Bloomington – The future of Indiana basketball will be arriving today.
At least on paper.
Wednesday marks the opening day of the early signing period, which run through Nov. 19. Coach Tom Crean is expected to receive the letters of intent from Maurice Creek, Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, Bobby Capobianco and Derek Elston today, while Bawa Muniru is planning on signing his letter before the conclusion of early signing period.
The plans of today's signees include:
Maurice Creek, SG: The 6'4" shooting guard will be signing his national letter of intent at approximately 10:45 a.m. at a press conference at Hargrave Military Academy. Creek will be one of a handful of Hargrave players signing letters at the event.
Bobby Capobianco, PF: Tom Crean's first commit was also the first to get his letter of intent in for the '09 class, signing his at 7:01 a.m. on Wednesday and getting it faxed to the IU coaching staff before he went to school. The Loveland, Ohio, standout will also have a signing day ceremony at his high school on Friday.
Jordan Hulls, PG: The 6'1" Bloomington native will be signing his national letter of intent at 10:30 a.m. today in the principal's office at South H.S. and then sending it to the IU coaching staff.
Derek Elston, PF: The Tipton, Ind., forward is scheduled to sign his national letter of intent at 5:45 p.m. today. Elston was the first player to commit to IU in the 2009 class, pledging to former coach Kelvin Sampson before reaffirming his commitment after Tom Crean came aboard in the spring.
Christian Watford, SF: The 6'9" Birmingham, Ala., product has scheduled a press conference for 1:30 p.m. on Friday at Shades Valley Technical School to sign his national letter of intent.
It's a six-player class that is ranked No. 7 nationally according to Scout.com, and a huge influx of talent for a program that was in a state of disrepair when Crean took over in the spring. There isn't necessarily one headline performer in IU's class, but rather a nice blend of talent that all figure to contribute early on.
"It's not Eric Gordon-type talent, but rather it comes in the form of reliable Big Ten level players who will form the new foundation for this program," said Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep. "I think the class is deep enough and contains enough players to get the rebuilding process off on the right foot."
While the class might not have anyone who is going to be a one-and-done lottery sort of talent like Gordon, it does cover all five positions on the floor, including a couple of players who can play a variety of positions.
It's difficult at this point to tell who will be the biggest immediate contributor next season, but Telep said he has a couple of players he'll be keeping an eye on.
"Most of the guys will contribute right away because they will have to," Telep said. "I think Maurice Creek and Christian Watford will be interesting guys to watch because of their ability to score. Their points will be paramount to IU's success."
The ability to put together a top-10 class is even more remarkable when one considers the problems the program has been dealing with in recent months. Crean inherited Sampson's recruiting restrictions when he took over in late March, and IU is still waiting on a final NCAA ruling for the sanctions and rules violations committed by Sampson's staff.
"They dealt with it, this is a good class and no matter what happened in the past they needed to learn from it and put it in the rearview mirror," Telep said. "What's done is done, and now it's time to build it. I think everyone realizes Crean is in this for the long-term and sanctions aren't cried about, they're addressed, plans were changed and they continued to recruit the best players they could."
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