Indiana and Arizona State have plans in place for 5-star big man Thon Maker to spend 1 1/2 years on campus, his guardian, Ed Smith, told Adam Zagoria on Saturday. Maker plans to enroll in school this December, play the second half of next season, and then return to school for the 2016-17 season, Smith told Zagoria. Maker could remain in school longer than that, but that's the minimum amount of time he plans to stay on campus, according to the report.
“I deal mostly with [assistant coach] Chuck [Martin of Indiana] and Chuck says mid-year or next year [fall 2016] is all good and they have a plan in place for for [Maker],” Smith told SNY.tv. “So that’s his basic plan with that. If he came in mid-year, they would ease him into it, knowing that he has a year-and-a-half plan.
“We all know basketball. It’s hard to come in and miss the summer, miss the fall and come in mid-year. That’s ridiculous to try to come in and make a jump like that. If we go full year [beginning 2016-17], then he’s there for the whole year. There’s not a time clock on when he goes [to college] or when he doesn’t.”
There's no chance Maker will enroll in the fall, according to Zagoria's report, because he still has too much schoolwork to finish up.
“You gotta be eased in because you’re coming in and it’s not like you’re going to come in and play heavy, heavy, heavy minutes off the jump," Smith told Zagoria of enrolling mid-year. "You gotta ease a kid into that situation and it’s a progression.
“He can’t come in there thinking he’s the savior of the program. A year and a half later, now you’re ready. The disadvantage is how desperate the coach is at that time….You gotta bring a guy in slowly.”