Who’s Got Next? Indiana Scores With Noah Vonleh; Nigel Hayes Becomes A Badger…

Posted by CLykins on November 13th, 2012

Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Chad Lykins, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to discussing the recruitments of the top uncommitted players in the country. We also encourage you to check out his contributions dedicated solely to Duke Basketball at Duke Hoop Blog. You can also follow Chad at his Twitter account @CLykinsBlog for up-to-date breaking news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Note: ESPN Recruiting used for all player rankings

Indiana Adds Noah Vonleh To Loaded Class

As Saturday night concluded, the Indiana Hoosiers landed a significant piece to its 2013 recruiting class that quickly vaulted them up the class rankings to join the likes of Kentucky and Memphis. Five-star forward Noah Vonleh, who reclassified back into his original class of 2013 in September, ended his college recruitment quicker than expected by giving the Hoosiers a verbal pledge after his official visit during Indiana’s season opener. Vonleh, the No. 8 ranked prospect in the class of 2013, was also considering Connecticut, Georgetown, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse.

While visiting, 2013 No. 8 prospect Noah Vonleh chose the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday night

“From Day One, Indiana has been recruiting me the hardest,” Vonleh told Adam Finkelstein of ESPN.com. “They were just letting me know how they could develop me into the player I want to be at the next level. Their academics are good, they’re the No. 1 team in the country and they’ve got another great class coming in next year.” With the addition of Vonleh, head coach Tom Crean has landed his highest-ranked prospect since taking the Indiana job in 2008. At 6’9″ and 220 lbs., the Massachusetts native is best described as a freak athlete. He uses his great length especially well rebounding the basketball on both ends of the floor, as he is arguably one of the best rebounders in the class, and altering shots with his shot-blocking. For a combo forward, he also has excellent ball-handling ability with an ever-improving jump shot. As his body continues to mature, with added strength to his 6’9″ frame he will be more efficient from the low post with his endless potential.

The Hoosiers went all-in for the services of Vonleh after recent reports that they had ended their recruitment of center and fellow classmate, BeeJay Anya, earlier in the month. As it turns out, Indiana was very successful with their decision. He is now the sixth recruit to commit to IU and the third from the ESPN 100, including small forward Troy Williams and shooting guard Stanford Robinson. Those three players are joined by power forward Luke Fischer and small forwards Devin Davis and Colin Hartman.

After his recent reclassification, he will prepare for his senior season at New Hampton School (New Hampshire). During the summer, Vonleh participated at the 2012 Adidas Nations. His play shined as he earned co-MVP honors at the event, averaging 19.3 points and 11 rebounds per game including a 25-point, 16-rebound performance in a winning effort in the championship game. With the likely departure of NPOY front-runner Cody Zeller and a three-man senior class that includes Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls, Crean will have plenty of incoming talent for next season. And it all starts with Vonleh, who will be seen by many as one of the top freshmen in the 2013-14 season.

Nigel Hayes Picks Wisconsin Over Ohio State

Nigel Hayes was headed to the Big Ten whichever way he decided, but would he remain in his home state of Ohio or would he be traveling to the state of Wisconsin? On Sunday night, the wait came to an end as the 6’8″ power forward decided to play for the Wisconsin Badgers and head coach Bo Ryan after an intense recruiting battle. Viewed as near-lock for the Buckeyes once OSU extended an offer to him during the summer, the Whitmer High School (Ohio) product patiently took his time with his decision, considering every option presented to him. In doing so, Wisconsin never wavered in its pursuit and made great strides in surpassing Ohio State, which made a lasting impression on Hayes as he was seen as the number one priority for the Badgers to complete a solid recruiting class.

Down to Ohio State and Wisconsin, power forward Nigel Hayes opted for the Badgers

“Wisconsin stayed with me during the ups and downs,” Hayes said. “The coaching staff did a great job of recruiting me. I had a great relationship with coach (Bo) Ryan and assistant coach Lamont Paris. They also built relationships with my parents, my sisters and brother.” Hayes, the No. 27 ranked power forward in the class of 2013, is a terrific prospect for the future with a complete skill set. He is a good athlete who can score from the perimeter and in the post. He has been making solid improvements scoring from the inside, as he has developed good footwork to spin around his defender. He also possesses a high-level IQ  that will translate well with the Wisconsin system. During the summer, Hayes made a lasting impression on a number of high-major schools and national recruiting analysts with his play for All-Ohio Red. Currently on the cusp of breaking into the ESPN 100, his recent play over the course of the past few months will certainly help his cause.

By committing to the Badgers, Hayes will now be a part of a five-man recruiting class that will most likely be very competitive for years to come. Joining him will be the No. 94 ranked prospect in the 2013 class, point guard Bronson Koenig, as well as shooting guards Riley Dearring and Jordan Hill. Also commited is power forward and fellow Ohioan, Vitto Brown.

Hayes ended a successful junior campaign at Whitmer by averaging 13.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while leading the Panthers to a 24-3 overall record and to the Ohio Boys State Basketball championship game . He also set a school record with 65 steals. He was named to the All-Ohio Division I second team for the second consecutive season and to the All-Blade boys basketball team.

Other Notable Commitments

  • The UCLA Bruins added its third commitment from the 2013 recruiting class last Tuesday in the form of California native Noah Allen. Allen, the No. 30 ranked small forward, was a key piece to the 2013 Harvard recruiting class until he de-committed from the program last month. The Bruins won out over heavy interest from Northwestern and Washington State. He will now join a pair of ESPN 100 prospects, point guard Zach LaVine and shooting guard Allerik Freeman in a perimeter-heavy class.
  • Schulyer Rimmer, the No. 31 ranked power forward in the class of 2013, committed to Stanford on Thursday. Rimmer picked the Cardinal over the likes of USC, Vanderbilt and Virginia. A Florida native, Rimmer originally committed to Florida but de-committed back in September. He will now be a part of a three-man recruiting class along with twin brothers Marcus and Malcolm Allen.
  • Xavier completed a good week for their program as they scored with prospects from the 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes. From 2013, 6’6″ Pennsylvania small forward Kamall Richards picked the Musketeers over offers from Penn State, Saint Joseph’s and Seton Hall. An athletic and tough wing, Richards is the first 2013 commitment for Xavier. The good news for head coach Chris Mack did not stop there, as they also picked up their first commitment from the 2014 class, in Texas native Melvin Swift. A ferocious power forward, Swift is an elite athlete that loves finishing above the rim. The four-star Swift opted for Xavier over the likes of Baylor, LSU and Texas A&M.

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Summer highlights from Indiana bound Noah Vonleh:

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