Bloomington – If Bobby Capobianco had his way, he could do without the wait.
The 6'8", 230-pound Loveland, Ohio, standout was the first player in any class to verbally commit to IU Coach Tom Crean, making his pledge back in April. Since then he's enjoyed a big summer on the AAU circuit with Indiana Elite One, and he still has another season to go at Loveland H.S. But Capobianco is seemingly counting the days until he can get to Bloomington to get his Hoosier career underway.
"I'm so ready to get there," Capobianco said. "I'd be there tonight if I could. I'm ready to come."
Some would argue that the Hoosiers could desperately use his services a year ahead of time. The spring cleaning of the IU roster left Crean with only one returning scholarship player, and there's still a shortage of big men on this year's team. It's a situation that has many already writing off the season, a necessary step to take to get to a much more promising future.
But Capobianco doesn't have the same sort of dire forecast for the upcoming campaign. He's convinced that there are the players and even more importantly a system in place that can produce the kind of results that most wouldn't expect.
"(Crean) has such a specific system, I read what people write and what they say about what the season is going to be like, but they have no idea," Capobianco said. "He runs something that's so different and specific to the way he coaches, if the kids can fall into it they're going to surprise some people. There's no doubt in my mind."
Capobianco, meanwhile, can't wait to get his chance to fit into Crean's system. His time is still 12 months away, but he's already thinking about accomplishing big things once he gets to Bloomington.
He knows there's still some NCAA issues to navigate and some obstacles to overcome, but when the recent troubles are finally over he's determined to be a part of returning the Hoosier program to national prominence.
"We'll deal with whatever comes and be ready so that when the penalties are lifted we're ready to show people what we've really got," Capobianco said.
His promising outlook is based on not only a very good 2009 class that will be coming in next summer, but also his belief in Crean and his staff, which started recruiting Capobianco back when they were still at Marquette. They've kept a watchful eye on Capobianco ever since, including most recently in Las Vegas when Crean and assistants Tim Buckley and Bennie Seltzer had a chance to watch him play.
Since the staff first noticed Capobianco back when they were at Marquette, he's blossomed into a big-time recruit with a much bigger name on the AAU circuit, but he said that hasn't changed the way he's played or his approach at some of the bigger AAU events.
"This whole time, it's been about getting better," Capobianco said. "I knew where I was going to school and I wasn't trying to showboat and show off to the coaches or magazines. They can write what they want, but I was out there working on my game."
The staff will get another chance to see Capobianco play next weekend when he comes to Bloomington for the Indiana's second elite camp of the off-season, and he's looking forward to getting some feedback from them about things he can work on to make himself even better prepared for the start of his IU career in the fall of 2009.
"I'm sure they'll have a lot of good things to say and give me some direction of things to do, the most important things to continue working on," Capobianco said.
Capobianco Plays the Waiting Game
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