Former IU basketball star Damon Bailey was never about individual accomplishments. The consummate teammate, the Heltonville, Indiana native has said on multiple occasions that he just wanted to win.
And win he did. In high school he led his Bedford North Lawrence team to the state’s final four in three out of his four seasons. The Stars won a state championship in 1990.
When he left IU in 1994, he was tied for the most career wins as a Hoosier (108) with Quinn Buckner.
Over the course of racking up all of those wins, Bailey of course accumulated several individual accolades and records. At the high school level, one of those marks rises above the rest.
With 3,134 career points, Bailey is the Indiana high school boys all-time scoring leader.
It’s a record that has stood for nearly 30 years. Bailey broke Marion Pierce’s (Lewisville) record that had stood 29 years. Now it’s a record that is due to be broken, and that just might happen in a couple years.
We’ve been down this path before. Just last year as a matter of fact. IU freshman Romeo Langford appeared to have a good opportunity to break Bailey’s record but ultimately came up 132 points short.
This time it appears likely that two players could make a serious run at Bailey, with 2021 the year to circle on your calendar.
Both players have IU connections. Whether they ever end up breaking any records or wearing the cream and crimson remains to be seen.
One thing is certain — they’ll need to win like Bailey did. Those deep tournament runs ultimately allowed Bailey to dethrone Pierce.
LUKE BROWN – BLACKFORD
He’s been referred to as “the next Damon Bailey.” Like Bailey, Brown and his Bruins have caught the attention of the national media.
What’s all the buzz about? One thing is certainly the team turnaround at Blackford. The school went from winning just one game in three years to a 14-9 record last year. The Bruins stand at 11-3 thus far on the 2018-19 season.
Brown is a scoring machine and the engine behind the turnaround. The Hartford City resident averaged 27.8 points per game as a freshman in an injury shortened 2017-18 campaign. Before suffering the injury Brown set the Indiana high school record for points in a game by a freshman with 48. In total Brown scored 417 points in year one, and now his sophomore season is off to a blistering pace.
Thus far for the 2018-19 season, Brown is averaging 36 points per game and has accumulated 504 points. Assuming that Brown sees enough post-season action over the next three years, he could easily be on pace to pass Bailey if he continues to score at this rate. 36 points per game over a 28 game season is more than 1,000 points per season. Three such seasons would see Brown cruise past Bailey.
Brown has heard from the likes of Purdue, Butler, Wisconsin and others during his young career. That list seems likely to continue to grow, and last year he referred to IU as his “dream school.”
You can watch video of the 6-foot-1 point guard here:
JALEN BLACKMON – MARION
Many know by now that Blackmon is the younger brother of former IU star James Blackmon, Jr. and current Hoosier Vijay Blackmon. We wrote more on the Blackmon family over the summer.
The youngest brother has wasted no time making a name for himself.
Playing under the guidance of his father, James, Sr., Jalen amassed 601 points as a freshman and just went over the 1,000 point mark 41 games into his career this past weekend.
Now averaging 31 points per game as a sophomore, Blackmon is also on track to at least sniff the 3,000 point mark if he just continues on his career average and Marion plays in a significant amount of post season games.
Indiana has been in contact with Jalen extensively. You can watch him go head to head with Purdue commit Brandon Newman here:
ALSO KEEP AN EYE ON
While he didn’t have as prolific of a freshman season as Brown and Blackmon, Evansville’s Khristian Lander is widely regarded as the best guard in the state in the 2021 class. Lander averaged 13.7 as a freshman and has ramped that up to nearly 25 per game as a sophomore. He would need to boost his scoring substantially to threaten Bailey, but he will be entertaining to watch either way.
Indiana offered Lander in August.
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