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Indiana Basketball: Preview, Key Players, Storylines for AAU Live Period II



Hoosier Illustrated Headshot: 2024 Center Flory Bidunga from IndyBall Shootout - Noblesville, IN (Kyler Staley, 4/16)

The AAU season is in full swing and the second live period of the season happens this weekend and most of the Indiana coaching staff is expected to be on the road to watch most of their recruiting targets. Last weekend was the first live period of the AAU season and there were many Indiana targets in action.

Some of the major events this weekend include Nike EYBL in Phoenix, AZ, Adidas 3SSB in Bryan, TX and Under Armor in Rock Hill, SC. will be in Phoenix, AZ for Nike EYBL Session 2 checking out the Indiana targets on that circuit.

This will be the last live evaluation period weekend until early July so this could be the last chance for many of these prospects to play in front of D1 coaches for the next couple of months.

Here is a preview of some key players and storylines for AAU live period II this weekend:

How many offers will be extended?

If nothing else, the live evaluation periods mean that offers are going to be extended at a high rate and Indiana is not shy about letting their presence known when it comes to that. Just this past weekend with the first live period, the Hoosiers have already offered five players including Austin Swartz (2024), Curtis Givens (2024), Marcus Allen (2024), Annor Boateng (2025), and Jacob Wilkins (2025).

It is safe to say, there will be more offers that are extended by the Indiana staff before the second live period weekend done with. The question is, just how many will be extended exactly? There are still some players out there that Indiana has interest in like Kellen Pickett (2025) and Tyron Stokes (2026) so they could be likely candidates to land an Indiana offer, but expect players we haven’t even heard about to pop up on the Indiana offer radar as well.

Will anymore visits be set?

With the high school season fully done for the year and AAU deep into it’s season, now is when players are going to start to set up offseason visits whether those be official or unofficial. Last weekend, 2024 top-40 guard Jaeden Mustaf told that he is eyeing a visit to Indiana this summer, although no specific date was announced. This was a big step in the recruitment of Mustaf as Indiana looks to build its backcourt for the 2024-25 season.

Looking to this weekend, it is important to be on the lookout for other players that are looking to make trips to Bloomington for an offseason visit whether that be players that have already visited campus like Liam McNeeley (2024) or someone that Indiana has just recently started to look into. Obviously when it comes to recruiting a player, when you get them on campus that is a good sign that the player is interested in you at the very least. It is important for Mike Woodson and staff to get as many visits scheduled this summer and this weekend we could find out more names looking to visit Indiana.

Boo Williams backcourt of Jaeden Mustaf and Austin Swartz is the duo to watch this weekend

One of the main takeaways from the first live period weekend was the Boo Williams 17u backcourt of 2024 prospects Jaeden Mustaf and Austin Swartz. In just four games, the duo managed to average a combined 42.5 points and became the top two scorers when it comes to the list of Indiana targets on the EYBL circuit.

As it is known, Mustaf has been on Indiana’s radar for quite some time but the shooting performance that Swartz put on, which includes going 16-of-33 (48.5%) from three, it was a no-brainer why Indiana extended an offer to the North Carolina native. It has only been one weekend, but this high scoring, athletic duo has already been the combination to watch on the EYBL circuit and will certainly have a ton of eyes on them this weekend again.

Where will the Indiana coaches be?

Last weekend during the first live evaluation period, the majority of the Indiana coaching staff, including Jordan Hulls who filled in for Mike Woodson due to his recent knee surgery, were out and actively recruiting. Indiana associate head coaches Kenya Hunter and Yasir Rosemond covered the EYBL circuit in Atlanta while Hulls and assistant coach Brian Walsh were in Council Bluffs, Iowa recruiting the 3SSB circuit.

As it was last week, the four mentioned will likely have the same, similar rotation they did last weekend while head coach Mike Woodson will likely still be recruiting from home as he continues to recover from his knee surgery. It will be interesting to see if the Indiana coaches change up and rotate elsewhere with different coaches recruiting on different circuits but that will be determined this weekend.

Key Players to Watch:

