The wait was over.
Desmond Bane spent his entire senior season uncommitted to a basketball future. There was no doubt he was going to play in college, but the list of where that destination might be grew right along with Bane’s ever-expanding reputation.
He averaged 30 points as a senior for Seton Catholic, won another sectional championship, gained national attention when he found himself on ESPN and, ultimately, secured a spot on the Indiana All-Star team, the first Cardinal to earn that prestigious honor.
He had 27 colleges offer him a spot, many of them NCAA Division I programs.
Great-grandparents molded Seton Catholic star
He narrowed that list down to two — Texas Christian University and Miami University — and set a 5 p.m. deadline Thursday for his decision.
Just a few minutes before 5, and just a few feet from Chuck Mosey Gymnasium, where the 6-foot-5 jack-of-all-trades guard starred for four years on his way to becoming Wayne County’s all-time leading scorer in boys basketball, Bane took a seat with his great-grandparents, coaches and Seton administrators.
Moments later he announced his choice. Bane is Big 12 bound, and he’s eager to test his mettle against the best as part of TCU’s men’s basketball team.
“Ever since I went on my TCU visit, I just felt like this was the place for me and this was the place I needed to be,” Bane said.
One place Bane put himself was among the elite players in Indiana.
He was the state’s second leading scorer this season, and spent the year turning heads with eye-popping stats and games.
He scored 62 points against Lincoln on Feb. 19, one of the five times he scored 41 points or more as a senior. He averaged 11.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 3.2 blocks as the Cardinals won a third straight Class A sectional title. One of his dunks during that tournament went viral, shining the spotlight on the Seton star on a national stage.
Bane finished with 1,991 career points, one more than Richmond’s Woody Austin, to set the county scoring record. Two weeks ago, Bane was voted as the Fans’ Choice Male Athlete of the Year in the IndyStar Indiana Sports Awards.
“He’s a hard worker. He’s a great kid,” said Seton coach Josh Jurgens. “Just to watch this process, he deserves every bit of it. He didn’t cut corners. He didn’t cheat in any way. He is what he is because he’s done that. At the next level, if they give him the opportunity, when they do give him the opportunity, I think he’s going to seize it and just do great things.
“I think it’s a great choice for him. I think it’s a great situation, the way they’re rebuilding.”
TCU finished 12-21 last season. Jamie Dixon was hired in March to lead the Horned Frogs after 13 seasons at Pitt.
Dixon was 328-123 at Pitt and made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances with that program. He was the 2009 Naismith Coach of the Year and played at TCU. Dixon was inducted into the TCU Hall of Fame in 2007.
“I kind of just got that feeling, just knowing that a coach like coach Dixon wants to welcome me into his family and be a big part of his program,” Bane said.
“We’ll be playing, night in and night out, the best players in the country. Playing against the best players in the country, day in and day out, is only going to help me become the best player I can possibly be.”
Jurgens coached Bane through all four of his high school years at Seton, but has known him much longer. He was Bane’s third grade coach, too.
“I’m just so proud of him,” Jurgens said. “I can’t put it into words what this means. He’s going to go play Division I basketball for free. You can’t beat that.”
Bane said he plans to major in business.
Jaylen Fisher, a highly recruited point guard from Tennessee, announced his commitment to TCU earlier this month.
“He’s a tough, fast, athletic, pass-first point guard. That’s just somebody that you’d love to play with,” Bane said of Fisher.
“It’s kind of setting in to me just the environment that I’m going to be in. … All the hours that you put in the gym helps you build up confidence in yourself. I knew that if I just played my game and did my thing, everything else would fall into place.”
TCU has seven NCAA Tournament appearances, the last in 1998.
Bane helped Seton win its first sectional championship in basketball in 2014. He is the second Cardinal from this senior class to commit to a Division I school. Jacob Stamm became Seton’s first Division I recruit when he signed with IUPUI last month to compete in cross country and track and field.
“I love this place,” Bane said.