Hoosier Commits and Targets Well Represented in the Six Indiana Mr. Basketball Finalists

When Archie Miller was hired at Indiana in the spring of 2017 he made it clear that focusing on and signing the state of Indiana’s elite high school talent was a top priority.  You would have to call year one a success, with two of the six finalists for Indiana’s Mr. Basketball committed to play for Miller’s Hoosiers next year, and one more still a distinct possibility.

In the not too distant past it was a fairly common occurrence for the Indiana Mr. Basketball winner to go on to play for IU.  In fact, 13 of the winners from 1983 to 2011 played for the Hoosiers.  However, the last six winners of the award have chosen to play somewhere else.  The last Mr. Basketball to play for Indiana was Cody Zeller.

Here are the six finalists that were announced today.  You can see a complete list of Mr. Basketballs that played for Indiana further below.

2018 INDIANA COMMITS

DAMEZI ANDERSON

Photo credit – @AndersonDamezi

Anderson is the all-time leading scorer in the history of South Bend.  For his high school career at South Bend Riley he totaled 2,210 points.  The 6-6 wing led Riley to the semistate this year while averaging 19.2 points per game.

ROBERT PHINISEE

Photo credit – @robphinisee1

Phinisee finished his career not far behind Anderson, at 2,023 career points.  He had a breakout senior year, averaging 29.4 points, 5.8 assists and 3.7 steals per game.  The 6-1 point guard led McCutheon to a 20-5 record on the season.

2018 INDIANA TARGET

ROMEO LANGFORD

Photo credit – McDAAG

Widely considered a lock for the 2018 Mr. Basketball, Langford topped the 3,000 point mark for his career, finishing 4th on the Indiana all-time scoring list.  The 6-5 shooting guard led New Albany to the semi-state before they were upended on a last second shot by eventual state champion Warren Central.  Langford will announce his college decision in late April.

THE OTHER THREE 2018 FINALISTS

Of course the Hoosiers didn’t land all of the top six finalists, and they will have to see two of them on a regular basis in Big Ten conference play beginning in 2019:

  • Mekhi Lairy (Evansville Bosse, Miami of Ohio)
  • Eric Hunter (Tindley, Purdue)
  • Aaron Henry (Ben Davis, Michigan State)

The Mr. Basketball award will be announced at the  Indiana Sports Awards on Sunday, April 29, at Clowes Memorial Hall in Indianapolis.

MR. BASKETBALLS THAT PLAYED FOR INDIANA

The Indiana Mr. Basketball award has been handed out since 1939.  Here are the winners that went on to play, at least initially, for Indiana University:

  • Ed Schienbein, 1940
  • Tom Schwartz, 1945
  • Bill Garrett, 1947
  • Bob Masters, 1948
  • Hallie Bryant, 1953
  • Jimmy Rayl, 1959
  • Tom and Dick Van Arsdale, 1961
  • George McGinnis, 1969
  • Dave Shepherd, 1970
  • Kent Benson, 1973
  • Ray Tolbert, 1977
  • Steve Bouchie, 1979
  • Steve Alford, 1983
  • Delray Brooks, 1984
  • Jay Edwards and Lyndon Jones, 1987
  • Pat Graham, 1989
  • Damon Bailey, 1990
  • Luke Recker, 1997
  • Tom Coverdale, 1998
  • Jared Jeffries, 2000
  • A.J. Ratliff, 2004
  • Eric Gordon, 2007
  • Jordan Hulls, 2009
  • Cody Zeller, 2011

Note:  Sherron Wilkerson originally won the 1993 Mr. Basketball.  He was later stripped of the award and it was given to Kojak Fuller.

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