Indiana's fall signing class clearly addressed the team's need for outside shooting, but now another question mark hovers over the program---who's going to man the middle over the next couple seasons? A valid question since Luke Fischer's unexpected departure last month and the fact that Noah Vonleh is beginning to pop up in lottery territory on most of the respected NBA mock drafts for this June.
If Vonleh returns the issue may go away for a year but even then, frontcourt depth could probably use a boost. And one has to believe Indiana will have to recruit assuming Vonleh's departure.
Already we're seeing signs of that safe approach, as Indiana interest in ramping up in a few of the unsigned or uncommitted post players. Emphasis on few, because the vast majority of the top players in the country signed with schools in November.
Here's a few of the high schoolers on the radar:
Rokas Gustys - 6-foot-9, 240-pounds. Originally from Lithuania but now at prep power Oak Hill Academy (Va.). We'll have an upcoming feature on Gustys but know in the meantime he's raw offensively but a big banger that used his strength to slow down the nation's top big man, Jahlil Okafor, this past weekend the Spalding Hoop Hall Classic event in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Our Jeff Rabjohns was at the Hoop Hall Classic and had this to saw about Gustys:
A workout guy, Gustys bench presses 290 pounds. He has an incredibly strong physique for a high school senior and he used it to bang against Chicago Whitney Young's 6-10, 270-pound Jahlil Okafor. The most noticeable thing about Gustys is his strength and ability to use that strength inside, especially on defense. Okafor scored six baskets, but only three of those when Gustys was on the floor.
Gustys is unranked but holds a few offers including Georgia and Rhode Island. Now hearing from Indiana, Iowa, Wichita State and other programs.
Matt Cimino - 6-foot-10, 220-pounds. This guy is a little more on the radar and currently ranked No. 138 in the Rivals150. Has recently reported just a Tulsa scholarship offer but he's been hearing regularly from a number of ACC, SEC and A-10 programs.
Cimino impressed us at the Hoop Hall event when he knocked down 9-for-12 from the floor in a 22 point, eight rebound, three block game versus Cushing Academy. Plenty of college coaches lined the sideline that today and his offer list should grow over the coming weeks.
Indiana interest has only been recent but in our feature this week on Cimino, he confirmed that he's still very open to new suitors.
Notes on Cimino from Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi after scouting him this weekend:
A 6-foot-10 interior player with soft hands, good mobility and touch to 18 feet, Cimino had a good outing on the offensive end (at Hoop Hall) He lacks strength, but as he packs on weight he can contribute at the high major level
Andre Adams - 6-foot-9, 205-pounds. Outside of five-star Myles Turner, Adams is the highest ranked uncommitted Class of 2014 Rivals150 player listed as a power forward or center. The Phoenix, Arizona area player is ranked No. 119 and holds offers from multiple Pac-12 programs.
Indiana has been listed for some time with Adams. The Hoosier staff saw him repeatedly over the summer since he played AAU last summer for the Arizona Magic alongside former Indiana target and Stanford signee Michael Humphrey.
Eric Bossi had this to say about Adams in mid-November:
A 6-foot-9 big man from Arizona who can run the floor and block shots, Adams recruitment has been relatively quiet. Watch out for San Diego State with him in the spring.
Look for interest in Adams to pick up this spring, especially if he shows he's added some strength and done all the he needs to do in the classroom.
Junior college options
he explosion of prep schools nationwide has reduced the number of high major prospects in the junior college ranks but there are a number of interesting big men still available. Two years older, junior college posts are often more prepared for the high major transition even if they never were highly recruited out of high school.
Here's what we ran down on that front earlier this month:
Anthony Allen - 7'0, 245-lbs center out of Lamar State College in Port Arthur, Texas. Allen is in his third year of junior college, second year of playing after a redshirt season early on at College of Southern Idaho. He's raw, originally from Jamaica, but continues to improve. Now averaging 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds -- and best of all he blocks shots, to the tune of 6.2 per game. Holds offers from Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Willie Atwood - 6'8, 215 lbs power forward out of Connors State C.C. in Warner, Oklahoma. Averaging 21.1 points, 9.3 rebounds for top 25 ranked team. Set a school record with 49 points on November 18 in 90-87 loss to Independence CC. Holds offers from Wichita State and some mid-major teams and has plenty of Big 12 and SEC interest along with Gonzaga. Took recent official visit to Marshall.
Jaleel Cousins - 6'10, 260 lbs center at Narra College in Texas. More of a defensive presence and rebounder right now but has talented bloodlines as he's the younger brother of NBA forward DeMarcus Cousins.
Then there are a couple of Sudanese Jucos. With Peter Jurkin being from the country and the other ties to Sudan in Bloomington (A-HOPE, Duany family), Indiana should often have a good chance to get heavily involved.
Deng Deng - 6'8, 220 lbs power forward at Lee Community College in Baytown, Texas. Offers already from Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Utah, Washington State and Nebraska. Stats for Lee CC players are not online but a year ago he averaged 10 points and eight boards per game. Was an LSU commit last year but that fell through after he ended up staying a second season at Lee. More of a face-up four but described as a "pogo stick" athlete. Holds residency in Australia.
Deng Leek - 7'1, 240 lbs center at Jacksonville College in Texas. Long and raw, blocks shots and runs the court well. Limited offensively. Former Western Kentucky signee may be at mid-major level but if all you need is an athletic shotblocker, he could be the ticket. Former Indiana Elite player and part of the A-HOPE program that helped bring current Hoosiers Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin to the United States.