Reitz’s Lander commits to the Hoosiers

Indiana scored a big recruiting win Tuesday night, nabbing a verbal commitment from five-star point guard Khristian Lander.

And if the Evansville Reitz product has his way, that win could pay dividends sooner rather than later for the Hoosiers.

Lander, a junior, said it’s yet to be determined if he will remain in the 2021 class or reclassify, but his preference would be to graduate early and arrive in Bloomington as part of the 2020 class.

“It’s kind of up in the air right now. I have to talk to my counselors and stuff,” Lander said. “I would prefer to go for 2020.”

Either way, this is another massive victory for IU coach Archie Miller in the state of Indiana. The 6-foot-2 guard is ranked as the No. 11 recruit in the country by 247Sports in what’s considered a strong 2021 crop. He is the No. 1 point guard in the class.

His finalists included Michigan, Louisville, and Memphis. In fact, he grew up a fan of Michigan, idolizing Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Glenn Robinson III. But IU ended up coming out on top because Miller and his staff were the most consistent in the recruiting process.

IU has been recruiting Lander since his freshman year. 

“I just feel like they never acted different, no matter what type of recruits they could have gotten. They stayed consistent,” Lander said. “And the loyalty thing is real big for me.”

IU also had the advantage of additional recruiters in Lander’s ear. He has been AAU teammates with 2020 in-state commits Trey Galloway (Culver Academies) and Anthony Leal (Bloomington South) with Indiana Elite.

He visited IU with both Leal and Galloway during Hoosier Hysteria in October. While they were frequently talking to him about IU prior to the season, they had given Lander some distance over the last several months so he could make his own decision about the Hoosiers.

Lander eventually decided he wanted to stay home. He was in attendance for IU’s win over then-No. 9 Penn State on Sunday.

“It’s a basketball state,” Lander said. “I feel like the fanbase is ridiculous. They love basketball and all their players that have been there.”

If Lander indeed reclassifies, he adds another ball-handler to a class that could use one. Along with Leal and Galloway, guards who predominantly operate off the ball, IU currently has wing Jordan Geronimo in the 2020 class.

If he stays in the 2021 class, Lander gives the Hoosiers a strong start to that group.

“He is an athletic point guard who can score from all three levels on the court,” 247 national recruiting analyst Brian Snow said. “Because he’s so athletic and so good with the dribble, people tend to think he can’t shoot, but he actually can. He’s got good floor vision, good size, there’s a lot to like. I think he’s the complete package as a point guard.”

When asked to give his own assessment, Lander pretty much agreed.

“I feel like I bring everything to the table, offense, defense, I can be a leader,” Lander said. “The only thing I can’t do on the court is post up. Everything else, I can do it.”

IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman contributed to this report.

36 comments

  1. Looks like we’re going to go from no guards to all guards over the next 2 years.

    I love how Archie & his staff are protecting their borders. Fantastic news & 3 kids coming in that are already familiar with each other on & off the floor.

  2. #1 point guard in the class? Wow! Fabulous news.

    Only negative is that his name sounds too much like Christian Laettner….but I can live with that.

  3. He is crushing it. A top point guard is just the medicine the doctor ordered. I hope our front line stays intact. Please stay, Trayce. I know you said that’s your intention.
    This kid changes so many dynamics going forward.

  4. Gotta give this kid some major props, too. Instead of having a stadium full of people to sit and listen to an hour of nonsense, so he could put on the hat of his choice at the end, he just quietly made a post on social media. I think this will go a long way with our fans. This was an embodied “Indiana” move. Big first step in earning those candy stripes.

    1. Great point, DD. That such a highly recruited player did it this way is both surprising and, in my view, encouraging. Some people are just naturally more prone to showmanship than others, and there is of course nothing inherently wrong with that. But it can get overdone in my view, and I will choose to see Lander’s approach as an indication that he is more about substance than style. Doesn’t mean I am right, but I’ll go with that until proven wrong.

  5. Self Image. In earlier post I stated not enough very best players are not breaking the walls down to play at IU. Now, TJD and this one is what I was referring to. Not making a big show about himself, not waiting for along time because things happen at L’ville or other places, and then commit to IU as alternative. TJD and this one. One has already pridefully committed and playing for IU. Now, one has pridefully committed to IU.

