Hoosier Basketball Recruiting Notebook

Bloomington - Christian Watford (pictured) and Derek Elston have been on a tear lately, while the other members of IU's '09 class have their teams playing well as of late. HoosierNation.com gives you the latest news from the Hoosiers' top 10 class, along with updates on a slew of other 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 recruiting targets...

Bobby Capobianco, 6-8, 230, Loveland (Ohio) H.S. – Capobianco was back to his old self Friday, scoring a season-high 25 points to lead Loveland to a 62-47 win over Anderson H.S. That came on the heels of a solid 18-point, 13-rebound effort in a road win against Kings H.S. After missing the season opener as he continued to recover from off-season surgery on his toe, Capobianco has led Loveland (3-2) to three straight wins and is now averaging 18.5 points per game. As a junior Capobianco averaged 20.9 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per outing.

Maurice Creek, 6-4, 185, Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy – Hargrave improved to 12-1 heading into the holiday break with an 83-73 win over Patrick Henry CC last week. Chris Braswell led the way with 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Creek chipped in 14 points and three steals. Creek is averaging a team-best 18.8 points per game this season, and has had a couple of big games such as his 28-point, seven rebound effort in a 112-91 win over Massanutten and a 24-point effort in a 101-80 win over Louisburg College.

Derek Elston, 6-8, 210, Tipton (Ind.) H.S. – After piling up a series of lopsided wins to open the season, Tipton (7-0) had to slug it out to top Mt. Vernon 49-35 Saturday night. Elston led the way, scoring nearly half of his team's points (24) in the victory. That win came on the heels of a surprisingly easy 76-53 victory over Class 4A Westfield, as Elston piled up 30 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to lead the way. Tipton's two wins – coupled with Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers' loss to Chicago Curie – elevated Tipton to the top spot in the most recent Class 2A rankings. Elston remains among the state leaders in scoring (23.7) and rebounding (11.7). Tipton is off until Dec. 30 when it travels to New Castle, Ind., to participate in the Hall of Fame Classic against Bluffton, the fourth-ranked team in Class 2A.

Jordan Hulls, 6-0, 170, Bloomington (Ind.) South H.S. – Hulls scored seven of his 14 points in the opening quarter to help No. 1 South to a 25-9 lead and the Panthers cruised to a 73-54 win over Jeffersonville. Hulls made 6-of-8 shots on the night – including both of his 3-point attempts – to go along with four rebounds, seven assists and four steals to lead South to its sixth straight win to open the season. On Friday night, Hulls was one of four South players to score in double figures in the Panthers' 70-49 win over Lawrence Central. Hulls missed his first seven shots before making three of his last four to go along with three rebounds and a perfect 7-for-7 night at the free-throw line. Hulls is averaging 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists for the Panthers, who host Center Grove on Tuesday.

Bawa Muniru, 6-11, 250, Durham (N.C.) Mt. Zion Academy – Muniru is the starting center at Mt. Zion this season, although we've been unable to track down his statistics thus far.

Christian Watford, 6-7, 215, Birmingham (Ala.) Shades Valley H.S. – Watford continues to roll, and he's taking his Class 6A No. 3 Shades Valley H.S. team along for the ride. Last Monday Watford scored 33 and pulled down 20 rebounds in a 74-61 win over Hewitt-Trussville, and he then scored 31 in a 76-70 overtime loss to ninth-ranked Pinson Valley H.S. Watford has now scored 30 or more in three of his last five games, and he's averaging 23.8 points and 12.5 rebounds for Shades Valley (12-2).

Other Notables:
Class of 2009 recruiting target Darius Smith had 20 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead Chicago Marshall to a 72-53 win over Crane H.S. Crane star (and Illinois commit) Crandall Head scored 14 points in the game's first 10 minutes and finished with 21 in a losing effort…Class of 2011 commit Matt Carlino scored 10 points to help Highland H.S. to a 63-53 win over Desert Mountain Dec. 15. Highland is off until Jan. 6…Class of 2012 recruiting target D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 12 points and Purdue-bound 2010 recruit Terone Johnson scored 22 to lead Class 4A No. 3 North Central (6-0) to a 61-57 win over Hamilton Southeastern. Johnson is averaging 23.8 points/game, while Smith-Rivera is at 16.6…in an ego-boosting win for the state of Indiana, Louisville signee Stephan Van Treese scored 17 to lead Class 4A No. 4 Lawrence North to a 63-61 win over traditional Chicago Public League power Chicago Simeon…after losing two of its first three to start the season, Marquis Teague's Pike team has rolled to back-to-back 20-plus point victories. The most recent was Friday, when Teague scored 21 and Chandler Thomas added 13 points and 12 rebounds in an 87-52 win over Columbus North…New Albany junior Donnie Hale had 16 points and 13 rebounds in three quarters of action to lead Class 4A No. 6 New Albany to a 91-32 win over Clarksville. That gave Hale four straight double-doubles after a 22-point, 11-rebound effort against Floyd Central (W 74-50); an 18-point, 14-rebound performance against Corydon Central (W 70-40); and a 29-point, 18-rebound outing against Columbus East (W 70-60)…Muncie Central sophomore Jeremiah Davis had 14 points and six assists in a 57-51 win over Delta, helping his team improve to 4-2…Bloomington (Ind.) South sophomore Spencer Turner connected on four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 15 points in South's 73-54 win over Jeffersonville. Fellow sophomore Dee Davis added 12 points and four assists…Chicago Foreman junior Lavonte Dority scored 16 points to help his team to a 68-58 win over Gary (Ind.) West on Saturday.

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