Bloomington – A player once thought to be too small by some has given IU Coach Tom Crean a very big commitment.
Bloomington (Ind.) South H.S. guard Jordan Hulls decided Monday night that he was Bloomington-bound, and he made it official by verbally committing to IU Coach Tom Crean on Tuesday.
"I've always dreamed about (playing at IU) and I thought I had the potential to do it," Hulls said at Bloomington South's open gym Tuesday night, shortly after telling Crean of his decision. "I've had to work my butt off for it. It's a dream come true to play college ball for a great coach like Coach Crean."
Hulls ultimately picked IU over Purdue, which had also offered a scholarship recently. Both Duke and Stanford were showing interest as well, and Hulls had originally planned to make a trip to Duke in mid-June to meet with the Duke staff and play with some of the current players. But he decided there was no reason to wait, and jumped at the opportunity to join the Hoosiers' 2009 class.
The fourth member of IU's 2009 class, Hulls is a point guard who has proven many of his doubters wrong over the last year. The 6-0, 170-pounder wasn't necessarily thought of as a high-major Division I recruit after averaging 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season at South, but his play this spring on the AAU circuit helped convince some marquee programs that he was what they needed at the point guard position.
"Most of the time everyone thought I was too small," Hulls said. "That I wasn't fast enough, couldn't do this, couldn't do that. But me and my dad always talked about keep working hard and it will come."
That attention finally came this spring, and more big offers could have been on the horizon for Hulls if he'd opted to wait. But after sitting down with his family, Hulls decided there wasn't anything another program could offer that would make it worth possibly missing out on a chance to play at IU.
"I went with my gut feeling," Hulls said. "My heart went to Indiana, so I thought there's no need to wait any longer."
While the IU program is in a period of transition as it continues to clean up from the Kelvin Sampson recruiting mess, Crean managed to win Hulls over. Scout.com's 13th-ranked point guard was also extremely impressed with Purdue Coach Matt Painter, but ultimately it was Crean that was able to convince Hulls that his program was the best fit.
"He's been relentless on me, real persistent, and I admire that and I thank him for the opportunity," Hulls said.
Hulls' decision was certainly well received by Crean, but also by many locals at Bloomington South who came up to congratulate the Panthers' point guard and his family. Hulls will be the first Bloomington South grad to get a scholarship to play at IU since Chris Lawson nearly 20 years ago.
With his decision now behind him, Hulls said he'll begin preparing himself not only for his senior season of high school basketball, but his freshman season at IU as well. Crean has already talked to him about things he can work on to be even better prepared by the time he arrives in the fall of 2009.
"I need to get stronger, quicker," Hulls said. "Now is the time to work even harder and get prepared for college and the Big Ten. (He said to) keep doing what I'm doing and work hard. Improve in every aspect."
Hulls joins shooting guard Maurice Creek and forward Derek Elston and Bobby Capobianco in the Hoosiers' 2009 class. It's a group that will play a big part in helping to turn around the Hoosiers' fortunes after what promises to be a challenging 2008-09 campaign.
"Coach Crean put into perspective that he likes to run the floor, which is what I love to do," Hulls said. "That's what we do on our elite team. He likes pick and rolls, he's really guard oriented, which is a big impact on me.
"I love how he runs stuff. We'll play hard defense as well, but we're going to score points. I'm really excited about running the offense."
Hulls Talks About IU Decision
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