Originally this was going to be a football recruiting article but things have quieted down recently with the football recruiting rumor mill. Indiana is still in the running for pulling some already committed Big Ten players towards the light. Although that is still speculative at best. Current commits Isaac Griffin and Antonio Allen have been very good recruiters for the Hoosiers and are at least getting top quality players to do some second guessing.
On the basketball front, things seem to be heating up again. The nation has seen a flurry of commits from top 150 type players in the 2013 class. It is coming to that time in the year where guys sitting down for the early signing period are going to start verballing to programs. Indiana will especially be looking to get a commit from a few major recruits in that process. The question really is whether IU takes one more for the 2013 class and settles at 5 guys or if they take a 6th.
As you all know, Hoosier Hysteria is a pretty major recruiting tool for Indiana basketball. For a night of practice IU nearly "sells out" the free public session. It is always a pretty high paced and high energy affair where recruits can come watch 17,000 fans cheer on IU in several different fashions. As always we have a dunk contest, a three point contest and an up and down scrimmage, but last year we also got an impromptu performance by Vic Oladipo and some of the whitest back up dancers you'll ever see. It is indeed quite the show. Fun, care free and goofy at times, Hoosier Hysteria has been described as a circus by its critics from other programs. Interestingly enough, said programs are now putting on their own "circus". But I'm sure that will be done the right way!
So we've established that this is a big recruiting event for the Hoosiers. The question now becomes who do you get to show up. Fortunately this year, the way the football season falls and small break in the schedule for students, it can't happen on the first day of practice. Most schools do a midnight madness on the first day of practice that is similar to HH. However, because of conflicts, HH will be taking place on October 20th, the weekend after Midnight Madness. Luckily for IU, ESPN has opted to broadcast IU's opening practice anyway. So we get a double dose of exposure in that sense.
Due to the event being held the week after opening practice Indiana doesn't have to compete with other major programs for the attendance of players. Because of that convenience IU's Hoosier Hysteria is looking to have a star studded list of attending recruits. Most importantly for IU is that the entire 2013 class to date will be there. Devin Davis, Collin Hartman, Luke Fischer and Stan Robinson are all going to be in attendance which means that IU will have four guys with a vested interest in the program in the ears of those who have yet to commit.
IU will also be hosting DeMatha High School's BeeJay Anya who will be making his official visit that weekend. Add to the 2013 list Troy Williams, nephew of legendary AAU coach Boo Williams. Both are highly sought after prospects and would be welcomed additions to the program. North Carolina center Kennedy Meeks and New Hampshire top 5 prospect Noah Vonleh have yet to confirm their visit but they would round out the potential targets for the 2013 class.
Where it gets really interesting is in the younger classes, as getting the image of HH burned in their brains early is never a bad thing. Of course we'll be hosting 2014 commit James Blackmon and his ultra talented little brother Vijay (2016). Former Yogi Ferrell teammate Trevon Bluiett will be in attendance and near the top of IU fans' wish list for 2014. Southern Indiana phenom JaQuan Lyle also plans to be in attendance for the 2014 class.
Crean has continued with his hard work on instate recruits despite my suggestion that he might fall behind the eight ball a few months ago. The list continues to grow as Crean has added one of the best young players out of the region in Hyron Edwards to the mix at HH. This is a kid that would be an important get as IU has traditionally been unsuccessful in recruiting northwest Indiana. If Crean can get one of their best to IU it may open a pipeline to talent that seemingly has never existed.
Crean also has been doing his homework out of state as 2015 G Luke Kennard from Ohio will be in attendance. Kennard is a player that has had a pretty quiet recruitment so far because of his young age, but Crean has been around from the get go. That is going to be a plus as Kentucky, Duke, Michigan and the likes have been checking in on him. I'd view it as a bonus that this will be Kennard's second visit to IU already in his recruiting process.
There you have it. That is quite a hefty list of recruits to be in attendance for what amounts to an open gym with 17,000 fans in attendance. It is going to be big and I expect the list to grow as we get closer than the 15 days we currently stand at. There are several other top young recruits also banking on coming to HH but I have yet to see their names floated outside of premium content. But just understand, that this list is not complete. This year's Hoosier Hysteria may be the biggest recruiting event the Hoosiers have ever seen. IU fans just need to show out and show why we're one of the best fan bases in all of college sports.