Recruiting Roundup: Several IU basketball 2022 targets mentioned in weekend national reports

If you take a quick look at Indiana’s projected 2022-23 roster based on scholarship numbers, you might conclude that the Hoosiers don’t have room for additions from the high school ranks in the class of 2022.

It is true that IU presently has all of the 13 available scholarships accounted for looking forward to 2022-23, plus an additional player in verbal commit C.J. Gunn.  But this is the era of roster turnover, and without speculating on names, it seems sensible to project that all 14 won’t be around in a year.

The Indiana basketball coaching staff is certainly operating as if it expects to have openings in 2022.  Head coach Mike Woodson and his assistants have been very active thus far as it relates to the soon to be high school senior class.

Several national reports emerged over the weekend from recruiting sites 247Sports, Rivals, and others with updates that included commentary on Indiana and the players they are recruiting.

2022 wing Tyler Nickel is a prolific scorer out of Virginia.  He is currently No. 69 overall in the class and the No. 17 small forward according to the 247Sports Composite.  The Daily Hoosier spoke to Nickel when IU offered in the fall.

Nickel told Rivals’ national reporter Jamie Shaw this weekend that Indiana has been making him a priority since the coaching change.

“Indiana, regardless of an off year or not, basketball is like God there,” Nickel told Shaw.  “They have a basketball rich history and the way they play is up and down. Their new staff contacted me shortly after they were hired and have been in consistent contact since.”

Indiana has been able to maintain continuity with Nickel with assistant Kenya Hunter leading the charge.  The 6-foot-7 Nickel said he is planning to make a decision in early September.  LSU, N.C. State, Virginia Tech and Iowa are some of the other key players according to Shaw’s conversation with Nickel.

Rivals’ Shaw also caught up with 2022 center Favour Aire over the weekend.  The 6-foot-11 Maryland product is currently the No. 79 player overall and the No. 11 center according to the 247Sports Composite.  The Daily Hoosier caught up with Aire in the fall soon after IU offered.

“They have Trayce Jackson-Davis right now, a good big,” Aire told Shaw.  “They know how to use their bigs and have success. I have not talked to the new head coach yet, but the assistant who is recruiting me has been in touch.”

Once again, Hunter is leading the way here as he does with most Washington D.C. area players.  Aire said he doesn’t have a specific timeline right now, and he is hearing mostly from USC, Maryland, Rutgers and Seton Hall along with IU.  Aire said a staff with a history of developing big men will be important in his decision making process.

Another Hunter recruiting target, D.C. area small forward Tyrell Ward made an impression on 247Sports’ national writer Eric Bossi over the weekend.

“After watching him play with New World twice on Saturday, there is no doubt that he’s going to rise and that Ward has put himself into consideration for elevation into the top 50 nationally,” Bossi wrote.

The 6-foot-7 Ward is from Maryland and he is currently No. 53 nationally and the No. 13 small forward.  Indiana offered Ward in February.

The Hoosiers are also involved with Ward’s high school teammate at DeMatha Rodney Rice.  Endless Motor Sports reported that Indiana continues to be in contact with the class of 2022 shooting guard, whose recruitment is also being led by Hunter.

Rice is 6-foot-4, the No. 89 player in the class of 2022 and the No. 11 shooting guard.

The Daily Hoosier spoke with DeMatha head coach Mike Jones about Ward and Rice in January.

Bossi also watched recent IU offer recipient Julian Phillips.

According to Bossi’s report, the 6-foot-8 Phillips is impressed with Woodson’s early message in a recruitment led by assistant Yasir Rosemond.

“After watching him a few times this weekend, I’ve warmed up to him as a legitimate wing prospect,” Bossi wrote.  “He’s got good size at 6-foot-7 or so, can really move laterally and his ball skills have come a long way. Long term he should also be a well above average multi-positional defender if he really wants to commit on that end. USC’s late season run made an impression on him and Mike Woodson’s message has impressed him since he took over at Indiana.”

From South Carolina, Phillips is currently the No. 30 overall recruit in the class of 2022 and he is listed as the No. 7 power forward.

Georgia based forward Kaleb Banks impressed 247Sports’ Eric Bossi on Friday night at an event in the Atlanta area.

“A lean and wiry strong junior, Banks is in the 6’7/6’8” range, doesn’t lack for confidence and has impressive physical tools,” Bossi wrote. “He’s a toughness guy whose skill has really developed whether it be in the post, going off the dribble or making decisions. His game is about versatility.”

Another Rosemond recruiting target, Banks is the No. 93 player in the 2022 class, and the 16 power forward.

Class of 2022 Illinois-based forward A.J. Casey spoke with 247Sports’ Steve Helwagen, and the top-25 4-star prospect indicated that he will take full advantage of soon forthcoming reopening of live recruiting with campus visits.

“We’re going to try and get out to as many college campuses as possible,” Casey told Helwagen.  “I’m not thinking about cutting the list down until we can get out for some official visits.”

Indiana remains in touch with Casey.  The Daily Hoosier also caught up with him over the weekend, and we will have more of his thoughts on IU this week.

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