Indiana head coach Archie Miller doesn’t offer a lot of scholarships.
But he isn’t afraid to be early when he sees a player he likes.
That is the story with Frederick, Md. based guard Masai Troutman.
Aided by their new assistant coach’s relationships in the Washington D.C. metro area, IU got involved with Troutman in August.
“I first got on the phone with Coach (Kenya) Hunter, Troutman said on The Daily Hoosier sponsored Hoosier Experience Podcast.
Indiana hired Hunter in August from UConn. The long time college basketball assistant spent several years at Georgetown and still has deep ties to the area.
“He just talked about how he sees me doing great things now, seeing my development with my AAU team, and sees great things for me for my high school season, Troutman continued.
“He told me he was going to get the head coach with me on the phone the next day. And then the very next day I got on the phone with Coach (Archie) Miller, and he officially offered me. He talked about him seeing me as the next Victor Oladipo if I go there.”
Troutman describes himself as a player similar to Oladipo — an athletic wing that plays both ends of the floor.
He doesn’t shy away from the comparison to the former IU great and NBA All-Star.
“It feels great,” Troutman said of being thought of by Miller as a player that could have a career trajectory like Oladipo. “I play the same style of game he does and I see what he did at Indiana, and I think man, that could really work for me.”
The 6-foot-5 Troutman averaged 15.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game to help lead St. John’s Catholic to the MIAA B Conference finals. After transferring to St. Andrew’s, he wants to become a more consistent shooter and take on more of a verbal leadership role as an upperclassman.
Troutman’s recruitment is just starting to take off nationally, and a big junior high school season is the next step for the rise to continue.
“The coach wants me to just play my game, and whatever happens, happens,” Troutman said of his upcoming season. “I just want to always be aggressive and in attack mode”
Indiana was the third high major offer for Troutman, following Georgetown and Florida. He isn’t ranked by the national recruiting services despite the attention from top programs, but that doesn’t bother him.
“I don’t really care about rankings. If you can play you can play,” Troutman said.
Troutman said he didn’t take the game seriously until middle school, and like most players, he has been fighting to be noticed ever since. Now that he has cracked the high major ceiling, Troutman is likely to get a look more looks.
What will those coaches see?
“I think coaches are going to see hey this kid can play,” Troutman said.
The learning process goes both ways of course. Troutman doesn’t know a lot about Indiana yet. But the fan base’s reputation preceded IU in this recruitment.
“I know people there love basketball,” Troutman said. “I’ve seen some of the games (on television). The stands are always packed.”
What is the rising junior looking for in a college and a basketball program?
“I want a school that will challenge me academically and athletically and make me an all around better person,” Troutman said. “Also (a program) that makes me feel like part of a family. Not just another student on campus. I want to be part of a bigger group.”
To listen to the full podcast with Troutman, GO HERE
Find us on Facebook: thedailyhoosier