Hoosier Hoops Recruiting Notebook

All of the latest news surrounding IU basketball recruiting and some of the top targets, including: news of a new scholarship offer; an interesting update on Matt Carlino and his future plans; more on Bawa Muniru's switch to Mt. Zion Academy; plus some more recruits might be on campus this weekend...

Bloomington – Tom Crean was busy with his basketball team Friday night during Hoosier Hysteria, but he found the time to offer a scholarship to one of the high school standouts who was in attendance.

HoosierNation.com sources have indicated the one player who received a scholarship offer was Indianapolis (Ind.) North Central H.S. freshman D'vonte Smith Rivera. Smith-Rivera is a 6'2" shooting guard who played with the Indiana Elite AAU program over the summer, and is already being talking about as the best player in the state in 2012 and a potential top-10 recruit nationally.

While it's still very early with the 2012 class, the early scholarship offers suggests that Smith-Rivera will be at the very top of Crean's wish list for the class. Indiana has already had Smith-Rivera on campus at least three times, including this past summer for the second of IU's two elite camps. He made a subsequent trip in September for a football game, and then returned this past weekend for Hoosier Hysteria.

Smith-Rivera is the latest elite guard to go through Coach Doug Mitchell's North Central H.S. program. Among the others who have flourished for Mitchell are former Indiana Mr. Basketball's Jason Gardner, A.J. Ratliff and Eric Gordon. Purdue commit Terone Johnson, meanwhile, is a standout junior who will play alongside Smith-Rivera for the next two seasons.


Hoosier basketball fans might be able to see a whole lot more of Class of 2011 commit Matt Carlino in the coming years.

That's because the Highland (Ariz.) H.S. sophomore is looking into the possibility of switching AAU teams next summer and playing with the Bloomington-based Indiana Elite One squad. If he does make the switch, he'd presumably be playing with a team that would include a handful of top-25 or top-50 Class of 2011 recruits, including IU targets such as Cody Zeller, Marshall Plumlee and Spencer Turner, among others.

There also appears to be a possibility of Carlino moving to Bloomington after his sophomore season, although there's nothing set in stone. Carlino and his family did spend nearly the entire week in Bloomington last week, arriving on Tuesday and then returning to Arizona this weekend following Hoosier Hysteria.


Bawa Muniru will get more out of his time at Mt. Zion Academy than simply the opportunity to get himself eligible to play as a true freshman.

The 6'11", 250-pound IU verbal commit will also have a chance to polish his game against a national-caliber schedule. Mt. Zion has turned out plenty of high Division I players over the years, and Muniru will be able to work on his game in games as well as in practice.

"I think being at Mt. Zion is really good for him," said Muniru's AAU coach Kerry Johnson. "He's going to play against really good players, good program there, they play a national schedule, a top flight schedule. It should him for his entrance into Big Ten."

Some IU fans had started to become concerned about whether Muniru would in fact still end up at IU following his visit to Oklahoma State last weekend. But Johnson said Muniru remains committed to IU and that he expects him to play for Tom Crean.

"(Indiana) had a real need for some size at center, and going back and looking at what Crean has done and the type of play he uses, his system would play to Bawa's strengths," Johnson said.

Among the others Muniru will be able to practice against on a daily basis is Karron Johnson, a 6-8, 210-pounder who is the nation's 18th-ranked power forward in the nation according to Scout.com.


While Indiana had a large number of recruits in town for Hoosier Hysteria, it will likely use this upcoming weekend's scrimmage as another opportunity to bring in some other recruits who weren't able to make the trip a week ago. Two such players could be Ronald Patterson and Kellen Thomas.

Patterson is a super-athletic wing who wound up opting to Purdue for its version of Midnight Madness. But Indiana continues to be very involved with the 6'2" Broad Ripple H.S. freshman, and the hope is to get him on campus this weekend. Patterson fits Crean's mold, as he combines that athleticism with a 6'9" wing span.

Thomas, meanwhile, is a 5'9" point guard from Southport who couldn't make the trip to Bloomington last weekend because he also plays football and had a game on Friday. He's teammates with Patterson on the Spiece Select 2012 squad.


Luring the top in-state players to Bloomington is a top priority for IU Coach Tom Crean, but one of the best homegrown talents in the 2010 class will be headed elsewhere.

Ft. Wayne Blackhawk guard Russell Byrd recently announced he's down to three schools, and Indiana wasn't on his list of finalists. The 6'5" Byrd is still considering Kentucky, Michigan State and Michigan. Byrd's decision, though, wasn't a big blow to the IU coaching staff, because to date they hadn't actually offered Byrd a scholarship. Byrd had been offered by former IU Coach Kelvin Sampson and he did participate in one of IU's summer Elite Camps, but with a very limited number of 2010 scholarships available Crean had yet to officially extend an offer.

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