Hoosiers Want Hale Back in Bloomington

Shortly after New Albany's Donnie Hale wrapped up a trip to Bloomington for the Hoosiers' Elite Camp, the IU staff let it be known they wanted him back in town again soon. Are the Hoosiers planning to offer? Hale talks about his trip to Bloomington for the Elite Camp, and his thoughts about the IU program...

Bloomington – A recent trip to Indiana University's elite camp didn't result in a scholarship offer for New Albany's Donnie Hale, but it might be coming soon.

The 6-7, 190-pound Class of 2010 standout was in Bloomington June 19-20 along with approximately 50 others for Coach Tom Crean's first Elite Camp as IU's head coach. Hale said members of the IU staff kept a close eye on him throughout the two-day event, which included both individual session work as well as some 5-on-5 scrimmaging.

Hale didn't depart Bloomington with a scholarship offer, but the IU staff did leave word with his high school coach shortly afterwards that they want to get him back up to Bloomington soon to talk.

"They called my (high school) coach and he told my mom that they said before I made a commitment they wanted me back up there," said Hale, who added that his current plans include waiting until after his junior season to make a decision.

Hale isn't sure if that means an IU offer is imminent, but he's hoping that he showed enough in front of the staff that an offer might be coming soon.

"I'm hoping that an offer comes out of it, but I'm not going to expect it," Hale said.

If Indiana does in fact wind up offering Hale, it would join Purdue as major conference schools to offer the southern Indiana standout. Kentucky has also expressed interest, and Hale attended Coach Billy Gillispie's Elite Camp in Lexington June 9-10.

"(Kentucky) seems interested," Hale said. "The offer hasn't come out of it, but they seem interested."

What each of those programs sees is a blossoming ‘4' who has the ability to play with his back to the basket or face up and take players off the dribble. He used those skills to average 12.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.0 blocks as a sophomore, helping New Albany H.S. to a 26-1 record and a No. 1 ranking in the state.

Now that he's an upperclassman, Hale figures to see those numbers increase dramatically. Purdue's coaching staff has compared his skills to first-team All Big Ten choice Robbie Hummel, and the IU staff has echoed those thoughts when they've talked to him during the recruiting process.

"They say they like my athleticism and my length," Hale said. "They want to have me at the ‘4' position, and be someone who drives the ball and shoots more and doesn't just play with my back to the basket."

While IU has been in the news lately for plenty of the wrong reasons, Hale doesn't necessarily see that as a negative.

"I kind of see it as maybe it could be a good opportunity for me to go there since they lost a bunch of players and they are kind of rebuilding," Hale said. "So I might be able to get in there and maybe start early and get a lot of playing time at an early age."

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