Bloomington – Savannah, Ga., big man Brandon Mobley already has plenty of college suitors, but only one favorite at this point.
And according to the 6-9, 200-pound Class of 2010 prospect from Windsor Forest H.S., it isn't even close.
"Indiana is my favorite," Mobley says, "by far."
The versatile big man has elevated the Hoosiers ahead of an impressive list of schools. Kentucky, Missouri, Ole Miss and Cincinnati are among the other big-name programs he says have already offered him, while Memphis, Clemson, Xavier, Oregon State, Auburn and Georgia are others that have been showing interest.
So what is it about Indiana that Mobley likes so much? His initial interest was keyed by the arrival of Roshown McLeod to Coach Tom Crean's staff. As a member of the Atlanta Celtics AAU program, Mobley spent a couple of months working out with McLeod and developed a bond.
"I've been able to learn things from him that I can do as a versatile big man since he was in the league and in college," Mobley said. "It helps a lot at the high school level, because most of the kids haven't learned that much yet."
But Mobley's interest in IU doesn't start and stop with McLeod - he's also built a relationship with Crean since IU started recruiting him this summer. Crean and his staff watched Mobley play at the adidas AAU event in Cincinnati and again in Las Vegas and offered him a scholarship soon afterwards, making IU the first program to offer.
Crean was then joined by McLeod and fellow assistant coach Bennie Seltzer a couple of weeks ago for a trip to Savannah to watch Mobley work out at his high school, which only went to solidify IU's standing in his mind.
"The relationship I have with Coach McLeod is big, and I've built a relationship with Coach Crean, too," Mobley said. "Also, by them coming down here, that showed me they are really interested. From what I've heard about Indiana, it seems like the perfect fit for me."
Mobley, meanwhile, appears to be a perfect fit for IU's 2010 class, which could include as few as two players. As high school sophomore he averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds, and during his workout in front of the IU coaching staff he impressed Crean with his ability to use both his right and left hand.
"He loves the fact I'm a versatile big man," Mobley said of Crean. "Most players don't know I'm right handed because I use my left side, I dunk with my left hand. He was told me he couldn't tell if I was right handed or left handed because I was able to go either way."
It's been the IU staff that has been going on the road to watch Mobley, but now it will be his turn to make a trip to take a closer look at the Hoosier program. Mobley said he will be coming to Bloomington next weekend for Hoosier Hysteria, a trip that comes on the heels of tonight's stop off at Kentucky for its opening practice of the season.
While Mobley has clearly put the Hoosiers on top of his list, it doesn't appear as if they'll be able to wrap him up anytime soon. He said his goal is to whittle his list down to six schools by December, and then narrow it to three after his junior season. He then wants to make his decision before the start of his senior season and sign in November.
"I want to wait it out a little, enjoy the recruitment," Mobley said. "You only get to go through this once."
Mobley Has a Leader, And It Isn't Even Close
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