  6. This is great news! IU fills its most pressing need, a dynamic point guard! Best prospect since Yogi, and this kid could be better! Perhaps, this is the impetus for a few more top players to land in Bloomington!

  7. From my standpoint I never expected less of Coach Miller. I’ve never faltered being less than 100% in support of his leadership for the IUBB program. Quality post players will read this as I do, “this IU PG can consistently get me the ball”. Recruiting at its best. As a program this could give the edge to the Hoosiers tomorrow night in WL.
    POTMFB!!!

  8. Podunker says:
    February 24, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    According to an article about a recent interview with Archie, he is still trying to sign a fourth player to the class of 2020. The talent pools he’s fishing in included Junior College Transfers, players who may de-committed from other schools due to coaching changes, Grad Transfers, players who may re-designate and graduate early, or International Players. He sounded confident that he will sign a fourth player for the 2020 class. If so, it should be interesting.

    My guess is that he’s trying to find another big. One way or the other, I hope the young man can make free throws.

    I guess he sounded confident for a reason! Just a measly #1 point guard…LOL.

    Back-to-back Indiana Mr. Basketball’s…and, now, landing this top (and unpretentious) point guard amongst another sizable lot of Indiana recruits in front of him? Yeah, I’m pretty sure this tells us just how alienated the state of Indiana had become to Bloomington because of the complete neglect of Archie’s predecessor.

    And it’s only been weeks ago that some of the “naysayers” who have always lived in the denial of how ‘Mr. Walk on Water” had alienated Indiana U. and the Indiana Hoosiers from Indiana basketball (I don’t know how you do that against something as storied as candy stripes even if you’re trying your damnedest to sabotage us) were suggesting Archie’s timeline for turning things around was nearly already up.

    And after nearly a decade of ‘Mr. Walk on Water,’ these people living in such unreasonable expectations of Archie (considering the obvious alienation of instate recruiting finally freed of its distaste for the desert highway of disconnect and aloofness our leadership allowed Archie’s predecessor to so carelessly allow our program to be taken) had the gall to say some people had a stubborn case “TCDS?” Well, thank GOD this lone ranger did! I must have the back of the kid’s who always made this program so damn special!
    Now, what I said for a decade has been proven. Nearly every talented high school kid form every corner of this state had a severe case of TCDS! Finally, the deficiency in quality coaching has left INDIANA! Rejoice, we have been freed. The shackles have been removed from kids from this state who wanted to wear ‘INDIANA’ but were walled away by the metaphoric representation of a disjointed NBA “syndrome” so far removed from what should always be the embodiment of the candy stripes.

    Welcome aboard, young Hoosier. Or should I say, “Welcome Back!”…? (rather than the empty contention that “We’re Back”).
    Welcome again, candy stripes. Welcome, the return of college basketball first and foremost on the name ‘Indiana’ upon our jersey. Welcome, to all things flowing back to Bloomington ALL should have recognized usurped from our storied McCracken for FAR TOO LONG. Welcome back, genuineness. Welcome back, teaching. Welcome back, Bob.
    How anyone could be brainwashed for so long to not realize what had been stolen from this hallowed destination for the game is beyond me. Syndrome? I think they must have had their Hoosier souls stolen to not see how we had roadblocked so many talented kids from our state. How could they not see how so many talented recruits from within our borders were painfully turning away from Indiana University because they couldn’t stomach watching our storied program get turned into a carnival of marketing and a circus upon itself?

    I rejoice in the change and the freedom again. I am ten years older after this horrific desert road we took our program as it alienated itself from what Indiana and college basketball has always meant to me. We have lost more ground than we’ll ever be able to measure or imagine….but we are free.
    Thank you, all new young Hoosiers signing on the dotted line (and kids like Race and Jerome, too!) who now return to teach so many of us, the fans, who willfully or unwittingly somehow could not see what had been so recklessly removed from our Hoosier heart. You have restored the beat…You are reviving the soul. Teach us what it means again to be a Hoosier. Thank you.

      1. It’s easier to be “free” when some very misguided and disingenuous narcissists admit just how conned they were.

        But I’ll put it under the category of advice….while I boomerang some TCDS back at the con artists.

        Also, I’m elated to see this young man “idolized” Glenn Robinson III…Glenn doesn’t likely attend Michigan without his good friend from Chesterton (vice versa as well, I suppose) …I guess you’ll have to put Lander in some sort of Harvard bowling league. lol.

