4-star forward Jerome Hunter is IU’s 1st 2018 commit

Archie Miller has landed his second recruit in as many days.

Four-star Ohio forward Jerome Hunter announced his commitment to Indiana on Monday afternoon, giving the Hoosiers their first recruit in the 2018 class. Hunter’s verbal pledge comes mere hours after four-star Minnesota forward Race Thompson announced he was reclassifying from 2018 to 2017 in time to join IU’s team as a redshirt for the upcoming season.

A 6-foot-7 wing, Hunter is considered the No. 60 overall prospect in the class, the No. 15 small forward in the country and the No. 2 overall player in the state of Ohio, according to the 247 Sports Composite rankings.

“I truly appreciate all the schools that have recruited me, the relationships with coaching staffs and everyone who (has) supported me to this point,” Hunter wrote in a message posted to his Twitter account. “After long consideration and talks with my family I’ve decided to commit to Indiana University.”

Hunter picked up his IU offer while in Bloomington for Indiana’s high school team camp last month. Originally a recruiting target of Miller’s while the coach was leading Dayton, Hunter has been a priority for the Hoosiers this summer.

Two days after receiving his offer from Miller, Hunter shaved his list of finalists to IU, Michigan, Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Xavier. That overture from Miller and his staff, followed by the attention the Hoosiers paid during the ensuing three weeks, meant a lot to Hunter.

“When we went to their team camp, it was really the impression that they campus made, and just the feel that he got from them,” Pickerington North High School coach Jason Bates said. “Archie was at every one of our games when we came to the team camp. When Archie was at Dayton and (Hunter) got the offer, it was big to him at the time because it was one of his early offers. But when we all came to Indiana and saw the campus and saw the facilities and the school and saw Archie in that form and that capacity, then it just opened his eyes up a little bit. He felt like this is exactly what he’s looking for.”

As a high school junior, Hunter averaged 19.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game for Pickerington North, earning Associated Press All-Central second team honors in Ohio’s Division I.

As a versatile wing, Hunter should be able to play the two, three and four positions. He’s outstanding in transition, can shoot from deep and rebounds well.

“I think it’s a great fit for Jerome,” Bates said. “He’s a special player. He can play a multitude of ways and different styles. I know he’s excited about the fact that they get up and down the floor and play a fast-paced game. That’s what (Miller) is used to doing at Dayton. I know that, in particular, was appealing to Jerome.”

Entering his senior year, Hunter’s goal is to sharpen his versatility. To Bates, that means understanding which of his basketball tools Hunter should use in specific situations.

“We’ve always depended on him to score, but now it’s gonna be more about the whole entire game and attacking the game in all facets: rebounding, shooting, scoring and passing the ball,” Bates said. “He’s really improved with his passing and just seeing the floor. Playing the wing, he’ll be able to do that for us again this year.”

2 comments

  1. I think this kid has a chance to be pretty good. He is looks very comfortable in his body, seems like a natural wing scorer, looks long enough to be very versatile defensively, and even has a good handle and vision for his size. The stroke seems legit, but who knows, maybe he wasn’t a high percentage shooter, and we’re obviously just seeing the makes. I don’t always get worked up from highlight clips, but this guy seems like he could be even better than 60th, and have the type of game that immediately translates to the college level.

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