Photo credit - FIBA

Q&A with high school and AAU coaches of IU basketball 2024 target Asa Newell

Class of 2024 5-star forward Asa Newell is wrapping up a three-day official visit at IU on Sunday.

The Daily Hoosier caught up with his high school and AAU coaches to get more background on the player and competitor.  The Florida product transferred to Montverde Academy recently, and he plays for independent AAU program 1Family during the spring and summer.

Here are those Q&A’s with each coach.


Montverde Academy Assistant Coach Rae Miller

TDH:  How has Asa adjusted to the new level of competition at Montverde?

Miller:  I think he’s adjusted very well.  He’s a hard worker, he listens well, he wants to be very good, and he’s willing to do what it takes to improve.

TDH:  How is he fitting in positionally in your program?

Miller:  Right now he’s a four/five man in terms of just position.  I think that he has the ability to face the basket and shoot the ball.  I think that he has much room to grow at posting up and scoring on the block.  But I think that overall, his growth will be very much enhanced by playing against great competition every day here over the next two years.  By the time it’s time for him to go to college, he should be well prepared to play both inside and outside as he gains strength and comfort playing against bigger and better players.

TDH:  How tall is Asa right now, and how does Montverde work to develop players with his combination of length and shooting ability?

Miller:  He’s right around 6-foot-9 and a half to 6-foot-10.  We’re accustomed to having young big kids who grow into being something different as they get older.  And part of coming to a place like Montverde, we try to prepare you for the next step in your journey, to make sure you have the skillset necessary to grow your game.  We like to think that our guys grow to be more positionless or multi-positional players, and we try to develop those kinds of skills and understanding of the game to be able to face the basket and pass, dribble, shoot and defend multiple positions.

TDH:  When you project him to the college level, do you see him as a stretch-four optimally?

Miller:  Absolutely.  I think that he will be the quintessential stretch-four at the college and professional level.  He has great size, great length, moves very well, and the ability to shoot the ball, and he’s left-handed.  He gives you some different dimensions when you look at him as a player in that sense.

TDH:  Did he arrive with shot mechanics that you were happy with?

Miller:  Yes, he catches the ball, he keeps it high, he gets it off quick — his shot mechanics are pretty good.

1Family Basketball AAU Coach Darryl Hardin

TDH:  I understand the challenges of keeping elite high school players in independent (non shoe circuit) programs.  What does it say about Asa that he has stayed with 1Family?

Hardin:  He’s extremely loyal to the people that he knows love him, and have his best interests.  We’re a little bit unique as an independent program, because we were Under Armour and we were Adidas, and we have two former players currently in the NBA right now.  So he knows he can get all the recognition possible by playing with us, which he is, playing for Team USA and ranked top-10 across the board.  It’s not like he needs the shoe stuff for validation.

TDH:  Montverde says they are using him as a four or five.  Does that fit with how he played for you, and where do you see him at the next level?

Hardin:  His best position right now is the four.  But Asa can play the wing, and he can play the post and play big.  He’s effective in picks-and-pops, and pick-and-rolls, and being able to switch out and guard smaller defenders.  He’s improving his ball handling and his right hand, so that can lean into a three, and he can also be a small-ball five because he can make threes and protect the rim as well.  We’ve got two more years to work (before college), so I don’t know exactly where he’ll be, but I just know right now his best position is as a stretch-four.

TDH:  Tell me about him defensively

Hardin:  He can guard one through five.  He can bang with a five who’s trying to post up, and he does a good job of walling up.  His feet are good too, so he can get in a stance and move with smaller guys and change their direction.  For us in the summer, he’s legit, we don’t have him hedging, we have him switching out and holding his own.

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