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October 29, 2012

Weekend wrap: Hoosiers wrap up another


MORE: Bossi mailbag

For the most part, it was another quiet weekend on the recruiting front. However, programs in the state of Indiana bolstered their recruiting classes with Rivals150 players as Indiana scored Troy Williams and Butler added Rene Castro. In our weekly weekend review we take a look at the impact of those and other commitments.

Hoo(sier) done it

Head coach Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers already had a top-20 recruiting class headed into the weekend. It was also one that is heavy on wings.

With the addition of the No. 37 player in the 2013 Rivals150, Troy Williams, the class just got better and even more wing-heavy.

One of the nation's top wing athletes, Williams, a Hampton (Va.) native who is spending his senior season at Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill, put an end to a recruitment that had been a bit of a roller-coaster ride

He was going to commit to either Kentucky and North Carolina last spring. Then, he decided to open things back up and was going to wait until the spring of his senior season. Now, he's off the board.

At 6-foot-6, Williams is a high-flyer with speed, quickness and the ability to impact the game with his athleticism. He's strong slashing along either baseline to the hoop, is a big-time transition finisher and, when he wants to be, can be one of the most effective offensive rebounders in the class of 2013.

At times, Williams falls in love with the jumper when that happens to be the area of his game that needs the most improvement. He will continue to work on improving that jumper but is a guy who has the tools to be a Shawn Marion-type player if he's willing to commit himself to being a little more of an inside-out player.

So, what does his commitment mean for the Hoosiers? It means a few things.

Most of all, they continue to build a pipeline into the Mid-Atlantic area. The Hoosiers were already starting to make noise in the D.C. area. Then over the summer they hired assistant coach Kenny Johnson, who coached at a very good St. Paul VI program in the D.C. area while also helping out with the loaded Team Takeover summer program.

By adding Williams, they extend their reach over a little further east in the region and add a kid whose uncle, Boo Williams, runs one of the most-storied summer programs (Boo Williams Summer League) and they get their first player from might Oak Hill.

Does that mean that success continues? Not entirely, but it's pretty clear the Hoosiers are building a pipeline into the area.

In addition to Williams, the Hoosiers' class includes three other wings in four-star Stanford Robinson and homegrown three-stars Devin Davis and Collin Hartman.

Rivals150 big man Luke Fischer rounds out the class for now, but they could soon add one more. Top 50 big man BeeJay Anya -- a summer teammate of Robinson's who hails from the same high school as junior Victor Oladipo -- is down to just the Hoosiers and N.C. State after a weekend visit to Raleigh and will be making his decision soon.

Crafty combo

Given how many schools were looking for point guards, Butler deserves kudos from sneaking in their latest commitment.

The No. 144 player in the 2013 Rivals150, Rene Castro offered up a verbal commitment over the weekend.

Maybe one of the more underappreciated players in the country, the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder from Worcester (Mass.) Academy should end up an excellent player in Indianapolis. At the point guard position he has good size, makes good decisions and is a crafty and skilled player. Because of a good skill level and great instincts for scoring the ball, Castro is made even more dangerous because he can slide over and play at the two, which could allow for multiple ball-handlers on the floor. Most of all, Castro is tough and plays team basketball.

With Castro in the fold, Brad Stevens and his staff have put together a very nice group. Three-star big man Andrew Chrabasz (who played in the summer with Castro) is a physically punishing bruiser around the rim while Rivals150 power forward Nolan Berry is more of a lanky, skilled four who can face the hoop and shoot.

Weekend news

Big point guard Billy Garrett now has some company in DePaul's 2013 recruiting class. Sunday morning, junior college big man Forrest Robinson from Levelland (Texas) South Plains made a verbal pledge to join the Blue Demons.

A three-star power forward who can face up and shoot some, Robinson signed with North Texas out of high school and struggled some as a freshman averaging 1.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and six minutes per game during 16 appearances.

A major issue for him was a lack of strength which is something he has been addressing since transferring to one of the nation's premier junior college programs for his sophomore campaign.

The weekend got started with Rivals150 point guard Travis Jorgenson opening up his recruitment. No longer committed to Missouri, the Columbia, Mo. native who is spending his senior season at New Hampton (N.H.) Prep puts his name into what is already a very shallow pool of available point guards.

Since Friday morning, Tulsa, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Nebraska, Georgia, Alabama and more have reached out to the three-star senior.

Four-star big man Kennedy Meeks had been talking recently about waiting until the spring to make a decision.

Now, it looks like the 6-foot-10 center from Charlotte (N.C.) West Charlotte will have a decision much sooner. After visiting North Carolina over the weekend, it looks as if the No. 53 player could have his decision by the end of the week.

The Tar Heels are in a dead heat with Georgetown to land the soft-handed and wide-bodied big man.

Don't expect Meeks to be the only highly rated player to make his decision this week.

Barring any surprises, it's likely that we'll get final word on the destinations of four-stars Beejay Anya (Indiana or N.C. State), JaJuan Johnson (Alabama, Miami or Marquette) and Dominic Woodson (Baylor or N.C. State).



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