Past ties continue to help Indiana's new staff hit the ground running with four-star prospects. The next guy that fits that category that we caught up to in Texas this past weekend was 6-foot-7, 200-pound Jerome Hunter of Pickerington (Ohio) North near Columbus.
"I went to a team camp there and he offered me when he was at Dayton," Hunter said. "Now that he has the new job at Indiana, he has started talking to me and said he'll start talking to me more. I was in Italy for a minute and he just told me when I get back we're going to talk more."
In Italy he was playing on a tour that we discussed in our feature yesterday on Robby Carmody, another 2018 target of the Indiana staff. Those two along with Dwayne Cohill of Cleveland were the headline players for Team Ohio in that tour held earlier this month.
When we caught Hunter on Saturday morning he attracted Miller along with the head coaches of Purdue, West Virginia, Xavier, Pittsburgh and assistants from Michigan, Maryland, Michigan State, Butler, Wake Forest, Nebraska and many other high major programs. Indiana assistant Ed Schilling was also at the game.
Hunter was in Texas with his Ohio Nova club team playing in the Silver Division of the adidas Gauntlet circuit. Ohio Nova won three straight before falling in Sunday's tournament action.
Currently ranked as the No. 81 overall player in the Class of 2018, Hunter said so many schools are recruiting him right now he didn't want to list them out of fear of forgetting a few.
His offer list was a long one that before the adidas Gauntlet event included West Virginia, Pitt, Michigan, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Penn State, Ohio State and the already mentioned Dayton offer. The new NC State staff watched him in Fort Worth and extended an offer before the weekend was over.
What stood out in watching Hunter in Texas on Saturday was his outstanding reach helped by his length and a pair of broad shoulders. Those physical attributes definitely had him playing taller than his listed 6-foot-7.
"I can play inside or out," Hunter said. "Put me on the wing, put me on the block, it doesn't really matter."
Despite a concentration of Big Ten and other nearby schools on his offer list, he's not tied to staying close to home.
"I'm open to going anywhere. It doesn't matter where I go," Hunter said.
But location has built some familiarity, at least for the new Indiana staff.
"I didn't watch many of their games but he (Archie Miller) seems like a real good coach," Hunter said. "I've heard a lot of really good things about him."
This year at Pickerington North he led the team to 21 wins before falling to rival Pickerington Central in the state regional title game. Here are highlights of that local showdown: