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Out of nowhere, Arizona State is the new player in Thon Maker's recruitment

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New Sun Devil assistant Brian Merritt is a close friend of Maker's guardian Ed Smith

Today, in AS THE THON TURNS.

Scout.com's Evan Daniels caught up with Ed Smith yesterday, giving him a full update on Maker's recruitment. And, as had been speculated across the twitterverse for the last couple of days, there's a new player in the Orangeville Prep swingman's courtship:

According to Smith, there are currently four schools – Arizona State, Indiana, Kansasand Kentucky – under consideration. Maker has taken visits to all but Arizona State. He hasn’t and doesn’t plan to conduct any in-home visits in the near future.

While the Hoosiers, Jayhawks and Wildcats have been on Maker’s list for a long time, Arizona State was just added, due to a relationship with new assistant coach Brian Merritt.

"A good friend of mine was just hired at Arizona State in Brian Merritt," Smith told Scout. "They have Bob Hurley from Buffalo and he won there with less talent. We spoke to Brian and we are going to look at them some."

"We have a good relationship," he added about Merritt, who has worked closely with John Lucas the past few years. "We’ve known Brian since Thon was in eighth grade with John Lucas. It’s all about speaking to coach Hurley, seeing what their interest is and seeing if a mid-year situation comes."

Merritt is also a close friend and former assistant to Maker's private coach John Lucas -- who was in Bloomington yesterday. It's worth noting that Duke no longer seems to be a consideration for Maker, and that Indiana continues to be top of mind for the forward. But, when would he actually come to school? As we've told you previously, it's looking more and more like it won't be until second semester.

"It’s shaping up like it’s going to be mid-year," Maker’s mentor Ed Smith told Scout. "It’s looking more and more like it’ll be that. He has his core done. That’ll be done on June 23. He’s fine in his core. It’s just getting the work done."

"For our sake we are going step by step to see what makes sense for him," he added. "If we can get a mid-year situation that’s good for him and he can walk in then we’ll go with a mid-year situation."

In addition, it's been reported that John Calipari visted Maker over the weekend. Check back tomorrow for more updates on what continues to be the world's strangest recruitment