Indiana’s ticket to the future.
Kaleb Banks was the first recruit in the class of 2022 to commit to Indiana under Mike Woodson after Woodson got C.J. Gunn to honor his prior commitment to the program under Archie Miller, signing fewer than six months after Woodson was hired as Indiana’s head coach.
In his commitment stories, Banks noted his strong relationship with now-associate head coach Yasir Rosemond, which predated Woodson’s hiring at Indiana, as the predominant factor in his recruitment. After Archie neglected to recruit the South, Rosemond got to quick work reestablishing the pipeline.
Banks is the kind of player Indiana hasn’t had in years, a versatile forward who can score as a slasher, a shooter, and finish above the rim. At 6’8”, 215, he has a power forward’s body, but he’s athletic and bouncy enough that he should be able to guard the 2-4 at the college level.
As the 85th ranked player in his class, Banks doesn’t project to see as much immediate playing time as some of his classmates, but as somebody who shot 38% from deep as a junior in high school, he may be able to help address Indiana’s most dire need and shoot his way into more minutes.
Banks is a modern wing in that he spends most of his time on the perimeter looking for shooting space or a slashing lane with the athleticism and size to finish with some pretty explosive dunks at times. You can see some of his warm-up dunks in this highlight/documentary below, which also gives some insight into everything he was asked to do for his high school squad.
After his senior season, Banks was named the 4A player of the year in Georgia, leading his Fayette County high school team to a regional championship with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks per game.
Handling the ball in traffic or while being closely defended is not currently one of his strengths, but he really shines in transition when he can use his size and speed to lead and finish fast breaks.
Given the conference’s physicality, Banks probably projects as more of a perimeter/wing type player in college despite being taller than some of Indiana’s other forwards. He can finish plays in the paint and rebounds well, but could stand to develop a few more post moves or add some finishing touch to be an interior player at Indiana.
Indiana already has Trayce, Race, and Malik Reneau, plus whatever Logan Duncomb can bring as a sophomore, so there’s no need to force Banks into a mold he doesn’t fit. His shooting, athleticism, and defense should give Miller Kopp and Jordan Geronimo a little extra competition at the three spot this season.
Even if we don’t see extended minutes from Banks this year, his athleticism and shooting ability alone make him an intriguing long term prospect for Indiana. He has the skillset and size that programs in the SEC, ACC, and other 21st century conferences have built their rosters around, and those are the programs Indiana will have to compete with to once again reach the highest levels of college basketball.