Bloomington – Indiana already has four pieces in place for its 2009 class, but who else should the Hoosiers bring in?
With a guard-dominated 2008 class along with commitments from perimeter players Jordan Hulls and Maurice Creek in 2009, logic suggests Coach Tom Crean will target frontcourt player(s) with a limited number of scholarships remaining. Indiana already has commitments from forwards Derek Elston and Bobby Capobianco in '09, but there's still a glaring need for additional firepower up front.
So who makes the most sense? The four most talked about names as of late have been Roger Franklin, Christian Watford, Stephan Van Treese and Mike Moser. All four have been turning heads on the AAU circuit, and Scout.com recruiting experts Dave Telep and Evan Daniels have seen them on numerous occasions.
Franklin is a 6-5, 195-pound small forward from Duncanville (Texas) H.S. who is ranked 68th in Scout.com's most recent '09 rankings. An interior player most of his prep career, Franklin has been working this spring to add a perimeter attack to his game as well. While that's an area that continues to develop, it's his dirty-work mentality that has impressed Scout.com's analysts.
"He's one of those guys that whe you unwrap the package, there's no surprise," Telep said. "What you see is what you get. Franklin is a mid-range shooter who smokes them from the free throw line and elbows. He's committed to rebounding and good teams have players like him in the fold. He knows who he is. Kind of like a mini-Chuck Hayes."
Watford, meanwhile, is a 6-8, 215-pound forward from Birmingham, Ala., who has been targeted by IU assistant coach Bennie Seltzer. Seltzer has known Watford for several years due to his roots in Birmingham, and he's a big reason why the Hoosiers are consistently listed in the top five for Scout.com's 49th-ranked player.
"Some list Watford as a wing, but I think he's more of a face-up four," Daniels said. "He's long, athletic, and runs the floor with ease. He's got a good-looking shot and is capable of heating up from deep. Overall he's got the attributes to be an impact guy at the next level."
Franklin and Watford are names that emerged as IU recruiting targets after Crean arrived in Bloomington, but Indianapolis forward Stephan Van Treese has been a hot name in IU recruiting circles ever since he was a freshman and started alongside Greg Oden and Mike Conley at Lawrence North. The 6-8 ½, 220-pounder became a hot recruiting name back then, and he's currently ranked No. 51 in Scout.com's '09 rankings.
Van Treese's size suggests he'd be a power forward at the collegiate level, but he's skilled enough to play either forward position depending on the match-up.
"Despite a rough spring, Van Treese still has the skills to play high major basketball," Daniels said. "He's an above average athlete that's capable of snagging rebounds, blocking shots and scoring around the tin. The talented four man is also capable of facing up defenders and putting it on the deck."
Telep, meanwhile, sees some intriguing options with a player like Van Treese.
"He's the perfect guy to play in tandem with a rangy athletic four or five man," Telep said. "He'll run the floor and rebound his area. If you play him alongside and rangy guy you'd have a great mix and match set."
The most recent name to surface is Moser, a 6-7, 185-pounder from Portland who is ranked No. 86 in the '09 class. Moser will be in Indianapolis next month for the Hoosier Shootout and is considering the possibility of participating in one of IU's elite camps in July. He's an up-and-comer according to Telep and someone to keep an eye on.
"This is the guy everyone is scurrying to learn about," Telep said. "He's a great looking prospect because of his length and late blooming status. His offense isn't there yet but the effort and tools to make him a versatile weapon at the four exists. Don't be surprised if he's the summer blow up guy!"
Looking Forward for the Rest of '09 Class
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