It’s no secret that Indiana hasn’t finished off its 2019 recruiting class the way it had hoped. At least not yet anyway — and the clock is ticking.
Sure there are still targets on the board, but Archie Miller and his staff have for the most part been swinging and missing over the last few months save for the signing of graduate transfer Joey Brunk.
So what’s next?
To use Miller’s own phrase — you keep pounding the rock.
And you get back to your guiding principles.
This is what Miller said at his introductory press conference back in 2017 about recruiting within the state of Indiana —
“And they must feel like they are being dominated by Indiana University,” Miller said. “If we want them, we should have a great chance of getting them because of the commitment level that we are putting forth 24 hours a day at home.”
With 2019 options dwindling, it may be time to begin shifting the focus to the class of 2020.
And if you are going to start putting forth a 24 hour focus on in-state recruiting targets, you start at the top. Fortunately for Miller, he doesn’t have to go far. But go he will.
The Daily Hoosier has confirmed earlier reports that Miller and other members of the IU staff will take an in-home visit to Bloomington South’s Anthony Leal on Monday.
According to the 247Sports Composite, Leal is the No. 1 ranked player in the state of Indiana in the class of 2020, and the No. 82 player nationally.
As a junior at South, Leal averaged 19.9 points per game and led a talented squad to the 4A regional final where the Panthers came up short against Trayce Jackson-Davis led Center Grove.
Leal made 55% of his shots on the 2018-19 season including 38% from long range. He added 4.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.1 steals per contest.
The visit by Miller next week is no guarantee of an offer by Indiana. According to a Leal family member, IU (and other schools) will be watching Anthony’s Indiana Elite AAU team this weekend in Dallas prior to the Monday visit.
Could Leal’s performance in Dallas be a precursor to an offer? Maybe. But in the opinion of this writer and many others, it’s an offer that needs to happen. If you are going to dominate the state, then the top player in Indiana, a top 100 player, mind you, is a rather obvious decision. If Miller ends up carrying four open scholarships into 2020 (as it stands now), the decision gets even easier.
Leal could make it three straight Indiana Mr. Basketball winners that chose IU assuming that he and Jackson-Davis both win it. That’s something that IU has never accomplished. While not everything has gone according to plan in Miller’s first two years, three straight Mr. Basketballs would be a clear signal that the “inside out” recruiting initiative is working.
A lot can change between now and then, but irrespective of postseason awards, one thing seems certain. Leal would provide a much needed three-point shooting option — something IU hasn’t adequately addressed in the 2019 class.
Moreover, Leal wants to play for Indiana. He is a Bloomington kid that grew up a Hoosier fan.
Whether he is an immediate impact player or not, these are the kind of guys that you want in your program.
With schools like Stanford, Northwestern, Xavier and others circling, there are no guarantees that Leal will choose IU if offered. He’s a smart kid with an impressive list of options
But the offer should happen.
Perhaps Miller is pivoting his focus to 2020, but he appears to be staying the course with an initial focus on recruiting the state of Indiana.
And that starts in his own back yard with Anthony Leal.
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