Recruiting: Keeping tabs on in-state players, programs in busy July period

Recruiting: Keeping tabs on in-state players, programs in busy July period

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Recruiting: Keeping tabs on in-state players, programs in busy July period

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New Albany's Romeo Langford (right) is rated the No. 2 player in the country.

New Albany’s Romeo Langford (right) is rated the No. 2 player in the country.

We’re a few days into the month, but college basketball’s July calendar begins on Wednesday.

There are three live five-day periods in the next three weeks for men’s college coaches to watch high school basketball prospects – July 6-10, July 13-17 and July 20-24. The Adidas Invitational begins on Wednesday evening at Warren Central, Carmel and North Central, as well as at Best Choice Fieldhouse, Noblesville Boys & Girls Club Noblesville West Middle School and Northview Middle School.

Here are a few headlines and storylines to watch for in July, in addition to updates on some of the top in-state recruiting targets locally:


Where can you see them?

The Adidas Invitational isn’t quite as stacked as it was three or four years ago. The Adidas Gauntlet finale, played Wednesday through Saturday in Spartanburg, S.C., will host most of the top Adidas teams during the first live period. That includes the EG10 U17 team, which is led by New Albany junior-to-be Romeo Langford (the nation’s No. 2 player in the 2018 class by Scout.com). The 6-4 Langford, playing up a year, was second in scoring (23.6 ppg, 8.9 rebounds) on the Adidas circuit in the spring.

Langford’s EG10 team also features Crown Point’s Sasha Stefanovic, Northeastern’s Tyler Smith, Ben Davis’ Josh Brewer and Terre Haute South’s Jaylen Minnett – all in the 2017 class. Stefanovic in particular has started to pick up high-major interest, including offers from Xavier, DePaul and TCU in April. Smith has IPFW and Ball State offers and could generate more interest with a strong July. The EG10 team will also play the 3 Stripes Gateway in St. Louis from July 15-17 and at the Adidas Summer Finals in Las Vegas from July 19-24.

The state will also be represented at the Adidas Gauntlet this week with Indiana Elite and Indiana Elite Central playing in the 17U bracket. Indiana Elite is led by Mt. Vernon’s Michael Ertel, Pendleton Heights’ Mark Albers and East Chicago Central’s Jermaine Couisnard.

The Adidas Invite will have some of the top in-state 17U teams in the George Hill Rising Stars, Pocket City Basketball, Indy Hoosiers and more. The tournament runs through Sunday.

Nike’s end-of-season EYBL Peach Jam will also begin on Wednesday in North Augusta, S.C. The Indiana-based Spiece Indy Heat are in the field.


Latest on the big names

North Central's Kris Wilkes is among the top players in the nation.

North Central’s Kris Wilkes is among the top players in the nation.

The 2017 in-state class is loaded with talent and the vast majority remain uncommitted. Here’s a look at where some of the top names stand in recruiting as July begins:

• Kris Wilkes: The 6-8 North Central standout has a busy July set. He’ll participate in the Under Armour All-America Camp in Charlotte, N.C., through Friday. On Monday, Wilkes will travel to Houston as a finalist for the USA U18 national team. Wilkes is one of 18 players vying for a spot on the 12-player roster. If he makes the team, he’ll travel to Chile for the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship from July 19-23.

Wilkes has one official visit set, to UCLA. He plans to make that visit the weekend of Aug. 5-7. Wilkes would also like to make an official visit to Maryland, but hasn’t set a date. Wilkes is ranked No. 17 nationally by Rivals.com in 2017. He’ll cut down his list after July.

Junior Paul Scruggs (20), of Southport, takes a shot during the Indiana boys junior All-Stars versus senior All-Stars, at Bloomington South High School.

Junior Paul Scruggs (20), of Southport, takes a shot during the Indiana boys junior All-Stars versus senior All-Stars, at Bloomington South High School.

• Paul Scruggs: The 6-3 Southport star is also attending the Under Armour All-American Camp this week in Charlotte. He’ll join his Indy Hoosiers teammates later in the week at the Adidas Invitational. Scruggs will likely have an August full of visits. He recently narrowed his list to Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Ohio State and Xavier, but picked up an offer from Washington last week.

• Jaren Jackson Jr.: The 6-10 Park Tudor standout has been busy, helping the USA U17 team to a gold medal at the FIBA U17 World Championship in Spain. Jackson averaged 4.3 points and 5.2 rebounds for the USA team. Scout.com national analyst Evan Daniels reported that Purdue coach Matt Painter tracked Jackson throughout the tournament in Spain, reinforcing the thought that Jackson Jr. is a major target for the Boilermakers. Michigan State, Maryland and others will factor in as well. Jackson Jr. plays with the Spiece Indy Heat, which will play in the Peach Jam, the Brawl for the Ball in Grand Rapids, Mich. from July 14-17 and the GRBA Nationals in Fort Wayne from July 21-24.

• Malik Williams: The 6-11 forward from Fort Wayne Snider has several Big Ten programs knocking down his door. The first high-major program to offer Williams was Indiana, and the Hoosiers remain in the mix, along with Purdue, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Michigan State, UCLA, Xavier and several others. Williams, who plays for Legit Basketball, will likely trim his list after July. He visited Louisville in June. Legit Basketball plays in Philadelphia this week, followed by the Under Armour finals in Atlanta from July 13-16 and the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando, Fla., from July 20-24.

• Jack Nunge: The 6-9 Nunge isn’t as highly regarded by national analysts as the four above but is picking up high-major interest. He took unofficial visits to Stanford, Vanderbilt and Virginia in June and has plans to visit Iowa and Nebraska. Notre Dame has shown interest. Nunge remains wide open in the process but has a solid list of offers, including Iowa and Vanderbilt. Nunge plays with Pocket City Basketball, which will play in the Adidas Invitational, the Under Armour Finals in Atlanta (July 13-16) and the Sunflower Showcase in Kansas City (July 21-24).


In-state programs

There is always a flurry of commitments in August, following the July live period. The 2017 in-state class could be big for in-state programs. Here’s a look at where some of the local programs stand in 2017:

Butler – Has one commitment in the class, from Cloverdale guard Cooper Neese. Butler has offered Wilkes and Jackson Jr., but face stiff competition for those commitments.

Indiana – Scruggs, Wilkes, Jackson Jr., Williams and Hamilton Southeastern’s Zach Gunn are all in the mix for the Hoosiers. Indiana currently has one commit in the 2017 class, from Georgia guard Al Durham.

Purdue – The Boilermakers are after Jackson Jr. and Williams, in particular. Purdue currently doesn’t have any commitments in the class but has a number of offers out. Also, hometown guard Robert Phinisee of McCutcheon is a major target for 2018.

Indiana State – The Sycamores have offered Logansport’s Jalen Adaway and recently had him on campus. Jaylen Butz of Fort Wayne North Side is also a target.

Ball State – The Cardinals have made some headway with in-state players in recent years (Sean Sellers, Jeremie Tyler, Tayler Persons, Tahjai Teague, Kyle Mallers) and are attempting to make more in upcoming classes. Park Tudor’s Kobe Webster, Columbia City’s Parker Hazen, Lawrence North’s Ra Kpedi, Cathedral’s Tra Landers, and Northeastern’s Tyler Smith are among the offers for 2017.

Call IndyStar reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.

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