Major interest continues for five-star Kris Wilkes

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The class of 2017 is shaping up to be a good one in Indiana and Kris Wilkes, a 6-foot-7 wing from North Central, may be at the forefront.

Wilkes is rated the No. 19 prospect nationally in the 2017 class by the 247Composite and earlier in the year, Scout.com ranked him the No. 68 prospect in high school regardless of class.

As a sophomore at North Central, Wilkes helped lead the Panthers to a 16-6 record while averaging 17.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists on 58 percent shooting.

This spring, he’s once again starring for the Under Armour sponsored Indy Hoosiers team that also features Southport guard Paul Scruggs. Through seven UA Association circuit games, Wilkes leads the Hoosiers in scoring (13.0 ppg) and is second in rebounding (4.6 rpg).

And as a result of his strong play both during the high school season and thus far in AAU, he continues to pick up interest from many of the nation’s top schools.

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Q & A: 2016 big man Joey Brunk updates recruitment

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Indiana continues to track class of 2016 Southport big man Joey Brunk closely this spring as both Tom Crean and Tim Buckley were on hand to see the 6-foot-10 center at the Under Armour Association stop at the MidAmerica Sports Center.

Inside the Hall caught up with Brunk on Friday after Crean and Buckley watched him score 11 points and grab seven rebounds in a 81-77 loss to the Houston Defenders.

The No. 109 prospect nationally – according to the 247Composite – discussed a variety of topics, including his interest in Indiana, the schools he’s hearing from most and more. The complete Q & A is below:

On what he’s focusing on this spring and summer:

“Just continuing to get stronger, more athletic, that’s probably the biggest thing. It’s something I’ve been working on a lot for a couple of years. And the other one is continuing to improve my skills all over the floor.”

On which schools have conducted in-home visits recently and who has been to Southport to see him lately:

“This past week I had in-homes with Iowa and IU. And then coach (John) Groce from Illinois was at an open gym.”

On the takeaways from those visits:

“I had good talks with all of them on how they want to use me, how I fit in with their scheme. There are positives to take away from all of them.”

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2016 forward De’Ron Davis makes changes to his game

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INDIANAPOLIS — De’Ron Davis is done taking a back seat.

As the 6-foot-10 class of 2016 forward is in the midst of his final AAU season with Colorado Hawks, the rising senior said on Saturday from the adidas Gauntlet in Best Choice Fieldhouse that he has made one major adjustment to his game.

He’s trying to be more aggressive on the court.

“I’ve been trying to show everybody I’m being aggressive this year,” Davis told reporters. “Last year, I took a sideline to a couple players, so I’m trying to come out and be aggressive.”

Throughout 2015 — well before the AAU season started — Davis made that change in his game a priority. Playing in his junior season at Overland (Colo.) High School, the No. 31 rated prospect in the class of 2016 according to the 247 Composite had to adjust his game en route to a state title.

He averaged 16.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.1 blocks per game and scored 15 points with 16 rebounds in Overland’s first-ever state title. But as he recalled on Saturday, that didn’t come easy.

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Interest in 2016 wing Lamar Stevens continues to grow

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Class of 2016 Roman Catholic (Pa.) wing Lamar Stevens, who took an unofficial visit to Indiana last fall, is having a strong spring for Team Final on Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit.

The 6-foot-7 Stevens is averaging 16.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and two steals per game and Team Final is 6-2 through two EYBL sessions and on target to qualify for July’s Peach Jam.

“We’re out here and we don’t have the biggest name players, but we think we’re all good and we think we can compete with all of the best players around the country,” Stevens told Inside the Hall over the weekend at the EYBL session in Lexington, Kentucky. “So we’re just out here to prove that we’re also one of the best teams in the country.”

As for his play individually, Stevens is focusing on his effort and as a result, schools are taking notice.

In recent weeks, Maryland, Iowa, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Xavier and Florida State have all offered scholarships, joining IU, Penn State, Temple and Villanova, four schools that have been involved in his recruitment for quite some time.

“I’m just trying to play as hard as I possibly can,” Stevens said. “Get to the basket, draw fouls, hit midrange jumpshots and make all of my free throws. That’s what I’ve been focusing on right now, being the best me.”

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Bruce Brown on IU: “What is there not to like?”

LEXINGTON, Ky. – With Yogi Ferrell entering his fourth and final season in Bloomington, Indiana has a need for a point guard in the class of 2016.

And it appears the Hoosiers are firmly in the mix for one of the standouts of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.

Bruce Brown, a 6-foot-3 point guard from Vermont Academy (Vt.), is averaging 17.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists in eight EYBL games this season for Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC).

Indiana was among many schools watching Brown closely at this past weekend’s EYBL session at the Kentucky Basketball Academy in Lexington, Kentucky. Assistant coach Chuck Martin was there on Saturday morning as Brown went for 29 points as BABC beat Seattle Rotary, 79-74.

Rated the No. 46 prospect nationally in the 2016 class by the 247Composite, Brown can play both guard spots, but is being recruited as a point guard. The Hoosiers extended a scholarship offer last August and have stayed diligent in his recruitment ever since.

The interest, according to Brown, is mutual.

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Is Indiana a preseason top 15 team? Experts say yes

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The early entry deadline for the 2015 NBA draft has passed and Indiana appears to be one of the nation’s biggest winners as all three Hoosiers who were considering leaving early returned to school.

Along with Maryland and Michigan State, Indiana looks like, at least on paper, a viable contender in the Big Ten next season with its top eight scorers returning and the addition of McDonald’s All-American Thomas Bryant.

As a whole, the Big Ten is shaping up to be very deep as Michigan should return to the top 25 with a healthy Caris LeVert, Iowa and Purdue both return four of five starters, Wisconsin brings back Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig and Illinois and Ohio State both add talented recruiting classes.

On Monday, Inside the Hall reached out to three of the most well-respected national college basketball writers in the country for their thoughts on where IU could stack up not only in the Big Ten next season, but also nationally.

Pat Forde, Yahoo! Sports

“The wise decisions of several players to return, coupled with the addition of Thomas Bryant, should make Indiana a contender for the Big Ten title and a top 15 team nationally.

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Rawle Alkins a priority for Indiana in class of 2016

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INDIANAPOLIS — On Saturday morning at the adidas Gauntlet Series, Rawle Alkins ran into a familiar face.

Thomas Bryant, Indiana’s newest commit, happened to be at Best Choice Fieldhouse to watch several AAU games with his high school coaches. He stopped Alkins in his tracks.

“He said we could take IU by storm,” Alkins said. “Me and him would just kill, together.”

With Alkins playing just over an hour from Indiana’s campus, the Hoosiers this past weekend took the opportunity to continue their prioritization of recruiting Alkins — a class of 2016 prospect and the Christ the King (N.Y.) guard ranked No. 29 in the class, according to the 247 Composite.

The Hoosiers chose to have a member of their staff at every game Alkins played in Indianapolis. They have had Jordan Fuchs — current walk-on and Alkins’ former high school teammate — and Bryant recruiting him, as well.

“I would say they’re probably recruiting me the hardest right now,” he said.

Throughout Alkins’ recruitment to Indiana, the two sides have shown reciprocated interest.

Indiana began with a scholarship offer last June and has made it a priority to load Alkins with mail and messages to show their high interest in the 6-foot-5 guard. “Oh yeah, I love their mail,” he said.

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