Four-star class of 2018 guard Eric Ayala received a scholarship today from Indiana coach Archie Miller.
The 6-foot-4 combo guard from Putnam (Conn.) Science Academy and the WER1 AAU program is ranked No. 62 nationally in the class of 2018 by scout.com.
Ayala knows Miller, IU assistant Bruiser Flint and IU basketball because IU’s previous coaching staff had been recruiting him.
“I’ve had a relationship for about two years with coach Archie Miller when he was at Dayton. As my recruitment started to change, other schools came in, but once he got the head coaching job at Indiana, they were in contact from day one,” Ayala told peegs.com.
“Bruiser Flint was the head coach at Drexel. He’s watched me a lot. He hit me up, then I got on the phone with coach Miller. He’s been watching me a long time.
“Coach Miller knows my coaching staff here at my school really well. I have a great relationship with coach Miller.”
That relationship leads to a lot of familiarity, and Ayala also knows IU from IU’s previous recruitment of him.
“The style he coaches and the style of play he coaches really fits my game. He sees the same things I see,” Ayala said.
“Indiana, the legacy coach Tom Crean built, they were recruiting me before he left. I know a lot about the program, their postseason success, the players that have come out of there, the Victor Oladipos and the guys they’ve been in the pros.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how the new coaches do and where the program goes.
Ayala will be in Indianapolis this weekend for the Under Armour event at Best Choice Fieldhouse in Fishers. If he can, he’s going to make an unofficial visit to IU after that event ends.
“I play in Indiana this weekend, so I’m going to try to get to IU. I haven’t scheduled anything yet, but if it’s possible, I’m going to try to stay out there for a day to visit,” he said.
“I can’t visit during the live period, so it would have to be a day after our tournament.”
WER1 is a really talented team that went 4-0 during this past weekend’s event in New York. Flint watched Ayala there.
As far as what’s important to him in a college program, Ayala said: “Somewhere I can come in and make an immediate impact, somewhere my game fits, and the style of play is important.
“My relationship with the head coach and the rest of the coaches is important. Distance doesn’t matter to me, how far a school is. I want to be able to come in, play my game and make an immediate impact.”
Ayala has a versatile game as a guard.
“I feel like I’m an all-around player. I can adapt to my environment. This weekend with my WER1 team, we have two lethal scorers, so I’m at the point guard spot. I’m known for scoring, I can score the ball, but I feel I can adapt to any situation,” he said.
“When I’m playing with other good players, I can get them the ball and just be a leader, directing my team. I can rebound. I can shoot. I can catch. I play defense. Whatever I need to do to win, I’m doing.”
Ayala is a highly recruited player with a number of schools showing a lot of interest.
In addition to Indiana, he said Miami, Syracuse, Oregon, Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina and California are very much involved.
“A lot of schools are in the mix right now,” he said.