“Lethal” Wilkes shows off versatility at Indyball

  • 04/14/2014 11:42 am in

INDIANAPOLIS — Long before Kris Wilkes played his first high school game at North Central, in August 2013, the current freshman received a scholarship offer to play basketball at Indiana. His AAU coach, Mike Peterson of Indy Hoosiers, called him “lethal.”

And that translated to the high school game in his first season with the Panthers. There, the 6-foot-7 (and nearing 6-foot-8) forward was second on the team in scoring with 9.4 points per game and also recorded 3.3 rebounds per game, per MaxPreps.

Now, his first high school season is complete and the No. 14 prospect in the 2017 class (according to the Future150) is back playing with the Indy Hoosiers. Inside the Hall caught up with Wilkes on Saturday at the Indyball Shootout, the first AAU tournament of the season, after they defeated Circle City Elite by a 73-34 score in a pool play game at North Central. Wilkes finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

I felt really good,” Wilkes said. “I felt like a lot of things were going my way.”

For Wilkes, though, basketball is just part of the equation as to what makes him unique. It’s not just his athleticism that causes people to rise from their seats in anticipation of an alley-oop dunk. It’s not just his ever-improving jump shot. Wilkes said he takes pride in his school work. He said he has well over a 3.0 GPA.

And on top of all of that, he also is in his school’s orchestra.

“I play the bass,” he noted.

Colleges began to take notice early on. Michigan, Purdue, Xavier and Kentucky have all been in touch with him, Wilkes said. But as of right now, Wilkes has one offer: Indiana.

Wilkes visited Indiana multiple times over the course of the 2013-2014 season. And even though he realizes it’s early in the process, he said Indiana is in his top five. “Easily,” he added.

“It’s a good atmosphere,” Wilkes said. “I like the crowd, I like how they all come to the games and support them. It’s a good environment.”

It’s no coincidence Wilkes is getting so much attention early. Throughout the weekend, he showed off his upside that should translate to more interest as the spring and summer move along. For those who don’t know much about Wilkes, the “lethal” tag fits quite well.

“I just try to let the game flow to me,” he said. “I try to help my team out, get rebounds. I try to score when I know I can and I’m working on my jump shot. And I like helping my team out by being a team leader.

“Whatever it takes for us to win.”

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  • Caleb Moore

    The 2016 and 2017 classes are so loaded with talent in Indiana. Wings and bigs galore. If we can just get a couple of those kids in each class we should be set. That Center from Southport is at the top of my list. Got a lot of Zeller in him. 6’10” as a soph and really good fundamentals and movement. Guess if I could tell these kids anything it would be TAKE YOUR TIME.

  • Alford Bailey

    Saw this kid this season and had no idea IU had offered. By far the most talented kid on that NC team. Yes I just said that. More talented than Eron. Need to keep an eye on him for sure.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Him and Eron on the same team?! North Central really cranks them out don’t they?

  • FinEndNow

    But we actually have to land those players… We’ve missed out on A LOT.

  • Gregory Spera

    Man, this state is packed with players. IU needs to start dominating the conversation with these kids.

  • Alford Bailey


  • Alford Bailey

    Na, lets allow UM, MSU, OSU and UK fill their rosters with these kids. IU can fly to Maryland.( Nothing against those kids)

  • Ole Man

    We somehow have to get this Indiana kid to stay home!

  • Ole Man

    My sarcasm button went off….LOL.

  • JWaltFTW

    High GPA and plays the bass? I like him already.

  • CreamandCrimson

    A year ago, I was laughed at when I wrote that Eron Gordon wasn’t a “must get” recruit and that he wouldn’t really be considered an elite prospect right now if his last name wasn’t Gordon. I stand by that stance (and I feel even stronger about it now). He’s still young and he might turn into an elite player. IU should continue to pursue him and keep a strong relationship with him. I will just say that I’ve seen him play several times and if you didn’t know who he was, you wouldn’t think he was a future D1 player. You are absolutely right, as of this moment, Wilkes has a much higher ceiling.

  • CreanFaithful

    Or…. you could do what Crean does and recruit both areas. IU is this kids first offer. Whether we land Indiana kids or not may be something different entirely, but don’t pretend CTC isn’t trying…

  • Bryce Kepner

    That Indy Hoosiers AAU team that he plays on features three or four guys that IU needs to land in 2017

  • hoosier1158

    IU needs to lock up the borders, like CTC said he was going to do back in 2008.

  • hoosier1158

    Eron Gordon is a must get for IU. Both of his brothers played at IU and that would make anyone think IU already is in a good spot. The best talent in Indiana should want to play in Btown.

  • Bryce Kepner

    Southport’s Paul Scruggs of the class of 2017 is a looking like he will be a must get for Indiana as well!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Eron Gordon hasn’t produced like the best talent in Indiana (to this point).

  • hoosier1158

    At this time his is a top 40 recruit. An Indiana kid. IU needs to sign him.

  • William Hagenmaier

    bob knight hardly ever went outside of the tri state