Bobby Capobianco is glad that others are starting to realize what he's always believed.
His is a name to know in the 2009 recruiting class.
While the recent IU commit wasn't getting the sort of national attention that many others were from around the Midwest and even on his own AAU team, that's changed this spring. The 6-8, 230-pounder from Loveland, Ohio, has turned plenty of heads with his efforts for the Indiana Elite AAU squad and figures to be a top-100 player by the time the next recruit rankings come out.
"It's been nice because for so long I've known it inside," Capobianco said. "I felt these are guys that I feel that I not only can compete with but that I think I am better than a lot of them that I'm playing against. It's nice to know people are watching and seeing the hard work and effort I've put in."
That hard work has been not only on the basketball floor but in the weight room as well. Capobianco admits that he was out of shape when he first started playing high school basketball, but he's since made a commitment to weight training. The result is a 17-year-old who is already Big Ten ready from a physical standpoint.
"This off-season I've done a ton of strength training and a bunch of different stuff with speed ladder and weight vest and stuff like that," Capobianco said. "So this season has been eye-opening in that it's shown how my hard work is paying off. I feel my endurance is better and I feel like I'm so much stronger than anyone I've had to go up against."
Capobianco has been getting noticed thanks to his work on the Indiana Elite squad, which will be in Bloomington this weekend competing in the Adidas May Classic. Indiana Elite won the Pitt Jam Fest earlier this spring, lost in overtime in the semifinals of the Jayhawk Invitational last weekend, and has clearly established itself as one of the best 17-and-under AAU teams in the country.
Capobianco is one of the keys cogs on the squad, starting alongside Duke-bound Mason Plumlee and teaming with fellow frontliners Stephan Van Treese and Jordan Prosser to give Indiana Elite one of the most formidable frontcourts on the AAU circuit.
"I've been put in more of a scoring role, and I've been able to show people I can do a little more than maybe they thought I could," Capobianco said. "I think there's more to come."
Crean is among those who thinks there's even more than Capobianco can bring to the table once he gets to the next level. That's why he was the first to offer him a scholarship last summer when he was coaching at Marquette, and it's why Capobianco quickly pulled the trigger and pledged to Crean once he took over at IU this spring.
Capobianco has talked to his future coach on numerous occasions since his pledge, and Crean has told him he's looking forward to seeing him play more this spring and summer now that he's been freed up to get out on the road to recruit.
"Now that he's been able to get out on the road for a couple days, he wants to see me play a couple more times and get a better feel for where I'm at in my development," Capobianco said. "That way he can continue to give me pointers and ideas on things to work on so I'm at the best place physically and basketball skill-wise when I get there."
Capobianco A Man on the Move
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