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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, November 09, 2017 1:00 am

Miller, IU sign 4 top prospects for '18-19

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

College basketball's early signing period opened strong Wednesday for Indiana University, with a touted recruiting class becoming official.

All four of the Hoosiers' commitments for the 2018-19 season inked their national letters of intent. Robert Phinisee, Jerome Hunter, Damezi Anderson and Jake Forrester are formally in the fold for new IU coach Archie Miller.

“This is a group of four young men who we identified right away in the spring as players who not only fit our needs on the basketball court but also fit the IU community and culture,” Miller said in a statement issued by the school. “They are all outstanding kids who come from great families and basketball programs.”

Anderson averaged 24 points and 7.5 rebounds as a junior at Riley High School in South Bend. The four-star prospect chose Indiana over additional scholarship offers from Purdue, Michigan, Connecticut and DePaul, among others.

As a 6-foot-7, 205-pound forward with a versatile skill set, Anderson is expected to immediately impact the Hoosiers next fall.

But he wasn't alone in Wednesday's pomp and circumstance.

Hunter, a 6-6 forward at Pickerington North High School in Ohio, is rated by ESPNU as the No. 19 player at his position in the 2018 class. He also reportedly held offers from Michigan, Dayton, Xavier, Penn State and West Virginia.

Phinisee, from McCutcheon High School in Lafayette, “is a throwback point guard who cares only about running the team and winning,” Miller said. The four-star recruit averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 assists and 5.9 rebounds as a junior.

Forrester is a power forward at Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Rated either a three- or four-star prospect by the major recruiting services, the 6-8, 200-pound Forrester is ESPNU's No. 3 player in Pennsylvania in his class.

The early signing period goes to next Wednesday, and Miller still has his eyes on five-star recruits Romeo Langford and Darius Garland.

Indiana's signing class is currently ranked 12th in the nation by 247Sports, although that could fluctuate.

Notre Dame is seventh in that listing. The Irish announced a four-man class Wednesday consisting of Robby Carmody, a 6-4 guard from Mars, Pennsylvania; Dane Goodwin, a 6-5 guard out of Upper Arlington, Ohio; Prentiss Hubb, a 6-3 point guard from Upper Marlboro, Maryland; and Nate Laszewski, a 6-10 forward out of Jupiter, Florida.

“We are thrilled about this group,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said in a statement issued by the school. “It is maybe the best group we have put together in my 18 years at Notre Dame. All of the guys have won big, play with an edge and are a great fit for how we do things in our culture.”

Purdue announced the signings of Emmanuel Dowuona, a 6-11 center from Florida; Trevion Williams, a 6-9 forward from Chicago; and 6-3 guard Eric Hunter Jr. from Indianapolis.

“We are fortunate to sign very talented players that have huge upside,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said in a statement issued by the school. “All three players are great people and great teammates, love playing basketball, fit our culture and will make a big impact on our program moving forward. All three of these players have the potential to be All-Big Ten during their careers here.”

cgoff@jg.net