Vijay Blackmon's recruitment may be taking a slight turn from just a few weeks ago. The sophomore-to-be mentioned in early May that Indiana had a slight early lead on his list of schools, but that may be changing.
“Well, I don't know, I don't have a list right now,” Blackmon said Friday about ranking schools. “I'm not for sure.”
The comment came after Blackmon scored 14 points in a Spiece Indy Heat 16U win against Camp Darryl.
Adding to this small change is that he plans to take a visit to Notre Dame in June or July. Blackmon went to the Irish's five overtime game against eventual national champion Louisville earlier this year as well, but this trip will include him looking at the entire campus and not just the basketball aspect.
“I like Notre Dame a lot,” Blackmon said. “It was a good atmosphere (at the game against Louisville), and it was some place that I would love to play for.”
Blackmon does not have visits to Indiana or Purdue planned, though he mentioned he would like the chance to see the campuses.
He also said he is trying to not let his brother James Blackmon Jr,'s choice of Indiana influence him.
“I'm just looking for the best place for me,” he said. “James found the best place for him in Indiana, so hopefully I can do the same.
“There's no pressure. I'm just going to do whatever is best for me and when that time comes I'm going to make the decision.”
Mathias goes from recruited to recruiter
After becoming Purdue's first Class of 2014 commit, Dakota Mathias had a welcome change in his life – silence.
“Definitely, things have calmed down a lot,” Mathias said. “No more phone calls or anything. I can just relax and work on skills and weight room stuff and be in the gym.”
Mathias made his decision early in May to commit to Purdue following his last trip to Fort Wayne, and last night at Spiece Fieldhouse he once again showed the skills that attracted the Boilermakers to him in the first place.
Mathias scored 21 points for his Northwest Ohio team as they won going away against Camp Darryl, including four 3-pointers and quite a few no-look passes as the defense collapsed on him when he drove into the lane.
These abilities already had Purdue coaches excited about his arrival on campus.
“They were happy and just wished I could forego my senior year and come now,” Mathias said about his phone call when he informed the Purdue coaches.
With his college choice cemented, Mathias has continued to develop his game. He said he is focused on his ball handling, agility and being in the weight room to get ready for the college game.
He is also preparing by developing relationships with some of the current Purdue players. He's also going to try and help bring in a few more teammates on the recruitment trail.
“I haven't (talked to recruits) yet, I plan to though,” Mathias said. “I got their numbers and stuff, so I'll be in contact with them. (I'll tell them) we can win some ball games together at Purdue.”
Snider players seeking offers
A trio of Snider players are hoping a strong AAU season can boost their college stock this summer. Seniors-to-be Trayvon Covington, Leander Williams and Stephen Halstead are all hoping they can keep improving and bring in some offers to continue their basketball careers beyond next winter.
They were all in action last night at Spiece Fieldhouse for the Memorial Day Run-n-Slam. Covington and Williams played for the Indy Fire and Halstead for a Spiece Higher Level squad.
Covington mentioned he has had a few talks with IPFW, as well as other small schools including St. Francis and Maryville University. He put on a strong performance last night, scoring 20 points in the first half.
He attributes part of this success to how much he enjoys playing with guys he normally competes against during the high school season.
“We all play against each other and we all play hard against each other, but when we play together, we play so great,” Covington said. “That's why I love this team.”
Williams has had some interest from small schools as well. Likely the biggest detriment holding him back from getting more offers is his own size. At one point, the 5-foot-5 guard mentioned an opponent had talked smack in a game, calling him a “midget.”
“I went off for 35 (points) in that game, so it's kind of fun when people talk to me like that; it's motivating,” Williams said.
His stature may be holding him back from bigger offers but his ability to weave in and around everyone still has him on the radar of some schools. He is hopeful he can receive some offers and make a decision before his senior year, but until then he'll keep trying to prove everyone wrong about his height.
“It's fun going against big people because they aren't as quick as me, they're just bigger, so it's fun going around them,” Williams said.
As for Halstead, he has drawn interest from NAIA schools Spring Arbor (Mich.) and Indiana Wesleyan, as well as Division III Hanover. He switched AAU teams this summer to provide a change.
“It's been going well playing with a different team; it's a good experience,” Halstead said. “Maybe not as high-talented guys, but guys I like a lot more and play well with.”
While he may have changed teams for summer basketball, Halstead is ready for his senior season.
“I like seeing us all here working and I'm excited for next season for Snider,” Halstead said. “I feel like we can be very good with all the guys coming back, and I'm just happy we are all out here playing and getting better.”