When it comes to AAU basketball, the summer before your senior year of high school is the summer.
National travel, the highest profile events, and the top competition.
That is what Indiana class of 2021 verbal commit Logan Duncomb was expecting for his last run with the Indiana Elite AAU program.
The pandemic induced reality has of course been much different.
The AAU season should have kicked off in April, but Duncomb’s squad didn’t play their first game until late June. That’s actually a better outcome than some AAU programs around the country who are still waiting for a green light.
But because everything is more regional at this point, the opponents that Indiana Elite is facing right now are nowhere near the caliber of talent that they would have faced on the Adidas Gauntlet.
That’s a summer of development that Duncomb will never get back.
Still, he is happy to be back on the court, and Duncomb is choosing to look on the bright side. The 6-foot-9 center sees at least some benefits to playing against a lower level of opponent.
“Even if the competition isn’t as good as it usually is, it can kind of be beneficial in a way where it gives me and the rest of my teammates a chance to work on things that we wouldn’t usually work on against higher level competition, Duncomb told The Daily Hoosier.
“So it allows me to wok on my outside shot, dribbling on the perimeter and guarding some quicker players without me jeopardizing my team at all.”
Although he committed to IU in April, the dialogue with the Hoosier coaching staff continues on with the same daily cadence. As you would expect, the conversations have shifted from a focus on recruiting to development.
“The (IU) coaches call me everyday,” Duncomb said. “They watch the bigger games and when they do watch coach (Archie) Miller will give me feedback as well as (assistant) coach (Tom) Ostrom.”
Duncomb doesn’t hesitate to call himself a center. That is becoming something of a rarity for high school and college players.
But Duncomb also knows that he needs to be versatile if he wants to reach his full potential.
Indiana wants its offense to gravitate towards a better spaced and perimeter oriented approach in the halfcourt, while emphasizing the transition game whenever possible.
That message is getting to Duncomb, and he knows he’ll need to be able to do more than play with his back to the basket on the offensvie end in college.
“All summer the main thing I am working on is being able to shoot the three and take it off the dribble,” Duncomb told The Daily Hoosier. “That will make me less of a one dimensional offensive player, and help me do stuff outside of the post.”
Duncomb’s Indiana Elite team hasn’t been playing every weekend, and he has been fortunate to find some good competition to play against when he is back home in Cincinnati. His high school is one of the top programs in the state, and the school’s network has been beneficial.
“There are some good open gym runs with some good collegiate players and pro players that come back,” Duncomb said. “I’ve been doing those, and Moeller High School, we have a bunch of alumni who are D-1 and pro, and they’ve been coming back and playing with us too.”
Duncomb and his Indiana Elite squad that features IU recruiting target Trey Kaufman will at least get one small taste of their lost summer later this month.
A rarity in the shoe circuit era, the state’s top Nike (Indy Heat) and Adidas (Indiana Elite) programs are going to square off. That will give Duncomb a chance to face a future rival in Purdue bound big man Caleb Furst, along with a roster full of players headed to the high major ranks of college basketball.
That level of competition will be a welcome sight for both sides after a summer filled with blowouts.
With the players itching for a challenge, the game has already taken on a life of its own.
“There has been some smack talk on social media,” Duncomb said. “That’s a game we are definitely looking forward to playing and we want to win.”
See Also: Duncomb’s junior season highlights
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