Classes at Indiana University started yesterday. Welcome to Basketball Recruiting 101. Mike Woodson will be your professor.
On Kobe Day, 4-star 2022 guard Jalen Hood-Schifino, of Montverde Academy, committed to Woodson and the Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday. Currently, the combo guard is ranked 23rd nationally and the 10th-best guard in the country, according to 247Sports Composite rankings. Hood-Schifino is the 32nd in the country according to Rivals and ESPN recruiting.
Hood-Schifino joins Kaleb Banks, a power forward out of Georgia, and CJ Gunn, a shooting guard out of Indianapolis (Lawrence North HS), as Hoosiers who will look to step on campus a year from now and make an impact.
Hood-Schifino’s commitment gives Indiana head coach Mike Woodson the 5th-ranked recruiting class in the country, and second in the Big Ten, in his first full cycle as the lead man in Bloomington. Currently, only Ohio State, Kansas, North Carolina, and Arkansas rate higher.
Archie Miller’s highest-ranked class was the 2018 group, containing Romeo Langford, Jerome Hunter, Damezi Anderson, Rob Phinisee, and Jake Forrester. Tom Crean’s best class was not one that contained Cody Zeller or Victor Oladipo. The class of 2013, which was led by Noah Vonleh and also included Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson, Luke Fischer, Devin Davis, and Collin Hartman, finished fourth in the country per 247Sports.
Hood-Schifino took to CBS Sports HQ to announce his choice between Indiana University and the University of Tennessee. Florida, Texas, and Memphis were in his top five. Kansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Florida, Clemson, and Arizona State also extended offers to Hood-Schifino.
Hood-Schifino originally committed to his hometown school, the University of Pittsburgh, in December 2019, before reopening his recruitment in June 2020. Before transferring to Montverde, Hood-Schifino played high school basketball and football at Northside Christian School in Charlotte, North Carolina and Combine Academy in Lincolnton, NC.
The 21st-ranked recruit in the country, Vince Iwuckukwu, a Montverde teammate of Hood-Schifino’s, is the final five-star player per 247Sports. Hood-Schifino could find himself in five-star status by the end of his final high school season. Nevertheless, Indiana planting its recruiting seed at Montverde is long overdue.
Montverde (pronounced maant-vehrd) has five players ranked in the 2022 top 50, led by Duke commit Dariq Whitehead. In the class of 2021, incoming freshmen about to make a splash in college basketball, Montverde had six players in the top 70, led by recent reclassification Jalen Duren, a Memphis signee. The first overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft was Cade Cunningham, a 2020 Montverde product who sparkled at Oklahoma State. His classmate, Scottie Barnes, was selected 4th by Toronto after an impactful season at Florida State. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and D’Angelo Russell all attended Montverde. The school had seven players taken in the 2021 NBA Draft.
When looking at the 6-foot-5 combo guard’s skills, the first thing that jumps out is his ability to attack the rim. At his size, Hood-Schifino does an excellent job at taking the smaller defender to the rim and finishing over the top of them. Plus, he has the ability to blow by defenders with his speed and finish at a high-level and even pull up for the mid-range jump shot.
Hood-Schifino, who played for Thaddeus Young’s EYBL AAU team over the summer, also can push the ball in transition with his head up. He finds the open teammate when necessary but is always looking to push the pace and attack the rim.
Indiana has recruited the top-30 guard hard throughout his junior year and into this past summer. In an interview with 247Sports, Hood-Schifino cited IU assistant Kenya Hunter as a key figure in his recruitment. Hood-Schifino took his official visit on June 28, 2021.