- Adam Finkelstein
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Indiana scored a huge verbal commitment Saturday night when Noah Vonleh (Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton), the nation's No. 8 prospect in the ESPN 100, committed to head coach Tom Crean while on campus for his official visit.
"From Day One, Indiana has been recruiting me the hardest," Vonleh told ESPN.com. "They were just letting me know how they could develop me into the player I want to be at the next level. Their academics are good, they're the No. 1 team in the country and they've got another great class coming in next year."
Vonleh was the fifth-highest rated prospect still available in the 2013 class. He brings Indiana the crown jewel to an already strong recruiting class -- as well as a frontcourt talent that is capable of stepping in to replace Cody Zeller should Zeller make a jump to the NBA after his sophomore season.
"They said next year I could come in and be one of the main guys," Vonleh said. "They're going to lose Christian Watford, and probably Zeller, so they want me to come in a be a big piece right away."
Vonleh arrived on campus in time for Indiana's regular-season opener on Friday and the hometown crowd made quite an impression on him.
"As soon as I walked out near the court they started chanting, 'We want Noah,' " he said.
Vonleh made national news earlier this fall when he reclassified back to his original class of 2013. This was his first official visit after previously cutting his list to six last month.