Bloomington – Leonard Washington and Tom Crean have yet to talk, but Washington is still talking about Indiana.
The 6-6, 215-pound forward from Lake Charles, La., is in Bloomington this weekend competing for the M33M 17-and-under team at the Adidas May Classic. While he hasn't talked to Crean about the IU program, he's received word from his coach, Roy White, that Indiana is interested in bringing him to Bloomington.
Washington is open to the idea. He said he's considering USC, Indiana, Memphis and LSU, and will be playing somewhere this fall. The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week that Washington had actually pledged to USC, but Washington insisted that report was inaccurate.
"I read that (story) too and I wondered how I could have committed if I didn't know about it," Washington said. "That's totally untrue."
With Washington apparently open to other suitors, Indiana has surfaced as a possibility. The Hoosiers are still in desperate need of some big men in the '08 class, and Washington said he's in the process of trying to set up a visit to IU.
"I see a lot of playing time (at Indiana)," Washington said. "I heard they only had eight guys and are looking for some more guys. So I might be able to come in right away and play."
Washington's playing status for the upcoming season was originally in doubt, but after spending this past year at Thurgood Marshall H.S. in Compton, Cal., he's gained his eligibility. Washington originally signed with USC in the fall of 2007, but academics kept him from playing for the Trojans. That prompted the move to California, where he focused all of his attention on academics and away from the basketball court.
It was a moved that paid off.
"I'm very glad (to be eligible)," Washington said. "I found out about two or three months ago. I've been waiting a long time."
Whoever gets Washington will be getting an emotional player who rebounds very well for his size. He averaged 14.5 points and 12 rebounds as a senior at Lake Charles Washington-Marion H.S. in 2007, and was considered a top 150 player in the class.
"I can bring a lot of rebounding," Washington said. "I will play the tough man role."
Washington In Bloomington, Interested in IU
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