At the state finals media gathering on Monday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Tech coach Jason Delaney and Park Tudor coach Kyle Cox each made a pitch for their IndyStar Indiana Mr. Basketball candidates.
At this point, there’s little else Trey Lyles and Trevon Bluiett can accomplish other than to win their respective games on Saturday. Lyles and his second-ranked Tech team (26-2) play No. 8 Lake Central (22-3) in the Class 4A championship at 8:15 p.m., while Bluiett and Class 2A top-ranked Park Tudor (23-4) face unranked Westview (23-4) in a 12:45 p.m. tipoff.
“Hopefully winning a third state championship will put him in the driver’s seat,” Cox said of Bluiett, who is averaging 35.6 points per game. “But if Trey wins, I think it’s probably a tossup. James (Blackmon Jr.) is a tremendous player, too. It’ll be a tight race, like it has been all year.”
With those two as the marquee names, there is plenty of star power at this year’s state finals. Here are 20 names to look for on Saturday:
Trevon Bluiett, Park Tudor: The 6-6 Bluiett (35.6 points, 11.4 rebounds) is sixth on the state’s all-time scoring list with 2,530 points. The Xavier recruit is 65 points behind Rick Mount with one game to play in his high school career.
Jordyn Bontrager, Westview: The 5-10 senior point guard is the sparkplug for the Warriors, averaging 17.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists.
Micah Bullock, Barr-Reeve: The Class A top-ranked Vikings likely wouldn’t be here without the contributions of the 6-4 senior Bullock, who is averaging a team-leading 15.6 points.
Davon Dillard, Bowman Academy: The 6-5 Dillard has high Division I interest, including an offer from Purdue, and is a core member of the IndyStar Indiana Junior All-Star team. Dillard is averaging 17.0 points and 7.1 rebounds and led Bowman to the Class 2A state title last season.
Ryan Fazekas, Michigan City Marquette: The 6-8 junior committed to Providence in the fall. Fazekas is averaging 13.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for the Class A third-ranked Blazers.
Arthur Haggard III, Bowman Academy: The 6-3 senior is a key player for the Class 3A third-ranked Eagles, averaging 12.0 points and shooting 38 percent from the 3-point line.
Mike Jones, Tech: The 6-5 Jones sometimes gets overlooked on a team of standouts, but is averaging 8.4 points, 3.8 assists and shooting 54 percent from the field.
Justin King, Bowman Academy: It seems like King, a 6-7 senior, has been around forever. He’s been a big part of the program’s success, averaging 14.6 points and 9.3 rebounds as a senior.
Trey Lyles, Tech: The 6-10 Kentucky recruit is averaging 24.0 points, 12.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists in a dominant senior season.
Bryant McIntosh, Greensburg: The 6-3 Northwestern recruit revs the engine for the Class 3A defending champs, averaging 14.1 points, 9.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds as a senior.
Richie Mitchell, Michigan City Marquette: The 6-foot senior point guard is averaging 11.7 points and 3.6 assists for the Blazers.
Bryce Moore, Park Tudor: The 6-2 junior point guard has Division I interest and is second on the team in scoring (11.2 ppg) behind Bluiett. He also leads the Panthers with 4.7 assists per game.
Sean Sellers, Greensburg: The 6-6 senior and Ball State recruit is the school’s all-time leading scorer and is averaging 20.1 points and 7.6 rebounds as a senior for the Class 3A No. 1 Pirates.
Austin Shelton, Park Tudor: The 5-11 senior has been a key to Park Tudor’s success the past two seasons. Shelton is averaging 10.5 points and 2.7 rebounds as a senior.
Jeremie Tyler, Tech: The 6-3 senior Ball State recruit went over 1,000 points for his career last week and became the program’s all-time leading 3-point shooter. Tyler is averaging 16.1 points and shooting 42 percent from the 3-point line.
Addison Wagler, Barr-Reeve: The 6-5 junior center is averaging 15.4 points and 5.0 rebounds for the Class A top-ranked Vikings.
C.J. Walker, Tech: The 6-foot point guard, one of the top sophomores in the state, is averaging 8.4 points and 3.1 assists.
Ryan Welage, Greensburg: The 6-8 junior has been instrumental in the Pirates’ run the past two seasons. He’s averaging 15.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and shooting 69 percent from the field.
Tyler Wideman, Lake Central: The 6-7 Butler recruit has been big for the Indians this season, averaging 15.7 points and 7.1 rebounds and shooting 69 percent from the field. Seems a likely choice to make the IndyStar Indiana All-Star team.
Tye Wilburn, Lake Central: The 6-foot point guard is playing the best basketball of his high school career, averaging 12.3 points and 4.5 assists as a senior.
To participate in the IndyStar Mr. Basketball fan poll, go to: http://indy.st/1fY20CZ There is no limit on the number of times a person can vote.
State finals schedule
Saturday, Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Class A – Barr-Reeve (26-1) vs. Michigan City Marquette (19-6), 10:30 a.m.
Class 2A – Park Tudor (23-4) vs. Westview (23-4), 12:30 p.m.
Class 3A – Greensburg (27-1) vs. Bowman Academy (22-4), 6 p.m.
Class 4A – Tech (26-2) vs. Lake Central (22-3), 8:15 p.m.
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.