Class of 2024 4-star combo guard Jaeden Mustaf completed an official visit to Indiana on Saturday.
The Daily Hoosier caught up with the 6-foot-5 Mustaf to discuss his impressions of the IU program and the next steps in his recruitment
Here’s our post-visit Q&A with Mustaf:
TDH: When you and your family are going on an official visit, what kind of things are you looking for?
Mustaf — Just making sure everybody is being real when they’re showing how much interest they have in me. Also, seeing how I can develop at the school, just seeing the school environment all around, talking to the coaches, interacting with them and seeing how well we get along with them. And basically just seeing everything, and seeing where I fit in the program.
TDH: After spending a weekend at Indiana, what stands out to you about the program?
Mustaf — Of course Indiana, that’s a blue blood program. That’s one of the best basketball programs in history, so that part speaks for itself. And then Coach Woodson, he played in college and the NBA, and then he coached in the NBA, so he’s done it at every level. The history, and him being who he is, that all stands out.
TDH: What stood out about the facilities and support staff?
Mustaf — The training room and weight room was real nice, and we saw the strength and conditioning coach (Clif Marshall), and you could tell that he loves what he does and he has a plan for his players. And also he’s watching the practices and at the beginning he’s the one taking the lead and helping them with stretching and stuff like that. And then seeing his vision for the players, he makes sure they do what they need to do and will be where they need to be.
TDH: What is your impression of the Indiana coaching staff?
Mustaf — Those guys are great, Coach Ya (Yasir Rosemond), Coach Kenya (Hunter), Coach Woodson, they’re all good people. I have a good relationship with them, and they all know basketball and have been around the game for a while now, so those are very good coaches who can help me.
TDH: What do you think of when you think of Mike Woodson after spending some time around him?
Mustaf — I always remember him coaching Melo (Carmelo Anthony) and coaching the Knicks and stuff like that. He’s done it for 30-plus years, so he knows how to get players to that level, he knows what it takes. He’s just a great coach to learn from.
TDH: What is Indiana’s message to you right now in terms of how they see you fitting in the program?
Mustaf — They think I can come in and be an impact player right away. They just had Jalen Hood-Schifino, and me and him are similar in our size and ability and our position. So they see the same type of formula that he had, and I can do some of the same things and develop like he did. When he came in I don’t think a lot people expected him to be a lottery pick, so the development part, they see me being similar to what he was able to do.
TDH: You mentioned that you watched a team practice. What did you take away from watching the team workout under the direction of the coaches?
Mustaf — You just see that it moves from one thing to the next, there’s no long breaks, everybody’s focused and engaged and listening. You can just tell that it’s different at this level. College is serious. And then at the end they had a scrimmage which was cool to watch. And after that when they were breaking down the huddle they brought me in the huddle and allowed me to introduce myself to the team. So all of that was cool.
TDH: Does anything about the campus or the academic side stand out?
Mustaf — The campus is beautiful, and a lot of the classes are on the inside and the sports facilities are on the outside, so they set it up really neat.
TDH: Indiana is after a lot of high end talent in your class. How important is that to you to come in with a really talented group?
Mustaf — It’s really important. I always want to play with talented players. For however far I go in basketball I’m going to be playing with talented people, so you always want to be surrounded by good competition in the program, and then you have those players to go play with against other teams. And I’m a winner, I always want to win, so you want to have guys with you who you can go win with.
TDH: Do you have any future visits set up right now, and an idea of when you’d like to wrap up your recruitment?
Mustaf — I don’t have any other visits confirmed right now. I’m looking at Georgia Tech, Maryland, Arkansas and Virginia Tech for visits. Florida State wants to get me back down there. Indiana also said near the end they want to get me back there. So I’m looking at sometime in September I think to be done.
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— jaeden mustaf (jaee) (@1tjaee) June 9, 2023
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