BLOOMINGTON — IU returned to the sizable talent pool of one of the nation’s premier prep programs for a fourth commitment in the Class of 2022 on Monday.
Malik Reneau, a top-30 power forward and Montverde Academy teammate of Indiana signee Jalen Hood-Schifino, announced his commitment to Indiana via social media. He becomes the Hoosiers’ second highest-rated commitment in the incoming freshman class, behind his prep school teammate.
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“After my visit, it was clear to me that there was no point in visiting other schools,” Reneau told IndyStar Monday. “Coach (Mike) Woodson and his team gave me the game plan when I arrived. It was so clear to me. It was a no-brainer. It was easy to talk to the coaches and the players , it was easy to connect with them.”
Reneau bolsters an impressive class for Woodson, near the end of what is Woodson’s first full recruiting cycle as a college coach. A five-star prospect according to the 247Sports Composite, Reneau bolsters a frontcourt already bolstered by Race Thompson’s decision to return for a sixth year at Indiana, but who is also bracing for the possibility of losing Trayce Jackson-Davis in the NBA draft.
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At four positions, Reneau is listed at 6-8. The composite ranks him No. 28 overall in his class, just behind Hood-Schifino at No. 21, and that same ranking puts Reneau as the No. 4 forward in the nation in 2022.
Hood-Schifino came with Reneau to Bloomington last weekend, after the two players competed in the Jordan Brand Classic in Chicago on Friday. He’s been a top scout for the Hoosiers since Reneau reopened recruiting after Mike White left Florida last month. Reneau had previously signed with the Gators.
“It doesn’t stop with ‘Fino’,” Reneau said. “Fino is great. We’ve had this relationship for a long time. We talk about it and things like that. It was really the coaching staff. Fino is doing a great job, but he was visiting eating all day. But yeah , he made all his points.
“He said it would be easy to talk to the coaches. He was right about that fact. Everyone knows how to communicate with each other. I think you play better when you are able to communicate with the coaches and understand what they are looking for.”
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His commitment propels the Hoosiers past Illinois, Michigan and Ohio State to No. 1 in the Big Ten in the 2022 247Sports Composite Class rankings, and also places the Hoosiers in the top five nationally.
Reneau becomes the third Composite-rated No. 30 or better player to commit to Indiana since Woodson’s arrival, following Hood-Schifino in 2022 and Tamar Bates in 2021. He adds frontline depth to an incoming freshman class that is already deepening IU at point guard (Hood-Schifino), two guards (standout Lawrence North CJ Gunn) and on the wing, where hybrid forward Kaleb Banks could become a game-changer at University.
Reneau’s commitment creates a potential scholarship block, though it likely falls into the category of good problems Woodson must have.
With Jackson-Davis currently testing the waters of the NBA draft while maintaining his eligibility, and Thompson returning for a sixth season, Reneau nominally fills the gap Jackson-Davis would leave if he remained in the draft. If Jackson-Davis chooses to return to Indiana, the Hoosiers will be at the scholarship limit for 2022-23.
But they’ll also boast not just enviable depth in the frontcourt, but also versatility, with up to five players – Jackson-Davis, Thompson, Reneau, Banks and Jordan Geronimo – capable of playing one. either of Woodson’s forward positions.
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Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.