Perhaps the most important recruiting weekend on the Indiana basketball calendar will find perhaps the most important recruit on IU’s list of targets on campus.
Hoosier head coach Archie Miller made his emphasis on in-state recruiting clear from day one, and so far he has in large part delivered, landing the state’s last two Mr. Basketball award winners and a total of eight Indiana based players in his first three classes thus far.
Despite his early success in the Hoosier State, Miller may ultimately be judged by how well he recruits in-state in the class of 2021.
11 of the top 205 class of 2021 players in the latest 247Sports rankings hail from the Hoosier state, and the headliner of the group is Evansville based point guard Khristian Lander.
Lander is the top point guard in the country among incoming juniors according to some recruiting services. His performance during the spring and summer playing up a year on the Adidas circuit alongside current IU 2020 verbal commits Anthony Leal and Trey Galloway helped to cement that lofty status.
The Daily Hoosier is able to confirm previous reports by multiple outlets that Lander is attending this weekend’s Hoosier Hysteria event in conjunction with a junior year official visit to IU. He will be joined in Bloomington by both Leal and Galloway.
Lander also announced his arrival in Bloomington via Twitter on Friday.
We here Hoosier Nation ! ⚪️🔴👀
— Khristian Lander (@khristianlander) October 4, 2019
Status — OFFERED (September 2018)
Hometown – Evansville, IN (F.J. Reitz)
Position – Point Guard
Height – 6-foot-3
Weight – 175
AAU – Indiana Elite U17 (Adidas Gauntlet)
247 Sports Composite Rating – 5-star (No. 12 overall / No. 1 point guard nationally)
Primary Competition – Michigan and Louisville, several others involved including Kansas and Kentucky.
Timeline — Just an incoming junior, Lander’s recruitment is still in the relatively early stages. We would not expect a verbal commitment until the summer of 2020 at the earliest. One important variable to watch is the extent to which other blue blood programs get involved. Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky tend to more seriously enter recruitments relatively late in the process and alter the landscape.
Indiana Connections — The IU coaching staff has made Lander a clear priority for a long time and have seemingly put themselves in as good of a position as could be hoped for at this point. With Bloomington and Evansville separated by an easy less than two hour drive, there have been plenty of visits in both directions over the last couple years.
Numbers — Playing high school basketball for F.J. Reitz in Evansville, Lander averaged 22 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.2 steals per game last season as a sophomore. He shot 53% from the field overall including 37% from behind the three point line.
During AAU play with Indiana Elite on the Adidas Gauntlet this spring and summer, Lander averaged 11.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 17 games. He shot 50.4% from the floor and 36.2% from three while playing a year up.
RECRUITING SERVICE ASSESSMENTS
“There are quick guards and then there is Khristian Lander. Lander looks the part of one of the top guard prospects in the 2021 class. His quickness, playmaking ability and willingness to create first for others stand out immediately.”
“Lander has good size, excellent athleticism, and then he was really making shots. He is one of the fastest players in the country with the ball, and now that his shot is coming along, Lander looks nearly impossible to defend. Add in that he continues to grow, and there is a lot to like about his long term future.”
“I have been looking forward to this for a while,” said Lander of his upcoming Indiana official visit. “It is always good to get there and spend time with the coaches and players, and it should be a great atmosphere.”
“The way things are looking right now, it looks like he is going to be a guy that is ready to play right off the bat. So that’s going to be a factor in deciding what school he’s going to go to, seeing whose already on the roster, seeing what kind of moves they’re trying to make, seeing who is being recruited at the same position.”
“I feel like I’ve gotten a lot stronger, gotten my handle a lot better, and I feel like the thing I need to work on is just getting my shot more consistent.”