BLOOMINGTON – Thon Maker, widely considered one of the best prospects in the current senior class and a longtime IU target, will try to enter this year’s NBA draft.
That’s according to several reports, including one from Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. Maker, a 7-foot forward with enough shooting touch to allow him to play inside and out, is still waiting on a final ruling from the NBA regarding his draft eligibility, according to Daniels.
Born in Sudan, Maker came from Australia to the United States for high school. Having most recently played for a school in Canada, he would seem to fulfill the NBA’s foreign entry requirements, which do not demand that a player spend one year in college before entering the league if they are not from the United States. Maker is also 19, which would further seem to bolster his case.
Nearly every major program in the country offered Maker during his recruitment. Indiana, Kansas, Duke, Kentucky and Louisville are all on that list, and the Hoosiers were at one time believed to be in pole position in his recruitment.
Maker visited IU on the final day of the regular season in 2015, sitting behind Indiana’s bench alongside – it turned out – future Hoosier Thomas Bryant.
While the Hoosiers had appeared to fade recently, it was never clear whether any school had a good shot at landing the versatile big man, with the possibility of direct entry into the draft never seemingly far away. Daniels’ report listed IU next to Arizona State, Kansas, Notre Dame and St. John’s, among Maker’s most serious suitors.
Indiana is currently full for the 2016-17 season, with its complement of 13 scholarships entirely spoken for. But coach Tom Crean’s staff is still actively recruiting, having offered junior college wing Freddie McSwain recently, as the Hoosiers brace themselves for potential draft-related attrition off of their own roster.
Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.