Princeton’s Jackie Young receives invite for USA U17 tryouts

Princeton High School sophomore Jackie Young has received an invite to try out for the USA Women’s U17 World Championship basketball team, per a tweet from N.D. Kendrick — an area basketball scout and director of the Pocket City AAU basketball program.


Young’s invitation should come as no surprise, considering she is No. 25 in ESPN’s rankings of prospects in the class of 2016. According to this informational link from USA Basketball, approximately 35 players that meet the age requirements are expected to receive invitations. Other prospects may apply for the tryouts, with as many as 150 athletes competing for spots May 22-26 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

We’ll keep tabs on Young during these tryouts, after which the final team will be selected. The USA squad has already qualified for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship, scheduled to be held in Bratislava, Slovakia, from June 28-July 6.

This season, Young averaged 28.8 points, 12.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists in leading Princeton to a 21-1 record and the No. 1 ranking in Class 3A. She holds scholarship offers from Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana, Louisville, Illinois and Vanderbilt, and has garnered interest from powerhouse programs such as Tennessee, Connecticut and Stanford.



Travis Farmer resigns as Gibson Southern boys’ basketball coach

Travis Farmer, who posted a four-year record of 37-55 as Gibson Southern High School’s boys’ basketball coach, has resigned his position. He guided the Titans to a 5-18 mark this past season.
“I am very gracious for the opportunity to have been Gibson Southern’s head boys’ basketball coach for the past four years,” Farmer stated. “I have many memories that I will always cherish. I want to thank the student athletes for their trust, care and commitment while wearing the Titan uniform and to all of the assistant coaches for their hard work and loyalty. I wish nothing but the best to this program in the future.”
Farmer inherited a program coming off four successive losing seasons and had problems turning it around. It began promisingly enough as he led Gibson Southern to a 12-11 record his first two years, before the program trailed off.
Gibson Southern athletic director Jon Adams said Farmer will remain at Gibson Southern as an English teacher.
“We appreciate coach Farmer’s hard work and dedication to the basketball program at Gibson Southern,” stated Adams. “He always did things first class and worked hard to improve the program during his tenure and as the head coach. We will begin our search for our next head basketball coach immediately.”

–Gordon Engelhardt

Harrison’s Duncan, Bosse’s Fairrow head all-SIAC team

Ernie Duncan of Harrison and Perry Fairrow of Bosse, who helped lead their teams to a share of the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference co-championship along with Reitz, were named to the SIAC all-conference first team.
They were joined by Cayman Meier of Castle, Kourtlandt Martin of Central and Adam Eberhard of Memorial.
The second team consisted of Jaelan Sanford of Reitz, Everett Duncan of Harrison, Jacob Stauber of Mater Dei, Bo Burkhart of Bosse and Beau Dedmond of Central.

Lyle’s final 3 choices: Memphis, Oklahoma State and Oregon

Former Bosse High School boys’ basketball standout JaQuan Lyle tweeted that he has trimmed his list to three schools: Memphis, Oklahoma State and Oregon.
If you read the tea leaves, he listed Memphis first. Hmmm. Oklahoma State is coached by Madisonville (Ky.) grad Travis Ford, who also starred at the University of Kentucky.
Regarded as a five-star prospect, Lyle will announce his final choice at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Evansville Airport Holiday Inn on Highway 41 and it is open to the public.
Kansas had also been in Lyle’s final four. He is rated No. 22 in the class of 2014 by 247Sports Composite Rankings and No. 41 by ESPN.
Lyle, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, had originally committed to Louisville. He played his senior season at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep.
As a junior, Lyle averaged 27 points, 13.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists in leading Bosse to a 19-6 record and a berth in the Class 3A regional. He and current Southern Illinois University sophomore Jalen Pendleton sparked the Bulldogs to the semistate in 2012.
At this moment, Lyle is reportedly still trying to make a qualifying score on the ACT/SAT. But major universities almost always find a way to get a Top 50 prospect into school.
Don’t expect JaQuan to be playing for the Vincennes U. Trailblazers next season – and that is no slap at VU. It’s just a fact of life.

