Carroll Has Hoosiers' Attention

Class of 2010 standout Travis Carroll from Danville (Ind.) Community High School has been on IU's radar for some time, and is now getting more Big Ten interest. Danville Coach Brian Barber talks about his standout sophomore and elaborates on IU's interest...

BLOOMINGTON – Tom Crean already has landed a couple of commitments from the 2008 class and has two in the fold for 2009. But what about 2010?

The first-year Hoosier coach is also busy at work with 2010 prospects, and one of the state's best is expected in Bloomington this weekend for an unofficial visit. Travis Carroll, a 6-9, 210-pounder from Danville (Ind.) Community H.S., is expected to stop by Assembly Hall to visit with Crean and his staff.

Indiana has had an eye on Carroll for some time, dating back to Kelvin Sampson's staff. Then video coordinator-turned-assistant coach Travis Steele played for Danville Coach Brian Barber in high school in 2000, and he first tipped off the staff to Carroll's talents. That led to a couple of unofficial visits to Bloomington for games last for Carroll.

While Sampson is gone, IU's interest in Carroll hasn't waned. While no one has offered a scholarship yet, Indiana is one of a handful of schools to show interest, along with Purdue, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Butler, Iowa, Southern Illinois and Indiana State.

There's plenty to like about Carroll, according to Barber.

"He started for us as a freshman and had a really good year, but this year he's taken it to another level," Barber said. "He can step outside and hit a perimeter jump shot, but he's predominantly a post player who is going to stick around the basket. He can finish with both hands, he has a nice jump hook with either hand. He's also an excellent rebounder who goes and gets it at both ends."

Carroll's stats bear that out. He averaged 20.7 points, 13.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks as a sophomore, helping Danville to an 18-6 record. That included a 38-point, 18-rebound effort in Danville's season finale, a 105-101 quadruple overtime loss to Rushville in the Shelbyville regional.

He also shot 60 percent from the floor (162-of-270) and shot 81.8 percent from the free-throw line, where his 153 free-throw makes ranked third in the state behind only Washington's Tyler Zeller (173) and Ft. Wayne North Side's Justin Jordan (161). He was the state's second-highest scorer among sophomores, trailing only Bloomington (Ind.) North's Ray McCallum, Jr. (22.1).

While those are some big numbers, he's also gotten some attention from coaches for other aspects of his game.

"The thing college coaches have been really impressed with is his ability to pass the basketball," Barber said. "He gets that double or triple team and he'll swing it to the open guy. He'll find the open man whether he's diving to the basket or open on the opposite wing. He does a really good job of not forcing the issue."

He's also a player who's continued to get better. He made great strides between his freshman and sophomore seasons, and Barber said he's been working on his ball handling and perimeter shooting this spring. By the time his junior season rolls around, Danville's coach hopes he can free Carroll up to face up a little more than he has in his first two seasons. Carroll is playing with the Spiece Indy Heat AAU team this off-season, and Barber expects that he'll return having made some big strides in those other areas of his game.

"A lot of times you get kids that get a little satisfied when they start having success," Barber said. "With Travis, the more success he has, the more that seems to motivate him. I haven't had a lot of kids like that. He keeps aspiring for more."

If there's an area that Carroll needs the most work it's in the weight room, but Barber said he added 25 pounds between his freshman and sophomore seasons and has made strides in that area. He also just turned 16 years old, so he should begin to fill out more once he's finished growing.

By that time even more programs should have taken notice of the rising junior, who figures to be one of the elite players in the state in the 2010 class. Indiana, though, figures to have an advantage.

"(The family has) always liked all the in-state schools, but they've always been an IU family," Barber said. Top Stories