Bloomington – When one of IU's top recruiting targets wanted to come to town for an unofficial visit this weekend, IU Coach Tom Crean wasn't about to let his recent knee surgery get in the way of the trip.
So 2011 prospect Marshall Plumlee's unofficial went off as planned Saturday and Sunday, and a slightly-hobbled Crean was every bit as involved as he always is despite undergoing surgery on Friday to repair torn meniscus in his right knee.
"It meant a lot to me that Coach Crean made the effort to come see me," said Plumlee, Scout.com's 35th-ranked player in the 2011 class. "I had no idea he underwent knee surgery. I really appreciate the effort he made. If I'd known he was going through that, I wouldn't have tried to trouble him. That was really great of him."
Despite the recent surgery, Crean couldn't pass on the chance to sit down with one of his most coveted recruits in the 2011 class. The 6'11" Plumlee has had an IU scholarship offer since last fall, and he wanted to make a visit before returning to North Carolina to start his junior year at The Christ School in Arden, N.C.
"I was just trying to squeeze it in before going back to school," Plumlee said. "I really enjoyed it."
The IU unofficial comes on the heels of similar trips to Michigan, Florida and Purdue, and Plumlee said he still plans to make stop offs at Northwestern, Virginia and Duke before school gets underway.
This weekend's visit was just the latest visit to IU for Plumlee, who's familiar with the town thanks to his affiliation with the Bloomington-based Indiana Elite AAU squad. But he said it was still a very worthwhile visit for both him and his family.
"On past visits I've been able to get a good idea what campus is like, so these visits from here on out are more about building a relationship with the coaches," Plumlee said. "This time was particularly good because (Crean) showed me some game film of the style of play he likes, and also how he could see me playing."
Plumlee said Crean wouldn't necessarily see him filling a particular role that other players he's coached have played. Instead, IU's coached talked more about how he could help Plumlee develop his game and then how he'd utilize those skills in his system.
"He thinks strongly that every player is unique and that you have to try to expand their game," Plumlee said. "He's adamant about working on developing a players' skill set and then basing the way the team plays around his personnel."
One of the things that makes Plumlee so enticing is that there are a lot of skills to work with, and probably even more to develop. He's already taller than his older brothers Miles and Mason, both of whom are at Duke. He combines that size with a tremendous work ethic and a tenacity on the court that lead many to believe he will continue to improve at a very rapid rate over the next several years.
Crean hopes that he will eventually get the chance to help Plumlee in that regard.
"He does well with improving players and maximizing their potential," Plumlee said.
While player development is one of Crean's big selling points, so is his vision for the program.
"He stressed the tradition and how IU can be as great if not better as it once was," Plumlee said. "I'm really excited for him, because I think he can achieve that goal, really turning the program around and making IU the program that it once was."
Crean obviously wants Plumlee to be a part of turning the program around, but he'll have to wait a while before the big man is ready to make a college decision. He said he doesn't envision making a decision anytime soon, and he's not ready to shut the door on any program that is interested in him.
"I'm doing my due diligence to visit all the schools I can and learn as much as I can, because there are so many great programs out there," Plumlee said. "I don't have a specific time frame, but I don't see myself making a decision anytime soon. I'm going to wait and see how things develop, see how teams do this year, and do my homework."
Plumlee Talks IU Unofficial
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