Hoosier Hills Hoops | Southern Indiana high school basketball

Scouting Indiana highlights top players from week one of Fall League

September 30, 2012

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.

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Rosters, schedules for Hoosier Hills Hoops 2012 Fall Basketball League

September 18, 2012

Rosters and schedules for all divisions and locations of the Hoosier Hills Hoops 2012 Fall Basketball Leagues are now available. Click here to visit the Fall League page for details.

Please arrive 45 minutes before your first game to check in. Contact us with questions.

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Vincennes University announces preseason jamboree participants

August 24, 2012

Vincennes JamboreeVincennes University will host an array of prep school and junior college teams at its annual preseason event, the Vincennes Jamboree, VU assistant coach Brian Davis told us this week.

The event will be held Sunday, Oct. 14, and the hour-long exhibitions will begin at approximately 11:30 a.m.

“It’s a great opportunity for everyone to see where they’re at,” Davis said. “It’s also good to get the prep schools on (the Vincennes) campus and to give other colleges a chance to see and recruit our kids. We expect a lot of Division I-type kids to participate in this event.”

Prep schools scheduled to attend includes: Core City Hoops (Windsor, Ontario), Creating Young Minds Academy (Irving, Tex.), two teams from God’s Academy (Good Prairie, Tex.), Kingdom Prep (Des Moines, Iowa), LaPorte La Lumiere (Ind.) and Summit Prep (Lansing, Mich.).

The list of participating junior colleges includes: Cincinnati State (Oh.), John Logan (Ill.), Lincoln Trail (Ill.), Parkland (Ill.), Kaskaskia (Ill.), Olney Central (Ill.), Shawnee (Ill.) South Suburban (Ill.) and Vincennes.

College coaches admission and roster packet will cost $50, and general admission for fans will be $5.

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Bellarmine announces late signing of Evansville Harrison product

August 23, 2012

Cole Schafer, a Class of 2012 graduate of Evansville Harrison, is latest Southern Indiana addition to Bellarmine’s top-flight NCAA Division II program. Here’s the school’s release:

Bellarmine University men’s basketball coach Scott Davenport has added to his 2012-13 roster by signing Cole Schafer to a National Letter of Intent. The 6-3 combo guard is a recent graduate of Harrison High School in Evansville, Ind.

“Cole brings great versatility to our program,” said Davenport. “He’s had to overcome an injury, so he’s developed a ‘never to be denied’ attitude, and our staff is impressed with his drive and determination.”

Schafer’s senior season was cut short at Harrison when he tore tendons in between his toes and the arch of his foot seven games into the year. Before the injury he was averaging 14.6 points and 6.1 rebounds which included a 13 point, 10 rebound performance against Pleasure Ridge Park High School and fellow Bellarmine signee, Max Clemons.

His high school coach, Bryan Speer, believes that Schafer’s work ethic, he added 15-lbs. of muscle on while rehabbing the injury, shows that his best basketball is still ahead of him. “Cole improved as much over four years as any play as I’ve ever seen,” said Speer. “He just keeps getting better.”

His role in college will probably be as a “2-guard,” but Speer said he did it all in high school. “He played mostly at the 2 or 3, but on defense we had him guard whoever (our opponents’) best player was, no matter if he was 5-7 or 6-7.”

With his injury coming at a time when most college coaches are watching prospects, Schafer said he is grateful for this opportunity and excited to play for such prestigious program. “I came to a Bellarmine game last season and the atmosphere at Knights’ Hall was phenomenal,” Schafer said, adding that he is ready to carve out his own niche on the team. “I just want the fans to watch me play and say, ‘that kid gives it his all.’”

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Jasper’s Shelby Merder will stay in-state for college hoops

August 13, 2012

Jasper's Shelby MerderJasper standout Shelby Merder, one of Southern Indiana’s top college prospects in the graduating Class of 2013, will stay in-state for college and play at Ball State, she confirmed to Hoosier Hills Hoops on Monday evening.

“Definitely the coaching staff was a big reason for my decision,” said Merder, a 6-foot-3 forward. “The coaches and I created a great relationship, and that was a big thing for me.”

Merder selected the Cardinals — and first-year head coach Brady Sallee — over scholarship opportunities from Austin Peay, Maryland-Baltimore County, New Mexico and Southeast Missouri State. She also entertained serious interest from Miami (Ohio) and St. Louis,.

Merder said that Jill Morrison, also a Ball State recruit in the 2013 class, was a big factor in her decision.

“She helped me and talked with me a lot about the school,” she said of Morrison, who hails from Winchester High School.

Merder, who expects to “be a forward who plays in the high-post” for the Cardinals, is planning to major in communication.

“I felt the campus and school were a perfect size for me. The campus is really pretty and the closeness of being able to walk everywhere is really nice. It’s a place where I can see myself spending four years of my life.”

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Borden senior-to-be garners camp award

July 28, 2012

Borden's Jalen McCoyBorden incoming senior Jalen McCoy turned in a solid performance at session two of the recent High Potential/Blue-Chip Basketball Camp at Georgetown (Ky.) College.

McCoy — one of Southern Indiana’s top 3-point shooters — was honored with the camp’s “110-percent award” for outstanding effort.

The 6-foot-1 guard also powered his camp team throughout the week, connecting on 11-of-12 shots from the field in one game and knocking down a game-winning basket in another.

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