Capobianco Has Something To Prove

Bloomington - Bobby Capobianco will always be an answer to this IU basketball trivia question - who was the first basketball player to verbal to Tom Crean once he took the IU job? But Capobianco wants to be known for a whole lot more than just that by the time his IU career is done...

Bloomington – Don't confuse Bobby Capobianco's excitement with awe.

The 6'8", 240-pound freshman from Loveland, Ohio, is all smiles about his opportunity to play at Indiana for Coach Tom Crean. He first developed a relationship with Crean when he was being recruited by Marquette, and he'd developed an affinity for the IU program thanks to its proximity to Ohio and his ties with the Bloomington-based Indiana Elite AAU program.

So when Crean took the Indiana job and continued to recruit the Loveland H.S. standout, it only made sense that he'd be the first person to pledge to Crean at his new job.

"I came here for two reasons – it's Indiana basketball and I wanted to play for Coach Crean," Capobianco said.

Now that his IU career is underway, Capobianco is thinking about a lot more than simply the opportunity to put the Indiana jersey on. He's focused on preparing himself to do something when he has it on beginning this season.

"I want to prove something to people that I'm not just ‘Oh wow, it's Indiana, I'm here.' I'm not just here to soak in it, I'm here to take advantage of the opportunity," Capobianco said.

If Capobianco gets his way, he'll start taking advantage of that opportunity immediately. He's one member of a six-person recruiting class that was ranked among the top-10 in the nation according to Like fellow freshmen Derek Elston, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford, Capobianco arrived on campus early to get a head start on both classes and conditioning.

The Hoosiers' freshman class is expected to play a very prominent role on this year's team, and Capobianco is willing do whatever is asked, wherever it is on the floor.

"I was asked earlier if I was seen as a center – I am NOT a center," Capobianco said. "But if coach says, ‘Bobby, you need to go in there and be a center,' that's what I'm going to go do."

What Capobianco thinks is a better fit, though, is power forward. Throughout the recruiting process Crean talked to him about filling a role similar to the one played by Lazar Hayward at Marquette, a versatile big man who could score both inside and out depending on the match-up.

His physical frame should make him a good fit to just do that, someone who's able to set plenty of screens and then flare out and knock down perimeter jump shots as well.

But however he gets used, Capobianco says he's out to prove that he can be a big part of turning the Hoosiers' fortunes around. As one of only two members of IU's 2009 recruiting class that wasn't ranked in the's Top 100, he has heard that some doubt the kind of impact he will make and wants to do what he can to answer those questions.

"I think I have a lot to bring to the table, I have a lot to prove to people," Capobianco said. "It's the situation I can see myself being in. It's going to take a lot of hard work but that's hard work I'm capable of. I want to do that and prove people wrong.

"I have a lot of dreams and I want to get there and I'm going to work hard to get there." Top Stories