<
>
Insider

What does Vonleh bring to the Hoosiers?

Late Saturday night, ESPN 100 power forward Noah Vonleh (Haverhill, Mass/New Hampton School), the No. 8 prospect in the Class of 2013, committed to Indiana.

So what does Vonleh bring to the Hoosiers? First and foremost he brings star power to an already terrific Indiana recruiting class that is now ranked No. 4 in the country for 2013 with a trio of ESPN 100 recruits and six commitments total.

A couple years ago when the Hoosiers landed Cody Zeller, that’s when things both on and off the court started to change for Indiana coach Tom Crean. When you land a player with star qualities like Zeller, it makes the next line of great players want to look at your program. And when that player turns into a superstar, it makes your program even more attractive.

With Zeller widely projected to leave for the NBA after this season, the timing of Vonleh's commitment couldn’t be better. In the present, the Hoosiers are coming off a Sweet 16 appearance last spring and are currently the No. 1 team in the nation with possibly the country’s best player. And now for the future Indiana has a top-five recruiting class coming in, anchored by a top-10 recruit who could be the perfect replacement should Zeller bolt for the NBA.

Looking a little deeper at Vonleh's commitment, Indiana gets a versatile combo forward with long arms and leaping ability who can play on the interior as well as the perimeter. His game screams versatility.

The glass is where he is most impressive presently, as he rebounds at a high rate. He also has great scoring skills; watch his jumper and you can see it's accurate from the mid-range and extends to the 3-point line. This will allow Crean to put Vonleh in middle and side pick-and-pop actions, along with having him curl off screens for a middle game.

However, if defenders body him up and take away the jumper, his mobility and ball-handling allow him to put the ball on the floor and make dribble-drive plays. When he settles into the paint, his post moves are advanced and he has the athleticism to finish around the basket.

As is the case with every high school player, there are deficiencies that need to be addressed. On the defensive end, he needs to stop committing foolish fouls that put him on the bench and hamper his team’s chances to win. As a highly ranked player, you must perform on defense as well as offense. He needs to learn to guard his man and help on the ball yet stay out of foul trouble.

Make no mistake about it, though: Vonleh is a star in the making as he possesses the frame, skills, athletic ability and improving basketball IQ to become one of the better freshmen in the nation in 2013.

The Hoosiers have it all going their way now. Last year they snuck up on people and knocked off some ranked teams. This season their identity has changed thanks to good recruiting and winning on the floor as they have gone from the hunter to the hunted. Vonleh makes the bull's-eye even bigger for the future.