The top in-state class of 2021 guard left on the board is in the process of wrapping things up.
It has never been real easy to handicap where things stand with South Bend, Ind. guard Blake Wesley, but clues are about to be dropped.
The 6-foot-5 Wesley told The Daily Hoosier to expect substantial developments in his recruitment over the next four to six weeks.
Wesley had previously stated publicly that he was going to announce a list cut in August, but he surprised many with just how far along his recruitment has come.
“I’m going to be committing real soon,” Wesley told The Daily Hoosier. “Like September, or maybe October.”
Wesley still anticipates announcing who his finalists are over the next couple weeks. He declined to preview the list with us, but he did say that “the Indiana schools are in my top group.”
The primary Indiana schools that have been involved with Wesley are IU, Purdue, Notre Dame and Butler. Wesley also has several out-of-state schools involved including Louisville, Maryland and Texas.
The Daily Hoosier fully expects IU to be one of Wesley’s finalists. The versatile shooting guard has been in contact with the IU coaching staff all summer, and there is clear interest from both sides.
Although Wesley’s recruitment has been difficult to read at times, that isn’t as a result of the Riley High School senior being afraid to speak his mind.
The IU fan base took a collective gasp when Wesley laid the Hoosier offense bare during our interview with him in June.
“I like how they play defense, but they need to pick up the pace with their offense,” Wesley said.
Wesley’s concerns about Indiana’s offensive tempo make sense when you watch him on the court. The aspect of his game that stands out the most is an elite ability to get the ball and go end-to-end at a electrifying pace.
Wesley’s father Derrick described what the family is looking for in a program’s style.
“Our philosophy is defensive stops mean offensive explosions,” he told The Daily Hoosier.
It is fair to say that Blake and Derrick like what they see from IU on the defensive end, but have needed convincing with regard to the offense.
Wesley is friendly with several players on the Indiana team, including freshman point guard Khristian Lander. Wesley has taken note of Lander’s game and likes what he brings to Bloomington.
The belief inside the IU program is that the arrival of the Evansville, Ind. product at IU will allow for significant changes to the Hoosier offense.
“Once Khristian joined it was inevitable that we were going to have to be able to play Rob (Phinisee), Khristian and Al (Durham) together,” Indiana head coach Archie Miller said on a Zoom meeting with the media last month. “It’s going to give our perimeter guys way more opportunities to get out there and play three guard lineups.”
Another IU freshman, Trey Galloway, played AAU basketball with Lander for Indiana Elite. Galloway told The Daily Hoosier earlier this year that Lander’s greatest attribute as a player was his ability to get going downhill and play fast.
That high level speed would be a powerful pairing with Wesley’s ability to do the same. Miller has wanted to play fast at Indiana since his arrival, but that has been difficult to implement as he turns over the roster.
Perhaps more than anyone, Lander might hold the keys when it comes to convincing Wesley that offensive change is afoot in Bloomington.
Trouble is, if Wesley sticks to his commitment timeline, he will have to take it on faith.
And that isn’t the only thing unique about where Wesley stands in his recruitment right now as it relates to Indiana.
Most of his recent dialogue with the school has been with now departed assistant coach Bruiser Flint.
Wesley says Flint leaving to join the Kentucky staff won’t change his perception of IU.
“No impact,” Wesley said at the Battle of the Brands in Noblesville, Ind. on Saturday. “If he (Flint) goes to Kentucky and wants to recruit me, I am still going to consider Indiana.”
Many might also wonder what impact, if any, the departure of Damezi Anderson, a fellow South Bend Riley product, might have on Wesley.
The bottom line — while Anderson and Wesley are friendly, there is a recognition that the two have different games, and thus project differently at the college level.
Wesley’s recruitment has been complicated and somewhat mysterious, but it is winding down.
Indiana will make the cut in the coming weeks, and as we understand it, the Hoosiers are still on the top line.
From there, all bets are off.
Below is a look at Wesley in action at the Battle of the Brands this past weekend.
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