Solid Year For In-State Basketball Talent

For the first time in some time, the national recruiting focus isn't on the state of Indiana. But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of quality in-state talent according to Scout.com's Dave Telep...

For the first time in some time, the national recruiting focus isn't on the state of Indiana.

After a run of recruiting classes that featured hotly contested recruiting battles for top-10 talents such as Jared Jeffries, Sean May, Josh McRoberts and most recently Greg Oden, the state of Indiana isn't drawing the same sort of attention in 2007. Thanks to the early commitment to Illinois from Scout.com's fifth-ranked player, Eric Gordon, the recruiting spotlight has been shining elsewhere.

While there might not be any other top-10 caliber in-state talent that's still on the open market, there's still plenty quality depth in the state's '07 class. In Valparaiso's duo of Scott Martin and Robbie Hummel, East Chicago's E'twaun Moore, Connersville's Matt Howard, Franklin Central's JuJuan Johnson, Ft. Wayne's Eshaunte Jones and Anderson Highland's Gary McGhee, the Hoosier state has at least seven players who are in the crosshairs of not only Indiana, but other prominent programs from around the state and the Midwest.

"Overall, I think it's a good group," Scout.com's National Recruiting Director Dave Telep said about the state of Indiana's 2007 class. "Obviously the top player in the state and tops at his position nationally is Eric Gordon, but he's spoken for.

"After that you have a group of kids attracting interest from high-majors and have proven themselves to be top-100 kids like Moore, Martin, Johnson and Hummel."

Other than Gordon, the biggest names on a national level appear to be Hummel and Moore, a pair of top-60 recruits nationally according to Scout.com. Along with Martin, they are teammates on the SYF Players AAU squad that recently captured the Memorial Day Classic championship in Nashville, Tenn., both have emerged as priorities for the Indiana staff.

The 6'8", 200-pound Hummel has seen his stock rise over the last 12 months thanks to his versatility. The Valparaiso H.S. standout can play as many as four positions on the floor, a trait that has helped him earn 15 scholarship offers to date.

Scout.com's Evan Daniels, who was in Nashville for the MDC, came away impressed with what Hummel can do on the floor.

"There's no doubt about it, Hummel was the difference make in the championship game," Daniels wrote after SYF's 82-72 win over the Arkansas Wings. "He hit the offensive glass and scored on key possessions. His versatility is unreal...He is superb when he runs the floor."

The 6-3, 170-pound Moore, meanwhile, is a East Chicago Central H.S. product who wasn't receiving much interest from IU before Kelvin Sampson took over for Mike Davis in March. But since Sampson's staff came on board, Scout.com's 36th-ranked player nationally has resurfaced as a priority for the Hoosiers.

The knock on Moore was initially his ability to shoot from behind the arc, but he's improved dramatically in that area over the last year. In addition, he's one of the best at his position when putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket.

"Moore is best when he's going to the basket," Daniels said. "His go-to move is an up-and-under move at the basket that he finishes with his right hand. He follows up his misses every time and it usually pays off as he got put backs on two different occasions against the Wings."

While the success of SYF has helped Moore and Hummel get more attention nationally, they're just two of a group of Indiana players that Telep believes can be very productive players at the Big Ten level.

"(After Moore, Martin, Johnson and Hummel) there are guys capable of playing their way up the charts like Matt Howard and maybe even (Munster's) Mike Bizoukas," Telep said.

"This is a solid group, good enough to generate a few high-majors capable of starting in the Big Ten."

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