Preps Insider: Tough decisions for Indiana All-Star roster

Preps Insider: Tough decisions for Indiana All-Star roster


Preps Insider: Tough decisions for Indiana All-Star roster


IndyStar Mr. Basketball was unveiled early last week – Homestead’s Caleb Swanigan, if you missed it. So, what is the hold up with the Indiana All-Star team? All-Star director Charlie Hall said his committee would like to see practice for the North-South Classic and the game itself on Sunday in Marion. There are a number of players in that game who will either be on the team, or strongly considered. Here is a look at the players who were included on the ballot. Voters could pick from any player on the list and submit up to three candidates as a write-in selection for a total of 12. Here’s a look at the list:

Seth Adelsperger, Peru

Chandler Aspy, Westview

Pat Bacon, Lawrence North

Des Balentine, Western

Joe Bannister, Lake Central

Michael Benkert, Center Grove

Malik Bennett, Southport

Gary Bonds, Scecina

Harris Brown, Howe

Luke Callahan, Danville

Devin Cannady, Mishawaka Marian

Ryan Cline, Carmel

Austin Compton, Frankton

Ryan Curry, New Palestine

Billy Doslak, Penn

Everett Duncan, Evansville Harrison

Stanley Duncan, Evansville Harrison

Adam Eberhard, Evansville Memorial

Hyron Edwards, East Chicago Central

Ryan Fazekas, Marquette Catholic

Grant Gayler, North Montgomery

Jordan Geist, Homestead

Brennan Gillis, Ben Davis

Drew Hackett, Munster

Tre’shon Heard, McCutcheon

T.J. Henderson, Scecina

Bryan Hoeing, Batesville

Matt Holba, Guerin Catholic

John Jager, Bloomington South

Anthony Jones, Speedway

Bronson Kessinger, Corydon Central

Jimmy King, Roncalli

Skyler Kolli, International

Sean McDermott, Pendleton Heights

Sean McGee, Fort Wayne North

Bryce Moore, Park Tudor

Marquise Moore, Cloverdale

Joey Morlan, Fort Wayne Blackhawk

Nate Niehoff, Rushville

Jacob Norman, Evansville Reitz

Chris Nunn, Liberty Christian

Joel Okafor, Richmond

Chris Palombizio, Chesterton

Logan Primerano, Peru

Zach Rutland, Scecina

Jaelan Sanford, Evansville Reitz

Filip Serwatka, Concord

Carter Skaggs, Logansport

Derrik Smits, Zionsville

Josh Speidel, Columbus North

Chandler Spring, Covington

Alex Stein, Evansville Reitz

Wes Stowers, North Central

Caleb Swanigan, Homestead

Tahjai Teague, Pike

Connor Umphress, Columbus East

Addison Wagler, Barr-Reeve

Trevor Waite, Tri-West

Blake Walsman, Batesville

K.J. Walton, Brownsburg

Grant Weatherford, Hamilton Heights

Lane Weaver, Mooresville

Ryan Welage, Greensburg

Robert West, Evansville North

Chandler White, Fort Wayne Carroll

Davon Winburn, New Albany

Dylan Windler, Perry Meridian

Ethan Woodrow, Fountain Central

Speidel, who is making steady progress since a car accident on Feb. 1, has a spot on the team. He earned it, prior to the accident, and Hall made the right move by reserving his spot (I would have also had Corydon Central’s Bronson Kessinger on my ballot. Kessinger suffered a gruesome broken leg near the end of the season). That means there will be 14 on the team this season. So how would you break down the rest of the roster? Here are my thoughts (and strictly my opinion):

• Definitely in: The 6-9 Swanigan is Mr. Basketball and the Gatorade Player of the Year. He’s in. The 6-5 Cline was a three-year standout at Carmel. He’s in. The 5-11 Brown was the City Player of the Year and led Howe to the City title. He’s in. Sanford averaged more than 20 points a game for Reitz, the state’s top team most of the season. He’s in. The 6-3 Walton averaged 19.7 points and led Brownsburg to a 4A regional in back-to-back seasons. He’s in.

Counting Speidel, that’s six. Six of 14.

• Probably in: There’s no true point guard in the group above. I think Mishawaka Marian’s Devin Cannady (22.4 ppg, 5.4 rebounds) is probably in. He’s a Princeton recruit and Marian was 20-0 before losing to South Bend St. Joseph in the sectional. Hyron Edwards never advanced out of the sectional at East Chicago Central but still had a very good high school career and strong senior season. Ryan Fazekas of Michigan City Marquette won a Class A title last year and was runner-up this year. He’s 6-8, can shoot it and is headed to Providence. He’s probably in. Matt Holba of Guerin Catholic averages nearly 19 points a game and led his team to a 3A title. He’s a Lehigh recruit. He’s probably in. Richmond’s Joel Okafor scored 27 points in a regional title win over Brownsburg and averaged 15.2 points and 6.4 assists. He’s probably in. Pike’s 6-9 Tahjai Teague, a Ball State recruit, didn’t put up huge numbers on a balanced Pike team. But the Red Devils have won five consecutive sectionals and he’s been a big part the reason why. He’s probably in.

That’s six more. That’s 12 overall. Just two spots left. Remember, though All-Star ballots are considered as part of the process, the team is ultimately picked by Hall (with input from others). The goal is to put the best team together with regard to positions and how the group would play together.

That would leave a very long group of names for the final two spots on this hypothetical list. I probably depends quite a bit on what the coaches, led by Columbus East’s Brent Chitty, want to do with the roster. Personally I’d probably want one more point guard. Southport’s Malik Bennett, Munster’s Drew Hackett, Homestead’s Jordan Geist, Roncalli’s Jimmy King, Park Tudor’s Bryce Moore and Scecina’s Zach Rutland should all get a long look. Moore may have wrapped up a spot with his strong play down the stretch for Class 2A state champion Park Tudor. I’d also want one more player with versatility, preferably with size. Along those lines, Scecina’s Gary Bonds, Ben Davis’ Brennan Gillis, Pendleton Heights’ Sean McDermott, Chesterton’s Chris Palombizio, Zionsville’s Derrik Smits, Greensburg’s Ryan Welage and Perry Meridian’s Dylan Windler all bring something different to the table. And then there are multi-skilled guards like Lawrence North’s Pat Bacon, Center Grove’s Michael Benkert, Evansville Reitz’s Alex Stein, Hamilton Heights’ Grant Weatherford and Fort Wayne Carroll’s Chandler White, who are all deserving of consideration.

As you can see, that’s a tough list to whittle down. Hall said it’s the most difficult cut in his time as All-Star director.


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