Sampson & Co. have not yet finalized the recruiting class that will enroll in 2008, but IU did manage to secure its first commitment of the class of 2009: Derek Elston of Tipton, per Mike Pegram of Peegs.com. Elston currently is ranked #97 in his class by Rivals. According to the outstanding Jody Demling of the Louisville C-J, Van Coleman ranks Elston #76. Some have expressed concern that Purdue's Matt Painter is building a wall around Indiana, and certainly, Painter has recruited Indiana successfully, with this year's all-Indiana freshman class and the recent commitment of Crawfordsville's DJ Byrd. Nevertheless, IU landed, belatedly, Indiana's top high school player of the current freshman class. IU and Purdue both are in the running for Indiana's current top players of 2008 (Tyler Zeller) and 2009 (Stephan Van Treese). Still, Sampson will keep the natives happy by continuing to sign Indiana kids, and certainly has a reasonable possibility of landing the top in-state kid in each of his first three seasons.
Derek Elston: first 2009 commit.
By John M. IU