Hulls: IU Will Be Back Sooner, Not Later

Class of 2009 commit Jordan Hulls has been a regular at Assembly Hall's open gym workouts this spring and summer. Hulls talks about what he's seen from his future Hoosier teammates, and how long it will take to get Indiana basketball back among the nation's elite...

Bloomington – Indiana might be down now, but Jordan Hulls doesn't expect his future team to be down for long.

The 6-0, 170-pound point guard is still a year away from joining Coach Tom Crean's team, but he's already gotten an up close look at what Hoosier fans will see from the team this winter. While he's currently in Cincinnati playing with his Indiana Elite teammates at the adidas "It Takes 5ive" AAU event, Hulls has been a regular at open gym at Assembly Hall in recent months. Those trips to the north side of town have given him a degree of familiarity with an IU team that is very much unknown to just about everyone else.

Hulls knows the team is short on experience as well as stature, but he's seen enough to make at least one prediction about the upcoming season.

"They'll win more games than people expect them too," Hulls said.

One player who has caught Hulls' eye is freshman Nick Williams from Mobile, Ala. A one-time Marquette signee, Williams was released from his letter of intent and eventually opted to follow Crean and Assistant Coach Bennie Seltzer to Bloomington.

Williams is a 6-4, 200-pounder who figures to eventually settle in as a shooting guard. But his length and experience playing on the interior will be valuable this season due to a shortage of size.

"I'd never seen Nick Williams play before, and he's really impressed me," Hulls said. "He's 6-4 with a big body, but he can shoot it and step out."

Everyone on the 2008-09 team other than Jeremiah Rivers and Tijan Jobe has been in Bloomington since the start of the first summer session, and it's been a valuable opportunity to get to know each other and build some team chemistry. But it's been equally useful for Hulls, who is getting a chance to know his future teammates while also playing against college caliber competition.

"It's only five minutes away from my house, so it's really convenient to be able to go over there and play open gym whenever I want," Hulls said. "I get to know the players a year before I get there. I'm excited about the players there and what IU's going to be like in the next couple of years."

Hulls will be a big part of the Hoosiers' success starting in the fall of 2009. The Bloomington South H.S. standout has been building a national reputation with his play on the Indiana Elite AAU team this spring and summer, climbing to No. 8 in Scout.com's latest point guard rankings and No. 92 overall. He'll anchor a Bloomington South team this winter that should be one of the state's best thanks to a backcourt that will also include elite 2011 shooting guard Spencer Turner and Bloomington North transfer Darwin Davis.

While Hulls has elevated his game and his reputation significantly in recent months, his conversations with IU Coach Tom Crean as well as his time at open gym has shown him there's still plenty to work on.

"(Crean) likes my game a lot, and mainly he wants me working on my conditioning," Hulls said. "I thought I was in pretty good shape, but when I go out and play with the recruits at open gym, I can see I need to get in better shape and I need to get stronger. But I have one more year of high school to get that done."

Hulls plans on getting that done in the next 12 months before joining the team and playing his part in the rebuilding project. While some have suggested it will take time for IU to return to national significance, Hulls doesn't expect the turnaround to take too long.

"With Coach Crean's attitude, enthusiasm and hard work, we'll be back on top in the next couple of years," Hulls said. "It's going to be a strong group in my class and the next class, so within the next couple of years IU will be back for sure."

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