The IU basketball program had a visitor in town over the weekend.
Top-70 class of 2023 combo guard Jakai Newton was in on an official visit to Bloomington along with his family.
Hailing from Covington, Ga., Newton attends Newton High School there. As with most prospects in his part of the country, assistant coach Yasir Rosemond is the primary point of contact. He is ranked the No. 67 player overall in the class of 2023 and the No. 12 combo guard according to the 247Sports Composite.
The Daily Hoosier caught up with Newton after he returned home to Georgia. Here is our post-visit Q&A with Newton.
TDH: What is standing out to you now about Indiana that you are back home?
Newton: The relationship that Coach Woodson has with his players. He’s tough on them, but you can tell he really cares about them.
TDH: What were you looking for when you watched practice, and what were your impressions?
Newton: I just look for things that they do that I can use in my own game, and what I noticed was how much the coaches are talking, the conditioning they do because they’ve got to be in good shape because there is a lot of motion in their offense, and the defense, coach is real heavy on defense.
TDH: Did you connect with any of the players?
Newton: Xavier (Johnson), he seemed real cool, I hope he has a big year this year. I can’t wait to watch him play this year.
TDH: When you sat down and spoke with Coach Woodson one-on-one, what was your impression of him?
Newton: His experience is just crazy, and he’s just such a humble person. It was just crazy talking to him, he’s just like a regular person, super humble, respectful, he’s just like a super cool guy, his relationship with his players, he just seems like a really good person to have as your coach.
TDH: What kind of things is your family saying about the visit?
Newton: They loved it too. We were just talking about it. My little brother was really excited, my sister was really excited, my parents they loved it too. We all loved it.
Thank you @IndianaMBB coaching staff for an AMAZING, PROFESSIONAL & THOUGHTFUL weekend! To all the Hoosier fans who supported my guy on TW & IG and greeted us in the streets-I see why they call yall the best fans in the nation! Thank you! @MikeWoodsonNBA @Coach_Ya @jakai_newton pic.twitter.com/z1rXF5Rin0
— Bettina Newton (@Simplydivine_17) October 17, 2021
TDH: Is the distance from home going to be a factor for you?
Newton: No, not for a school like Indiana.
TDH: Did anything stand out to you from a facilities perspective?
Newton: Just being on the court. Assembly Hall. Just seeing that and knowing the various players who played on that court, that’s what stood out to me the most.
TDH: So did this visit move the needle for you when it comes to Indiana?
Newton: Yes, it did.
TDH: Do you have a timeline in mind and what other schools are you still planning to visit?
Newton: I think I have two more places to look at. I have a visit set up to see Alabama, and I’m going to check out Cincinnati too I think.
(Note: Newton previously visited Georgia Tech, Auburn, and Georgia)
TDH: Do you know (Georgia based IU commit) Kaleb Banks and have you talked to him about Indiana?
Newton: I know him but haven’t talked to him, but I think I am going to hit him up now.
TDH: How many Division One players are on your high school team, and is it a state championship or bust?
Newton: Probably five or six, and yes, that’s the goal, that’s the mission to win state.
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