IU coaches get reacquainted with 4-star forward Jerome Hunter

UPDATE: After getting an IU offer this weekend, Hunter has cut his list to Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Xavier, according to Rivals.com.

The first time Archie Miller offered Jerome Hunter a scholarship was at a Dayton team camp last June.

At this past weekend’s Indiana team camp — almost a year later to the day — Miller offered Hunter another scholarship. This time, Miller did so as the head coach of the Hoosiers.

Miller’s interest in the four-star Ohio forward has carried over with his new job in Bloomington, and for good reason.

IU is the latest Big Ten school to offer Hunter, a highly regarded prospect in the 2018 recruiting class who is generating interest across the conference footprint and beyond.

“It’s starting to be that time when you’ve got to start looking to narrow down the list,” said Jason Bates, who coaches Hunter at Pickerington North High School. “It’s really not a late offer from Indiana because it was the same coaching staff (that recruited Hunter at Dayton), but he wasn’t familiar with Indiana and what they had to offer. I think it’s great timing for Indiana to still be in hunt.”

Count IU among Michigan, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, Penn State and Rutgers as Big Ten schools that have extended a scholarship offer to Hunter. The versatile 6-foot-7 wing also has offers from North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Xavier, among others.

At IU’s team camp, which hosted select high school programs from across the state — including Bloomington North and South — and the region, Miller and his staff kept a close watch on Hunter.

Hunter impressed in transition and while initiating action off the wing. He also demonstrated a nice jumper from around the arc. Between plays, he was quick to give direction to teammates.

“He’s a coach’s dream,” Bates said. “His style, he likes to get up and down. He’s an excellent rebounder, and the great thing about him is he still posts up. The thing about him is he’s got so many tools that he’s got to decide what tool to use at what time.”

According to Scout.com, Hunter is considered the No. 61 overall player in the 2018 class, the No. 14 forward in the nation and the No. 3 forward in the state of Ohio.

Indiana’s offer follows a recent overture from Ohio State, where new coach Chris Holtmann is also making the in-state forward a priority target for next year’s class. Hunter was among the first wave of new offers from Holtmann, who also recruited Hunter while at Butler.

Similarly, Miller’s interest in Hunter didn’t stop with his former job. Bates said Miller has remained in contact with Hunter since taking the IU job in late March. Miller extended the scholarship offer to Hunter on Saturday.

“That’s partly why we wanted to come (to team camp), so he could see the campus and get reconnected with the coaching staff,” Bates said. “He loved it. (Miller) has been consistent.”

As a junior last season, Hunter averaged 19.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, earning Associated Press All-Central second team honors in Ohio’s Division I. Entering his senior year, Hunter’s main challenge will be to improve his ball handling.

In the meantime, Hunter already has plenty of skills that have the Big Ten on notice.

“He loves to get up and down, and he’s a great defender,” Bates said. “He attacks off the dribble very well and knocks down his free throws. He’s really, really developed well in the last year. He’s just really exploded.”