LOUISVILLE – Five Indiana basketball recruits met at Freedom Hall in Louisville on Friday, offering a glimpse of the Hoosiers future in an all-star game setting.
While defense was absent for most of the Kentucky Derby Basketball Classic, some signs of chemistry – and a bit of optimism – were present.
All but one member of IUs 2013 recruiting class played in the Classic. Troy Williams and Stan Robinson, Virginia natives; Devin Davis and Collin Hartman of Indianapolis; and Luke Fischer of Wisconsin all made the trip to Louisville to play on the same team for the first time.
The results were positive.
It was pretty fun, just building team chemistry, Robinson said. Now when we go in, its not like, Who are these guys that Im about to hoop with? Its more like, Oh, I know these people.
The future Hoosiers accounted for 40 of 58 first-half points for their Black team and 60 total in a 124-113 win against a White team stacked with Louisville recruits. Williams led the way with 21 points en route to MVP honors. Davis had 14, along with a team-high eight rebounds. Fischer put together 12 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Robinson had six points and four assists, and Hartman had seven points and two steals.
More importantly, the group played well off each other.
Davis and Williams put together some flashy displays of athleticism and passing during their time together on the court, and three of Robinsons assists went to Fischer for low-post dunks.
The players, despite rarely competing on the same squads, made some notable connections.
The contingent of five were never on the court at the same time, but over the course of a few days in town for the event were able to develop some connections that will only benefit them when they head to Bloomington.
Noah Vonleh, who is at the Nike Hoops Summit in Portland, Ore., was the only future Hoosier not at the event.
He is also the highest-rated player in a quality class. Vonleh is No. 7 in the 247Sports Composite, a ranking system by 247Sports.com that compiles rankings from four recruiting sites – itself, Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com – into one ranking. Williams is No. 51 on that list, Robinson No. 65, Fischer No. 94, Davis No. 161 and Hartman No. 228 in the country.
We were trying to talk the coaches into, at the end, putting all five of us in together, said Fischer, a 6-foot-11 forward who might help take over Cody Zellers role. We bonded a lot. Every time we were on the bus, all five of us were together. Every time off the court, we were together. We got to know each other really well this past week.
It was a nice walkup for the coming summer, when the class will report to Bloomington for individual workouts, summer classes, open gyms and begin the process of preparing for college ball.
Ive only played with Devin, said Hartman, who was on the same AAU team as Davis. They set the bar high for their expectations from me from now on.
Now, its just time to improve. Time to get better. Its time to get in the gym and time to, as a team, get to where everybody wants us to be at.