Although Indiana has been focused on many 2021 recruits, the Hoosiers extended an offer to 2020 top-100 player Jalen Bridges from West Virginia. The sharp-shooting four-star wing gets an offer on the same day that another wing, Trey Patterson of the 2021 class, was offered. Despite being in different classes, both players are 6-foot-7 and weigh in the neighborhood of 180-200 pounds.
Overall in the class of 2020, Bridges is ranked 81st. He is the 20th ranked small forward and third best player in the state of West Virginia according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Bridges had an impressive showing at the adidas Gauntlet event in Mansfield, Texas earlier this spring. According to Evan Daniels and Josh Gershon, “Arguably no one raised their stock as much as Jalen Bridges did in Texas.” Bridges scored 20 points on just four shots from the floor on the first night of the vent.
West Virginia seems to be the current leader for him as the hometown state; however, the Hoosiers are still interested in pursuing Bridges. Other offers of note include Pittsburgh, Xavier, Penn State, N.C. State, Temple, Dayton, and Miami.
With both of today’s offers, Indiana is certainly expressing their interest in adding to their wing depth and finding another forward that can potentially serve as a third ball handler. Archie Miller has been known to have an affinity of athletic wings that can stretch the floor and be effective in passing lanes with their length and size. These types of players fit well in his packline defense.
As an update on July 29, Jalen Bridges listed Indiana in his top 10 schools. He has also included Ohio State, Alabama, Miami, Xavier, Texas A&M, West Viriginia, Pitt, South Carolina, and Oklahoma State.
Jalen Bridges Game Breakdown
Jalen Bridges is a prototypical wing that hangs around the perimeter given his ability to shoot the three. He has a noticeable quick release shot; however, there is slight dip in his initial shooting motion. When shooting, Bridges uses an ever so slight push motion that may result in getting blocked at the next level. That being said, players in the modern era have all types of funky shot forms, so there’s not an issue at all as long as Bridges can be consistent.
While he lives outside of the arc, Bridges has a number of moves on the inside that can help him directly attack the rim or leave a teardrop in the 6 to 8 feet range. He has a strong left handed baseline dribble-drive that he often mixes in after sinking some from deep.
With his 180-200 pound frame, Jalen Bridges has increased strength by adding weight prior to playing at the next level. According to Bridges, he has already increased his weight 20 pounds from 180, so now he is currently playing at 200-205. Time will tell if he further fills out his 6-foot-7 body.
In terms of ball handling, Bridges is clearly comfortable being on the move with his right or left hand. With more weight on his body, he will not be the quickest forward on the floor and he may not leave fans in the stand in awe with high-flying acrobatics; however, Indiana fans would appreciate his controlled and collected play that’s intentional and methodical.
(Featured Photo: Times West Virginia)