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2015 Recruiting: Big Man Follow Up

Well that changed dramatically and quickly.

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It took all of about 18 hours after the posting of Friday's article on 2015 post man recruiting to shift dramatically away from what was covered. Within about 4 hours of initial posting, it was learned that Indiana is hot and heavy on the trail of two other pretty highly touted big men and Ray Spaliding, the preferred forward to land, made it pretty clear he was going to his hometown school of Louisville. He officially pulled the trigger yesterday afternoon.

So, now Indiana is moving on and moving on fast. The Hoosiers jumped in quickly and are apparently making a decent impact early on with Thomas Bryant. A 6-11 big man that has teamed up with 2016 target Tyus Battle for AAU summer ball. Though I have yet to see Bryant play (I plan to watch a game or two in the next day on the word on the street is that he would be a major win for Crean and Indiana as they've been struggling for about two years to get a post player to want to come to Indiana.

Bryant currently sits at #34 in the Rivals top 150 and 22nd in 247 Sports Composite Ranking. That suggests that Rivals is probably even a little behind the curve on Bryant's play in the rankings. Of course, with such a high quality big man comes high quality competition for his services. At the moment though he does appear to be open season. 247's Crystal Ball has 16 predictions, and Syracuse leads the pack at 38% but the most recent prediction came in August of last year. Meaning that there are probably favorites, but no one is a clear favorite. That gives Tom Crean a big opening. With only 4 months until the early signing period getting Bryant on campus would likely put Indiana firmly in his top 5. But you gotta get the kid on campus soon if you want to have a real shot at him.

The other big man that lit up Indiana's radar Friday afternoon (and signaling that Spalding was likely headed elsewhere) is Tennesee big man Nick Marshall. Marshall is also a 6-11 big man that sits in the Rivals 150 rankings, though a bit lower than the elite Thomas Bryant. Marshall checks in at 113 on the Rivals 150 and 123 in 247's composite. Probably the most surprising part of Marshall's brand new recruitment is the fact that we learned about it by him announcing that Indiana was in his top 5. That's pretty impressive for the Hoosiers to go from preliminary stages of a recruitment to top 5.

Now Marshall's recruitment is still in its infancy as he's only recently had a light bulb go on. Now some other schools like Kansas have started being mentioned in the Marshall recruitment as well. The Hoosiers wouldn't have too much of a problem out-selling the likes of Auburn and Mississippi State, but if the Tennessee big man continues to show that he's figured it out, he could make a jump in the ranking and in recruitability.

Neither Marshall or Bryant are sure things for Indiana, but the fact that they can in just a weekend make enough impact quickly enough to be considered players in the recruitment is encouraging. The Hoosiers have a lot to offer an incoming big man. Especially one that wants to play and is willing to play fast. There's all kinds of court time available for a developing big and with Je'Ney Jackson in the fold, they can promise you that your body is going to be NBA ready for when your time comes.