Sunday concluded the last of 3 live evaluation periods this summer. There are several questions that Hoosier fans will be seeking answers to in the coming weeks.
Who will be Indiana’s future point guard?
Five-star point guard Darius Garland was tremendous this spring and summer, but the Hoosiers seem to be facing somewhat of a uphill battle in this one. A few weeks ago Garland cut his list to Duke, Vanderbilt, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, and UCLA. Garland will be planning his visits the next few weeks, and it will be interesting to see if Garland does make his way to Bloomington to visit the campus.
McCutcheon and Indiana Elite point guard Robert Phinisee has long been an IU target. This spring and summer was full of ups and downs for Phinisee as he was bothered by injuries. Archie Miller and his staff watched all of Phinisee’s games this past week in Las Vegas. Phinisee finished his Adidas Summer Championships with a statement and posted a stat line of 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. A few weeks ago Phinisee indicated that he might make his decision without taking anymore visits, and he hinted at that again over the weekend. The Hoosiers biggest competition in this recruitment seems to be Ohio State. Chris Holtmann recruited Robert while he was at Butler and has been going after Robert hard since he arrived in Columbus earlier in the summer. Other competition for Indiana in this recruitment includes Virginia and Big Ten foe Purdue.
Archie Miller has several back up plans in place if Indiana were to miss out on Phinisee. The recruitment of Oakland Soldiers point guard James Akinjo has blown up this summer. Akinjo helped lead the Soldiers to a Peach Jam title earlier in July and averaged 18.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 7 APG during the event. Akinjo will most likely shoot up the class of 2018 rankings when recruiting outlets evaluate them in the coming weeks. Last week Akinjo told reporters he will be taking official visits to Connecticut, Iowa State, California, and Indiana. Akinjo is 6’0, but does not lack explosion. I felt Akinjo did a very nice job of finding team mates, and Akinjo can also really shoot the basketball.
Another back up option for Archie Miller is Nike Team South Beach and Montverde Academy point guard Michael Devoe. Miller was able to watch Devoe play several times last week in Las Vegas. Devoe finished out the summer with some very strong play during July. The 6’3 Devoe has nice size for a floor general which allows him to see over the top of defenses. This season on the EYBL Devoe averaged 15.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 4.6 APG. Devoe told Evan Daniels of Scout.com that the Hoosiers have been coming after him hard recently. Devoe also said that Indiana would love for him to visit the campus in Bloomington.
Indiana has several good options at the point guard position but keeps a close eye on Robert Phinisee as he likely approaches a decision during August.
There is another large question facing the Hoosiers right now. Will Indiana land the big fish in year one of the Miller era?
During the fall and winter all Hoosier fans will be keeping close tabs on New Albany star Romeo Langford. This summer Langford has said that he would like to take a visit to Indiana, so it will definitely be interesting to see when that visit happens. Langford also mentioned that he would try to cut his list down to around 8 schools after the July period. Archie Miller has been working extremely hard in this recruitment to make up ground, and Miller has the Hoosiers sitting in a solid position in this recruitment. Langfords decision will most likely come during the spring which will allow Miller to continue to grow his relationship with Langford and his family. It will also allow Miller to show Langford what he can do in his first year at Indiana.
Indiana has also been making a push in the recruitment of five-star center Moses Brown. There has been chatter that Brown may take a visit to IU, and that would be huge for Indiana. The Archbishop Molloy big man is ranked in the top 10 of the 2018 recruiting class by multiple recruiting outlets. The 7’0 Brown can really affect shots in the paint and does a great job of protecting the rim. Brown’s offensive game is just scratching the surface and there is a ton of potential for him on that end of the floor. Brown is also a force on the glass and does a nice job of rebounding the basketball. It will be interesting to see if Miller can get Brown on campus for a visit.
Ben Davis guard Aaron Henry continued to pick up more offers last week. I was really impressed with Henry in the games I watched him play in the Adidas Summer Championships. Henry always seemed to make the right play and seemed to always be in the right spot on the floor. Aaron shot the ball very well this summer. Henry and Indianapolis Tindley guard, Eric Hunter Jr.. helped lead Team Harris to an appearance in the round of 32. Henry finished a tremendous summer by averaging 21 PPG, 10 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 2 SPG during the Adidas Summer Championships. Henrys interest in IU seems to have dropped since Damezi Anderson and Jerome Hunter both committed, but Indiana is still pursuing Henry. It’s worth noting that the coaching staff watched Henry play several times last week, and Archie Miller was courtside for the round of 32 game on Saturday.
Class of 2018 forward Jake Forrester announced on twitter he would be cutting his list down to 8 schools. Indiana was one of the schools to make the cut, and Forrester told Jeff Rabjohns of Scout.com that he currently has plans to visit Pittsburgh, Indiana, and Xavier this fall. Forrester is ranked in the top 150 of the 2018 recruiting class by multiple recruiting outlets. Indiana currently has three open scholarships so it will be interesting to see how hard Indiana pursues Forrester in the coming months.
I’m blessed to announce my final 8 schools. Thank you to my parents for all the sacrifices they make for me to be in this position. pic.twitter.com/aH0PqXp1yD
— Jake Forrester (@begreatjake) July 28, 2017
If Phinisee commits to Indiana in the next couple of weeks, it will allow the Hoosiers to focus on recruiting instant impact guys like Brown and Langford. It would also allow IU to focus on the great targets they have in the 2019 recruiting class.
Some of the top 2019 guys Indiana is targeting include Keion Brooks, Matthew Hurt, Trayce Jackson-Davis, and Trendon Watford.
Indiana actively watched all 4 of those guys last week. Hurt, Jackson-Davis, and Watford all had strong performances in the Adidas Summer Championships. Hurt and Jackson-Davis led their teams to the final 8 of their respective age groups, and both really showed their versatility and played well inside. Hurt finished the Adidas Summer Championships averaging 19.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.6 BPG, and 1.4 APG. Since Jackson-Davis played in the 16U division there were no stats available. However, I was able to find stats for Team Teagues round of 8 game, and Jackson-Davis led the way posting a 20 point performance in the loss. Watford spent the last two evaluation periods playing for Adidas program M33M Elite. Watford averaged 17.8 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 2.3 APG during the Adidas Summer Championships. Brooks spent the last live evaluation period playing in the GRBA National Championships in Fort Wayne. Indiana coach Ed Schilling spent most of his time in Fort Wayne watching Brooks since he was away from most of the other targets that were playing in Las Vegas. You can access my articles about Keion Brooks and Trayce Jackson-Davis from last week by clicking the links below.
Keion Brooks Jr. Recruiting Update
Trayce Jackson-Davis Recruiting Update
Things are going to pick up in the next few months on the recruiting trail, and it will be interesting to see if Archie Miller continues to build on the momentum he currently has.