Hoops Recruiting Central: Mailbag

You asked them, and I've answered 'em. Read all your Indiana basketball recruiting questions answered here weekly.

This mailbag column will become a weekly feature throughout the year. Feel free to email your questions to me at jmalbers@Indiana.edu, tweet them at me (@Justin_Albers), or post them in the premium hoops forum.

RockMagnum writes: Is it an either/or situation with [Robert] Johnson and [Isaiah] Whitehead?

JUSTIN ALBERS writes: Not at all. Tom Crean and his staff would love to get both Johnson and Whitehead, and they are trying to sell both players that they can coexist in the same backcourt. Johnson and Whitehead are both on campus Monday and are expected to play together in open gym. That's definitely a positive, having both players on campus at the same time.

As national recruiting analyst Brian Snow told me last night, good players can play together. Crean's job is to get the best players he can, and Whitehead and Johnson are two of the better players in the class.

BattlinBob writes: Do coaches ever put restrictions on offers to kids? For example, when they offers someone like Lourawls [Nairn] who really is far down the list compared to a Johnson or Whitehead. Do they offer but tell certain kids to hold off on committing?

ALBERS writes: I can't answer this question for certain because I've never heard conversations between coaches and recruits, but I certainly doubt that would be the case. If they want to hold off and see if a certain kid to recruit before another one, they won't offer that kid a scholarship. They'll recruit him without offering. Once they offer a kid, as long as they continue to recruit him, they'll accept his commitment at any time. That's the reason they offer in the first place.

They're unlikely to get Nairn this late in the game, but they offered him, so they do want him as a potential backup point guard to Yogi Ferrell and then a starter when he leaves. He doesn't play the same position as Johnson or Whitehead, so telling him to hold off on a commitment would make sense. Now, am I saying what you suggest never happens? Of course not. It very well could. But I don't believe it's a common practice.

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