2017 Recruiting: Where things stand

  • 09/20/2016 9:13 am in

We’re less than two months from start of the early signing period and the Indiana coaching staff continues to recruit diligently for the class of 2017.

Our recruiting board is updated several times per week, but here’s an even more in-depth look at where things currently stand for the class of 2017:

Backcourt prospects

Indiana’s lone commitment thus far in 2017 is Al Durham, who will take his official visit to Bloomington beginning on September 30. That’s the same weekend Kris Wilkes will make his official visit.

A huge weekend is coming up in Bloomington as four-star point guard Tremont Waters is set for his official visit to Indiana. Waters has already taken official visits to Georgetown and Kentucky and also has an official visit scheduled to Kansas for next month.

The 5-foot-11 Waters is ranked the No. 37 prospect nationally according to the 247Composite. The interesting thing with Kentucky and Kansas is that neither appears to have Waters as their top point guard target, which should play into Indiana’s favor. Kentucky has put a lot of effort into Trae Young and Quade Green while Kansas is pursuing Young and Collin Sexton and will also have Malik Newman, who transferred from Mississippi State, eligible next season. Indiana has a long history with Waters, who told us in the spring that he first heard from the Hoosiers as a seventh grader.

The Hoosiers are also in the final five for David Beatty, a combo guard from the Philadelphia area. The other finalists with Beatty are Connecticut, Georgetown, La Salle and Maryland. Connecticut, however, has already landed a commitment from Makai Ashton-Langford while Maryland is involved with the nation’s top point guard, Trevon Duval. Beatty named his finalists in late August, but hasn’t formalized any plans for official visits publicly.

Things have been quiet with former Southport guard Paul Scruggs since his transfer to Prolific Prep in California and Xavier appears to remain the heavy favorite to land his commitment. Given that Scruggs hasn’t taken an official visit to Bloomington nor has he scheduled one, Indiana looks like a long shot here.

Five-star Hamidou Diallo remains lower down on the 2017 recruiting board, but this recent story from the Hartford Courant mentions UConn, Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas, St. John’s and Syracuse as “just some of the schools showing strong interest.”

Wing prospects

Indiana’s top 2017 target, Kris Wilkes, takes his official visit to UCLA this coming weekend before going to Indiana to close out the month. Wilkes has already taken an official to Illinois and also has official visits scheduled to Xavier and UConn for later in October/early November.

No one has recruited the five-star prospect harder or for a longer period of time than Indiana and even if the Hoosiers haven’t been named his leader publicly, they’re in the lead pack right now. Visits obviously matter as Wilkes has scheduled each of his allotted five official visits.

The Hoosiers are also firmly in the mix for 2017 Stevenson (Ill.) forward Justin Smith, who took an official visit to Bloomington earlier in the month and also took an official visit to Villanova last weekend. Indiana has a long standing relationship with Smith as he’s been on campus for several games and unofficial visits in the past. The belief here is that Indiana wants both Wilkes and Smith in 2017, not just one of them.

Jordan Tucker is another name who has been prominently mentioned with Indiana. The four-star prospect took an unofficial visit last spring. He recently transferred to Wheeler High School in Georgia and hasn’t announced a schedule for official visits. The most recent list from Tucker includes Arizona, Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Maryland, Syracuse, USC and Villanova.

Frontcourt prospects

This group seems like the most fluid of the bunch as Indiana has recently offered two prospects in this category in Billy Preston and Clifton Moore.

Preston, who is playing his final prep season at Oak Hill Academy, is the headliner due to his national ranking and is considering a final five of Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, N.C. State and USC. Moore, meanwhile, has flown under the radar nationally and just recently announced a final six of Indiana, Lafayette, Northwestern, Ole Miss, St. Joseph’s and Temple. Based on comments from his AAU coach last week, a potential visit to Bloomington would be huge for Moore in terms of getting a better feel for the coaching staff, players and environment. Ole Miss gets a visit from Moore this coming weekend. Even though he’s 6-foot-10 and might push 6-foot-11, Moore doesn’t want to play the five in college and views himself as a stretch four.

