Bloomington – Brandon Mobley found himself more than tempted to commit to Indiana over the summer.
He was ready and willing.
Back in August, the talented big man from Savannah, Ga., had heard enough from other schools and seen enough about Indiana to feel confident that he was ready to commit to IU Coach Tom Crean. But before the 6'9", 220-pounder could pull the trigger, his mom convinced him that there was no need to rush into a decision with two years of high school basketball remaining.
"I told her I wanted to commit and she laughed," Mobley said. "She said to be patient and enjoy your recruitment."
Mobley took his mom's advice and remains a highly coveted commodity in the class. But Indiana remains a clear front-runner in Mobley's mind, ahead of other suitors such as Cincinnati, Georgia, South Carolina, Clemson and Memphis.
"I like them all equally besides Indiana," Mobley said. "They're ahead."
The reasons for IU's edge are plentiful. Mobley worked a great deal with current IU assistant coach Roshown McLeod last summer on the Atlanta Celtics AAU squad, and he's also developed a strong relationship with IU head coach Tom Crean in recent months. He also hears on occasion from recent IU signee Christian Watford, who was playing on the Atlanta Celtics' 17-and-under team while Mobley was playing with the 16-and-under squad.
"I'd talk to Christian about Indiana when we'd travel out of town," Mobley said. "He tells me good things about Indiana."
Crean also has plenty of good things to say about his new program. While Wednesday was a big day because it marked the start of the early signing period for the 2009 class, Crean was actually on the phone with Mobley last night talking to him about signing an IU letter of intent 12 months from now.
"He knows his basketball," Mobley said of IU's head coach. "But he doesn't just talk to me about that. The first thing he checks is to see how my academics are going, and then he asks about my family. If we talk for 15 minutes, probably the first 10 are just about life, and then the last five will be about basketball.
"I like that. It shows me he's interested in getting to know me as a person and not just as a player."
When it comes to Mobley's abilities as a player, he's a special talent who figures to shoot up the national rankings in the coming months. He averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds as a sophomore at Windsor Forest H.S., and he's able to play a variety of positions on the floor.
Mobley still hasn't been able to make a trip to Bloomington to make an unofficial visit, but he hopes to do that soon. There had been talk of him coming for either Hoosier Hysteria or the Haunted Hall of Hoops scrimmage, but he said he's now looking at a trip in the next couple of weeks.
"I don't have a scheduled date right now, but probably sometime in mid-November or before the end of November I'm going to come there," Mobley said.
The plan is to fly to Indianapolis and drive to Cincinnati for an unofficial before heading to Bloomington to complete the trip.
The IU coaching staff would certainly love the idea of Mobley committing during that visit, but the big man says he hasn't felt any pressure to make a decision.
"(Crean) doesn't really push me to commit, but he does tell me all the time that it's a perfect fit," Mobley said.
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