IU Coach Kelvin Sampson appears positioned to sign a top-10 class for 2007 in two weeks, and he's already in the planning stages for doing the same in 2008. One of the players he's targeted to do that is Batavia, Ill., wing Nick Fruendt.
The 6-5, 185-pound junior was one of a handful of '08 recruits in Bloomington for IU's "Hoosier Hysteria" festivities Oct. 13, which kicked off the season. It was just the latest unofficial stop for the two-year high school starter, whose also been to Wisconsin, Iowa, Notre Dame, DePaul and Illinois, among others.
"Nick said he had a very good, enjoyable time down there," said Batavia H.S. Coach Jim Roberts. "And the people I've spoken with (at Indiana) seem to be very interested in Nick and want to follow his progress."
Indiana is one of many schools that have taken notice of Fruendt. He started as a freshman at Batavia and averaged a team-best 14 points per game, and followed that up by averaging 20 points last season for a team that went 27-2. He also shined over the summer with the Illinois Wolves AAU squad, scoring 27 and 33 points in back-to-back games at the AAU Nationals in Orlando.
That's resulted in plenty of mail from many of college basketball's elite programs for the '08 prospect, and he's also already had scholarship offers from the likes of DePaul, Southern Illinois, Bradley and Dayton.
"I think he's taking everything in stride," Roberts said. "He realizes it's one thing to get a letter from a university or college, but it's another thing to actually get recruited. Just because you get a letter doesn't mean you're high on someone's priority list.
"So I think he views it as a challenge to get better. It's nice to be on someone's radar, but what you do with that depends on your work ethic and your willingness to get better."
Fruendt has already drawn some comparisons to another Chicago-area player who developed into a national-caliber recruit – former Glenbrook North H.S. star and current Duke Blue Devil Jon Scheyer. While comparisons to the McDonald's All-American might be a bit premature, Fruendt does have many of the same attributes that made Scheyer such a big name on the recruiting front, most notably his versatility.
"He has great court awareness, he's a very good passer, and he has very good shooting range," said Roberts. "He's a guy who makes those around him better. Like any high school player he still needs to get stronger and he needs to get quicker, but I think those things will come with time."
Time is something Fruendt has, considering he still has two seasons of high school basketball to go before he'll embark on a college career. During that time he figures to get plenty of attention from Indiana and others.
"It's a process," Roberts said. "We've talked about (recruiting) being like a roller-coaster ride. Sometimes you'll be flying high, and sometimes you won't. I think he understands for him to be a part of something like that, he still needs to keep working to get better."
Fruendt Takes in Hoosier Hysteria
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