Indiana’s 2019 Class Could Transform the Program

A lot has been made of Indiana’s 2018 recruiting class, and rightfully so.  It checks a lot of boxes for Hoosier fans, including two Indiana natives and a top 20 ranking.  Of course everyone knows by now that the ranking would likely be in the top 5 if the Hoosiers ultimately add New Albany’s Romeo Langford to the group.

But irrespective of whether Langford joins the Hoosiers for the 2018-19 season, it is perhaps the 2019 class that could really solidify IU as a program that is back among the nation’s elite.  As we saw during the Tom Crean era, one solid recruiting class is nice, but without the compounding effect of consecutive prestigious classes any progress made can quickly vanish.

The college basketball recruiting landscape continues to evolve in the sense that players are generally pushing back their announcements much later than they used to.  It isn’t uncommon for players like Langford to wait until their high school playing days are over before they make things official.

Because of this we know very little about IU’s 2019 class, or anyone’s 2019 class for that matter.  Outside of the kids that made up their minds that they were going to their dream school when they were 12, very few commitments have been made.  What we do know, however, is that Indiana once again has the potential to put together a great class, and once again it has the potential to be that seemingly perfect mix of in-state talent, 5-star talent, and a complimentary mix of others.

Here is what we know so far about players that Indiana appears to have at least a reasonable shot at signing for 2019.  Again, the key here is that this class would come in behind the 2018 group and potentially give IU the depth and length on its roster that seems to have been sorely missing for some time now.

KEION BROOKS [5-STAR, RANKED 22nd OVERALL NATIONALLY]

Photo credit: D1Vision

Brooks hails from Fort Wayne.  At 6-8 he can play inside and out.  His father once played for Indiana assistant coach Ed Schilling when Schilling was the head coach at Wright State.  The Hoosiers main competition for Brooks appears to be Michigan State, although one has to wonder about the impact of the black cloud swirling above East Lansing.  His game reminds us somewhat of another Spartan, Jaren Jackson.

TRENDON WATFORD [5-STAR, RANKED 9th OVERALL NATIONALLY]

Photo credit: Steve Helwagen, 247Sports

OK, yes, we had to have a little fun with that main photo.  Yes, that is Trendon back in 2011 with the same look on his face that we all had at that moment.  Equally noteworthy in that shot are Trendon’s mother, Belinda, and Victor Oladipo, who both look like they knew Christian was money.

Of course IU fans know him best as Christian Watford’s little brother, but at 6-8 Trendon isn’t little anymore and he is one of the highest ranked juniors in the country.  Like his brother he can knock down the 3-pointer but he is also effective at attacking the rim.  He took an official visit to IU back in September and walked away impressed by all accounts.  Indiana’s main competition at this point appears to be Alabama, which is where the Watford family lives.

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS [4-STAR, RANKED 30th OVERALL NATIONALLY]

Photo credit: Mike Pegram, Peegs

Jackson-Davis is another young man with a family history in the state of Indiana.  He is the son of former Indiana Pacer Dale Davis.  Jackson-Davis hails from Greenwood, Indiana and attends Center Grove High School.  Indiana is considered the front runner but the Hoosiers have competition from Michigan State, Purdue and many others.  At 6-8 he plays a bit more with his back to the basket but his game is evolving, and with that, so is the attention that he is receiving.

OTHER NAMES TO WATCH

  • Matthew Hurt (6-9, 5-star, Minnesota)
  • Isaiah Stewart (6-8, 5-star, LaPorte, IN)
  • Aidan Igiehon (6-10, 4-star, New York)
  • Mason Gillis (6-7, 4-star, New Castle)
  • Armaan Franklin (6-4, 4-star, Indianapolis)
  • D.J. Carton, (6-3, 4-star, Iowa)

THE INSIDE OUT APPROACH

No matter what happens with the 5-star players discussed above, once again the state of Indiana has a wealth of in-state talent.  There are 11 in-state 2019 players currently rated as at least a 3-star recruit, and only 2 of those players have committed to a school at this point.  Accordingly, even if IU cannot land an “elite” top 5 type of 2019 class, it still has plenty of talented options in its own back yard to pull together a respectable class.

[All rankings according to 247 Sports]

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