One of the highest honors a player in the state of Indiana can receive is a spot on the annual Indiana All-Star team. The shine has dulled from that in its heyday, but it is a great tradition for Indiana's bet to play Kentucky's best in early June. Every player on Purdue's roster that played their senior season at an IHSAA affiliated school was named an Indiana All-Star. The Indiana All-Star team is limited to the best senior basketball players in the state, and this year I was honored to have an official ballot. Of everything I have done in my journalism career, being asked to vote for the Indiana All-Star team and Mr. Basketball is the greatest honor I have been given.
Here is this year's team:
Desmond Bane: Seton Catholic, uncommitted.
Tucker Blackwell: Bloomington South, uncommitted.
Joey Brunk: Southport, Butler.
Grant Gelon: Crown Point, Indiana.
Eugene German: Gary 21st Century, Northern Illinois.
Eron Gordon: Cathedral, uncommitted.
Kyle Guy: Lawrence Central, Virginia.
Brachen Hazen: Columbia City, uncommitted.
Damien Jefferson: East Chicago Central, New Mexico.
Kyle Mallers: Fort Wayne Carroll, Ball State.
Tremell Murphy: Griffith, uncommitted.
Dru Smith: Evansville Reitz, Evansville.
C.J. Walker: Tech, Florida State.
For the first time Mr. Basketball was NOT named before the All-Star team. Instead, Mr. Basketball will be announced on April 28 at the Indiana Sports Awards Banquet at Lucas Oil Stadium. The three finalists for Mr. Basketball are Joey Brunk, Kyle Guy, and C.J. Walker.
Walker, of course, was once committed to Purdue before flipping to Florida State. I saw him a few times this season and he is an excellent player that can get to the rim and shoot the ball as well. Guy was a McDonald's All-American, while Brunk, who is headed to Butler, was a Purdue target that took Southport farther than they have been in more than 25 years.
As far as Purdue is concerned, we will see a few players as opponents. Gelon is headed to Indiana, and Brunk at Butler will play Purdue every other year in Indianapolis. Mallers and Smith could also be future non-conference opponents if Purdue plays in-state foes.
Among the uncommitted are Bane and Gordon. Gordon has long had a Purdue offer, but he is currently in the longest recruitment in the history of basketball and I don't think Purdue is after him much at all. He also had a bizarre HS career where he missed most of his junior season due to IHSAA rules after transferring from North Central to Cathedral.
Bane, of course, has his workout next Thursday at Purdue, where an offer could follow.