Four IU signees start strong in final prep seasons

  • 12/04/2017 10:26 am in

Throughout the season, we’ll be keeping track of how Indiana’s four class of 2018 signees fare throughout their final high school campaigns. In addition, we’ll also be keeping tabs on several key recruiting targets in the class of 2018 and 2019.

Here’s our first report:

Class of 2018

Robert Phinisee, McCutcheon: The Mavericks are off to a 3-1 start and Phinisee is the primary reason why. In the season opener at West Lafayette on Nov. 23, Phinisee finished with 36 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals in a 61-60 victory. He followed that up with 17 points and four rebounds in a 67-46 win over Benton Central on Nov. 28. In a rematch against West Lafayette on Dec. 1, Phinisee finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds in a narrow 57-53 loss. The next day, Phinisee had 39 points, nine rebounds, five assists and seven steals in an 86-42 win over Lafayette Central Catholic.

Damezi Anderson, South Bend Riley: The Wildcats are off to a 3-0 start and Anderson has already set the program’s all-time scoring record. In Riley’s season opening 89-38 win at LaPorte on Nov. 21, Anderson had 35 points. On Dec. 1, Anderson had 25 points in a 76-45 win at Northridge and he had 28 points in a 69-56 win over Merrillville on Dec. 2.

Jerome Hunter, Pickerington North (Ohio): The versatile 6-foot-7 wing had 21 points in a 65-60 to Wayne on Dec. 2. Hunter, along with several prospects mentioned in this report, will play in Southport on Saturday in the Forum Tipoff Classic. Details for that event are available below:

Jake Forrester, Westtown School (Pa.): The 6-foot-9 forward finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds in a 56-52 win over Episcopal Academy on Nov. 29. Forrester was not listed among the leading scorers in a 84-76 win over the Huntington School (N.J.) on Dec. 2.

Romeo Langford, New Albany: The Bulldogs, No. 1 in Class 4A, are off to a 3-0 start and Langford continues to climb the state’s all-time scoring list. Langford set a career-high with 48 points in New Albany’s season opener against Charlestown in Nov. 21. Langford had 24 points in a 70-58 win at Bloomington South on Nov. 25 and nearly matched his career-high with 47 points in a 96-59 win at home over Evansville Harrison on Dec. 2.

Class of 2019

Trayce Jackson-Davis, Center Grove: One of IU’s top recruiting targets regardless of class, Jackson-Davis is off to a stellar start as a junior. He finished with 33 points in Center Grove’s 80-61 win at Franklin on Nov. 21 to open the season. Jackson-Davis had 24 points in a 64-38 win over Franklin Central on Nov. 25. On Dec. 1, he just missed a triple-double as he finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and nine blocked shots in a 70-37 win at Southport. Most recently, Davis had 35 points in a 77-68 win over Bloomington North on Dec. 2.

Keion Brooks Jr., Fort Wayne North: In Fort Wayne North’s season opening win at Indianapolis Tech on Nov. 25, Brooks had 25 points. Brooks followed that up with 21 points and 13 rebounds in a 67-41 win over Fort Wayne Blackhawk on Nov. 28. He did not play in a 56-41 win over DeKalb on Dec. 1 to an illness, but bounced back with 23 points in a 75-67 overtime loss at Hamilton Southeastern on Dec. 2.

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  • inLinE6

    Thanks Alex! Looks like our recruits are outperforming their rankings so far. Would love to get some updates on Hurt and Watford too!

  • Might add additional guys as the season moves along, but these are the seven we’re going to track for now.

  • Mark Bando

    It would be interesting to see how many points are coming from three point land. We are going to need more three point shooting coming in next year.

  • N71

    Another part of this group is going to be Race…any word on how he’s doing. I realize he’s been trying to move past some health issues but are there any early indicators like he’s the next Blake Griffith or something to the effect?

  • Ms hoosier

    Don’t know if RP is under rated or not, but he is putting up some great numbers!! I just hope he can carry half of them kind of numbers over to the college game!! Glad to have Robert

  • Kyl470

    Anderson is a 3 point shooter. Not sure about the other guys.

  • VAHoosier

    So is Phinisee.

  • TomEke

    Interested to hear others’ thoughts:
    If IU lands Romeo, they would still have an open scholarship for next year. Is IU is looking to bring in a Grad Transfer (or even a Transfer)? Is it too early to say who might be targeted in either category?

    If IU lands Romeo, assuming he is a one year player, IU will have three open scholarship for 2019, so who is the next highest priority recruiting target after these two for 2019? Is IU still in the running for Trendon “T-WAT” Watford?

  • TomJameson

    I think the grad transfer market is an option. Pretty sure Archie would look at all of the options, including the one where we keep one or two scholarships open for the 2019-20 class.

  • IUBizmark

    Those numbers blew my mind!

