There is no doubt that new IU basketball assistant coach Kenya Hunter is a proven recruiter. We documented that yesterday.
Now the question — how soon can he deliver the goods at Indiana?
A couple weeks ago we brought you thoughts from Bruiser Flint’s top class of 2021 recruiting targets when the news of his departure broke.
Today we will look at it from the other direction — who was Hunter recruiting at UConn, and can Indiana get involved?
Here are some of the key names to know.
JAVONTE BROWN-FERGUSON (2020)
Brown-Ferguson is an interesting name to revisit real quick. It is too late to expect him to follow Hunter to IU as he is already enrolled at UConn.
But the fact that Hunter was the lead recruiter on Brown-Ferguson, a player that IU offered, highlights that Hunter can recruit at the same level and land kids that IU wants.
JORDAN HAWKINS (2021)
Hawkins has verbally pledged to the Huskies. He is UConn’s top ranked recruit in the program’s No. 6 ranked 2021 class. Hawkins is also the highest ranked recruit that Hunter has landed.
Ranked No. 49 by the 247Sports Composite, the 6-foot-5 Hawkins attends the same high school as Victor Oladipo — DeMatha, in the D.C. metro area.
Players don’t often decommit because of a change at the assistant coach level. But it did happen at Nebraska when Hunter left there to go to UConn. 4-star Xavier Johnson decommitted in 2018, but he didn’t follow Hunter and instead landed at Pittsburgh.
While Hawkins, a shooting guard, would address a need in its 2021 class, Indiana’s biggest challenge is that they haven’t been a player in his recruitment to this point. Even if Hawkins had a change of heart, that doesn’t necessarily mean he lands in Bloomington.
JAKAI ROBINSON (2021)
After several years at Georgetown as an assistant, Hunter was responsible for recruiting the Washington D.C. metro area for UConn. Robinson is another player from that part of the country who he was recruiting for the Huskies in addition to Hawkins.
A 6-foot-4 wing, Robinson might overlap too much with Hawkins to go to UConn.
Like Hawkins, IU hasn’t really been involved to this point. Miami, North Carolina State, Seton Hall, Georgetown and Clemson are the key players in the recruitment of the top-75 small forward.
LUCAS TAYLOR (2021)
A 6-foot-6 shooting guard from North Carolina, Taylor has ties to both Hunter and now fellow IU assistant Mike Roberts. Ranked No. 103 nationally and moving up the charts, Taylor saw a wave of high major offers this summer, including from UConn.
The Heritage High School product averaged nearly 22 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game.
It is never easy to pull kids out of North Carolina, but with multiple connections IU could try to get involved.
TREVOR KEELS (2021)
We’re told that Hunter was involved with Keels, yet another shooting guard from D.C. area.
A five star with a Duke offer, file this one away in the major long shot category.
RODNEY RICE (2022)
You guessed it — D.C. area shooting guard. The 6-foot-4 Rice is ranked No. 70 according to the 247Sports Composite.
Rice is a teammate of Hawkins at DeMatha and a player that IU could clearly get involved with now that Hunter is on the staff.
If nothing else, a strong connection to a top program like DeMatha is never a bad thing.
ANOTHER INTERESTING CONSIDERATION
It is at least worth noting that Hunter’s son plays for Old Dominion. The 2019 Connecticut player of the year, 5-foot-11 point guard Jaylin Hunter appeared in 29 contests during his freshman campaign at ODU, averaging 9.9 minutes 2.3 points and 1.0 rebounds per game.
It would seem unlikely that IU would look to add another scholarship point guard to its roster, but if the younger Hunter wanted to follow his father to Bloomington as a walk-on he would clearly be a high level addition in that capacity.
UConn outlet adimeback.com contributed to this report.
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