Mike Woodson and his stellar new staff have continued to build recruiting momentum in the early days of the Woodson era at Indiana Basketball.
Indiana added another key piece to its roster for next season on Monday when they picked up the 2021 commitment of 6’4” wing, Tamar Bates. Bates, who is a rapidly rising four-star recruit, had previously committed to Texas. Bates reopened his recruitment when Texas head coach Shaka Smart left for Marquette, and Indiana managed to land the big fish.
Bates fits the bill for exactly what the Indiana staff said they were looking for, another guard who could spread the floor, play uptempo, and defend.
I think the common thought was that Indiana was trying to pull another gem out of the transfer portal—which they also did on Wednesday with the addition of Miller Kopp from Northwestern—but the Hoosiers instead dipped into the high school ranks and pulled out Bates.
From the little I have been able to watch of Bates highlight reels, the young man appears to have great upside. He displays good athleticism, the ability to knock down a three, driving ability, and above-average court vision. All of those things will be more than welcome in the Hoosier backcourt next season and beyond.
The Hoosiers also added some size and shooting with the addition of Northwestern transfer, Miller Kopp, on Tuesday. Kopp is a 6’7” wing, who was one of the best shooters in the transfer portal. Kopp not only adds more shooting to the Hoosier’s, but he also adds previous Big Ten Conference experience. Kopp says that he is hoping to be able to display a more diverse skill set during his two years of eligibility at Indiana, believing that he can do more than he was able to do at Northwestern.
The departure of Armaan Franklin, Al Durham, and Joey Brunk this offseason had hurt the Hoosiers, but Tamar Bates, Xavier Johnson, and Miller Kopp could possibly end up being a net gain for Woodson and staff. Johnson and Kopp are proven commodities, and Bates appears to be ready to step in and contribute right away.
In the bigger picture, Mike Woodson’s first few weeks on the job at Indiana are off to a great start. He has hired a great staff, retained most of his players who were in the draft portal, and brought in some intriguing pieces to bolster the Hoosier’s roster for next season. Excitement abounds among the Indiana fan base.
There have been a couple of hiccups along the way, but all programs have those. Especially this off-season. It’s like a drunken game of musical chairs in college basketball right now, and while the transfer portal may prove to be a pain in the butt in the future, right now it might be best described as beautiful chaos. It also may just provide us with one of the most interesting college basketball seasons in recent memory.