Hoosiers Making Play for Plumlee?

The Warsaw, Ind., native has suddenly become one of the biggest names on the recruiting scene since asking for his release from his Stanford letter of intent. Can Indiana get into the mix for the versatile 6-10, 230-pound forward?

Bloomington – There's no bigger name in the Class of 2008 right now than Miles Plumlee.

The 6-10, 230-pound forward from Arden (N.C.) Christ School is not only the 58th-ranked player in the class according to Scout.com, but he's suddenly one of only a handful of immediate impact players available this spring. The Stanford signee began wavering on that pledge when Coach Trent Johnson left for LSU earlier this month, and he was granted permission to talk to other schools beginning last Tuesday.

Now, Plumlee has reportedly asked for his release from Stanford, and HoosierNation.com sources indicate that Indiana is one of the schools interested in trying to lure the versatile playmaker to town. It won't be easy for Tom Crean to add the Warsaw, Ind., native to the class, though, since 15-20 schools are also trying to get their foot in the door as well.

What's attracting so many is the fact Plumlee is a rare blend of size and skill.

"He's legitimately 6-10 and 230, and plays like a guard," said Arden (NC) Coach David Gaines, whose team has won back-to-back state titles. "He can play inside, certainly. But he dribbles like he's 6-3, shoots it like a wing. He's a real player. I think he's going to be a really, really good college player."

From a skill set standpoint, Miles is similar to his younger brother, Mason, who is a top-25 player in the '09 class who has already verballed to Duke. Neither is a back-to-the-basket ‘5', instead relying on their abilities to face the basket and attack less mobile big men from the wing.

Gaines said both have become much better defenders, rebounders and shot blockers as well since they left Warsaw H.S. and enrolled at Christ School two years ago. That's made each elite recruiting commodities. Mason has probably drawn more attention due to his higher ranking and the fact he pledged early to Duke, but Gaines said Miles shouldn't be overlooked.

"As great a player as Mason is, Miles is a better athlete," Gaines said. "He's faster than Mason, can get the rebound off the glass and put it on the floor and push it the other way. They are both extremely gifted big forwards. I think offensively the sky is the limit in terms of what they are capable of doing."

Neither Gaines nor Plumlee's father, Perky Plumlee, have elaborated on which schools might be viable options for Miles, but it's obvious that any school with an available scholarship will be interested. Gaines has fielded inquiries from approximately 10 schools, while others are now free to contact the Plumlees directly.

While the Plumlees figure to look very closely at schools' styles and coaches, the academics will also be an important part of the equation according to Gaines. He said Stanford was always Miles' "dream school" thanks to its blend of basketball success and academic prestige, and that figures to once again be a significant factor in his decision this spring.

"Miles is a very serious student, and I don't think Miles' list is going to be really broad because that academic aspect is not going away," Gaines said. "That's going to eliminate some schools.

"The academic side of this is important. I don't if it's equally important, but it's pretty darned important. That aspect isn't going away because it was so important with Stanford."

That has led some to think Miles might wind up at Duke one year ahead of his brother. While that's a possibility, Mason knew his brother was headed to Stanford, was offered early by the Cardinal, and decided to go in another direction.

"I think mom and dad would love that idea," Gaines said. "But the boys didn't talk about that a lot. They were great on the floor together. They don't fight or anything. But I don't know. They're different personalities."

They might have different personalities, but on the floor they're both extremely talented small/power forwards who have the ability to make immediate impacts at the college level.

Mason will be doing that at Duke beginning in the fall of 2009, while Miles will be doing it at a yet-to-be-determined destination this fall.

"Miles' stock has risen a lot because he continues to get better and better and better, and whoever ends up with him, he's going to surprise a lot of people," Gaines said. "He's going to go in and help someone right away."

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