When Samari Curtis committed to Xavier back in February, he thought he knew what he was getting himself into.
Chris Mack had a nice thing going with the Musketeers, and a few guards have really thrived under his system including Indianapolis native Trevon Bluiett most recently. That was back in February, and today Mack is the new head coach at Louisville.
At the time of his commitment to Xavier, Curtis said this to 247Sports:
“The playing style, plus I trust coach Steele a lot to get me ready for the next level,” Curtis said when asked about his choice. “It was an easy decision.”
“Coach Steele and coach Mack keep it real with you,” he added. “They aren’t going to sugarcoat anything and I know they will push me a lot.”
Now Travis Steele is the new Xavier head coach, Mack is in Louisville, and Curtis — he’s not sure. After first reiterating his commitment to Xavier after Mack left, he later decommited in late May and re-opened his recruitment.
The fallout is that Curtis is back to square one. Sort of. He is still interested in Xavier, and Steele was important in his recruitment. Nevertheless, Curtis did take the difficult step to decommit, so he isn’t sold. He has added Ohio State, Indiana, Florida, Cincinnati and others to his list of potential landing spots. Louisville is not on that list.
At 6-foot-4, Curtis is a versatile guard. Depending on who you ask, he is either a point guard or a combo guard. The Xenia, Ohio product told the Columbus Dispatch that most schools are recruiting him as a point guard.
According to the 247Sports composite rankings, Curtis is the top uncommitted recruit from the state of Ohio. They have him ranked in the top 100 nationally.
For his junior year at Xenia, Curtis averaged 30.4 points per game which included a 50 point game. He averaged 12.8 points for his AAU team (C2K) on the Under Armour circuit.
Indiana has had recent success in Ohio under Archie Miller. Class of 2018 wing Jerome Hunter was the No. 2 rated player from the Buckeye state. Curtis’ hometown of Xenia is just outside of Dayton, so it is likely that there is familiarity between the IU coaching staff and Curtis from Miller’s time with the Flyers. Curtis was already thriving in the local area prior to Miller’s departure for Indiana.
With the majority of the class of 2019 still uncommitted, Curtis still has plenty of time to find the right fit. That will start in earnest beginning on July 11 when the NCAA “live evaluation period” begins. This is when college coaches can watch recruiting targets in person at various events such as AAU games.
Because he committed to Xavier in February, coaches from other schools were understandably not watching him during the April live period. Only Xavier and Cincinnati have offered Curtis thus far. Both schools have had the benefit of being in southwestern Ohio and were likely already familiar with his game.
A source tells us that Curtis has already taken an unofficial visit to IU this past week and the Hoosiers did not offer. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t.
Schools like Indiana will take the opportunity later this month to evaluate him live. Simultaneously IU will be able to see how things progress with their currently offered guard targets including Brandon Newman and Armaan Franklin, as well as top point guard target D.J. Carton.
It would seem likely that at the most IU will end up with no more than two guards in the 2019 class. Ideally they would end up with two guards and two front court players if they go with a four player class.
Curtis seems similar to Franklin in the sense that they are both drifting between the point guard and combo guard label. They would seem on paper to be overlapping players that Indiana wouldn’t pursue heavily in tandem.
In the end, Curtis is an intriguing prospect that will turn out to be an unexpected and valuable addition for someone. We should know more in the coming weeks whether Indiana views him as a good fit.
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