INDIANAPOLIS — Since being named Most Valuable Player at last month's Top 100 Camp, Bowling Green High School's Chane Behanan grew more appealing in the eyes of recruiting service evaluators and college recruiters.
He rose from No. 93 a year ago to a top-25 prospect, according to Rivals.com.
More startling, he got a scholarship offer from Indiana sight unseen.
"They never saw me play," Behanan said after a game in the Adidas Invitational camp Tuesday. "I went to one of their games. (He shrugged.) They offered right there."
Kansas, Texas and Ohio State also showed new interest. But Louisville remains at the top of the growing list of college options.
"They were showing a lot of interest before a lot of schools," Behanan said. "They're going to remain on top of my list."
Behanan noticed the who's who of coaches watching his game here.
Five rows from the floor near midcourt, U of L Coach Rick Pitino sat next to Florida Coach Billy Donovan. Down the row, North Carolina's Roy Williams and West Virginia's Bob Huggins sat side by side. Ohio State's Thad Matta and Oklahoma State's Travis Ford sat on the front row.
New Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne stood about 20 feet from a corner of the court, but Behanan confirmed that UK had shown no new interest beyond a congratulatory note after the Top 100 Camp.
Conventional wisdom has UK happy to have Michael Gilchrist, the consensus No. 1 player in the class of 2011, in the fold. This led Behanan to publicly say at the Top 100 Camp that he'd like to play Gilchrist one-on-one, but conflicting summer schedules prevented such a showdown.
"Hopefully I will before the summer's over," Behanan said. "If not, we'll meet in college (pause) at the Final Four."
Zollo soldiers on
When it comes to knowing the recruiting process, few players can be more knowledgeable than Vinny Zollo. Surely no one else here had once committed to a school (Kentucky), leading that school's coach (Billy Gillispie) to literally shed tears of joy.
Then UK fired Gillispie, leaving Zollo in limbo. Now he's playing in this camp as another prospect.
His fellow campers go to Zollo, a senior-to-be, for advice. "I've been in it so friggin' long," he said good-naturedly. "It's a long process. Some handle it well. Some don't. (In either case), I'm about as experienced as you can get. There are highs and lows, mountains and valleys."
Zollo, who committed to UK after his high school freshman season, is more cautious now.
"I was going to make a list before July," he said of his college options. "I figured, why? ... Expand opportunities. Don't close them."
Zollo took unofficial visits to Dayton, Miami (Ohio), Butler and Tennessee in June. He's also hearing from Marquette and Stanford.
He also hears from Gillispie, as recently as two weeks ago. When asked who called whom, Zollo said, "We're pretty much in touch back and forth."
Gillispie provides a coach's perspective, Zollo said.
UK vs. Woods
Mississippi Valley State Coach Sean Woods said he was looking forward to leading his team against Kentucky on Dec. 18. Of course, Woods used to lead UK as point guard in the early 1990s. His banker with 2.1 seconds left served as prelude to the famous Christian Laettner game-winner in the 1992 NCAA East Region finals.
Woods said he did not have to do any heavy lifting to get his alma mater to play MVSU. He called UK staffer Tony Delk to plant the seed about a possible game.
Less than an hour later, UK agreed to play, he said.