News, notes, and any other tidbits that deal with Hoosier targets and recruits.
Archie Miller has made quite the entrance. While new coaches usually bring in a spring cleaning of sorts due to transfers and decommitments, Indiana’s new head coach has done an incredible job of maintaining the status quo that Tom Crean had left behind in terms of personnel. With no notable transfers and only losing O.G. Anunoby (so far) to the draft, the Hoosiers can dream bigger than just treading water in the B1G next year.
For the class of 2017, the three players who previously had committed to the Hoosiers while under Crean have now all reaffirmed their commitments after Miller was able to come in and share with each of them his plan for the future in Bloomington. It speaks volumes to not only Archie’s ability to level with recruits on a personal level, but also the strength of the vision he’s preaching. After Justin Smith, the 4-star wing out of Stevenson HS in Ilinois, recommitted to IU, his father had this to say about Miller’s approach in their meeting:
“He laid out his game plan, what he expected from Justin, where Justin will be playing, what position he will be mostly focused on, his emphasis on spreading the floor and things of that nature,” said Edward Smith, Justin’s father. “It was an outstanding meeting.” (Source)
Yeah, I think I’m gonna like this guy.
- Aside from Smith, both Al Durham and Clifton Moore also decided to take the plunge for IU once again as they officially rescinded their request for a release from scholarship after separate meetings with Miller.
- With the scholarship number situation at a bloated 15 and the roster oversigned by 2, adding more players for the 2017-18 year seems unlikely, unless the trio of James Blackmon Jr., Thomas Bryant, and Robert Johnson all keep their names in the draft. If they do, look for quick action on former 3-star Dayton commit McKinley Wright, who finally was granted his release from scholarship in the wake of Archie Miller’s move from Dayton. While a number of schools are involved with Wright, Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball has expressed some interest in reconnecting with Archie Miller at Indiana. Wright, a 6’0”, 180 lb PG that can be seen below, is ranked #224 overall in the class of 2017.
- Another former Dayton commit to keep an eye on is 3-star SF Nahziah Carter. Along with Wright, Carter requested and was released from his commitment. However, Carter now plans to take the prep-school route and reclassify to 2018, where the 6’6”, 185 lb prospect will fine-tune his game and reassess his recruitment. Also of note here is that Carter is the nephew of Jay Z, who of course is most famous for his failure as part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets.
- Another 5-star is back on the radar for the new staff at IU, and fans have all the reason in the world to get excited, as Darius Garland is back in play. Garland, a 6’0”, 150 lb PG out of Brentwood Academy in Nashville, is ranked #10 overall in the class of 2018. Garland’s father, a Gary, IN native, grew up an Indiana fan, and as a result, Darius followed the program throughout his childhood. While Tom Crean initially had some momentum in his recruitment, even getting an unofficial visit from Garland prior to last year’s Hoosier Hysteria, contact between the two slowed. However, Archie Miller has Indiana right back in the mix and was in to see Garland last week to renew the Hoosiers’ interest in the lightning-quick guard.
- Miller was also in to see 4-star 2018 PG Robert Phinisee (McCutcheon) last week. It was the first in-person meeting between the two, and as Phinisee has filled out over the past year, his ranking has skyrocketed up to #61 overall, and now appears to be a priority as an important piece of Miller’s first true recruiting class.
- The hire of assistant coach Ed Schilling could prove to be the biggest boon of all considering the history he has in the state. Schilling’s first head coaching job was at Wright State in the late 1990’s, where one of his players was Keion Brooks Sr. Schilling has stayed very close to the Brooks family ever since, and now, 20 years later, Keion Brooks Jr. is a 5-star prospect in the class of 2019 at Fort Wayne North HS. While it’s far from a sure thing that Brooks would come to play under the same tutelage as his father, this is a major development for Indiana in the recruitment of a top talent not only in the state, but nationally.
- Nothing newsworthy in regards to Indiana as part of the recruitment of Trendon Watford, but Christian’s little brother continues to blaze his own path at Mountain Brook (AL). Watford, the #12 overall player in the class of 2019, took home player of the year award in class 7A in the state of Alabama as a sophomore and remains a top target in 2019.
- As always, keep up to date with our ever-changing recruiting board.