Possible Indiana recruits for class of 2017

Mar 24, 2016; Philadelphia , PA, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean during practice the day before the semifinals of the East regional of the NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2016; Philadelphia , PA, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean during practice the day before the semifinals of the East regional of the NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Aljami Durham, a point-guard from Lilburn, Georgia, remains the only committed player for Indiana’s 2017-18 recruiting class. The 6’4, 180 pound, Berkmar High School standout is the 230th ranked player in his class, and the 48th best point-guard, according to 247 sports. While Durham shows promise, he isn’t quite the type of recruit that fans want or expect from a top basketball school.

Recruiting has been a slow process for Tom Crean since he came to Indiana. He has done an excellent job bringing in decent recruits and then turning them into great players, but his only five star recruits in eight years were James Blackmon Jr., Noah Vonleh, and Cody Zeller. To put it in perspective, Kentucky has 4 five-star recruits this year alone. Kentucky is a recruiting powerhouse, so it may be unfair to compare the two, but Indiana basketball was once the top school in the country, and needs to secure these types of recruits if it wants to return to glory.

Getting a couple of these recruits to commit would be a big step toward becoming a top recruiting school.

Kris Wilkes

Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports /

They have a great shot to get a five-star small forward in the 2017-18 class in Kris Wilkes, who has named Indiana as one of his top five choices. Wilkes, listed at 6-7, 190 pounds, played at North Central in Indianapolis, making him an in-state recruit Coach Crean can’t miss out on. Other schools pursuing Wilkes include Illinois, Connecticut, UCLA, and Xavier – with UCLA being the other big contender. With OG Anunoby emerging as a potential NBA players, and De’Ron Davis’ off the court issues (academics), Indiana could use a little more security at the three.

Jaren Jackson

Jaren Jackson is another five-star forward out of Indianapolis that is considering Indiana. His top two are currently Maryland and Purdue, so Crean might have a bit of work on his hands, but getting the top recruits in-state are crucial to the program’s success. He did make an unofficial visit to Indiana on October 6th, but since then has also been in talks with Maryland and Michigan, Maryland, and Michigan State. The La Lumiere competitor not only has height, but also shooting ability, making him a lethal stretch forward. Jackson has NBA size, listed at 6’10 and 225 pounds, making it no surprise that so many respected programs are chasing him. Without even a verbal commitment, there is still a chance for Crean to land this desired prospect.

Tremont Waters

While Tremont Waters is listed as a four-star recruit, he has five-star potential. The point-guard out of New Haven, Connecticut has taken a liking to the Hoosiers program. Waters is in the top 10 point-guards in his class, and a top 50 player, overall. Connecticut has made his final list of seven, making him another player that Crean will need to seriously pursue, but if he does his homework will realize that Crean is notorious for producing effective scoring guards. Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, and Georgetown have also emerged as possible landing spots for Waters, making him one of the most sought after guards in the nation. With uncertainty surrounding Indiana’s guard situation, getting Waters would be a huge boost for Indiana.

Paul Scruggs

Ranked 33rd in ESPN’s top 100, Paul Scruggs from Southport High School in Indianapolis is a potential replacement at point-guard. Scruggs is an explosive finisher at the rim who is great in transition, but what makes him even more exciting, is that he can play defense. Also, his rebounding capabilities make him perfect for Indiana’s defensive style, which requires their guards to attack the boards. At 6’4, he would be one of the tallest true point-guards Indiana has had in a while. His versatility makes him one of the must-get players of the ’17 class. Scruggs has listed Indiana as one of his top choices and visited campus on August 1st – his first of five visits also including Xavier, Michigan State, UConn, and Illinois.

Other players that have listed Indiana as possible schools

Alex Barcello – 3-star point guard out of Corona Del Sol (Temple, Arizona)

Jordan Tucker – 4-star small forward out of Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, New York)

Justin Smith – 4-star power forward out of Adlai Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Illinois)

Indiana is looking short on recruits. They are a young team so there won’t be that many spots available, but if players like Thomas Bryant, James Blackmon Jr., and OG Anunoby all have great years, some may open up. To remain a competitive team, Indiana will need to secure at least a few of the recruits listed above, or they are due for another rebuilding year like the 2014-15 season. Putting even more pressure on the success of this season, not only to prove to recruits that Indiana is a great place to play, but also it may be their only chance for a championship in a few years.