While it will be hard for Indiana’s Tom Crean to land a recruit that will have a larger impact than Cody Zeller has had on the program in the last couple of years, he certainly came close Saturday night when Rivals’ #8-ranked 2013 recruit Noah Vonleh gave his verbal commitment to the Hoosiers.
The decision came just one day after Vonleh visited IU to watch the Hoosiers pummel Bryant Friday night … but it seems his mind may have been made up before that trip.
Vonleh told ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein that IU had been recruiting him “the hardest from day 1.” He went on to describe how his decision reflects a few main factors, including the excitement surrounding the team currently being ranked #1 in the nation, the great 2013 class coming in, and the program’s strong stance on academics.
Vonleh stands at 6’9 and can do a bit of everything down low. He’ll have the highlight reel dunks and blocks on a pretty consistent basis but also has pretty impressive post moves and a strong defensive prowess.
Watch this video at Inside The Hall to get a taste of Vonleh’s multi-faceted game.
Obviously nabbing such a big name is great news for Tom Crean (who recently resigned a deal throughout the 2020 season) and assistant Kenny Johnson, as choosing IU continues to become more & more of a “cool” thing to do. And whether you like to acknowledge it or not, the “cool factor” often does matter to a 17 or 18 year old trying to pick their college destination.
On the court, this commitment pretty much ensures the Hoosiers will be a top-5 team next season, even if in a worst case scenario Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls, and Derek Elston are all gone either to the NBA draft or graduation (which is unlikely).
The team will still have returning stars like Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, Remy Abell, and Hanner Perea among others to go along with the already impressive Hoosiers’ 2013 freshman class that just had Vonleh added to the list.
The best way to put what Saturday night’s commitment means for the Indiana basketball program moving forward is that they are not going anywhere anytime soon. Big news like the Vonleh decision will continue to break a couple times a year for the Hoosiers, as Tom Crean continues to ‘wow’ us all with his consistent, relentless, and extraordinarily successful recruiting efforts.