BROWNSBURG – The boys Indiana All-Stars teams took a challenge from the Junior All-Stars on Wednesday night, but the bigger, stronger seniors pulled away for a 127-106 victory.
The All-Stars will get back to action on Friday against the Kentucky All-Stars in Owensboro, Ky., then host the Kentucky seniors on Saturday at Southport Fieldhouse. Here are eight takeaways from the All-Stars victory over the Juniors:
Strong showing for Mr. Basketball
It is always a good sign when Mr. Basketball plays well and that was the case on Wednesday as Caleb Furst came out with eight points in the first few minutes and finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists on 9-for-14 shooting.
Furst stepped out and made a 3-pointer in the second half, went 3-for-3 from the free-throw line and blocked a couple of shots. The 6-10 Purdue recruit and fellow Purdue recruit 6-9 Trey Kaufman-Renn of Silver Creek, were too much for the smaller Junior All-Stars to handle on the interior. Fletcher Loyer, 6-4, was guarding Kaufman-Renn for a stretch in the first half. I heard him yell, “Thank you,” when he was called for a foul in the post on Kaufman-Renn.
Furst and Kaufman-Renn will present a challenge for the Kentucky All-Stars, which does have some size in 6-10 Akron recruit Sekou Kalle of Louisville DeSales and 6-8 New Orleans recruit Darius Washington of Louisville Fern Creek.
No Jalen Washington for Juniors
Gary West’s Jalen Washington, the highest-ranked recruit in the state in the 2022 class, did not play. Washington said he is “a little banged up.”
“I wasn’t really able to play 100%,” he said. “I didn’t want to be out here running around or doing anything too crazy.”
Along with the 6-10 Washington, Warren Central’s Tae Davis and Carmel’s Pete Suder were also unable to play due to injury for the Junior All-Stars. Washington is coming off an official visit to North Carolina last weekend. “My first official,” he said. “It went great. With the amazing history North Carolina has, it was good to see that firsthand. It was amazing.”
Comer, Walker shine for Junior All-Stars
The backcourt of North Central’s Leland Walker and Cathedral’s Tayshawn Comer gave the Junior All-Stars a lift off the bench. Walker finished with a game-high 24 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the 3-point line and Comer had 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting.
Comer just picked up an offer from Butler on Wednesday after an unofficial visit.
“I think it might increase the pressure a little bit on other schools to pull the trigger on me,” Comer said. “But I’m just going to stay on course, stay in the gym and get better. I believe that I can play at any level. But I’m grateful and thankful because any kid would want to be in my position.”
Other standouts for Junior All-Stars
Fort Wayne Carroll’s Jalen Jackson made the most of his opportunity, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the first half. The 6-1 Jackson, who has Division I offers from IUPUI and Purdue Fort Wayne, knocked down both of his 3-point attempts and added five rebounds and two assists.
Homestead’s Fletcher Loyer finished with 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting. The Purdue recruit was 2-for-6 from the 3-point line.
Teammate vs. teammate
Funny to see Homestead’s Luke Goode score over his high school teammate, Loyer, then give him the “too small” sign with his palm to the floor. Goode, the Illinois recruit, finished with seven points and four rebounds.
Rotation for All-Stars
Indiana All-Stars coach Ryan Osborn started Furst, Blackford’s Luke Brown, Kaufman-Renn, South Bend Riley’s Blake Wesley and Goode.
Wesley, a Notre Dame signee, scored 22 of his game-high 24 points in the second half, most of those coming on drives or shots around the basket. Furst, Wesley and Kaufman-Renn all played more than 23 of the game’s 40 minutes. Outside of the starters, Lawrence North guard Shamar Avance and Perry Meridian’s Jayden Taylor saw the most time off the bench.
The All-Stars had 33 assists on 52 field goals.
“It’s a talented group,” Osborn said. “It’s a great group of kids. They are a little quiet. We talked about body language. It’s not like they are selfish… We have to find a way to build them up sometimes. But I think it’s good to come out and see where your weaknesses. We’ll watch some film (Thursday) and see where we can get a little better.”
Marion’s Jalen Blackmon buried 5-for-7 from the 3-point line to finish with 17 points and give the All-Stars a big lift in his 12 minutes off the bench. The Grand Canyon recruit got hot in the first half, hitting three 3s in a row during a stretch and then came back and made two more in the second half.
The All-Stars were just 4-for-18 from the 3-point line outside of Blackmon.
Felt good to see some basketball
That was the most normal-feeling basketball event I’ve been too in a long time. It felt like an Indiana All-Stars game. It even felt a little weird to not see Osborn wearing one of those plastic face-shield things while he coached.
“The biggest thing is with the kids,” Osborn said. “When you are wearing that thing, they can’t read expressions and know what you are thinking. It’s nice not to have that shield on, I know that.”
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.
INDIANA ALL-STARS 127, JUNIOR ALL-STARS 106
JUNIORS — B. Smith 1-4 0-0 2, Gunn 2-13 2-2 6, Lovings-Watts 1-4 0-0 2, J. Jackson 8-10 2-2 20, C. Williams 4-13 0-1 8, Walker 8-10 4-4 24, Comer 7-11 1-3 16, Knepp 2-5 0-0 5, Loyer 6-12 1-1 15, Northern 3-8 1-2 8. Totals: 42-90 11-15 106.
SENIORS — Furst 9-14 3-3 22, L. Brown 3-4 0-0 7, Kaufman-Renn 8-13 6-9 22, Wesley 10-16 3-3 24, Goode 3-7 0-0 7, Avance 2-5 0-0 4, Taylor 2-7 0-0 6, Thomas 2-4 0-0 4. Sisley 3-4 0-0 6, Konieczny 2-6 0-0 4, Waddell 1-3 0-0 2, Blackmon 6-9 0-1 17, Jacobi 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 52-95 14-18 127.
Halftime: Seniors 56, Juniors 55. 3-point goals: Juniors 11-33 (Walker 4, Jackson 2, Loyer 2, Comer, Knepp, Northern), Seniors 9-25 Blackmon 5, Furst, Brown, Wesley, Goode); Rebounds: Juniors 37 (Smith 9), Seniors 60 (Furst 12); Assists: Juniors 17 (Smith 5), Seniors 33 (Brown 6).