Gelon: 'I want this, and I'm ready to work'

Indiana picked up its first commitment in the 2016 class on Wednesday, earning a verbal pledge from Crown Point shooter Grant Gelon.

Grant Gelon walked into Wednesday's unofficial visit at Indiana knowing he wanted to be a Hoosier.

So when Tom Crean offered him a scholarship on the visit, Gelon didn't waste any time. He accepted it on the spot, and became IU's first commit in the 2016 class.

"For starters, it's IU," Gelon told "The tradition is amazing. Indiana ball, I love the whole deal. I want to be a part of it and I'm ready to work my tail off. Coach Crean was talking to me and my parents about how I fit in the program, and he said he liked the fit. He said he wanted to offer me a scholarship, and it was so fulfilling, I still might be shaking. It was just the greatest moment."

And Crean's reaction?

He loved it," Gelon said. "He said, 'I was hoping we'd get to do this.'"

Gelon, a 6-foot-5 wing from Crown Point, is an elite shooter with limitless range and an exceptionally quick release. He ran with Indiana Elite this summer, and I watched more than a few of his games. He can come off the bench and bury a 3-pointer within seconds, but he needs to improve his strength and defense if he wants to play in the Big Ten.

Gelon also had offers from IUPUI, UIC, Western Michigan, Youngstown State, Western Carolina and Iona.

"Coach Crean sees a lot of potential in me," Gelon said. "I need to get faster and stronger, obviously, and better on defense, and we discussed that. But with my hunger to get better and coach Crean pushing me every day, I'm only going to get better. He sees me fitting right in with the style of play and hitting shots."

What I like about this offer and commitment is that Gelon is correctly billed as a shooter. He may be a specialist, but he fills a need for the Hoosiers in 2016. Guys like Collin Hartman and Austin Etherington were billed as "shooters" when they committed to IU because they were white, somewhat undersized, and occasionally played on the perimeter in high school. Neither one, though, was an elite shooter when he arrived on campus. Gelon will be able to do that from day one, and that's a good thing.

It's also hard not to like an in-state kid that accepts the state school's scholarship offer on the spot. That rarely happens anymore, and I tend to like that.

So, what exactly is Indiana getting? I asked Gelon to answer that question for IU fans himself. His answer:

They are getting an energetic teammate that can shot the ball. I'm a hard worker and I'm gonna work my tail off to help this team win." Top Stories