Bloomington – Tom Crean is expecting plenty of big names at its Indiana Elite Camp this weekend, but few could have expected the biggest name of them all.
The former IU All-American and NBA standout is expected to be in Bloomington this weekend as a member of the coaching staff for Crean's second elite camp of the summer. It's an event that is expected to attract many of the top up-and-coming players from around the state, along with a sprinkling of other top-flight talents from around the country.
Thomas – who is presumably headed from Bloomington to French Lick, Ind., on Sunday for the IU basketball reunion – isn't the only former Big Ten MVP who will be working the camp. Brian Evans, the 1996 league most valuable player, is also expected to be in town to work the camp.
While the staff members add an interesting twist to Saturday's Elite Camp, the biggest attraction will be the players. A handful of players such as Marques Teague, Cody Zeller and Mason Plumlee won't be able to attend due to scheduling conflicts, plenty of other big names should be in town. Among those who we've heard will be at the event:
Class of 2009
Christian Watford, 6-7 ½, 190, Birmingham, Ala. - Watford will be joined by his entire family for the trip. A long, athletic combo forward, Watford has cut his list of schools to IU, Kentucky, Memphis and Louisville. Crean has let Watford know he is his No. 1 priority for the '09 class, and some close to the situation believe that Indiana is the team to beat here.
Jordan Hulls, 6-0, 170, Bloomington, Ind. – Hulls pledged to the Hoosiers back in May, picking IU over an offer from Purdue and interest from Duke and Stanford. His stock has been on the rise in a big way all summer, and he's climbed to No. 8 on Scout.com's point guard rankings for the '09 class. His presence could certainly help with Watford, who should get a chance to play with the man who would be the guy getting him the ball if he was in an IU uniform.
Bobby Capobianco, 6-8, 230, Loveland, Ohio – The very first player in any class to verbally commit to Crean after he became the Hoosiers' head coach in April, Capobianco told us he'll be in attendance as well. Again, Capobianco's presence could help out with the Hoosiers' efforts with Watford. The two got to know each other when both were participating in the NBA Players' camp earlier this summer.
Angus Brandt, 6-10, 220, Lake Forest, Ill. – The Australian product was one of the hottest names during the last month, bursting onto the AAU scene with his play in Las Vegas. Some had hoped he could be a late addition to their '08 class, but he's slated to attend Lake Forest Academy this season and then be a member of the '09 class. Brandt has a bevy of moves inside and a nice touch as well. Getting Brandt to its elite camp is a big coup for IU, as Arizona was also trying to get Brandt to come for their elite camp. IU, Arizona, Gonzaga, Washington State and Oregon State are among those already showing interest.
Reggie Keely, 6-7, 220, University Heights, Ohio – A member of the D-I Greyhounds AAU team, Keely is one of the top rising seniors in Ohio, having averaged 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocks as a junior at Bedford H.S. He's since transferred to Cleveland Heights H.S. for his senior season. Miami (Ohio), Cleveland State, Kent State, Penn State and Iowa are among those showing interest.
Class of 2010
Lavonte Dority, 6-0, 170, Chicago, Ill. – This Forman (Ill.) H.S. standout has turned plenty of heads with his point guard play this summer with the Chicago Elite AAU program. He's extremely good at beating his man off the dribble and getting into the lane, and he's also a hard-nosed defender as well. Kansas, DePaul, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Indiana are among the schools that have been showing interest.
Mike McCall, 6-2, 175, Chicago, Ill. – A teammate of Dority's at both Foreman H.S. and with the Chicago Elite, McCall is a blossoming shooting guard who has been getting more attention as of late. A big-time scorer who could also develop into a point guard, McCall has been developing more consistency with his perimeter shot this summer.
Class of 2011
Spencer Turner, 6-3, 180, Bloomington, Ind. – It will be a short trip to Assembly Hall for Turner, the rising sophomore sharp shooter who plays with Hulls at Bloomington South H.S. One of the top shooters in the 2011 class, Turner is already getting significant interest from Indiana, Purdue and a host of other national programs. Turner is hoping to make an unofficial visit this weekend, and also has upcoming officials scheduled to Purdue, Michigan State, Illinois and Ohio State in the next couple of months.
Jeremiah Davis, 6-2, 180, Muncie, Ind. – Davis is already one of the most talked about in-state products in the 2011 class, having been told he has offers from Indiana and Kentucky after only one season of high school basketball. A point guard who his high school coach says plays with a style similar to NBA great Jason Kidd, Davis averaged 7.4 points, 4.6 and 3.3 assists as a freshman at Muncie Central.
Class of 2012
DeVauntes Smith-Rivera, 6-2, 200, Indianapolis, Ind. – A rising freshman for Coach Doug Mitchell at North Central H.S., Smith-Rivera played on Indiana Elite's 16-and-under team this summer. He's already being talked about as an elite national recruit in a couple of years, someone who could be among the very best players in the 2012 class. At North Central he'll be playing alongside one of the top sophomores in the state in Terone Johnson.
A.J. Hammonds, 6-10, Knightstown, Ind. – At this point we don't know a great deal about Hammonds other than the fact he's awfully big for a freshman-to-be. One website mention of Hammonds has him listed as one of the top five in-state freshmen along with Smith-Rivera, DeJuan Marrero, D.J. Ballentine, and Terrance Winfrey. There have been rumors floating around about where he'll be playing this season, but for the time being he's at Morton Memorial H.S.
D.J. Ballentine, 5-8, Kokomo, Ind. - As mentioned above, Ballentine is considered one of the best new additions to the high school ranks this season, an extremely adept shooter who figures to do big things at Kokomo H.S. during the next four seasons.
Big Names Coming to IU For Elite Camp
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