Now that Indiana's season is officially done and over with, I thought now would be a good time to take a look at what the 2014 class has done throughout the whole school year. Right now it's looking like a three man class but there are a couple of other guys on the horizon that could pull the trigger within the next week or two. However, we aren't going to focus on them. Instead we're going to look at the three we know for certain to be in the fold.
Max Hoetzel: Hoetzel in his first season of big boy ball out in Massachusetts had quite an adjustment to make this year. He went from a small school in California where the competition was not all that intense to the powerhouse prep school Wilbraham and Monson just outside of Boston. This move to get more exposure worked perfectly as teams that were in to see teammate Goodluck Okonoboh caught onto Hoetzel's skill set as well. Teams like UConn and Florida had stirred up his recruitment before Indiana came in and grabbed him up.
During his season he had some ups and downs but mostly ups. It was not rare to see him poor in 20+ points with a lot of it coming from behind the arc. Though the 6-7 Hoetzel remains unranked it didn't stop him from showing his shooting prowess and the ability to grab rebounds as well. By all accounts this was a great growing experience for the guy and he should come into college much more prepared because of it. He has a lot of diamond in the rough potential but until we can get a better look at him this summer it's probably best to keep expectations tempered.
Robert Johnson: Johnson was another member of the 2014 IU class that showed a lot more worth than what people thought of him this time last year. After flying up the recruit rankings over the summer, Robert Johnson found his home in Indiana University. Hailing from the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia region), Johnson has had plenty of opportunity to face stiff competition. None of that has held him back though.
He led his team in a variety of ways. Finishing the season with 24 points per game and shooting 47% from the field, Johnson should have a lot to offer as a guard in college. He also led his team in rebounds at 6 per game, steals at 1.4 per and second in assists with 3. His defense has also received a lot of attention over the school year. If he wasn't a reclassify kid from the 2013 class there was some talk of him getting some votes for the McDonald's All-American game along with his classmate James Blackmon Jr.. Unfortunately he was not eligible.
James Blackmon Jr.: Speaking of Blackmon, he ranks in as the prized member of this class. Not necessarily because of his skills, but because IU fans always appreciate an Indiana native a little more. One of the top contenders for this year's Indiana Mr. Basketball, Blackmon finished his high school basketball career with 2,387 points. That's good enough for 8th in Indiana high school basketball history. Obviously that puts him in very good company.
The biggest thing that Blackmon and his other two classmates bring to the table is the ability to shoot the basketball. You can see from the raw numbers that Blackmon can put the ball in the bucket, but what the numbers don't tell you is how. He's been tabbed as one of if not the best high school shooter in his 2014 but showed this season that he's not just that. He's really developed his handles and shown the ability to go get his own shot when necessary. I'm not certain whether he can play point guard in college full time, but he should be able to offer some help as a back up option at the very worst.
Overall, the Hoosiers have themselves a very good class coming in to join what's already here. Adding a bevy of shooters should help open up some lanes for all the great slashers this team has, but they can't do it alone. A couple other guys need to step up their shooting to help out. But, this 2014 class is a very good start to getting Indiana back into the tournament and making some noise.