BLOOMINGTON-Indiana and Duke were certainly center stage last night in Assembly Hall, but the appearance of '06 recruiting target Darrell Arthur was more than just a side show.
The 6-9, 215-pound forward from Dallas, Texas, made the trip to Bloomington with his mother just one day after his South Oak Cliff H.S. team dropped its first game of the season, 57-56 to Carter H.S. He was scheduled to return to Dallas this morning, as his prep team plays at San Antonio East Central tonight at 7:30 p.m.
The 12th-ranked player nationally according to Scout.com, Arthur passed on signing a national letter of intent in the fall after taking all five of his allotted official visits. While Arthur hasn't come to a decision yet, he's certainly narrowed things down.
"I'm deciding between Indiana and Kansas," said Arthur, who also look official visits to SMU, Baylor and North Carolina.
There's been a great deal of speculation that Arthur is leaning toward the Hoosiers, and he wants to wait and make sure that IU Coach Mike Davis will be on the sidelines next season. His AAU coach, Jazzy Hartwell, has told HoosierNation.com on several occasions that the relationship Arthur and Davis developed during his official visit in the fall is IU's biggest selling point.
"I'm going to pick a school based on both the school and the coach," said Arthur. "Mike Davis is a good coach and I would like to play for him if I did come to Indiana."
While Arthur has gotten to know Davis on a personal level, his trip to Bloomington this week was designed to give him a chance to see the sixth-year IU coach on the sidelines.
"I'm just here to watch them play, see how Coach Davis coaches and how the players handle the situation in the game," said Arthur.
Arthur wouldn't go as far as to say Indiana was his front-runner, instead pointing out the strengths of both the IU and Kansas programs.
"Both Indiana and Kansas are big-time schools," said Arthur. "The coaches are a little different in how they coach their players. Indiana is a good place, but so is Kansas. It's kind of hard to pick."
While Indiana would have certainly welcomed a win over No. 1 Duke with Arthur in attendance, the atmosphere was certainly not lost on Arthur, who is the highest-ranked player in the country who didn't sign a letter of intent in the fall.
Another item of intrigue to Arthur is Indiana's new-found up-tempo style, which has produced 92.0 points per game for the 3-1 Hoosiers. While Indiana was limited to 67 points against Duke, the Hoosiers still managed to push the pace on occasion and come away with fast-break opportunities.
"This year Indiana is more of a running team, and I like that because I like to run," said Arthur. "I like to get transition buckets."
Arthur Takes In Game, Talks About Hoosiers
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