Friday, November 06, 2015

Indiana battling Howland, Mississippi State for recruits

The two highest profile recruiting targets for Indiana in 2016 -- De'Ron Davis and Mario Kegler -- are both nearing decisions. They both are also considering Mississippi State as a college destination. New Bulldogs' coach Ben Howland has been cleaning up on the recruiting trail ahead of his first season in Starkville. Just this week, Howland picked up four-star commit #4 in the 2016 class as top-5 center Schnider Herard popped for the Bulldogs. 247Sports lists the current MSU class as the 10th best in the country, but it seems Howland is not done. That's where Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers come in to play.

Not often are Indiana and Mississippi State battling for the same recruits, but that's the situation we find ourselves in now with the decisions of Davis and Kegler looming in the (probably) not-too-distant future. Davis, a 6'10" PF from Aurora, Colorado, has been on Indiana's radar since he was a freshman. Steve McClain was originally lead recruiter, having ties to Colorado following his three-years as as an assistant at CU. With McClain now the head man at UIC, it seems Chuck Martin may now be taking the lead

Kegler, on the other hand, is a Mississippi native that Indiana has only more recently gotten invovled in. The 4-star SF made an official visit to Bloomington for Hoosier Hysteria (on 10/23), but had previously made official visits to Maryland (10/15), Mississippi State (10/10), Baylor (9/25) and Arizona State (9/18). The Crystal Ball experts like MSU at 82%, but there's no reason to think it's a done deal just yet. 

Of course, between the two recruits it certainly seems that Davis is the more realistic possibility. It's a bit concerning that Mississippi State has come late and made such an impact. The Crystal Ball still favors the Hoosiers at 86%, though it should be noted that both MSU predictions came from Bulldogs247 writers.

Davis is visiting MSU this week, but Chuck Martin made sure to drop by Aurora HS earlier in the week (see link above) to check in on him first. The most recent word from Davis' coach is that the Hoosiers remain "out in front" (tweet link). Interestingly, Mississippi State is hosting another big man - 6'11 C Abdul Ado - at nearly the same time as Davis. Not to mention both are visiting just days after Herard's commitment. 

Indiana still covets Davis as their #1 frontcourt target. De'Ron would be a crucial addition to the Indiana roster, as the Hoosiers' perform much better with a capable big man in the rotation. Although it was only exhibition, we have already caught a glimpse of how this year's offense flows with big man Thomas Bryant in the fold. Pairing center Bryant with Davis at PF would give Indiana a frontcourt unlike any we've seen under Tom Crean. 

NOTE: I have seen some chatter floating around that Kegler and Davis could be a package deal. It's a nice thought but these things rarely come to fruition and by all accounts it seems these guys haven't know I wouldn't put much stock into that. Not yet, at least.

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