Let's be honest, this one caught a lot of people off guard. Just last week, I linked to a story about how the class of 2016 could possibly be the best of all time. So, it's understandable for the fan base to be a tiny bit confused at the news coming out of Bloomington today.
Let me be perfectly clear, though. This is not a bad thing by any means. Before I delve into the breakdown of the man himself, I want to clarify exactly what the recruiting picture for 2016 looks like. Yogi, Nick Zeisloft, and grad transfer Max Bielfeldt will be gone. Troy will most definitely be gone, and JBJ and Thomas Bryant could easily follow them out the door. That's not even getting into possible transfers, of which we all know is more common under Tom Crean than anyone would like to talk about.
There will be plenty of room for players that don't play in next year's McDonald's All-American game. Players like Grant Gelon.
Who is he?
Grant is a 6'5", 180 lb shooting guard from Crown Point, Indiana. In typical Indiana boy fashion that would make PFTCommenter salivate, his coaches all know him as a classic gym rat. In this NWI.com article, in which he talks about his lifelong passion for bow hunting, among other things, his coaches rave about his work ethic.
"Grant is a gym rat," Swan said. "He is always in there. I have to kick him out of the gym. Last summer he wanted me to meet him in the gym at 5 a.m. so he could shoot."
Here's another picture of him where he looks like a long lost cast member of Superbad.
What's his deal? Why haven't you guys ever mentioned his name before today?
He has been very lightly recruited, but that has nothing to do with his production. Known primarily for his shooting abilities, Gelon helped lead his Crown Point team to the Class 4A regional final before falling to South Bend Riley. This summer, he suited up for Indiana Elite, where Tom Crean saw him play plenty of times at events across the country.
Is he any good?
The kid can flat out shoot. As a junior at Crown Point, he averaged 14.3 points per game and made 102 threes at a 43% rate, which, yeah, is good.
This summer, major colleges started to take notice after Gelon's shooting prowess shined in tournaments against elite competition. At the Adidas Invitational with Tom Crean sitting in the front row, he led his Indiana Elite team after shooting 25-47 (53%). After Indiana got involved with his recruitment, Gelon visited Bloomington on Wednesday. When the IU staff extended an offer, Gelon knew what he wanted and wasted no time in accepting.
How does he profile for the 2016 team?
This is the question most fans want to know, and I'm here to tell you that I have absolutely no idea. With all of the expected roster turnover and floating pieces surrounding the 2016 recruiting class, it will take time for everything to settle. But, as Tom Crean has shown before, he does not hesitate to play shooters, as they continue to be a crucial part of his offense, no matter what the rest of his roster looks like.
But what does CQ think of him?
Gelon may be a new name, but as someone who follows recruiting closely, the only certainty among recruits is that the rankings are a crapshoot and we're all dumb for paying so much attention to them. Remember when we all anointed Moses Abraham the savior of the program, then followed his every move during his visit like we were the secret service tracking the President? Good times. On the flip side, Victor Oladipo was ranked 144th in his own class, and we all know how that turned out. My point is that recruiting is a fickle beast and will never, ever be an exact science.
So, when Gelon turns into a Nick Zeisloft/Jordan Hulls hybrid, I will at least be able to say I told you so. Not really, but kinda.