Bloomington – There's a lot to like about the in-state schools for Travis Carroll.
The 6-9, 210-pound sophomore from Danville (Ind.) H.S. has a couple of parents who went to college in-state (Ball State) and a family full of Hoosiers. He's also already being courted by Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Butler and Indiana State, among others.
But that's not a guarantee that the Class of 2010 big man will be a homebody when it comes time to make his college choice.
"I don't want to just look in-state," said Carroll, who is playing with Spiece's 16-and-under team this weekend at the Adidas May Classic. "I want to look out of state and see what there is for me. I want to stay close, but not too close. I can go out of Indiana."
IU Coach Tom Crean is already trying to do what he can to convince Carroll that Bloomington is the perfect distance from his hometown. Carroll recently made the 45-mile trip to IU's campus to take an unofficial visit and meet the new Hoosier coach for the first time.
"Before, I didn't really know anything about Crean," Carroll said. "I knew he coached at Marquette, and that was about it. I came here, took a tour of the campus, watched some film about how his big men are at Marquette. He showed me some stuff we'd do."
Wherever he winds up in college, Carroll is already showing there's plenty he'll be able to do at the next level. He's a low post force who averaged 20.7 points, 13.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks as a sophomore, helping Danville to an 18-6 record. He also shot 60 percent from the floor and 81.8 percent from the free-throw line.
While he's capable of stepping outside and knocking down a jump shot, Carroll does most of his work around the basket. He has a wide frame and is adept at sealing his man and scoring points in bunches in the paint. That's why he was also one of the state's most successful getting to the free-throw line, as his 153 made free throws ranked third in the state in 2008-08.
Carroll is also well aware of his own strengths and weaknesses. While most youngsters talk about finding a program that allows them to get up and down the floor, Carroll says that a more methodical approach is a better fit for his skills.
"I like the slow, controlled style," Carroll said. "It helps me post up better. I'm not that fast, so I'm not that good in the fast break. I don't like to run back and forth. Maybe someday I will."
Crean found out about Carroll quickly upon his arrival at IU, and went about getting him on campus as soon as possible. Within a couple weeks of his arrival, Crean contacted Danville H.S. Coach Brian Barber, which got the ball rolling on Carroll's unofficial visit. By the time Carroll was in town Crean had already watched film of one of the state's top 2010 prospects and told him that there's plenty he's already seen that he likes.
"He said he likes my hands and my footwork," Carroll said. "He said I have really good hands for grabbing rebounds and getting loose balls."
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