SOUTH BEND – Damezi Anderson’s recruitment ended when he finally got an offer from his dream school.
Last July, Anderson, the No. 3 ranked player in the state, was one of three recruits to commit to Indiana during a 24-hour period that marked Archie Miller’s most impressive recruiting run so far in his first year in Bloomington.
The recruiting process was stressful for Anderson at first, but moved quickly once Miller entered the picture. He long-admired the Hoosiers and his fandom increased while Victor Oladipo played there. But Tom Crean and his staff never came by Riley High School to talk to the four-star, 6-6, 175-pound swingman.
Then last June, Anderson visited Bloomington and listened intently to Miller and his staff pitch him on why he was a good fit for their 2018 class. Anderson was impressed by IU’s state-of-the-art facilities and loved the conversations he had with Miller and assistant coach Bruiser Flint — he contrasted their exciting personalities to coaches from other schools who appeared “bored” talking to him.
Anderson didn’t commit right then. But a few weeks later, he felt better about making his decision when he saw Miller watching him play at the Nike Peach Jam AAU tournament in South Carolina. Anderson committed to the Hoosiers soon thereafter on July 17. He also held offers from UConn, DePaul, Michigan and Purdue
“He’s a good coach who is going to push me to where I want to be,” Anderson said. “And also being an Indiana kid, it’s automatic support.”
Staying in-state was important to Anderson, who has grown up on the south side of South Bend all his life. His first offer came from Matt Painter and the Boilermakers, but Anderson said he connected more with the atmosphere in Bloomington.