  • Liam McNeeley (Florida Rebels 17u): The 6-foot-8 hybrid forward is probably at the top of the list for Indiana when it comes to the 2024 class at this point in time. After starting the EYBL season averaging 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in four games, McNeeley went on his second ever official college visit this past week to the other team that is recruiting him hard, Texas. The versatile, tough forward is going to be one of the more sought after players this entire AAU season and Mike Woodson and staff has made it known he is a high priority. Expect his averages per game to go up this weekend, as well.
  • Caleb Wilson (Georgia Stars 17u): Wilson was one of the more surprising and impressive prospects that played on the EYBL circuit last weekend. In four games, he dropped 19.0 points and added 6.0 rebounds per game. With his incredible length and athletic ability is one of the more intriguing 2025 prospects and is skilled enough to hit the jumpers 15ft and out. Being from Georgia and playing for Georgia Stars, Indiana assistant coach Yasir Rosemond will be very active in recruiting Wilson.
  • Trent Sisley and Jalen Haralson (Indy Heat 17U): The Indy Heat duo of Trent Sisley and Jalen Haralson are two of the top priorities for Indiana when it comes to the 2025 class. Last weekend, both certainly had their ups and downs but both showed flashes of why the two in-state prospects are such a priority. Sisley proved why he is one of the more versatile power forwards in the nation and Haralson was fantastic about getting to the basket and drawing contact. The duo averaged 21.0 points in four games for Indy Heat 17u last weekend.
  • Flory Bidunga and Travis Perry (Indiana Elite 2024): Two other players that sit near the top of the 2024 target list for the Hoosiers are Indiana Elite’s Flory Bidunga and Travis Perry. When it comes to Perry and Bidunga, both guys provide a fantastic 1-2 punch with Bidunga’s play around the basket and Perry’s phenomenal scoring ability at all three levels. They both helped lead Indiana Elite to a 3-1 record this past weekend on the Adidas 3SSB side and both still remain two of the top prospects in that circuit. Indiana will certainly have a presence at some of their games this weekend.

See Also: Indiana Basketball: Takeaways and notes from first AAU live period

Follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. 


Indiana basketball in top five for Dayton transfer Mike Sharavjamts



The Indiana basketball program made the top five for Dayton wing Mike Sharavjamts, who pulled out of the NBA Draft on Wednesday. (Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports)

The Indiana basketball program made the top five for Dayton transfer wing Mike Sharavjamts on Wednesday afternoon. The rest of his top five includes Pitt, Memphis, Nebraska and San Francisco.

Sharavjamts was testing the NBA draft waters but decided to return to school after receiving feedback.

According to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, Sharavjamts will be announcing his decision ‘within the next week’.

Sharavjamts is a 6-foot-8 and 180-pound wing who averaged 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game as a freshman at Dayton. He shot 38.8 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from three (29-of-92). He started 20 out of 32 games played.

Sharavjamts spent time at Legacy Christian (OH) and Prolific Prep (CA) in high school before playing at International Sports Academy (OH) for his final year. He was AAU teammates for one season with incoming Indiana freshman guard Gabe Cupps on Midwest Basketball Club.

He averaged 10.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 24 games in 2021-22 for the International Sports Academy. He shot 51.2 percent from three (44-of-86).

He is the first Mongolian citizen to play Division I men’s basketball.

Coming out of high school, Sharavjamts was ranked No. 93 in the 2022 247Sports composite rankings. He had offers from Dayton, Rutgers, Providence and others.

He is currently the No. 34 overall transfer.

The Indiana basketball program currently has one available scholarship. It has a transfer class that includes Oregon center Kel’el Ware, Miami forward Anthony Walker and Ball State forward Payton Sparks.

SEE ALSO: Kel’el Ware ready to make big impact for Indiana basketball: ‘(I’m ready) to prove everybody wrong’

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. 

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2024 five-star point guard Boogie Fland eyeing Indiana basketball visit



2024 five-star point guard Boogie Fland is eyeing an Indiana basketball visit (Eugene Rapay/The Journal News-USA TODAY NETWORK)

The Indiana basketball program is expected to have multiple notable prospects on campus this summer. One of those players is 2024 five-star point guard Boogie Fland.

Fland is looking to visit Indiana in June, was told. There is no date set in stone, but the expectation is he will be on campus next month.

Fland is from Archbishop Stepinac (NY) and PSA Cardinals on the Nike EYBL circuit.

He is ranked No. 6 overall in the 2024 class and ranked as the No. 2 point guard in the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

The Indiana basketball staff had been involved with Fland back in the winter but not much had progressed until recently.

Fland was a perceived heavy North Carolina lean but after the Tar Heels landed five-star guards Elliot Cadeau and Ian Jackson, the Fland to UNC talk subsided a bit. North Carolina is still heavily involved.

Fland has taken two official visits. His first to North Carolina in the fall and then to Michigan this May. Other programs involved are Kentucky, UConn, Alabama, St. John’s, Auburn, Miami and others.

The development of Jalen Hood-Schifino was significant for Fland and his relationship with the Indiana basketball program. Though they aren’t identical players in terms of skill set, the responsibility and development Hood-Schifino had in his freshman season is notable.

