A Boo Williams Pipeline?

Indiana has landed two players in as many years from the East Coast AAU program. Will it continue?

Before last year, Indiana had never earned a commitment from a player from the Boo Williams AAU program.

The East Coast-based program run by the AAU giant has produced some of the nation's best players for years. But the Hoosiers had no connections there. They seemed content to mostly recruit the Midwest.

When Kenny Johnson left Towson and joined the staff, though, that all changed. The Hoosiers participated in recruiting battles they had rarely entered before, most notably Troy Williams last year.

Williams, Boo's nephew, played at Oak Hill Academy and had heavy interest from North Carolina, among other schools. The Boo Williams program has sent 13 players to Carolina over the years. Roy Williams had owned that area. Troy Williams seemed likely to be the 14th.

But Indiana earned a commitment from Williams -- now a freshman at IU -- and the Hoosier coaching staff had developed new, important relationships.

Now, nearly a year later, Indiana has its second commitment from a Boo Williams player in as many years, landing 2014 guard Robert Johnson on Friday. Tom Crean and Indiana again beat out North Carolina for a recruit both schools really wanted.

North Carolina 13, Indiana 2.

"That's two players in two years that North Carolina really wanted and Indiana beat them out for," Boo Williams told AllHoosiers.com. "That's unbelievable. That's hard to do.

"If you would have told me last year that two players from my program would commit to Indiana, I'd have told you you're crazy. No chance. Literally no chance. And it happened. The next time coach Crean and coach Kenny come to Virginia, they'll have to come with bodyguards."

After Troy Williams' commitment, other Boo Williams players at least knew about a school it was unlikely to consider before. After Johnson's commitment on Friday, the possibility exists for Indiana to establish a pipeline between Bloomington and the Boo Williams program.

"There definitely could be a pipeline," Williams said. "Other kids will know about Indiana and hear about Indiana. I bet they'll keep recruiting my kids, and they might keep getting them."

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