–Gordon Engelhardt

Mount Carmel’s Tyra Buss named to Parade All-America team

The awards keep piling up for Mount Carmel’s Tyra Buss.
A few days after she was named the Gatorade Illinois Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Buss was one of the top 20 players nationally to earn Parade All-America honors.
She joins Whitney Jennings, a guard from Logansport, Ind., who signed with Iowa, and Brianna Turner, a Notre Dame signee from Manvel, Texas.
Buss, a 5-foot-7 senior guard who signed with Indiana University, averaged 45.8 points, 6.7 steals, 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists in leading Mount Carmel (27-5) to the Class 2A sectional finals. She shot 55.4 percent from the field, including 39.1 from 3-point range, and hit 81.6 percent of her free throws.
“Tyra was without a doubt the most difficult player to prepare for as an opposing coach in my 33 years as a varsity coach,” stated Princeton coach Charlie Mair. “I often in preparing to play Tyra hoped that she would miss the bus if coming to Princeton or get locked in the locker room if we played at Mount Carmel. As a basketball player, she reminds me of a female ‘Pistol Pete’ Maravich. She is a magician with the basketball and has the ability to create shots that others do not even fathom existing.”
Buss is Illinois’ returning Ms. Basketball as named by the Chicago Tribune and Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. The 2014 Ms. Basketball has not yet been named.
Buss’ career point total of 4,897 surpassed the previous state record set by 2007 Gatorade Illinois Girls Basketball Player of the Year Brittany Johnson of Olney East Richland and ranks second in U.S. prep history. Johnson went on to play for Ohio State.
The Gatorade Award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court. Buss maintains a 5.0 grade point average on a 5.0 scale and ranks No. 1 in her graduating class.

–Gordon Engelhardt

Memorial’s Eberhard garnering more college interest

Memorial High School boys’ basketball standout Adam Eberhard hasn’t received any scholarship offers, but the 6-foot-7 forward is garnering plenty of college interest.

Eberhard is averaging 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds for the Tigers (16-6), who play Jasper (14-9) on Saturday at 11 a.m. CDT in the Class 3A Washington Regional. He has 973 career points and could pass the 1,000-point milestone Saturday, particularly if Memorial advances to the championship.

On Tuesday, Eberhard ran down a list of schools that have shown interest:

Division I — Lipscomb, Evansville, Wofford, Northeastern

Division II — Southern Indiana, Indianapolis

NAIA — Bethel (Ind.)

Eberhard, who can play in the post and on the wing, said this summer will be “huge” in terms of his recruitment and picking up scholarship offers. He plays with the Pocket City AAU program.


Updated all-time City Top 10 boys’ basketball scoring list

All-time City Boys’ Basketball Top 10 Scoring Leaders
Updated on Sunday, March 9

Top 10 All-Time Evansville Scorers
1. Jeremy Willis 1,899 (Day School, Class of 1999)
2. Bob Ford 1,815 (North, ’68)
3. Clint Keown 1,766 (Memorial, ’98)
4. Larry Weatherford 1,559 (Bosse, ’67)
5. Ernie Duncan 1,498 (Harrison, ’14)
6. Brian Miles 1,488 (North, ’83)
7. Levron Williams 1,469 (Bosse, ’97)
8. Daimian Garrett 1,442 (Reitz, ’08)
9. JaQuan Lyle 1,440 (Bosse, left ’13)**
10. Perry Fairrow 1,417 (Bosse, ’14)
**—Left for Huntington Prep (W.Va.) before senior season. Reflects points scored while in Evansville.

Pregame notes — Bosse vs. Memorial 3A sectional final

There hasn’t been a close game yet in the Class 3A Princeton boys’ basketball sectional. The slimmest margin of victory in the first two rounds is 14 points (Princeton beat Boonville 57-43 Tuesday in the first round).

I’d be moderately surprised if tonight’s 7 p.m. CST final wasn’t decided by single digits, though, because both Memorial (15-6) and Bosse (14-7) are playing at a high level.

A little background on how they reached the final:

— Bryson Johnson exploded for 25 points to help Bosse beat Mount Vernon 76-61, while Adam Eberhard led four Memorial scorers in double figures with 24 points as the Tigers defeated Princeton 76-56. You can read the full story from the semifinals here.

