Ebanks, Holloway Deliver Some Bad News

Bloomington - With Terrell Holloway headed to Xavier and Devin Ebanks headed on the road for four official visits, Tom Crean has a tough task ahead of him this spring. But trying to find some players to fill out IU's roster isn't the only thing he needs to think about...

BLOOMINGTON – Tom Crean received some bad news on the recruiting front Wednesday.

Two of IU's four fall signees took some giant steps away from Bloomington, as Terrell Holloway committed to Xavier and Devin Ebanks revealed the dates of four upcoming official visits.

Holloway, who previously said Indiana was still his favorite despite opting out of his IU letter of intent a couple of weeks ago, committed to play for Sean Miller's Musketeer program.

"That was just the program that I felt that I was comfortable with to this point," Holloway told Scout.com's Evan Daniels. "The thing that brought me to it was the opportunity to come in and play as a freshman with Andrew Lavender leaving."

While many thought Crean might have a chance to keep Holloway in the mix, Ebanks has appeared to be a long shot ever since he opted out of his IU letter of intent. Scout.com's 13th-ranked player in the '08 class, Ebanks will visit West Virginia this weekend. After a week off, he'll hit the road again to make stops at Texas, Rutgers and Memphis on successive weekends.

He'll then presumably have about two weeks to make his decision, since the spring signing period runs from April 16-May 21.

That leaves Crean and the Hoosiers in a tough spot. Indiana is slated to have only six scholarship players next year – senior DeAndre Thomas, sophomores Jordan Crawford Brandon McGee, and freshmen Eli Holman, Matt Roth and Tom Pritchard. While it's still possible that recently-dismissed players Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis could be reinstated, that still leaves IU well short of their allotted 12 scholarship players (NCAA rules permit 13, but IU can only have 12 per its self-imposed sanctions).

Crean's task is a tall one – scour the country during the spring signing period for players who are good enough to fill out a depleted roster. At the same time, he doesn't want to take too many flyers on players who would then occupy a scholarship for anywhere from two to four years and prevent him from filling those spots with better players next year.

Scout.com's National Recruiting Director Dave Telep said Crean has a strong reputation for being able to beat the recruiting bushes, and he'll put that reputation to the test in the next several weeks.

"He sports a well-earned reputation as a talent evaluator and developer once he gets players there," Telep said. "Remember, Dwyane Wade didn't start on his AAU team and only bloomed late. Crean was there to catch him. I remember he told me the fall Wade got there that he had a special one."

It's unlikely that there's a Dwyane Wade sitting around waiting to be plucked from the recruiting tree. But with the decisions of Holloway and most likely Ebanks to head elsewhere, Crean needs to find someone this spring. Otherwise, his first season in Bloomington could prove to be a very long one.

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