Just a week short of football season, basketball dominated the news today in Hoosierland. First, the good news: Matt Roth, a shooting guard from Metamora, Illinois, committed to the Hoosiers today. Here's a link to the Rivals top 150 for the class of 2008. You won't find Roth's name on it, so he is by far the least decorated what is now a three-man recruiting class (including #13 Devin Ebanks and #35 Bud Mackey). Still, he seems to have held his own on the prestigious Indiana Elite AAU team. Doug Wilson of the Hoosier Scoop has a Q&A with Roth's AAU coach, Mark Adams, who describes Roth as the "best shooter in the class of ‘08." Also:
"A lot of people say he’s a role player," Adams said. "I don’t think you can call him a role player because he led us in scoring a lot of the time."Adams dismisses critics who say Roth lacks athleticism."We played everybody in the country and against the best players in the country," Adams said. "Matt always kept his man between him and the basket. It’s not like he was being left behind.""He can jump up and dunk the ball behind his head. I hate to make comparisons, but you didn’t see Steve Alford doing that."
It's his AAU coach, so that all comes with a grain of salt, but still, it's Indiana Elite, so it's not as if the coach needs Roth to cement his or his program's reputation. It sounds as if the worst case scenario is that we landed a serious student who can shoot, and may have ended up with a steal. Roth decided among IU, Bradley, and St. Louis, but his AAU coach reports late offers from Illinois and Notre Dame.
More on Roth: here's an article from two years ago, before his sophomore year of high school, describing Roth as having "NBA range" and comparing him to former Notre Dame three point specialist Colin Falls. Also, there has been speculation that Roth and IU target Tyler Zeller became good friends while playing for Indiana Elite. Zeller is #22 on the Rivals top 150 and seems to be IU's top recruiting priority at the moment.
The bad: it appears that Aussie big man Ben Allen will not return to IU. While Mike Pegram reports that the decision may not be final, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne New Sentinel, a pretty reliable guy on IU issues who used to be with Inside Indiana, reports that Allen will transfer to St, Mary's in California. Pete, again, has covered IU from a long time, but I'm not entirely comfortable with his report. He says: "All signs point that Allen, a native of Australia, will not return and join the Hoosiers." Says who? A source close to Allen? A source close to IU? A close source to St. Mary's? Allen's girlfriend? It's an odd construction, and so I suppose we ought to hold off on any post-mortem of Allen's IU career.