Over the past few years, for better or worse, Indiana has become synonymous with extreme roster turnover, and it appears that is unlikely to change anytime soon. So, with literally half a roster to fill for next year, it's a damn good thing the class of 2016 is being heralded as a historically great class.
After this season, the Hoosiers will be losing 3 seniors (Yogi, Zeisloft, Beilfeldt), have 3 more that are already being talked about in 2016 NBA Draft circles (Troy, JBJ, Thomas Bryant), and have an Emmitt Holt-sized hole in their final scholarship spot. With 7 potential openings (2 of which are already occupied, see below), Tom Crean will have a golden opportunity to reshape and rebuild with high-level prospects.
We've discussed these names before, but let's update where the Hoosiers stand with some of the top names in the 2016 class.
- Grant Gelon - The 6'5" guard out of Crown Point became the frist member of the 2016 class last month. Read about him here.
- Josh Newkirk - It was a minor shock when the Pitt guard announced last month that he was transferring to Indiana, but out-of-left-field transfers have worked for Crean in the past (see Zeisloft, Nick). Click here to have our friend P.B.S. of SB Nation's Pitt blog Cardiac Hill yell at you about his experience watching Newkirk play.
- Miles Bridges - He cut his list to 3 just yesterday, with Indiana, Kentucky, and MSU making the final cut. The #11 overall player made an official visit this past August to Bloomington along with teammate Curtis Jones and is a former teammate of Thomas Bryant at Huntington Prep. Bridges has long been tied to Kentucky, but stranger things have happened.
- Rawle Alkins - Another player who is being recruited by almost everyone, Alkins recently cut his list "down" to 10 and enrolled in Word of God Academy in NC for his senior season. It's hard to gauge where he's leaning, but the juice is worth the squeeze here.
- Thon Maker - No new news regarding Thon. If IU ever opens its checkbook, we will let you know. Let's move on.
- Mario Kegler - The #32 overall player in the class of 2016 has cut his list down to 5 (IU, Arizona State, Penn St, Maryland, Mississippi St) and will take official visits to each school. The versatile 6'7" forward will make his trip to Bloomington the weekend of October 23-25, a possible date for Hoosier Hysteria.
- De'Ron Davis - Tom Crean recently made his way out to Colorado for a very productive in-home visit with Davis and his family. The 4-star PF originally cut his list down to 3 schools (IU, Arizona, Texas), but recently opened that up to more schools as he felt he was rushing things. Indiana very much remains one of the favorites for Davis' services.
- Curtis Jones - After taking an official visit to Indiana with teammate Miles Bridges in August, the Hoosiers are legitimate contenders for Jones, a 4-star combo guard. The battle for the Huntington Prep product appears to be between Indiana and Georgetown, and with an announcement likely coming before the early signing period starts November 11th, expect this recruitment to heat up in the coming weeks.
- Bruce Brown - While Brown, a 4-star PG out of Vermont Academy, isn't likely to take any official visits until October or November, you can be assured that Indiana will eventually make the cut. Tom Crean has developed a very good relationship with Brown and sees him as a potential replacement for Yogi Ferrell, a situation that Brown finds "very attractive".
- De'Riante Jenkins - There hasn't been much news on Jenkins since the spring evaluation period when Jenkins quickly catapulted himself into a Troy Williams replacement in the eyes of IU coaches, but the mutual interest is real here. Look for Jenkins to make his way to campus sometime this fall.
Names To Keep An Eye On
- TJ Leaf - After decommitting from Arizona last month, Leaf reopened his recruitment, settling on 8 schools to decide between. With family ties to the state of Indiana. there is substance to IU's involvement, but as a highly-coveted 5-star big man, it will not be easy to pry Leaf out of the west coast.
- Eron Gordon - After posting on social media that he would be making his college choice imminently, Gordon abruptly called it off after reassessing his options. Gordon's recruitment has been a long, weird, winding road. Now, after years of speculation that he would follow his brothers to IU, the momentum has stalled and the favorites for Gordon appears to be Nevada, a school that just recently got involved with him. Also vying for his services are Arizona St, LSU, and Butler.
- Jaylen Fisher - Everyone's favorite albino version of Landry from Friday Night Lights cut his list to 6 schools back in August. While Indiana has stayed relatively on the periphery of his recruitment, Fisher's uptempo play would fit in perfectly in Tom Crean's offense. This one is hard to call at the moment.
- Lamar Stevens - Indiana made Stevens' final 8 back in July. Since then, Hoosier coaches have stayed in constant contact with the physical 4-star PF, most recently watching him at his school just this past week. Indiana is very much in the mix, but alot of the signs point toward Stevens joining friend and AAU teammate Tony Carr at Penn State.