Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

Player notes on 2023 IU targets at the Nike EYBL second live period event in Indiana

The Nike EYBL Circuit was in the north Indianapolis suburbs over the weekend, and The Daily Hoosier was there all three days to get a closer look at some of the players Indiana is recruiting in the classes of 2023 through 2025.

The event was a whose-who of college basketball.  We saw 13 of the 14 head coaches in the Big Ten, and three members of the IU staff.  Mike Woodson, Kenya Hunter and Yasir Rosemond were there at various points.

Here are our notes about three of the class of 2023 prospects Indiana is involved with.

Kwame (KJ) Evans (2023) – Evans is the No. 2 overall prospect in the class of 2023, and IU is one of his five finalists.  Playing for Team Durant, the appeal is obvious.  Although he struggled from distance over the weekend, the 6-foot-10 Evans has a clean stroke from three, and he can make deep attempts on the move as well as in catch-and-shoot situations.

What really makes Evans attractive is his ability to run the floor and score in transition, and he has a dazzling array of skill to go with his large frame.  On one play the lefty drove right, beat a guard, and hit a 10-foot floater with his right hand over length.  With his size the play was un-guardable.  He has the game of a modern NBA player.

Evans is also a very aware and engaged defender.  He averaged two steals and a block over his four games in Westfield.  Overall he didn’t have the best weekend, but Evans is well past the “is he good enough” stage.

Indiana had staff in attendance for his games, as did Kentucky, Oregon, and Auburn.  Multiple reports from the weekend indicated Evans will visit IU in June.

Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

Arrinten Page (2023) – One of the newer players in the 2023 class to receive an IU offer, the 6-foot-8 Georgia product had a very impressive weekend.  Playing for TSF, Page is showing that his sudden early-spring emergence is no fluke.

Not counting a game where he suffered an injury and played just eight minutes, Page was an incredibly impressive 20-of-26 from the field in the other three games.  He is skilled with his off hand, runs the floor hard, is aggressive on the glass, is a good athlete, and Page can step out an make threes.  He closed the weekend with an 11-of-14, 27-point and six rebound game in just 25 minutes.

What stood out the most was Page’s motor.  He is always engaged and impacting the game with his length and effort on both ends.  The only question mark might be how he fits positionally at the high major level.  He likely doesn’t have the size or length to play the five, so Indiana would be betting he could develop into a high major floor-stretching four.  And that doesn’t seem like a major leap.

At one point IU had three coaches watching him including Woodson, but that was the game he suffered the injury.  It would be surprising if Indiana doesn’t continue to push here.

(Page is pictured at the top of the story)

Brady Dunlap (2023) – The 6-foot-6 California product is a player Indiana has yet to offer but someone they reportedly have interest in.  If Indiana goes hard after Dunlap they are hunting for a shooting specialist in the mold of former Purdue guard Sasha Stefanovic.

Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

But it isn’t clear he is uniquely gifted enough in that area to go after aggressively.  Playing for Vegas Elite, Dunlap was 5-of-16 (31 percent) from three over four games, and just 10-of-23 (43.4 percent) on 2-pointers.  He did have a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio, and Dunlap gets really good elevation on his jump shot and produces a natural looking stroke leading to shots that you expect to go in, whether on the move or in catch-and-shoot scenarios.

His performance left questions regarding how well he could defend in the Big Ten, and whether he can truly deliver as a shooter against high major competition.  But sometimes shooters just have an off weekend.  We watched Jaden Schutt play multiple games last spring and weren’t overly impressed, and he ended up committing to Duke a couple months later.  There are similarities between Dunlap and Schutt, and there is likely a high major landing spot somewhere for Dunlap.

The IU staff has a much larger frame of reference than just this weekend to work from.  On the wing Woodson seems to prioritize long athletes who can defend multiple spots, so it will be interesting to see if he signs off on offering Dunlap.

Note:  2023 target Coen Carr of the Georgia Stars was unable to participate due to an injury.

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