With the Indiana Hoosiers' basketball team back on track this season, despite a less than daunting schedule, there are plenty of reasons to pay extra attention to IU during the holiday season. One of the more entertaining facets if you're a stats/recruiting dork like myself, is to follow some of the Hoosiers' commitments and targets as many of them are Indiana High School athletes.
The 2011 class got a huge boost with the signing of Washington Hatchets' standout, Cody Zeller several weeks ago. Zeller, who is the defending state champions' big man and the youngest of three brothers, who went to Notre Dame and North Carolina.
The near seven-footer is coming off a pair of huge games last week, which included a pair of victories. Zeller piled up 27 points and 20 rebounds to go with four assists and two blocks in a 79-71 win at Evansville Bosse on Dec. 17 and tallied 18 points with 19 rebounds in a 61-42 win over Sullivan the next night in front of IU coach Tom Crean.
Austin Etherington, a 2011 signee from Hamilton Heights scored 37 combined points in a split versus Western and Noblesville last week. Etherington and his squad won 50-44 against Western and lost 79-60 to Noblesville.
Plenty of eyes are also on the heralded 2012 class, which includes four commitments with three of them playing hoops in the Hoosier state.
Hanner Perea, a superbly athletic player for La Porte La Lumiere in Indiana posted 18 points and 21 rebounds in a 69-53 victory over Princeton Day Academy in a game that was played in Chicago on Dec. 18.
Park Tudor guard, Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, bounced back from a nine-point effort in the Panther's first loss of the year to Guerin Catholic and drilled Triton Central for 17 points and 10 assists in a 61-47 victory. The point guard is one of the most highly ranked nationally at his position.
Broad Ripple posted a pair of wins and Ron Patterson was a big reason why as he sank 27 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, during a 71-59 victory against Decatur Central. He then helped the Rockets bump to 5-1 overall with a 13-point game in a 68-49 victory at Indianapolis Northwest on Dec. 17.
The final 2012 commitment hails from United Faith Christian Academy in North Carolina. Peter Jurkin tallied 11 points in a 98-44 victory on Dec. 17 and then added eight points in a 105-69 victory over an Australian Club team the following evening.
Coach Tom Crean has already received verbal commitments from players as young as the freshmen and sophomore classes and that group has already excelled despite barely cracking the lid on their high school careers.
Class of 2013 commitments include Indianapolis Cathedral's Collin Hartman, who posted 18 points in an 87-79 victory against Lafayette Central Catholic on Dec. 17, and Warren Central's Devin Davis contributed 22 points in a win at Ben Davis.
The 2014 class is making a splash during their freshman seasons as well as James Blackmon (Fort Wayne Luers) and Trey Lyles (Indianapolis Tech) have led their respective teams.
Blackmon's team is unbeaten at 5-0 and he posted 24 points (10-of-18) shooting in a 67-54 victory at Ft. Wayne Concordia and added 27 points in a victory the following night against Indianapolis Howe. Over at Tech, Lyles rang up 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 73-61 victory against Indianapolis Washington.
Special thanks to Alex Bozich at Insidethehall.com for the statistics.