IU landed its first commitment for the basketball recruiting class that will enroll in 2010. David Williams, a 6-6 forward from Jacksonville, Florida. Coverage here from the Star, Hoosier Scoop, Peegs, and Inside the Hall. I don't follow recruiting all that closely, but even the true recruitniks seem to have been caught by surprise by this commitment. According to multiple sources, Williams accepted IU's offer on the same day it was extended, and combining that with his less-than-overwhelming (i.e., nonexistent) rankings, this is a surprise. It's still fairly early in the 2010 recruiting game, so to give away a scholarship so early, Crean and the staff must think they know something others don't.
On a positive note, Williams need only exceed the accomplishments of fan favorite Larry Richardson to become IU's best player from greater Jacksonville.
This commitment seems to be causing a fair amount of hand-wringing on the various message boards and other blogs and the like. That's certainly understandable, considering what people hope to see from the 2010 class. On the other hand, the only reasonable explanation for "reaching" by offering Williams a scholarship nearly seven months before signing day is that the staff doesn't believe that Williams is a reach at all. They must believe that he is a legitimate contributor. If he's just a run-of-the-mill player ranked in the 150-250 range, then why make a move on him in April? If he's really not any better than that, then he or an equivalent player would be suceptible to an Indiana offer in September.
I don't want to sound like a pollyanna, "trust the coach no matter what" type. Still, based on my foundational belief that Tom Crean isn't an idiot, my only conclusion is that the staff thinks that the recruiting services have missed badly on this kid.