Monday, May 5, 2008
In case you missed it, Verdell Jones committed to Indiana today, as reported by the Bear in the comments section below. This comes as somewhere between a major and a minor surprise, as Minnesota was reported as the "prohibitive favorite" this weekend after Jones cancelled his visit to Arizona.
I'm not exactly certain what the attraction is to go to IU here, unless he's going with a Kris Humphries-type attitude. The Hoosiers are going to be a nightmare next season. It's been reported in many other places, but pretty much everybody is gone. DJ White, Mike White, Lance Stemler, AJ Ratliff, and Adam Ahfeld graduated and Eric Gordon entered the NBA draft early. Eli Holman is transferring. Armon Bassett, JaMarcus Ellis, and Deandre Thomas were all kicked off the team. No word on if Thomas was kicked off for being a fatass.
This leaves new coach Tom Crean with Jordan Crawford and little else. Crawford averaged 9.7 points, 3.4 rebs, and 2.3 assists per game last season, while no other returnee averaged as much as 2 points, 3 rebounds, or 0.3 assists. Welcome to the big time Kyle Taber! Indiana had a pretty good incoming recruiting class when cheater Kelvin Sampson was still there, but after everything blew up the two jewels of the class, forward Devin Ebanks and guard Terrell Holloway, opted out of their committments. Ebanks, a 6-8 small forward who ranks as the #11 overall recruit on Rivals Top 150, is considering Rutgers, West Virginia, Memphis, or Texas. He claims Indiana is still in the running, but that's a bunch of crap. Smart money is on Huggins and the Mountaineers. Holloway, #100 on the list, has already signed on with Xavier.
This leaves the Hoosiers with a bunch of 3-star nerds to go along with Jones. Verdell has become the hero of the class, coming in at #127 for Rivals. Only swingman Nick Williams at #146 cracks the top 150 amongst the Hoosiers' other incoming freshmen. In other words, the Hoosiers are going to be a collection of crap. Good luck Verdell.
I'm not going to be the kind of idiot who pretends Jones sucks and I never wanted him in the first place just because he went somewhere else. I definitely wanted him. The Gophers' are still lacking a bit in the point guard area. Although Al Nolen acquitted himself well as a freshman, there's no guarantee he'll continue to develop. He showed just enough flaws throughout the season to leave a bit of a question mark about his future. Although I'm pretty confident he'll be a quality player, it's not a certainty, and if struggles there isn't much there to help out. L-Dub can fill in here and there, but let's not kid ourselves, he's a 5-10 shooting guard. Devoe Joseph claims to be able to play the point, but I'm considering him more of a Shawn Respert-type at this point. And Kevin Payton? Please.
Looking forward, there are no point guards for 2008 considering the Gophers at this time. The only 2009 point guard the Gophers are reported to have interest in is 5-10 Johnnie Lacy out of Wisconsin. Considering Lacy is from Badgerland, and the Badgers are interested, the Gophers' chances of landing him are slim.
So I don't know what they're going to do, but that's a lot of hopes pinned on Al Nolen right now. If they're signing anybody else for 2008, it'll likely be 6-10 Steve Goins. But I hope not. According to Scout, Goins weaknesses are rebounding and that he plays below the rim. Just what you want in a 6-10 center. His more likely destination is South Florida, where he'll fit in just fine.
I'm so tired because of my new daughter that I can't remember where I was going with this but it is certainly a lot of words. Basically, I wanted Verdell, and it sucks that he's going to the Hoosiers instead, but no big whoop. Look at this class and smile:
#59 Ralph Sampson
#61 Devoe Joseph
#138 Colton Iverson
#4 JuCo Devron Bostick, and JuCo player of the year
Oh, and Paul Carter. Not in the JuCo Top 200 and smallest PF ever at 6-8 and 190. By the way, Limar Wilson made that list. In the top 50. So, there's that then. But pay more attention to the top four guys on that list.