If you love defense, you’d have had a miserable time when the Indiana All-Stars faced their junior counterparts at Washington’s Hatchet House.
But then, it wasn’t about you.
The first basketball exhibition encounter on Monday night showcased the state’s impressive offensive talent for the Classes of 2011 and 2012, and points were scored faster than you could ask, when will Gary Harris make up his mind?
Harris looked awfully good, by the way. He had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven steals in 20 minutes. It wasn’t enough to get the juniors past the seniors, but it left fans from Indiana hoping this Hamilton Southeastern standout sees the Cream ‘n Crimson light.
IU, Purdue, Louisville, Ohio State and Michigan State are among the VERY interested teams.
For the record, Warsaw guard Nick Moore hit a pair of late three-pointers to give the All-Stars a 117-113 win over the juniors.
We told you there wasn’t much defense.
Cody Zeller was the star, as you knew he would be in his last game at the Hatchet House. He had 26 points, 19 rebounds and three blocks in 31 minutes, which is what you’d expect from Indiana’s Mr. Basketball on his home court. He also a couple of rim-rocking dunks that got a crowd of about 5,000 pumped. He hadn’t lost at the Hatchet House since his sophomore season, and the last thing he wanted was to end with one. Add brothers Luke and Tyler and there’s been a Zeller thriving at this historic arena for decade.
Zeller had lots of help Monday night. Branden Dawson, who is heading to Michigan State, had 19 points and 13 rebounds. Kentucky-bound Marquis Teague, who was booed by Cream ‘n Crimson fans during warm-ups, had 24 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Moore, who at 5-9 was the smallest player on the court, had 14 points. He is going to Illinois State.
The juniors were led by Kokomo’s D.J. Balentine. He had 25 points and was 7-for-10 from three-point range. He has yet to commit to a college, by the way.
As far as Indiana-bound players, senior Austin Etherington had eight points in 16 minutes. In a rare off night, Yogi Ferrell had just four points in 16 minutes for the juniors. However, Jeremy Hollowell had 15 points and five rebounds for the juniors. Ron Patterson had nine points and three rebounds in 17 minutes.
Many of these players will get together again Wednesday in Kokomo for another exhibition before the All-Stars face their Kentucky counterparts this weekend. Friday they play at Louisville’s Bellarmine University. On Saturday they play at Indianapolis’ Conseco Fieldhouse.
That's a lot of basketball. Yes, it's a good thing.