Indiana Basketball: Hoosiers losing ground on in-state 2021 target?

The Indiana basketball program is locked in on the in-state talent in 2021, but may be losing ground on one of the top recruits in Indiana.

The 2020 recruiting class for Indiana basketball still has room for at least one more player to join, and while the Hoosiers may not be done in 2020, the 2021 in-state class is one of the better in recent years.

Archie Miller has put a major emphasis on Indiana recruits since taking over ahead of the 2016 season, and since then, he has landed some of the top talent in the state. Romeo Langford, Trayce Jackson-Davis come to mind right away but guys such as Damezi Anderson, Armaan Franklin, and Rob Phinisee have rounded out some of the best in-state recruiting since the Bob Knight era.

Now, for 2021, the in-state class has seven recruits ranked in the top-100 and 14 total players ranked in the top-200. Out of those top seven players, Indiana is seriously involved with five, including the No. 28 overall prospect in the country in the 247Sports rankings, Trey Kaufman.

Kaufman is a versatile forward who can play inside and out, shooting 40 percent from three during his sophomore season last year, and also has plus ball handling skills for his position. At 6-foot-8, he can play and guard a couple of positions, something Archie Miller loves to utilize in his lineups.

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Indiana, however, could be losing ground on the four-star prospect. According to Rivals analyst Corey Evans, Kaufman’s recruitment could be down to just two teams.

“I’m told this could be turning into a two-team battle in his recruitment. Purdue’s staff has done a terrific job recruiting the 6-foot-9 big man. The Boilermakers are in deep and could even be considered the leader at this point. The other school I’ve heard has worked itself deep into the mix here is Xavier. The Musketeers have long had a presence in Indiana because of Travis Steele’s ties in the state and Kaufman could be his next big pull.”

After officially visiting Indiana in September, Kaufman’s relationship with Purdue and Xavier has seemed to develop at a more rapid pace than with the Hoosiers. While it may be down to two teams, Kentucky is one program that could lure him away if his recruitment continues to draw on. Assistants for Kentucky have visited Kaufman on two separate occasions in the last two months, in addition to an unofficial visit to Lexington for Big Blue Madness in October.

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