Bloomington – Newly-anointed top-10 national recruit Kyrie Irving has another trip set to Bloomington.
The 6'1", 165-pound Class of 2010 point guard from St. Patrick's (N.J.) H.S. will be traveling to town in two weeks along with his New Jersey Roadrunners AAU team to compete in the Adidas May Classic. He'll utilize his time in the Hoosier state to not only take an unofficial visit to IU, but also to head north and take a closer look at Notre Dame as well.
Indiana and Notre Dame are among the 10 schools that recently made the cut to be on Irving's final 10 along with Texas A&M, Kentucky, Duke, Seton Hall, Florida, Marquette, Maryland and Georgia Tech. It's a list of college basketball heavyweights, all of whom are battling over a player who has shot up Scout.com's national rankings.
Previously ranked No. 47 in the class, Irving climbed to No. 8 in Scout.com's most recent rankings released Thursday. He's also been tabbed as the No. 2 point guard in the class and is now well positioned to be a McDonald's All-American next season.
"(The jump in the rankings) surprised me a little bit, but it just shows how much hard work I've put in and the result of all of it," Irving said. "This whole spring I've had the same mind set that I did last year –continue to do my thing and show people that I can play."
Whether it was as the 47th-ranked recruit or as the No. 8 prospect, Irving has already shown plenty of people his talents.
He's a playmaker who's explosive off the dribble, excellent in transition, and very good from behind the 3-point arc. On top of that, he's used to playing with other elite players, having played alongside North Carolina-bound '09 recruit Dexter Strickland and second-ranked 2011 prospect Michael Gilchrist. That trio led Coach Kevin Boyle's team to a 30-3 mark this past season and a No. 4 ranking nationally according to USA Today.
Irving's abilities have long been apparent to Indiana, and most notably IU assistant coach Roshown McLeod who has spearheaded the Hoosiers' efforts with him. McLeod was at St. Patrick's two weeks ago to see Irving workout during the live period, and IU continues to be very much on Irving's mind.
"Indiana is just great – I have a great relationship with them," Irving said. "Coach McLeod, he's a Jersey guy since he went to St. Anthony's. We have a great relationship, and he has a great relationship with my family."
While McLeod and IU Coach Tom Crean have made a solid impression on Irving, the Hoosier fan base has as well. Irving was in Bloomington back in November for an unofficial visit, and has been impressed by the support the fans have heaped on the team despite last season's struggles.
"Their fan base is amazing," Irving said. "When I went out there to see them play, the fans were great and the atmosphere was great. It shows me people in Indiana live for basketball, and that's what I live for. That's what I want."
Indiana, in turn, wants Irving badly as well. In an IU 2010 recruiting class that figures to be relatively small, Irving is at the very top of the Hoosiers' wish list.
Now that IU has made Irving's list of 10, the next step is to still be standing when the list gets cut in half later this summer. Irving said after the AAU season concludes he'll settle on a final five and then schedule all five of his official visits before coming to a decision.
To make that final five, Irving said IU simply needs to keep doing more of the same.
"They just have to continue doing what they're doing now – continue showing me support, talking to me and continuing to build our great relationship," Irving said.
Indiana Has Something Irving Wants
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