We’ve written here on several occasions that Archie Miller’s tenure at Indiana may be defined by his recruiting class of 2021.
The 2021 in-state group is one of the best that Indiana has seen in a long time, and when the class arrives in Bloomington it will give Miller a roster full of players that he has brought into the program.
Things could not have gotten off to a better start with the 2021 group when five-star Evansville, Ind. based point guard Khristian Lander committed in February. Miller also landed his top 2021 center target in April, and now things are shaping up nicely to finish off the class with two more high level additions.
Let’s take a comprehensive look at where things stand.
THE CLASS SIZE
Under the assumption that forward Trayce Jackson-Davis goes the professional route after the 2020-21 season, Indiana should have a total of four roster spots open in the 2021 class. Those openings would be created by Justin Smith, Al Durham and Joey Brunk all utilizing their eligibility along with the departure of Jackson-Davis.
As it stands, IU has two commits in the 2021 class, but that should change as Lander intends to reclassify into the class of 2020. We believe that will happen, leaving center Logan Duncomb as the lone commit in the class of 2021 right now, with two more openings in the group.
Indiana will have decent positional balance on its 2020-21 roster. Obviously not all of these players fit perfectly into a traditional one through five position, but here is a look at next year’s team in that context:
- PG – Phinisee, Lander
- SG – Durham, Franklin, Leal, Galloway
- SF – Hunter, Anderson, Geronimo
- PF – Smith, Thompson
- C – Brunk, Jackson-Davis
There will be a clear need to have a big man in the paint in 2021 if both Brunk and Jackson-Davis leave, and Duncomb helps to fill that critical role. With Smith also leaving, IU will also need to prioritize bigger forwards that can play the four spot as well. Since Al Durham is one of Indiana’s best shooters, IU will no doubt be looking for more perimeter scoring threats irrespective of position too.
THE PRIMARY 2021 TARGETS
Shooting Guard / Wings
Indiana is in a good position with three players that can fill a need with high level scoring and/or perimeter shooting.
Blake Wesley is a 6-foot-5 scorer that can play the one through three spots. He averaged around 26 points per game for South Bend Riley during the 2019-20 season. While there had been some incorrect guidance out there that IU had fallen behind, his father told us last week that Indiana has been very active in his recruitment. IU should be on roughly equal footing with Notre Dame, Purdue, and Louisville in this one. Wesley took an official visit to IU in November that went very well.
Jordan Longino is a Philadelphia area product that can play the two or three. He shot better than 40 percent from long range as a junior and he told us that he is very interested in Indiana. Longino told us that he intends to use one of his five allotted official visits at Indiana when the pandemic restrictions are lifted.
Aminu Mohammed is a five-star guard/wing that plays in Missouri. Similar to Longino, Mohammed is a big, strong guy that can play the two or three. The 6-foot-4 Mohammed is perhaps the least talented shooter of the three but he is the highest rated recruit. He averaged around 34 points and 16 rebounds per game as a junior. Mohammed is elite at navigating his way through traffic and scoring at a very high rate through contact. Indiana is in a small group of serious contenders including Louisville and Maryland.
It seems likely that IU will land one of these three players but likely no more than that due to their depth at shooting guard/wing. With all three players being highly coveted top-100 recruits, landing any one of them would be a major win.
Wings / Power Forwards
This group leans toward a more traditional forward, and once again the Hoosiers are in a good spot with three high level players.
Trey Kaufman won the Indiana high school player of the year as a junior after a monster season. Kaufman averaged 25.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.1 steals per contest, and most believe Indiana is the front runner in his recruitment at this point. Kaufman told us that Indiana is recruiting him the hardest right now. What makes Kaufman so attractive at the next level is his versatility. At 6-foot-9 and strong, he’ll end up with the size to play power forward in the Big Ten, but he has the perimeter skills to create mismatches on the wing.
Trey Patterson is another versatile forward that has been to IU on an official visit. The 6-foot-8 New Jersey product averaged around 19 points and 10 rebounds per game as a junior and like Kaufman, can play inside or out. IU might not be in a leading spot with Patterson but there is clear mutual interest.
Mason Miller was first reported to have interest in Indiana in a local Memphis story back in January, and that has been amplified by further reporting by 247Sports. All signs point to IU being a serious player here. The son of former NBA player and current Memphis assistant Mike Miller is yet a third versatile option that could play the three or four with perimeter skills.
Again, these are all top-100 level talents, and Indiana should be in a good spot to land one of the three, with Kaufman being the most likely at this point.
Find us on Facebook: thedailyhoosier