If you follow Indiana’s class of 2019 college basketball recruiting targets closely like we do, you’ve noticed some positive noise this week around Keion Brooks, Jr. as it relates to Indiana. That’s the good news.
First, the Rivals national team of Eric Bossi, Corey Evans, Dan McDonald, and Krysten Peek made predictions earlier this week on a number of 2019 prospects, including Brooks. Bossi, Evans and Peek all see Brooks landing in Bloomington. McDonald gives the edge to Michigan State.
We were pleasantly surprised to see a majority thinking IU was in the lead. That being said, they are just predictions in what appears to be a wide open recruitment. Brooks cut his list to ten schools a couple weeks ago. We think the final four will end up being IU, Michigan State, Kentucky and North Carolina, but it is too soon to know even that much with a high degree of confidence.
At the very least, the Rivals team’s current thinking is a more of an independent confirmation of what we think we know — Indiana is in a strong position here. And that’s important — it would be easy to allow yourself to get trapped in the IU bubble and believe that Brooks is a lock for the Hoosiers. This is at least confirmation that the national folks also see the Hoosiers as a strong possibility here.
The second bit of positive noise around Brooks’ recruitment was a 247Sports “Crystal Ball” prediction for Indiana. Now, if you’ve followed us you know what we think about those Crystal Ball predictions. They should be given the same significance as something along the lines of this…
Again, predictions are fine, just don’t hold yourself out as having some kind of mystical insight. The Crystal Ball is just a marketing gimmick, with 247Sports now going so far as to put some predictions behind a paywall. You can pay for them to tell you that Romeo Langford is going to Louisville-Duke-Vanderbilt-Indiana if you want, but we’ve never heard of that school before.
If you are still swayed by the Crystal Ball, then look at the response that 247Sports’ Jerry Meyer gave when pressed on why he changed his pick to Indiana. It was Meyer that made the Brooks to Indiana prediction this week.
Catching my pick up to the latest https://t.co/UiQFP9FS3x
— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) July 5, 2018
Does that sound like someone who has a definitive view? Does it sound like he has looked deep into the cosmos and uncovered something? More likely — he’s just blowing with the wind, and probably trying to manage his place in the 247Sports rankings — whatever that means.
He is basically telling you that he doesn’t know anything definitive right now. No one does really. Maybe he gives the edge to IU along the lines of a 40% chance vs. 20% for the others in our top four. That might be fair.
But it is hard to really know where Brooks stands right now. He has been relatively quiet lately, and things will probably stay that way at least until he resumes play at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam later this month.
We started out by mentioning the “good news”. There really isn’t any bad news here on Brooks — unless you are allowing yourself to get overly enthusiastic about the good news.
We continue to believe that the best news on Brooks was comments that he made back in April on Indiana, including his views on playing in-state, and the affinity that he appears to have for IU. We continue to believe that Indiana is in good shape here, and we would be surprised if the Hoosiers were not in his final group.
Unfortunately there is still a ways to go here, and the competition is strong. Brooks has said that he plans to attend IU’s Hoosier Hysteria in October for an official visit. That is three months away. Players can only take five official visits, so that is clearly a positive indicator for IU.
Timelines can change too. Last summer we saw a quick run of commitments to IU in July. At some point players can become concerned that spots on their team of choice will be taken, and they take action. That could happen here if Brooks truly is leaning towards Indiana and he is concerned that someone like a Trendon Watford is going to commit.
Outside of something like that, we are likely waiting until the fall here — with the knowledge that the Hoosiers continue to be in a good spot.
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