Years of work by this Indiana basketball staff is going to come to a head with a massive wave of announcements in the coming days.
The college basketball recruiting early signing period runs from Nov. 8-15. So that begins in just under four weeks, and by then IU basketball fans should know the decisions of all three of the programs main class of 2024 recruiting targets — Liam McNeeley, Boogie Fland, and Derik Queen.
These are no ordinary recruiting targets. All highly coveted national top-20 prospects, the trio could end up forming one of the great IU basketball recruiting classes of all-time if all three choose to play in Bloomington next year. And that’s still well within the realm of what’s possible.
After landing the national No. 16 class in 2023 (according to On3) and the No. 17 class of 2022, this 2024 class could easily be Mike Woodson’s best, and a statement class that places the college basketball world on notice.
But for now, we wait.
When it comes to timing, McNeeley (SF, 5-star, No. 14) is the easy one to figure out. He’ll announce in connection with a basketball tournament in Las Vegas on Sunday. His Florida Eagles squad, a group of his Montverde Academy teammates, is playing in the GEICO Top Flight Invite, a three-day tournament at Bishop Gorman High School.
Because it’s a tournament, we don’t know yet when the 6-foot-7 McNeeley will play on Sunday and how the timing of his game ties into his announcement. Here’s the schedule for the Sunday games:
|Sun, Oct 15||3 p.m.||Storm Hoopers (Idaho) vs. Blue Knights (Calif.)||ESPNU/ESPN+|
|5 p.m.||5th Place Game||ESPNU/ESPN+|
|7 p.m.||3rd Place Game||ESPNU/ESPN+|
|9 p.m.||Championship Game||ESPN2/ESPN+|
In any case, McNeeley should announce in the late afternoon/evening timeframe Sunday. And looking at the rosters of the participating teams, a later announcement tied into the championship game on ESPN2 seems more likely at this point.
McNeeley is down to IU and Kansas, and you won’t find anyone picking the Jayhawks at this point. You can never count out surprises in recruiting. We saw that with McNeeley’s Montverde teammate and former IU target Curtis Givens, who stunned observers by picking LSU over his hometown Memphis squad. If Indiana lands McNeeley, it will be the second straight 5-star wing Woodson beat Kansas’ Bill Self for in a head-to-head matchup, following Mackenzie Mgbako just months ago. Stay tuned.
Fland (PG/CG, 4-star, No. 20) either still doesn’t know his precise timing to announce, or he’s having some fun at this point.
“It could be in the next week, next couple days, next three weeks, next month, who knows? But stay tuned,” the 6-foot-3 Fland told Yahoo’s Krysten Peek over the weekend.
Fland appears to be down to a decision between IU and Kentucky. We told our readers over a week ago that the week of Oct. 16 could be worth keeping an eye on. In any case, it is widely expected Fland will announce his decision before the November early signing period, and probably sooner than later. So he’s probably the second domino to fall over the next four weeks.
Queen (PF/C, 4-star, No. 15) will also be playing this weekend with McNeeley in Las Vegas, but he’s not expected to make an announcement just yet. The 6-foot-9 Queen still has one official visit remaining, to the hometown Maryland Terrapins.
Many have said for a long time the Terps should be viewed as the favorite for the Baltimore product, but those views appear to be more based on speculation than anything coming from his tight and influential inner-circle. Based on what we’re hearing, Queen’s decision will be much more about fit, his connection with a staff, and who can develop him for the NBA rather than hometown affection. He could end up choosing Maryland, but Queen has been playing away from home for three years at Montverde, so this isn’t a kid who is apprehensive about leaving home.
But while Queen’s recruitment has been a bit more mysterious than the others, we do now know he’ll sign during the November period as well. That’s according to a report by Rivals national reporter Rob Cassidy.
We were the first to report on Queen and McNeeley’s friendship way back in January. And if McNeeley does indeed pick IU Sunday and has a few weeks to try to convince his close friend to join him in Bloomington, well that can’t be a bad thing. It certainly worked out well for Indiana when it came to the Montverde duo of Jalen Hood-Schifino and Malik Reneau.
For now we wait.
But not much longer.
For a complete recap of IU basketball’s 2024 targets, including top schools, timelines, highlights and the latest on their recruitments, GO HERE. For all of our IU basketball recruiting coverage, GO HERE.
For complete coverage of IU basketball recruiting, GO HERE.
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