A look at Indiana’s potential in-state targets for 2018 class

  • 03/31/2017 10:38 am in

Archie Miller’s directive in Monday’s press conference was clear: he wants the best players in the state to strongly consider coming to Bloomington.

Miller offered his thoughts on an approach for recruiting in the state as a part of his “third level” for running the IU program:

“The last part of the level, the third level, is the future. And the future is the recruiting,” he said. “And we’re going to have a great way about us, and the term that we’ll use is called inside-out. We have to start inside this state of Indiana, and we have to start moving outside very slowly, because the footprint is there. The inside-out approach means that we have to dedicate ourselves to the high school coaches in this state, the high school talent in this state, the grass-roots programs in this state, and they must feel like they’re being dominated by Indiana University. You’re not going to get every player; you understand that. But if we want them, we should have a great chance of getting them because of the commitment level that we’re putting forth 24 hours a day at home.”

With the class of 2018 eligible to begin signing National Letters of Intent in November, Miller and the staff he assembles will need to hit the ground running in April and July, when college coaches can evaluate prospects around the country.

Here’s a look at some of the players who could get attention from the new Hoosier staff as recruiting heats back up:

Romeo Langford, New Albany

Langford is a household name in the state and nationally. The five-star guard is the No. 3 player in the country, according to the 247Composite, and has a long list of suitors. He’s familiar with Indiana because of the former coaching staff’s involvement in his recruitment, but didn’t visit Bloomington at all this past season. The good news is that Langford hasn’t announced any leaders publicly and doesn’t appear to be in any rush to make a decision. Even if the pursuit isn’t successful, the new Indiana staff absolutely has to make a run at Langford to gauge his interest.

Robert Phinisee, McCutcheon

Phinisee has been a frequent visitor to Bloomington throughout his prep career and had a scholarship offer from the former coaching staff. The 6-foot point guard is the No. 93 player in the 247Composite and is regarded as a four-star prospect. He’s also a Purdue target and given his proximity to that campus, Indiana could make an in-state statement by landing Phinisee in 2018.

Musa Jallow, Bloomington North

The new staff won’t have to travel far to find a Big Ten prospect with interest in IU. Jallow plays at nearby Bloomington North and was a frequent visitor for games this past season. He’s 6-foot-5 with a reported 6-foot-9 wingspan, which makes him an intriguing defensive prospect. Given Miller’s comments regarding the defense he wants to build, it’s easy to see why Jallow could become a major priority.

Eric Hunter, Tindley

Hunter helped lead Class A Tindley to the state championship this month and is a four-star propsect according to the 247Composite. He didn’t have an offer from the previous IU staff, but if he’s open to being recruited to Bloomington, he’s certainly a prospect to watch. In Tindley’s 51-49 state championship win over Lafayette Central Catholic, Hunter scored just eight points, but averaged over 26 as a junior.

Damezi Anderson, South Bend Riley

Anderson is also ranked in the top 150 of the most recent 247Composite rankings and recently landed a Purdue scholarship offer. He’s a 6-foot-6 wing with upside, but Indiana hasn’t recruited the South Bend area much under previous staffs.

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  • N71

    Aside from the current roster concerns I’ve become a lot less worried about future recruiting. I guess I just feel like we’re in good hands now.

  • Jay Skibbe

    Inside out, I love it !!! Looking forward to see Indiana kids playing at IU !!! Not many in the Davis, Sampson, and Crean ERA !!! Coincidentally last final four was Davis, and Indiana players were recruited by Knight however !! Coverdale, Odle, and Jeffries, 3 starters from INDIANA !!! MAKE INDIANA BASKETBALL GREAT AGAIN !!! INDIANA KIDS FIRST !!!

  • Ole Man

    Liked Jallow’s tape because it showed his defensive prowess.

  • inLinE6

    Sampson landed Gordon and also recruited quite successfully in IL and OH. Don’t forget Crean’s 2012 “Movement” class – Ferrell, Hollowell, Perea and Patterson all from Indiana but most were bust. I bet you that’s when things went south for Crean. I liked Miller’s “Inside out” strategy given the proximity within local talent pool and the pride from the entire state, but they have to earn it. I won’t call it “Indiana kids first” unless they want to be here and are what we need. I’m not comfortable overselling that slogan. Don’t forget our best players on this team are Anunoby, Bryant, Morgan, JBJ and Johnson – 80% not from Indiana. They represented the university equally well (if not better) and are loved by the people here.

