Hoops Recruiting Central: What it all means

2014 guards Isaiah Whitehead and Robert Johnson will make their decisions this week. Where does Indiana stand? Will the Hoosiers land one or both? Answers here.

UPDATE: Stephen Hurt has cancelled his visit to Indiana. He was scheduled to be in Bloomington this weekend.

It has been one crazy week in basketball recruiting. Then again, that's kind of the nature of the beast.

As you've probably heard by now, 2014 guards Isaiah Whitehead and Robert Johnson will both announce their college decisions this week. Whitehead will make his decision public at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, and Johnson will make his choice at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Both Whitehead and Johnson are Indiana targets, so I will break down each player and his recruitment as it pertains to Indiana here. I don't normally make predictions on recruits, but I'll do so in this blog space today as well.

First, Whitehead, since his decision will come first. This kid is supremely talented. He's the top-ranked shooting guard in the 2014 class, and at 6-foot-4, he's a pretty versatile guard.

Whitehead's final five schools are St. John's, Seton Hall, Pittsburgh, Indiana and Minnesota.

I have to tell you I was shocked Whitehead announced he would make his decision so quickly. He's one of the top players in the class, and he didn't take a single unofficial visit. That's very unusual.

Whitehead took unofficial trips to Bloomington and Seton Hall and will be at St. John's today. He's also had in-home visits with Minnesota and Pittsburgh.

I don't think Indiana is going to get Whitehead. My educated guess is he ends up at St. John's or Pittsburgh.

Now, Robert Johnson. He's been Indiana's top guard target for some time. He's a 6-foot-3 combo guard with a better than average outside jump shot.

Johnson will be choosing from Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida State.

For a long time, I thought Indiana was the leader on this one. I don't anymore. I've talked to a lot of people close to the situation all week, and I now think North Carolina is the favorite to land Johnson.

I'm not saying IU is out of it. I don't think Johnson has completely made up his mind yet, as evidenced by his tweets last night. But if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on North Carolina on Friday.

So, I just predicted Indiana wouldn't get either of the two guards making their decisions this week. And even if they don't, it doesn't mean the sky is falling, but their recruit base shrinks considerably.

Let's take a quick look at it. After Whitehead and Johnson make their decisions, we're down to James Blackmon Jr., Lourawls Nairn, Stephen Hurt, Goodluck Okonoboh, Devin Robinson and Ahmed Hill.

Let's take Nairn and Hill out of there because I don't think they end up at IU. Nairn, who will take his final official visit to Bloomington this weekend, has gotten a lot of interest from Michigan State lately. Tom Izzo and the Spartans can offer Nairn something Indiana can't -- immediate playing time. I think Nairn ends up in East Lansing.

I've never had a good feeling about Hill coming to Bloomington. He's scheduled to be in town for Hoosier Hysteria, but I still think he'll ultimately commit to Missouri.

So that leaves us with Hurt, Okonoboh, Robinson and Blackmon Jr. Still some good options on that list. Okonoboh was in town for his official visit last weekend, and Hurt will be here this weekend. The odds are pretty good for Indiana to land one of those two.

Robinson, the talented 6-foot-8 forward, will be at IU for Hoosier Hysteria on Oct. 4. Indiana assistant coach Kenny Johnson is at Robinson's school today.

And Blackmon Jr., well it's hard to tell with him. He continues to collect the offers -- he got a new one from Kansas on Tuesday night -- and isn't all that close to a decision. But the Hoosiers still have a chance with him, from what I'm told, so don't close the door on him. And if IU misses on Johnson and Whitehead as I predicted they will, Blackmon Jr. becomes vitally important.

That's all for today. A lot is going on. I'll keep you up to date throughout the week.


Peegs.com Top Stories