Thomas Bryant sent Tom Crean an important text message last Saturday.
“Watch ESPN now,” Bryant wrote.
It was indeed must-see TV for Crean as Bryant, the McDonald’s All American center from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep committed to Crean’s Indiana basketball team on ESPN.
Crean and his staff turned in in time to get the good news, and they called Bryant back to let him know they did.
“They were just screaming and happy,” Bryant said Thursday after arriving in Louisville to begin practice for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic. “They were screaming, ‘Woooo! We landed Thomas Bryant!’ That was a great feeling.”
The 6-foot-10 Bryant is definitely is a recruiting prize worth celebrating. He became the signature member of IU’s three-man recruiting class – a high-energy, elite big man on a team that lacked one this past season.
“With the guys coming back and the new additions to the team … it could be a real special team,” he said.
Bryant, who can sign with the Hoosiers this month, is happy to have recruiting solved and focus this week on getting to know fellow IU recruits Juwan Morgan and OG Anunoby. They will participate in the Night of Future Stars skills contest Friday night in front of what’s sure to be a Hoosier-friendly crowd at New Albany High School. The Derby game is at Freedom Hall.
“It feels like a big weight has been lifted off of me,” said Bryant, a Rochester, N.Y., native who picked IU over Kentucky, Missouri and home-state Syracuse. “I feel like Indiana is the best fit for me, and I feel 100 percent great about my decision.”
Bryant valued how Crean and his staff made him a priority and let him know it. He visited Bloomington for IU’s regular-season finale last month, and the relationship kept growing from there.