  • Arch Puddington

    Not a banner year for in-state recruits, so in a sense the timing is good for a regime change. Langford is obviously phenomenal, but it gets pretty thin after that. Don’t know much about Phinesee, but I’ve seen Jallow play on multiple occasions and it’s not clear to me that he is a B1G player. Excellent athleticism, but not a great set of basketball skills. He’s not big enough to play inside, and does not have anything like the ball handling or shooting to play on the perimeter. He could be a good defensive wing, but his shooting in particular will limit his productivity on offense. Imagine a slightly bigger, more athletic Stan Robinson, but without the ability to penetrate off the dribble, and you’ll get the picture.

    If everyone else is seen as down from there, then we just won’t be missing much (other than Langford) if we come up empty in Indiana this year. I don’t mean that in crappy way, just a realistic take on what is out there. Put it this way: in the likely event we don’t get Langford, there is no one else who is going to significantly alter the trajectory of the program. Maybe some nice role players, which is vital, but if CM is to get us moving upward, he will have to find a player or two from elsewhere.

  • dwdkc

    I agree with you; my first concern is that he gets good players that can take us to the promised land wherever they may be from. Many of our most beloved players in the past were from out of state. It is a nice bonus to have some Indiana-based players, but I wouldn’t reach on them if they aren’t as a good a prospect as someone else. However a lot of good players come from here so we should be able to take advantage.

  • SCHoosier

    Agree..and MP really understands how to get in the passing lanes when he’s on D. We might have to sacrifice Romeo to the gods of the elite..but MP and Jallow seem to be worthy targets. Izzo did an in home with that late blooming Smith kid (6-5 pt guard…IL) I hate to think of him being in the Spartie offense the next few years..but you can’t get everybody.

  • Arch Puddington

    Crean never really recovered from the implosion of the Movement. Think back to what things looked like at one point — coming off a B1G championship in a loaded conference, a #1 seed in the tourney, two lottery picks, and loads of talent in the pipeline. And not just “The Movement”‘; I don’t remember the exact sequence of things, but Blackmon and Lyles were both committed at around that same time, as was Luke Fischer, and there were lots of other prospects in the mix.

    From that promising moment, just about everything went wrong. The Movement went almost completely bust. Lyles went bye-bye, and Blackmon never really emerged as the elite guy he was projected to be. Luke Fischer got homesick. The prospects began to fade away, and then of course were all the off-court problems. Over the course of the two years after Cody left, we went from being one of the hottest programs in the country to being kind of a shambles, and CTC just didn’t have the chops to get it back.

    Whatever happens with the 2018 Indiana recruits, I believe that CM will get thing turned back around before long. I expect play on the court to look better immediately, and the recruiting to pick up in the next 2-3 years. And from there I think he has the skill and character to maintain things at a high level.

  • John D Murphy

    Agree. I also feel like Archie will get more done with similar talent.

  • John D Murphy

    Well said.

  • inLinE6

    If we don’t have major roster turnover, I expect a good run next season, just because the team is already cohesive and talented, and very experienced – Crean can lead that team equally well. So what I’m really hoping to see is the “nasty” defense and taking care of the ball.

  • Not much to contribute other than to say Archie’s probably a year late in making an impact in the state with the 2018 class. It takes time to get out there and start building the kinds of relationships Archie’s been talking about. That said, if he does manage to get Langford… Golly.

  • Outoftheloop

    Both Tom Abernathy and John Lazkowski came to IU from the South Bend area. IU should recruit the entire State of IN, without exception! Every great player from IN should like IU and think first of Indiana University for their basketball career. Archie is right, we won’t get them all, but we have to show love and respect to them all!

  • ForIndiana

    Noted that they left Keion Brooks from FW North off the list..FW has never been a hot spot for IU but that kid is worth a long look as well.

  • Outoftheloop

    I agree!

  • Outoftheloop

    Archie would have reaped big rewards from a hustler/team guy like Stan!

  • Fifer39

    Well said. ‘Inside-out’ is great but there’s still a lot of talent and value to be had in the ‘out’.

  • BC

    I’ve never ever bought into the idea that Luke Fischer got “homesick”. I think he got down here and after 2 months, saw that Crean had no clue how to use a post player. Or coach perimeter players how to feed the post

  • Arch Puddington

    Maybe, maybe not. Stan average 18 minutes, 6 points, 2 rebounds playing in the same conference as Dayton (and, incidentally, lost both times to Dayton). He did lead his team in steals, but he still can’t shoot (45% from the field, 62% from the line), so I’m not sure there was a lot more to be gotten out of him.

    Having said that, I’ll bet CM would not have allowed him to start shooting with his right hand….

  • inLinE6

    From what I learned, his departure was because of some off court issues in that class. Robinson and Williams were both suspended later on, and Robinson was forced to transfer after the 2nd incident. There’s no evidence he was home sick. And there’s no evidence that he didn’t believe in Crean’s coaching. He just witnessed Cody Zeller’s 2 year successful run, all looked good from there, right?

