Bloomington – Bobby Capobianco has already accepted a scholarship offer from IU Coach Tom Crean, but he says there's still more to prove before he arrives on campus in the fall of 2009.
The 6'8", 230-pound Loveland, Ohio, native is in Virginia this weekend competing with 110 of the nation's best rising seniors at the NBA Players Association camp. The four-day event is the latest opportunity for Capobianco to show on-lookers why he became a high-major Division I recruiting target in the last year and why Crean quickly offered him once he became the Hoosiers new coach in March.
"I've earned my spot (at Indiana), yes, but now I have to prove to everyone I deserve it," said Capobianco.
He's been doing that on the AAU circuit, where he's one of the centerpieces of the Indiana Elite team that has won a couple of prestigious tourney titles this spring and has its sites set on doing some big things in Las Vegas in July. Capobianco's trip to Charlottesville, Va., is one of his final individual tune-ups before he heads west in a couple of weeks.
Despite nursing a sprained ankle that he suffered at the Adidas Day Classic, Capobianco has turned in plenty of quality efforts this spring around the country to help him emerge as a potential top-100 player nationally by the time the final 2009 class rankings come out. He's done it by proving he's more than just a big body in the paint.
By dedicating himself to getting into better shape over the last year, Capobianco has become a more dangerous player in transition and better equipped to defend on the wing. He's also shown the ability to face up and knock down jumpers in bunches, extending his range to the 3-point arc.
"My athleticism has been a lot better this summer, I'm running the floor better and jumping better," Capobianco said. "I've also noticed that it's paid off defensively. With so many big guys on my AAU team I often get put on a wing who is dribble-drive oriented, and I've been able to stick with those guys.
"Offensively, my post game has always been what it is, and that's kind of the backbone of my game that I can count on. But I'm working on find myself shots on the wing and being able to be quick enough to take people off the dribble."
One person who hasn't been able to see Capobianco's progress as much as he might like is Crean, who is still limited in his off-campus recruiting opportunities due to the self-imposed penalties assessed to the previous coaching staff. While Crean is welcoming approximately 60 talented players to Bloomington to his elite camp this week, Capobianco can't make the trip due to his invitation to the NBAPA Showcase event.
But Capobianco knows Crean will likely get a chance to see him in Las Vegas next month, and he's counting on getting some more feedback from him and his IU staff soon afterwards.
"I talk to them once every couple of weeks, and they continue to encourage me," Capobianco said. "They know what my work ethic is and they know what I'm doing with my off time. So they're telling me to stay focused and keeping working and not get complacent. They want me to keep an edge.
"Once they get to see me play more and more, then they can break my game down and give me individual pointers on what I can work on."
Capobianco Still Looking To Prove Himself
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