— Bosse won both regular-season meetings between the two teams, edging Memorial in overtime in December before blowing out the Tigers in the SIAC tournament in January.

Some things to watch for tonight:

— Don’t be surprised if the game turns into a track meet.

Bosse is particularly dangerous in transition and will look to push the pace when possible. Memorial is also capable in the open floor, but with four guards to handle the Bulldogs’ pressure, the Tigers could attempt to slow the tempo. Still, I expect there to be at least a few stretches when the game opens up and there is up-and-down action for both teams.

— Dasean Summers’ performance will be especially key tonight for Bosse.

The 6-foot-6 junior is the only Bulldog with the size to match up with 6-foot-7 Memorial forward Adam Eberhard, who averages a team-high 20 points per game. Summers will need to use his length to disrupt Eberhard without getting in foul trouble because the Bulldogs don’t bring any size off the bench. However, Bosse forward Bryson Johnson is capable of playing bigger than his 6-2 frame, so he could spend some time defending Eberhard — the best high school big man I’ve seen since moving to Evansville about a month ago.

— Whichever team gets hot from 3-point range could swing the game in its favor.

Obvious statement, I know, but hitting jump shots is particularly important for these teams. Both can have three or four players on the court at once that are at least threats to knock down 3-pointers. If two or three players on one team get hot simultaneously, that’ll be enough to give that squad a huge advantage.

— Perry Fairrow’s is within reach of a couple scoring milestones. Bosse’s 6-foot-1 senior guard enters the contest at 1,394 career points. He’ll likely break the 1,400-point barrier and could move onto Evansville’s top 10 career scoring list. Justin Hawkins (Day School, Class of 2005) sits in 10th with 1,411 points, so Fairrow is 18 points from passing him.

That’s all from me. Enjoy the game, folks, but not as much as this guy.

Evansville all-time boys’ basketball scoring leaders

Top 10 All-Time Evansville Scorers
1. Jeremy Willis 1,899 (Day School, Class of 1999)
2. Bob Ford 1,815 (North, ’68)
3. Clint Keown 1,766 (Memorial, ’98)
4. Larry Weatherford 1,559 (Bosse, ’67)
5. Brian Miles 1,488 (North, ’83)
6. Ernie Duncan 1,477 (Harrison, ’14)*
7. Levron Williams 1,469 (Bosse, ’97)
8. Daimian Garrett 1,442 (Reitz, ’08)
9. JaQuan Lyle 1,440 (Bosse, left ’13)**
10. Justin Hawkins 1,411 (Day School, ’05)
Knocking on the door: Perry Fairrow 1,377 (Bosse, ’14)*
*—Active player. **—Left for Huntington Prep (W.Va.) before senior season. Reflects points scored while in Evansville.

Class 3A Princeton Sectional: leftover thoughts

A few thoughts and observations from Tuesday’s first-round games at the Class 3A Princeton Sectional. Bosse blew out Gibson Southern and the host Tigers pulled away from Boonville late.

Read my story here.

— Bosse’s trapping zone defenses created complete havoc for Gibson Southern. Bosse coach Shane Burkhart said he usually prefers solid man-to-man defense, but the Bulldogs could be rewarded by continuing to go zone in the postseason.

Bosse forced 22 turnovers — including 10 during a second-quarter blitz — and turned those into easy baskets on the other end. The Bulldogs’ quickness is ideal for trapping defenses and several players displayed good anticipation in getting into passing lanes for steals and deflections.

— Boonville played awfully well for a one-win team. The Pioneers finished 1-21 after their 57-43 loss to Princeton, but flashed some talent and stuck around for most of the game against the heavily favored Tigers.

Sophomore Ryan Nance scored 16 points in the first three quarters and displayed a smooth left-handed shooting stroke and crafty moves to create shots. Senior guard Justin Beard showed capable ball-handling skills and helped Boonville get decent looks against an aggressive Princeton defense.

— I was impressed with the post presence of 6-foot-5 Princeton center Kinzer Havill, who scored a game-high 23 points on 11 made field goals.

He had good footwork and never seemed to rush his shots. The inside battle between Havill and 6-foot-6 Memorial junior Adam Eberhard on Friday should be a good one.