Nijel Pack. Credit - Jenna Watson / Indy Star

IU Basketball Recruiting: Two In-State 2020 Point Guard Targets Gone in 24 Hours

It’s no secret that Indiana would like to add a point guard in its four man 2020 recruiting class.

The Hoosiers will need another primary ball handler on the roster for the 2020-21 season with Devonte Green set to graduate.

The reality of college basketball recruiting is that players must be prioritized, and for a while now IU’s primary class of 2020 point guard targets have been St. Louis based Caleb Love and New York based RJ Davis.  Indiana also recently offered a scholarship to another New York based target in Hassan Diarra.

Meanwhile there had been less frequent conversations with a couple of 2020 point guards with Indiana connections.

Within the last day, both are off the board.

Indianapolis native Mike Saunders, Jr. started high school at Lawrence North on the city’s northeast side.  The jet quick Saunders transferred to a prep school in Utah for his final two seasons.

He will be playing in Cincinnati in 2020.

Saunders announced his commitment to the Bearcats on Tuesday.

Less than 24 hours later another Indianapolis northeast side player announced his college decision.

Nijel Pack plays at Lawrence Central in Indianapolis.  While there had been conversations with IU, he indicated last week that he hadn’t heard from the Hoosiers in a while.

Pack will be a contender for next year’s Mr. Basketball award, and Lawrence Central should have a legitimate shot at the Class 4A state title.

The 5-foot-10 Pack announced on Wednesday that he will be playing for Bruce Weber at Kansas State.  Pack was at Kansas State on an official visit.

Indiana hadn’t offered a scholarship to either player, as their coaches likely had at least some reservations about both of them.

Saunders has not shown that he is a reliable perimeter shooter, and Pack’s height is something that would give some high major coaches pause.  Nevertheless, both are clearly high level talents that Indiana would have likely turned to if their priority options didn’t pan out.

Indiana will continue to prioritize Love as its top point guard target.  But his recruitment is getting crowded, with Kansas and North Carolina both offering recently.

The Hoosiers are contenders for Davis and Diarra but do not appear to have any special status in either recruitment.

While it doesn’t make sense to lose sleep over backup options going elsewhere, these were viable backup options that might have jumped at the chance to play in Bloomington.

Indiana needs to land a 2020 point guard, and as of right now, they don’t have a clear path to land one.

It is still only June, and thus clearly not time to panic.  But former point guard Archie Miller will need to get out in front of this before more good options go elsewhere.

One potential newer target to monitor is top 75 2020 point guard AJ Hoggard from Pennsylvania.  You can read more about him here.


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