The Journal Gazette
Friday, July 23, 2021 10:31 pm

Hoosiers land Georgia power forward

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Indiana basketball added a commitment in its 2022 recruiting class when three-star Fayetteville, Georgia, power forward Kaleb Banks chose the Hoosiers over offers from Alabama, Georgia – led by former Hoosiers coach Tom Crean – and Georgia Tech.

The 6-foot-8 Banks, who has a 7-2 wingspan, is the No. 123 recruit in the country, per and the 22nd-ranked power forward. He is the second commitment in Indiana's 2022 class, joining Indianapolis guard C.J. Gunn, who committed during former coach Archie Miller's tenure and then re-affirmed his commitment after Indiana hired coach Mike Woodson.

One of the assistant coaches Woodson hired, Yasir Rosemond, was a key factor in Banks' commitment, as were the facilities at Indiana, which impressed him on a June visit.

"The facilities are state of the art," Banks told Inside the Hall. "I love the intimate feel of Assembly Hall. It’s very unique. The other facilities are all state of the art and close together. I like that. A player’s dream."

Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis was excited about the commitment, which pushed Indiana's 2022 class to No. 33 nationally. That's notable because it seems very unlikely Jackson-Davis, who is almost certain to depart for the NBA after the upcoming season, will ever play with Banks. It's just another example of the All-American forward being completely bought in to the idea of bringing Indiana back to prominence.

"Time to turn this thing around. Yessssirrrrrrr," Jackson-Davis tweeted.

Banks talked about believing in Woodson's plan to turn the Hoosiers around as a reason for his commitment, which has been a theme of the early portion of Woodson's tenure. This is the first recruit the new coach has landed in the 2022 class, although he did get a late commitment from 2021 guard Tamar Bates, which might end up being a far larger deal than a lot of people realized at the time.

As for Banks, he seems something like a Jordan Geronimo figure right now, featuring plenty of athleticism, but also plenty of room to grow in most areas. He fits in with what Woodson wants to do on defense, where he can guard at least three and potentially four positions and he can also shoot a little bit from the outside, which Woodson loves in his forwards.

“I think I’m a real versatile basketball player,” Banks told Inside the Hall in April. “I can do things that most players can’t. I can guard multiple positions, probably one through four, maybe one through five if I get stronger. Offensively, I think I can shoot, attack and open up opportunities for my teammates. I can do well in the pick-and-roll, either setting a screen or coming off the screen. I’ve got a nice 3-point shot as well. I think I get to my spots well on offense.”

Banks might have been a lower-ranked option to whom Indiana turned after five-star power forward Jalen Washington out of Gary, the big prize in Indiana high school recruiting in 2022, chose North Carolina over the Hoosiers and Purdue, both of whom pushed hard for him. On the other hand, Banks is apparently rising quickly because of some strong play on the summer AAU circuit and he certainly possesses the type of raw talent Woodson et al can mold when he arrives on campus.

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