Hoosier staff targets Minneapolis area

With strong Minneapolis connections on his new staff, it should be no surprise that Indiana coach Archie Miller has quickly focused on the fertile area for his first couple recruiting classes.

It hasn't taken long for the Minneapolis area has been an early focus on the recruiting front for the new Indiana staff.  It makes sense, lots of talent in the Twin Cities and just one major university in the state.

Better yet, associate head coach Tom Ostrom grew up in the area and went to college at Minnesota. Last fall as an assistant under Archie Miller at Dayton, he helped the Flyers land well regarded point guard McKinley Wright. He chose Dayton over offers from several Big Ten and Big 12 programs.

It's a couple of Wright's former summer teammates that have been targeted by the staff this month.

One of those is five-star 2019 forward Matthew Hurt. He's a versatile 6-foot-9 forward out of John Marshall High in the Twin-Cities suburb of Rochester, Minnesota.

Last night the Hoosier staff extended a scholarship to Hurt as our Minnesota site reporter Ryan James was quick to report.

Hurt played with Wright last year on the D1 Minnesota club team and he was in Dallas last weekend with his team.  Hurt did not compete due to a recent broken hand injury but was there to support D1 as it competed in the first stop of the adidas Gauntlet .

As the No. 10 overall player in the class, the competition will be fierce. Hurt has interest from Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, North Carolina, Louisville and around half of the Big Ten has already extended a scholarship offer. His older brother Michael is a 6-foot-7 freshman forward at Minnesota and saw action in 26 games this past season for Richard Pitino.

With Hurt out with his hand injury, D1 Minnesota focused on getting the ball inside to 6-foot-7, 220-pound Race Thompson of Robbinsdale Armstrong High in Plymouth, Minnesota. 

Thompson is a 2018 prospect and currently comes in at No. 67 overall in the Scout national rankings. He's significantly stronger than Hurt and the two complement each other well when on the court together. 

Over four games in Dallas, Thompson averaged 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds a game.

We caught up with him on Saturday. 

"The newest school is Indiana," Thoimpson said about his recruitment. "That's the only (new) one really. They reached out a little bit before the new coaching staff but they came and saw me at school the other day.  An assistant."

That was Ostrom, IU's associate head coach.

"He's a good guy. I like him. It was a quick talk so I didn't get to know him that well yet."

The new staff has some work to do.

"I don’t know a lot about (Indiana) yet," Thompson said. "I know they’ve got a good atmosphere and good fans. They always have a good program. That’s the main thing, really."

Thompson is blessed with  power forward type strength but his skill set is what many college coaches really like about his game.

“Being able to stretch the floor out," Thompson said. “Being able to take the ball up the court. They tell me I'm a good passer, I see the court really well, I think. That's the main thing, being versatile.

"I have a pretty good shot, can shoot from pretty much anywhere, 3-point line in. I think that's one of the biggest parts of my game, being able to stretch the floor out. Taking a bigger guy if he's not as quick as me. Or if he's quicker than me, I take him inside."

Thompson holds offers from Iowa State, Marquette, Minnesota , Nebraska, Creighton, Northwestern and others.

He hopes to cut things down to five or six schools in the late summer.

"I am still letting it all sink in," Thompson said. "I will probably make my decision after AAU sometime. Probably before football season."

Football is a big deal around the Thompson household. His father Darrell Thompson was a running back in the NFL after breaking the Gophers' career rushing record at Minnesota.  Race Thompson played football growing up but decided last year to concentrate on basketball.

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