Five-star forward Miles Bridges breaks down finalists

  • 07/16/2015 8:03 am in

Class of 2016 Huntington Prep (W.V.) forward Miles Bridges released his final five schools at the conclusion of last week’s Peach Jam and the five-star prospect will have a hard time going wrong with any of his remaining choices.

Bridges, the No. 18 prospect in the 247Composite, is still considering Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State and North Carolina.

Following a scrimmage for the USA Midwest team last night at the Nike Global Challenge at Whitney Young High School in Chicago, he talked to Inside the Hall’s Ryan Corazza about each of his finalists:

Michigan – “It’s just a great program. I think I fit in well with them because they run and coach (John) Beilein lets them play. And the most important thing is development because they’re taking unranked players and making them into pros.”

Michigan State – “They’ve been recruiting me forever and I’m real comfortable with the staff. (Tom) Izzo, (Dwayne) Stephens, I talk to them all of the time. My mom, she’s real comfortable with them, too.”

Kentucky – “They just put people in the league. Me and coach (John) Calipari, we’ve gotten close.”

North Carolina – “They’re new. They offered me two days ago and I’ve been talking to coach Roy (Williams). I like their offense.”

Indiana – “Their (player) development is good, I like their coaching staff and it’s just a great basketball school.”

The Hoosiers, who landed Thomas Bryant from Huntington Prep in early April, are also recruiting 2016 guard Curtis Jones who will graduate with Bridges next spring.

Bridges, a native of Flint (Mich.), said Tom Crean and Chuck Martin are the coaches he talks to the most from Indiana.

“They’ve told me if I come there, I have to earn a spot,” Bridges said. “I have to get my ball handling better and my IQ. I know if I go there, I’ll be working every day.”

The 6-foot-7, 218 pound forward averaged 22.8 points and 10 rebounds per game at the Peach Jam.

As a junior at Huntington Prep, Bridges averaged 15.7 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.8 blocks and 2.3 steals per game. He said his relationship with Bryant, who he played with the previous two seasons at Huntington, is a positive.

“Me and Thomas, we talk all of the time. That’s my man,” he said. “I’ve known him for two years now. He talks to me all the time about college and he’s doing good.”

Bridges said he plans to take official visits to each of his finalists and then make a decision later in the fall.

(Photo credit: Jon Lopez/Nike)

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  • TomJameson

    Looking like Michigan State for this young man. Maybe Kensucky for a second choice.

  • marcusgresham

    He’s talking a lot to Coach Chuck, but Thomas Bryant is the most important recruiter IU has for this kid.

  • SCHoosier

    Agree..altho Bryant could give IU an edge..especially if he’s gonna be there to play with Bridges for at least a year. I think the Hoosiers have to get off to a really good start this season to get some 2016 names on LOI

  • OhioHoosier

    Love how we are taking the hardball approach to a guy that we are somewhat of a longshot to get. Anybody and everybody can tell him he will come in and be a star but it seems like we are going after him in a different way, challenging him to be better and not putting him ahead of the team. Still doubt we get him but I like the strategy on this one.

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    More of a music video than an actual highlight tape, but hey, it’s always good to know what a potential Hoosier will look like wearing big headphones and wearing a backpack. Can’t have em out there lookin silly!
    Don’t know about the competition at Huntington, but the guy is clearly a stat sheet stuffer. He appears to have a relatively quick release and takes it strong driving the lane. Also have to absolutely love that Bryant is working on the recruits.

  • VAHoosier

    That is a consistent theme in CTC’s recruiting, I’ve found. Several recruits, high-profile and otherwise, have reported that they appreciated that Crean didn’t just smother them with platitudes and compliments but rather critiqued their game and told them what they needed to improve. I think an important consequence to that approach is that it will appeal to mature kids who are truly interested in working hard and getting better.

  • millzy32

    Bryant was told the same thing. He mentioned it during some of his interviews. I think it’s the standard angle our staff is taking not saying it’s right or wrong just saying that it isn’t unique to this particular player.

  • Ole Man

    Sounds like IU is at the bottom of the list.

  • Hoosier89

    That music was horrible. Glad to see some jump shot highlights though. Last one I watched of him was all dunks and layups.

  • OhioHoosier

    I agree, it definitely has been prevalent in a lot of the recruiting notes over the last few years. Often times Crean will appear to say things like we certain Troy Williams or Victor Oladipo traits in you, but you have to work hard and improve on many aspects of your game before arriving at those types of levels.

    I really want someone to sign soon!

  • Ole Man

    He sounds really strong on MI. Although he could have been talking about IU with what he said about MI.

  • OhioHoosier

    I don’t see how you can say that after reading the North Carolina part.

  • Ole Man

    Not going to happen with the big guns. They have to take visits. And they may wait until next spring.

  • Hoosier89

    Yeah, I’d say UM or MSU for him based on these comments.


