What Impact Would Big Surprise Have on '08?

The spring signing period opens today, and IU is expected to announce the signing of DeAndre Thomas. What sort of impact will that have on Beas Hamga's interest in IU? What about if IU pulls off a surprise signing?

Bloomington, Ind. – Could a big spring signee have a big impact on IU's 2008 recruiting efforts?

Rumors continue to circulate about how many players IU Coach Kelvin Sampson will sign during the spring signing period, which begins today. The Hoosiers are expected to sign 6-8, 303-pound Chipola (Fla.) Junior College center DeAndre Thomas, who originally pledged in the fall.

But there continues to be speculation about even bigger names joining the Hoosiers' 2007 class, such as top-10 big man DeAndre Jordan. The 6'10", 210-pound Jordan signed with Texas A&M in the fall, but with Coach Billy Gillespie's jump from the Aggies to Kentucky last week some think Jordan could once again be on the open market. Jordan originally considered IU, and also talked about an interest in playing alongside his AAU friend Eric Gordon.

If that happens, it would likely have a big impact on the Hoosiers' hopes of landing Beas Hamga, according to Hamga's AAU coach and guardian, Mark Adams.

"If Indiana signs some big guys this spring, that would have an impact (with Hamga)," Adams said. "Not so much Thomas because he'd only be there one year when Beas was there, but the rumors of DeAndre Jordan or someone like that, or if they bring in another true four-year center, it would probably be a big factor, and the same is true with others on his list."

Originally an Iowa commit, Hamga re-opened his recruitment two weeks ago after Steve Alford left the Hawkeyes for New Mexico. He's since come out with a new list of schools that includes Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Connecticut, Georgetown, Florida, Iowa, UNLV and New Mexico. All have offered scholarships except Florida and Georgetown.

All of those schools view Hamga as a stopper on the defensive end and a blossoming talent offensively. Hamga is the 68th-ranked player in the '08 class according to Scout.com, having averaged 14 points, 13 rebounds and nearly eight blocks per game last season at Decatur (Ill.) Christian Prep.

Sampson expressed those sentiments to Hamga and Adams during a sit down at Assembly Hall soon after Hamga re-opened his recruitment.

"He happened to be in town and he met with Sampson, and (Sampson) said he liked that Beas runs the floor well and his presence defensively," Adams said. "They hit it off pretty good. Sampson pointed out where they needed some help. They got some great, great guards coming in, but they might need some help at the center position. That's what Beas was looking for, too.

"It seems like a pretty good fit."

But will Indiana remain a good fit? Indiana can't turn its back on Jordan if he decides he wants to walk away from Texas A&M and join Gordon in Bloomington, but Adams also knows the sooner Hamga comes to a decision, the more likely his future college will stop focusing on big men in the '07 and '08 classes.

"I've brought that to his attention – the longer he waits, the more likely one of these schools is going to bring in a center," Adams said. "If IU thought Beas was going to go there, they might look elsewhere with their needs in recruiting. The longer he waits, it's going to affect that situation."

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