UPDATE, 9:04 p.m. – Twitter is exploding with unsubstantiated reports that Trey Kaufman has picked Purdue. CLICK HERE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Friday could be a big day for one of five schools. Trey Kaufman, a 2021 four-star forward from Silver Creek High School (Sellersburg, Ind.), is set to commit at 6:30 p.m. eastern on Friday on 98.5 WJHI.
Kaufman is choosing between Indiana, Purdue, Indiana State, North Carolina and Virginia. Let's take a look at what we know ahead of Kaufman's commitment:
Kaufman Talks Top Five
In September, Sports Illustrated's Dylan Wallace caught up with Kaufman to discuss why he chose the five schools he did.
Indiana, Purdue and Indiana State all jumped on Kaufman early in his recruitment, which is something he appreciated.
"That was big for me because they all sort of saw something in me before others did," Kaufman said.
Indiana and Purdue are the two top basketball programs in the state, who both want Kaufman's skillset on their rosters. As for Indiana State, Kaufman has connections with them through his uncle, so he grew up around the Sycamores.
Kaufman visited North Carolina and Virginia during the pandemic. Both schools offered him later in the process, and when Kaufman went to visit, he couldn't interact with anyone on the team or coaching staff.
"Both places are very good. There were some small things we were trying to accomplish and what I was looking for, such as how far the practice room would be from the dorms and some other things," Kaufman said. "But for the most part, it was just familiarizing myself with both places and, you know, if I were going to commit to either one of those places, I’d want to know at least how it looks like and how it feels before I got there."
Ranking Kaufman's Choices
Rob Cassidy, a national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals, took his shot at ranking the choices for Kaufman ahead of his commitment Friday.
Below is what Cassidy had to say:
The ever-so-slight favorite, Purdue likes where it stands with just days to go. Kaufman has been on campus multiple times in both official and unofficial capacities. He also seems to feel comfortable with Matt Painter and his staff. His official visit in September of last year made such an impression that the four-star forward returned on his own dime in February, just before the COVID-19 crisis took hold.
Kaufman to the Boilermakers is by no means a done deal, though, and not much separates the two in-state schools. But somebody has to occupy the top spot. Kaufman’s camp is tight-lipped, so information has to be garnered from other, less reliable sources. The edge is slight.
Truth be told, I wouldn’t bet much of anything on this at the moment. And that says something when you consider I’m a guy that once bet on a game of snooker despite not being totally certain what exactly snooker is.
It’s not going to stun anyone if the Hoosiers win this battle, thus the title of “1B.” Indiana has great luck with prospects from the southern part of the state and has long seemed like the favorite to land Kaufman’s pledge. The in-state target took an official visit to Indiana last year, which certainly helps IU’s cause. Indiana was one of the first high-major programs to offer Kaufman, so the relationships in place are strong. A week ago, the Hoosiers would have been on top of this list. Indiana and Purdue seem like the real options here, as any other outcome would provide some level of shock.
3. North Carolina
Kaufman has been on campus at North Carolina, but he wasn’t allowed to meet with coaches while he was there because of the COVID-19 dead period. That probably hurts the Tar Heels. As does the fact that they’re asking a prospect with multiple in-state options to move more than 500 miles away from his family during a global pandemic. The allure of UNC is obvious. But while it’s difficult to count Roy Williams out of anything, he seems to be sitting in a comfortable third here.
Like North Carolina, Virginia got Kaufman on campus during the dead period and was unable to interact with him during the trip. There’s plenty of reason for the four-star prospect to like the Cavaliers. They've been recruiting him since his sophomore year and like to compare him to former first-round pick De'Andre Hunter. That said, they seem to be on the outside looking in for the time being.
5. Indiana State
This seems like a courtesy mention. But, hey, everyone loves an underdog story. Head coach Greg Lansing did an incredible job to even be mentioned in Kaufman’s final five.
Crystal Ball Predictions
On Kaufman's 247Sports crystal ball predictions, it lists Kaufman choosing Indiana at 100 percent.
Those are never concrete, but it's usually a good indication of who has the upper hand in the recruiting process.
Indiana's lone commitment for the class of 2021 is Logan Duncomb, who is teammates with Kaufman on Indiana Elite for AAU.
Duncomb is another forward, but the two players work really well together as Duncomb is more of a post-up big and Kaufman can play more on the perimeter.
"Logan is great. On the court, we fit perfectly together," Kaufman told Sports Illustrated. "Last year wasn’t as good as this year, but as our games have improved, we can do different things on the floor. He’s obviously a great kid, and yeah, he’s a great teammate."
No matter what happens Friday, one of those five schools will be getting the expected favorite to be named 2021 Indiana Mr. Basketball.
Full coverage of Kaufman's commitment will be available right here, at si.com/college/indiana.
- KAUFMAN CONFIRMS COMMITTING FRIDAY NIGHT: Trey Kaufman has dismissed the rumors on Twitter that he picked Purdue. He is still committing Friday night. CLICK HERE
- INDIANA OFFERS TARRIS REED JR.: Indiana offered top-100 forward Tarris Reed Jr. this week. CLICK HERE
- INDIANA OFFERS TYLER NICKEL: Indiana offered top-70 wing Tyler Nickel last week. CLICK HERE
- TREY KAUFMAN TO ANNOUNCE OCT. 30: Trey Kaufman's much anticipated decision is coming in a week and a half. CLICK HERE
- TREY KAUFMAN TALKS TOP FIVE: Trey Kaufman spoke with Sports Illustrated to talk about his top five schools. CLICK HERE