in college basketball. And it certainly doesn't hurt that IU plays as many games as it does on national television. It certainly didn't hurt for recruits to see the Christian Watford shot to beat Kentucky (over and over and over again) in December of 2011. It certainly didn't hurt watching Indiana beat Michigan at Assembly Hall last February when ESPN College Game Day was in town.

Recruits notice stuff like that.

And let's don't forget that IU basketball was No. 1 in the nation for 10 weeks last season. Or that the Hoosiers won the outright Big Ten championship for the first time in 20 years. Let's don't forget that Indiana was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

All of those things are important to potential recruits. And they provide a priceless level of recruiting wealth. Those are things that you have to earn on the court.

But even more than those accomplishments, the two that happened in June speak even louder. When Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller went second and fourth overall in the NBA Draft, recruits took notice. Find me a high level recruit that isn't interested in playing in the NBA. Guessing there aren't many out there.

That's why I think Indiana will be fine. And I think some of these high level recruits that IU is looking at will eventually come in the fold.

Johnson and Snider are good examples. I would think they would look at IU as a place where they could play very soon. Backup Yogi Ferrell for a season and still get a good deal of playing time. And then blossom in that second year.

I think Whitehead has an even more interesting opportunity. With Blackmon Jr. out of the picture and IU having a lot more forwards than guards in the system, Whitehead could step in and make this his team. From all that I've heard, he's that good. Yes, Syracuse has been on him since he was a young lad but the same could be said for Indiana with Lyles and Blackmon Jr. You don't think kids at the age change their minds quickly? Don't tell Lyles and Blackmon.

Who do I think will be IU's first commit in the class of 2014? My bet would be on a point guard.

What do you think?

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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