        Can’t help but wonder what his decision would have been if Beilein had not left Michigan. Thankfully, we now have a teacher and a coach who seeks out many of the same traits and qualities in a recruit Beilein found in kids who would rebuild Michigan from the ground up.
        And Beilein will be the first to tell you, such traits go well beyond being an overrated pick on draft night.

  9. I predict Damezi will leave this spring. Playing time way down the last several games unless there are injury issues I am not aware of.

  10. Wow! This is great news! I was saying that Archie “must” make the NCAA Tourney this season to secure his job. But I did say that if he could get Lander and/or Frust before May, then that would do as well. However, I thought that the timing would not work out. This announcement fully satisfies that condition! Now Archie can win 2, or more games out of 4, and build the 2021 class! Great work coach!

  11. I’d hate to see one of Archie’s early Indiana kids exit. His coming to Indiana was still a symbolic statement of how Archie was rebuilding relationships with every corner of our borders….and that there was a sincerity in such wide and varied efforts beyond faith doctrines or personal ideologies.

    I’d do everything possible to keep Damezi…but FIX his release point on his jumper. He’s way too low at his release point. He needs to bring the ball up higher …and line up his target from a natural point in his line of sight.
    It’s not too late. If Stan Robinson can change hands, Damezi can make some adjustments during the late spring and summer. Don’t be stubborn like Lonzo Ball. “What works for you”…could work better.

  12. I’m in full admission of being super bummed out in the middle of the season.

    From the date of hire throughout, I’ve really loved how Archie has conducted himself. AZ has been nails in cutting right to what I liked about Archie: those people who don’t make excuses and hold themselves accountable, will be successful. I’ve seen this time and again in every aspect of life, from business, to sports, to building projects, etc. BUT, I was completely confused as to why it was looking like we were seeing the same crappy results. It was super disconcerting and there were more issues than just “blaming Crean players.” The Bob Knight/Purdue game was a major low point. It wasn’t just the loss, it was that no one brought any energy. No one besides Archie looked like they wanted to win that game. Then they went up to Michigan and acted like they were just there to provide a light workout for the Wolverines.

    Well, I’m absolutely jazzed with the turnaround. Archie challenged his players publicly and they responded. Mostly the young guys. But also, DD. He’s stepped up.

    Recent results on the court and off the court have restored my faith in what I should have had more faith in throughout, but my scar tissue runs deep. I wasn’t in school and a Hoosier fan before arriving on campus in ’95. Besides our magical, anomalous run in ’02, it’s been nothing but false hopes, talk and failure. I don’t live in Indiana, so I live amongst fans/alum of other schools who are having success. I’ve been reduced to bracket watching in March for almost 25 years.

    Archie knows what he’s doing and I’m just a knucklehead on the internet who is tired of losing and missing the tournament. I’m thrilled about next year’s team. However, I still want to see this team make something of this year. We potentially have a lot of basketball left to play. I see how this team is positioned to play better basketball and, not just make the tournament, but actually be a team that no one wants to face in a single elimination situation. We’ll see if that holds. I’m TRYING to have faith!

    1. Don’t be surprised to see some more “lulls” before the “highs.” You are dealing with teenage minds …and no coach can work miracles with disjointed rosters and egos of teenagers nowhere to place their frustrations.
      This is a new “big man on campus” recruit we just landed. I love the news…but I also realize how the news could get into the heads of some on our team who may have just recently gotten over broken egos and feelings of alienation.

      So much of the game is mental…I’m probably ridiculous (Duh!), but I thought something happened in the players’ press conference after Iowa that brought this team closer. I think some “alienation” was put to rest because teammates had the back of a “holdover” being unfairly singled out via some really dumb reporter attempting to make the inconsistencies of one recruit a target for our problems (something we’ve all said as cowards in these boxes but would never do in a more public forum to a kid’s face).

      But kids will be kids..We have this good news..and, already, someone is saying Damezi is likely gone. Our current guards just saw their future playing time altered. Emotions for us are high…Some of their emotions may be more unpredictable.
      I honestly would have like this news of this top point guard to come after the season had concluded. At minimum, I would have liked the news after the Pur-dung game. While the great news has little impact on Green, Phinisee and Durham have just seen their basketball worlds and roles quickly change…especially if Lander is allowed to reclassify.

