So when is the next big IU recruiting story going to break?
Last summer, the Hoosiers were constantly in the news as they went about piecing together a last-minute '08 class while also lining up a top-10 2009 recruiting class. But since then, things have been relatively quiet when it comes to IU recruiting. IU did secure a commitment from 2011 shooting guard Matt Carlino and the Hoosier staff has been traveling the country in an effort to get well positioned for upcoming classes, but there's been no earth-shattering news as of late.
So what are the recruiting stories that IU fans should be keeping an eye on in the upcoming news cycles? Here are a handful…
- Marquis Teague's college decision – Last weekend, Pike sophomore point guard Marquis Teague told Scout.com's Evan Daniels that his decision will be coming "shortly." While conventional wisdom is that his long-time leader Louisville remains the team to beat, Crean has put on a fullcourt press in recent months to try to convince him to play in Bloomington instead. It's clearly made an impression, and Indiana is no longer the long shot that it once appeared to be back in the fall. While that's the good news, there's probably some bad news here as well. Truth be told, the longer Teague decides to wait, the better Indiana's chances probably are. So the news that Teague's decision was imminent probably wasn't the best of news to the IU staff.
- Where Darius Smith schedules his three remaining official visits – Indiana has offered the Chicago Marshall H.S. senior a scholarship, and Crean is hoping to get one of Smith's remaining official visits in the not-too-distant future. Smith made officials to Minnesota and George Washington in the fall, and he's scratched both teams from his list of possibilities. That leaves Smith with only three remaining visits, so securing an official visit would suggest that there's a very real chance of eventually securing a commitment. Everyone involved has been tight-lipped about where Smith is leaning, so his official visit schedule will offer the first true glimpse into who he's been giving serious consideration to lately.
- Will Indiana make it onto Kyrie Irving's short list – The one certainty about IU's 2010 efforts appears to be that this combo guard is No. 1 on Crean's wish list. Both Crean and assistant coach Roshown McLeod were on hand for Irving's season debut in January (he missed the year's first 12 games due to transfer rules), and McLeod has been focusing plenty of attention on this potential McDonald's All-American. Irving recently helped lead St. Patrick to the Non-Public B state championship with a 76-62 win over Trenton Catholic. Irving, who averaged 16.2 points per game this season, scored 11 points in the second half of the title game after going scoreless in the opening half. Irving told us last month that he's cutting his list of schools down to about 10, and that he'll cut it in half after the AAU season for his five official visits. Indiana appears to have a very good chance making that final five.
- What's going to happen at Kentucky – The drama that's been brewing in Lexington, Ky., should be more than just a spectator sport for Indiana fans. There's clearly mutual dissatisfaction between Coach Billy Gillispie and the UK administration, and the next couple of weeks will reveal whether this will die down now that the season is over, or if one side or the other will decide that this is a partnership that isn't going to work. If the latter happens, it could have an impact on what's going to happen with 2010 UK commit Dominique Ferguson from Indianapolis' Lawrence North H.S. as well as with 2011 Muncie Central point guard Jeremiah Davis (who is believed to be a UK lean). A coaching change would likely shake up both players' lists, and Indiana could be the beneficiary.
- Is Matt Carlino moving to Bloomington – Soon after Carlino committed to Indiana last summer, rumors began to circulate that the family of the 2011 Phoenix, Ariz., product would relocate to Bloomington for his final two years of high school. Those rumors intensified this winter when it was confirmed that Carlino will be playing with the Bloomington-based Indiana Elite AAU team this spring and summer. Whether Carlino moves or not won't have an impact on his recruiting situation, but it would offer local fans the opportunity see the future Hoosier for a couple of years at the high school level before he joins Crean's Hoosier team in the fall of 2011.
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