Hulls Could Be Point Man in IU's 2009 Class

Bloomington - Tom Crean is set to announce the signing of a top-five recruiting class later this week. So who's the best of IU's incoming bunch? According to one national recruiting expert, the most important player in the class might just be Jordan Hulls...

Bloomington – Jordan Hulls' journey is a familiar one to one national recruiting expert.

Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep has witnessed the 6'0", 170-pound Bloomington (Ind.) South guard go from a mid-major caliber recruit in the summer of 2007 to a top-100 recruit 12 months later. Once thought of as a player whose AAU success was predicated on the presence of other elite recruits on his Indiana Elite squad, Hulls emerged as the "glue" player on a team that figures to have at least seven players sign Division I-A letters of intent this week.

It's a scenario that is eerily similar to another player who went to a great deal of success at the college level earlier this decade.

"I don't want to put too much on him, but when Travis Deiner was in high school he flew under the radar in a similar fashion," Telep said. "I think Jordan Hulls is one of the unsung heroes of his class."

IU Coach Tom Crean knows a little something about both players. A standout at Marquette from 2002-05, the 6'1", 175-pound Deiner earned Conference USA All-Freshman honors in 2002 and was a first-team All-Conference choice in both 2004 and 2005. He finished his college career ranked third on the school's all-time scoring list (1,591 points), first in 3-pointers (284), second in assists (617) and eighth in steals (158). He averaged 12.1 points and 5.5 assists per game on Marquette's Final Four team in 2003, and he's now in his fourth year in the NBA.

Shortly after Crean arrived at IU last spring he began recruiting Hulls, a player who wasn't getting any recruiting attention from former Coach Kelvin Sampson. Crean told Hulls that he also saw a lot of Deiner's traits in him as well, and that helped convince the local product to pass on a scholarship offer from Purdue and interest from Stanford and Duke to stay at home and play for the Hoosiers.

While no one is ready to forecast a lengthy NBA career for Hulls just yet, Telep sees some striking similarities between Crean's past and future point guards.

"The two share a ton of traits," Telep said. "Both are wired to win, each was unheralded for a time and they are winners."

Being a part of winning programs is something Hulls has done throughout his high school career. At Bloomington South, the Panthers are one of the preseason favorites to win the state title season along with Lawrence North. On the AAU circuit, Hulls' Indiana Elite squad has been one of the dominant teams nationally in every age group, capped by this past summer when they won the Pitt Jam Fest and the Adidas May Classic.

Hulls is a gifted ball handler and 3-point shooter, which helped him climb to No. 8 on Scout.com's most recent national rankings at the point guard position. But he has other traits that Telep thinks can be every bit as valuable once he arrives at IU in the fall of 2009.

"To me, Hulls is one of the best leaders in the country," Telep said. "He just may be the most important recruit in the class for Tom Crean."


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