Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weekend festivities

Herald Times Online
As many Hoosier fans already know, Cody Zeller makes his official visit to Bloomington this weekend. Needless to say, this is the most important weekend for IU recruiting in recent history. Landing Zeller, the number 20 overall HS senior, would be the biggest recruit signing since Eric Gordon.
On Friday night, the school will host their Night of the Living Red event at Assembly Hall. The evening consists of trick-or-treating activities for kids and families, a full scrimmage at 8pm and autographs afterwards. It is similar to last years Haunted Hall of Hoops and the timing works well in that Zeller will be able to see somewhat of a Hoosier Hysteria Part 2.

Another bonus for Zeller's official visit is that his good friend and AAU teammate Austin Etherington will be making his official visit, as well. Etherington is Indiana's lone 2011 commitment but never made an official visit before announcing his decision. Zeller and Etherington will have all their meal, etc. expenses covered by the school per NCAA rules this will allow the coaching staff to really focus on winning Cody over. Many recruiting outlets and experts are feeling that Cody is Indiana's to lose right now. After his official visits to Butler and North Carolina, experts believe that IU remains at the front of the race and that this weekend's visit should seal the deal. Zeller has been to campus many times on unofficial visits, including a weekday visit to the Kelley School of Business with his parents earlier this month.

Also expected to be on campus on unofficial visits this weekend are 2012 standouts Hanner Perea and Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell. Both 5* top-25 juniors have been to campus many times and have formed a bond with each other and with Etherington. Ferrell is also close with Zeller and has been quoted in the past saying that Cody's decision will have an effect on his, as he would love to play with Cody at the next level. Perea has played with both Ferrell and Etherington, but not Zeller. It is believed that Cody's decision will have little to no impact on Hanner's, but at this point it seems Indiana has to be the clear leader for Perea. He has long said that his top 2 schools are Indiana and Baylor, but after the recent scandal involving his recruitment by the Baylor staff, one would have to believe that he is leaning towards Indiana. Hanner is also great friends with his AAU teammate Peter Jurkin, one of the IU's two 2012 commitments. No word on whether or not he may commit earlier than his current Spring timeline, but it is not out of the question that a Perea commit could sway the opinions of Zeller and Yogi. In this case, Coach Crean could potentially land three 5* top-25 recruits in a row and be in a lot better shape with other top ranked recruits, like Gary Harris (#24) and Jeremy Hollowell (#39).

Should Zeller choose IU on November 10th (the supposed decision/signing date), I would imagine Crean and staff would close up shop on the class of 2011 and carry the remaining open scholarship over to a more talented 2012 class. Zeller is clearly the keystone to all of this recruiting talk, so it is easy to see that this weekend has HUGE implications on the short-term future of this basketball program. Hopefully the recruits enjoy themselves this weekend and Crean is able to seal the deal.

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