“Jalen Hood-Schifino, that is something you can see. he’s a big guard who can play on and off (the ball), can defend the 1, can defend 2. Similar height, 6-foot-4 ish. I can see that. Indiana played Hood-Schifino and Xavier together,” PSA Cardinals head coach Joe Brown told HoosierIllustrated. “He was playing as a freshman and in the rotation. He had a significant role before the injury to Xavier. So that shows that Mike Woodson doesn’t have a problem playing freshmen. There are young guys in the rotation consistently … You can see the fact that coach Woodson definitely trusts Hood-Schifino.”

Because Fland can play both with and without the ball in his hands, going to a place where he can do both is ideal.

Whether that be with another point guard like Hood-Schifino and Xavier Johnson did, or just another potential ball handler, that’s a situation that would give Fland the chance to showcase his versatility on the offensive end.

“His versatility allows him to do both. A place where there is an equal balance. Playing in the backcourt with another point guard is something he’s done his whole life. He’s always played with another point guard, so ideally that would be a good space for him. Playing with a guard who can shoot the ball so you’re not just locked in to playing off the ball because you’re a better shooter. It’s not just the system but the personnel as well.”

Fland is a terrific scoring guard who has great explosiveness. Fland is always in attack mode and can score at all three levels on the floor. He is best with the ball in his hands and making plays for himself or teammates. Fland has a very good mid-range game and utilizes a lot of different moves in the paint to create separation and get his shot up.

With good size as well, at 6-foot-4, he’s a long and rangy guard who is a very talented defender. He has the tools to be a lockdown on ball defender as well as talented off the ball defensive player.

“His athleticism is getting better and he’s playing above the rim now a lot more … he did a good job physically getting stronger (this year) and you can see that with his explosiveness now,” Brown added of Fland’s improvements. “From a maturity standpoint, he’s taken leaps and bounds. His ability to run a team more, he’s been able to showcase that … And being more consistent as a three-level scorer. Getting accustomed to having the game slow down to where he knows where his shots can come from.”

Through 16 games on the EYBL Circuit this summer, Fland is averaging 15.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He’s shooting 45.3 percent from the field, 34.1 percent from three (31-of-91) and 79.1 percent from the free throw line (53-of-67). He has two 30+ point games this summer.

As a junior, Fland averaged 18.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He shot 34.6 percent from three (62-of-179). They finished 22-10 and second in their league.

SEE ALSO: ‘It’s going to be my job to bridge the gap’: Mike Woodson’s vision for Indiana basketball is coming to life

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. 

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Indiana Basketball: Payton Sparks named among ‘hidden gem’ transfer additions this offseason



Ball State transfer Payton Sparks was named an underrated transfer this offseason as he makes the move to the Indiana basketball program. (Jordan Kartholl / The Star Press-USA TODAY NETWORK)

The Indiana basketball transfer class this offseason was an important one to keep any momentum from the first two years of the Mike Woodson era. After back-to-back years of making the NCAA Tournament, ushering in a new era of Indiana basketball was here.

With Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino two of seven total departures, the Hoosiers had large shoes to fill.

It did so by landing the No. 12 overall transfer class this offseason. While it was headlined by former five-star center Kel’el Ware, Ball State forward Payton Sparks and Miami (Fla.) forward Anthony Walker bring versatile skillsets to the floor as well.

And for Sparks, he was labeled as one of the ‘hidden gems’ from the transfer portal.

“Indiana’s frontcourt is filled with big-name additions from Power 6 programs, so it’d be easy for Payton Sparks to slip through the cracks. But the Ball State transfer will have a real shot at an enormous role,” 247Sports national writer Isaac Trotter wrote. “He’s averaged at least 13 points and eight rebounds in each of the last two seasons. He has to answer some questions about defending Big Ten big men, but Sparks is a warrior on the glass and a high-effort player at all times. Sparks will help Indiana a ton.”

Sparks was ranked as just the No. 167 overall transfer in the portal this offseason but his addition to Indiana can’t be understated.

In two seasons for the Cardinals, Sparks averaged 13.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He started all 62 games he appeared in. Last year, Sparks averaged 13.3 points and 8.7 rebounds. He ranked second in the MAC in offensive rebound rate (12.9) and fourth in the league in total rebound rate (17.3).

Sparks brings a tremendous motor and ability to score in the paint. His toughness is also valuable. He ranked third in the NCAA in free throw rate (87.1) and 16th in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (6.8).

“I really like the addition of Payton to our program for several reasons,” Woodson said of Sparks. “He is an experienced player with a great work ethic, who had tremendous success individually while at Ball State. He gives us an inside scoring threat who can defend and rebound. I really like his ability to fight on the offensive glass and his ability to draw fouls on the opposition, which was one of the best nationally, is a tremendous asset.”

The expectation is that Sparks will be a valuable role player to start, but that role could become increasingly important as the season progresses.

His value is also measured with his two remaining years of eligibility left.

SEE ALSO: Five thoughts on Indiana basketball transfer portal activity following portal deadline

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. 

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