Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

IU basketball recruiting: What T.J. Power likes about Indiana and what he’s looking for on visits

When we spoke with fast-rising class of 2023 forward T.J. Power a couple weeks ago for a lengthy Q&A, he had a lot on his plate.

As a high academic, baseball and basketball star, with an exploding recruitment, he still does.  But his baseball season is over, and at least as it relates to junior year official visits, things are coming into focus.

As he told us over the weekend, Power is planning an official visit to IU June 8-10 (update:  he’ll take the visit in the fall according to a report by Andrew Slater).  He’s currently at Virginia on an official, and he may go to Notre Dame and other schools later this month.

That’s progress for the versatile 6-foot-7 forward out of Massachusetts, and progress has been the story on the court as well this spring.  Power jumped 65 spots to the No. 56 overall player in the country in the latest 247Sports rankings update.  That came as a result of several strong performances playing for BABC in the Nike EYBL, which also brought a wave of new offers and interest from high major programs.

As he starts to put his recruitment into focus, what was it that made Indiana a place Power wanted to see up close this month?

“I just think they have really good energy around the program right now,” he said on Saturday in Louisville.  “Coach Woodson is bringing a lot of excitement and a lot of big time recruits.  He’s building a program that’s going to be able to compete with the blue bloods, and that’s what Indiana should be with the fan base that they have.  So it’s just an exciting time right now for Indiana.”

Power grew up playing point guard before a growth spurt, and he does a little bit of everything on the floor, from making threes, to utilizing his footwork and ball handling skills to create scoring opportunities in the midrange and the paint.  But more than his expansive offensive repertoire, Power sees a potential fit with IU on the other end.

“I don’t take plays off, and with Indiana’s style, they pride themselves in playing hard defense and they kind of get under people, and they play aggressive, and that’s where my game is going,” Power said.

One of the more intriguing things about Power is just how much further he can develop.  He’s been a multisport athlete throughout high school.  But with his baseball season now ended, he’s fully focused on basketball and tapping into his potential on the court.

“I’m trying to change my mentality and I’m more aggressive now,” Power said.  “And I’m just trying to clean up the little things like turnovers here and there.  But I’m rebounding really well, seeing the floor well, so I think my IQ is on display right now.”

Power has a fairly diverse list of college suitors spread out all over the country.  Hailing from Shrewsbury, Mass., he’s open to a destination far from home if it feels right.

“Talking with my parents, it’s just ‘go anywhere for the best fit,'” Power said.  “I know it’s easier said than done, but I really think it’s where the best fit is no matter how far.”

All signs point to Indiana being a legitimate contender in Power’s recruitment, which he’d like to wrap-up before his high school season begins at Worcester Academy.

He told us in our Q&A he wasn’t particularly concerned about facilities or NIL.  But what will Power being focused on when he comes to Bloomington?

“I just want to spend a lot of time with the coaching staff and get to know them,” Power said.   “That’s my biggest thing, I want to be able to go to a place where I can trust the people who are on my bench, and the players that are with me.

“I’ve even talked with (IU 2023 commit) Gabe Cupps a little bit, so for the class going in, I want to get a feel for the people that I’d be around.”

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