  13. As good as this news is for IU men’s basketball recruiting a couple players a high level forward and center (high 4star+ Per espn) (before everyone criticizes espn rating system…I have always used it for consistency for myself. Others use other rating systems). Very high level recruiting has to progress and maintain that level because 1 player is not the whole answer. Plus the reason for a couple more high level players (forward/s and center or 2 forwards 6’8”+) is because if TJD stays for 20200-21 (I think he will) but 2021-22 more big guys needed. Maybe, this can help trigger higher level recruiting at other positions on team to go with what is already on team.
    If D.A. transfers it would probably be better for him unless he is satisfied (along with everyone else involved) with being a participant on team that may play once in awhile or hardly ever plays. To me Indiana State Sycamores might work much better.

  14. I suppose like other major programs…It is totally different watching the very top players with the state seal in their hearts in this case from Indiana, a rich basketball tradition state on high school level vs. a whole team of players with other state seals in their hearts though they are always just as welcome as well.

  15. But to keep the flow coming IU needs to make some NCAA noise. Soon. Final Four in Indy 2021 & 2026 Probability low for 2021 but the timing would be ….Wow. One of the high school sectional sites in Indy expected to be sold out before the games start. Brings back memories of the early / mid 60’s and high school basketball with all the local businesses involved.

  16. I’d be interested to hear how ‘The Rock’ breaks all this down. Where are you, Rock?

    Are you at a voodoo conference? JUST KIDDING!

  17. I did read on Twitter that Calbert was one of his all time heroes and would like to have the same impact that Calbert did when he was at IU. I have talked to some Evansville friends who have seen Lander play and they mentioned that his shot is just as smooth as Calbert’s but he is a better passer and handler of the ball.

  18. This is great news and a major accomplishment for Archie’s program. It may be the biggest accomplishment for a program that has not had enough of them since Archie arrived in Bloomington. This will put to rest all talk about Archie getting fired after this season, or even next season, and rightfully so. And I believe this will go a long way in helping Archie recruit another quality big man. But I just wish we were able to determine at this time which recruiting class this young man will be a part of. Not sure if it is better for IU if Lander re-classifies for 2020 or if he remains a part of the 2021 recruiting class? It might be better in the long run if he remained a part of the 2021 class, especially if Archie has a good chance of spending his fourth 2020 scholarship on a quality big man. But either way, this is excellent and exciting news and I can’t wait till the ink is dry on Lander’s LOI.

  19. You understand spin cycles more than the Maytag washing machine repair guy.
    Guess it took you a bit to get through “agitation” seeing how this story broke almost 24 hours ago.

    Can’t wait for your next load of laundry….Archie is in his 3rd year! Learn to shoot free throws, you bunch of brick masons! This must be the worst shooting team in the history of the world! This team is just painful to watch! Bunnies! Where are the bunnies?!…and why are they jumping out of the rims!? Injuries? What injuries? Tommy had injuries!

  20. Lander may turn out to be the most valuable recruit Archie has signed since becoming a head coach. IMO, he’s more valuable to Archie that either Romeo Langford or TJD. I’m not saying he’ll be a better player than those two excellent talents, but perhaps more valuable overall.

    This news give Hoosier fans everywhere a chance to look forward to something. Now if we can beat Purdue, this season could get really interesting.

  21. What really makes this a game-changer? Just think how much a coach hitting a recruiting home run changes the command of his roster/team? Power shifts from players back to coach. Now the thoroughbreds thinking they had no horse breathing up their backside get a rude awakening.
    Think it’s a good time to play lackadaisical now? Now you listen to the boss. Boss just proved some very talented employees still want to work for Hoosier Industrial. That index finger touching thumb while three other fingers show the sign of one made “triple” no longer seems like you da man. There’s another “man” comin’…..and maybe one after that…and then another. Better get galloping a bit harder, thoroughbred. Track getting more crowded.
    Enter unselfish basketball….

  22. Still here, Harv, thanks for thinking about me!

    I enjoy ALL the posts very much, and am looking forward to the Purdue game tomorrow.

    1. Welcome back on the bandwagon ROCK! We’ve all missed you. Thought you still might be busy on the Nittany Kitties or Flighting Illini fanwagons.

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