IU Leaps Into the Lead for Capobianco

BLOOMINGTON – Bobby Capobianco has one primary question he needs to get answered by new IU coach Tom Crean and his coaching staff.

BLOOMINGTON –Bobby Capobianco has one primary question he needs to get answered by new IU coach Tom Crean and his coaching staff.

Still interested?

While Crean has been busy pillaging through the remains of the 2008 recruiting class for some players to fill out next fall's roster, he's working just as hard on a 2009 class that figures to be of tremendous importance to rebuilding the program. One of the players Crean has had his eye on for some time is Capobianco, a 6-8, 225-pound forward from Loveland, Ohio.

While at Marquette, Crean was the first to offer Capobianco a scholarship last spring. Now Capobianco wants to make sure the change of location hasn't changed Crean's level of interest.

"The main question I have is does the interest they had in me at Marquette transfer over to Indiana," Capobianco said Thursday. "As long as it does, it's good."

Actually, it could be better than good for the Hoosiers. While Capobianco has plenty of interest in West Virginia, St. Louis and has just recently started hearing from Boston College, he sounds pretty close to being sold on Crean as well as the Indiana program.

He's developed a bond with Crean as well as soon-to-be-named IU Assistant Coach Tim Buckley when both were recruiting him at Marquette, and he's had an affinity for the Hoosier program long before Crean and Buckley arrived in Bloomington.

"I have always had an interest in the university," Capobianco said. "Even before Coach Crean came a bunch of guys asked me ‘where's another place you'd like to look at that hasn't shown interest,' and I said Indiana. The tradition that Indiana carries, it has that allure that's always caught my eye."

Indiana has Capobianco's attention even more now that Crean is in town. He said he talked to Buckley the night before word leaked of Crean's departure to IU, and he plans to contact the staff this week. If Crean's scholarship offer still stands, it might not take Capobianco too long to accept.

"I could definitely be that person (who would commit early)," Capobianco said. "There's still a little more that I'd like to get to know. I'd like to look into the school part of it a little more. But I could definitely be one of those who would commit early just based on how good of a situation it is right now. With Coach Crean and the things he does, it's going to be a hot ticket here real soon."

Chances are Crean is still very interested in Capobianco. Not only is he coming off a junior season that saw him average 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, but he's a workhorse on the boards and a versatile offensive player who can create plenty of problems for foes.

"Coaches see me as a guy who can guard someone bigger than me, which sets up a mismatch for me on the other end when I get matched up with someone that's not as quick," Capobianco said.

Capobianco has been working on being more adept at beating people off the dribble, and he also has a solid perimeter jump shot as well. But the thing that he does better than anything else is rebound the basketball, and that's something every college program covets.

"The one thing that stays consistent is I'm a hell of a rebounder, which is something personal for me," Capobianco said. "I feel you can be as skilled as you want, but whoever gets the rebound is whoever works the hardest. That's been my mantra."

Those are attributes that caught Crean's eye when he was in Milwaukee, and will likely carry over to Bloomington. That would be good news for Capobianco, who thinks he'd be a good fit with the Hoosiers.

"It's only two away from (home), and it's IU," Capobianco said. "On top of that you've got Coach Crean who is one of my favorite guys. It seems like a really solid situation."

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