A look at Indiana’s potential in-state targets for 2018 class

  • 03/31/2017 10:38 am in

Archie Miller’s directive in Monday’s press conference was clear: he wants the best players in the state to strongly consider coming to Bloomington.

Miller offered his thoughts on an approach for recruiting in the state as a part of his “third level” for running the IU program:

“The last part of the level, the third level, is the future. And the future is the recruiting,” he said. “And we’re going to have a great way about us, and the term that we’ll use is called inside-out. We have to start inside this state of Indiana, and we have to start moving outside very slowly, because the footprint is there. The inside-out approach means that we have to dedicate ourselves to the high school coaches in this state, the high school talent in this state, the grass-roots programs in this state, and they must feel like they’re being dominated by Indiana University. You’re not going to get every player; you understand that. But if we want them, we should have a great chance of getting them because of the commitment level that we’re putting forth 24 hours a day at home.”

With the class of 2018 eligible to begin signing National Letters of Intent in November, Miller and the staff he assembles will need to hit the ground running in April and July, when college coaches can evaluate prospects around the country.

Here’s a look at some of the players who could get attention from the new Hoosier staff as recruiting heats back up:

Romeo Langford, New Albany

Langford is a household name in the state and nationally. The five-star guard is the No. 3 player in the country, according to the 247Composite, and has a long list of suitors. He’s familiar with Indiana because of the former coaching staff’s involvement in his recruitment, but didn’t visit Bloomington at all this past season. The good news is that Langford hasn’t announced any leaders publicly and doesn’t appear to be in any rush to make a decision. Even if the pursuit isn’t successful, the new Indiana staff absolutely has to make a run at Langford to gauge his interest.

Robert Phinisee, McCutcheon

Phinisee has been a frequent visitor to Bloomington throughout his prep career and had a scholarship offer from the former coaching staff. The 6-foot point guard is the No. 93 player in the 247Composite and is regarded as a four-star prospect. He’s also a Purdue target and given his proximity to that campus, Indiana could make an in-state statement by landing Phinisee in 2018.

Musa Jallow, Bloomington North

The new staff won’t have to travel far to find a Big Ten prospect with interest in IU. Jallow plays at nearby Bloomington North and was a frequent visitor for games this past season. He’s 6-foot-5 with a reported 6-foot-9 wingspan, which makes him an intriguing defensive prospect. Given Miller’s comments regarding the defense he wants to build, it’s easy to see why Jallow could become a major priority.

Eric Hunter, Tindley

Hunter helped lead Class A Tindley to the state championship this month and is a four-star propsect according to the 247Composite. He didn’t have an offer from the previous IU staff, but if he’s open to being recruited to Bloomington, he’s certainly a prospect to watch. In Tindley’s 51-49 state championship win over Lafayette Central Catholic, Hunter scored just eight points, but averaged over 26 as a junior.

Damezi Anderson, South Bend Riley

Anderson is also ranked in the top 150 of the most recent 247Composite rankings and recently landed a Purdue scholarship offer. He’s a 6-foot-6 wing with upside, but Indiana hasn’t recruited the South Bend area much under previous staffs.

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  • John D Murphy

    I even want the kids from Lafayette

  • rob salway

    Understanding that it is a highlight video and what that entails, Jallow seems to be explosive, versatile and appears to have good ball handling. Would be interested to hear thoughts from people that have seen him up close. But from that video I was impressed with his all-around abilities and potential.

  • IULore

    We need an Old Testament kind of team…

  • Chuck Wanager

    We will do much better, I think. Just imagine, a few players from Indiana, a team that can actually play one whole minute without turnovers and no more matador defense. I’m looking forward to it.

  • John D Murphy

    Watched Gordon play last night. He can still get it with all those injuries. NV has worked himself into the rotation in Portland as well. Although I’m not sure worked is the right word. His FT form looks worse than when he was a freshman.

  • INUnivHoosier2

    NV has some hands on him.

  • John D Murphy

    If I remember his NBA measurements, he had the 2nd largest hands they had ever measured (course they haven’t been doing that for long).

  • Lance76

    I had heard the same thing about “culture” off the court. His departure was a major hit because of Vonleh’s jump to the NBA. The program struggled to recover.

  • millzy32

    I hope to find this exact thing out next year. I hope most stay and I think you are right.

