Bloomington – Tom Crean took a trip to Maryland yesterday to see Maurice Sutton, and now the 2008 big man is going to return the favor.
The 6-10, 210-pound Sutton said he will travel to Bloomington next weekend (May 9) along with his parents and high school coach to visit the IU program. Indiana has offered a scholarship to the Upper Maryland (Md.) Largo H.S. standout, and Crean's program has emerged as a top choice.
"I could say (IU's) a favorite," Sutton said Wednesday. "It's up there."
That's big news for Crean and the Hoosiers, who are still scrambling to try to sign some players during the spring signing period. Indiana has already inked Mobile, Ala., guard Nick Williams and Indianapolis' guard Devon Dumes, but it is still hoping to sign a big man or two before the signing period ends May 21.
Crean used one of his 10 off-campus recruiting days between now and July 31 Tuesday to make his recruiting pitch to Sutton, so it's clear he's become a top priority for the new head coach. Sutton is coming off a big senior season, having led his team to a state title while averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds and nine blocks. He was also named the MVP of the state tourney.
"Coach Crean has always been a favorite of mine, and he thinks I'd be an asset to what he's try to do there," Sutton said. "He says I can come in and play right away and that's what I want to do. He said I can get valuable minutes, and that's something I want."
During his trip to Bloomington, Sutton said he'll want to look closely at how the team interacts to get a gauge about how he'd fit in. He said he also wants to find out as much as he can about the business school as well as the academic support system.
"School-wise, I want to see what my degree means in the world if basketball doesn't work out," Sutton said.
Sutton is certainly hoping basketball does work out long-term, whether that's in Bloomington or someone else. He's a long, athletic big man who said he's added 10-15 pounds in the last year, getting his weight up to the 210-pound range. Short term, he thinks he can be someone who can be a defensive presence as well as a force on the glass.
"I think I can come in and do the little things, rebounding, diving on the floor, blocking shots, run the floor," Sutton said. "I can Be a force on defense, setting screens. Just about anything they want me to do, I'll do."
Long-term, Sutton thinks he has the potential to do a whole lot more so long as he continues to add weight and muscle to his frame.
"I think I can be great down the road," Sutton said. "I need to keep working hard and get in the weight room. That's the biggest factor for me."
Sutton said he's also considering Villanova, Kentucky and Syracuse, and he wants to decide by May 21, the final day of the spring signing period.
Indiana Now the Favorite for Sutton?
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