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Vonleh set to give Indiana powerhouse class

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For more on Indiana athletics and recruiting, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at pdiprimio.

Six recruits set to sign on Wednesday

Monday, November 12, 2012 - 12:18 am

BLOOMINGTON –- Once again top-ranked Indiana is poised for a rock-the-college-basketball-world recruiting class.

The Hoosiers' Class of 2013 group was good before top-10 player Noah Vonleh committed this weekend.

Now? Well, you be the judge.

It starts with Vonleh, a 6-9, 222-pound versatile game-changer who rebounds big, scores big, has three-point range, can play point-forward if needed and who, if you believe his AAU coach, Vin Patore of Mass Rivals, is “everything you want in a basketball player.”

Vonleh, who committed on Saturday after visiting the campus, is ranked as the nation's No. 7 overall player by Rivals.com, a national Internet recruiting service, and the No. 3 power forward.

“He's got everything,” Patore said. “He plays hard. He can put the ball on the floor. He can really shoot. He rebounds the heck out of it.”

In fact, Vonleh might be the best rebounder in this class, and it's not just because he has arms that seem to stretch sideline to sideline.

“He has an incredible body and skill package,” Patore said. “He's mean on the court, but he's a sweetheart off of it.”

Vonleh is a high-energy guy from New Hampshire via the African nation of Liberia (his parents are from there, but he was born in the Boston area) who lists three-time NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant as his favorite player.

Patore thinks Vonleh could end up 6-10 and 245 pounds. Vonleh chose IU over such heavyweights as North Carolina, Ohio State and Georgetown.

Coach Tom Crean began recruiting last spring, and went after him hard. Yes, Vonleh noticed.

Vonleh is the highest rated of a group that includes two other top-50 recruits: 6-6 small forward Troy Williams (ranked No. 37) of Virginia and 6-4 shooting guard Stanford Robinson (No. 50) of Nevada.

Also ranked are 6-10 center Luke Fischer (No. 115) of Wisconsin and 6-6 forward Devin Davis (No. 120) of Indianapolis Warren Central. Collin Hartman, a 6-6 forward from Indianapolis Cathedral, had been ranked until an injury marred summer.

This is an impressive follow-up to this season's heralded freshman group that includes point guard Yogi Ferrell.

IU's class was ranked No. 20 by Rivals.com before the Vonleh commitment. It's certain to make a huge jump, although it probably won't take over No. 1. Kentucky has that spot with shooting guard Aaron Harrison (No. 4), point guard Andrew Harrison (No. 5), shooting guard James Young (No. 10), power forward Marcus Lee (No. 17) and power forward Derek Willis (No. 128).

The Hoosiers do figure to pass No. 10 Illinois and No. 8 Michigan for the Big Ten's best class.

Assuming all six of IU's commitments sign on Wednesday, the over-signing speculation will begin again. That's because IU is set to return 10 players next year. That means the Hoosiers would be three over the 13-scholarship limit.

However, sophomore forward Cody Zeller is likely to be the No. 1 pick if he leaves next spring to enter the NBA draft. If he does leave, that still leaves IU two over.

In the end, of course, it will all work out.