Indiana wrapped up a hectic spring and summer, full of live viewings and official visits.
Now it is closing time with the class of 2023, as head coach Mike Woodson looks to deliver on the first recruiting class that he’s been involved with for a full year as the leader of IU basketball.
Where do things stand with IU’s 2023 recruiting class?
Here’s a complete recap.
The current class
Indiana’s 2023 class got off to a fast start with commitments last fall from a pair of guards — Newton, Ga. combo Jakai Newton, and Centerville, Ohio point Gabe Cupps.
Newton is the No. 14 combo guard according to the 247Sports Composite, and the No. 66 player overall.
Cupps is the No. 15 point guard, and the No. 96 player nationally.
With things in the class of 2023 so fluid at the moment with new commitments around the country almost daily, it is admittedly a bit pointless to look at national or conference team rankings at this point.
What is worth pointing out is that IU has built a solid foundation with its first two commits.
With Newton and Cupps verbally pledged, IU currently stands at No. 9 nationally in the 2023 class, and No. 3 in the Big Ten, both according to the 247Sports Composite.
The current leader in the Big Ten is Michigan State, the only school in the league with three or more 2023 commits. MSU has three top-100 commits at this time. I’ll admit to suspecting that Tom Izzo had lost his way as a recruiter in this new era of college basketball, but that does not appear to be the case.
Purdue, Indiana and Ohio State make up the No. 2 through 4 spots, respectively, and that trio of programs have separated themselves, each having two commits with similar higher-end ratings.
Off the board
For those who don’t follow recruiting closely, you may have missed commitments elsewhere by some of IU’s biggest targets.
Here’s a rundown of the key misses for players we previously discussed extensively here:
- Kaleb Glenn committed to Louisville
- Owen Freeman committed to Iowa
- Reed Sheppard committed to Kentucky
- Jeremy Fears committed to Michigan State
- Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn committed to Purdue
- Austin Parks committed to Ohio State
- Miro Little committed to Baylor
- Kwame (KJ) Evans committed to Oregon
- Andrej Stojakovic’s top-6 doesn’t include IU
- Xavier Booker committed to Michigan State
The main targets
Arrinten Page has IU on his short-list and he has a relatively short timeline. That much we can confidently deduce from our conversation with him last week after he took an official visit to Bloomington. The match is easy to see — Indiana needs a big man in its class, and he likes IU. Look for the 6-foot-9, top-50 Page to decide in the next six weeks between IU and maybe one or two more programs. This one looks like IU has a slight edge.
Jamie Kaiser may be down to just two — Indiana and Maryland. He was supposed to take a visit to UCLA, but that didn’t happen. The 6-foot-6 top-100 wing told us last week Virginia and Miami (Fla.) were still in the picture as well. Kaiser has been anxious to wrap-up his recruitment, and has most recently said a August decision is likely. Kaiser is a shooter/scorer on the wing who defends at a high level. He represents another need, and this one feels like the Hoosiers have a 50/50 shot.
DeShawn Harris-Smith completed a visit to Bloomington over the weekend, and it was easy to read from the energy in his voice as we spoke with him — that visit had a positive impact. Indiana entered the 6-foot-5 top-120 combo guard’s recruitment less than a month ago, so there was significant ground to make up, and perhaps that will prove to be too much. But it’s fair to say the Hoosiers are legitimately in his top-five and under consideration, along with Villanova, Maryland, Xavier and Penn State. Harris-Smith also wants to make an August decision, and he told us he is now in decision-making mode.
T.J. Power relayed to us a couple weeks ago that Mike Woodson told him he was IU’s top target on their 2023 board. Power emerged all spring and summer and ended up as one of the most coveted prospects in the class. Other big-time programs took notice too however, and Power went straight from his final AAU game in Georgia to visits at North Carolina and Duke. The milestone to continue to watch for with Power is whether he schedules a visit to Bloomington. That seemed more likely in June than it does now. And until that happens, consider him a longshot, especially since he said he only wants to take three or four more visits at most before making a fall decision.
Still out there…
A wild card is class of 2024 forward Derik Queen, who is considering a reclass to 2023 and is being recruited heavily by Indiana.
East coast guard Elmarko Jackson said this week he is narrowing his list very soon. Indiana attempted to enter his recruitment very late, but it isn’t clear that they’ve made significant traction. It will be interesting to see if IU makes Jackson’s list of top schools, but as of right now this doesn’t appear to be a recruitment to follow closely.
Georgia wing Coen Carr visited IU in March and told us in May he was ready to come back. Indiana had a good chance to land the elite athlete if they pushed hard, but that didn’t happen this summer. Carr’s recruitment will be interesting to keep following. He recently took a visit to Michigan State and will end up somewhere in the high major ranks.
Bloomington-based J.Q. Roberts hasn’t committed anywhere yet, but Indiana did not appear to be pushing hard during the spring and summer. Both sides appear to have moved on.
This is 2022, so…
Indiana’s first two recruiting cycles under head coach Mike Woodson should have told you not to panic even if openings remain into the spring.
Soon after Woodson was hired, Indiana picked up a wave of transfer portal commits, including two players (Xavier Johnson and Miller Kopp) who started last year. Woodson also added Tamar Bates in April of 2021 after a coaching change at Texas where he originally committed.
Woodson struck again via the coaching change route in 2022 with the addition of Malik Reneau.
Hope is not a strategy, and IU won’t sit back and wait for another coaching change to deliver a top-40 prospect for a third spring in a row.
But the transfer portal is here to stay.
Indiana will lose Race Thompson after this year, and almost certainly Trayce Jackson-Davis as well. They’ll have a very attractive opportunity for immediate playing time to offer the top big men in the portal next spring.
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