Deng Gak also has Indiana in his list of finalists and he’ll begin his official visit schedule this weekend with a trip to Miami (FL). Gak will then see Florida (Oct. 7), Indiana (Oct. 14) and Kansas (Oct. 21). Duke is also in his finalists, but no date has been announced.

Longer shots in this group appear to be Mohamed Bamba, Nick Richards and Brandon Huffman. Bamba took a surprising official visit to Michigan earlier in the month. Duke, Harvard and Kentucky have also been frequently mentioned. Most of the buzz with Richards seems to center around Kentucky as his 247 Crystal Ball is all Wildcats. And Huffman, who plays at Word of God in North Carolina, recently added a scholarship offer from the Tar Heels.

Upcoming official visits

Waters: Sept. 23-25
Wilkes: Sept. 30-Oct. 2
Durham: Sept. 30-Oct. 2
Gak: Oct. 14-16

Previous official visits

Smith: Sept. 9-11

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  • IdahoHoosier

    Really appreciate this comprehensive look at recruits. Great job and thanks again!

  • inLinE6

    Looks like we’re in good position with a few.

  • Kyl470

    I’m fully prepared to get blasted for this comment, but if Paul Scruggs was not from the state of Indiana I’m not sure if we would really want him. His style of play does not really seem to be a good fit for CTC’s system. He is much more in the mold of a Stan Robinson than he is a Robert Johnson. As Alex gave us the breakdown on CTC’s offense it is quite clear that it is focused on 3 pointers, lay ups, and free throws. When you have a guard that isn’t a 3 point shooting threat not only does it reduce your 3 point effectiveness, but is also makes it easier to clog up the lane and prevent easy lay ups.

  • Dean Olson

    Can never understate the importance of a big. However, if IU is able to land two elite wings, I could certainly envision a JN/RJ/Wing1/Wing2/DD starting 5 with JM playing 5 off the bench. I don’t love it, but I can see it.

  • Dean Olson

    How dare you. Who do you think you are? What gives you the right?

  • SCHoosier

    Great and helpful update! (Not that I would expect anything less from ITH!)

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    You what!!! are you kidding me unbelievable.

  • sarge

    Justin Smith took a tour of the Kelley School today. He has already taken his official visit, so I am thinking that he is going to commit. My crystal ball is 100% IU right now.

  • sarge

    I really was strong on Scruggs up until the last year. I thought if he was a competitor, no way Romeo hangs 46 on him. He doesn’t really fit the system either. I would be glad to have him, but I think the two sides have realized it isn’t an ideal fit for either one. Wilkes on the other hand… Please basketball gods, please.

  • Kyl470

    I agree. Wilkes skill set as a forward is better suited for CTC’s system. I truly believe Scruggs would find himself behind guys currently on the roster because of their ability to shoot better.

  • Ian Karanovic

    He didn’t visit Kelley during his official visit on 9/10-11? I know he came in on Saturday instead of Friday, but that is odd he didn’t make it to Kelly one of those days. If he was actually in Btown yesterday, it looks very good for IU.

  • Bill Graham

    Thanks Alex. Great to know who we are fading with. I hate that we are backing off of guys like Scruggs, Bamba, and Richards and going after Gak and Moore…Just crossing my fingers on Waters, Wilkes, Preston, and Durham. Thats a great class!

  • sarge

    I don’t know personally, it is what my sister told me and she works there. But she loves IU basketball and frequently goes to the games with me. She knew who Justin Smith was, which surprised me! Either way, we are still looking pretty good with many of these guys.

  • J Thomas

    I am not trying to be THAT guy, but we always are on the final cuts for top recruits and the outcomes rarely are what IU fans are hoping for. What do we have to do to become a Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, ect. So when we make an offer we are the front runners to land them, not the back burner team.

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    Maybe more than 2 Final Fours in the last 30 years would help…
    Cuz that puts IU behind Florida, even with Butler and ahead of George Mason by just 1.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I wouldn’t hold it against him that Romeo dropped 46… I think Romeo could drop 50 if he wanted on just about anyone in the country, regardless of class.

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    I think Waters and Wilkes are must gets for this class. Preston in that class would just be outrageous! Here is to hoping…