Vonleh an important get for Indiana 

November, 11, 2012
11/11/12
1:14
AM ET
The Indiana Hoosiers had eliminated all their recruiting targets except one: power forward Noah Vonleh (Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton School). On Saturday night -- during his official visit to Bloomington, Ind. -- Vonleh, the No. 8 prospect in the ESPN 100, committed to the Hoosiers.

[+] EnlargeNoah Vonleh
AdidasIndiana commit Noah Vonleh is seen as a potential replacement for when star Cody Zeller heads to the NBA.
Here’s the deal. Indiana had a stellar recruiting class even before it landed Vonleh. Guys such as Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson can hoop. Tom Crean continues to move the needle in Bloomington, and Indiana is back to being a national recruiting threat. With all that said, Vonleh is important for one huge reason: The Hoosiers are likely to lose Cody Zeller at the end of the year.

Zeller is a big boy, potentially the national player of the year. One can take the “Moneyball” approach and try to replicate his numbers with a series of contributions from good players, but this isn’t baseball. In hoops, the biggest programs rely on pros, guys who can be stars. Vonleh certainly has that capability. He might need more than the season Zeller did to establish his dominance, but there’s a superior talent coming to Bloomington next year. More importantly, Vonleh seems like a guy who can carry a heavy load.