  • Hoosierkamp

    And those #’s in close games too!

  • John D Murphy

    Great update. Thanks Alex.

  • marcusgresham

    His health should be fine I’m pretty sure he played at Hoosier Hysteria.

  • marcusgresham

    Hunter is supposed to have a decent outside shot, too, I thought.
    Rumor has it the young Langford lad can shoot as well.

  • N71

    What’s the makeup of next years team?

    Guards: Devonte, Al, and Robert
    Wings: Damezi and Jerome
    Frontline: Juwan, DeRon, Justin, Clifton, Race, and Jake

    That’s a ton a responsibility for the 3 guards but I like what we have. The wings will need to be able to shoot well or we’ve got some issues. The frontline will be as deep as its ever been. If Clifton could shoot like Ray Allen that would be nice. You can really see a fit for Romeo, his skill set (shooting/scoring machine) would be a very nice fit and take some stress off the others.

    With the extra scholarship I’d look for the next Peja Stojakovic/Glen Rice type, a tall lights-out shooter.

  • Hoosier PD

    He did play at HH, don’t remember how many minutes or his stats.

  • Ivan Renko

    one thing is for sure, next year’s team is going to be extremely young. 9 maybe 10 scholarship players (depending on whether Archie goes for a grad-transfer or not) who will be freshmen/sophomores.

    point being — the process is just getting started. young players typically look to the upperclassmen to assimilate with the program’s culture and play within the coach’s system at any successful program in the country. next year will set the foundation, but it’s going to be the 2019/2020 season when we start to reap what Archie is sowing.

    this team should still finish in the top half of the B1G this year and next,though, in my opinion, with the type of personnel we have. being patient until late december, early january for our guys to start playing more consistently

  • TomJameson

    In the current 2018 class, there is currently listed 11 scholarship players right now. Not counting Curtis. Personally, I don’t see any transfers or early NBA prospects in this group. Obviously, that number can change due to other unanticipated changes. On paper, that would leave 3 scholarships for 2019-20.

    1 Senior, 2 Juniors, 3 Sophomores, and 5 freshmen. Although Race won’t be considered a true freshman nor a true sophomore. I guess he’ll be a “freshmore” (not going to call him a Sophman). lol

  • TomJameson

    Hi Marcus. Congrats on your Jeopardy success. Way to go!

  • I wouldn’t assume Juwan will be back.

  • Juwan is gone, barring injury.

  • RP and Race are going to tear it up next year as freshmen, Damezi contributing too.

  • IU Cal 1809

    I think Jerome is the one that well lead the freshman in scoring.

  • TomJameson

    I understand that line of thought, but I still think that’s a stretch. Maybe after this year, and (another) stellar year as a senior, he can find a spot in the NBA … but not quite yet.

    But ya just never know … Can still make money in the G-League.

  • Doug Wilson

    I agree! People can knock him back all they want. But at IU he has always played as a 4. First year because of Ananoby. 2nd year because of a three guard set. This year because we lack post depth. Juwan does what he is asked to do. In the NBA he will be a slashing wing, who can also hit the three to keep a defender honest. He is not a true leader. So that is something that will help him develop quickly into what I believe will be a career as an off the bench role player. All teams need a deep bench. No pressure, just show up ready to play. And nobody does that better than Juwan.

  • Doug Wilson

    I like that he is playing and beating all the local LAfayette area schools. Down goes BC, WL, I am sure Rob will get to beat up on Tipton. On his way home, stop by Tripple XXX and get a burger. Wearing his IU Sweatshirt of Course! Maybe give Matt Painter another IU Autograph to add to his own IU Memorabilia. Haha! I still can’t believe we finally have an Lafayette Area Player headed to IU. thanks Robert!

  • marcusgresham

    I love the kid, but he’s currently 1-10 the college 3 point line.

  • marcusgresham

    Thanks. I wanted to make it to four wins to be qualified for the TOC, but it’s hard to complain about winning more money in an hour than I’ve ever made in a year.

  • TomJameson

    A huge accomplishment. You can be proud of that one. A lot of well wishers on the premium forum also.

  • Doug Wilson

    Yeah I know. Right?? What is the deal with that? Take all games (except Michigan game.). IU as a whole is getting quick at pass pass pass without a dribble until they get the open look they want. But then they have that desired shot. It is rushed 9 times out of 10. Could this be a product of switching to Archie’s system. If it is, the game will slow down once the base fundamentals are established. Morgan’s shot will be back. It’s the mindset.

    Like any new job. It rush rush rush, then one day, it like ya been working that new job for years.

    Where do I send you the stroking video once we get past the Louisville and ND games. Because the Stroke is coming back.

  • Doug Wilson

    I hope Morgan agrees with you, not some NBA nobody trying to stay in a job, getting in his head.