(Photo: Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen)

D.J. Carton Will Feel the Heat in Bloomington This Weekend

Goodbye Ann Arbor, hello Bloomington.  We hope D.J. Carton likes it hot.  Literally and figuratively.

The Class of 2019 five-star point guard from Bettendorf, Iowa is coming to Indiana for an official visit this weekend on the heels of a trip to Michigan.  The forecast is calling for temperatures in the mid-90’s with the heat index over 100 degrees in southern Indiana.  But that’s only half of the story.

Indiana University men’s basketball coach Archie Miller is going to turn up the heat too.  As far as guards go, Carton is his guy in the class of 2019.  According to a reliable source with connections inside the program, Miller wants this one bad — and he is going to put on a full court press to try to make it happen.

By all accounts, Indiana is a strong contender here.  Carton took a 2-day unofficial visit to Indiana in January.  The visit included the Purdue game, so he was able to experience an IU game day environment at its best.  You can watch him discuss that visit here.

Carton has also commented that Romeo Langford’s commitment to IU signals a turning point for the program to recruits.  Yet another indicator of that “recruiting momentum” that we discussed.  Carton and Langford have developed a relationship and keep in touch.  That’s not a bad recruiting tool to have in your bag of tricks.

Most believe that it bodes well that Carton chose to take official visits only to Michigan and Indiana.  He has indicated that he wants to take other visits, but there doesn’t seem to be anything scheduled to this point.  On the whole, Miller seems to be in a good spot to land his prized point guard.

Image result for dj carton dunk
Despite measuring in at less than 6-feet at the Team USA tryouts, Carton has no trouble finishing at the rim. Photo credit – Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen

Beyond just generally wanting Carton to commit to Indiana, there is a time sensitivity now too.  In the NCAA recruiting lexicon, we are in a “quiet period” right now.  In essence, that means coaches can only meet with recruits and family members while on campus which gives programs that have visits scheduled an advantage.

In July, and specifically July 11, begins three sets of evaluation periods which allow coaches to watch recruits play at various events.

As we have documented on several occasions, Carton’s star is rising rapidly.  Despite cutting his list to six schools back in May, that list is quietly growing — with blue bloods like Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and others all poking around.  It seems that wherever this kid goes — whether it is the NBPA Top 100 camp, Team USA tryouts , or anywhere that there is a basketball — people are noticing.

The thinking goes that Indiana would ideally secure a commitment before July 11 — to keep the wolves at bay.  If his recruitment goes beyond that, all bets are off.  To be sure, Duke, North Carolina, and Kansas have all already secured point guard commitments in the 2019 class or have prioritized others.  They are being piggish here — but you still don’t want to fight those battles.

The fact that it has even gotten to this point is surprising in and of itself.  Carton was a relative unknown six months ago.  As recruiting tends to go, he was noticed regionally by Iowa and Wisconsin, and they offered first.  Ranked outside of the top 100, those seemed like likely destinations for the lefty.

He plays on the less high profile NY2LA AAU circuit as well, perhaps another reason why it has taken some time for people to take notice.  During the April evaluation period that circuit was in Dallas at the same time as the better known Nike EYBL.  That gave more coaches a chance to check him out.

Then there was the Team USA tryout and the NBPA Top 100 Camp.  In those circles, nothing goes unnoticed.  247Sports Director of basketball scouting Jerry Meyer put the exclamation point on Carton’s ascension through the ranks:

Now he is ranked in the top 25 nationally on the 247Sports composite, and rated as a five-star and the second best point guard in the 2019 class.  And with all of that — the heat is on.

Archie Miller grew up around the game and played point guard at the highest levels of college basketball.  If he has his sights set on a point guard, you can be assured that there is a good reason.  And it is clear that Miller is locked in on Carton.

In a piece by Adam Zagoria on “ZagsBlog”, Carton acknowledged that Miller and the IU coaching staff have made him a priority recruit:

“I feel like Indiana has made me a big priority. I feel like they really expressed their interest all along when they’ve been recruiting me. Coach Archie [Miller] and coach [Tom] Ostrom have talked to me a lot. I feel like they’ve done a good job of building a different environment there. They have good days coming in the future. I talk to them almost on a daily basis and stuff.”

There is no doubt that Indiana has been hot on Carton’s trail — and it is about to get a whole lot hotter in Bloomington.


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