Bloomington – Matt Roth is hoping Wednesday's scene at Assembly Hall will become commonplace in the not too distant future.
Roth was one of a handful of future Hoosiers who was in Bloomington Wednesday during Emmanuel Negedu's official visit. Roth was joined by Devon Dumes, Tijan Jobe, Daniel Moore, Jordan Hulls and Kory Barnett, among others, for a series of open gym games with Negedu in the midst of his IU trip.
Roth, who played with the 6-7, 225-pound Negedu on the Indiana Elite AAU teams, knows how big it would be to get Scout.com's 71st ranked player to Bloomington as the final piece to the Hoosiers' 2008 recruiting class.
"It would be huge," Roth said. "If there's one thing we lack, it's that size inside. We're going to be awfully young and I think all the size we can get would help. Plus his athleticism would do wonders for us on both ends of the court."
Negedu's visit started with his arrival Tuesday night and ended when he flew back home to Boston Thursday at noon. He'll be back home for three days before going on successive trips to Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Memphis in the next week, and hopes to have his decision made later this month.
A big part of Negedu's trip to IU was to get familiar with Tom Crean's coaching staff as well as his potential future teammates. While the one-time Arizona signee has pre-existing relationships with the coaching staffs at his other three finalists, he's only been getting to know Crean's staff over the past several weeks. While Negedu didn't necessarily tip his hand about how the visit went, Roth thought everything went well.
"He was basically his normal self (during open gym), but at the same time you could tell when he got a couple of games under his belt then he was ready to go and having a lot of fun," Roth said. "I think it went really well, personally. We'll have to wait and see, but hopefully we can get him here."
According to Roth, one of the most important things he saw during Negedu's trip was his comfort level with the players he was around. While most of the players on next year's IU roster will be new, they're not necessarily new to Negedu. Jobe, Moore, Barnett and Roth are all future Hoosiers who know him well.
"He's a guy that has to have a good feel for a place," Roth said. "I think he had a pretty good feel for IU yesterday.
"I think that's going to be a big thing for him – the comfort level with the players is something that could benefit us. He's played with myself, Daniel and Kory through AAU. I think that's going to play a big role for him because I think he's a comfort level guy and I think he feels comfortable played with the guys he was with yesterday."
While those close to the situation believe the visit went about as well as IU could have hoped, there's still a concern since he has three more visits to go. Roth said he'll continue to try to talk to Negedu during the coming days and weeks and impress upon him just how badly he's needed in Bloomington.
"I think you have to talk to him a little bit and be supportive of what he's going through," Roth said. "But at the same time you have to try to make sure you let him know you want to play with him. That's probably one of the biggest parts of it – he needs to know that we want him to play with us, and not that he's just going there to play. People around him want to play with him.
"He has to do what's best for him, but I would definitely like to see him playing with us."
Roth Offers Take on Negedu Visit
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