Recruiting notebook: Brooks has connection to IU

WESTFIELD — Keion Brooks has known new Indiana assistant Ed Schilling since he was in the third grade.

The Hoosiers now hope that longstanding connection pays off in the recruiting realm.

IU is among the Big Ten schools that have made Brooks, the top-ranked in-state recruit for 2019, a priority target this spring. Given the Schilling connection, the Hoosiers may have a good chance.

While the head coach at Wright State, Schilling coached Brooks’ father, Keion Sr., for his junior and senior seasons. Brooks says Schilling and his father share a “very strong” relationship, and with Schilling now a member of Archie Miller’s staff in Bloomington, he’s also connecting on a deeper level with his father’s college coach.

“My dad played for him so I (know) first-hand how he does things and how he likes to work,” Brooks said. “I’m not hearing it from an outside source. I’m actually hearing it from someone who played under him and did something with him. That was probably the most intriguing thing about Schilling.”

According to the 247 Sports Composite for the 2019 recruiting class, the Fort Wayne native is the top player in Indiana, the No. 7 small forward and the No. 17 player in the country.

Both Schilling and Miller took turns watching Brooks play Saturday morning for Spiece Indy Heat.

Two weeks ago, Miller extended a scholarship to the 6-foot-8 North Side standout.

“What really stood out was Archie Miller came and he told me the direction Indiana is going to take with the new coaching staff,” Brooks said. “He broke down the offense he’s gonna play, the defense he’s gonna play, so that really stood out that he took the time to really show me the direction and the transition they’re going to take.”

In their meeting earlier this month, Miller also told Brooks he wants to see him become a versatile ball handler, show off his skills as a slasher and continue to work on his shot.

Those points of emphasis from Miller are similar to the improvements Brooks wants to see from himself.

“I want to get better on the wing, being a wing ball handler and wing defender,” Brooks said. “I just want to get in the weight room and get stronger.”

IU continues to pursue Garland, Wiseman

Archie Miller and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski were among the coaches watching 2018 point guard Darius Garland on Saturday morning in Westfield.

Garland appreciated the attention.

“It just makes me want to play more harder,” Garland said. “There’s a lot of talent on the floor. I’m considered one of the best of the best and I just try to live up to that.”

The five-star Tennessee native is considered the No. 7 player in next year’s recruiting class, the top point guard and the No. 1 player in his home state. Former IU coach Tom Crean originally offered Garland a scholarship when he visited Bloomington for IU’s 2016 Senior Day win over Maryland.

Garland said IU, Duke, Kansas, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt are among the teams pursuing him the hardest. When he spoke to Miller earlier this month, Garland said the IU coach told him he wants to make him the on-court leader of Indiana’s team.

When he does make a final decision, Garland said he’ll be weighing a few key factors.

“I want to get my degree, so that’s a big thing for me,” Garland said. “Just how much I would play as a freshman (is also important). I want to have the ball as a freshman, just play my game, be a leader and I want to help the team where I choose to go get wins.”

James Wiseman, Garland’s AAU teammate on Bradley Beal Elite, is also garnering heavy attention from the Hoosiers, among others. The 6-foot-10, five-star power forward picked up an offer from the Hoosiers earlier this week.

“I talked to (Miller) about a week ago and he said he wanted me to come up there and visit,” the 2019 target said.

Bryant, Anunoby invited to combine

Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby received invitations to next month’s NBA Draft Combine May 9 to 14 in Chicago.

Bryant will participate in drills, but Anunoby (knee injury) will not, according to ESPN.

In Draft Express’ latest mock draft, Anunoby is projected to go No. 13 overall to Denver. Bryant is projected as a second-round pick.