Bloomington – There is something that Jelan Kendrick and his family know about their upcoming slate of official visits.
With a slew of schools imploring 6'6", 185-pound guard from Marietta, Ga., to include them on his list of five official visits, Kendrick has been relatively mum on where he's headed. But his dad, Lonnie, sand there's one thing that they have settled on.
"I know for sure he isn't going to miss any days of school," Lonnie said Tuesday. "So wherever he goes, he'll go there at the end of the day Friday and be back Sunday so he can be back at school Monday."
Those are ground rules that Indiana would be more than happy to comply with as they work to get Scout.com's 15th-ranked Class of 2010 prospect on campus for a visit. While he's only allowed to take five officials, the elder Kendrick said his son could easily take more trips than that before making a decision.
"He's mentioned a couple of schools, and I'm not sure if Indiana was one of them (for an official)," Kendrick said. "But it's not all about the official visits. Like with Georgia Tech, they're a viable option for him, but he might just do an unofficial visit there since he's in Atlanta and can get there.
"I know Indiana has talked about some dates they'd like for him to come."
If Indiana does get Kendrick on campus, they'll certainly stress the program's long history of success, the young-and-talented roster, and the loyal fan base. They'll undoubtedly point to how Tom Crean's system would be tailor made for a versatile wing that can play any of the three guard positions.
But they'll also make a point of zeroing in on academics, and that's something that's going to weigh very heavily into Kendrick's decision.
"My main concern is definitely the graduation part of the piece," Kendrick said. "Academics is No. 1. If you ask me and my son, we've known a lot of football players, without saying names, but for whatever reason they didn't have a full five years, no degree, and they have nothing to fall back on."
That's not a situation that anyone in the Kendrick family wants to see Jelan face when his playing days are done, no matter how far the game of basketball takes him. That's why academics have been such a central piece of all of their conversations with various coaching staffs during the recent flood of in-home visits, Indiana included
"Even the kid that turns 22 and goes pro and plays for eight years, they're only 30 and haven't even lived half their lives," Kendrick said. "Even if you go pro, you better have that degree or plans to go back and get it. For us, it's huge."
Kendrick's father had a chance to talk to members of the IU coaching staff about Tom Crean's track record with academics, he said everything sounded good from his perspective.
"Really, he doesn't have a graduation rate there (since Crean has been at IU one season), so his rate was based on what he did at Marquette and that went really well," Kendrick said.
In addition to academics, Kendrick said style of play, the coach's job security and the makeup of the roster are also important considerations for the family as they weigh Jelan's plethora of options.
"We want to find a good fit, and hopefully he can help as a freshman, and he can help bring the program up," Kendrick said.
Something Is Settled About Kendrick's Visits
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