The 2009 recruiting class that I am so excited to see in action arrived on campus this week. Well, 4 of the 6. 7'0'' mystery man, Bawa Muniru(pictured left) is said to have one summer class to finish and he will be ready eligibility wise at that point. This is no big surprise with his prep school situation, but many questions have arisen about Bawa as no one can seem to find any info. on his senior year stats. All reports are that they were really bad. Excuses are usually based on poor coaching, a loaded team that didn't get him the ball much, etc. Doesn't sound good. Thing is he is rated higher than all incoming recruits by ESPN and higher than Pritchard was by Scout and Rivals. We'll see. The really scary thing is that Maurice Creek(pictured below) is awaiting test scores to come back. The word is that he had poor grades his first 2 years and needs a good score to qualify. He had a 3.6 GPA last semester. I personally believe he will start and possibly even be our leading scorer as a freshman! He is our top rated recruit if you look at Scout or Rivals. Now to repeat some things I've already said and a couple new things-Word is that Jeremiah Rivers is looking really good right now. There's no question he will be our best defender. He was all Big East defensive team for a Final Four Georgetown team as a sophomore. He was the 6th man for that team. They say his offense has improved as well. He's a 6'5'' PG as opposed to Daniel Moore! Throw in Jordan Hulls who I still think will push Rivers for the starting spot if nothing else due to his leadership ability and competitiveness. I expect a Tom Coverdale/Neil Reed hybrid. Point guard will be our most improved position whether Verdell Jones plays some there or solely on the wing. 6'8'' Christian Watford(pictured above wearing my new favorite IU hat) may be our most heralded recruit and brings more offensive firepower to the table (along with Creek) than anyone we had on our roster last year. Those two have more ability to create their own shot than anyone we had. Devan Dumes will be able to play more his game and not force crazy shots to fill a role he's not equipped to handle. Up front, we had Pritchard, Jobe(who is worth nothing), and 6'7'' Taber. Now we have 6'8'' bruiser Bobby Capobianco(who may love IU more than any incoming recruit ever has!), 7'0'' Bawa Muniru, and 6'8'' Derek Elston who just may be a huge X-factor. Elston was highly touted before his knee injury last summer. There are questions about the level of competition he played against, but they say maybe a hybrid of Eric Anderson/Luke Recker. Obviously a diverse big man. He has 3-point range and passes very well. These added weapons and depth are going to help Pritch tremendously. All accounts are that Hulls(pictured above), Elston, and Capo bring an unbelievable attitude, tougness, and competitiveness. Depth wise we had Moore, Roth, Jobe, Story, and Finkelmeier off the bench. Now we look at possibly Verdell Jones(our best player at the end of the year), Jordan Hulls(4 star recruit), Derek Elston(4 star recruit), Capo, and Muniru. Supposedly our schedule is going to be much softer. Think about how bad we were last year and the games we still could easily have won-Lipscomb, Iowa 65-60, Michigan OT, Penn St. 65-55, Minny 67-63, NW 77-75, Iowa 68-60, Minny 62-54, Penn St. 61-58. Pull off even 6 of those 9 and we win 12 games with that bad team. How about some improvement at the FT line and those "unforced TOs?" I don't think that's expecting too much. Lastly, compare this to the Robbie Hummel Purdue class, and I think they are very similar. Some say they had more coming back, but I really don't think they had any more than Verdell Jones, Devan Dumes, and Tom Pritchard give us. Could we possibly look at going from 6 wins to 20? I doubt it, but I'm sure excited to find out!
(Derek Elston pictured left in the IN/KY all-star game. Stats were unimpressive, but doesn't he look a little like Richie Cunningham?)