Bloomington – The IU program is now taking notice of 2010 guard Josh Gasser, but the talented Milwaukee-area guard has been familiar with Hoosier coach Tom Crean for some time.
Crean spent nine years coaching at nearby Marquette University, so the 6-4, 185-pound Port Washington H.S. standout couldn't help but be up-to-speed with the man who has now been entrusted with rebuilding the Hoosier program. That tie could very well help the Hoosiers as their interest in Gasser progresses.
"We are big Tom Crean fans," Gasser said. "I love his intensity. He did some great things at Marquette and he'll also be able to do it at Indiana."
Gasser could be someone Crean wants to help him do just that. After averaging 21.7 points per game as a sophomore, Gasser is averaging 27 points and 12 rebounds per game as a junior, helping his prep team to a 6-2 start to the season. Those numbers have caught the attention of a handful of Big Ten schools, as Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Northwestern are all now showing interest.
"It's been exciting – I wasn't expecting it at first because it had been mainly mid-majors showing interest," Gasser said. "It's cool to get Big Ten teams interested now, teams that I can watch on TV. I hope it keeps going like this."
On his Wisconsin Swing AAU team Gasser is more of a pure point guard, but on his high school team he's clearly asked to take on more of a scoring role. He combines that scoring ability with plenty of other traits that coaches are looking for on the recruiting trail.
"I think I'm versatile in that I can score, defend, rebound, and I have a lot of the intangibles," Gasser said. "I'm a point guard, but I'm 6'4" and coaches like my length. They also seem to like my toughness and my competitiveness and my intelligence on the court."
With Big Ten programs now showing interest, Gasser is beginning to take a closer look at them as well. He is headed to Evanston this weekend to make an unofficial to Northwestern, and he traveled to Iowa City two weekends ago to get an up-close look at Coach Todd Lickliter's Hawkeye program.
Gasser was actually in Iowa City for Iowa's Big Ten opener against Indiana, which also gave him a chance to get a first-hand look at the Hoosiers. Now, he's hoping to get another look at what Crean is looking to do in Bloomington.
Gasser said he has been in contact with an IU assistant coach and the Hoosiers are looking for a good weekend for Gasser to make an unofficial to Bloomington. While Gasser's high school schedule makes it difficult, he said he's hoping to make it work.
"I'd love to visit for sure if I can," Gasser said. "I'm going to try to see if I can make it to a game or two."
Gasser knows that Crean has taken on a rebuilding project at IU, and that it can't be fixed overnight. But for a player who is looking for a school where he can go and compete for conference championships and play in the NCAA Tournament, Gasser says he has no doubt Crean will have the Hoosiers doing that again soon.
"I know he's rebuilding right now, starting four freshmen," Gasser said. "But in a couple of years, they'll be right back to where they used to be."
2010 Wisconsin Guard Catches IU's Eye
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