    Agree, but it’s kind of a catch 22 also in that for us to maximize the effect TB has on this one, he probably needs to show that Crean got him to where he needed and wanted to be, in just one year, but hey, having a guy play well enough, and also for Crean to be able to say, that you put another player in a position to be drafted high in the first round in one season is a trade off that I’ll take just about every time.


    Seems to be a growing trend with the big guns, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how one looks at it I guess. They know that they can take all the time that they want and still go to a high caliber school that maybe wasn’t their first choice or that their first choice school (most anyway) will do what it takes to make room for them even at a later date, plus if there is some kind of change at their school of choice that they don’t like they aren’t locked into still going to that school or don’t have to go through a bunch of legalities/sit out to go somewhere else.

  • OhioHoosier

    Agreed, I’m hoping that Carr, Stevens, or Brown may consider an early commitment.

  • Drew

    My guess is that it is either us or UNC. Hopefully, if he does take all 5 visits like he says he will, it will give us a chance to strongly convince him of his potential here. Having a former teammate like TB could aid us in that process.

  • IU track Alumni

    Who cares who the favorite is. I’m happy we are still in contention. We beat out a lot of very good schools already. Favorites can change real quick. Go back and follow the recruiting of Tb, Rj, Jbj, Tw, and Nv. All were favorited somewhere else around the same time.

  • TomJameson

    Yeah Old Man, that’s what I thought too. If he wants to get out and run, IU is the place for him. I thought that comment about his mom liking MSU was the telling comment. LOL

  • TomJameson

    That’s a good point, and I agree with it. Not sure if it’s a strong start that’s important (although I’d like to see that), rather it’s how they play and finish the season. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of LOIs don’t get signed until after the tourney is over.

    As far as the strong start is concerned, I would love to see IU do VERY well in the preseason, especially with the talented teams we could face.

  • TomJameson

    TB has the talent to begin with, so a smaller learning curve to get ready for the B1G season. He will also see fairly significant minutes (my guess is around 25). If TB shows up throughout the whole season, doesn’t wear out at the end, and grows his skills throughout the year … he could very well go after one season. But that’s a lot to ask for, and I’m hoping he’ll be around for 2, I think 3 is asking for too much. LOL

  • TomJameson

    You’re right, we see that waiting game more-and-more. That forces some of the schools into a wait-and-see approach as well. They lay all their recruiting groundwork then wait to see what the recruits are doing. THEN they have to adapt, fall back to plan B, (C-D-E…) and hope they planned for every contingency.

    Man, I would hate to be in charge of recruiting. There has to be a TON of things that can go wrong!

  • TomJameson

    TB is the wildcard here.

  • TomJameson

    It’s always nice to be in the final list for all these great players, but I’ve learned to not get excited anymore until the LOI is signed. BUT, a little speculation doesn’t hurt much.

  • Lance76

    Agree Bryant and possible Curtis if he comes to IU could sway the decision. Izzo has a strong presents in Flint and Saginaw, which could make this like a 50/50 ball. Only a pure guess, but can’t see U of M over MSU in this one.

  • At the Quarries

    Exactly, at first I thought it was a typo, lol.

  • At the Quarries

    Just let yourself go and get excited, dude. LOL!

  • Yes, I agree with you Tom.. Only thing is.. Bryant’s Mom reportedly didn’t like IU in the beginning.. A lot could happen with a visit.. I agree however with the thought.. right now, I’m thinking MSU, MI (depending on how much $$ KY offers.. a good possibility). But wouldn’t count us out just yet.

  • marcusgresham

    Yes and no.
    On one hand it could be “I learned so much and made so much progress under Coach Crean,” and on the other hand it could be, “we get to play together another season.”

  • marcusgresham

    I’d love to see him stick around a couple of years but I would place my odds against it if he’s as good as advertised.

  • marcusgresham

    Reminds me of a recruiting story from decades ago.
    Someone once asked Jeff Ruland why he ended up going to Iona when he had tons of bigger name schools after him. He said all the coaches pretty much said the same thing and kissed his tail whenever he heard from them. After one particularly bad game he had in high school pretty much every coach was giving him the “aw, it’s OK….you weren’t that bad…..etc.” speech, but the coach at Iona, a young guy named Jim Valvano, called him and said, “man, you really stunk tonight.” Ruland appreciated his honesty so much he ended up becoming a Gael.


    Let’s hope it’s the latter with a good dose of the other, now that would make things, as Artie Johnson would say, “vaaaaaraay entaresting” lol

  • Affirmatively

    Carolina now has 16 offers out with no acceptances forthcoming. That brand is dead as a doornail.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    If Tom Crean can get Bridges from UM and MSU,,,than that would be huge for the bball program. Super recruits on IU’s radar and vice versa. Good news for Hoosier fans/alumn!

  • TomJameson

    That’s where I am too Ken, except I have UK edging MI, but us still in the mix. PURE speculation at this point, but it is sometimes fun to think of the “possibilities”. LOL

  • TomJameson

    Sometimes I do man, but then they commit to UK and break my heart! LOL