  • Ohio Hoosier

    Same thing happened to Lawrence Funderburk.
    Had his best game the night before he quit.

  • SeeingRed

    Rob Phinisee is very solid PG and would be a very nice takeaway from PU. They’ve got Carson Edwards for 3 more years, which could be all the motivation he needs to become public enemy No. 1 in his hometown. Although UVA and Xavier also seem to be in the mix.

  • IUMIKE1

    When I read the comment that you replied to here I uttered almost the exact same words as was in your first sentence.

  • Arch Puddington

    Freaky, man. Either we are a lot alike, or one of us is spying on the other.

  • IUMIKE1

    I think I’m gonna put it under the heading of, great minds think alike. lol

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t agree with that. He left after his best game….and he’d been on a steady increase in both PT and production over the previous few games. It really looked like it was all starting to come together for him, so I absolutely think it was homesickness (or a lack of connection with his teammates.)

  • marcusgresham

    You know what they say about a guy with big hands……….big gloves.

  • marcusgresham

    Who is MP?

  • marcusgresham

    Per 247 Sports
    2018
    5-star Langford
    4-star Phinisee, Hunter
    3-star Anderson, Kevin Easley-Lawrence North (VCU commit,) Kevin Zhang-La Lumiere, Jimmy Bean (SB Clay,) Austin Boucher (South Side,) Aaron Henry (Ben Davis)

    2019
    5-star Brooks (6’8″ F, FW North Side)
    4-star Tyger Campbell (6’0″ PG, La Lumiere)
    Dexter Shouse (6’4″ SG, Lawrence North)
    3-star Isaiah Thompson (6’0″ PG, Zionsville)
    Sydney Curry (6’7″ SF, FW Luers)
    The only other three listed aren’t rated.
    Jalen Jennings (5’8″ PG, SB Riley,)
    Ethan Brittain-Watts (6’0″ PG, Culver Academy)
    Cobie Barnes (6’5 SF, Floyd Central) I’ve seen Barnes play. I’d put him closer to 6’4 than 6’5, and I don’t know that he’s quite IU-material yet. He grew up in Hawaii and just dominated those shorter Polynesian kids, and he’s solid, but I don’t know that he’s that fantastic yet.

    No listing yet of 2020 players.

  • William Stephens

    This sounds great, but how can we get kids who want to go to other schools to change and stay in Indiana? Rumor has it that Langford is in love with Duke. How can we stay legal and change his mind? Do we want possible one and done players? I think we need some stay in school talent. I like defense as much as anyone but Archie said he wants offense first, and we need to have scoring. Who is leaving? Very many unanswered questions, but I would love to see Indiana become the #1 option for kids from Indiana. It kind of seems like playing in the Olympics for Russia when you’re an American. Where’s the loyalty? Go IU! Good luck, Archie!

  • marcusgresham

    Sounds logical, but the way I’m optimistically spinning it in my head is that maybe Langford was tepid on IU because of negatives he’s subjected to about Crean and his future, and now that situation is resolved he can think “man, I really like the campus and the atmosphere up there. I wasn’t sold on the coaching staff, but I like what this guy is saying.”
    All the previous positives (or almost all–there were a lot of things to like about Crean from a player and a player’s parent’s standpoint,) are still there, and now there’s something new and fresh along with it.
    I’m just trying to be hopeful.

  • marcusgresham

    If you’re going to shut down the borders, the first team I think you need to keep out is Xavier. They’ve made a killing in Indiana for several years now.

  • marcusgresham

    So we can’t wear leather shoes with our nylon uniforms?

  • marcusgresham

    If Bob Knight said ANYTHING good about something that has happened at IU since 1999 it must be phenomenal.

  • marcusgresham

    I’ve heard that but no one seems to be able to attribute it to anything other than “I’ve heard…”
    I personally get the impression that he wants his parents to be able to see him. Now, that would lead me to believe U of L would be the frontrunner, but I also have a feeling there is a hammer about to drop from Indianapolis on the U of L program. Carolina will get away with basically no repercussions for years of academic fraud (the basketball team anyway–they may not be so fortunate on the football side,) because the NCAA is spineless when it comes to the Tar Heels, but I don’t think Louisville is going to be that lucky.
    I just hope if he goes to Lexington, he’s only doing so because I-64 goes through it on the way to wherever his destination may be.

