As 2011 prospect Austin Etherington began to gather scholarship offers, an offer from a Big Ten school close to home was the one he coveted the most.
"Indiana was one of the big offers I was waiting on," said Etherington, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound wing from Arcadia (Ind.) Hamilton Heights High School. "I was really excited to get that offer."
On Monday Etherington took advantage of that offer, committing to Indiana even though Florida amongst other schools wanted him to wait until he took some visits in the fall.
"Notre Dame and Florida said that if I went on a visit in the fall they would offer," he said. "I was really interested in Florida, but my family wanted me to stay close to home so they could watch me play."
Etherington, who averaged 16 points and seven rebounds per game as a sophomore, had offers from Xavier, Butler, Oklahoma State and New Mexico.
Etherington's courtship with Indiana grew steadily over the summer as his game also blossomed.
"They watched me workout at school in April," he said. "Then I went to their elite camp at the end of June, and they offered after the camp. Then in July they were at most of my games."
More of a small forward at this stage of his development, Etherington said that Coach Crean is urging him to develop into more of a shooting guard.
"Coach Crean wants me to work on being more of a two and be able to handle the ball at a high level," he said. "He thinks we could have a great three guard line up when I get there."