Indiana In the Mix For '08 Big Man Fabrizius

When it comes to facing up and shooting from the perimeter there aren't too many big men who do it better than Luke Fabrizius, an '08 recruit who has been getting significant interest from the Hoosiers...

Luke Fabrizius has a whole lot different look than he did three years ago.

At that time, the Arlington Heights, Ill., product stood only 6-1 and weighed a rather robust 235 pounds. But in the last three years he's grown eight inches, shed 30 pounds and developed into one of the most coveted big men in the state of Illinois in 2008.

"I don't know if Luke did anything special, other than he grew, he thinned out, and he continued to have the same skills he had at 6-1, where he was just another good player," said his John Hersey H.S. Coach Don Rowley. "Now at 6-8 or 6-9, those same skills made a real difference that they didn't make when he was 6-1."

Before the growth spurt Fabrizius was a perimeter-oriented player, and he continues to be at his best facing the basket now that he's a high school junior. He has range that extends beyond the 3-point arc, giving Rowley the flexibility to play his big man inside or out depending on match-ups.

"He's 6-9 and he has guard skills," Rowley said. "He's one of the best shooters you'll see in your life, and he handles the ball very well. He's a good face-up player at that size. He has a lot of dimensions that are very unique to him."

College programs are taking notice of those skills. He began to attract attention last year after some good head-to-head match-ups with Big Ten-bound recruits, including Peoria Richwoods standout and future Illinois player Bill Cole. He followed that up with a solid summer AAU season with the Illinois Warriors, where he played alongside IU verbal commit Brandon McGee.

The result has been scholarship offers from DePaul, Northwestern, Iowa State, Dayton, Marquette and Albany, along with serious interest from a slew of others, including Indiana, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Arizona.

Indiana Coach Kelvin Sampson had Fabrizius in town over the summer for one of his elite basketball camps and the Hoosiers' interest has taken off from there.

"(Indiana is) very interested in him," Rowley said. "They've called a number of times and they've been up to watch him. They think he would be a good piece to fit into their system, especially based on other players they have. They need someone like him to sort of complete the picture."

Fabrizius was expected to make another trip to Bloomington recently, as he had intended to come for IU's "Hoosier Hysteria" festivities Oct. 13 to kick off the 2006-07 season. But Rowley said his standout was unable to make the trip to Bloomington for the weekend.

But Fabrizius appears to have significant interest in IU along with a handful of other programs, and it's a good bet IU will be keeping a close eye on his progress this winter.

Fabrizius will lead a Hersey H.S. team that won its conference a year ago and has its sights set on repeating this year. Rowley will lean on Fabrizius to lead the way, and he's hoping he be an even more dangerous offensive weapon as a junior.

"We're hoping he has developed the dimension where he can go inside and score and take the ball to the hole and score a little bit more than he did last year," Rowley said.

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