Hoosier Recruiting Notebook

Matt Carlino (pictured) and Derek Elston are both fresh off tourney MVP performances at holiday events, while other IU recruiting targets such as Darius Smith, Brandon Mobley, Bobby Capobianco and Christian Watford have put together some huge individual efforts as of late. We have all the details on a slew of IU recruits and recruiting targets...

Bobby Capobianco, 6-8, 230, Loveland (Ohio) H.S. – Capobianco had a monster night on the boards on Tuesday, pulling down 18 to go along with 11 points to lead Loveland (4-2) to a hard-fought 37-34 win over Mason H.S. Capobianco made only 3-of-11 shots from the field and Loveland was just 13-of-43 as a team, but Capobianco's work on the glass helped them to their fourth consecutive win. Capobianco is now averaging 17.0 points and 9.4 rebounds. Loveland returns to action Friday when it hosts Harrison H.S. at 7:30 p.m.

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 Dec. 17, and they're off until a Jan. 11 match-up against Averett University. 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. – Elston earned MVP honors this week at the Hall of Fame Classic in New Castle. Elston had 14 points, four rebounds and three steals in 23 minutes to lead Class 2A No. 1 Tipton (8-1) an easy 49-36 win over Class 2A No. 2 Bluffton. He followed that up with 16 points and six rebounds in a 43-41 loss to Class 4A No. 7 Franklin Central in the finale. While Tipton lost in the event's championship game, Elston did out-play Purdue-bound forward Patrick Bade who finished with seven points and five rebounds in the game. Elston is now averaging 20.9 points and 10.4 rebounds, and he'll return to action Jan. 9 against West Lafayette.

Jordan Hulls, 6-0, 170, Bloomington (Ind.) South H.S. – Hulls' top-ranked Bloomington South Panthers have been off since a Dec. 20 73-54 win over Jeffersonville. They were scheduled to play Center Grove Dec. 23, but icy roads forced a postponement. South (6-0) returns to action Jan. 3 at Evansville Harrison. 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. – One day after blowing an 18-point second half lead to lose 56-55 to Erwin H.S. in the first round of its own Choo-Choo Classic, Shades Valley (12-3) bounced back with a 66-51 win over Minor H.S. in the consolation game. Watford was big in both games, going for 34 points in the loss to Erwin and then coming back with a 20-point, 12-rebound effort against Minor H.S. Watford has now scored 30 or more in four of his last seven games, and he's averaging 24.1 points and 12.4 rebounds for Shades Valley.

Other Notables:
Matt Carlino's top-ranked Highland H.S. team held No. 2 Mesa Mountain View (12-1) to 13 percent shooting in a 45-35 win in the final of the Arizona Basketball Classic Tuesday night. Carlino led the way for Highland (14-1) with 16 points against Mountain View and earned tourney MVP honors after leading Highland to four straight wins. Carlino averaged 19.3 points per game in the four contests…Savannah Windsor Forest H.S. junior Brandon Mobley is averaging 21 points and 15 rebounds per game and has helped his team to six straight wins…New Albany junior Donnie Hale continues to impress, going for 21 points and 17 rebounds Sunday to help his team to a 69-57 win over Evansville Harrison. New Albany is the sixth-ranked team in Class 4A and has now won 29 straight regular season games…Chicago Marshall senior Darius Smith poured in 31 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists to lead his team to a 69-44 win over Wirt (Ind.) H.S. in the Gary Holiday Tournament…Chicago (Ill.) Foreman junior Lavonte Dority had 28 points to lead his team to a 73-67 win over New Trier in the Proviso West Tournament this week…sophomore Marshall Plumlee helped Christ (NC) School to a win at the highly prestigious GSK Holiday Invitational this week, topping John Wall's Word of God team 76-73 in the final. Marshall's brother – Duke-bound Mason Plumlee – earned tourney MVP honors. Christ School is now 18-0…Jeffersontown (Ky.) junior Aaron Cosby scored a team-high 13 points to lead his fourth-ranked team to a 64-50 win over Pittsburgh Mt. Vernon H.S. in the final of the Gaslight Holiday Classic in Louisville…Indianapolis North Central freshman D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 16 points in his team's 89-82 win over East Chicago (Ind.) H.S. in the final of the North Central Invitational. Purdue-bound junior Terone Johnson led the way with 29 points for North Central, which is now 8-0 and ranked second in Class 4A behind Bloomington South…Pike sophomore Marquis Teague scored 26 points against that same East Chicago team in the first round of the North Central Holiday Invitational, but it wasn't enough as East Chicago won 87-82.

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