Expert Analyzes IU's Recruiting Class

Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep talks about IU's 2007 recruiting class, including a look at the sort of impact Eric Gordon can make as a freshmen; which other newcomer will also provide immediate help; and who player has a chance to be a long-term star...

Bloomington, Ind. – Indiana might have started slowly with its '07 recruiting efforts, but Coach Kelvin Sampson certainly finished with a flurry.

Indiana is expected to announce the signing of four players for the 2007 class later this afternoon - 6-3 guard Eric Gordon; 6-6 guard/forward Jamarcus Ellis; 6-7 forward Brandon McGee; and 6-9 center Eli Holman. It's a four-player class that Scout.com's Dave Telep ranks eighth nationally and fourth in the Big Ten.

It's also a group that is significant for two other reasons.

First, the signing of Gordon – Scout.com's second-ranked player nationally – is huge because he's the state's premier player. After seeing Sean May, Josh McRoberts, Greg Oden and Mike Conley, among others, leave the state, IU managed to lure the state's top recruit to Bloomington.

"That's kind of what protecting your borders is all about," Telep said.

Secondly, Sampson's staff has made in-roads into the fertile recruiting area of Chicago. Both Ellis and McGee are Chicago Public League products, an area IU hasn't been able to tap into since former Chicago King guard Michael Hermon spent one season in Bloomington in the mid-1990s. Indiana could wind up adding a third player with Chicago ties in the spring, as Ellis' Chipola J.C. teammate DeAndre Thomas said he intends to verbal to the Hoosiers after the fall signing period concludes and then sign in the spring.

Telep sees all four as being solid contributors at IU during their careers, but Gordon is clearly the headliner of this group. The 6-3, 185-pound Indianapolis North Central H.S. standout is a high-scoring shooting guard who drew interest from coast to coast before eventually picking IU over Illinois.

Telep says Gordon's impact will be immediate.

"In terms of the overall impact of Gordon, that's worth about 15 a game as a freshman and a candidate for all-conference honors right off the bat," Telep said. "You're talking about a player who could have picked any program in the nation and probably walked in and started as a freshman.

"His impact on the court is one aspect and we expect that he's an instant program changer. What he does to rally the community and state is simply too large to measure."

While Gordon is the biggest catch in the class, Telep says the other three will also be solid contributors as well. He said Ellis likely has the best chance to be the biggest factor next season, thanks to his versatility, toughness, and junior college experience.

But the 6-9, 210-pound Holman is someone who has been coming on as of late whose upside is significant.

"I would say Holman is the long term guy (in terms of making a big impact)," Telep said. "Defensively is where he'll get noticed early in his career as his skill set catches up. The thing with him, and why he's in the top 100, is because he's been identified as a late bloomer. A late bloomer with size is a big nugget to find."

Telep says all four members of IU's class have been making significant strides recently, a sign this class could wind up being every bit as good as its lofty national ranking indicates.

"What stands out about (IU's) class is guys who are coming on late, in particular the high school kids," Telep said. "Each has improved the past year, even Gordon."

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