  • TomJameson

    Do you mean RP (Robert Phinisee)?

  • TomJameson

    For what it’s worth, Archie has been his nickname since he was a kid. Ryan is his first name, which is only used by his sisters and sister-in-law.

  • Don’t think for a second that those very same kinds of thoughts aren’t percolating somewhere in my own mind. I’m just trying to keep a level head about everything.

  • stillstoned2011

    How many Indiana kids started on the 1987 team?

  • vicbert caladipo

    Vicpom predictions for likeliness each player returns next season. Disclaimer..For entertainment purposes only and according to Vicpom not the great staff at ITH
    Collin-100%
    Newkirk-90%
    Freddy-90%
    DD-85%
    JM-80%
    ZM-80% (if no scholly taken)
    DG-70%
    Smith-70%
    Moore-60%
    Durham-55%
    TB-50%
    CJ-50%
    TP-50%
    RJ-30%
    OG-20%
    JBJ-10%

  • vicbert caladipo

    There was a personal friend of Luke’s that had told someone, and the word got out, that he didn’t get along with a few of the teammates and felt like an outcast. It was of a cultural thing, where he wasn’t being treated as part of the team similiar to what LeBUM james did to Kevin Love when Love first got to cleveland

  • SeeingRed

    Xavier targets the 4 year program builder type guys that are key to sustaining success. Izzo cherry picks the higher profile guys. Hopefully Archie can plug up both of those leaks.

  • marcusgresham

    I think Alford is the only one. (Alford, Thomas, Garrett, Smart, Calloway, I believe were the five.)

  • Arch Puddington

    Sadly, so do imbeciles.

  • Doug Wilson

    There is a huge IU fan base in the Greater Lafayette Area… Who the hell do ya think gives them so much grief. Nothing like being a HS kid wearing IU Nation Champion shirt on the Purdue campus. I actually went to a Dorm party wearing it. They hate us local Hoosier fans. Phinisee is perhaps a rebel too?

  • Doug Wilson

    Well I hope you are wrong… If everyone stays. We have 5-6 Seniors next season.

  • I suppose I’m talking most about the players at the very top, and even more so about Langford. I have no doubt he can get good players, but he’ll be well behind other top programs in terms of recruiting the very cream of the crop. And of course, I’ll be excited to be proven wrong in this case.

  • Fifty-fifty ball

    Yes, my wife and I were there last night and I thought it was awesome that RMK talked about the current event with coaching change. And then to say he inquired information from a former friend in Dayton tells me Knight still cares about Indiana basketball and the fans. He gave Archie some high praise. To me that is Freaking Awesome!

    I really saw last night as a therapy session for both Knight and the fans. He might have needed it more than us as he got very emotional at times. It was great and glad my young son got to him speak. He read some things like what is an “Indiana Hoosiers” which my boy liked. I’m very proud and excited for the first time in a long time right now with hearing Knight last night and anticipation of what Coach Miller is capable of.

  • Michigan also seems to have its hands in Indiana’s pockets quite a lot over the past few years.

  • Dave Carnes

    The SouthBend Public schools are not putting out a lot of kids that can play and also be academically eligible at a real college.

  • Dave Carnes

    How much recruiting effort do you spend on a one and done?

  • Dave Carnes

    The kid at SB Rilley is the real deal.Other than that I know nothing about him.

  • marcusgresham

    Good point–probably should have listed Michigan State above Xavier. Michigan has done pretty well in Indiana too.

  • That’s a valid question, and personally, I’d rather see a team full of 3-4 year players, maybe a 2-year tossed in. Every now and then, though, I think a player comes along that’s worth going after regardless, and Romeo is one of them.

    At the same time, Romeo is pretty iconic right now as _the_ Indiana guy. Seems a lot like Damon Bailey in this regard. Bringing him to IU would be a very early statement on Archie’s part — not necessary, but remarkable.

  • Mark Bando

    Good point

  • Mark Bando

    Cool story. Sounds like a great night

  • Robert Weber

    I’m really liking what I see from Phinisee. Unselfish ball movement is the way to the Hoosier Heart. Could be a real hero for our team.

  • hgdownunder

    The Movement seemed to me to be almost self-consciously modeled on the Baby Boilers – recruit a AAU team and they will already know how to play together.