Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

IU basketball recruiting: Trey Kaufman still hoping for visits, talks relationship with Khristian Lander

At a time when nothing seems right, class of 2021 forward Trey Kaufman is still hoping for something that resembles the recruitment he envisioned.

The 6-foot-8 Kaufman has consistently told The Daily Hoosier this spring and summer that he would like to take visits before making a college decision.

Don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

“For me personally corona (the COVID-19 pandemic) is definitely not going to speed up my timeline,” Kaufman said during a radio interview on 98.5 WJHI on Wednesday.

Despite an abbreviated AAU season against lesser competition, Kaufman was able to show off much improved athleticism to complement the physical and versatile style that helped him secure the Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year.

The offseason strides on top of a stellar junior season brought about more college interest.

Kaufman has received several new scholarship offers during the pandemic, including North Carolina and Virginia, but he also recently told us that it would be “very hard” to commit to a school and coaches that he hasn’t seen and met in person.

In-person college visits have been banned by the NCAA through at least September.  Most expect that prohibition to extend through December, and probably later.

Several top college prospects have resorted to organizing their own visits of college campuses.  While they still cannot meet the coaches, such visits are intended to at least provide a sense for the campus and life for an athlete in the college city or town.

The self-guided approach is currently under consideration in Kaufman’s household.

“Since they (the NCAA) pushed it back and I can’t take as many visits as I would want to, my mom and I are considering driving up to some of the colleges that are recruiting me, but it’s just not going to be the same,” Kaufman said.

Ranked in the top-60 according to the 247Sports Composite, Kaufman recently told The Daily Hoosier that he intended to enroll early on a college campus this winter if his high school season is canceled.

For now at least, the Indiana high school basketball season seems to be trending in the right direction.

Kaufman would be the front-runner to win the state’s Mr. Basketball award.  He averaged 25.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.1 steals to help lead Silver Creek (Sellersburg, Ind.) to a 25-2 mark before the season was interrupted.  Kaufman shot 64 percent from the floor overall, including 40 percent from three-point range.

With the key pieces of his high school team back including several Division One prospects, Kaufman is hoping for one more chance to defend their 2019 Class 3A state title.

“It should be exciting.  I hope we play.  This will be one of the better teams we’ve had in Silver Creek history,” Kaufman said.

NO RIFT WITH LANDER

Kaufman also dispelled a myth during the radio interview.

An often unfortunate aspect of being a top recruiting target involves the spread of rumors in conversations, and on message boards and social media.

One such rumor that has made the rounds is the notion that Kaufman and Indiana freshman point guard Khristian Lander do not get along.

Of course Lander was also formerly in the class of 2021 before the Evansville product decided to reclassify and enroll in classes in Bloomington this summer.

Kaufman set the record straight on his acquaintance with Lander.

“Khristian is a great guy,” Kaufman said.  “We haven’t been on the same AAU team for the past two years and I think people kind of took that as I don’t like Khristian or Khristian doesn’t like me.  It’s actually the opposite.  I’ve always looked forward to playing with Khristian.  He’s a great player.  I remember we went to Purdue for a camp, and just the chemistry that we built there, we have a good connection.”

MORE KAUFMAN COVERAGE

In-depth interviews:

Post Gatorade award | Start of AAU | End of AAU | Coach’s take

Highlights

Summer AAU highlights2019-20 high school highlights


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