Trendon Watford listening to brotherly advice

WESTFIELD — The recruiting process can be daunting, exhausting and full of unknowns.

Luckily for Trendon Watford, he has a trusted advisor.

It’s his older brother, Christian, the former Hoosier forward who spent 2009 through 2013 in Bloomington. When Watford has questions, or simply needs advice, he turns to the man who knows best.

For Watford, it’s a unique and cherished recruiting advantage.

“He’s played at all three levels,” Trendon said of his big brother. “It’s always great to get bits and pieces from his mind and his knowledge. He’s been through every recruiting process, every meeting, every game.”

The recruiting arena has kept Trendon Watford busy in recent years, as he’s ascended the rankings as one of the top players in the class of 2019. The 6-foot-8 small forward is considered the nation’s No. 11 prospect, the third-ranked player at his position and the top senior in his home state of Alabama.

Watford is fielding interest from schools across the country, including Indiana, Alabama, Florida State, Kansas, Texas Christian and Louisiana State, among many others.

IU coach Archie Miller has made him a priority in IU’s 2019 recruiting efforts, and last month the Hoosier staff paid Watford and his family the second of two visits in Alabama.

“They didn’t have to tell me too much about the campus, with me being up there so much with Christian,” Watford said. “They just showed me film of guys and how I’d fit in their system.”

Watford is backing up the recruiting acclaim with a strong start to the AAU season.

Last weekend at the Nike EYBL session at Westfield’s Grand Park, Watford posted two double-doubles and averaged 23.3 points per game on the way to picking up D1circuit.com second team honors for the weekend. Watford and Georgia Stars teammate Kira Lewis, a 6-foot-3 point guard who recently landed an IU offer, combined to average 55.8 points per game in Westfield — the most of any duo at the session, per D1circuit.com.

“My motor has gotten better,” Watford said. “I’m just trying to come out here and prove I’m the best player in the country.”

So far, Watford looks close to it.

If there’s anything he wants to work on over the coming months, it’s his shot. Through eight games this spring, Watford is shooting only 26 percent (5-for-19) from 3-point range.

During his high school season, Watford, only the fourth junior to win Alabama’s Mr. Basketball award, shot 35 percent from beyond the arc and 69 percent inside the arc.

“(My goal is to) just keep getting my jump shot better,” Watford said. “I’m not shooting too well right now, but I know I can still shoot it.”

Watford took an unofficial visit to LSU on Saturday, and he’s also looking to schedule a Florida State visit sometime soon.

Other visits are expected to follow.

Watford made an unofficial visit to Bloomington last September and, throughout his recruitment, he’s leaned on his Hoosier brother for guidance.

“Just (getting) bits and pieces from his mind is always great,” Watford said.

13 comments

  1. Trendon and his family are totally First Class! The Hoosier Nstion loves you! Come to B-Town Trendon!

  2. I wonder if his older brother’s former coach will be recruiting him hard. If so, that should be interesting.

    1. Thinking the same thing. Surprised I don’t see Georgia in the mix. Did see the Georgia football coach is now getting the big bucks.

    2. Considering Crean wasn’t recruiting Trendon when he was still the IU coach, I doubt it. How do you not recruit a 5* legacy recruit whose family LOVES IU? The fact that Crean didn’t even attempt to recruit Watford, Romeo, TJD, or Brooks was mind boggling.

      Love Archie’s organized, focused recruiting approach. He’s making an offer from IU mean something again.

  3. When was the last time a kid ranked as high as #11 in the country signed with Georgia?

    I’m guessing…never.

    You can put lipstick on a pig but the Watford family undetstands that Georgia basketball is still a pig.

    1. Alabama is the main competition for Trendon. They’ve been on him hard for over 2 years already

  4. I’m pretty sure Crean was recruiting the younger Watford to IU before he got fired. Given the obvious connections, it makes no sense that he would not have been. Never has the slightest sniff that there were any problems between Cristian, or his parents, and Crean. Crean loved Watford and from all indications, Watford respected Crean. My guess is that Crean will be reaching out to the Watford family again in the immediate future.

    1. There was an article posted on another site shortly after Archie was hired when Trendon and family made an unofficial visit to IU. The family insinuated that Crean wasn’t really recruiting Trendon and they were confused as to why he hadn’t. Their words, not mine.

  5. Maybe the fact that Trendon was a freshman at the time had something to do with that. I’d love to see the article you reference.

  6. Josh Margolis
    ‏ @MargolisNews

    Trendon Watford said he wasn’t in contact at all with previous #iubb staff. New staff has already reached out to him.
    10:57 AM – 29 Apr 2017 from Westfield, IN

    Maybe the quoted tweet from April 2017 can take you where you want to go…? Maybe you should read all the replies to the tweet as well. I’m sure you would consider none of them to be part of an IU “fan base.”

  7. Courtesy: Inside the Halitosis:

    On how Christian feels about Indiana recruiting Trendon:

    Ernest Watford: “He’s excited about it because he wasn’t so much excited that they weren’t from the beginning. He didn’t really understand it. Obviously we respect coach (Tom) Crean and that was our coach there and we did everything we could with that. We don’t take that for granted or badmouth anything. Maybe it was coming, we don’t know. But this staff has reached out to him and Christian is excited about it. He was excited about going to watch his sister and actually getting a chance to go on the visit with his brother. That’s special to be able to go back to the school and the new coaching staff embraces not only the recruit, but the recruit’s family and reaches out to the former guys there and makes them feel a part of it. It was big for Christian. He hadn’t seen any of the renovations either. We were excited to see that. We were extremely excited to talk with Archie and learn about his approach. He’s everything Indiana is going to need. I think it’s a good hire for them.”

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