Outside of cancellations due to the Coronavirus outbreak in March, both of Ball State's men's and women's programs have been extremely busy in welcoming, scouting and seeing players depart from Muncie.
Here's a break down of what both teams have been up to off the court this past month.
While the men's program doesn't have any commitments this season, they do have a handful of prospects according to 247 Sports. A team heavy on in-state recruitment, the Cardinals are only prospecting one player from Indiana in Westview High School senior Charlie Yoder. The guard holds Westview's program records for career points (2,163), points in a game (52) and career blocks shots (144).
In his time with the Warriors, Yoder's team has gone to semi-state in 2017-18 and regional finals in 2018-19. This season, he was selected to the Indiana Basketball Associations Supreme-15 team and picked up an all North East Corner Conference All-First Team selection.
Yoder has been in contact with the Cardinals, Purdue Fort Wayne, and Evansville. He has received one offer from Mercer University in Georgia.
Ball State's highest prospect in the class of 2020 is senior Justin Amadi, a forward out of Dorman High School in Roebuck, South Carolina. Amadi is one of six offers the Cardinals have made and one of two that have not made a decision as to where they will play next season according to 247 Sports.
The three-star recruit won the 2020 South Carolina 5A State Championship this season, posting 13.3 points per game and 5.7 pulldowns for the Cavaliers. Amadi has received offers from Newberry, Coker, South Carolina State, Presbyterian, USC Upstate, Charleston Southern, North Texas, Coastal Carolina, Nicholls State and another Mid-American Conference school in Kent State.
In junior college scouting, Ball State has made an offer to Kobey Lam, a freshman at Williston State College in Williston, North Dakota. The Toronto native averaged 18 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game for the Tetons this past season. Lam threw down a career-high 33 points against Bismarck State and nine rebounds against United Tribes Technical College.
Lam has also received offers from Coastal Carolina, Montana State, Bryant, Alderson Broaddus, and High Point. In local connections, freshman center Ben Hendricks is Ball State's lone player from outside the United States as he is a native of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
The Cardinals haven't had too much luck drawing in-state class of 2020 talent to Ball State. Lawrence North guard Tony Perkins declined offers from Ball State, Indiana State, Purdue Fort Wayne and Evansville, signing with Iowa in October. Lawrence Central guard D'Andre Davis declined offers from Ball State, Purdue, IUPUI, Indiana State and Evansville to sign with Louisville in November.
Ball State Women's Basketball received commitment from Brownsburg junior Ally Becki in August. The guard has been strong on both ends of the court, picking up seven rebounds per game and averaging 13 points. Brownsburg finished the season at 21-9, losing to eventual state champion Lawernce North in the Regional Championship.
Both men's and women's teams received transfers from other programs in March. The women picked up sophomore forward Ella Skeens from Dayton and the men welcomed redshirt junior guard Reggie Jones from Tulsa.
Skeens played in 17 games this season for the Flyers, averaging 1.6 points per game and 1.7 rebounds. Skeens hit a career-high eight points in a 78-48 win over Coppin State and recorded a career-high eight rebounds in a 82-60 win over Lipscomb. Seekens also won the Atlantic 10 Championship this season with the Flyers.
An alumna for Chillicothe High School in Chillicothe, Ohio, Skens joins junior forward Oshlynn Brown as the second Cavalier to join Ball State.
Jones transfers into his third program after previously playing at Western Michigan before coming to Tulsa and now Ball State. The junior hit a career-high 27 points against Central Michigan on March 2, 2018, and recently downed a season-high 19 points with the Golden Hurricanes against UT Arlington on Nov. 9. He played 26 games this past season for Tulsa, starting seven from Nov. 20 to Dec. 14.
Jones has ties to Indiana as he won the 2016 3A State Championship with Marion High School in Marion, Indiana, defeating Evansville Boone 73-68. In high school, Jones averaged 16 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.1 steals per game for the Giants.
Within a week of each other, Ball State Men's Basketball saw departures from junior guard Ishmael El-Amin and freshman guard Lucas Kroft.
El-Amin was a key factor for the Cardinals this season, starting in all 31 of Ball State's games this season. He proved to be a weapon from outside the arc as he led the team in 3-point shooting, hitting 39 percent of his shots from deep. He was second in scoring for the Cardinals, averaging 13.8 points-per-game and racking up a total of 429 points on the season. He was also named to the All-Conference third team at the end of the season.
"Muncie, these past 3 years where some of the best memories of my life," El-Amin said in a Tweet. "Nothing but memories, blessings with great coaches, teammates, fans and of course the community. Thank you for accepting a kid from Minnesota and making Muncie feel like home as much as possible. With all being said I will be opening my recruitment to find my future home."
According to ESPN College Basketball Insider Jeff Borzello, El-Amin has heard from Loyola Chicago, UNLV, Butler San Diego State, Minnesota, Utah State, Arkansas, Wake Forest, Connecticut, and California.
El-Amin does have connections to a few of these schools. His father, Kahlid El-Amin, won a national championship with Connecticut in 1999. El-Amin played at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minnesota, 20 minutes west of the University of Minnesota. In his time with Ball State, El-Amin has faced off against Loyola Chicago, hitting a career-high 24 points against the Ramblers on Dec. 3.
Kroft played 14 games with Ball State, recording 16 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists in 122 minutes of playing time. He recorded a career-high six points in a 87-43 win over Defiance and a career-high six rebounds in a 100-69 win over Howard. Kroft has connections to the region as he is a graduate of Richmond High School in Richmond, Indiana.
"Thank you to Coach Whitford and the rest of the staff for recruiting me and for giving me the opportunity to play at Ball State," Kroft said in his Twitter post. "I'm thankful for the friendships that I've made while being here and having the opportunity to learn all that I did. I've decided that it is my best interest for me to transfer and pursue another opportunity elsewhere."
Kroft has not expressed publicly if he has heard from other programs or received any offers.
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