Hoosier Hoops Recruiting Notebook

Bloomington - In this week's Hoosier Hoops Recruiting Notebook, we look at the big names coming to Indiana Elite's camp such as Christian Watford (pictured) and Angus Brandt; we let you know about some unofficial visits that Class of 2011 guard Spencer Turner has set up; plus a whole lot more!

Bloomington – A Who's Who list of basketball recruits are expected to be in Bloomington next weekend for the program's second Elite Camp of the off-season.

Tom Crean's staff hasn't finalized the list of attendees just yet, but it's expected to be a loaded group of players that will feature talented players from the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and possibly even the 2013 class. It will include many of the top in-state players from the various classes, but will also include a nice sampling of out of state talent and an international flavor as well.

The most important attendee is probably Christian Watford, the 6'8", 205-pound Class of 2009 product from Birmingham, Ala., who is Scout.com's 47th-ranked player nationally and the sixth-ranked small forward. He will be making an unofficial visit along with his family as well, and he appears to have separated himself as the Hoosiers' No. 1 priority in the '09 class. He's considering Kentucky, Memphis and Louisville as well, but the Indiana appears to be well positioned with him heading into the elite camp trip.

One thing that could help IU's efforts with Watford is the fact that at least two members of the '09 class will be in attendance as well. Power forward Bobby Capobianco will be making the trip from Loveland, Ohio, to participate, and Bloomington South point guard Jordan Hulls will be participating as well. Hulls' presence could be especially important, since he's considered the point guard of the future once he arrives in 2009.

Another big man who will be there is Angus Brandt, the 6'11" Australian who will spend the 2008 season at Lake Forest Academy outside Chicago before going D-I in '09. Despite a couple of reports that raised some question about the certainty of Brandt's participation, he's set on being in Bloomington next weekend. He has been in very high demand since his dominating performance last month in Las Vegas, and a slew of schools are interested in getting him on their campus. But he'll be at Assembly Hall on Aug. 23.

Indiana was among the schools that would have loved to have brought Brandt in as a member of the '08 class, but that possibility now appears extremely remote. As more programs become familiar with him he figures to be a highly-coveted recruit by a slew of programs, but Indiana could have something working in their favor – President Michael McRobbie. The fact that McRobbie is an Aussie as well can't hurt as Crean's staff moves forward in its pursuit of Brandt.

We hope to have a much more complete list of camp participants next week, but other big names who are expected to be there include Hulls, Capobianco, Lavonte Dority, Spencer Turner and Jeremiah Davis. Cody Zeller is also a possibility if a scheduling conflict can be navigated, and Gary, Ind., product A.J. Hammonds is a possibility as well. Indiana Elite Class of 2011 star Mason Plumlee, meanwhile, has been to Bloomington already for an unofficial with the IU staff but he won't be able to participate because his classes will have already started in North Carolina.

All of those players are probably familiar names to IU fans except for Hammonds. Hammonds isn't known to many just yet, but he is a 6'10" eighth-grader out of Gary who figures to be a very hot recruiting name once he gets to high school.

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Bloomington South sophomore Spencer Turner has already been getting recruiting attention on a national level, with Indiana, Purdue and North Carolina among those who are already showing heavy interest early on. Turner will be looking to get a closer look at some of his potential college options in the next couple of months when he makes some unofficial visits around the Midwest.

First up will be IU with the Indiana Elite Camp. If all goes according to plan, Turner is hoping to work in an unofficial visit with Crean and his staff that weekend as well. After that, Turner is set to make unofficials to Purdue, Michigan State, Illinois and Ohio State in September and early October. That will likely be it for Turner's visits for the fall, as he'll then return to Bloomington to get ready for South's 2008-09 basketball season.

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Turner's high school teammate, Jordan Hulls, continues to draw rave reviews for his play this summer and the impact that he can make once he gets to IU in the fall of 2009. He's a consensus top-100 player nationally, and he was the most valuable player on an Indiana Elite One team that is loaded with high-major talent.

Turner's Indiana Elite and future IU teammate Bobby Capobianco has played with Hulls for a couple of years on the AAU circuit and knows the value that Hulls brings to a team when he's on the floor.

"When we play, Jordan is the guy that gets us set up, who decides when we run or slow down," Capobianco said. "He's such a floor leader. It's rare that he'd ever sit with our AAU team. Without him, it was trying to figure out everyone had to play a little different role because he's not only our main ball handler, but also one of our best shooters. So we had to try to compensate for both of those things."

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While many of the members of the Indiana Elite One squad have already made their college decisions, a couple of others remain undecided on where they'll be playing next fall. Most notable among that group are forward Stephan Van Treese and guard Colt Ryan.

With Indiana focusing its 2009 efforts on Watford, Brandt and Roger Franklin, Van Treese no longer appears to be an option for the Hoosiers. Tom Crean's staff hasn't offered a scholarship, and indications are that an offer won't be coming. Van Treese has continued to list Kansas, UCLA, Ohio State and Louisville as his other favorites, and some new names could possibly emerge if things don't work out with his original five finalists.

As for Ryan, Miami (Ohio) appears to be in the lead for the shooting guard from Batesville, although high majors such as Wake Forest, Oregon State and Michigan have shown some recent interest as well. Barring a big-time offer late in the process, the RedHawks could very well be the best fit for the 6'4", 185-pound standout.

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In an effort to improve his college options, Eric Gordon's younger brother, Evan, will transfer from North Central H.S. to Hargrave Military Academy this season. At Hargrave, he'll team up with future Hoosier Maurice Creek and potential IU target Chris Braswell. Gordon averaged 12.4 points and 3.1 assists as a junior on Coach Doug Mitchell's team.


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