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March 19, 2014

By: Adam Derengowski 

How did we get so lucky?

Two great matchups featuring four of the most talented teams that Indiana high school basketball has to offer, all housed in an 8100 seat gymnasium that has Hoosier Hysteria ingrained in each and every brick. If you’re a Hoosier, hell, if you have a pulse, that should make your knees buckle at the thought that with each bounce of the ball this weekend, each and every person in the 6th largest high school gym in the country is adding to the magic of Hoosier Hysteria. Pay your money, then sit back and take in all that one of the greatest traditions in sports has to offer.  

Storylines for this weekend 


  • Division 1 is well represented 

    The crown jewel, not only of this semi-state but of the entire 2014 recruiting class, is unequivocally and undeniably 6-10 University of Kentucky recruit Trey Lyles.  He possess big play ability with a mid-range game and basketball savvy that makes you question if he can really be  18 years old.  Pro scouts and media are noticing the young man’s immense skills and many mock draft websites are projecting him to be a top 5 pick in the 2015 NBA draft.  Even though many fans and many of those in the media are quickly submitting their request for tickets and credentials just to see the Indianapolis Tech big man, they are going to be treated to a showcase of some of the best Division 1 talent the state of Indiana has to offer. Indianapolis Tech alone has four other players who have either signed national letters of intent or received interest from NCAA Division 1 schools.


    Two Titans will be playing together at the next level at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Seniors Jeremie Tyler and Rashuan Richardson who have been integral pieces to this year’s Arsenal Tech team have agreed to play for James Whitford, Head Coach at Ball State, and a BSU team that finished with a disappointing 5-25 record this year. Two other Titans have gotten some long looks from Mid-Major and Power conference schools. Senior guard Mike Jones, a 6-5 wing that has averaged 9 points for the deepest team in the tourney, has interest from Illinois State, Loyola Chicago and has taken an unofficial visit to Indiana State. Another huge piece of the Tech machine has been sophomore point guard C.J. Walker. Walker at just 6-0 still appears to have some growing to do but it is hard to tell in him game. The guard possesses great vision and good decision making for a player his age and when you pair that with great handles it is no wonder why Illinois State, Indiana State and Purdue have all come courting the young point.  


Although Tech does seem to keep a great deal of talent on their roster, their opponent, Bloomington North, has plenty of Division 1 ties. The two names that you will probably recognize the most aren’t highly touted recruits yet but do have ties to a division 1 program. Freshman Riley Crean is son of Indiana University head coach Tom Crean and junior forward Kaleb Ferrell is the younger brother of star IU point guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell. Although these two have the name recognition it is senior guard Grant Sims who is getting things done between the lines averaging 17 points and 6 rebounds per game for the Cougars. Sims has signed his letter of intent to play for the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Bloomington High School NorthThe pipeline of talent doesn’t end in the 4A matchup with both Guerin Catholic and Greensburg touting rosters with multiple division 1 commitments. Senior Aaron Brennan is the leading scorer and rebounder for Guerin Catholic and has committed to stay in the Indianapolis area and play for IUPUI.


He is paired with junior forward Matt Holba who is garnering interest from schools in the Big Ten and has been offered scholarships from Providence and Valparaiso according to verbalcommits.com. 


Greensburg shouldn’t be left out of the conversation of depth on the roster boasting several players who are gaining a lot of momentum with major schools. The biggest name on the roster is senior point guard Bryant McIntosh who after a bit of a topsy turvy recruiting process that saw him commit and then decommit to Indiana state has settled on playing in the Big Ten for Northwestern.

McIntosh has been averaging about 9 assist per game this season thanks in part to 6-7 senior forward Sean Sellers who has carved his path to Ball State.  Sellers has been playing inside along with junior forward Ryan Welage who has had interest from several Big Ten schools including Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Purdue.  



Although the other 3A and 4A regionals feature teams with talent, it surely will not matchup to the amount of depth that teams in the Richmond semi-state owns and we all know that this is going to result in quality basketball Saturday.  


  • Can anybody slow down the Indianapolis Tech machine?

    There are numerous words you can use when describing the Arsenal Tech Titans. They’re deep, they’re talented, and most of all they have been dominant thus far in the tournament. They captured the first sectional and regional titles in the programs history since 1978 and made it look about as easy as one could make it look, winning all five games by an average of 21 points including a pair of 30 point victories over Lawrence North and Lawrence Central.   Pike came the closest by far losing by just eight points in the night game of the Southport regional and that was thanks to constant pressure on Tech point guard, and Ball State commit, Jeremie Tyler who was held to just 2 field goals in the game.  This is where the depth kicks in because you may be able to shut down one Titan but you won’t shut them all down as senior Mike Jones picked up the slack pouring in 19 points against the Red Devils. Don’t be mistaken, it is possible. Tech has two blemishes on their record this season including a somewhat surprising 6 point loss late in the year to Hamilton Southeastern but it appears this was somewhat of a wakeup call for the Titans who appear to be all business.  In all reality the only thing that may truly stop them is their ability or lack thereof to remember the correct set of uniforms. 




  • 3A matchup may be closer than you think


Many of the experts around Indiana have been looking forward to one matchup in class 3A. Greensburg taking on Bowman Academy, two teams that have been dominating the class with a combined record of 47-5, of which just one loss came at the hands of a 3A opponent.


Although we all would like to see a battle between two powerhouses, we cannot forget about the Guerin Catholic Golden Eagles.      

This Eagles squad is laden with experience including 10 upperclassmen who were present 2 years ago when Guerin Catholic captured the 3A state championship. Look for this core group of experienced players to not back down from the role of underdog as they look to spoil the dominant season that Greensburg has had thus far.

There are so many great matchups when you look at the rosters between these two teams including the guard battle that will take place between Guerin Catholic senior point guard Whitt Rapp and Greensburg senior guard Bryant McIntosh.  The two points are putting up strikingly similar numbers each averaging 9 assists and just about 1.5 steals per game each leaders for their team.  Look for this matchup to make a huge difference in the result of this game. McIntosh, committed to Northwestern, is the better scorer of the two averaging 14 points per game, if he is allowed to get open scoring looks from both inside     

and outside look for Greensburg to cruise.  But I wouldn’t bet on it.


Even the swami of Indiana basketball John Harrell has seen what the Eagles of Guerin Catholic bring to the table in this matchup. Changing his championship projections to favor that of Bowman Academy because of this tough matchup at the Tiernan Center on Saturday.


The bottom line is. Don’t be surprised if Guerin Catholic heads back to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse to compete for their 2nd title in three years.



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