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May 22, 2013

Plenty of options remain for IU in 2014

What's next?

The short answer: Plenty of prospects for Indiana.

IU didn't land forward Theo Pinson - who today announced he was staying home to play at North Carolina - but even though he was a five-star prospect, he was part of a group of high-level options for the Hoosiers' 2014 class.

Indiana is a serious player for a number of five-star and four-star prospects to join four-star guard James Blackmon Jr., who was IU's first commitment in the 2014 class.

Remember decision day for Cody Zeller - Nov. 11, 2010 - and how it seemed the five-star forward was an absolute must get?

Move ahead three recruiting classes and a five-star prospect is only one of a number of major options in a class for Indiana.

Six-foot-6 five-star guard Dante Exum, 6-foot-4 five-star guard JaQuan Lyle, 6-foot-4 four-star shooting guard Ahmed Hill, 6-foot-3 four-star guard Dion Wiley, 6-foot-3 four-star guard Phil Booth and 6-foot-3 four-star guard D'Angelo Russell are among the major targets in the backcourt.

On his way to being at least a four-star prospect, 6-foot-5 wing Brandone Francis - a fast-rising prospect - is another option.

Four-star 6-foot-9 shotblocking center Goodluck Okonoboh, four-star 6-foot-9 Obi Enechionyia, 6-foot-5 four-star forward Trevon Bluiett and five-star 6-foot-9 center Cliff Alexander are among the top prospects on the front line.

From Australia, Exum is a superior athlete with quickness that is incredibly difficult to defend and an ability to create scoring chances from all over the court. Exum was outstanding at the Nike Hoop Summit in April.

Exum's one official visit was to Indiana in January for the Hoosiers' victory over Minnesota.

Exum said recently Indiana is currently No. 1 on his list.

Lyle, from Evansville, and Bluiett, from Indianapolis, both have been playing very well this spring for Spiece Indy Heat, which is 10-3 and leads its division in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.

Bluiett is one of the top scorers at 18.2 points per game while shooting 43 percent from 3-point range. Lyle has been playing a high-level all-around game, averaging 14.3 points and 5.9 rebounds while leading Spiece in assists (3.7) and steals (1.6) per game.

Wiley has emerged simply as the best player on the best team in the EYBL. The native of Oxon Hill, Md., is the leading scorer at 14.1 points per game for Team Takeover, at 13-0 the only unbeaten team in EYBL play.

Wiley is tied for the league lead in 3-pointers made (38) and is shooting 48 percent from the arc. He is second on his team in steals at 1.3 per game. Indiana's interest in Wiley has been on a strong upswing this spring.

Booth, also of Team Takeover, has only solidified his reputation this spring as an all-around player. He is second on his team in scoring (10.6), second in assists (2.8), third in rebounds (3.5) and third in steals (1.0).

Hill, from Augusta, Ga., is the second-leading scorer (12.7 points per game) for the Southern Stampede this spring.

Francis earned an Indiana offer this spring. The Arlington (Fla.) Country Day product has been one of emerging players this spring. He was a dominant performance in being named MVP of the Adidas VIP Exclusive Run in Dallas in April.

Okonoboh made his reputation as a shot blocker, but he has an improving offensive game to with size, length and a solid frame in the post.

From Wilbraham and Monson Academy in Massachusetts, Okonoboh was an AAU teammate on Mass Rivals with incoming Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh.

Enechionyia, also of Team Takeover, is a long-armed shot blocker who can play in the post and out on the floor. In the season-opening EYBL session in Los Angeles that Peegs.com watched, he had 11 blocked shots in four games, getting blocks on post players, forwards and guards driving to the basket.



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