Indiana basketball recruiting: Key July storylines

In this story, we take a look at the key recruiting stories to follow for Indiana as the first of the three crucial July recruiting periods begins tonight.

The first of the three crucial July recruiting periods begins tonight.

College basketball coaches are allowed to watch high school prospects in person from 5 p.m. Wednesday through 5 p.m. Sunday each of the three upcoming weeks. and will be on the road bringing you first-person reports from a number of major events.

In this story, we take a look at the key recruiting stories to follow for Indiana, focusing on the 2017 prospects.

1. The battle for the in-state players in 2017

The three major in-state 2017 prospects IU is in good position with are Indianapolis Southport guard Paul Scruggs, Fort Wayne Snider forward Malik Williams and North Central forward Kris Wilkes — all national top-40 players in the class.

IU is expected to make a strong push with all three, but it’ll be interesting to see what schools also make those three a focus.

Certainly Xavier has made an all-out effort with Scruggs, and Michigan State, Louisville and Iowa are serious with Williams.

Wilkes has added national attention, with Kentucky, UCLA, Maryland, Washington and others also involved.

Indianapolis Park Tudor forward Jaren Jackson Jr. also is a five-star prospect in 2017, but his recruitment basically was re-set after he played incredibly well in the spring with Texas, Kansas and others jumping in to join Indiana, Michigan State, Maryland, Georgetown and many others.

2. The point guard options

Does Indiana land a point guard in 2017?

The Hoosiers are going after several major prospects, including No. 41 Tremont Waters, No. 44-ranked Matt Coleman and four-star David Beatty.

Obviously, Scruggs is a part of this conversation as well, even though he’s more of a combo guard who wants to become a lead guard in college.

Jose Alvarado of the New York Rens is also point guard IU has watched. Alvarado plays high school for New York Christ the King, a program IU has been watching for a couple years.

3. The five-star centers

Indiana has been very active recruiting a pair of five-star centers from the 2017 class in Mohamed Bamba of the PSA Cardinals and Nick Richards of Expressions Elite.

Plenty of big-name programs are involved with each along with Indiana, including Duke, Kentucky, Connecticut, Kansas and others.

Richards in June announced that Kentucky, Arizona, Indiana, Syracuse and UConn are the five schools recruiting him the hardest.

4. The shooters/small forwards

Indiana has options on the wing in the 2017 class, counting both shooting guards who are big enough to be versatile and small forwards who shoot it well enough to be versatile.

No. 9-ranked Hamidou Diallo, No. 17 Wilkes, No. 59 Jordan Tucker, No. 79 Justin Smith and No. 50 Savion Flagg are among the major options.

IU also has gotten an unofficial visit from Andrew Platek, a 6-foot-4 3-point specialist, who also has visited North Carolina.

5. Other front court additions

IU has other front court options it is pursuing. The one who jumped out the most in the spring and June is 6-foot-9 Luka Garza, who has power forward and center components to his game. He told that IU is one of the schools he plans to visit in the fall.

IU also has been watching 6-foot-10 Deng Gak, another member of the powerhouse PSA Cardinals program. Six-foot-10 Matur Maker could be a wildcard here.

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