As it stands, Rob Phinisee will be the only true point guard on Indiana’s roster for the 2020-21 season.
While there has been talk of moving junior guard Al Durham into some primary ball handling duties, that is more work-in-process than proven commodity at this point.
With offers outstanding to class of 2020 point guards Hassan Diarra, Andre Curbelo and Carter Whitt, the IU coaching staff has attempted to address next year’s perceived void at the one.
But those offers come with a potential risk.
Are you creating a situation on your roster that becomes less than desirable for the top recruit on your 2021 board?
Over the summer, Keith Lander, father of class of 2021 five star point guard Khristian Lander, said wherever his son goes, its “gotta be a good fit.”
A meaningful part of a good fit for a player of Lander’s stature is an unobstructed path to the floor as a freshman, and the fewer point guards that IU projects to have on their roster, the more palatable the situation.
So was any of this discussed when Lander took an official visit to IU last weekend?
“We joked, we laughed, we talked about some real stuff,” Keith Lander said.
The 6-foot-3 Khristian took an official visit to Louisville a weekend earlier.
“In both visits we talked about some serious questions that are going to come up real soon probably. We’ll sit down and evaluate things when Khristian gets back from USA (Basketball) and discuss some possibilities that we hadn’t expected before,” Keith Lander added.
Could the Evansville Reitz product reclassify into the class of 2020?
“That’s the question,” Keith Lander said. “Nothing will be decided until the first of 2020 unless he kills it this school year. But those were some of the questions we had, school-wise, what classes to take.”
Beyond Indiana and Louisville, Khristian has an official visit to Michigan Oct. 25-27, and he has been hearing from UCLA, Memphis and others.
Because Khristian is a five-star and rated the top point guard in the country according to some services, the specter of Duke and Kentucky entering the mix is out there as well.
“Both (Duke and Kentucky) have reached out, but neither have made any real push,” Keith Lander said.
What once had projected to be a long recruitment for just an incoming junior seems to have taken a new turn.
The recruitment of Khristian will still be a long and highly competitive process even if he reclassifies.
But the potential timing and fit for Indiana seems to have just gotten a lot better.
The Hoosiers ideally would add a 2020 point guard, and Lander is the top point guard on their board, irrespective of class.
IU has the added wrinkle of having verbal commits from class of 2020 guards Anthony Leal and Trey Galloway. Both players were AAU teammates of Lander this past year, and both were on official visits at IU this past weekend as well.
There’s little doubt that the three talked about the possibility of playing together in college.
And now that possibility exists sooner rather than later.
(The Daily Hoosier credits contributor Nick Baumgart for significant elements of this story.)
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