  • Shaggy_C

    For the record, I’m not sure I like the “CM” acronym for Archie. If we bring in Clifton Moore, things will get very confusing around here!

  • Sandra Wilson

    He also spent way too much time on the bench.

  • Arch Puddington

    Well, it’s what I’m using for now. That and “Miller.” For whatever reason I find it awkward to refer to someone in this context by a first name only, so “Archie” is not my favorite. And “Arch” is taken around here, so I’m left with imperfect choices.

  • Donnie Vick

    Is there any word on Jordan Tucker? Is he still considering IU?

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    A good friend of mine is a play by play announcer for a NCC opponent of McCutcheon. He got to see Phinisee play two or three times in person this year. He said he is a great passer with good vision, and a solid shooter as well. Very, very quick. He did say that this coming year will be interesting for him, because McCutcheon loses a lot of talent. He said he wasn’t able to tell if he is “the guy,” or if he is a complimentary player who makes others around him better.

    Regardless, he is quite impressed with him.

  • BannerOrBust

    Great question.

  • Just read about Brooks in the premium forum, where he was referred to as being in the 2019 class. Incidentally, apparently Brooks hadn’t been recruited yet by IU, but he expressed interest in IU because of Archie’s hire. So, that seems like more good news about Archie’s potential impact on in-state recruiting.

  • IULore

    Love the picture. What a beautiful arena!

  • IULore

    amazing, nice info

  • pcantidote

    So putting the pieces together between an article I just read that discussed Garry Parrish, the guy who tweeted about OG going pro a couple weeks ago, I’d say I have a good idea who his source is, and also that would make it highly likely that OG will in fact leave. No really shocker I suppose.

  • pcantidote

    What 2018 recruit wouldn’t want to play in that basketball cathedral, right?

  • David Schwind

    As I recall, Jeremy Hollowell got all of Fischer’s minutes.

  • IULore

    I certainly would!

  • John D Murphy

    Tucker cut IU from his list after TC was fired. There hasn’t been any public indication of a reversal of that.

  • pcantidote

    I snuck in there with a couple friends when I was in high school one summer. You could walk right in. It was surreal.

  • IULore

    I would love to just shoot in that place completely alone.

  • IULore

    Fischer had his best game right before he left.

  • IULore

    Fischer had his best game and was getting more and more time before left. He hasn’t exactly been a world burner at MU.

  • Donnie Vick

    Booo…jk. We may not have roster spot for him anyway if Moore, Al end up coming, and if TB and JBJ return.

  • Not old-school, Old Testament.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Ok, this gets an upvote from me. Divine Providence compels me. 🙂

  • cbags05

    What many people are forgetting is that Crean also used the term “inside out”. It’s one thing to say it. Another to do it and sustain it. Archie has a ton of work ahead.

  • BC

    You make a very good point about the off court culture in that class. And you are correct about no evidence on the two issues. I do believe that there may not have been one single issue that led to the transfer but a combination of many. We all witnessed Zeller’s great run. He was probably the most suited big for TC’s system. Zeller beat everyone down the floor and Jordy had great touch on his 25-35 foot passes to him. But how many times (I can still hear this in my ear) did Dickie V shout “pass the ball into Zeller! He’s wide open.”
    When you give a bs excuse as homesickness, I think you open yourself up to questioning, e.g.-nit fiasco

  • BC

    And he still left. One would think that would be the best cure for “homesickness”

  • TomEke

    It doesn’t get much closer to home for CAM’s “inside out” approach than a player from Bloomington. Whether Musa is a star or not, Indiana needs to get him. A kid from Bloomington with D1 potential should want to be at IU and IU should want to have them Think of the variety of talent levels IU has gotten out of Bloomington — Errek Suhr, Jordan Hulls, Jared Jeffries, etc. — these men wanted to be here, and that should be enough, regardless of talent.

  • Mark Bando

    Bob Knight spoke at Bloomington High School last night. On the subject of Archie, he mentioned talking to former legendary Dayton coach Don Doneher about Miller. Donoher told Knight: “Without any reservation, [Donoher] said, ‘I think you and the people at Indiana will really like the way this coach goes about things,’” Knight said. “‘He’s no-nonsense, he’s tough, smart, and he wants to win.’” Knight went on to say Indiana made a good hire.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Thanks for that information Mark.

  • Mark Bando

    sure thing……

  • John D Murphy

    I even want the kids from Lafayette

  • rob salway

    Understanding that it is a highlight video and what that entails, Jallow seems to be explosive, versatile and appears to have good ball handling. Would be interested to hear thoughts from people that have seen him up close. But from that video I was impressed with his all-around abilities and potential.