With Decision Looming, Ebanks Gets USA Invite

IU recruiting target Devin Ebanks - who could be making a decision between the Hoosiers and Miami (Fla.) at any time - is one of 30 preps who have accepted invitations to compete in the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival...

IU recruiting target Devin Ebanks is one of 30 preps who have accepted invitations to compete in the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival, USA Basketball announced Thursday.

The Festival will be held June 20-24 in Colorado Springs, Col. It will include four teams – three USA teams (Red, White and Blue) as well as a Brazilian Junior National team. The four squads will play a round-robin format June 22-23, followed by the semifinal round June 23 and finally the gold medal match-up June 24. The three USA teams will be assigned after the first training session.

Scout.com's 10th-ranked player in the 2008 class, Ebanks has emerged as arguably the Hoosiers' No. 1 recruiting priority for the upcoming class. The 6-9, 185-pounder from St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Conn., made an unofficial visit to Bloomington early last month, and he's expected to make a decision between IU and Miami (Fla.) this summer.

Earlier this week, he told the Miami Herald the Hoosiers and Hurricanes were his leaders, and that he no longer planned to make a visit to Texas. He also told the newspaper that although his mother – who was in Bloomington for the unofficial visit as well – might like Indiana better than Miami, he would be the one making the final decision.

It appears to be a neck-and-neck battle between the Big Ten and ACC schools, both of whom have zeroed in on the Queens, N.Y., native as a pivotal piece to their respective recruiting puzzles. Miami was the first on the scene with Ebanks and appeared very close to securing a verbal commitment during the spring, but a late push by Indiana has thrust the Hoosiers into either a leader or co-leaders role.

"I met with Coach Sampson and the whole coaching staff and met the athletic director, and some of the players," Ebanks said during his IU visit last month. "What they had to say was pretty good. I went out with E.J. (Eric Gordon) and Armon Bassett to eat. I like it here. Indiana is definitely at the top of my list right now."

In addition to Ebanks, other 2007 USA Festival participants are: Farouq Aminu (Norcross / Norcross, Ga.); Jerime Anderson (Canyon / Anaheim, Calif.); J'Covan Brown (Port Arthur / Port Arthur, Texas); DeMarcus Cousins (Erwin / Birmingham, Ala.); Anthony Crater (Flint Southwestern Academy / Flint, Mich.); Ed Davis (Benedictine / Richmond, Va.); Larry Drew (William Howard Taft / Woodland Hills, Calif.); Tyreke Evans (American Christian / Aston, Pa.); Yancy Gates (Withrow / Cincinnati, Ohio); Drew Gordon (Archbishop Mitty / San Jose, Calif.); Jrue Holiday (Campbell Hall / Chatsworth, Calif.); Scotty Hopson (University Heights Acad./Hopkinsville, Ky.); Malcolm Lee (John W. North / Moreno Valley, Calif.); Korie Lucious (Pius XI / Milwaukee, Wis.); Leslie McDonald (Briarcrest Christian / Memphis, Tenn.); Nate Miles (Notre Dame / Fitchberg, Mass.); Greg Monroe (Helen Cox / Gretna, La.); Reeves Nelson (Modesto Christian / Modesto, Calif.); Andy Poling (Westview / Portland, Ore.); Travis Releford (Bishop Miege, Kan. / Kansas City, Mo.); Delvon Roe (St. Edward / Lakewood, Ohio); Andrew Steele (John Carroll / Birmingham, Ala.); Lance Stephenson (Lincoln / Brooklyn, N.Y.); Dexter Strickland (St. Patrick's / Elizabeth, N.J.); JT Thompson (Forrest Hills / Kings Mountain, N.C.); Erving Walker (Christ the King / Brooklyn, N.Y.); Willie Warren (North Crowley / Fort Worth, Texas); Jamil Wilson (Horlick / Racine, Wis.) and Tony Woods (Rome / Rome, Ga.).

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