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Hoosiers make the final cut as North Central's Kris Wilkes cuts his list to five

There is a lot to like about the news that came out of Indianapolis that Kris Wilkes has cut his college list down to five finalists.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Five-star recruit and crown jewel of the State of Indiana's 2017 recruiting class Kris Wilkes announced on Sunday, via Twitter, that he has narrowed his list down to five schools. Not surprisingly, Indiana made the list, but there were some conspicuous absences.

Just two weeks ago, Wilkes, the 19th ranked national recruit according to 247Sports, narrowed his list to 11 and eliminated some blue bloods, including Michigan State and Kansas. But North Carolina, Michigan, Arizona, and local program Butler were all on the list. However, none of the four made the final cut.

This list is something that the Hoosier faithful have to love. In this era of the one-and-done, it's tough to feel confident when Kentucky, Duke, or North Carolina are on a top recruit's final list. And to make it even sweeter for those critical of Tom Crean's in-state recruiting efforts, the Hoosiers are the only home-state team in the last five, beating out Butler, Purdue, and Notre Dame, all of which were on Wilkes's radar at one point or another.

Greg Wilkes, Kris's father, apparently was like some of those critical of Crean, wondering why the state's best players were leaving home so often. Now, his son's experience may have changed his mind. Greg told Peegs, "I was glad that he looked at the Indiana schools. One of my big things was, I see a lot of good players, guys with a chance to do good things, leaving the state. I wondered why." He continued, "I see why now because there are a lot of opportunities and a lot of college programs that can develop your son or daughter in their programs. I think that's viable option."

But as of now, Indiana still has to be the favorite over the other schools. 247's Crystal Ball has Indiana slightly ahead in the running of UCLA. Others say that it will come down to the Hoosiers and Xavier:

But one thing is clear: the Hoosiers have a great shot at landing the 2017's 5th best small forward. What may be important to bringing him to Bloomington is bringing Southport's Paul Scruggs to Bloomington as well. Scruggs, the 31st overall and 6th at his position (PG) according to 247, and AAU teammate of Wilkes, has also narrowed his list to six, and Indiana, Illinois, UConn, and Xavier are all on his list too. But Crystal Ball gives Xavier a 94% chance of singing Scruggs, who is their top target for the Class of 2017.

As always, recruiting 17- and 18-year old kids can be fluid, but there is no doubt that today was a small victory for the Hoosiers in the recruiting war for Kris Wilkes.