Bloomington – Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep liked Jio Fontan when he was a standout prep player at St. Anthony's H.S. in Jersey City, N.J., and his opinion hasn't wavered following one season at Fordham.
Telep and staff had Fontan ranked as the nation's No. 13 point guard in the 2008 recruiting class. That's two spots ahead of a player once committed to IU (Xavier's Terrell Holloway, No. 15), four spots ahead of a player IU just played (Pitt's Travon Woodall, No. 17) and 19 spots ahead of a player on IU's roster (Verdell Jones, No. 32).
Now, Indiana appears to have visions of possibly adding him to its 2010-11 roster. The 6'0", 180-pounder will be in Bloomington tomorrow to watch the Hoosiers play Kentucky in front of a capacity crowd at Assembly Hall.
If Indiana does eventually add Fontan to its roster, Telep believes Indiana would be getting a good one.
""As a high schooler, Jio was on one of the most loaded backcourts of the decade," said Telep. " He's a run-the-team guy whose confidence grew each season and he's played with and against the best."
Playing for legendary St. Anthony's coach Bob Hurley, Fontan played point on a 2007-08 squad that went 32-0 and was ranked No. 1 in the nation at season's end by USA Today. Fontan averaged 10.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists on a squad that had six seniors sign Division I scholarships.
That team's backcourt was particularly loaded, with Fontan playing alongside Woodall (Pitt), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas), Mike Rosario (Rutgers) and Alberto Estwick (Fordham). IU Coach Tom Crean was very familiar with Taylor in particular, having signed him to play at Marquette. Taylor was granted a release from his letter of intent when Crean departed the Big East school for Indiana and he landed at Kansas, where he's starting for Coach Bill Self's No.1 ranked Jayhawks and averaging 7.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
The experience of playing with that assembly of talent – coupled with his Atlantic 10 All-Rookie honors following the 2008-09 campaign – convinces Telep that Fontan is ready for the challenge of playing in the Big Ten or in any other major conference that he winds up choosing.
"Nothing fazes him," Telep said.
Telep Offers Take on Fontan
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