Bloomington, Ind. – Kelvin Sampson made one thing abundantly clear to Matt Roth during his visit to Bloomington over the weekend.
Indiana wants Matt Roth.
While that might seem evident by the fact IU offered the 6'3" shooting guard from Washington (Ill.) Community H.S. late last month, his presence on the same Indiana Elite AAU squad that features Washington, Ind., big man Tyler Zeller had some thinking IU was looking for a package deal. But Sampson made it clear that wasn't the case.
"He really stressed he's recruiting Matt Roth for Matt Roth," Roth said. "He's not trying to land a combo. If it happens it happens, but that's not his intentions. Whether or not he gets the other guys, he wants me."
What jumps out the most about Roth is his shooting ability. Roth averaged better than 21 points per game as a junior, helping Washington Community H.S. to a 27-2 record.
"Coach Sampson said he likes my shooting ability and my awareness on the court and the fact I make good decisions and not a lot of turnovers when I have the ball," Roth said. "They said they saw me stepping in and being a guy that could step in and hit shots and be a sold role player on the team."
Sampson became sold on Roth after watching him perform in Las Vegas late last month. Indiana had appeared on the verge of offering a scholarship for some time, but Sampson wanted to get a first-hand look at the sharp shooter. With Sampson sitting courtside Roth performed well in Las Vegas, and the IU offer followed soon afterwards.
That quickly led to the IU visit this weekend, which Roth said went very well. In addition to meeting coaches and a couple of players, Roth also sat down with one of IU's academic advisors as well as someone in the Kelley School of Business.
"I had a great time," Roth said. "I really like Coach Sampson and got a good feel for him. With the coaches, I got to hear their ideas about where the program is going, and the ideas they had for the future of Indiana basketball.
"Coach Sampson wants to recruit people with a high basketball IQ, who can go out and execute the game plan and give Indiana a chance to win. That's what he's about. He wants to win, win Big Ten titles, compete at the national level, make deep runs in the tournament, and he even talked about winning the NCAA Tournament."
This was Roth's first trip to Bloomington, and he said he plans to return to Bloomington in the not-too-distant future to take another look around the campus as well as possibly play open gym to get a better feel for his potential future teammates. Once he gets a better feel for the IU program, he said a decision could be coming soon afterwards.
"I think things are getting narrowed down," Roth said.
He said he's whittled things down to three schools – Indiana, St. Louis, and Bradley – and is now in the process of figuring out which one is the best fit for him.
"I think (St. Louis and Bradley) are both places I could step in and play a lot of minutes and be a guy they are looking to be a leader for their program a little more than a role player," Roth said. "Indiana talked about (being a role player) a little, but they also talked about me playing a bigger role. It just depends on how I adjust to the college game."
Roth said his decision could ultimately boil down to how big of a challenge – a what sort of challenge – he wants to tackle at the collegiate level.
"You just have to decide what's best for you and the best opportunity," Roth said. "It depends on how big of a challenge I want. Do I think it's going to be a big challenge to step in right away and be the guy everyone is looking to at one of the smaller schools, or come into a big school and have the challenge where people don't expect a lot and you can go out and surprise people?"
Roth Talks About IU Visit
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