Tomorrow Indiana will crown state basketball champions for the 105th time. This year no current Purdue commitments are playing for a title, but two targets will be playing, Jaren Jackson of Park Tudor, a 2017 6'9" forward that is rated as a 4-star recruit and 34th nationally, is trying to help the Panthers to a fourth state championship in Class 2A. In Class 4A Caleb Swanigan of Homestead is playing for a championship before making his decision. Purdue has offered both players and we're waiting on a response, with Swanigan likely deciding first out of sheer necessity.
Marquette Catholic (24-6) vs. Barr-Reeve (26-2) 10:30pm
This is a rematch of the 2014 Class A title game won by Marquette in overtime. Barr-Reeve is seeking its first state championship after serving as the Class A runner-up in 2002, 2007, 2010, and 2014. Because of the IHSAA success factor both schools will be moving up to class 2A next season.
Marquette is led by 6'8" senior Ryan Fazekas, who is committed to Providence. He averages 21 points per game as their lone double figures scorer. Braxton Miller (Not the Ohio State guy) is also a shift y point guard at 6' tall and 4.6 assists per game.
Barr-Reeve counters with Addison Wagler at 16.4 points per game. He is only a 6'5" center, so Fazekas has an advantage inside. Duncan Roy and Logan James also average in double figures. Both of these teams are senior-laden and played a tight game last season, so this should be a fun one.
Frankton (26-2) vs. Park Tudor (25-2) 12:45pm
Park Tudor is one of the best programs in the state and they are led by Bryce Moore, a Western Michigan commit that averages 18.9 points per game. They will move up to class 3A next season after winning the 2014 championship and getting back to the finals. In fact, they can become the first team in Indiana history to win four championships in five years. Jackson averages 9 points and 5.7 rebounds for them, but has a nice inside-out game and can shoot the three.
Frankton boasts a huge record, but Park Tudor has played (and beaten) many of the big powers in Indianapolis. Park Tudor only lost to North Central and Southport, two of the top five 4A schools. The Eagles are led by senior Austin Compton, who hits 44% of his threes and averages 15.4 points per game.
As good as Park Tudor is, this might be their weakest team of the last five years. Frankton is loaded with seniors too, so they can definitely give Park Tudor a game.
Griffith (19-10) vs. Guerin Catholic (21-8) 6pm
You may have heard the story about this one by now. On February 7 Griffith was involved in a nasty game with Hammond that erupted into a 45 second brawl after a hard foul. The IHSAA forced both teams to forfeit their remaining games and banned them from the state tournament. Both teams were also banned from the annual Region sportsmanship banquet, but held their own and made up for the fight. Just two days before the sectional a court order allowed both teams back into the tournament, and Griffith, who had not played in a month, ran off six straight wins to reach its first state finals.
The IHSAA may still win the appeal and it is possible Griffith could win the title only to have it stripped from them, so this makes for a very, very interesting subplot. Tremell Murphy and Anthony Harris both average more than 17 points per game. Tremell's twin Anthony also averages close to 15 per game, so this is a very good team.
Guerin won the 3A title in 2012 and they are led by 6'6" Matt Holba, who is headed to Lehigh after averaging 18.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Guerin has played a very tough schedule with games against Lawrence North, Indy Tech, Hamilton Heights, and such. They won't be phased by tough competition, but Griffith is definitely a team on a mission.
Homestead (28-2) vs. Evansville Reitz (29-1) 8:15pm
This should be fun. Evansville Reitz is the top scoring team in the state by a wide margin at over 92 points per game. They have topped 100 a whopping ten times and have a cast of players that doesn't have a D-I commitment (yet), but a couple of Southern Indiana signees. They love to play a full court trapping defense and have five players averaging in double figures led by Jaelan Sanford at 20.6 points per game.
In Homestead you have Swanigan, who went thermonuclear with 40 points in last week's semi-state. He averages 22.7 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game as the perfect 6'9" power forward to pair with A.J. Hammons. If you can watch this game on Fox Sports Indiana Saturday night try to have a drool cup ready if you imagine him in black & gold. His teammate, Dana Batt, is committed to Colgate.
If Swanigan has a big game against fast-paced Reitz it will be even more impressive.