Brandon Bradley, owner and publisher of Scouting Indiana, attended the first day the Hoosier Hills Hoops Fall Basketball League at Charlestown High School last Sunday. Below are his observations on top prospects he scouted throughout the day.
I really enjoyed myself Sunday at the Hoosier Hills Hoops Fall League. Matt Denison does a great job with providing an opportunity for Southern Indiana basketball players to not only prepare themselves for their upcoming season, but also to showcase themselves in case college coaches or scouts stop by. I was impressed with the facilities, but more so with the overall organization of the event. It seemed to run like clockwork, and everyone knew what they were doing and where they were supposed to be.
With eight girls’ teams and 18 boys’ teams, below is a look at five girls and five boys who stood out to me throughout the day. With four courts running in two different rooms I didn’t get a chance to see every minute of every game, and these also aren’t necessarily the best prospects at the event, simply the girls or boys who I thought played well when I got a chance to see them.
Top-5 girls’ from week one
+ Annie Thomas, Class of 2014, 5’4, PG, Southwestern (Shelby): Annie caught my eye in the very first game I saw, and her play stuck with me throughout the day. She is quick-on-quick, almost feisty defensively, and she made plays at both ends of the floor. She has a solid handle either direction, and she has an overall good feel for the game. She’ll probably need to shoot it a little more consistently from the perimeter, but all-in-all she possesses what a lot of coaches are looking for in a lead guard: poise, toughness, ability, and ball skill.
+ Shelby Kirchgessner, Class of 2014, 5’4, PG, Borden: Shelby is another fairly quick, tough, feisty lead guard. She, too, has a great feel for the game and can knock down perimeter shots. She has a solid frame that I think can continue to get stronger, and she isn’t afraid to mix it up a little bit. I liked her control of her team for a fall league, and when she was in it seemed like positive things were always happening.
+ Haley Vogen, Class of 2014, 6’0, C, Jeffersonville: Haley was a post a coach can truly appreciate. She knows she’s strong, so she does most of her work around the paint and didn’t get caught up floating around the perimeter trying to make plays. She’s a post who you just can’t let catch it inside of 5-feet or else she’s going to score the ball. She worked hard at both ends and ran the floor well. If she plays like this every time out, she has a chance to make a major impact this year.
+ Olivia Crozier, Class of 2015, 6’1, PF/C, Madison: I was very impressed with Olivia, and she has about as much upside as anyone in the league. She is a very active front liner who isn’t necessarily a center, but because of her height is probably often stuck there. She is skilled facing the basket, she can handle it in transition a little bit, and she can knock down jump shots or post around the block. I definitely need to see more of her, but she definitely made a lasting impression on me.
+ Jenna Shine, Class of 2016, 5’10, SF/PF, New Albany: Jenna is another prospect who has very good potential and upside. She has good length, she’s fairly fluid, and she looks comfortable handling and shooting the basketball around the perimeter. She’s still somewhat slender and definitely needs to get much stronger, but I think once she does she’ll be more explosive and more consistent shooting it from outside. If she can become a true small forward throughout her career, even a borderline 2-guard, she has a chance to get a lot of college attention.
Top-5 boys from week one
+ Darryl Baker, Class of 2013, 6’2, SG, Jeffersonville: I have seen Darryl play numerous times throughout the last four years, and this was easily the best I can remember him shooting the ball from the perimeter. If he can stay that consistent from the perimeter throughout the season, that’s really the one thing that was missing from his skill set. He’s always been good attacking the rim and making plays off the dribble, plus he’s so strong and athletic. I’ve said several times before that when he wants to be he can be dominant, but he must consistently increase his motor. Still he’s quite a talent, and definitely hard-to-guard for your everyday, run-of-the-mill high school kid.
+ Bryce Lienhoop, Class of 2014, 6’5, SF, Columbus East: Bryce continues to improve his game. It’s impressive to see how far he’s come since last fall. He was aggressive attacking the basket, and even looked a little more athletic than I remember, though he could stand to continue getting more explosive. He has a solid handle and does a nice job of taking care of it in transition. I think the combination of his size, strength, and now a much-improved skill set will have him drawing a few Division I coaches this next year.
+ Devin Burt, Class of 2014, 6’2 SF/SG, Rock Creek: I’ve had Devin’s name in my database for some time, but this was my first chance to really sit and evaluate him. Devin is a big-time athlete. He may need to play with a bit more of a motor at times, but his ability to get from the ground to the rim as quickly and easily as he does is impressive. He could make for a fine wide receiver prospect. Basketball-wise, his handle is decent but needs to improve to be a true 2-guard, and I didn’t get a chance to really see him shoot it from the perimeter. But he was great attacking the rim and finishing well above most defenders. He has a lot of physical talent, and once the skill set catches up he’ll draw quite a few college looks.
+ Chad O’Bryan, Class of 2014, 6’6, SF/PF, Southridge: I’ve been a fan of Chad’s since I first saw him over a year ago. He’s a very long, slender kid who has grown so quickly that he’s still working through some robotic issues and becoming a more fluid athlete. But he’s tremendously skilled, especially shooting it from the perimeter. He’s lefty stroke is pure whenever he’s able to get his feet set. As he continues to mature physically and add strength, he’ll be a much more explosive vertical athlete, and I think his game will see even another level.
+ Gabe Bauer, Class 0f 2015, 6’1, SG, Silver Creek: I first saw Gabe in the spring, and his game has changed from the spring to the summer and from the summer until now. He continues to get stronger and more effective with the ball in his hands. He also looks like he’s grown a little bit, and he may actually be closer to 6’2 now. What I’ve liked most about Gabe is that he just flat knows how to play. He takes care of the ball, can make plays off the dribble, shoot it from the perimeter, and he rarely turns it over. He might be one of the most efficient and effective guards in the state in 2015.
More on Bradley: The owner and publisher of Scouting Indiana since its inception in 2006, he has written various articles for basketball publications including SLAM Magazine and the Hoop Scoop. He’s currently in the midst of a blog series on Indiana’s top college prospects for the Indianapolis Star. Scouting Indiana has over 120 paying colleges at this point, and more than 3,500 Indiana prospects in his database.