Weekend Visitor Wilkins On IU's Radar - Again

The Indiana coaching staff has been to Southeastern Community College a couple of times recently to watch John Wilkins workout, and now the 6'9" big man is headed to IU for an official visit. Southeastern CC Coach Terry Carroll talks about the IU target...

Bloomington – When Indiana Coach Tom Crean was looking for some frontcourt remedies two years ago, John Wilkins was a name that surfaced. Now two years later, Wilkins' name is on the radar again.

The 6'9" power forward from Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa, is reportedly set to take an official visit to Indiana this weekend. Southeastern Community College Coach Terry Carroll said this morning that he had just recently returned from spring break so he hadn't talked to Wilkins about the visit to IU, but the news didn't come as a shock.

"I'm not surprised he'd want to take a visit there – I thought he would want to," Carroll said. "(The Indiana coaches) have been here several times to watch him."

Carroll said the staff was at the southeastern Iowa junior college as recently as a week and a half ago to watch Wilkins workout. While Carroll said the Hoosier staff didn't share their thoughts about the big man, he believes there is a lot to like.

"He's extremely gifted and talented," Carroll said. "He's 6-9 and can shoot it. He's not as strong as he needs to be, so he needs to improve in that area. But he's really coachable and he wants to improve."

A native of Belgium, Wilkins is the son of former NBA player Jeff Wilkins, who was a second-round NBA Draft pick in 1977 and spent six seasons in the NBA. At the urging of his father – who resides in Gary, Ind. - John came to the United States in the summer of 2008. Despite some questions about whether or not he'd be able to get cleared by the NCAA to play during the 2008-09 season, he immediately became a hot recruiting commodity for Indiana and a host of other schools for several months.

Wilkins eventually verballed to Bradley, but couldn't get cleared to play. That prompted the move to Southeastern Community College this season, where he's scheduled to complete his Associate's Degree this spring. While at Southeastern CC, though, he's been ruled ineligible to play for the entire season because he played in five professional games in Europe when he was 16 years old.

He has been able to practice with the team throughout the 2009-10 season, and he's still attracted attention from Iowa State (where he had reportedly verballed two weeks ago), Providence, Marquette, Kansas State and Tennessee, among others.

"It's a little hard to judge sometimes because he hasn't been able to play in any games," Carroll said. "But from a practice standpoint he's been really good and is upside is really big. He was really disappointed that he couldn't play, but he's tried to make the most of it."

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