BOZICH | 1-2-3 -- Miller flips the switch on Indiana's recruiting mojo
Indiana coach Archie Miller's first recruiting class has picked up three commitments since Sunday, including the first player from South Bend in 45 years.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The grumbling around the Indiana basketball program last season lifted off after the Hoosiers stumbled against Fort Wayne and Butler and then lost three of their first four Big Ten games.
But the chirping actually began during last summer and fall. Four top in-state prospects picked out of state schools, which led to Indiana finishing with a three-player class that featured one Top 100 player and no Indiana high school guys.
People obsess about those kinds of details when a program finishes 18-16 and loses in the opening round of the NIT.
Archie Miller was hired to upgrade recruiting and keep more Indiana kids in Indiana.
The first summer evaluation segment of the 2018 recruiting season ended Sunday — and within 20 hours Miller secured three Top 100 commitments, including the first IU commit from South Bend in 45 years.
Race Thompson, a power forward from Minnesota, became the first player to pledge to Miller Sunday.
Jerome Hunter, a small forward from suburban Columbus, Ohio, followed Monday morning with his Twitter announcement.
Damezi Anderson, another forward from South Bend, completed the trio Monday afternoon. Anderson is the first player from South Bend to commit to Indiana since Tom Abernethy (1972) and John Laskowski (1971).
Anderson is Indiana’s first Top 100 in-state recruit since James Blackmon Jr. of Marion in 2014.
Jerry Meyer of 247 Sports moved Miller’s first recruiting class to No. 4 nationally behind USC, Michigan State and Notre Dame.
In 2017, 247 ranked IU’s class 43rd in the nation. (The 2018 numbers will shift daily. According to Scout.com, 29 of the nation’s Top 50 prospects remain uncommitted. Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas and UCLA are still clearing their throats.)
Thompson, the son of former NFL halfback Darrell Thompson, is ranked 71st in the Class of 2018 by Scout.com. Hunter is 62nd and Anderson 82nd.
Thompson said that he plans to reclassify and enroll at IU next month but likely redshirt next season. His final three schools were Minnesota, Iowa State and IU. At 6 feet 8 and 200 pounds, he’s been an insider player in high school.
Hunter picked Indiana over Michigan, Ohio State, Illinois, North Carolina State, Dayton and other schools. Hunter is 6 feet 7 and 190 pounds. ESPN.com ranks him No. 44 nationally while Rivals has him No. 47.
Anderson’s final group of schools were IU, Purdue, Michigan, UConn and DePaul.
Indiana has offered scholarships to three other in-state players — New Albany guard Romeo Langford; Robert Phinisee, a guard from McCutcheon and Aaron Henry, a forward from Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.
Last year Indiana lost Malik Williams of Fort Wayne to Louisville; Paul Scruggs of Indianapolis to Xavier; Kris Wilkes of Indianapolis to UCLA and Jaren Jackson of Indianapolis to Michigan State.
Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.